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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from July 2005

Be gentle, bishop pleads by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 1, 2005

"If the trumpet give an uncertain sound," asks St. Paul (1 Cor 14:8), "who shall prepare himself for battle?" After Canada's approval of same-sex marriage, when Catholics might expect a clear summons to the ramparts from their bishops, they get ... this: Bishop Fred Colli of the Roman Catholic...

something else to worry about by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jul 1, 2005

Among the many frightening rulings issued by the US Supreme Court recently, last week's stunner expanding the power of local officials to take property through eminent doman was one of the more remarkable ones. Justice Stevens said that the courts in general should give local officials "broad...

love, marriage, and Catholicism in Ireland by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 1, 2005

Matrimony remains popular among the people of Ireland. Catholicism, regrettably, less so. In 1996 there were 16,174 marriages in Ireland. In 2002, there were 20,556, according to official statistics released last week. The number of Catholic marriage ceremonies in Ireland increased from...

operation rescue: why it's important by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 2, 2005

Imagine a new religion, whose devotees call themselves Sciuridans. The most distinctive characteristic of Sciuridans is their belief that the creatures the rest of us call "squirrels" are, in reality, abandoned human children. Sciuridans are convinced that there is a witch who casts a spell on...

eminenza by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 2, 2005

A friend sent me the above photo of a cardinal in St. Peter's Square, taken during a downpour immediately before the beginning of the conclave in April. We had the same spontaneous liking for the guy. No limo, no attendant lackeys, no leather attaché case. Instead: a fistful of pamphlets, a...

Please Do Not Emanate into the Penumbra by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 4, 2005

Check out Mark Steyn's re-runs of three columns on the jurisprudence of Sandra Day O'Connor. The bit below is from 1993, after the University of Michigan Capitulation: Whether or not you dig it as a personal philosophy, "diversity" makes a poor legal concept. It was not intended to be...

big tent bogeymen by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 4, 2005

An LA Times lapdog shakes a bogey at Republicans in an attempt to spook them away from an anti-Roe Supreme Court nominee. He found some willing shills. "Smart strategists inside the party don't want the status quo [on legalized abortion] changed," said Tony Fabrizio, chief pollster for the...

Moderates of the left by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 4, 2005

What do you call a Supreme Court Justice who sides with the court's liberal voting bloc virtually all of the time? That's obvious, if you're on the news-reporting team (as opposed to the editorial page) of the Wall Street Journal. You call him a "moderate." The Journal article takes some...

what gives? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 4, 2005

The function of the National Catholic AIDS Network (NCAN) is pretty much as vague you'd expect it be with Howard Hubbard as Bishop Moderator. "We work for global access to drugs and health care," says Coordinator Amy Florian, "for community-based systems of support, and for meaningful and lasting...

no one asked us, but ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 4, 2005

I sympathize with L.A. Catholic's suggestion of introducing a How Am I Presiding? 800-number to be prominently displayed on the back of every polyester chasuble. The problem, of course, is that the phone would never be answered at the other end. Still, it would sometimes be a relief to leave a...

the view from the other side by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 5, 2005

The Nation is a magazine so Leftist in stripe that it regards Senate Democrats with suspicion and despair as hopeless appeasers. Washington editor David Corn discusses the upcoming Senate confirmation battle for O'Connor's replacement in so calm and measured a fashion that it's easy to miss the...

recluse diocese by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 5, 2005

In Springfield, Massachusetts, Diocesan spokesman Mark E. Dupont said the current bishop stands by his position that the diocese doesn't release personal information about personnel - clergy or lay. That's a reasonable, prudent policy-- so long as we're talking about personal information....

Predictability: The Curse of the Spiritually Unprepared by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 5, 2005

In the mid-1980’s, Fr. Gerald McGinnity attempted to warn his superiors of the sexual misconduct of Msgr. Michael Ledwith, then head of St. Patrick’s College at the national Irish seminary at Maynooth. For his pains, Fr. McGinnity was removed from his position as Dean and exiled to parish work in...

