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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from March 2005

Upbeat! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2005

Great news from Scotland: The Catholic Church was also upbeat about the future, pointing to the Church's own census in 2002 that showed 11.2 per cent go to church on Sundays compared to 7.5 per cent in England. "Ladies and gennulmin, this is your, ah, cap'n speakin. You prob'ly noticed our...

It Does Not Matter by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2005

The processional hymn for the Young Adults Liturgy at the recent L.A. Religious Education Conference showcased David Haas's catchy new "Gathering Song" (see pp. 44-45 of the program). A sampler: Come all you single ones, divorced and married:Come you who have lost your spouse, all who are...

Negotiating over death by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 1, 2005

Let's say you're having a dispute with your next-door neighbor, over the placement of a fence on your property line. Things are getting a bit heated, and your pastor steps in, urging you both to negotiate. Good move by the pastor. He doesn't know where boundaries of your property are; he just...

Manifestations of Modernism by Peter Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 1, 2005

With the recent scandals in the Church, groups have arisen to try to address the need for Church reform. However, some proponents of “reform” are using the sex scandals to champion Modernist causes, demanding that the Church change both its divinely-instituted structure and its...

Theological Progress: An Analogy by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 1, 2005

The revocation of Fr. Roger Haight’s right to teach theology by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in February was greeted with a public statement of dismay by the Catholic Theological Society of America. This dismay is so out of touch with reality that it reminds me of someone who...

the debate that dare not speak its name by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2005

A columnist named Fraser Nelson in The Scotsman pays tribute to Pope John Paul's role in championing the Gospel of Life, and ponders the strange European silence in the face of killing. Yet this issue [sc. defense of life against euthanasia] is, in Britain, strangely unpolitical. No political...

That annoying intractability by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2005

Terri Schiavo has a date with death, and you found yourself wondering what her bishop has to say about it. Wonder no longer; he's taken his stand. Bishop Lynch announces that "the decision to remove Terri’s artificial feeding tube will be that of her husband, Michael." That's good, because...

the liberal legacy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2005

Retired Cardinal Paolo Arns of Brazil on his "disagreements with the Pope": "I am in favor of the promotion of women and always defended their ordination by the Catholic church. My mother raised 21 children, 13 of her own and eight by adoption, and all of them accomplished what they set out to...

To boycott or remain silent? by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2005

When should we speak up against public offenses against the Church and when should we remain silent to avoid giving them credibility they don't deserve? So-called shock entertainers thrive on making people mad so do we give them what they want? The old saw says there's no such thing as bad...

that was then, this is now by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 2, 2005

Justice Scalia, in his dissent on Roper v. Simmons, draws our attention to the remarkably fortuitous retreat in juvenile moral capacity attested by the human sciences. As petitioner points out, the American Psychological Association (APA), which claims in this case that scientific evidence...

Constant Vigilance Over Himself by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2005

Last week the Dallas Morning News reported the story of an ex-priest who for several years has been working in Haiti, before and after his defrocking. Ron Voss sought his own expulsion in 1997 and got it a year later. His petition, according to the Diocese of Lafayette, Ind., included this...

a very praying-type person by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2005

Tell us, Miss Hillary, do you ever pray? "People often ask me whether I'm a praying person, and I say I was lucky enough to be raised in a praying family Yes, but ... "... and learned to say my prayers as a very young child Yes, but ... "... and remembered seeing my late father by...

not easy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2005

George Weigel on the upcoming apostolic visitation of seminaries. The purpose of a visitation is to ascertain the truth about the spiritual, moral and intellectual life of the institution being visited. The primary task of the visitators, in interviewing faculty, staff and students, is to...

toward a both/and church by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2005

The Anglican Dean of Southwark, the Very Reverend Colin Slee, is high on the theological acumen of the Archbishop of Canterbury: The archbishop is capable of thinking in polarities. He can understand the extreme end of an argument (he can understand an African archbishop's abhorrence of any...

Kudos for Kissling Quiz by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2005

Time to play Name That Tune: Frances Kissling and, more recently, Senator Hillary Clinton know that the real objects of their outreach on the abortion issue are fair-minded Americans in the middle, not the hard-liners. The hard-liners generate the most heat, but the least light. OK,...

