Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from March 2004

The March issue of Catholic World Report is out! by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2004

The March issue of Catholic World Report is now on newsstands and here's what you'll find inside: AIDS in Africa: Are pharmaceutical companies to blame?: Vatican officials charge that multinational corporations are increasing the death toll for the African epidemic, by refusing to lower the costs...

sweet nothings by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2004

If you haven't already done so, check out Phil Lawler's essay Why the Sex-Abuse Crisis Continues. It will give some helpful context for understanding the following exchange on Fox News Sunday: Chris Wallace: But let me ask you, the report also said that there must be consequences for bishops...

prone to suggestion by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2004

Two years ago a physician from the Washington area sent me an article published in a "special interest" magazine called The Advocate (July 23, 2002) . The essay, by one Mubarak Dahir, is titled "The Dangerous Lives of Gay Priests," and contains an instructive paragraph concerning the June 2002...

Gender Ratio of Alleged Victims (John Jay Figure 3.5.1) by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2004

The chart says it...

There's that elephant in the living room again by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2004

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Bob Bennett, of the National Review Board, were on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday and in the whole discussion there was exactly one tangential mention of "the lifestyle that dare not speak its name" while several minutes were devoted to mandatory celibacy. Here's...

Censor St. Matthew? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2004

If I read William Safire's Monday column in the NY Times accurately, he is arguing that since Vatican II taught that it is wrong to blame all Jews for the death of Christ, it is wrong to portray any Jews as involved in the process. Under Safire's rules, I suppose, any portrayal of the Passion...

the sound of clashing clichés by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2004

Having raised the subject of contemporary cinema, Fox New's Chris Wallace asked USCCB President Bishop Wilton Gregory about ... what else? Here is Gregory's reply: The Catholic Church has worked very, very hard, especially under the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, to make sure that we do not...

Good riddance by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2004

Back in the early 1970s, Chicago's Mayor Daley-- the last of a breed of urban Bosses-- reacted angrily to the (quite accurate) suggestion that he was imposing his will on the city's government. Said Daley: "We run a democracy here!" Jean-Bertrand Aristide tried to "run a democracy" in Haiti....

What a sex therapist might say to a bishop: by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2004

OK, your Eminence. The Review Board was critical of my operation because we let a few get loose and we were bought off in a few cases. But look at it this way, you had an explosion on your hands from the late 60s well into the 80s-- so says the John Jay report. We took 90% of your problem and we...

not my problem... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2004

To the surprise of no one, the California Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that Catholic Charities must abide by a state law that requires employer-provide health care plans to include coverage of contraceptives. Sound Off commenter Concerned notes: [The California bishops] said nothing when the ......

More on the California court by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2004

(I wish I'd said it, but this email message came from a subscriber:) Please do not overlook the glaring fact that this decision was issued by the very same Court that, just a couple of days earlier, refused to enjoin the San Francisco mayor from defying the law prohibiting homosexual...

Wall Street tolerance by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2004

A man who can do an extended smear on Mother Teresa is capable of anything, so you shouldn't be surprised that when Christopher Hitchens writes on the same-sex "marriage" debate, he comes out with lines like this: I know that our theocratic enemies are, and that our former totalitarian enemies...

Courage and responsibility; bishops and Pontius Pilate by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2004

The two stories for the past week, for American Catholic readers, were the opening of The Passion and the sex-abuse report by the National Review Board. In a brilliant National Review article, John O'Sullivan manages to put those stories together. He sees, in the behavior of Pontius Pilate (as...

A prelate who doesn't pull punches by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2004

The reporter doesn't intend a sympathetic portrait, but you've got to read this profile of Cardinal Pell. He was signed as a former professional football player. He recognizes that he's now seen as "the bully bishop from central casting." So how does he plan to change? Cardinal pell says: "I...

Re: Wall Street tolerance by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2004

For those who are not subscribers to the Wall Street Journal, they can read the op-ed by Christopher Hitchens that Phil references below at Opinion...

Overruled by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 4, 2004

The late Justice Harry Blackmun said of the Roe v. Wade decision, which he authored: "I'll carry it to my grave." But it's beyond the grave where the big problems...

The Sound of a Shoe Dropping by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Mar 4, 2004

Prosecutors plan to pursue charges against retired Bishop Dupre of Springfield, MA, for sexual abuse....