Matt 26:11 by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 6, 2005

Maybe, if the rock stars sing loud enough, and their fans clap hard enough, poverty will disappear. (Matt. 26:11) And maybe, if the governments of rich nations siphon enough money from their taxpayers into the Swiss bank accounts owned by the kleptocrat rulers of Third World countries, poverty...

and baby makes three by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 6, 2005

A latecomer joins the family: A HEALTHY baby girl has been born in California after spending 13 years as an embryo frozen at -235C. In a remarkable twist to an already remarkable case, Laina Beasley is a triplet because she was conceived at the same time, by the same parents, as her two...

premeditation by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 6, 2005

Look at me. Look at what an easy-going, modest, loveable guy I am. I'm a cazh priest serving a cazh god -- a no-big-deal god, an earth-colors and coffee table god, a "sit back and make yourself comfy" god. No point in putting on a chasuble. My god doesn't subscribe to the Gammarelli...

a little self-administered cyanide never hurt anybody by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 7, 2005

"Politics affords few greater pleasures," wrote Mark Steyn, "than offering one's opponents some friendly but hopefully lethal piece of advice." Alarmed by reports that European Catholics are adopting some political tactics borrowed from Christian Coalition in the U.S., the NCR amuses itself with...

what we were made for by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 7, 2005

J. Budziszewski levels his 12-gauge in the latest Touchstone and discharges both barrels at the midsection in his philosophically frank discussion of sex. Let there be no mistake: When I say we aren't designed for [promiscuity], I'm also speaking of males. A woman may be more likely to cry the...

typography from below by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 7, 2005

In last week's column, the NCR's John Allen discusses, quite sympathetically, then-Cardinal Ratzinger's book The Europe of Benedict in the Crisis of Cultures. This quotation caught my eye: "Before long it won't be possible to affirm that homosexuality, as the Catholic church teaches,...

strictly limited by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 7, 2005

The working document that will guide discussion at the October meeting of the Bishops' Synod, which is focused on the Eucharist, decries serious abuses in the liturgy. But the Vatican document--prepared after consultation with the world's bishops-- assures us that these abuses "should not...

The Abortion Party sharpens its knives by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 8, 2005

"Senate Crams for Battle Over Court Nominee," says this morning's New York Times. But there isn't a nominee, yet. Republicans want the confirmation to take place as quickly as possible, while Democrats would prefer a drawn-out process to give them time to challenge the nominee. But...

an unneeded headache? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 8, 2005

John Allen's Word from Rome reports that the document on homosexual candidates for the priesthood is on the Pope's desk. The good news is that it's good news. The bad news is that it's bad news for a lot of men responsible for implementing it. Sound familiar? Sources indicate that the...

the moment is yours! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 8, 2005

Dawn Eden posts a pro-abort Q&A on what to expect from a mifepristone "pharmaceutical" abortion. To remind yourself what we're up against in the Supreme Court nomination wars -- i.e., the moral and spiritual makeup of the opposition stalwarts -- check out the following example of...

such a loss! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 8, 2005

The LA Times beats the priests for married drums. Though he never doubted the theology that drew him to the priesthood, [Air Force Chaplain Father Terry] McDonough began questioning the rules he had lived by. One of his most alarming realizations, he said, was that "everyone called me Father,...

Kissling Cousins by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 9, 2005

Catholics for Free Choice's Frances Kissling is alarmed by the new Instrumentum Laboris and its impact on the cerebrum of Joe Biden. Now as we enter one of the most critical political issues of our time -- the selection of a new Supreme Court Justice -- the new pope has released a working...

Fr. McGinnity's Friends Speak Up by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 9, 2005

In my last column, on the spiritual problem of predictability, I used the injustice suffered by Fr. Gerald McGinnity in Ireland as an illustration. Part of my critique was directed at how Fr. McGinnity responded to the news of his vindication. To emphasize how much he had been injured by being...

the soft target by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 9, 2005

Summer mischief. ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Someone urinated in the holy water at a suburban Rochester, N.Y., Catholic church. Four local teens have been charged with that and other vandalism.Monroe County sheriff's deputies said the teenagers smashed wine bottles against the walls, left bicycle skid...

