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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
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Saturday, July 30, 2005
 
The Meroitic Origin of the Oromos, and the Christianization of Africa : Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
Fresh post-colonial approaches to African History focus on early stages of Christianization of Africa, Egypt and Abyssinia, and find there the reasons of the Meroitic emigration to present day (Biyya) Oromo land.

Basically, according to this everything you know about African Christianity is wrong.

Interesting, but I'm not buying it.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Top News Story (really): A Blinking Jesus in Hoboken

blinking-jesus-statue WABC: Believers Say Religious Statue Is 'Alive'
The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue is the centerpiece of a nativity scene outside the Jackson Street public housing complex in Hoboken.

Some witnesses say they saw the statue open its right eye, and turn its head toward the crowd.

Many call the event a miracle that could help rescue the neighborhood from problems like drugs and violence.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Friday, July 29, 2005
 
Choice

I'm reading this from a book first published in 1985 and it's hard to believe that it was taken seriously:

...partly on Scripture and partly on the insight of modern psychology which holds that human beings have the capacity to make basic decisions that determine the whole orientation of their life.

People sin in thought, word, deed and omission. That is the capacity. That is our nature.

The idea that we can make a basic decision not to sin, not to be selfish, to love God and neighbor, apart from striving not to sin, not to be selfish, and to love God and neighbor is as much a lie as the one which Satan told to Eve in the Garden.

It is not only the decision not to sin, but the decision to repent, have a conversion of heart and make reparation for sin which is at the heart of the Catholic faith.

For people who accepted the false notion of "fundamental option" as legitimate Catholic teaching I pray that God has special mercy for them and wrath for those who promoted it.

Thomas Bokenkotter, (1992) Dynamic Catholicism New York: Doubleday


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:24 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, July 28, 2005
 
I really wish the news on Msgr. Woolsey was positive but...

'Sins' of the Msgr. on trial : New York Daily News

A Manhattan Monsignor with a weakness for Rolex watches, fine dining, expensive clothes and golfing vacations in sunny Spain was charged yesterday with looting more than $800,000 from his upper East Side parish.

Msgr. John Woolsey, 67, could spend 15 of his golden years in prison if he's convicted of filching from the collection plate at St. John the Martyr Church to pay for his luxurious lifestyle, prosecutors said.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:01 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, July 26, 2005
 
Why Not a 'Million Muslim March'? : Wall Street Journal (paid subs. reqd.)
By AHMED H. AL-RAHIM

Two recent events have sent shock waves through Egypt. The later of the two was the terrorist bombing of the resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh. The first, unnoticed in the West but no less unsettling, was the silencing of a liberal scholar, Sayyid Mahmud al-Qimany.

Mr. Qimany, an outspoken critic of Islamism whose many writings have been banned by al-Azhar University (Sunni Islam's most revered institution of higher education), recently received a death threat declaring him an apostate. "We have individuals," the message read, "who are willing to cleanse their sins with your blood." The individuals threatening him wished to make an example of Mr. Qimany in the same way they had of his fellow secular writer Farag Fouda, assassinated in 1992.

If Mr. Qimany did not retract his statements and writings against the Islamists, his fate was death. Despite the Egyptian government assigning bodyguards to protect him, he knew that once he was declared an apostate, the state could do little to prevent the Islamists from assassinating him. So to spare his family the fate that befell Fouda's, Mr. Qimany recanted all his writings, promising never to write again. He knew that he was alone in his battle against the dark forces of Islam; his only weapon was his pen, which alas he surrendered to the Islamists as others before him surrendered their lives.

The silencing of Mr. Qimany could not come at a worse time, when there are so few Muslims speaking out against Islamism and the recent spate of bombings. Sadly, only the voices of Western political leaders constantly remind us that Islam is a "religion of peace." Where are the Muslims, especially those living in the West, who have the freedom to organize and make their voices heard? It seems that the only time we hear from the Muslim masses is when there are alleged desecrations of the Quran, or of prisoner abuse in Iraq. Where is the Muslim outrage, the mass protests to defend Islam, in whose sacred name murder is committed nearly every day, against what Western leaders describe as a "perversion of its true nature"?

