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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from October 2006

zero-basis budgeting by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 2, 2006

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCC) is tightening its collective belt. For 2007, the budget for the US bishops' conference will be only $139,000,000.00-- which is roughly three times the annual budget for the entire Roman Curia, but barely enough to buy proper paper clips for an...

hiding in plain sight by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Oct 2, 2006

Ed Peters runs an excellent, informative blog about matters relating to canon law. Ordinarily, that means that he writes about serious matters-- recently, for instance, he's been invaluable in discussing the status of Archbishop Milingo. But then sometimes even a canon lawyer can do nothing but...

God as underachiever by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 2, 2006

Dawn Eden caught Mass at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue yesterday. Younger Manhattanites tend to be rigid followers of the strict Vatican line, as you know, especially on matters pertaining to human sexuality. So how did the homilist "challenge" his congregation? How did he push...

autogol by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 3, 2006

UPS image in the Washington Post Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant indulges his antipathy to the Church in his most recent effort, tee-ing off on Rep. Foley's celebration of diversity in order to backhand the priesthood. Oliphant's anti-Catholic imagination is beginning to creak, as he...

comparative politics by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 4, 2006

Here's what's truly disgraceful about the behavior of former Congressman Mark Foley: He acted like a Democrat from Massachusetts. But which Democratic congressman from Massachusets? The one who molested a Congressional page? Or the one whose boyfriend ran a prostitution business out of his...

journalistic standards in limbo by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 4, 2006

The London Times online is reporting that the Pope will soon abolish Limbo. The Times regularly botches stories about the Vatican, but this report from Ruth Gledhill and Richard Owen reaches new heights of inventive absurdity. Take a look at the lead sentence: The Pope will cast aside...

indicted without evidence by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 5, 2006

Now here's a story that will surprise you, if you've been living on a mountaintop in Nepal for the past five years: In the Palm Beach, Florida diocese, some of the faithful at St. Patrick's church had suspicions about their pastor's handling of parish finances . So they brought their concerns...

... and he's still 3 short of Henry VIII by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 6, 2006

Rev. Barry Beisner was installed on September 30 as coadjutor bishop for the Episcopalian Diocese of Northern California. There were protests, but it's not what you're thinking. Questions arose after Beisner's election and during the General Convention consent process because he has...

Meocracy Now! by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Oct 6, 2006

Listening to all the complaints, you’d think America is full of theocrats nowadays. A recent issue of First Things reviewed no fewer than three new books on this subject. It is increasingly common for the religious right to be described as advocating theocracy only a little less vehemently than...

lost generation by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 7, 2006

On Touchstone's Mere Comments blog, S. M. Hutchens comments on the C of E's refusal of ordination to Nick Howard (son of Tory Michael Howard), and discusses his own earlier rejection on the grounds of unbecoming rigidity: I had a similar experience in the Episcopal Church, where I put myself...

a question of credibility by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 7, 2006

The New York Times reports on a documentary film dealing with pedophile and ex-priest Oliver O'Grady and his superior, then-Bishop of Stockton (CA) Roger Mahony. O'Grady, a slimeball, has cheerfully confessed to his perversities and, somewhat less cheerfully, insisted that Mahony knew about his...

one small step by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 8, 2006

A commenter on Dawn Eden's blog gives us a view from the pews of contemporary homiletics in action. Father's message for his flock? What we've been taught to call the Word of the Lord, ain't. I went to weekday Mass a couple of weeks ago at another Jesuit parish in Manhattan, and it happened...

put asunder by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 8, 2006

That jarring sound you heard, when today's Gospel was read, probably came from this passage, as translated in the Eunuch's Bible: Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate. So another poetic passage bites the dust; another familiar bit of Scripture is rendered...

the bait-&-switch by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 8, 2006

Hats off to Jeff Miller for surfacing a legitimate gripe, and one that has a widespread basis in fact: Flaky para-Catholic or post-Catholic outfits that fund-raise by posing as devout, orthodox, rosary-rattling missionaries of the old school: If you have ever donated money to any Catholic...

coming soon to a parish near you... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 9, 2006

They say the movie is about the battle of Thermopylae. But if you watch the trailer, you'll realize that it's really about the budget cuts at the...

asunder again by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 9, 2006

In today's first reading, taken from St. Paul's letter to the Galatians, in the jaunty contemporary translation that sounds just like the way you and I ordinarily speak: Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Back home after Mass, I scanned the newspaper headlines and learned that...

the unprofitable CEO by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 9, 2006

A truly novel defense, submitted by the priest who spent a decade or so siphoning of funds from his Florida parish. A priest who allegedly misappropriated millions of dollars from a Delray Beach, Florida, Catholic church has told police he saw himself as the CEO of a multimillion-dollar...

eyes that see not by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 10, 2006

To one side of the altar, a white-robed choir; on the other, a half-dozen priests of various ranks, in white robes trimmed with green vestments. Perhaps Rod Davis, who wrote that line, recently arrived from the planet Zork. It's in the lead paragraph of his article in D Magazine on...