Good News in Controversy by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 9, 2005

It is no doubt immature to be gleeful at the discomfiture of others, but three of last Friday's Catholic World News stories did at least make me smile. First there was the report that Fr. John Lemire, pastor of St. Patrick's in Cobalt, Ontario has denied communion to Charles Angus, a Catholic...

reform of the reform? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 9, 2005

Passages from the Instrumentum Laboris, issued from the Holy See preparatory to the Bishops' Synod on the Eucharist. It is worth considering whether the removal of the tabernacle from the centre of the sanctuary to an obscure, undignified corner or to a separate chapel, or whether to have...

cat got your tongue? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 10, 2005

In preparation for the confirmation blitz, the New York Times gives us a refresher course in obstetric etiquette. The so-called partial birth ban has been, for many years, at the center of the struggle over what is, and is not, a constitutionally permissible abortion restriction. The law...

confidence men by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 10, 2005

Like getting a full page ad in the Sunday edition, gratis. Yet another bouquet tossed to Voice of the Faithful, courtesy of the Boston Globe. 'When all is said and done, the church is financed by contributions from the Catholic laity," said David Castaldi, the former chancellor of the...

the slightly more slippery slope by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 10, 2005

The competition was stiff today (see the posts below), but my vote for journalistic Souteneur du Jour goes to Jim Holt for his entirely contemptible article on infanticide in the New York Times Magazine. After the usual pseudo-historical softening-up barrage ("infanticide ... has been common...

dead to irony by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 10, 2005

"All Souls will need many hands during this historic...

strict constructionism, liberal style by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 11, 2005

The Washington Post, offering its ever-so-friendly editorial advice about appointments to the US Supreme Court, informs President Bush that "a nominee who strongly believes in the stability of precedent-- the legal principle of stare decisis-- is far more likely to garner broad support than a...

wars -- and rumors of wars by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 11, 2005

"The stakes are enormous -- they could not be any higher for us," says Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice. We don't need to be told what she's talking about. From the Washington Post: These liberal lobbyists [Ralph Neas, Nan Aron, Wade Henderson] are a triumvirate now leading the...

My Allah is a merciful Allah by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 11, 2005

Once again, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor summons his nerve, races up to the edge of the Catholic pool, and then freaks at the deep water and goes all multicultural on us. At a July 8 Mass at London's Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster denounced the "havoc and...

editorial by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 11, 2005

Today's catechism: Conflict bad. Consensus good. As we write, there is much fervid speculation about whether the president will choose a nominee who satisfies his right-wing political base, thereby plunging the Senate into months of conflict, or one who might be a consensus builder, thus...

"capital!" punishments by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 12, 2005

John Tierney is in search of a punishment worse than death. For hackers. Hackers are the Internet equivalent of Richard Reid, the shoe-bomber who didn't manage to hurt anyone on his airplane but has been annoying travelers ever since. When I join the line of passengers taking off their shoes...

Anglicanism, Truth and Obedience by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 12, 2005

The General Synod of the Church of England voted on Monday to remove from church law the restrictions on ordaining women as bishops. The action follows the acceptance of women bishops in the Episcopal Church in the United States, the American form of Anglicanism. The change is, of course,...

in their own words by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 13, 2005

Some images of moderation, from April (Washington) and August (New York) of last year. [Language Alert: Ever find yourself surrounded by a busload of bored and hostile tenth graders out to prove they're not awed by adults? It's like that.] [1] - [2] - [3] - [4] -

whatever ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 13, 2005

Edward Saunders, the new lobbyist for the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, has come under some criticism for his questionable loyalties in those matters where Catholic teaching diverges from the Democratic Party platform. Saunders, a registered Democrat and a longtime lobbyist on Beacon...

