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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from October 2003

from the housetops by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 1, 2003

Asked in a phone interview whether he was denying having written the letter, [Oklahoma City Vicar General Edward J.] Weisenburger declined to comment further. Now there's an ecclesiastic with a career ahead of...

Cardinal-elect disses Pope by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 1, 2003

Cardinal-elect Keith O'Brien of Aberdeen, Scotland, has called for a re-examination of Church stances on contraception, priestly celibacy, and homosexuality. In the process, the humble prelate compared himself with St. Paul. And by inference, he suggested that the man who is planning to give...

All of them are liberal? He ensured election of a liberal pope? by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 1, 2003

I think the editorial writer at the Washington Times has gone off his meds. This editorial claims that not only are the 30 new cardinals appointed by the Pope not conservative ... every single one is a liberal. Or so they say. Archbishop George Pell, for one, is demonstrably orthodox, and probably...

Canterbury fan dance by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 1, 2003

It's always embarrassing when you're caught playing the shell game. So you almost had to pity the poor Archbishop of Canterbury, when London's Daily Telegraph obtained a confidential memo from an adviser, suggesting ways in which the Anglican prelate could divert attention away from all those...

Problem? What problem? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 1, 2003

Retired Cleveland priest Dan McBride pleaded guilty to exploring praxis-centered ways of being church. With an underage youth. He got three years, suspended, and his photo in the paper. An article by Kevin Hoffman in the Scene paints a squalid picture of gay prostitution, drugs, boy-swapping,...

The new issue of Catholic World Report by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 1, 2003

The October issue of Catholic World Report should be hitting newsstands and mailboxes any day now, and here's what you'll find inside:Political Tests: Church-state conflicts were both frequent and intense during the summer months, particularly in North America. In Alabama, a dispute over display...

My, how I've grown by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 1, 2003

OTR reader "RC" notes that the Boston boutique worship group called The People of Promise congratulates itself in its newsletter on helping Catholics exit the Church. Former Jesuit priest Mark Jones is now Mark Bozzuti-Jones, and an Episcopal priest. He thanks POP for the reassurance that...

Pumping Irony by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 1, 2003

Tom McClintock is a serious politician, not a cartoon character or an action figure. So he's not being taken seriously in California's recall-the-governor race. Republican Party officials-- including some who call themselves conservative-- are urging McClintock to drop out, and make room for a...

Brooklyn Lawsuit Announced by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 1, 2003

As expected, attorney Michael Dowd today announced a lawsuit charging twenty-four priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn with sexual abuse, according to Newsday. The announcement comes just two days before the installation of the seventh Bishop of Brooklyn, Nicholas DiMarzio....

A Stand of Conscience by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 2, 2003

Kudos to the Bishop of St Augustine, Florida. Reading about the inane comments of Frank Griswold, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, on the current turmoil within his denomination over the toleration of blessings of homosexual unions and the election of a homosexual bishop, he decided...

Outlook cloudy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 2, 2003

The Jesuit Superior General P.-H. Kolvenbach recently delivered his State of the Society of Jesus address at a congregation of delegates held in Loyola, Spain. The text is posted on the U.S. Jesuit website. It strikes me as weird -- drifting in and out of focus, swinging back and forth between...

Tajikistan: Catholic minority helps Muslim majority by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 2, 2003

There are only two Catholic parishes in all of Tajikistan. The little country in central Asia is mostly Muslim, and Christians form a barely visible minority. But in a show of genuine Christian charity, that tiny minority is providing aid to the large majority. The Catholics of Tajikistan,...

Turning tricks by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 2, 2003

Father Vincent Rogers is back at work as the pastor of St. James parish in St. Joseph, Missouri. His ministerial service had been rudely interrupted by Missouri law-enforcement officials, who arrested the priest along with 100 other men during a crackdown on prostitution. Eventually Father...

Terminator Too by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 2, 2003

"Losing by Winning" is the apt title of an article by George Neumayr in the American Spectator Online. He's referring to the California Republican establishment, and its mindless support for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Worth reading. Hits nails on...

No Room for the 'In' by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 2, 2003

The situation developing in St Augustine, FL is actually quite humorous. As I noted before, the Bishop of St Augustine, Victor Galeone, has rescinded the invitation to the Episcopal Diocese of Florida to conduct the consecration of their new coadjutor bishop in one of the larger Catholic Church...

