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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from November 2004

Rabid pro-abort on National Review Board by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Nov 1, 2004

Last month, at CWN, we reported that Pamela Hayes, a member of the US Bishops' National Review Board, was one of three members who have donated money to John Kerry. Of course this isn't news: I reported on her political donations, all the way back in July 2002 when she was appointed to the...

Bring out your dead by Leila in "Off the Record" - Nov 1, 2004

I'm not sure how this article rated inclusion in the front page section of today's New York Times, unless they're doing some sort of liturgical calendar awareness thing. It does feature comments from cwnews.com friend James Hitchcock. Love how they all (not Jim, natch) miss the point: the...

A Kerry-Drinan Connection? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 2, 2004

Though he lacks a smoking gun, Thomas Lipscomb speculates in the New York Sun that John Kerry's public explanation for getting dinged by Harvard Law School -- viz., Harvard didn't accept tardy applicants but BC did -- may not be the whole story: It is hard to see why Mr. Kerry had to file an...

Our ally in the fight for democracy by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 2, 2004

The charges of selling alcohol were clumsily introduced after the arrest. Brian O'Connor was originally arrested by Saudi religious police because he was proclaiming the Gospel. Notice: "religious police." Those are the folks who enforce the strict ban on the practice or preaching of any faith...

The Clergy and the Laity: Who's Responsible for Whom? by Peter Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 2, 2004

When it comes to discussing the troubles in today’s Church, I’ve heard a lot of different theories on what “caused the problem”. Most people want to point to a single thing that put us into today’s state of affairs. But in my opinion, many theories falls short of...

Wiggle room by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 3, 2004

In South Carolina, a newspaper editor is annoyed by pro-lifers, but comforted by the campaign advice offered by the US bishops. Isn't that a neat example of what the bishops' statement was designed to accomplish: to make people feel more comfortable about putting the pro-life issue...

Re: Wiggle room by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Nov 3, 2004

A reader who is a priest in Massachusetts copied me on the response he sent to that South Carolina newspaper editor that Phil remarks on below:You know what annoys me? Being styled "an ideological automaton" because I happen to have thought through and agree with what our Church teaches on...

A few thoughts on the election by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Nov 3, 2004

First, I am gratified to see that marriage referenda passed by large margins in all 11 states (including Oregon!) where they were on the ballot, but I'm disappointed to see that California has pledged to spend $3 billion to kill unborn children to harvest their stem cells for medical researc for...

Payback time? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 4, 2004

President Bush supported Pennsylvania's pro-abort Senator Arlen Specter for re-election-- even when Specter was running against a pro-life Republican challenger. This is what is known, in the political world, as a "mistake." Specter hasn't taken long to pay back the President for his...

I'm not comfortable with this, but... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 4, 2004

While waiting for Cardinal McCarrick's committee to assure us that it was OK, after all, to vote for John Kerry, we bring you this news of another intrepid evangelist doing his best to change the...

Bad example, Garry by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 4, 2004

Garry Wills is not happy. In a good old-fashioned rant published in today's New York Times, he explains that the Bush electoral victory is due to "fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity." Wills, you see, is tolerant. It's the people...

Signs of the Times by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 4, 2004

Let's say you were abducted by aliens on Tuesday morning-- on your way home, after you voted. You were taken to the planet Zork, and told that you would be vaporized if you didn't explain the US elections. The leaders of Zork are, for some reason, keenly interested in American politics. But...

how our betters view us by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 5, 2004

In case you're curious about how thoughtful, balanced, well-educated and good-willed persons regard those of us who are not so happily endowed, herewith a sampling of editorial wisdom à propos: Sidney Blumenthal in the UK Guardian: Brought along with Bush is a gallery of grotesques in the...

boundary violations (mistakes were made) by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 5, 2004