Vatican asking US government help on sex-abuse case? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 3, 2005

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter tells us that during his February 8 meeting with Condoleeza Rice, Cardinal Angelo Sodano asked the US Secretary of State to help extricate the Vatican from a sex-abuse lawsuit filed in the US. It's not news that someone named the Holy See as a...

a bishop who knows how to bishop by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 4, 2005

It's refreshing and even inspiring to watch Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria handle himself among his conventionally gay-friendly northern brethren, not only rejecting their patronizing pats on the head, but bringing unwelcome doctrinal clarity to a discussion they want to conduct as...

Remember the Kerry-Communion capers? Well... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 4, 2005

Archbishop Akinola is, regrettably, Anglican, not Catholic. But don't despair. It is possible for a Catholic bishop-- even an American-- to deliver a clear and simple...

Quis custodit by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 4, 2005

As the editor noted yesterday, citing John Allen's story in the National Catholic Reporter,the Vatican has been named as defendant in an American sex-abuse lawsuit. The plaintiff argues that Vatican officials failed to exercise proper supervision over US bishops. Mark Chopko, attorney for the...

Would you buy a used car from this man? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 4, 2005

Nearly one-third of the people living in the Philippines are dumber than the birds and the bees, according to the country's health minister. Do you have trouble taking that claim seriously? So do I. And when you see the man in action, it doesn't exactly boost your confidence in his scientific...

internally disciplined by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 4, 2005

In aftermath of Bill Clinton's August 1998 televised admission of his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky, Joseph Sobran made some judicious remarks on Clinton's tactics of obfuscation: It wasn't a confession; it was a concession -- a tactical retreat in his war on Starr. He was counting on the...

the good, the bad, and the ugly by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 5, 2005

Barbara Nicolosi speaks some painful truths about that painful session of fingernails-dragged-across-the-blackboard to which most of us subject ourselves weekly: A commitment to beauty [in the Church] is meaningless without a requisite commitment to the things that beauty demands. ... The...

Out, out by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 5, 2005

Remember "the spirit of Vatican II" -- you know, the penumbra emanating from those conciliar decrees that the Holy Spirit meant to get the council fathers to write, but forgot? Well, boys and girls, now we have a new arrival calling itself "the spirit of Church law." "It's against the...

Voices for Renewal by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 7, 2005

Critics of priestly and religious celibacy can rejoice in the knowledge that they have intellectual forbears among Thinking Catholics™ of all epochs. The cartoon above is taken from the July 1936 issue of Der Stürmer, Julius Streicher's famous Nazi Party newspaper. Under the caricature of...

Theological mechanics by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 7, 2005

How does the Catholic Theological Society resemble a ping in your car's engine? How is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith like a mechanic? Our friend Jeff Mirus has the answers to these questions on the CatholicCulture...

Eucharistic Sabotage and You by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 8, 2005

I have determined that there is no need to make any significant changes in our liturgical practice at this time. ... Most of the abuses mentioned in Redemptionis Sacramentum do not pertain to the celebration of the Eucharist in our Archdiocese. That's Cardinal Mahony writing last September....

Atlanta's new regime by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 8, 2005

Last year, Atlanta's Archbishop John Donoghue issued a directive to pastors, instructing them that during the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, they should wash the feet of men, not women, in accordance with clear Vatican liturgical guidelines. Now Archbishop Donoghue has retired, and...

Meet Our Chaplain by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 8, 2005

Kansas's favorite performer of late-term abortions Dr. George Tiller boasts a chaplain to attend to his customers' pre-and post-abortion spiritual needs. Smiling George Gardner The Chaplaincy program is designed to bring spiritual resources to those who come to the Clinic for help and...

Oh, those empty pews ...! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 8, 2005

The Times (U.K.) religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill reports on new findings that rain falls earthward: CHURCHGOING is in freefall in Britain because clergy and ministers are failing to stand up for moral values and treasured beliefs, a new survey has found. Churches are being "silent" and...

Pro-lifers dismayed by UK bishops by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2005

Ekklesia reports a clash between SPUC (Britain's main pro-life organization) and Catholic bishops regarding a relief program. A split has opened up between the Catholic church and a pro-life group over the BBC's fundraising initiative Comic Relief.A Catholic bishop assured parishioners today...