A glimpse of that famous Anglican good taste in liturgy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 3, 2003

A huge portrait of a man in cowboy gear was hanging over the altar. The cathedral was rocking with a hand-clapping, foot-stomping rendition of "A Pub with No Beer." And all I can say is, thank God this is a story about a funeral in an Anglican...

your collection plate dollars at play by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 3, 2003

A commenter on Dom Bettinelli's blog rightly objects to the pink triangles and rainbows that decorate the web pages of the Diocese of Cleveland's Gay & Lesbian Ministry Office. Obviously, there's ample room for deniability here, and anyone desirous of ignoring the obvious can pretend that the...

the will to kill by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 3, 2003

Post-vote, the NOW website works up the breath for a good scream: "No one is surprised by the House's passage today of the so-called partial birth abortion ban, but I know it will help us rally reproductive rights supporters across the country to join us in marching on Washington next April,"...

immortal souls by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 3, 2003

"I despise the Worcester Diocese for their lack of compassion, sensitivity, loyalty, honesty, concern, and their total indifference to victims," said John Mackey outside the courtroom where Kelley was sentenced for raping his daughter, Heather Mackey. The father, a police chief in Tewksbury,...

raised questions by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 3, 2003

This editorial from the Washington Times raises interesting questions. When the bishops set up the National Review Board, dismay was expressed over the inclusion of figures such as Leon Panetta and Robert Bennett (how, exactly, does one square the appointment of pro-abortionists to a board...

Cardinal Stafford transferred by Jeff in "Off the Record" - Oct 4, 2003

Cardinal Stafford now leads the Apostolic Penitentiary. The new president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity is Archbishop Stanislaw...

The Keating Enigma by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 4, 2003

Gov. Frank Keating's recent Crisis article has provoked comment because of his claim that he was trashed by a letter put into play by the Oklahoma City vicar general. But the entire piece is worth a read for understanding Keating's brief but eventful presidency of the National Review...

The many faces of dialogue by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 4, 2003

Thanks to Amy Welborn for the link to this story on dialogue in the hands of professionals. A prominent Birmingham theologian said he was given documents that show a plan to stifle conservative dissent on homosexuality when the world's Anglican archbishops meet in London this month. ...Zahl...

Is you is or is you ain't my baby? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 4, 2003

I LOVE ME So shouts a poster commemorating Love Your Body Day (October 15, in case you needed reminding) sponsored by the National Organization for...

really, really open by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 4, 2003

In the never-ending quest for gems of ecclesiastical syntax and forward-thinking theology, the U.K.'s Church Times seldom fails, in a very real sense, to deliver: In the run-up to the Primates' Meeting, Church of Ireland bishops on both sides of the border are urging an open, sensitive and...

bad puppy, good puppy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 5, 2003

When the priest says this... "If you wore a cassock [at the seminary], you were a reactionary 'daughter of Trent.' If you wore women's underwear, they'd make you seminarian of the year." [Harrisburg Father John Trigilio, quoted in Rose's Goodbye Good Men] A bishop responds like that: "I...

limpid in Lagos by Jeff in "Off the Record" - Oct 5, 2003

Cardinal-designate Okogie of Lagos, who has not minced words about feminine attire, has made equally unnuanced comments about Protestant Pentecostalism and the Catholic charismatic movement. According to today's Johannesburg Sunday Times: Okogie has also attacked the country's rapidly expanding...

Men and women and pastoral work by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 6, 2003

Maybe I'll be thought a bit odd in some circles, but I don't have a problem with altar girls. This article examines the expanded role in liturgy and formal pastoral work for women since Vatican II. Mostly it talks about altar girls. As it points out, being an altar boy was once a major part of...

More links between "Talking about Touching" and prostitution and homosexuality by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 6, 2003

WorldNetDaily has an article on "Talking about Touching" that adds more information to my article on the same program. Mary Jo Anderson shows why the links between the Committee for Children, which created the curriculum, and pro-gay, pro-prostitution groups should make you nervous. Basically,...

object lesson by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 6, 2003

Just Good Company is an online magazine edited by ex-Jesuit Robert Blair Kaiser, and sounds a note of wistful, mildly cranky nostalgia for the lost causes of 1960s Kumbaya Catholicism -- i.e., the laments concern contraception and married priests rather than women's ordination and gay rights. For...

beyond equality by Leila in "Off the Record" - Oct 7, 2003

In the Pope's letter "On the Dignity and Vocation of Women" he makes a small but vitally important point. You can find it in the section (#29 entitled "the Dignity of Women and the Order of Love." He states that "the dignity of women is measured by the order of love" and he defines the order as...

trying to answer Dom by Antigone in "Off the Record" - Oct 7, 2003

I can't fit my answer into 500 characters to Dom's queston (below). He asks if the fact that altar servers represent the congregation doesn't make it fitting to have girls serving. Here's the thing: the roles are not meant all to be enacted in the sanctuary. By definition, the laity are not in...

Canterbury archbishop shaken by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 8, 2003

It is reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury was shaken by his interviews with Pope John Paul II but especially with Cardinal Kasper last week. If this marks the dawning of a new, more realistic era in ecumenism, then I think it should be welcomed. As the bureaucracies of various...

Disaster on the Left Coast by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 8, 2003

To keep things in perspective, here's what happened in California yesterday: The voters decided to oust a pro-abortion, pro-gay Catholic (Davis) and replace him with a pro-abortion, pro-gay Catholic (Schwarzenegger) instead of a pro-abortion, pro-gay Catholic (Bustamante). And if the state's...