You are Weird; God is Odd by Peter Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 13, 2005

There’s no hiding the fact that my family members are a bunch of nutcases, and I’m certainly the nut with the biggest cracks. This is probably apparent to everybody. But aside from our garden variety eccentricities, there is a certain aspect to our weirdness that encourages us, but to...

feeding the beast by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 13, 2005

A CNS story on U.K. Anglicans defecting in anticipation of women bishops has this quote from a former Anglican minister, now a Catholic: William Oddie ... told CNS July 11 that it was "ludicrous to say you can't have women bishops" if it was accepted that women could be ordained as...

happy birthday by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 14, 2005

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, in a talk at the National Press Club in Washington, restated his belief that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should not be denied Communion. Most American bishops agree with him, he claimed. And judging from the press coverage of his talk, he evidently persuaded...

healing, and more healing by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 14, 2005

On July 23, 2003, Fr. Raymond Larger of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was arrested in a public park for groping and exposing himself to an undercover policeman. Two days later he pleaded no contest, was convicted, fined, given a year's probation, and -- after neighborhood activists reported his...

under new management, comrades by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 14, 2005

Lefties have never figured out how to work that consensus-building thing, but they sure know how to pull off a take-over. The entourage made demands of the church secretary, admonishing her with canon law. She responded that she was just a secretary, not an Episcopalian, and didn't know...

overheard in a pharmacy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 14, 2005

"In all honesty, Mrs. Fanshawe, I doubt that it's really an...

How will you obtain a car seat? What will you do for recreation? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 15, 2005

The National Abortion Federation ("the professional association of abortion providers in North America") presents some questions to help the pregnant woman choose between her options of abortion, adoption, and parenthood. The fact that NAF has a distinct financial interest in one of the three...

Could you expand on that? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 15, 2005

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton homilizes on the early Christian community. Matthew's Gospel was written, put down in writing, maybe 50 years after Jesus had died and returned to heaven. An odd way of putting...

Has the Pope Condemned Harry Potter? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 16, 2005

A LifeSiteNews article from last week, headlined “Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels”, made it appear that Benedict XVI has read the Potter books and found them dangerous. Given the release a few days later of the sixth novel in J. K. Rowling’s famous series, the timing of the story can only be...

Madame President? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 16, 2005

She thinks she's right, but wishes she were wrong. I think she's wrong, but wish she were right. Lefty Democrat Amy Sullivan argues that Hillary Clinton is probably unelectable: In the face of this momentum, someone has to say it, so here goes: Please don't run, Senator.Don't get me wrong....

openness by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 17, 2005

As Dems loosen-up by playing Bork the Blank at the media firing range, some party operatives are concerned that a Ted K replay may not be the ticket for securing a pro-Roe justice. From a Boston Globe story: But even as Kennedy pounds the lectern, there is an awareness throughout the Capitol...

going, gone by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 17, 2005

The Scotsman appends the last chapter to a pitiful story of a priesthood never meant to be. [Archdiocese of Edinburgh priest Fr. Steve Gilhooley] makes no secret of his disdain for the new Pope Benedict, with his calls for a smaller, "purer" Church. "Makes me think of Nazism," says Gilhooley,...

red in tooth and claw by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 18, 2005

Abortion archpriestess Katha Pollitt contemplates a world without Roe, and cranks up the truculence. Democracy, she concedes, is too fickle an institution to protect the right to feticide. Some excerpts from her latest column: In 1993 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg caused a flurry when she...

the risk of adoration by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 18, 2005

Danger: Divinity. The U.S. Catholic points out the "downside" to devotions: The risk of adoration, as theologian and professor Sister Susan Wood, S.C.L. noted at a recent liturgy conference held at the University of Notre Dame, is that we might get "stuck" at the Real Presence, forgetting that...

truth or consequences by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 18, 2005

Yet more Catholic women are attempting to bootstrap themselves into Holy Orders. This time in the waters of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. All the women being ordained July 25 are members of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an organization of Catholic women whose goal "is to bring about the full...

