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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from August 2003

Hello? Hello? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 1, 2003

Especially here in Boston, it's been recently tough to find a newspaper story about the Catholic Church that doesn't quote from Voice of the Faithful. No matter what the story-- a new sex-abuse policy? an incoming bishop? a fundraising drive-- VOTF has been quick with a public reaction. Until...

Defectors in place by Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. in "Off the Record" - Aug 1, 2003

Andrew Sullivan posts two e-mails from gay Catholics announcing their decisions to leave the Church in response to the Vatican's document contra same-sex marriages, and then adds his own hesitations. I feel my own conscience getting closer and closer to making the same decision. It tears me...

The new issue of Catholic World Report by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 1, 2003

The August-September issue of Catholic World Report should be hitting newsstands and mailboxes any day now, and here's what you'll find inside: The Rapture: A Catholic Perspective: Was Jesus a failure? Carl Olson, a fundamentalist convert to Catholicism, examines prophecies about the rapture and...

The Faith That Does Justice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 1, 2003

Pro-abortionists are alarmed by Alabama AG William Pryor's nomination to a federal appellate court judgeship. Even ideological purists on the Senate Judiciary Committee are concerned about appearing anti-Catholic is they oppose him. To their huge relief, Jesuit Father Robert Drinan comes to the...

Around the blogs today by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 1, 2003

Here's what's interesting on Catholic blogs today: A reader of Mark Shea's blog recounts an experience a friend had in the classroom of a well-known Jesuit scholar who denies that Jesus is God. Tom Fitzpatrick at Recta Ratio notes the American politicians who mistake their American rights for...

Martyrdom for a line? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 2, 2003

That eminent theologian, Sen. John Kerry, has announced that the Pope "crossed the line" with the new Vatican document on same-sex marriage. Now you might be wondering what line the Pope crossed. Sen. Kerry is ready with an answer, citing the highest possible authority: "President Kennedy drew...

A God that knows his place... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 2, 2003

Massachusetts senator John Kerry is incensed that Leviticus completely disregards the writings of Thomas Jefferson: A fuming Kerry, taking on his own Catholic Church in the midst of a campaign for president, said Rome should have more respect for America's long-held separation of church and...

Always Our Children by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 2, 2003

Andrew Sullivan has treated his readers to days of hand-wringing as he deplores the spiritual obtuseness of the Church in failing to discern and celebrate the sanctity, the purity, the exquisite gift-of-self manifest in homosexual amours. He found the recent document so excruciating that he's...

Born-again bigots? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 2, 2003

An Episcopalian blogger posts this intervention made during yesterday's ECUSA debate on blessing homosexual unions: My name is Laura Allen, and I am the mother of a dead homosexual son. Bradford was the youngest of my six children. He was handsome, funny, gifted and a magna cum laude university...

More Kerry theology by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 2, 2003

"It is important not to have the Church instructing politicians," said the theologian Kerry. But it's a good thing to have politicians instructing the...

Consequences: logical and otherwise by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 4, 2003

In a remarkably prompt and clear public statement-- issued even before his installation-- Boston's new Archbishop Sean O'Malley said that "pro-choice" Catholic politicians should not receive Holy Communion. That's a very big first step, and I don't mean to criticize Archbishop Sean for taking...

Around the blogs today by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 4, 2003

Here's what's new and interesting on Catholic blogs today: John Mallon at Mallon's Media Watch blog is back up and running after some hassles with Blogger/Google. You should make him one of your daily blog stops. Mark Shea discusses blogger Andrew Sullivan's temper tantrums over the Church's...

In the old, benighted days before Dallas by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 4, 2003

Is the Church making progress in dealing with sexual abuse? Was the bad old pre-conciliar Church incapable of dealing firmly with priestly misconduct? Take a look at entry under "Solicitation" in the old Catholic Encyclopedia, written more than 90 years ago. Has the National Review Board...

What? A character flaw? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 4, 2003

Associated Press Monday, August 4, 2003 MINNEAPOLIS - Episcopalian leaders delayed a vote Monday on whether to confirm the church's first openly gay elected bishop after allegations involving "touching" and "pornography" emerged against the clergyman, a church spokesman said. Could it be? If...