Nothing new in Eucharistic document? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 8, 2003

If John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter is right-- and when it comes to getting straight facts from the Vatican, he usually is-- the forthcoming "disciplinary" document on the Eucharist will contain very little that is new or surprising. (Go here and scroll down to the bottom for...

The missing link by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 8, 2003

A Massachusetts priest has been suspended. A young man has been murdered. What's the connection? That's what I'd like to know. Here's the story. Now, what's missing? If I were the AP editor, I might have encouraged the reporter to provide a little more explanation of why, if A is suspected...

A Noble Moment by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 8, 2003

A phone message from a close friend and Episcopal Priest at the conservatives' meeting in Plano said that a "long, heartening and supportive letter" from Cardinal Ratzinger to the assembly, read to them this evening (Wed), brought the whole assembly to their feet in thunderous applause. Nice...

The Letter from Cardinal Ratzinger by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 9, 2003

From Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Prefect of the congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith The Vatican, on behalf of Pope John Paul II I hasten to assure you of my heartfelt prayers for all those taking part in this convocation. The significance of your meeting is sensed far beyond Plano,...

Creative sentencing by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 9, 2003

If this man is found guilty of torching the cathedral in Savannah, instead of jail, why not send him to Los...

The Age of Consent by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 9, 2003

It seems that the Cape Cod reporters are supplying the missing links on Father Good Friends. A sense of shock reverberated through this small village yesterday, triggered by news that the Rev. Bernard Kelly had conducted a sexual relationship with the man accused of killing Jonathan Wessner....

No nuance by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 9, 2003

Bishop Gumbleton might not approve, but the Russian Orthodox hierarchy has sent a clear message about same-sex...

Boston pastor refuses to implement Talking about Touching by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 9, 2003

A pastor in the Archdiocese of Boston has bravely informed Archbishop Sean O'Malley that his moral duty as a pastor of souls compels him to refuse to implement "Talking about Touching" in his parish because he thinks it is evil. Bravo Fr. David Mullen. This isn't the first contact with the...

The Helping Professions by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 10, 2003

The police are interested in a "dinner party" recently held at the home of a Cape Cod priest, according to a story in today's Boston Globe. As well they should be. One of the guests, Paul Nolin, is charged with murdering a 20-year-old golf course worker whom he befriended the night of the Sept...

Archbishop O'Brien Forced to Back Down & Recant by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 10, 2003

Cardinal-designate Archbishop Keith O'Brien (of St. Andrews-Edinburgh) shocked many ingenuous Catholics when, almost immediately after the announcement of his elevation, he called for "dialogue" on Church teaching regarding contraception, clerical celibacy, and homosexuality. He didn't get away...

Scheduling the end of the world by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 10, 2003

The best Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theorists on the end times will gather in Mundelein, Illinois, on October 16-18, for a conference on the topic: "The Time is Near: The Apocalyptic Imagination in an Age of Anxiety." I guess we can safely infer that the world won't end until at...

Clarifying his status by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 10, 2003

Diogenes has been commenting on the case of the murder of a young man on Cape Cod and the connection with two priests. The status of one of the priests, Father Donald Turlick, is unclear and news reports have not helped. So I called the Diocese of Bridgeport and talked to its spokesman. The...

...status by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 10, 2003

In my diocese (Brooklyn), the vicar general makes a huge effort to see to it that he knows where priests "released from diocesan assignment" are, and that contact is kept up with them. Years ago, there were 150 Brooklyn priests in that status -- some teaching, some serving in dioceses elsewhere,...

scabrous in St. Louis by Jeff in "Off the Record" - Oct 10, 2003

Fr. Lawrence Biondi, S.J., president of St. Louis University, treats the readers of today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch to a description of the anatomy of a statue that graces his campus. He then reflects upon human anatomy in...

Correction: Archbishop O'Brien was NOT coerced by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 11, 2003

The next day Don Corleone went to see the band leader personally. He brought with him his two best friends, Genco Abbandando, who was his Consigliori, and Luca Brasi. With no other witnesses Don Corleone persuaded Les Halley to sign a document giving up all rights to all services from Johnny...

One Coke, two straws. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 11, 2003

"Sometimes you have to reach out for someone who is having difficulty in his life. But that's the call of each pastor," Kearns said. That's Diocese of Fall River spokesman John Kearns explaining why Father Bernard Kelly was permitted to befriend a convicted pederast with a history of violence...

The secret John Paul revealed by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 11, 2003

John Allen converses with Washington's Cardinal Theodore "I Feel Pretty" McCarrick: McCarrick, who named a woman chancellor in Washington and has appointed women to significant positions of responsibility in every diocese he's led, said he wouldn't be surprised if John Paul II, in his heart,...