Is this a news story? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2005

There's an interesting line of speculation coming from Vatican-watchers. But is it news? Here's the single fact that we have at our disposal: The Vatican has not announced who will be leading the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, at the Roman Coliseum. That's a curious omission, because...

Re: Pro-lifers dismayed by UK bishops by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 9, 2005

In regard to Diogenes' entry below about the UK bishops giving the OK to participation in the annual charity event Comic Relief (also called Red Nose Day), the controversy over Catholic participation is not new. We ran a report in Catholic World Report in July 2003 on this very same matter....

The Precarious Comforts of Vichy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 10, 2005

This photo allegory reflects my anger at coercive behavior by my fellow citizens. No American has the right to impose his private morality on any other American, yet this is precisely the agenda of some religious groups. Millions of women have become victims of attacks on their most painful,...

Backbone and biceps by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 10, 2005

"We have thrown a lot at our people these past few years, and they need a rest." That's an American bishop, arguing against changes in the liturgy. But before you get excited, understand this: When he argues against change, what Bishop Lynch means is that the abuses that have become commonplace...

going, gone by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2005

The bishops invest, cautiously, in Studebaker. Msgr. James P. Moroney, secretary of the U.S. bishops' liturgy office and a consultant to "Vox Clara," said the bishops send a representative to the twice-yearly meetings of the U.S. ecumenical Consultation on Common Texts. Through the...

there is no connection ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2005

Rochester Bishop Matthew Clark, March 1997: Clark also told the symposium that he had asked a priest in his diocese who had blessed "holy unions" of same-sex couples to stop doing so. "My concern is not so much the practice, but that [such ceremonies] communicate to the wider community that the...

no clear recollection by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2005

Rebuilding trust the Boston way. Yesterday the Herald reported parishioners who have occupied Our Lady of Mount Carmel in East Boston since Oct. 12 will present a case to the attorney general alleging "financial mismanagement" of their church by the Rev. Francis de Sales Paolo, pointing to more...

a bishop who knows how to bishop -- act two by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2005

The Church Times reports on yet another African Anglican who never learned to speak Griswoldese. The Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, wrote in the Kampala newspaper New Vision last week: We see homosexual practices as unbiblical and against the teaching of the Church. Only Jesus who makes a...

Speed Limit 30-- Or, How I lost my license by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2005

Sure, I saw the sign. If you go by the letter of the law, I suppose 70 mph was technically illegal. But the road was clear and dry, there was no traffic, and my Beamer handles the curves beautifully at high speeds. So when the trooper pulled me over, I urged him not to commit the "sin of...

Love Story by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 11, 2005

Thanks to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council for calling attention to the end of a remarkable story. Amelia Limpert died in Missouri this week, at the age of 101, still mourning George, her husband of 81 years-- I said 81 years!!-- who passed away last year at the age of 102. I...

Endless Fixation by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 12, 2005

You thought progressive bishops were hard wired into gay lib? Wrong! It seems all along they've been trying to get us to focus on infant mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. From MCJ: Asked whether, as Primates, it frustrates them that the Anglican Communion is spending so much time on issues of...

New Start for Austrian Seminary by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 12, 2005

From The Tablet: The St Pölten seminary, which was closed last August after it was revealed that a seminarian had been downloading child pornography on the internet and that several others had been active homosexuals, is to reopen under a new rector, Fr Anton Leichtfried, this September,...

diversity, celebrated by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 12, 2005

The traditional Passion Play in a small Italian town will get a high fashion makeover this year. Gender-bending. The usual objections don't apply. This year, however, the figure spotlit on the cross will be a woman - a 29-year-old ballerina named Elena Angeli -- who was cast by the play's...

defectors in place by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 14, 2005

In an article titled "Jesuits USA in the Year 2050: Planning for Our Future", former Catholic University president Fr. William Byron, S.J., lists several "assumptions" about the changes ahead, including this one: Women will rise in positions of responsibility and influence in the institutional...

Here it is, folks! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 14, 2005

Young minds. Fresh ideas. Audacious innovation. The future has...

Why News & Notes? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 14, 2005

As the founder and President of Trinity Communications, I'm hoping to accomplish several things with our News & Notes section, for which this is the first entry. First, I want to share important and/or interesting features of our non-profit work, hoping to increase the user's understanding of...