Sauce for the Gander by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Mar 5, 2004

A New York Times editorial. Am I correct in thinking that the only Bishop who has suggested that there need to be consequences for Bishops who were part of the cover-up of this mess is Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Sullivan of Brooklyn? I remember him at the Dallas meeting, stepping up to the mike...

Now they might listen by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 5, 2004

If you're trying to rouse an American bishop into action, which is more likely to be effective: Heartfelt pleas from hundreds of loyal Catholics, definitive instructions from the Vatican, or a single editorial in the New York Times? Right. Well, now we've got the editorial in the...

from the How Much Truth Can the Little People Take? department by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 7, 2004

The (ante-Dallas) archives illuminate the mind of the shepherds: "You can't just come out and announce to the parish this man you've respected for the last 20 years is a molester, or you revictimize the parish," Bishop Gregory said. Revictimize me, baby. I can handle...

codebusters by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 7, 2004

We've all been catechized by our betters that mind-dead repetition of catch-phrases is a vice of conservatives and not progressives. Otherwise we'd be almost tempted to amusement by a recent boner in the LA Times. A Los Angeles Times music critic who wrote that a Richard Strauss opera was...

Good Counsel by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 7, 2004

"We wouldn't necessarily restrict somebody from getting a degree because of that kind of background," Andriacco said, referring to Kelley's Athenaeum degree. "We wouldn't want them to be working with children. (But) many counselors are themselves what they call wounded healers. One is not...

Recount, anyone? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 8, 2004

In a weekend CWN poll, a bare majority of respondents reported that the preaching at their parish church is either "excellent' (27%) or "good" (24). Less than one-fourth found the preaching "poor" (14) or "horrible" (9). This conclusively proves that.... ... a lot of CWN readers are...

Here we go by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 8, 2004

The question, for now, is whether a Supreme Court Justice should give a speech to an advocacy group that opposes the gay-rights agenda. Notice: 1) No serious observer sees any ethical issue at all here. 2) If he's spoken to a group that favored gay rights, the media wouldn't bat an eye. 3) By...

out of the frying pan ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 8, 2004

The experts weigh in: "Men ordained around 1970 were at higher risk for abuse since they were ordained during the tumultuous years of Vatican II and were coping like everyone else with the wackiness of the 1970s," said Thomas Plante, a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in...

a sign of contradiction by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2004

A friend of a friend who teaches at Smith College in Massachusetts said that jewelry salesmen often come onto the campus and display their wares on a blanket spread out on the grass. As he was walking to class one day he passed a woman student checking out silver crosses (of the kind used as...

George is back by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2004

Mayors who give the green light to same-sex marriage in defiance of the law have been rapturously compared to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Thomas Sowell is unimpressed. The real analogy would be to Governor George Wallace, who defied the law by trying to prevent black students from being...

The promotion train by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2004

In the rush of Vatican appointmets of US bishops today, we have to recognize that two of the four were for the dioceses of Worcester and Springfield in Massachusetts. What's most interesting is that neither of the two posts were filled by auxiliaries from Boston. One of the bishops is an auxiliary...

Cyber Shock Horror: St. Blogs Exposed! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 10, 2004

Commonweal author Rachelle Linner checks out Catholic blogs and is deeply distressed to find the wrong kind of diversity. Intrigued by the genre, I set out to explore the most visible precincts of what is known as St. Blog's Parish -- the moniker applied to the loose collection of Catholic...

ceci n'est pas une pipe by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 10, 2004

A play based on Cardinal Law's depositions in the sex abuse cases has opened in Chicago. Not to worry, the New York Times was there. At several points in the play Cardinal Law's self-righteousness and his attempts to portray himself as a victim infuriate audience members. Mr. Sherman, the...

ND Prof Deplores Vatican Extremist Appointee by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 10, 2004

Mary Ann Glendon's appointment as president of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences earned a compliment from a secular adversary in the pro-life, pro-family battle: Alan Dershowitz, Glendon's Harvard Law School colleague and a supporter of abortion rights and gay marriage, described her...

inclusive language and jolly photo-calls by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2004

Responding to the decision of the Canadian Anglicans to bless "committed same-sex unions," Archbishop Venables damages his reputation as a team-player. One of the strongest critics of homosexuality, the Primate of the Southern Cone in South America, Archbishop Gregory Venables, said this was...

loss & gain by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2004

"Tracers work both ways," runs a military maxim, and this paradoxical truth -- that some weapons bring advantages to their targets as well as their employers -- has its counterpart in the culture wars. It was discouraging, to me at least, that a television program called "Queer Eye for the...