The Healing Art by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 11, 2003

Two boys, one described as "mentally challenged," claimed that they were groped by Norbertine Father David Lawlor in the whirlpool bath of a Philadelphia Y. Lawlor was acquitted; it turns out to have been another example of priestly "outreach," misunderstood by the wider community: Easttown...

Curses! Foiled again! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 12, 2003

Agatha Christie's Mousetrap had a run of -- what? -- ten thousand or so West End performances, and one of the Anglican churches is replaying the much loved Quench Not the Spirit farce. This time the scene is Australia, and the issue is women bishops. The villain is played by the Anglican Diocese...

Assent by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 12, 2003

The September 8th issue of the Jesuit magazine America includes this among its News Briefs: The Jesuit Conference on Aug. 26 announced that as a result of questions raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about certain writings of John R. Sachs, S.J., and at the request of the...

Can we talk? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 12, 2003

LA Cardinal Roger Mahony wins praise for openness and vision. Some Los Angeles-area Roman Catholic priests are urging an open discussion on whether to allow married clergy as one solution to the growing priest shortage, and say they hope Cardinal Roger Mahony will raise the issue to church...

The oh-so-adaptable God by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 12, 2003

The Tablet reports on the recent meeting between the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams: In a halting, breathless voice, the Pope gave thanks for the progress in dialogue between their Churches but noted "new and serious difficulties" which "have arisen on the path to...

Your self-esteem is showing, sport. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 13, 2003

An article in the Australian journal Eureka Street sings the praises of Australia's "pragmatic" approach to the AIDS crisis. And no, "pragmatism" does not mean quarantining male flight attendants. There was little prospect of gay men taking pride in their health while they were humiliated or...

Future-Church by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 13, 2003

Remember the books titled "The Wit & Wisdom of So-and-So" that were popular thirty years ago? Well, the Women's Ordination Conference, having already gifted us with its wisdom, has now displayed specimens of its wit, for which go here, and here, and...

Like, why the fuss? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 13, 2003

The Crosiers are scaling back their workload in Michigan, according to the Detroit News: The reorganization comes a year after the Roman Catholic religious order announced that eight of its priests or brothers had been removed from public ministry and are living under restrictions for sexually...

Let's do lunch by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 13, 2003

Voices, the excellent magazine of Women for Faith & Family, carries a very interesting article by WFF member and pro-lifer Sherry Tyree, in which she reports on a lunch and lecture she "infiltrated" last May. The lecturer, one Barbara Zdravecky of Planned Parenthood, spoke on "President Bush's War...

Où sont ces heureux jours que je faisais attendre? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 13, 2003

Anna Quindlen is perturbed by a new study on the status of women at Duke University, which rattles her faith in human rationality and (what comes to the same thing) the inevitable progress of feminism: Fem - i - nism: n. 1. Belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes....

What lavender mafia? by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 13, 2003

The Lavender Mafia strikes out at one who spoke up. A priest in Palm Beach, Florida, is being removed from his parish, essentially silenced, because ha dared repeat the Church's teachings that homosexual acts are sinful. Now, the diocese doesn't say that. What the vicar general said was this:When...

taking sides by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 14, 2003

"This is really the last vestige of evil left in our society." That's Anglican bishop Martin Reynolds speaking about -- wait for it -- anti-homosexual convictions manifested by opposition to gay bishops and same sex marriage. Dr. Reynolds, coincidentally identified as gay in the Telegraph...

text & commentary by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 14, 2003

An sardonic Jesuit theologian (retired) had this to say about Cardinal Keith O'Brien's Profession of Faith: "I further state that I accept and intend to defend the law on ecclesiastical celibacy as it is proposed by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church; I accept and promise to defend the...

another uncertain trumpet by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 14, 2003

The U.S. Bishops' Office of Social Development & World Peace has released another worthless pre-election year document to aid Catholics at the polls. Even the bishops' own news service, combing the text for a paragraph thematic enough to quote from, couldn't come up with anything better than...

Who's our ally? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 14, 2003

You might have seen the headline in today's News Bytes: "Few Jews Remain in Baghdad." That news, even in headline form, got me to thinking. There may be few Jews living in Baghdad, but there are no Jews living in Riyadh-- at least not living openly. There are also no Christians practicing...

The vicious cycle of failure. And me. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 14, 2003

Andrew Sullivan provides us with a suitable companion piece to Bishop Reynolds's rant blogged below: The combination of the cover-up of sexual abuse and the extremity of the language used against gay people by the Vatican has made it impossible for me to go back inside a church. I do believe...

worst-case scenario: homeschooling by Leila in "Off the Record" - Oct 14, 2003

Homeschoolers are a bit upset to find the CBS evening news going ape over a story of a family, who, among other things, homeschooled their children until one of them unleashed mayhem in their midst. The North Carolinians for Home Education responds with a well reasoned look at the...