Tridentine revival rumors-- again by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 11, 2006

The London Times is reporting that Pope Benedict will soon issue the long-awaited document allowing for widespread use of the Tridentine rite. OK, now, relax. We've heard these rumors before. And this is a London Times story. We've had reason to point out, in the recent past, how dreadful the...

the Saint Louis Jesuits, and you by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 11, 2006

Jeffrey Tucker has a thoughtful and balanced review of a book by one Mike Gale titled The St. Louis Jesuits: Thirty Years on the Musica Sacra website. For the benefit of those who partake of the Mozarabic Rite or who have converted to Catholicism within the past half-hour, it may be well to...

The USCCB: Criminalizing the Use of Church Documents by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 11, 2006

We used to include many significant documents in our database from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, but not any more. The USCCB goes after web sites which make use of USCCB documents, threatening legal action for copyright violations. This policy is in marked contrast to that of...

horsefeathers by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 12, 2006

Parental discretion advised: the shocking image on display here may be disturbing to some viewers. However, there are some issues of public morality too gruesome to be discussed in the abstract, and this is one of them. CWN regrets the circumstances that attend the necessity to link to the...

the conscious active tense by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 13, 2006

"This would make it much more difficult for people to engage in full conscious and active participation, which was the goal of the Council," says Rev. James Martin, an editor at the Jesuit magazine America. He's talking to Time magazine, in a story about the rumored papal indult allowing...

mutual acceptance by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 14, 2006

Thirty-eight Muslim scholars and chief muftis from numerous countries have accepted Pope Benedict XVI’s apology for his remarks on Islam, the editor of a Muslim journal said today. How thoughtful of the Muslim scholars to accept the apology even before the Pope offered it. Now that is the...

it figures... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 14, 2006

The Alexa web search site lets you enter the URL of any web site and learn a bit about the traffic patterns there. Marketing pros like Alexa, because it also offers some information on the commercial products recently bought by visitors to that particular web site. Checking the CWN site, I was...

nihil nisi by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 15, 2006

The Boston Globe, whose investigative reporters copped a Pulitzer Prize for their aggressive treatment of priests who molested young people, offered a front-page farewell to the late Congressman Gerry Studds: Gerry E. Studds, who championed environmental, maritime, and fisheries issues during 24...

candour by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 15, 2006

Probably the most uninformative interview you'll read this year. Journalist Gerard O'Connell cornered Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor in Rome's English College last Tuesday and asked some blunt questions. He got some un-blunt answers. On the Cardinal's October 4 meeting with the Russian...

tenderer than thou by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 17, 2006

Another excellent post by Anthony Esolen at the Touchstone blog. In the course of a lecture he gave at the U of Minnesota, Esolen had said "God is the source of our wonder, and the guarantor of its truth." He was then confronted by an atheist scientist who said "I'm a biologist and I do not...

Pope Benedict XVI and Islam by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Oct 17, 2006

In the light of the Pope’s upcoming visit to Turkey scheduled for late November, the problem posed by Islam to the West takes on a new and more personally pressing significance. Will Muslims be bitter enemies determined to destroy what they see as the degenerate culture produced by Christianity?...

guidance given by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 18, 2006

On Monday, blogger Boethius at Fumare noticed that the USCCB's Communications Calendar listed the upcoming Call To Action slurpfest (the name & phone number of media contact Linda Pieczynski were included). On Tuesday morning it was picked up by AMDG and then

healthy & wealthy & dead by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 19, 2006

Well, U.S. elections are coming up next month, and that means another crop of Voter's Guides designed to give Catholics permission to yank the lever for pro-abortion candidates. The latest to hit the market is called Voting the Common Good: a Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics. It...

ministry enlightened by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 20, 2006

NACDLGM (pronounced, I think, NAM-bla) is the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries. Its 2006 National Convention was held in Brooklyn last month. The keynote speaker took as his point of departure the leprosy code from Leviticus 13: Remember this is not just...

choices by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 21, 2006

Playing back the nursery rhymes with which liberal Catholics soothe themselves at bedtime, the VCG voter's guide reminds us that we can reduce abortions by reducing the economic burden of pregnancy and child-rearing: Many "prolife" candidates talk a good talk on ending abortion but don't...

The Gnostics wear Prada by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 24, 2006

Over on his excellent Fathers of the Church blog, Mike Aquilina is shaking his head over a promotional film for Prada perfume, with a script drawn from "Thunder, Perfect Mind." You say you're not familiar with "Thunder, Perfect Mind?" Ah, that's because of your sadly limited education....

America as Tragic Hero: The Fatal Flaw in International Policy by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Oct 24, 2006

There is no political figure in American politics today with sufficient stature and dignity to play a tragic hero, but in its dealings with the rest of the world America itself may be perfect for the role. Here we have a country of enormous power and wealth governed by citizens who genuinely want...

the interesting career of Bishop Sklba by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 25, 2006

Thanks to Dom for the heads-up on Terrence Berres's post concerning the flim-flam by which Rembert Weakland slimed Richard Sklba into his current job as auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee. Berres quotes from Paul Wilkes's sycophantic profile The Education of an Archbishop (1992). Weakland -- then at...

one man's margins by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 25, 2006

Boston College is going through one of its semi-annual revivalist scrutinies in which it has been proposed that the trace elements of racism be purged by replacing study of "the white male European understanding of the world" with "the history of marginalized people." It occasioned an un-typical...

groovy, mann. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 25, 2006

Father Bernd Knüfer, S.J., offers you quiet space. Also Hatha-Yoga and Zen Meditation. Something to keep in mind if you happen to be passing through Leipzig in the near future: say,...