The February issue of Catholic World Report is now online by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2004

The February issue of Catholic World Report is now available on the Catholic World News web site. This issue's special topic was "Evangelizing Hollywood" and includes articles on The Passion of the Christ, The Return of the King, Therese, and The Matrix. John Allen's "Metaphor of the Physical"...

Madrid by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2004

The poignancy of a detail. The bodies of the dead, some with their cellphones ringing unanswered as frantic relatives tried to contact them, were carried away by rescue...

from the people's republic by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 12, 2004

From the Peoples Daily: Jiang Zemin, chairman of Central Military Commission (CMC), called on the country's armed forces to get fully aware of the changing situation, accelerate the pace of modernization, perform their sacred mission of safeguarding state security and national...

Greeley takes the high road by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 12, 2004

Last month's Catholic World Report took a parodic poke at Fr. Andrew Greeley. It seems that Greeley now wants to parodize himself. He gives us the right and wrong interpretations of the National Review Board's findings in today's Chicago Sun-Times: Although 81 percent of abusers were...

clarifications by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 13, 2004

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 11, 2004 (Zenit.org). - A Vatican spokesman says the film "The Passion of the Christ" cannot be considered anti-Semitic without also regarding the Gospel the same way. Joaquín Navarro-Valls made this statement in response to a request from Riccardo Di Segni, chief rabbi of...

The Shake-Up by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 13, 2004

Have you ever been part of an organization (a business, a military unit, a school) in which a shake-up was under way, in which -- because of the need for "down-sizing" or for other reasons -- it was obvious that personnel were soon to be culled or replaced? If so, you knew --however low you...

blushing brides behind bars by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 14, 2004

When Massachusetts finally approves same-sex marriage (or the functional equivalent), its correctional officers will face a new set of challenges. Prisoners already have the right to marry while incarcerated, though heretofore the happy couple -- as the practical necessities of confinement...

Something to please no one by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 14, 2004

On Thursday, the Massachusetts legislature gave tentative approval to a constituational amendment that would bar same-sex "marriage," but give same-sex "civil unions" all the privileges of marriage. On Friday, newspapers reported that the measure was a victory for proponents of traditional...

privileged by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 14, 2004

You'll love this story from today's LA Times: [Archdiocese of Los Angeles spokesman Tod] Tamberg said that, overall, Mahony should be seen as a national leader in reforming the church's sexual abuse policies. It's not often we see eye-to-eye, Tod buddy, but -- provided we understand "reform"...

what we don't need to know by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 14, 2004

The National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood are suing to overturn the Partial Birth Abortion Act but slammed shut their doors when the Department of Justice asked them to produce their medical records. Mona Charen has some telling remarks thereon: While a federal judge in...

but who's counting? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 14, 2004

High on last autumn's edification list was the heart-warming story of Cape Cod priest Bernard Kelly, whose sometime handyman and boyfriend Paul Nolin was arrested for murder. It seems that the good padre was financing his non-traditional lifestyle by skimming the collection and juggling the...

How to get tough by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2004

Here's a must-read piece from the Washington Post. If you believe that priests who molested children were shielded by a clerical network, and if you fear that network is still in place, Stephen Galebach points out that there is a way to break it up-- if prosecutors are ready to be aggressive....

Planned Parenthood Hires National Chaplain by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2004

Building bridges: In an apparent attempt to mend relations with Christians, Planned Parenthood has hired a national chaplain to "articulate the spiritual dimensions of sexuality and reproduction." Everyone's first choice for the job will be Father Robert F. Drinan, S.J. , of Georgetown...

Muscular Christianity? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2004

When I say that it would a relief to hear about a priest who hit on women, this isn't what I have in...

higher laws, and lower by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2004

Amen to Phil's enthusiastic commendation of Stephen Galebach's Washington Post article. The first sentence -- a quote from Bob Bennett -- provides the key: "If the bishops don't manage the problem, the government will." Chesterton says somewhere that if we refuse to obey a higher law, we...