Cracks in liberal Anglican facade by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 14, 2003

It appears, on the eve of the London meeting of 38 primates of the Anglican provinces, that the progressives in America and Canada are about to be dealt a withering rejection. Journalist David Virtue covers the matter thoroughly in these links, but basically Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has...

All fluff, no stuff?? by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 15, 2003

Well, the jury has to be out regarding the Anglican primates' meeting in London, because they are sequestered. But the primate of All Ireland, Robin Eames, gave a press conference which my friend David Virtue, the journalist, found chilling. Eames explained that the bishops were "sharing their...

The rise of the evangelicals by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

One of the reasons I follow this story about the Anglican crisis with such interest is that it is the story of the 'rise of the Evangelicals,' which personally I never expected to see. In the religious and political landscape of our country, the Evangelicals have been a factor in public...

The other side of celibacy by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

We have a lively debate going on, in Sound Off, about priestly celibacy. What strikes me is that everyone tackles the issue from the perspective of the priesthood. Let me try the other approach. Clerical celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine; it could conceivably be changed. Many good...

sua Eminenza by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

In an interview given to the London Telegraph, Cardinal-designate Keith O'Brien backtracks from his recent Profession of Faith in regard to the question of priestly celibacy, while persisting in his claim that the extraordinary insertions in the Profession were voluntary: The archbishop said...

Siate pastori, non burocrati by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

"Be shepherds, not bureaucrats." That's the Italian press summarizing the Pope's apostolic exhortation Pastores gregis, read today by the Pope (with the help of Archbishop Sandri) to mark the conclusion of the Synod of...

daggers drawn by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

George Will's current essay is titled "The End of Anglicanism?" In Africa and other places where Christianity competes with militant Islam and other fighting faiths, bishops are, says Anderson, "battleground Christians" who have seen Christians "have tires put around their necks and set on...

Florida bishop strikes fear in the heart of anti-life forces by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

Official Statement of Bishop Robert N. Lynch Concerning the Removal of the Feeding Tube of Terri SchiavoWith the news that the feeding tube has now been removed from Terri Schiavo, my own prayers and those of thousands of other people go out for Terri and for her family. May the author of all life...

the seamless garment by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

Dale Price remarks: If Terri Schiavo were sitting on death row for killing three people while knocking over a liquor store, the Bishops of Florida would be fervently pleading for her life now. He has a...

he new batch of fudge is ready by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

Oh, well. Here's the Anglican primates (an excerpt from their full statement). A commission, to report in twelve months... Veddy Anglican. They are going to lose a lot of faithful people over this. The sad thing is, our bishops are in no way ready to seize this moment, or even to allow members...

The Nunc Dimittis of John Paul II by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

Want to get that New York Times taste out of your mouth? You could do worse, on the Pope's 25 anniversary, than to read Prof. Ralph McInerny's excellent survey and evaluation of his...

they said.... by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

Okay, okay. People are saying, "Huh? What'd they say?" Even life-long speakers of Anglikaans need this translated, judging from my email box. As a public service therefore, stepping nobly into the breech: They said, (a) we all feel much better now. (b) the bible study was really...

Heads-up for book-lovers by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

Spence Publishing is having a quick online book sale, offering a bunch of their excellent books at only $5. But the sale site will only be open this week. Time's already running out! My own favorites, among the books offered, would be The End of Democracy, a prescient and powerful collection of...

Shepherd, Pastor, Leader -- or, "Do I wish I hadn't felt his biceps?" by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

From the archives: I pray that you will seek reconciliation with the Church you say you love and with its leaders. I pray that you will cease these personal and vicious attacks on those whom the successor of Peter has chosen to lead the Church in this country at this time. I pray that you...

The Anglican "summit" by Fr. Rutler in "Off the Record" - Oct 16, 2003

Anglicanism has had a fascination for religious romantics. Such observers can be expected to misread the Church of England and her desiccated satellites. To an amusing degree, many of these innocents in the press abroad and domestic expected that the “summit” of Anglican primates at Lambeth would...

a lost opportunity by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 17, 2003

Modest Dan Maguire, Professor of Moral Theology at Marquette ("Milwaukee's Jesuit university"), had high hopes 25 years ago for the newly-elected non-Italian pope... Instead we saw a pope who squandered his moral authority on issues in which he has no privileged expertise. I did not expect to...

Advent music by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 17, 2003

The Brotherhood of Hope is a great new religious order of men with a charism of ministering to young adults, especially on college campuses. In fact, they have a significant presence at Boston University. They are a great group, very full of life and the Spirit, and the times I have met any of...

Sure he's the Son of God, but what about his unfulfilled potential? by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 17, 2003

If you think the mass media's coverage of the Pope's anniversary has been a little, shall we say, less than focused on his accomplishments and more focused on liberal complaints, then Mark Shea offers up what he thinks the media template would be for Jesus' 33rd...

hate speech? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 18, 2003

Students for Academic Freedom recount a fairly typical case of campus censorship, this time at a Jesuit university: Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA) administration officials censored flyers advertising a Young America's Foundation organized lecture because the word "hate" was used on the flyer....