We shall overcome. Maybe. More or less. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 18, 2005

The Archbishop of Dublin is giving a speech, and his topic is: "Will Ireland be Christian in 2030?" You think that you can safely predict his answer to that question. Think again. Archbishop Martin is very smart. If you don't know that before his speech begins, he'll take the opportunity to...

half a loaf by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 19, 2005

Hadley Arkes on the opportunities realistically present to the Supreme Court: For the conservatives, the most consequential shift would come in flipping the decision on Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) and upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. Either one of the Ediths [potential...

kids these days by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 19, 2005

Check out F. Carolyn Graglia's powerful review of a powerful book, Mary Eberstadt's Home Alone America. Eberstadt argues, first, that many of the ills that afflict American children are due to the absence of their parents, and second, that the real cause has been largely ignored because of...

women's health: priorities by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 19, 2005

Introducing the birth-control patch. You'll love it. It might cause a stroke or a blood clot. It might leave you dead or debilitated. But at least it will protect you from a far graver danger. And other doctors who prescribe the patch warned that women should not overreact to news of deaths....

from the mouths of babes ... and bishops by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 19, 2005

Catholic bishop: The Group of 8 met last week. The eight richest nations in the world. Have you read what they decided? Not really much for the benefit of all the people of the earth. The United States wasn't even willing to sign an accord to try to lessen the damage we're doing to the...

death wish by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 19, 2005

No worldview is more parochial than multiculturalism: an attitude -- or better, an affectation -- entirely restricted to upper-class Western liberals. There are more Mongol orthodontists than Mongol multiculturalists. In today's column, Mark Steyn fails to conceal his disgust for the bogus...

just the facts, ma'am by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 19, 2005

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Meave Reston gives us what purports to be a news article on Arlen Specter's role as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Notice her highly professional use of ideological identifiers: The Pennsylvania Republican is under competing pressures, to be sure --...

our daily bread by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 19, 2005

Taking a step back from the liturgy wars, Amy Welborn makes a penetrating observation about the markedly different spiritual quality of the weekday Mass. The point is that people yearn to go to Mass and not be assaulted by ego and its fruits. Period. Further, the "it costs so much" argument is...

your witness by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 20, 2005

From Cleveland this time. The story "that will never happen again," again. At the heart of the lawsuit is a 1981 sexual assault by the Rev. F. James Mulica, pastor of the Chapel of the Divine Word in Kirtland, against a then-14-year-old boy named Christopher Kodger. The diocese paid the victim...

how we've grown by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 21, 2005

"It is offensive to suggest that a potential justice of the Supreme Court must pass some presumed test of judicial philosophy. It is even more offensive to suggest that a potential justice must pass the litmus test of any single-issue interest group." -- Senator Edward M. Kennedy, 1981, at the...

man bites dog by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 22, 2005

This is rare, so savor it: An op-ed columnist for a liberal newspaper-- the Boston Globe, yet: the hometown paper of Ted Kennedy and John Kerry-- admits that a) there's no evidence that John Roberts is a rabid ideologue and b) there can, in principle, be such a thing as "A Principled...

Why can't women be priests? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 22, 2005

When a puzzled Jewish academic asks me, "Why doesn't the Catholic Church ordain women?" I can give him a pretty satisfactory answer -- satisfying, that is, to the historical curiosity behind his question. It's largely a matter of laying out the nature of decision-making authority in the Church,...

Harry Potter at the Vatican by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 22, 2005

With reference to my recent column about the Pope’s attitude toward Harry Potter, Catholic News Service has provided a follow-up report on the Vatican official who was central to the issue. CNS cites his name as Msgr. Peter Fleetwood (LifeSiteNews.com had it as “Fleedwood”), who is now an official...

How to Seek the Intercession of John Paul II by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 22, 2005

Before it is completed, John Paul II’s beatification process will require a miracle attributed to his intercession. For this reason, the Church has published an official prayer which we can use to seek John Paul II’s help. Here is the text: O Blessed Trinity, We thank You for having graced...

change at the top by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 22, 2005

The diocese is in trouble. Mass attendance is down; parishes are closing; the seminary is empty; the laity is angry; the priests are demoralized; the victims' attornies are jubilant; the district attorney is suspicious. Finally the bishop resigns, and a new bishop is assigned to take his...

open minds by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 22, 2005

Hanna Rosin gives a fair shake to nominee John Roberts's wife in the Washington Post (thanks to Amy). In 1995 Jane Sullivan walked into the tiny downtown office of Feminists for Life, a group she'd heard about from a friend. Serrin Foster was staffing the front desk and explained to her what...

eventful days in curial Rome by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 22, 2005