Alas, the battle against Islamism -- and also for the heart of Islam -- has become a battle for the West to fight. As a Muslim, these acts of terrorism committed by fellow Muslims -- and yes, they are Muslims, from whom we cannot distance ourselves by the sophistry that asserts that their version is but a perversion of Islam -- are a great source of shame. But what is more shameful is that there are no mass Muslim protests to speak of against terrorism that is committed in our name. In the same way that Muslims have protested against alleged desecrations of the Quran, they now should be out in full force in the streets of Cairo, London and New York, sending a clear message to the Islamists that Enough is Enough. Why not a "Million Muslim March" on Washington, of law-abiding Muslim citizens clamoring to reclaim their faith from those who would kill innocents in its name? Muslims must no longer stand by while murder and suicide bombings are committed in their name.

Mr. Rahim, an Iraqi-American, has taught Arabic and Islamic studies at Harvard University.

Exactly along the lines of what I had blogged yesterday.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, July 25, 2005
 
Continuing: Beyond the Da Vinci Code

Just before the break, they brought up the Gospel of Philip "kiss".

Timothy Freke says its all about the awareness of Christ within us and not a Church. Deidre Good says there was no hierarchy.

No attempt at balance yet at the end of the first half-hour. It's the Starbird show.

Take a drink of your favorite beverage each time you hear "archetype".


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Decoding the Past : History Channel Presents

Beyond the Da Vinci Code

Some live blogging...

  • Starts out with the defeat of the Cathars
  • On the plus side, the narrator called it fiction.
  • Karen Ralls is the first authority in the account.
  • Margaret Starbird is condescending regarding what we call "truth" today.
  • Dan Burstein says it's worth a look.
  • Another smirking fellow says it is fiction
  • But there's a guy like a Hells Angels biker who says its real, but not proven.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Selectively speaking out

Muslim moderates can always be found to appear side by side with secular and Christian leaders after a terrorist attack to condemn it. What's missing is a sustained effort on their part to challenge the preachers of hate. Somehow, Christian and Jewish leaders are able to marginalize their violent "cells". Is there a Christian along the lines of Pat Robertson or Bishop Gregory or any leader you care to name supporting Eric Rudolph or Timothy McVeigh or any religiously-inspired violence?

The violence undertaken by Christians and Jews in the name of their respective religions is constantly being criticized - even if it's only one person.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:46 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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It takes a notary public (this gets explained below)

$9M 'Seed' Money : New York Post

Unwitting sperm-bank dad sues ex, NYU

A Brooklyn man who claims his estranged wife forged his name to get hold of his frozen sperm and used it to conceive a daughter has been ordered to pay child support — and has filed a multimillion-dollar suit for reimbursement.

The lawyer for the unwitting dad, LIRR engineer Deon Francois, says New York University's famed fertility clinic should be responsible for the little girl's expenses through college.

The bizarre saga began in 1997 when Francois and his wife, Chaamel, married. Five years later, unable to conceive, the couple consulted experts at NYU, and Deon provided a sperm sample in July 2002.

But the marriage hit the rocks, and Deon left Chaamel in April 2003.

Deon's lawyer, John James, said that according to the NYU contract, the frozen sperm should have been destroyed when his client stopped paying storage fees.

"Personally, I think that NYU should pay the child support and put this child through college," he said.

In court papers, Deon, 34, claims that Chaamel, 36, paid the storage fees until December 2003, when she forged his name on a release, had it notarized and underwent the first of two in-vitro fertilizations.

The following August, Deon visited his wife and said he was shocked to see her pregnant.

"I said, 'So who are you pregnant from?' " he recalled. "She said, 'It's yours.' I said, 'Don't tell me you went to the clinic and did what I think you did.' "

The girl, Nazair, was born Nov. 24, 2004, and Francois said Chaamel immediately hit him up for support.

In court papers, Chaamel, an art teacher and truancy officer at Brooklyn's Wingate HS, denies deceiving Deon.

"For years, we have collectively attempted to conceive a child with the assistance of a fertility clinic," she said in an affidavit.