The other Springfield by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2005

In that hour when nervous and respectable people objected to the shouting of the guttersnipes of Jerusalem, Christ said, "If these were silent, the very stones would cry out."  G.K. Chesterton Springfield Journal-Review writer Dave Bakke offers a reasonably fair-minded and...

art -- and reality by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2005

Perhaps in response to Hillary's call for more feelings-friendly abortion language, NARAL Pro-Choice America has sponsored a sex-ed haiku contest. The specimens below are the winners -- not, as you may be tempted to believe, parodies thereof. Consenting adultsare making their own...

wholly in compliance by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2005

Remember Rochester's Father Michael Volino, whom the FBI helped ease out of full-time ministry because of his penchant for kiddie-pix? Well, it turns out the Diocese had sent him to the St. Luke Institute, and it turns out the St. Luke's folks recommended in 2002 that Volino should be "restricted...

another both/and church by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2005

Thanks to Bill Cork for calling attention to a report of Lutheran (ELCA) recommendations that include this almost unsurpassably fine specimen of trendy ecclesiastical double-think: Continue under current standards that expect unmarried ministers to abstain from sexual relations, defining...

So What’s Wrong with Rock Music? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 15, 2005

Some weeks ago, Peter Mirus argued that the rock beat was not intrinsically sexual or evil, and should not be cited as proof that there is something wrong with rock music. I agree that those who focus on the beat, which is characterized by an emphasis on 2 and 4 instead of 1 and 3, are grasping at...

Bad record-keeping, cont. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 15, 2005

When Cardinal Law said that his failure to curb abusive priests was a function of bad record-keeping in the Boston archdiocese, the Boston Globe was contemptuous, and rightly so; it was an absurd excuse. But my, how times have changed. Because now the Globe is waving its editorial pom-poms for...

Evaluating Piety is a Tricky Business by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 15, 2005

We encounter some interesting problems when reviewing Catholic web sites, especially when it comes to our Fidelity rating. In one recent case involving a site devoted to Carthusian spirituality, a particularly touchy issue arose. This site has an active forum featuring tens of thousands of...

Dallas Catholics subpoena'd by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2005

The leadership of the Diocese of Dallas is headed back to the courtroom, according to an article in the Dallas Morning News. For purposes not yet publicly known, a grand jury is hearing testimony concerning the arrest of Dallas priest Fr. Matthew Bagert for possession of child pornography....

the suffering servant by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2005

Jason Berry has a lengthy and balanced piece in the current NCR in which he reviews Cardinal Mahony's surprisingly successful legal/PR coup, whereby he portrays himself as a pioneer of openness on the sex abuse front, while burying his own appalling record and continuing to stonewall law...

The incompetence defense by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2005

So Bernard Ebbers will take the rap for the massive accounting fraud committed under his leadership at WorldCom. Testifying in his own defense during his trial, Ebbers said that he didn't realize what was going on among his subordinates. The jury didn't buy it. Why, then, have jurors-- or...

It's about the economy, stupid by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 16, 2005

Sorry, but I can't stop thinking about those corporate leaders who, trumpeted by the Boston Globe, stand ready to help the American hierarchy set up user-friendly accounting systems to remedy the "string of management and financial problems" that has shaken the faithful. If only Rudy Kos had...

mind-numbed robots on parade by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2005

We all know that orthodox Catholics check their brains at the door, etc., etc., but Slate's William Saletan, no ally of pro-lifers, makes a good effort at fairness in reporting from the recent bioethics conference at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome. He seems impressed in...

on making peace with heresy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2005

Dale Price blogs the following quote from the late Cardinal Henri de Lubac, S.J. If heretics no longer horrify us today, as they once did our forefathers, is it certain that it is because there is more charity in our hearts? Or would it not too often be, perhaps, without our daring to say so,...

Just the facts, ma'am. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 17, 2005

Gay-partisan Jesuit Father James Martin gave a deeply dishonest address to the LA Religious Ed Congress, duly foregrounded in this week's Archdiocesan newspaper. Using the conventional jargon of gay agit-prop, he takes aim at Catholic fears and assumptions (ours, not his). "Today there are...