Fr. Gino Burresi is an Italian priest, once a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, who in 1992 broke away to found a new congregation called Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. John Allen reports that the Holy See has disciplined Burresi for numerous offenses, and that an earnest...

outreach by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 22, 2005

"I think we need to talk about this issue differently," said [Democratic National Committee Chairman] Howard Dean. "The Republicans have painted us as a pro-abortion party. I don't know anybody in America who is pro-abortion." Right. And I don't know anybody in America who is in favor of...

the truth comes out by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 23, 2005

Admit it. You thought Georgetown University was a sinkhole of flakey progressivism. Well, you're wrong. It turns out that's all a jesuitical

wishing away abortion by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 23, 2005

The Massachusetts Catholic Conference, having failed to persuade the state's (mostly Catholic) legislators to oppose a bill that require hospitals to provide the "morning-after" pill to women who report being raped, now hopes the Governor (a Mormon) will veto it. The Boston Globe, with its usual...

unfit to serve? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 23, 2005

Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would have to sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be...

coming soon ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 23, 2005

... to a theatre of war near you. On July 19th, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a report on the growth of China's military. Those boys seem to have hit a...

hey, not my problem! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 24, 2005

Here's a heart-warming story from the LA Times about Fr. Arturo Uribe, a Redemptorist priest who, while a 33-year-old seminarian, fathered a child. The boy is now 12 and has health problems. His mother took Uribe to court to boost child support payments and get her child added to his father's...

balance by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 24, 2005

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter assures us, personally, that John Roberts will get a fair hearing: It's been said before, but it cannot be said enough, that the hearing will be conducted on a strictly bipartisan basis. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on...

Not feeling safer by Leila in "Off the Record" - Jul 24, 2005

I'm no expert, but isn't this why we need the rule of law, that little thing bequeathed to us by Western Civilization but quickly ebbing away? The police in London had a shoot-to-kill policy, and they made use of it, gunning down a Brazilian electrician, a Roman Catholic who spoke English well...

the stealth nominee by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jul 25, 2005

He's 50 years old, bright, ambitious, and prominent. He's said to be a man of principle, living in the middle of a culture war. Yet he apparently has no enemies. That's curious, isn't it? No, I'm not ready to panic. There's no evidence that would cause panic. Nor is there evidence that...

Sophist's Choice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 25, 2005

Dawn Eden has an interesting post on those leisured but deeply committed ministers who serve as chaplains for Planned Parenthood -- a position equivalent to the job of Chief Rabbi for the Waffen SS. In the article cited, United Methodist minister and national PP chaplain Ignacio Castuera tries...

free to be me by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 25, 2005

A Boston-area innkeeper has declared her intention to be ordained a Catholic priest today in a privately arranged service conducted by apostate women. She is unembarrassed by the act of claiming for herself the authority that the Church invests in the Sacrament of Holy Orders, while denying the...

What did the Vatican really say? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jul 25, 2005

If you read the Catholic News Service article, you'd probably conclude that the Vatican said parents should have their children vaccinated, even if the vaccines were developed from fetal tissues. So you wouldn't need to worry much more about the issue. If you read the Catholic World News...

downfall by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 26, 2005

In recent decades, the paradoxes inherent in an established national religion have put increasingly intolerable stress on the timbers of the Church of England, especially in matters of sexual morality. The ceiling joists are finally plunging through the plaster: The Church of England is to...

New from LA: concelebrated confessions! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 26, 2005

Hey, reconciliation fans, check out the latest in the lengthening series of sacramental privileges fortuitously discovered by the attorneys theologians employed in the defense of Cardinal Roger Mahony: [Mahony lawyer...