On Wednesday night an Air National Guard F-16 fired more than two dozen rounds of 20-mike cannon into a junior high school in New Jersey. Preliminary indications are that a mishap took place. One wonders what would happen if the responsible military commanders demanded accountability in the same...

voyage of discovery by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 6, 2004

Where can you find an inclusive, caring, woman-centered dialogue on socially responsible investing? -- "Émile, another banana daiquiri, please" -- why, at the Ms. Magazine Post-Election Cruise, of course! From November 13-20 the MS Zaandam will be calling on such hotbeds of feminist consciousness...

pass the hemlock by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 6, 2004

In a letter to the Jesuit publication America (10-25-04), Thomas Clarke, S.J., welcomes the "priestless liturgies" made necessary by the decline in vocations, and suggests evolving forms of the approved Liturgy of the Word with Communion Service may free us from our lingering hang-ups with the old...

The Damnable Persistence of Partisan Hatred by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 6, 2004

Having read two or three dozen op-eds arguing that the recent elections were a triumph of hate-filled lies devised by malicious and cynical ideologues in order to prey on the fears of the ignorant, etc., etc., I was put in mind of Mark Twain's superb short story "Journalism in Tennessee," wherein...

AFRICAN ANGLICANS WIDEN RIFT WITH WEST by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 7, 2004

... So reads a headline in the current Tablet. The reference, of course, is to the refusal of many leaders of Anglican churches in Africa to accept gay marriage and gay bishops. What's interesting is the rebuke implicit in the Tablet's take. The Brits and Americans have embraced doctrines that...

what needs to change by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 7, 2004

Father Joe, according to the New Jersey Star Ledger, was concerned to avoid extremes of bodily mortification: In Rumson, a jewel of a town by the Jersey Shore known for its quiet wealth and shaded lawns, the Rev. Joseph W. Hughes blended right in. There was the constant stream of luxury cars,...

One-way ticket to cardiac health by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 8, 2004

Walking is good for your heart. OK, you knew that. But did you know walking uphill helps your heart in one way, while walking downhill produces different benefits? So if you really want a tailor-made health program, you should go out today and take a nice long walk-- going exclusively...

Truth and Lies: Understanding Reality by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 8, 2004

At a recent Halloween party, my fourteen-year-old son met some kids who did not share his view of life. Somehow they ended up in a discussion of abortion. His new acquaintances made two principal arguments – arguments which pretty well encompass the entire philosophical content of the pro-abortion...

conspicuous compassion -- and those difficult iron shots by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 8, 2004

A Kansas City Star article (thanks to Greg Popcak at HMS) on outgoing USCCB president Wilton Gregory tries to spin the criticism of his tenure along ideological lines: It was an unenviable position at the beginning. Church conservatives blamed Gregory for caving in to those they viewed as...

And in other breaking news, Dewey beat Truman by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 8, 2004

In a Catholic News Service story on the US elections, a Jesuit (strike one) from Massachusetts (strike two) argues that the US bishops made a big mistake by placing so much emphasis on pro-life issues. Boston College theology professor Jesuit Father David Hollenbach said the approach "is likely...

The Sash is Back by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 9, 2004

Defeated at the polls, Minnesota's gays chose to direct their belligerence at a softer target. And won. The Cathedral of St. Paul Sunday became a pulpit for both a Catholic gay rights group that showed up and received Communion wearing rainbow sashes and a rival group that prayed the rosary on...

just curious by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 9, 2004

Can anybody give me a link to a story or photo of Senator Kerry attending Mass the Sunday after the election? His religion, after all, is very important to...

When defeat means victory by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 9, 2004

At the Boston Globe, the dominant cultural organ for the People's Republic of Massachusetts, the effort to re-define reality continues. Today, a pair of gay-rights lobbyists do their level best to explain away last week's election results. It's an impressive effort. Sure, the voters in 11...