Ain't no one heah but us capons, boss! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2004

Remember the April 2002 "Vatican Summit" that pledged a "new and serious apostolic visitation of seminaries" in response to the Crisis? Well, two years down the road, Fr. Edward J. Burns, director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Priestly Formation, informs us that such a visitation, if it...

roll over by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2004

If you were the auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee, that blue collar city, what name might you invoke that, simply by its mention, carries moral authority of the sort that can stop ethnic hatred in its tracks? Exactly. Here in Milwaukee at Congregation Shalom, Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland's...

Calling Doctor Greeley by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2004

In the March 22 America (not available on-line), Andrew Greeley reacts to the John Jay Report: Those who have blamed the abuse on celibacy now must face the fact that most celibates are not abusers. Those who blame it on homosexuality must face the fact that most gay priests are not abusers...

Roncesvalles Revisited by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2004

David Warren sees more Ganelons than Rolands in Western Europe: The rotten heart of Europe has been exposed. The best comparison one can make is to Europe in 1940, when the entire continent had capitulated to Nazism and fascism, leaving Britain alone to fight. It thus came to be known as...

endorsements by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2004

Eastern Massachusetts Episcopalians have endorsed -- whatever that may mean -- the Supreme Judicial Court ruling on same-sex marriage. The bishops prepared a statement calling for prayerful dialogue: "We encourage our congregations to continue to be in active conversation on this matter....

"As luck would have it, God was on my side..." by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2004

Church Times: The Revd Angela Berners-Wilson, the first woman to be ordained priest, is Rector of Colerne and Officiating Chaplain to the 21st Signals Regiment, which is based in her parish. She remembers the amazement in March 1994 that hopes and vocations could be fulfilled. "I think some of...

More Mahony by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2004

When it comes to investigating priests accused of molesting children, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony is more aggressive than any other bishop in the country. At shielding priests, that is, not at safeguarding children from sexual abuse. So begins a remarkably caustic editorial in this...

The wearin' of the green by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2004

At first it was just a few "devout" atheists, arguing that we shouldn't have prayer in public schools. Then the courts got involved, siding with them. Soon the courts took the lead, banning Christmas displays in public places, unless those displays were shorn of any Christian content. (Santa...

Remember, there's no connection... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2004

Let's play cards. Of all jokers, 8 out of 10 are lavender. According to Doc Greeley, the bishops' deck has 1 out of 6 cards that are lavender and 5 out of 6 that are true blue. That means that roughly less than 1 in 100 true blues are jokers, but 1 in 5 of the lavenders are jokers. On any...

eminence du jour by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 18, 2004

Let's take a look at how Cardinal Mahony's Stonewall Doctrine has "evolved" in the past couple months. First, an AP story from last November: Lawyers for the archdiocese say their effort is not a coverup, but rather a simple matter of law. They are asserting protection under the First...

Nefarious plans by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 18, 2004

If it's a parody, it's a pretty good one. But this op-ed by a minor public official in Arizona has us wondering. Can a grown man actually write like this: However, permitting or encouraging Latin masses is part of a misguided trend to go back in time to the romanticized church of the 1940's and...

Admissions error by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 18, 2004

Dissident theologian Hans Küng recently told an Australian broadcast audience that as a young man, Karol Wojtyla lacked the theological background necessary for entrance into the Gregorian university. In making this observation, Küng obviously intends a put-down of Wojtyla. But only a...

in a glass, darkly by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 18, 2004

As a follow-up to Phil's post, here's Hans: I think it's a fact that Karol Wojtyla does not know enough modern exegesis, history of dogmas, modern theology. He has a very traditional neo-scholastic training, but I think that these are his limits, and I do not see why we cannot speak openly...

more equal than others by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 18, 2004

Academic freedom takes a licking in Ohio (from today's WSJ Opinion Journal): In March of last year, philosophy professor James Tuttle received a complaint that had been forwarded by his superior at Lakeland Community College in Ohio. The student letter-writer charged that Prof. Tuttle had made...

evaporation by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 18, 2004

Albany priest Louis Douglas was given the green light to return to ministry. At least two gals are not happy: Albany residents Marsha Preusser and Trisha Brace went public Wednesday with details of a meeting they had with Hubbard in 1993 about Douglas, who was recently cleared by the Albany...