Safe Sin by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 19, 2003

The current U.S. Catholic features South African Bishop Kevin Dowling's article "It is Not Immoral to Use Condoms to Prevent AIDS" . Many others decide, for whatever reason, that they cannot or will not follow the church's ideals in sexual ethics and in doing so could transmit a...

not your average letter from a politician by Jeff in "Off the Record" - Oct 19, 2003

From a recent letter of Nigeria's president, Olusegun Obasanjo, to the Holy Father: History will, no doubt, acquit Your Holiness as one of the greatest Popes of all time. The world acknowledges the zeal, energy, commitment and revolutionary verve with which you have pursued your brief this...

tears of grief and anger by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 19, 2003

Chesterton once wrote that, in the eyes of the world, a priest is reckoned a knave for breaking his vows and a fool for keeping them. In his op-ed in today's NYT ("Losing a Church, Keeping the Faith"), Andrew Sullivan attributes both the knavery and the folly to the celibate. Like most of...

Say what? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 19, 2003

An abuse victim settles a lawsuit: The Burlington diocese issued a statement yesterday, saying, "We are pleased with the terms and we are glad to have taken this painful case to resolution.""We wish the plaintiff well and sincerely hope it brings spiritual and emotional closure to him," said...

Just the facts, ma'am. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 19, 2003

Tim Graham at the Media Research Center has collected some of the more egregious specimens of anti-Catholic spin in the coverage of the Pope's anniversary. A sampler: On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, reporter Dawna Friesen noted: "For some, the celebrations will be bittersweet. The Pope's...

this just in from our Vatican correspondent ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 20, 2003

Via the Washington Post. "We're in effect watching the pope die," said Catholic commentator and journalist John Allen. "We're not used to seeing that." Sure you are. Just ask your colleague Peter...

Aussie Bishop to Protest Bush by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 20, 2003

A Melbourne paper reports that a Catholic bishop will protest President Bush's stopover visit to Australia. Bishop Pat Power told The Age he was planning to speak at the protest rally on Thursday because he wanted to make a positive appeal to President Bush to be "a builder of peace in the...

The O'Brien Twins (and how they grew) by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 21, 2003

Archbishop Keith Patrick O'Brien, who will be re-titled Cardinal O'Brien about five hours from now, publicly denies his public denial of the immutability of doctrine. Scotland's Senior Roman Catholic tonight strongly denied reports that he had called for the church to debate its teachings on...

Victory, for now at least by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 21, 2003

The Florida Senate passed Terri's Law, Gov. Bush signed it, and he ordered her feeding tube restored. But the battle isn't over yet. I'm sure the law will be immediately challenged in court. After all Michael Schiavo still has money left in Terri's medical fund with which to pay his hired gun...

Dick Morris tells the Stupid Party to drop those square right-wing Christians by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 22, 2003

Dick Morris, the paragon of morality, the Clinton mercenary, advises the GOP to give two taps behind the ear to its Christian supporters. Seems the man once known as the toe-sucker and the guy on the other end of the line from Bill and Monica (don't ask), thinks the GOP ought to say "thankee" to...

clarification by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 22, 2003

Keith Cardinal O'Brien, on himself: "What I was trying to say was that when matters are up for discussion I would be only too happy to discuss them and ultimately accept what the decision of our supreme pastor...

His highly-developed staff by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 22, 2003

One hopes and prays that the tragic situation of Terri Schiavo down in Florida leads to much good. Hundreds of thousands of people have gotten involved by letting the state of Florida know of their concern. Priests have weighed in on this and other life issues from the pulpit. And the issues...

George Orwell, call your office by Leila in "Off the Record" - Oct 22, 2003

You don't even know where to start, contemplating the topsy-turvy world of the death-dealers. George Felos, Michael Schiavo's lawyer (see Dom's comments about his credentials, below), sees Terri's rescue as an "absolute horrible tragedy": she was "literally being abducted from her deathbed and...

Safe for me, less safe for you... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 23, 2003

Senate Votes to Criminalize Safe Medical Procedures That's NARAL's website lead on the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. It's nice to know the abortionist is unharmed by the...

There is no link. There is no link. Is there a link? by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 23, 2003

A priest in the Worcester, Mass., diocese is under indictment for allegedly embezzling $250,000 from his parish. Now investigators are looking into whether he gave some of that money to a prison inmate. William Lamontagne is serving a 12 to 15 year sentence for-- you guessed it--child rape and...

A bishop undermines the Church's teaching by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 23, 2003

I don't get this. The Bishop of Worcester, Mass., tells the state Legislature that legalizing gay marriage would be wrong, but granting same-sex couples legal rights reserved for marriage aren't. What's the difference? In that case it's quibbling over the name of something. And Bishop Dan Reilly...