Universal Literature by Air and Sea by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 17, 2005

I took my 15-year-old son to Borders Books (Bailey's Crossroads, VA) on Tuesday evening so he could attend a book signing by his favorite author, Orson Scott Card. Card is by any standard an outstanding writer with deep insights into human nature. His main genre is science fiction, which will not...

the cardinal speaks by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 18, 2005

With all due respect, Cardinal, I think many parents would wonder what it is like to live in a rectory with a man who has had sex with young boys. Did you feel squeamish?Well, again, [Fr. Carl Sutphin] was undergoing counseling and spiritual direction and he was trying to turn his life around and...

The Logic of Marriage by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 18, 2005

Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide is supporting legal recognition for same-sex marriages. This would be good, he says, "so that people can be properly protected in their rights." He argues that laws should be carefully phrased so that same-sex unions will not be construed to be the...

Two hearts that beat as one ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 20, 2005

… two minds but with a single thought. Earlier we cited an article from the LA archdiocesan news paper quoting James Martin, S.J.'s address on gay priests to the Religious Ed Congress: "Today there are hundreds, if not thousands, of celibate gay priests ministering to Catholics in parishes,...

the boring bible, bettered by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 20, 2005

The Telegraph reports that RE teachers in Britain are pruning the Bible of annoying irrelevancies. Like God. God is being edited out of religious education lessons in schools for fear that His presence might bore children.A study at Exeter University found that biblical accounts of the Good...

The Degradation of Politics by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 21, 2005

The most contemptible article in a Catholic publication I’ve read in quite a while: Tablet contributor Tina Beattie is alarmed by the possibility that the UK might outlaw abortion. But the Church’s legitimate concern for the unborn child must not be given priority over concern for the millions...

The Trouble with Translations by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 21, 2005

It is said that the English translation of the latest edition of the Roman Missal (2002) is still years away. Not only must the translation work its way through two ecclesiastical committees, but both groups are still learning to work within the new guidelines for translation set forth in...

O'Malley queers Boston foot-washing by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 22, 2005

In a state that gave us gay marriage, Paul Shanley, and the Boston College Theology Department; in a state where the Church blurs seamlessly into the Democratic apparatus, and where the Democratic apparatus blurs seamlessly into ACT-UP; in a state where four priests out of ten fail to see the...

How did your Rep vote on Terri Schiavo? by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 22, 2005

While the Senate passed the Terri Schiavo bill on Sunday unanimously, the House was divided. So how did your congressional Representative do? You can find out on the House's web site. We've added this link to the story in our archives as well. It's good to hold your political...

Dust off those subpoenas by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 23, 2005

If you were a Republican Congressman-- knowing what you know about the federal judiciary system-- would you leave the life of a defenseless woman in the hands of the courts, and go off on...

Our Readers on Rock Music by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 23, 2005

Among the many comments we received in response to my recent Highlights column on Rock music, I am delighted to report that most were favorable and several extended the discussion in important ways. For example, Jeremiah Joiner of Divide, Colorado pointed out the relationship between the...

Thinking Catholics Respond by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 24, 2005

A prominent Jesuit bioethicist argues the attempt to interrupt Terri Schiavo's dehydration is a Republican power play. Salon: So what do you think this case is really about?Rev. John Paris, S.J.: The power of the Christian right. This case has nothing to do with the legal issues involving a...

anomolous neuro-cortical response by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 24, 2005

A Melbourne nurse once told me that she'd worked in a ward for PVS patients. One person she cared for was a 25-year-old man with massive brain injury caused by a motorbike accident, "shelved" in the PVS ward to await death. Though the medical staff forbade the nurses to speak to the comatose...

It's nonsense. But it's still news? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 24, 2005

He's an English teacher, with no scientific credentials at all. He has a theory about how the image appeared on the Shroud of Turin. This theory is not based on studying the Shroud-- he hasn't done that-- but on his own background doodling. A scientist who has studied the Shroud dismissed...

Jesuit Laff Track: "I hope you heard her confession!" by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 25, 2005

When it comes to Good Friday gags about killing the defenseless, nobody gets in more giggles than the Jesuits of the New England Province! Check out the wit of Fr. John Paris, S.J., displayed in a recent Newsweek interview: Q. But is anyone arguing that for Schiavo to die would be an...