sacraments of initiation by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2004

Let's see, the Episcopal Church in the United States says it was in the right by acting independently of the worldwide Anglican Communion in ordaining a gay bishop, but insists Episcopalians in Ohio are in the wrong by acting independently of ECUSA in holding a Vaseline-free confirmation...

early retirement by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2004

A Kentucky man objected to a magazine mockery of the Sacred Heart (nod to Fr. Bryce Sibley): He was stunned by last week's Leo cover, Jesus holding a basketball with the words "The Real Passion" underneath. Wine explains, "Just to have a picture of Christ, with a basketball superimposed, and...

timely advice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2004

Another Kumbaya Catholic, like Snoopy athwart his doghouse, fires his pretend machine gun at the ghostly bogeys of the 1960s. No injuries were reported. The Roman Catholic Church, tightly centralised under Pope John Paul, should open up to share power more among its bishops, priests and...

didn't make the cut by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 19, 2004

Who says the healing professions have no standards? A medical student in his last year at the University of Manitoba Medical School will be denied his degree for his unwillingness to partake in any abortion-related activity. The Christian student, who wishes to remain unnamed, received a...

hatred, lies, and the coming storm by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 20, 2004

Anyone concerned for preserving the rule of law has to be anxious about the dodgy notion of a "hate crime" -- an act deemed criminal because of the repellent dispositions that are presumed to motivate it. Lane Core posts a mind-torquing article about a faked hate crime at one of California's...

ellwood & friends by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 20, 2004

Terry Mattingly discusses a film hastily rescued from the studio dumpster in order to cash in on The Passion: Produced by the Catholic media pioneers at Paulist Productions, "Judas" began nearly a decade ago as one of the final projects of the late Father Ellwood "Bud" Kieser, founder of the...

jacks or better by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2004

Restoring trust: Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the gay issue is just one of many that needs to be considered. "We do not wish to disparage or in any way to denigrate the very generous and faithful service of any of our priests who may be...

open & shut by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2004

Driving past United Methodist churches in various places, I've often winced at the "Catch the Spirit" logo displayed on the signboard outside. Partly I dislike the mild blasphemy in the pun that assimilates a Person of the Trinity to the high school basketball rally sense of "spirit"; partly I...

a great awakening? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2004

The asymmetry noted below among the United Methodists can in fact be detected in all the main anglophone Christian communities: an overwhelming majority of traditional layfolk is at odds with a highly ideologized clerical bureaucracy spiritually indistinguishable from Cher. The irony is that many...

Homily suggestion by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2004

It's too late now, I suppose, but I had a brilliant idea for today's homily. Use this Sunday, and the parable of the Prodigal Son, to appeal for support of the diocese. Admit that the diocese is like the prodigal son: having squandered money, frittered away a priceless heritage, descended...

Fasting from abstinence by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2004

A generation of classroom sex-education has produced a steady rise in teen pregnancy (partially masked by teen abortions), and a quiet epidemic of venereal diseases. Meanwhile abstinence-based programs are encourging young people to avoid sexual activity. This, in the eyes of the sex-ed lobby,...

knives unsheathed by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 22, 2004

Feel the need for penance? Got a strong stomach? Check out the way some editorial cartoonists have portrayed the Catholic Church post-Crisis. My hunch is the one, two,

A new bishop says it's time to kick "but" by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 22, 2004

If you think the play on words is crude, don't blame me; blame Bishop Olmstead. On the other hand, if you like the general idea, you'll love the bishop's column in his Phoenix diocesan...

not guilty by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 22, 2004

Last May, Diocese of Winona priest Edward McGrath was arrested and charged with groping an undercover police officer in a public park. This was the Diocese's reaction at the time: In a statement released Thursday, Bishop Bernard Harrington said he "is saddened by the news regarding the charges...

GIRM Warfare by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Mar 22, 2004

Check out "GIRM Warfare" on Barbara Nicolosi's excellent "Church of the Masses" blogsite. She has a perfectly plausible, chilling account of the maddening experience of attending Mass in Los Angeles now that the new General Instruction on the Roman Missal has been implemented. Apparently, it...

On third and two, the Vatican punts. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 23, 2004

Bishop Joseph Galante, the co-adjutor bishop of Dallas, has been named to head the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, thus ending an impasse between Galante and the incumbent Bishop Charles Grahmann. Seattle's George Thomas was named Bishop of Helena,...