"... the farthest shore of madness..." by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 24, 2003

In 1991, when lawmakers in Massachusetts discussed "domestic partner" benefits for homosexual couples, Msgr. Wiliam Murphy-- now the Bishop of Rockville Center, New York-- referred to the proposal as "the farthest shore of madness." Yesterday Bishop Daniel Reilly of Worcester-- speaking for all...

470 gay bishops? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 24, 2003

"If 10 per cent of men are gay then it's a reasonable assumption that 10 per cent of priests and 10 per cent of bishops are gay, but it is what you do about it." That's newly-minted Cardinal Keith O'Brien working to edify the faithful (here quoted in an interview shortly after the announcement...

Success Made Simple by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 25, 2003

What things aren't businesses doing that would make them more Jesuit-like? American businesses are among the most successful on earth. Why do they need the Jesuits? It stretches credulity to the breaking point, but this article in the "Spiritual Life" section of today's Boston Globe is,...

One shall be taken, and the other left... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 25, 2003

The Cape Cod Times has an ugly and unsettling story on the incarceration and release of convicted child-rapist Paul Nolin, now alleged to have murdered a 20-year old he met at a gay party. Nolin's brutality is shocking, but hardly less disturbing is the journalist's claim that a man's...

we have all been enlightened by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 26, 2003

Imagine two Catholic priests, perpetually vowed to chastity. Each breaks his vows repeatedly by sodomizing young boys. Each cynically exploits his priesthood for malicious purposes: first as a passport to gain access to his victims, then as a moral tranquilizer to overcome the victims'...

Deniability by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 26, 2003

Stanford Espedal reports on Father John Gubbin's sermon at St. Gregory the Great Church in San Diego: After Mass Father told me that while marriage should be for life, it should not be a life sentence. When a marriage becomes a prison, "it's time to cut bait and fish in another pond!" He warned...

the final days by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 26, 2003

The Pope [the cheering, adoring crowd] had come to glimpse -- youthfully vigorous, luminary, sure of his every move -- was gone. .... Slowly, painfully, John Paul made his way to the altar. His familiar silver crosier stabbed angrily at the red carpeting marking his path -- its crucifix, and his...

hier stehe ich by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 26, 2003

If you think anything goes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony will put you right. In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles the faithful stand from the Our Father, the beginning of the Communion Rite, until all have received Communion. They may sit or kneel during the time of...

first things by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 27, 2003

Perspicacious David Mills of Touchstone Magazine and its Mere Comments blog relays contributing editor Peter Toon's thoughts on why gay Anglican Gene Robinson is disqualified from the episcopacy: I believe that he is not eligible to be a bishop because he is divorced and this is compounded by...

Turn back the clock by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 27, 2003

For 364 days every year, my liberal friends tell me: "You can't turn back the clock." I wonder if they showed up at work an hour early...

Clergy on the Cape by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 27, 2003

The Boston Globe carries a story on the connection of two priests to Paul Nolin, the alleged murderer of 20-year-old Jonathan Wessner: Through his principal lawyer, Robert W. Nolan, Nolin has said that he was simply friends with [Fr. Bernard] Kelly and [Fr. Donald] Turlick. But authorities...

Should not have been treated as "things" in the first place by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 27, 2003

The wisdom of the Church in prohibiting artificial means of conception is clear. Read the article linked below. While I admire the women's desire to bear their children to birth and their view that the frozen embryos are not just clumps of cells, but are human beings, if they themselves had not...

a taste of moral equivalence by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 27, 2003

There's a sort of cockeyed consistency to the Muslim position on religious freedom, isn't there? In a country where Christians dominate (Italy), the Muslims don't think the crucifix should be displayed. Where Muslims dominate (Saudi Arabia), they don't think the crucifix should be displayed....

Anti-Catholic Crackdown in China by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 28, 2003

From the Telegraph (UK): Twelve underground Roman Catholic priests and seminarians have been arrested in China in a crackdown prompted by government fears of a religious revival.They were detained in a raid on a retreat they were attending in Gaocheng, in the northern province of Hebei, said...

restricted ministry update by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 28, 2003

Alarmed by the embarrassingly public evidence that most priests involved in sexual abuse target teenage males, the gay-friendly therapists that appointed themselves experts in fixing the problem came up with the term "ephebophilia" as a kind of misdirection play: if Father hits on sophomore boys...

Monastic penance, anyone? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 28, 2003

From the Green Bay (WI) News-Chronicle: The victim said the attacks occurred in the hot tub at the St. Norbert Abbey in August or September of 1988, when he was 14 years...

Prager on Mel Gibson's 'Passion' by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 28, 2003

Here's a fine thoughtful piece which tries to do justice to two points of view, and sheds a bit of light as well....