Let the people decide! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 25, 2006

The New Jersey Supreme Court sees "no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose" in restricting marriage benefits to male-female couples. We've been down this road before: in Hawaii, in Vermont, especially in Massachusetts. But the New Jersey court, while tossing aside the...

What to Do about the Tridentine Mass? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 27, 2006

There is no question that the liturgy has a deep impact on both our religious perceptions and our spiritual comfort. Like it or not, the liturgy of the Mass is the Church’s primary message to believers. Those who possess a strong sense of their own Catholic identity will be very uncomfortable with...

Go ahead: name one by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 27, 2006

At the November meeting of the US bishops' conference, one agenda item will be approval of a $335,000 outlay to fund a study on the causes and consequences of clerical sexual abuse. Oh, good: another study. First the researchers will gather more data on clerical abuse, and look for patterns....

Teddy Roosevelt reflects on inter-religious dialogue by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 27, 2006

From his 1916 book, Fear God and Take Your Part: The 7th century Christians of Asia and Africa...had trained themselves not to fight, whereas the Moslems were trained to fight. Christianity was saved in Europe solely because the peoples of Europe fought the Mohammedans who invaded... From the...

Roma locuta est, but... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 28, 2006

Rome has spoken. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles will think about it. (Just by the way, Bishop Skylstad sent a copy of the letter from Cardinal Arinze to every diocesan bishop in the US. If Cardinal Mahony didn't receive his copy, I'll be happy to supply...

after weimar by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 29, 2006

Thought for the Day from Mark Steyn. The invaluable Brussels Journal recently translated an interview with the writer Oscar van den Boogaard from the Belgian paper De Standaard. A Dutch gay "humanist" (which is pretty much the trifecta of Eurocool), van den Boogaard was reflecting on the...

O Canada by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 29, 2006

"Prostitute-Turned-Priest to Run in By-Election" says the headline. Fresh from their ad limina visit to Rome, the Canadian bishops have given the green light to a gay-activist priest to run for the federal parliament. Some excerpts from the Toronto Globe & Mail (tip to...

when the facts don't fit, get new facts by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 30, 2006

Once a Paulist priest, James Carroll now makes his living bashing the Church, as the most vituperatively anti-Catholic columnist on the staff of the notoriously anti-Catholic Boston Globe. Today's rant against the Church involves the rumored return of the Latin Mass. Carroll knows nothing...

absent with leave by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 30, 2006

The Michigan gubernatorial race sets a pro-life challenger, Dick Devos, against a pro-abortion Catholic, the incumbent Jennifer Granholm. The Fumare blog has been watching this campaign intently: Recent television ads by Governor Granholm directly attack her Republican challenger Dick...

each has won, and all must have prizes by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 30, 2006

Aggie Klansman: Why are you burning that cross on your front lawn?Aggie Affirmative Action Officer: Because it wouldn't fit in the sun porch. Texas A&M University has a Department of Diversity featuring a refreshingly candid on-line dictionary of terms relevant to its mission. No smudge of...

the shapeless garment by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 31, 2006

The National Coalition of American Nuns pledges itself to vote for pro-abortion candidates ("legislators who will recognize the right of women to make reproductive decisions"), and gives a thumbs-up to the USCCB voter's guide Faithful Citizenship. The Catholic Alliance voter's guide says...

lest ye be led into error by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 31, 2006

A Rockville Centre parish yanked a pamphlet from the racks at the back of the church two weeks ago. Because it was contrary to Church doctrine? No, because it advanced the unproven thesis that homosexuality may be a treatable disorder. The Curé of Ars church in Merrick has removed copies of a...

three circles by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 31, 2006

Concerning Archbishop Gregory's reflections on what a treat it is to be Archbishop Gregory, and his election day advice squeezed-in among the 33 first-person pronouns, a priest friend comments: The Archbishop identifies moral issues that are very easy to be courageous about because, in the end,...

Repairing Scandal the Catholic Way by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Oct 31, 2006

During his audience with Irish bishops on October 28th, Pope Benedict XVI urged them to repair the damage done by the sex abuse scandal, which appears to be similar to the one in the United States. “The wounds caused by such acts run deep,” the Pope said, “and it is an urgent task to rebuild...

does he or doesn't he? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Oct 31, 2006

Raymond Gravel (above) spent the first decade of adult life working the gay bars as a prostitute. When an unhappy customer put him in the hospital in 1982, he quit the pro game and, with astonishingly little difficulty, became a priest for the Diocese of Joliette (Quebec). Did his enthusiasm...

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