What the Church needs to learn from Fr. Greeley by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 23, 2004

Let's listen to Fr. Andrew Greeley (quoted by Rob Warden in the Chicago Lawyer, October 1981) on the conclave that elected Pope John Paul I: "I have two insights. The first is that the best way to treat this whole show is to consider it a comedy -- people parading around in robes, fans and...

titters by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 24, 2004

In a recent effort, cartoonist Pat Oliphant portrays Justice Antonin Scalia as a mafioso in the 1920s mode, sitting in a duck blind wearing a loud suit with machine gun at the ready, saying to Cheney, "Dis is da life, Dick!" I happen to find Oliphant's point of view detestable here, but that's...

So much for retiring in disgrace by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 24, 2004

You know when you're forced to retire after it's revealed that you misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars to give it to your gay lover, you'd think you'd have enough shame not to set up your own web site. But that's not Archbishop Weakland, is it? When will Paul Shanley's web site go...

"the spiritual leader" by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 24, 2004

Thanks to Terry Mattingly for the link to probing questions raised by Jeff Sharlet concerning the reporting about the recently killed Sheik Ahmed Yassin: Why has our press ignored the "spiritual" dimensions of this "spiritual leader"? Two possibilities. One is that the journalists assigned to...

Grahmann the Unsinkable by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 25, 2004

A Jesuit friend from New Jersey asks, what if Cardinal Law had been given a coadjutor bishop and then refused to step...

leaders again by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 25, 2004

To expand on a point made earlier. Catholics as well as non-Catholics informally refer to diocesan bishops in terms of leadership. We'll read that Francis George is the "spiritual leader of Chicago's Catholics," for example. But this concept seems to be minimal, if it exists at all, in the...

can't we all just get along? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 25, 2004

What is it about "faithful orthodox Catholics" that makes so many of them talk as though despair and anger are the first and only characteristics of the Truly Christian life? Several blogs have recently raised the question of why orthodox Catholics so often froth at the mouth when the subject...

getting along -2- by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Mar 25, 2004

You know, Diogenes, one of the things that has struck me about these conversations about "Why are you folks so angry" is that they often don't do justice to what people are so upset about. As a priest, I find it painful to hear from parents, for example, who find their own teaching and their...

Quis custodiet... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 25, 2004

All you folks out there, who have been waiting for an American bishop to start throwing his weight around asserting his authority, have finally got your wish. Sort of. There's a catch, of course. You knew there would be. He "cracked down" on the people who want a...

Precious Moments -- or, My Little Golden Book of Retroviruses by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 26, 2004

Mommy, why is Daddy always so angry when we come home from church?He gets upset because Fr.Tim makes changes in the Mass he shouldn't, dear.But WHY does Fr. Tim do things he shouldn't, Mommy? (Oh dear. Do I give her the charitable or the uncharitable response?) Well, Melissa, Fr. Tim spends...

would you believe ...? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 26, 2004

I didn't think it could happen. Mahony's Archdiocese of Los Angeles has surpassed Law's Archdiocese of Boston in the Watch Me Self-Destruct Sweepstakes. The Cardinal has recently made himself scarce on the Stonewall Issue, but the archdiocesan newspaper carries a must-read-to-be-believed...

Brave new marriage by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 26, 2004

If same-sex "marriage" is recognized by law, will it be possible for two heterosexuals of the same sex to get married? Would gays object? Would John Kerry and Ted Kennedy object? The purposes of same-sex heterosexual marriage would be private, of course. (Keep the government out of the...

by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 26, 2004

A successor to the Apostles has been sentenced to "community service." Does anybody else out there find that just a bit...

film projectors by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 26, 2004

Is Gibson's Passion a kind of Rorschach Ink Blot for our time, whose interpretation tells more about the viewer than the viewed? Check out Uri Klein's interesting take in Tel Aviv's Haaretz, and altar boy Joe Queenan's pieties in the U.K. Guardian (thanks to Pat Sweeney for the...

unimpressed by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 27, 2004

The National Review Online has an opinion piece on Cardinal Mahony for which the author ID should be enticement enough: Jack Dunphy is an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department. "Jack Dunphy" is the author's nom de cyber. The opinions expressed are his own and almost certainly do not...

solidarity by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 27, 2004

This week the 20 members of the Los Angeles Council of Priests (elected by their fellow clergy) unanimously voted support for Cardinal Roger Mahony: "Cardinal Mahony has shown a consistent desire to protect children, while at the same time has been solicitous that no priest's reputation be...

crises, and hypocrisies by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 28, 2004

Question: Can the Church's ministers be sinful and the Church herself sinless? Any well-catechized Catholic will answer Yes. The possibility that my bishop is breaking it as I write has absolutely no bearing on the validity of the Levitical Code or on the integrity of the institution that...