Behold the Great Outdoors by Peter Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 26, 2005

“The sun is noon-time high as I look out my living room window, where I contemplate both the grass wilting and the mercury nosing its way past 90 degrees Fahrenheit. My daughter asks if I can take her to the park, a mere 100 yards from my front door. This, I think to myself, is when men cry...

what she said by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 26, 2005

Amy Welborn had a post the other day on the versatile Fr. Uribe (whom I discussed below) with a long, long, long comments thread including several by commenter "Nancy," who identifies herself as a lawyer whose California firm represents many Roman Catholic dioceses. Two of her comments deserve, I...

story time by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 26, 2005

A diplomatic pouch is an officially "immune" container that is free from normal search and seizure by police, customs officials, or immigration authorities. Its purpose is to allow diplomats and their sponsoring governments to convey documents to one another with the security necessary to conduct...

the golden years by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 26, 2005

Older folks often grow poor at remembering names. Reached last week at his apartment in a Denver retirement community and told of Trask's allegation, the 72-year-old [Father Harold R.] White replied, "Aw, geez." He paused, then continued: "I sure don't recall that. I have no recollection of...

growth in office quiz by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 27, 2005

Who wrote these words during a congressional primary campaign in 1982? (Tip to Kevin Miller at HMS): I was shocked to learn that [my primary opponent] has chosen to call my friends in Right to Life and try to convince them that I now favor abortion on demand. ... This type of negative...

Were Roe to go by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 27, 2005

An interesting opinion piece called "If Roe were overturned" by Laura Vanderkam in USA Today: In their zeal to fight over the Supreme Court, though, neither side of the abortion debate has absorbed these numbers. Few pro-life groups realize they've fought a 30-year battle to put just a...

tired of compromise by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 27, 2005

In what is called an "Open Letter to the Bishop and Standing Committee of Connecticut," nine sitting U.S. Anglican bishops have announced their intention to "intervene" in the crisis provoked by the Anschluss that swallowed up a conservative Connecticut parish two weeks ago. The declared measures...

back so soon? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 28, 2005

Archbishop Levada has unfinished business in his former bailiwick. The judge in the Archdiocese of Portland's bankruptcy has agreed to let former Portland Archbishop William J. Levada skip an August date to answer questions under oath about how the church handles child sexual-abuse allegations....

he was very supportive by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 28, 2005

Once the priestly vocation has been emptied of its spiritual purpose, you can be pretty sure that whatever fills the vacuum will be unwholesome. The Church Times cheerfully reports on the latest developments: A Church of England arts chaplain, the Revd Jim Craig, joined 1700 people in walking...

new things and old by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 28, 2005

Though I am seldom impressed by Washington's Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, I can't help but applaud his announcement that he's given the green light to a new diocesan congregation of women. A couple of years ago, a number of young women approached me with the idea of establishing a diocesan...

the plot thickens by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 28, 2005

Sandro Magister adds some interesting and important background to the story of Fr. Gino Burresi, whose disciplining by the Holy See was reported last week by the NCR's John...

testimonial by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 30, 2005

Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom posts this macabre testimonial from Sarah, who saw The Light while at a counter-protest at the abortion clinic in Wichita: They were yelling, shoving graphic pictures of supposedly aborted fetuses in our faces, while we stood silently and peacefully as...

father john by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 30, 2005

This wyf was nat afered nor affrayed, But boldely she seyde, and that anon: Marie, I deffie the false monk, daun John! I kepe nat of his tokenes never a deel; He took me certeyn gold, that woot I weel, What! Yvel thedam on his monkes snowte! Geoffrey Chaucer would find a familiar, if...

the right to interfere by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 30, 2005

By the decreed wisdom of the European Commission on Human Rights, you can copulate with absolutely anything smarter than a fork lift and your Christian employer is powerless to fire you on grounds of immorality. However, if you the employee are the devout Christian, and the firm that employs you...

Schumer in the hot seat by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 31, 2005

Deborah Solomon presents us with what is arguably the least informative interview ever conducted. But then, Oriana Fallaci she's...

boutique by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 31, 2005

And while Deborah Solomon is burnishing up the Prosecutor, Ellen Goodman takes a dig at the defendant by patronizing Jane Roberts's involvement in Feminists For Life: FFL is a boutique antiabortion group dedicated to the proposition that you can be prowoman and prolife. A boutique...

the healing arts by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 31, 2005

U.S. Catholic bishops are responding in markedly different ways to their three-year-old pledge to promote healing and reconciliation with victims of clerical sexual abuse, a promise they made in a document issuing new policies to address the church's child abuse crisis. An article by Carlyle...

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