The October issue of Catholic World Report is now online by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Nov 9, 2004

The October issue of Catholic World Report is now available on the Catholic World News site. Articles from that issue include an appraisal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process four years later; more on the thorny issue of pro-abortion Catholic politicians; the restoration of a revered icon to...

Everybody else gets it by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 9, 2004

Now we have a survey to confirm the obvious: American Catholics are appalled by the sex-abuse scandal. But now here's a result worth noticing: In the first comprehensive national study of the effects of the sexual abuse scandal, researchers at Catholic University of America and Purdue...

The November issue of Catholic World Report is now out! by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Nov 9, 2004

The November issue of Catholic World Report is now on newsstands and in mailboxes and here's what you'll find inside: Saving Terri's Life: Terri Schindler Schiavo cannot survive without feeding tubes, and her estranged husband wants those tubes removed. As CWR goes to press, American courts were...

Understatement? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 9, 2004

The outgoing president of the US bishops' conference spoke to the New York Times about his term, and the sex-abuse issue that dominated it: "I'm not trying to say everything was done perfectly," Bishop Gregory said. I haven't actually checked yet, but I'm pretty sure Diogenes would...

a church without liturgists? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 10, 2004

Soulforce recently staged a vigil to protest the Catholic Church's teaching on sodomy. "We're being treated like witches and infidels by the church," said Cara Speltz, a Catholic protester in San Francisco who said she's been refused Communion twice for wearing a rainbow cross. "Our goal is to...

With friends like these, cont. by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 10, 2004

On November 6, a group of 26 prominent Islamic scholars in Saudi Arabia issued a pronouncement that good Muslims in Iraq should fight against the US occupation. They added a fatwa against anyone who assists the provisional government. Oh, you didn't hear about that? Hmmm. Maybe the US State...

A pro-abortion attorney general? by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Nov 10, 2004

It's not an auspicious start to Bush's second term. Fox News is reporting that White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez is being tapped to replace pro-life John Ashcroft as attorney general. That's bad news for pro-lifers. When Gonzalez was on the Texas Supreme Court, he wrote the opinion that...

pastores dabo vobis -- or, it wasn't against the law! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 10, 2004

Springfield's ex-Bishop Thomas "For health or other grave reasons" Dupre broke out the champagne today in the episcopal rumpus room at St. Luke's. New Hampshire authorities said Wednesday they cannot prosecute Bishop Thomas Dupre on sexual abuse charges dating back to the 1970s because it...

The pro-life payoff? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 10, 2004

Oh, good. It's just one week since we read the headlines about the re-election of President Bush, and already: The likely chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has warned that the White House shouldn't expect confirmation of pro-life nominees to the Supreme Court. A staunchly pro-life...

more sympathy for the devil? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 11, 2004

In a "must read" essay for Opinion Journal, Rocco Buttiglione argues that there's a crucial difference between American and European politics: the European political climate is actively hostile to religious faith. Buttiglione knows whereof he speaks, having just been rejected as a nominee for...

don't it make my red eyes blue by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 11, 2004

The People's Daily (China) has an editorial with the intriguing title " Bush Faces 9 Big Challenges in his New Tenure of Office." Where, I wondered, will the organ of a Communist nation with compulsory state-enforced abortion and sterilization rank these issues on Bush's agenda? Nowhere. The...

Are you done? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 11, 2004

Valerie at the Barefoot and Pregnant blog recounts the reception accorded her newborn in church just before Sunday Mass: I was waiting for my oldest daughter to come out of the bathroom, and, as usual, I was holding baby Cate. A young woman comes up to me, dribbling all the usual, casual, "oh,...

almsgiving XXIII by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 11, 2004

Suppose you're the Archdiocese of New York's executive director of development -- the archdiocese's top fundraiser, the cardinal's liaison to wealthy Catholics, the person you call for tickets to the nonpartisan Al Smith Dinner. You have $250 in your pocket and are inspired to give it away. To...

in a Roman café by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 12, 2004

The NCR's John Allen has a chat in a Roman café with San Francisco Archbishop William Levada, who is distressed by "aggressive Pentecostal and evangelical movements making strong inroads into traditionally Catholic populations" in the U.S. Why do these people bother to go after...