The Implausible God Who Died by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 25, 2005

Like many serious Catholics, I'm coping with listlessness today—the result of too little food. But on Good Friday it is difficult to think long about one's own sufferings without remembering the much greater sufferings of Christ. It is astonishing that God should have suffered for us. In fact, it...

admirable! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 26, 2005

From the director of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: The film imparts an admirable message about friendship and remaining true to yourself throughout, and there are even several poignant moments.The film contains some crass expressions, mild...

question by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 26, 2005

Cardinal Ratzinger at yesterday's Via Crucis: "Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own church?" he asked. "How much filth there is in the church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him. How much pride, how much...

Those danged pro-lifers by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 28, 2005

As he told Newsweek what a fine idea it would be to starve Terri Schiavo, the Rev. John ("Pull the plug") Paris, SJ, had angry words for the "radical right-to-life segment of thinking" that dares to disagree with him. Among its many other faults, Paris suggests, is the willingness of the...

stroppy cardinal backs gay teachers by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 28, 2005

The Scottish Catholic Church capitulates to gays. Homosexuals will not be banned from teaching in faith schools, says Cardinal Keith O'Brien head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland. He said sexual orientation was not, in itself, of any relevance to the Church. His comments, made...

Were You There When They Accessorized My Lord? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 29, 2005

No reason why clerics' personalities should not be reflected in their robes. A priest in Wiltshire has used her experience in the fashion industry to brighten up her robes. The priest, the Revd Veronica James, a design graduate and former buyer for a fashion chain, has designed all her own...

The good shepherd by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 29, 2005

Good morning, class. Today we're having a short quiz, covering geography and current events. There are just three questions. Is there anywhere on the face of the earth that is further from St. Petersburg, Florida, than Indonesia? Where is Bishop Robert Lynch, of St. Petersburg, right now? Is...

let's accentuate the positive! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 30, 2005

Picture two Scottish Catholics. One dour lass always thinks the worst of bishops, either ignoring evidence of episcopal virtue and fidelity or else distorting it so as to present it as cloaked malice. Her cousin, by contrast, always thinks the best of bishops, either ignoring evidence of knavery...

back to skool by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 30, 2005

Remedial 3rd Grade Matrimony, from the blackboard of Mister Sobran: The whole reason for marriage is that there are two sexes. Stop me if I'm going too fast for you, your honor. Anyway, these two sexes often result in children. Arrangements for the children have to be made. Chief among these...

Dog bites man, on campus by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Mar 30, 2005

College Faculties A Most Liberal Lot, Study Finds That's the headline for a Washington Post story about a new Lichter-Rothman study, showing that American college professors are liberal. In other news, scientists have discovered the law of gravity, and CWN has compelling evidence that the...

I Just Don’t See It by Peter Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 30, 2005

Sometimes in sports commentary you hear emphasis placed on the ability to “read and react”. This is about the player’s ability to look at the “indicators” exhibited by the opposing team, and then immediately take steps to circumvent the indicated strategy. As in...

raw piety by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 30, 2005

The National Catholic Reporter, like most of the Catholic Left, has been abnormally tongue-tied on the Schiavo affair. Hearing editor Tom Roberts's embarrassed language on the matter, it's hard to avoid the impression that concern for un-pretty people is in deplorable taste, and, not to put too...

futility by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 30, 2005

There's a priest in Canberra, Australia, who doesn't believe that Jesus rose from the dead. So how do Church leaders respond? One prelate says that he is "always a little nervous when expert theologians speak about these things," but concludes that most ordinary Catholics "wouldn't be...

Shock in St. Petersburg by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Mar 31, 2005

JAKARTA (Xincao Wire) The Catholic faithful of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, were stunned and saddened today by the news that Bishop Robert N. Lynch, while playing a skins game at Indonesia's Surabaya Golf Club, missed a 22 inch birdie putt on the notorious 380-yard 16th hole, almost...

When is Last Rites just anointing of the sick? by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 31, 2005

Several media outlets, most notably CNN, were reporting breathlessly earlier this evening that Pope John Paul has "received Last Rites," as if it meant his death were imminent. What they don't understand is that what they call "Last Rites" is most likely just the sacrament of the anointing of the...

Catholic living wills by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Mar 31, 2005

With the death of Terri Schiavo today, many people are asking where Catholics can turn to find out how to make sure that they are not treated in similar fashion if they become similarly incapacitated. Look no further than the National Catholic Bioethics Center, an orthodox organization helmed by...

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Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6