A rare agreement by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 5, 2003

It isn't very often that I find myself in substantial agreement with an editorial in the National Catholic Reporter. But their latest, calling for the resignation of the auxiliary bishops who served in Boston under Cardinal Law, is on the money. A small sampling: To regain credibility,...

a rare agreement -2- by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 5, 2003

Phil, it seems to me that among the things revealed in the unfolding of the sexual abuse scandal and its aftermath is that, in the minds of many bishops, the episcopate functions in a kind of parallel universe. A diocese reaches a $100,000.00 settlement with a married, male diocesan employee over...

How odd: by Fr. Rutler in "Off the Record" - Aug 5, 2003

Progressivists get angry when Catholics approve genetically-altered vegetables, but applaud when Episcopalians approve genetically-altered bishops. ...

The big picture by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 5, 2003

Thanks to DIOCESE REPORT for an interesting piece published by Catholic Citizens of Illinois. "The Massachusetts Department of Social Services has reported that in the year 2000 alone, there were 62,506 cases of child abuse and neglect reported, a sad statistic that is routinely ignored when...

a gay bishop, a sad moment by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 5, 2003

Tonight's confirmation of the Rev. Canon Gene Robinson as the first open, practicing homosexual to be elected a Bishop of the Episcopal Church is a sad moment. As I write this, traditionalist Episcopal bishops and clergy and lay delegates to their General Convention are gathered in a prayer...

First things first by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 6, 2003

The Episcopal convention, having approved the appointment of a bishop who is engaged in a same-sex union, will now take up the question of whether same-sex unions are a good thing. Leaving aside the objective merits of the case(s), doesn't it strike you that, logically, the questions should...

Double standards by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 6, 2003

Reporters who have been clamoring for full disclosure of sex-abuse allegations against Roman Catholic clerics seem awfully quick to accept the blanket clearance offered to an Episcopalian cleric after an investigation that took less than 24 hours. Hmmm. How do the following statements fit...

Not enough sex on screen? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 6, 2003

Do you ever wonder whether columnists from newspaper "Style" and "Arts" sections live in some sort of parallel universe? The headline tells the story in "Arts" section feature from today's New York Times: "What's Happened to Sex in Movies?" It would be an oversimplification to say that the...

Bless me, Father... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 6, 2003

...for I have eaten genetically modified corn. Have I been sinning, eating this food that does not have Vatican approval? And how culpable am I, since it was done in ignorance. But maybe I had a responsibility to realize my taco shell might need Vatican approval? Would going to a...

Around the blogs today by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 6, 2003

Here's what's new and interesting on Catholic blogs today: Amy Welborn's blog has a new name and a new location: Open Book. Lane Core offers some suggested reading for Episcopalians troubled by the recent developments in their church. Tom Fitzpatrick notices that Michael Rose has written an...

Witness by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 6, 2003

Not only did he fail to back down and apologize, but he carried the battle further into his opponents' lines. Calgary Bishop Fred Henry said that Catholic politicians who work to nullify Catholic doctrine put their souls in jeopardy. Squeals of outrage, predictably, could be heard as far as...

Trahison des clercs by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 7, 2003

A Canadian priest catches the 11:00 news and blows a gasket: In a letter published in Montreal's La Presse, Father Gravel said the Vatican's position against same-sex marriage is "discriminatory, hurtful and offensive ... for everyone who works to promote human rights and to re-establish...

Tapeworms by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 7, 2003

The Anglicans' approval of a gay bishop and the Vatican's instruction on opposing same-sex marriage have had the beneficial consequence of flushing many anti-Christians and pseudo-Christians from the high grass where they've been hiding. Latent for decades, the lines of battle are taking shape...

...what makes a tapeworm... by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 7, 2003

Yes, Diogenes, you're quite right. Bull's-eye. But of course, it's important to remember that some of the tapeworms are quite innocent. They don't even realize that they were trained to be tapeworms. A few months ago I had a call from a gentleman who had been dismissed (by Rockville Centre...

Of tapeworms and bodily fluids by Leila in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2003

Diogenes, your trenchant comments reminded me of a passage in C. S. Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress. Then I dreamed that one day there was nothing but milk for them, and the jailer said as he put down the pipkin: "Our relations with the cow are not delicate -- as you can easily see if you imagine...

Will acceptance make gay activists more conventional? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2003

In an interesting Wall Street Journal op-ed (available for now only to WSJ subscribers, unfortunately), Melik Kaylan questions the argument put forward most notably by Andrew Sullivan: that public acceptance of same-sex "marriage" will help homosexuals to curb their promiscuity and became solid...