Somebody's confused here by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 12, 2004

Michael Miller, who handles business affairs for the Spokane diocese, explained to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that the diocese could not have avoided bankruptcy by selling off parish properties. ... Miller described each parish as a separate entity -- in other words, not part of the...

Old enemy, sometime peace partner, on Arafat by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 12, 2004

Shimon Peres, the former Israeli prime minister who shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with the late Palestinian leader, has an unblinking appraisal of Arafat in the Houston...

Let them eat CK by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 14, 2004

Charlotte Hays at Inkwell quotes Theodore Dalrymple on the subject of faux pauvres: "The fashion of torn jeans is an insult to all those who must wear clothes with holes in them for lack of better ones: of whom, unfortunately, there are still many millions in the world."When I think back to the...

Go ahead, punk. Make my point. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 14, 2004

Both NARAL and NOW had issued statements back in 2003 lambasting the double-murder charge in the Laci/Conner Peterson case, arguing that, if you called intentionally killing a fetus "murder," why that would mean ... that necessarily entails ... that might lead to ... consequences they'd rather not...

The darkness at the end of the tunnel by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 14, 2004

In an agonized letter to the faithful of Boston, explaining the closing of dozens of archdiocesan parishes, Archbishop Sean O'Malley points to the example found in the Act of the Apostles: "Those who had properties sold them and gave the proceeds to the Apostles who distributed to each one...

... and still more darkness by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 14, 2004

Might it be relevant to Boston's fiscal crisis whether or not it had categories of expenditures not present in a healthy, burgeoning church? If a diocese were financially flattened because of unanticipated medical expenses caused by destructive habits of tobacco use by clergy, one might expect...

presidential material by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 15, 2004

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ann Rodgers, aided by America's Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., plants a big wet kiss on Archbishop Wuerl's chances for USCCB leadership: Wuerl made a strong case for educating both legislators and the public about why the church considers fetal protection a foundational...

We Are All Liars by Peter Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 15, 2004

With the many sufferings afflicting our Church in the past several years, we have all experienced certain emotions: outrage, indignation, anger. And for many of us it is difficult to see past our anger and resentment. Yet, the Church is no stranger to internal corruption and division. So how have...

Business as usual by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 15, 2004

By choosing the vice president to move up to the presidency, the US bishops have confirmed their confidence in the current leadership of their episcopal conference. It's nice somebody has that confidence. You'd be hard pressed to find it anywhere outside the ballroom of the Capitol Hyatt this...

Tearing down churches-- more ways than one by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 15, 2004

Boston's Archbishop Sean O'Malley admits that he is being torn to pieces by the painful process of closing 80+ parishes; one sentence is more than enough to convey his anguish At times I ask God to call me home and let someone else finish this job, but I keep waking up in the morning to face...

O'Connell Agonistes by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 16, 2004

Bishop Anthony O'Connell -- a model of pastoral solicitude. His predecessor in Palm Beach, remember, admitted to having abused five altar boys and was yanked. O'Connell was brought in to begin the healing...

Reform, anyone? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 16, 2004

Having already elected the bishop of a bankrupt diocese to head their episocpal conference, the US bishops have now chosen, as chairman of their committee on liturgy, a bishop who has charged that the latest Vatican document on the liturgy "points away from the liturgical and biblical renewal of...

Those wacky CTA types by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Nov 16, 2004

If it weren't for Call to Action and the National Catholic Reporter, we'd be a grim lot, But when you read NCR writing about CTA, you can't help but laugh at the silliness of it all. For instance, there's this piece about the recent CTA convention. The theme was "Sex, Science, and the Sacred."...