"He knew full well that I was continuing with our joint efforts."

Deon is seeking $9 million from NYU, his wife and the notary whose seal appears next to Deon's "signature."

The notary, Howard Biren, says in court papers that Chaamel stole his seal.

Francois says he has not asked that criminal charges be filed in connection with the alleged forgery; NYU declined to comment and it's not clear whether the school or the notary is seeking Chaamel's prosecution.

The latest chapter in the bizarre saga took place last Thursday, when Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Sarah Krauss, who is hearing their divorce case, refused to lower his $400 weekly child-support payments for Nazair, who is now 8 months old.

Francois says he's seen the little girl only twice and is heartbroken about being excluded from her life.

"I wanted to be there," the 34-year-old dad said. "I wanted to be in the delivery room. I wanted to raise that child. I want to be there for that child."

Steven Gildin, a lawyer for Chaamel, said the judge's decision on child support was easy.

"It is completely irrelevant as to how this child was conceived, whether it's through intercourse or through a fertility clinic," said Gildin.

"If you don't protect the child, what becomes of the child, who is the most innocent person in this scenario?"

Catholic teaching on human sexuality has two parts. The more familiar is that it is contrary to divine command and to the natural order to separate the sexual act from the possibility of conceiving a human child. The less familiar is that it is likewise immoral to separate human conception from the sexual act.

Here we have a good example of the wisdom and justice of the latter part of that Catholic teaching. In the specifics of the conception and life of Nazair Francois, I'm not judging them only the political and cultural climate that has made reproductive choice such a confusing mess.

Deon and Francois are not divorced but they are in the process of being divorced, so decisions in their lives are being made by Sarah Krauss who is a state judge.

Deon doesn't to pay child support for Nazair, but he wants to raise her.

Chaanel wants Deon to pay $400 a week for child support (He's a LIRR engineer), but doesn't want Deon to have any contact with Nazair.

In the eyes of the law (at least as far as Steve Gildin, Chaanel's attorney and Judge Krauss, it doesn't matter if the child was conceived without the knowledged and consent of Deon, and in the course of criminal actions by Chaanel. She stole the notary's seal and stole the sperm, and she gets to keep the fruit of those acts.

Deon's sense of justice is that the notary and NYU should pay to raise Nazair.

The notary's defense is that his seal was stolen by Chaanel, and NYU's defense is that they are the victims of a fraud.

This little girl needs the intercession of her patron saint, Saint Nazarius, a martyr under the persecution of Nero.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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To Preempt Criticism

A theme I keep seeing in comments on the decision to search bags here in New York is that it's really a CVA move on Bloomberg's part and the NYPD. If there were an explosion, and bags were not being randomly searched, Bloomberg and the NYPD would be criticized for not doing so.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Sunday, July 24, 2005
 
The Darkroom Disappears

I had a darkroom for several years but with the time spent raising my kids my darkroom activity faded away as a lesser priority.

I finally said goodbye today throwing out all the expired chemicals and other materials. There's no one to give it to. I gave the enlarger away some time ago.

I found some flawed prints from 15 and 20 years ago which was like opening a time capsule.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Searching Bags

Random bag searches have started here in New York City. People who support the searches are getting interviewed and people who don't support the searches are not being interviewed, but some people are angry. One idiot screamed he had a bomb and shut down Penn Station for a few hours. (AP news)

The unions are griping about not be paid for special training to identify what is suspicious. (Journal News)

A bad guy can see that searches are taking place and just turn around.

A person whom I suspect may have a financial interest in it, complained that the searches should be done with a magnetometer as is done in the airport. (New York Times)


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:46 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A Child Not a Choice Dept.

Newborn Born To Mother Killed By Stray Bullet Clings To Life

As police search for a killer, the tiny newborn reportedly delivered by emergency C-section after his mother was hit by a stray bullet in Brooklyn Saturday is clinging to life.

Published reports say the 2-pound baby was delivered 10 weeks premature at Long Island College hospital moments after his mother died.

Nicole Sutton, the victim, was a bystander.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com