The Man for the Job by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 28, 2003

Alvaro Corrada del Ro, S.J., is a good man. He is the Bishop of Tyler in East Texas. A few years ago (when he was auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C.), he fell afoul of some potentates in the NCCB when he protested that sexual abuse cases were not being handled properly and the problem was not...

The Book of Divine Worship by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 28, 2003

Below is the text of a circular from Our Lady of the Atonement Church in San Antonio, TX., regarding the forthcoming publication of the Anglican Use Liturgy of the Catholic Church. The BDW will contain not just the texts for the celebration of Mass in the Anglican Use, but also the texts for...

Write your own punchline by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 28, 2003

Some disaffected Anglicans in British Columbia are being threatened with excommunication. Their alleged offenses include disobeying the bishop, causing scandal, and schism. And what are these contentious people doing, actually? They're opposing the recognition of same-sex "marriage" by...

The Michael Schiavo: Victim tour begins by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 28, 2003

This guy's a real gem. Michael Schiavo told Larry King last night that the only reason that Terri's parents are putting up a fight against him is to get their hands on what remains of the $1.3 million malpractice settlement that Michael's been spending on lawyers trying to starve his wife to...

ars longa by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 29, 2003

Jesuit aids for...

Do mosquitoes have more dignity than human embryos? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 29, 2003

George Neumayr delivers a well-aimed blast at Michael Kinsley on the subject of human embryo research: Whenever liberals want to justify an indefensible act -- such as using human embryos as experimental fodder for their research -- they twist language to obscure the nature of the act. If they...

What is masculinity? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 29, 2003

Harvard political theorist Harvey Mansfield is working on a new book about what it means to be manly. If you read his critical Wall Street Journal review of another effort in that field, you'll understand why I'm looking forward to reading Mansfield's finished product. You'll also...

A by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 30, 2003

CWN doesn't ordinarily do book reviews (yet). But I just finished reading a terrific novel, and I came away thinking: "Why hadn't anybody told me about this book?" So now I'm telling you. Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger, a thoroughly American novel published in 2001, which somehow escaped my...

The two-edged nature of sacramental privilege by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 30, 2003

Attorneys prosecuting convicted child-rapist Paul Nolin for the murder of 20-year-old Jonathan Wessner will ask a judge to compel testimony from two priests who were friends of the accused murderer. The interesting twist is that at least one of the priests is claiming a clerical privilege of...

Schiavo vs. Schiavo by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 30, 2003

Maggie Gallagher has a knack for cutting through tangles of euphemism and spearing a problem through the heart. Michael Schiavo, who wants the hospital to discontinue giving Terri food and water, is Terri's husband in the sense that 13 years ago he was married to her. He is now living with...

Around the blogs today by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Oct 30, 2003

Here's what's new and interesting on Catholic blogs today: Fr. Rob Johansen is a priest from Michigan who went to Florida to provide spiritual assistance to the family of Terri Schiavo. He's now the man on the spot who provides better information about Terri's situation than CNN or the New York...

HOW DO HOME-SCHOOLED CHILDREN DO LATER ON?? by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 30, 2003

Well, a study has just been released that says: Quite well! "For nearly 20 years, critics and the curious have been asking about the homeschooled: But how will they do in the "real world" of adulthood? As a corollary, they have also asked: What about socialization?," said Ray. The study...

WHAT'S MISSING... by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Oct 30, 2003

The problem is not, as so many cynically assume, the bishops. The problem is that we do not have a prime minister to bring clarity to theological discussions. Tony Blair weighs in on gay...

Legbreakers and the Lex Orandi by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 31, 2003

"At some point, it becomes a security issue, not a liturgical issue." That's ECUSA spokesman James Solheim, commenting on how the organizers of Gene Robinson's upcoming consecration plan to deal with...

Blame the messenger by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 31, 2003

When Worcester's Bishop Daniel Reilly testified last week before the Massachusetts legislature, everybody-- I mean everybody-- interpreted his remarks as a signal that the Catholic bishops would end their opposition to domestic-partnership legislation. After his formal testimony, the bishop was...

More on the Mass Bishops by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 31, 2003

Say your daughter --against the strenuous objections of you and your husband -- moves in with her boyfriend, and after a month of entreaties your husband relents and not only gives the lovers your second car on permanent loan, but pays the utilities for their apartment. You may well feel betrayed...

Loyal opposition by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 31, 2003

If you think Israel's repressive policies are fueling Palestinian anger, and thwarting the cause of peace, does that mean you're either an anti-Semite or a friend of Arab terrorists? If it does, then the chief of staff of the Israeli military must be either an anti-Semite or a friend of Arab...

Cor ad cor loquitur, Jack. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 31, 2003

The Cape Cod Times carries an article discussing the unlikelihood that a Massachusetts court would compel Father Bernard Kelly to testify about Paul Nolin, the accused murdered of Jonathan Wessner. Though the story is mainly concerned with Kelly's "religious privilege" claim, one almost offhand...

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