What would, like, Muhammad do? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 17, 2004

From this morning's UK Telegraph: The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, described the killing [of hostage Margaret Hassan] as "a violation of the most basic value of Muslim mercy". This really rankles. A Catholic bishop has authority to speak about Catholic...

Too busy for the Bible, I by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 17, 2004

Our heroes, the US Catholic bishops, have now decided not to release a planned statement calling for greater devotion to the Bible. They had too much other urgent work to do. But before they tabled the statement, a few pearls of wisdom were dropped: Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk of Cincinnati...

Too busy for the Bible, II by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 17, 2004

The US bishops (see below) have decided not to issue a statement encouraging use of the Bible, because they're already putting out so many other statements. This is a prudent decision, because: Nobody would have read the statement anyway. They saved a few trees. If anyone did read the...

NO EASTER FOR 2008, BISHOPS SAY by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 17, 2004

WASHINGTON, November 17, 2007 (XIS) Citing increased awareness of pastoral responsibilities, the U.S. Catholic bishops decided yesterday to drop Easter in 2008 from the roster of Christian feasts. By a vote of 184-28, the recommendation of the USCCB Task Force on Kerygma for "strategic pruning of...

"These are very difficult issues..." by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 17, 2004

The indomitable Maria Elena Kennedy asks some tough follow-up questions about so-called "induced labor" procedures in Catholic hospitals. In reply, she gets smoke. When this reporter pressed [Dan] Boyle [communications director for Providence Saint Joseph in Burbank] on whether or not late...

comeuppance by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 17, 2004

"Now apologize to His Eminence, Diogenes, and he will change you back!" (with due credit to John Wilson of the Church...

The remodeled church by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 18, 2004

With reporters standing by-- and every media outlet seems to have picked up the same sound-byte--Cardinal McCarrick reminded his fellow clerics that "you don't have a confrontation at the altar rail." First you'd need to have an altar...

Creating wiggle room by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 18, 2004

Cardinal McCarrick has reported to his brother bishops on the thorny question of denying Communion to people who support the unrestricted, government-subsidized, slaughter of the innocent. There isn't much news, really. The status quo is holding. The bishops will continue to talk things over....

The poet's perspective by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 18, 2004

"The vast majority of bishops are in the center, and the center is holding," says Cardinal McCarrick William Butler Yeats might disagree: Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon...

pranksters by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 18, 2004

Showing that -- in spite of the hardships of the past two years -- they haven't lost their sense of humor, the U.S. bishops have come up with an inspired practical joke called a sex abuse self-audit. You read that right. The USCCB decided to replace the independent investigators that actually...

the vanishing bible by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 19, 2004

As noted earlier, Richard Sklba recently expressed concern to his brother bishops that over-exposure to the evangelists can give Catholics an "evangelical" slant. No unseemly evangelism intrudes on Sklba's own book on the early prophets, Words of Warning, Dreams of Hope, wherein, e.g., the dates...

The bishops' competition by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 19, 2004

In 1913 the Federal Reserve Board was created, to keep the value of the dollar steady. Today's dollar is worth (depending on your preferred measurements) somewhere between 3-5¢ matched against the 1913 dollar. I think I have finally found a frame of reference for comparative measurement of...

Code Blue: Pastoral Priorities in Action by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 19, 2004

Ask yourselves, had this priest told the kiddies that the Virgin Birth was a myth, whether the Archdiocese of Los Angeles would have "clarified" the matter the following...

two legs bad by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 19, 2004

Dom links a threnody from the Rainbow Sash Movement bewailing their having been denied communion at the Bishops' Meeting: Homophobia promotes blindness. Denying Rainbow Sash members Holy Communion, for publicly witnessing their faith was grounded in homophobia. Hatred. The only...

I been framed by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 19, 2004

Fall River priest Edward Paquette, (bats left, throws left), accused of abusing boys many years ago, sets a new Atlantic Conference record for Unconvincing Protestations of Innocence: "I deny all the allegations until I talk to a lawyer," he told the Burlington Free Press. "I'm...