Today's second collection will benefit Catholic communications. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 28, 2004

Where can you find a link to a celebration of Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood? Why, at the Diocese of Saginaw website, of course! (March is Women's History Month.) Update: link removed. Thanks,...

from all appearances by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 28, 2004

Archbishop Buechlein assures us it's history: "The complexity of the issue and scandal is very difficult to communicate," he says. "I think it is wrong that the general impression has been given that every diocese is like Boston, that all bishops are involved in a cover-up, that many priests...

pink elephant in the pressroom? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 29, 2004

Back when the New York Times still made a show of objectivity in its reportage, editor Abe Rosenthal famously declared to his stable of reporters, "Look, I don't care if you [violate ministerial boundaries with] elephants, but if you do, you don't cover the circus." Yesterday, a gay Catholic...

humblingly beautiful by Leila in "Off the Record" - Mar 29, 2004

A rumpled mattress on the gallery floor doesn't elicit the comment "humblingly beautiful" from the NY Times art section, as seriously as they take that kind of thing. But the exhibit "Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557)" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has Michael Kimmelman awed and...

repositioning religious practice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 29, 2004

From a Jerry Filteau story on a symposium on Confession held at Catholic U: [Boston College Prof. James] O'Toole contrasted a New York City parish in 1896-97, where the seven priests on staff heard 78,000 confessions a year, with the typical parish today, where the bulletin may list a half-hour...

Marriage in Massachusetts by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 29, 2004

If you're anxious to know all there is to know about the latest bid for a constitutional amendment to "save" marriage in Massachusetts, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that my friend Dwight Duncan, a lawyer and law professor who's been up to his eyeballs in this fight from the...

coming out sideways by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 30, 2004

The Clergy Abuse Tracker links an interview with David France, author of Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal. The interview appears in a gay magazine called The Advocate. France himself is identified as "openly gay," a fact mentioned in none of the half-dozen...

parody enfeebled by reality by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 30, 2004

Which headline is for real? a) MARTHA SHIVS CELLMATE WITH CELERY b) JUDGE TO KOBE: SIX MONTHS AS POOR CLARE NOVICE c) BISHOP O'BRIEN SETS UP HELP-LINE Sorry. Your first two guesses were...

Time's Kerry goof by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 30, 2004

Time magazine has a major profile on John Kerry's Catholicism in a recent issue, in which he tries to emulate his idol John F. Kennedy by saying his putative faith won't encumber his ability to vote for abortion and other problematic issues. He also throws the gauntlet down to Archbishop Burke of...

1-900-PRELATE by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 31, 2004

Hello, and welcome to the Bishop O'Brien Help Hotline®. Your call is important to us! Please listen to the HelpLine options and select the one that corresponds to your need. For information on the Kiwanis Klassic Bike-a-Thon, press One. For this week's Maricopa County Schools lunch menus,...

To make bishops get tough by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 31, 2004

You say you want American bishops to denounce John Kerry? To say that Kerry is at odds with the Church on crucial public issues? That's easy. Spread a rumor that Kerry regularly attends a Latin Mass. We already know that approach works: One cannot pick and choose which Pope to follow,...

Speaking of John Kerry by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 31, 2004

Is John Kerry planning on seeking out a parish where he can be photographed being refused Communion so he can be seen as the heroic dissenting Catholic standing up to the Church? So says the American Spectator.The Kerry campaign was said to be surprised at the coverage their candidate received for...

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

As Catholic News Unfolds... 7 hours ago
An Iraqi archbishop's warning to the West 7 hours ago
The cause for beatification of Archbishop Romero: BBC botched the story 13 hours ago
Church Fathers: The Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas 21 hours ago
It is time to revoke the Catholic status of the LCWR August 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8