Scare quotes and litmus tests by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 19, 2004

Despite heated protests from American pro-lifers, the Republican Party is backing Senator Arlen Specter as the next chairman of the crucial Senate Judiciary Committee-- after Specter promised (as the New York Times put it) "not to use a 'litmus test' to block judicial nominees who oppose...

Code Blue: Same song, kiddie version by Leila in "Off the Record" - Nov 19, 2004

Diogenes, your comment below , while trenchant, leads me to suspect you are not a mother, and may have never been a child. The point, and I'm dead serious here, is that the priest violated the innocence of the children in his care and went where the U. S. government -- even in these Patriot...

Devout Catholics 'Risk Lung Cancer' by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 20, 2004

Not, apparently, a spoof. From the pen of Celia Hall, medical editor of the UK Telegraph: Churchgoers risk lung cancer because of unhealthy air caused by candles and incense, researchers say. The scientists found new forms of "free radicals" that could threaten Roman Catholic rituals. Well,...

straight talk by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 21, 2004

Asked to comment on the revelation that, in 1986, his predecessor as Bishop of Spokane had terrified a male prostitute by choking him while he (the prostitute) was in the process of fellating him (the Bishop of Spokane), William Skylstad famously responded, "Obviously, he had a very serious...

almsgiving XXIV by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 21, 2004

Suppose you're director of the planned giving office of the Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut. As such, you're viewed as the bishop's liaison to wealthy Catholics who are contemplating making major estate gifts to the diocese. You have $1,250 in your pocket and are inspired to give it away. To...

Don't blame democracy by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 22, 2004

Ordinarily the Wall Street Journal makes sense. You might not agree with every editorial, but even when you disagree you can recognize that they've made a logical case. But in this editorial piece about the Rocco Buttiglione affair in the European Union, the Wall Street Journal Europe just...

thanks for the memories by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 22, 2004

Cardinal Mahony faces a deposition this week where he'll be asked about abusive priests he dealt with as bishop of the Diocese of Stockton. Mahony has been questioned three times in cases alleging that the Stockton Diocese failed to protect two brothers from O'Grady. Tuesday's deposition...

UN, EU, World Court, Supreme Court:
Subsidiarity, Anyone?
by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 22, 2004

A recent Catholic World News story outlined the efforts of the United Nations Human Rights Committee to dictate liberalized abortion in Poland. The UNHRC reviewed Poland’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and concluded that “the State Party should liberalize...

Sorry if I missed it... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 22, 2004

When he proclaimed the Year of the Eucharist, Pope John Paul II said that the Vatican would not take any special initiatives; he was leaving it up to the local churches and episcopal conferences. Meeting in Washington last week, the US bishops' conference announced the following pastoral...

always that feeling by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 23, 2004

The C of E's Church Times discusses the Pope's recent remarks on the challenge of ecclesial unity: Referring to ecumenical relations, the Pope said that many misunderstandings of the past had been overcome. But he went on: "Many stumbling-blocks are still scattered along the path." He referred...

Subsidiarity, anyone? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 23, 2004

When was the last time you heard anyone-- anyone-- talk about the principle of subsidiarity? Like most elements of Catholic social teaching, the principle of subsidiarity is a) not often discussed, b) widely misinterpreted when it is discussed, and c) sorely needed as an antidote to serious...

Cardinal Mahony, meet Edith Piaf by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 23, 2004

The Archbishop of Los Angeles responds to questions from a reporter: Q: What regrets, if any, do you have about the way you handled (abusive) priests? A: Well, obviously it is always easy to look at things that happened 20 years ago with the knowledge and insights we have today. It's easy...

Brisbane: the Sorcerer's Apprentice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 23, 2004

Post-ecclesial Catholicism has come to Brisbane, with predictable results: The Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, John Bathersby, yesterday declared that children baptised at a South Brisbane church using non-traditional words would have to be re-baptised. Hundreds of children have been baptised...

What, me worry? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 23, 2004

[Bathersby] said Father Peter Kennedy, of St Mary's, should ask parents if they wanted their children re-baptised. [See the item below.] As every educated Catholic child should know, you can only be baptized once. You can't be rebaptized. If you were baptized once, the second ceremony has no...

Why's he still there? by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Nov 23, 2004

In regard to the Brisbane matter, I'm left wondering why Fr. Kennedy is still pastor of the parish? He's shown a complete lack of understanding of the Catholic faith and a penchant for preaching heresy even when his archbishop corrects him. So why is he left in the position to continue to lead the...

Who said it? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 24, 2004

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- Quick quiz: What historical document begins with that phrase? It's obviously not the constitution of the...

Special Spence sale alert by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 24, 2004

Our friends at Spence Publishing are holding a special 2-day sale: All the books on their list for $10 (hard cover) or $7.50 (paperback). We're late in announcing it; the sale ends at midnight tonight. But there's still time; click here to see their sale...

red in tooth and claw by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 25, 2004

Conscious that the 1970s language of abortion-on-demand turns off many waverers, Frances Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice pens an essay appealing for a more feelings-friendly abortion vocabulary -- out of respect for the comfort of those morally queasy folks who, in spite of blenderizing...

Special note for Apple users by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 25, 2004

If you're planning an purchases or upgrades to your Apple system, please check out the one-day (Friday) sale at the Apple Store. You can get low prices and free shipping, and CWN can get a commmission....

Do I detect gender stereotyping? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Nov 26, 2004

The ever-reliable liberal bellwether Maureen Dowd of the New York Times is not the first columnist to write about intrusive airport body searches of female passengers. In fact her outrage on this, as on most other issues, is perfectly in tune with this week's fashions. But listen to...

Endgame in Scranton by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 27, 2004

According to a statement circulated via e-mail by Dr. Jeffrey Bond, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, PA, has published in his diocesan newspaper a decree suppressing the Society of St. John, an association of traditionalist priests embroiled over the past two years in allegations of financial...

slanted by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 29, 2004

Smarting over the refusal of believing Anglicans to rejoice in the predictably vacuous Windsor Report, Dr. Rowan Williams lashes out at the people who saw through the imposture: The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a rebuke to conservatives in the worldwide Anglican Communion for the...

Making Advent Easy by Peter Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 29, 2004

This year we've tried to make Advent easy. Many of us at Trinity have children and can easily appreciate how the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be rushed and chaotic. And considering that, we reflected on how to make it easy for you to access and appreciate the wealth of materials...

unclear on the concept by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 29, 2004

From the Sydney Morning Herald: New Zealand's censor has banned a videogame as injurious to the public good, citing racist, sexist and homophobic humour directed at gays, Asians, militant Islamists and conservatives. And...

"it bothered me ... the first time" by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 30, 2004

Dom points us to a collection of chilling quotes from abortion providers, talking about their craft. "...it looks like a baby, That's what it looks like to me. You've never seen anything else that looks like that. The only other thing you've ever seen is a baby ... You can see a face and hands,...

Brace yourself, Brisbane! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 30, 2004

Bathersby of Brisbane, that quintessential gumby-bear bishop, has stiffened his resolve, gritted his teeth, and boldly nailed his colors to the fence. BRISBANE'S Catholic Archbishop has questioned whether a parish can remain part of the Roman Catholic Church if it does not use the words of...

retraction by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Nov 30, 2004

The following notice appeared Tuesday in the Seattle Times: Nicole Brodeur's column incorrectly reported that Spokane Bishop William Skylstad was one of the priests who escorted his predecessor, then-Bishop of Spokane Lawrence Welsh, from a bar in 1989 and sent him to alcohol treatment. The...

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