Around the blogs today by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2003

Here's what's new and interesting on Catholic blogs today: Mark Shea, in the context of discussing Mel Gibson's "The Passion," debunks those who would use the Gospels to either call Jews Christkillers or to completely absolve the Jews of any culpability (or any of us for that matter), using the...

An intriguing bit of Catholic arcana by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2003

Richard Ostling of AP caught me off guard the other day, when he called to get my reaction to his fascinating discovery: a good reason to believe that Boston's new Archbishop Sean O'Malley cannot become a cardinal. Ostling had (as usual) done his homework. Barring an unexpected death,...

Don't forget by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2003

Don't forget to sign up for CWN's new weekly newsletter that will provide a round-up of the week's news and accurate analysis. This newsletter will be available to both subscribers and non-subscribers and is completely free. The first edition should go out this weekend. If you're a subscriber,...

Good dog! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2003

Off The Record has had occasion before to remark on the astonishing obtuseness of Boston College theology department chairman Stephen Pope. Now Dr. Pope is in print in The Tablet, putting forward an analysis of the Vatican's instruction on same-sex unions (hint: he's unpersuaded). Many...

Repeat after me ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2003

I suggested below that twisting what the Church actually teaches ("the inclination [of the homosexual person] itself must be seen as an objective disorder ") into the tendentious formula "homosexual persons are objectively disordered" is a commonplace of gay agit-prop. Here's a brief Google tour...

CBS News twisting the truth again by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2003

So CBS News must have heard all of us reading them the riot act for their biased and erroneous reporting on the 1962 Vatican document. Because today they took the extraordinary step of running another report, this time defending their earlier story. But of course, they couldn't refrain from...

The Minneapolis Creed by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2003

There are lots of things I love about Anglicans, but the one thing I'd never do without is their humor. -FrW --------------------------------- Subject: THE MINNEAPOLIS CREED by Eric Zolner THE MINNEAPOLIS CREED As with all the major councils of the church, this one needs its...

ratings by Leila in "Off the Record" - Aug 9, 2003

WF asks Dom a question below in Sound Off regarding CBS's fact-twisting story on the 1962 Vatican document on solicitation. The ratings show CBS news and Dan Rather coming in last among the three broadcast networks, according to this and other stories. Note this quote from a CBS...

Um, er -- no comment by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 9, 2003

An evil consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. "Exactly how this will play out in church situations is unclear, judging from a press conference Wednesday in Minneapolis. There, Wendy Griffith, a reporter with the Christian Broadcasting Network, asked presiding Episcopal Bishop Frank...

MCJ by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 10, 2003

This Midwestern Conservative Journal guy really needs to -- actually, we really need him to get our of the Episcopal Church and become a Catholic. And we need to resettle him in Los Angeles, in the shadow of the new cathedral, during the next L.A. Religious Ed Congress, with a pair of binoculars...

Mark Steyn on the gay "Bishop" Robinson by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 11, 2003

Syndicated columnist Mark Steyn discusses in a recent column the Episcopal church's newest bishop, V. Gene Robinson, and the narcissism involved in his election. Steyn sees the election of, not just a gay bishop, but a bishop who "celebrates his sexuality" by saying that gay sex is a sacrament and...

sage commentary from an unexpected place by Jeff in "Off the Record" - Aug 11, 2003

Amr Mohammed Al-Faisal comments on the Anglican homosexuality controversy in the Saudi publication Arab...

Misquote by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 11, 2003

Terry Mattingly writes about Andrew Sullivan and bloggers in his latest column. What's strange is he quotes Fr. C. John McCloskey as talking about Sullivan here. I didn't remember Fr. McCloskey being quoted here or being a contributor to OTR so I looked it up. It turns out it was actually a...

Episcopal brawling by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 11, 2003

A Kenyan bishop reports that he was attacked on the street in London--by two Church of England clergy!--for opposing the election of a gay bishop in the US. Ah, the beauty of diversity and tolerance. So glad to see it alive and well among our liberal...

Just thought we'd ask ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 11, 2003

The Diocese of Venice, Florida, has an oh-so-cute web poll canvassing opinions on whether bishops should be appointed by the pope or the people. Don't be alarmed -- there's plenty of plausible deniability for Bishop Nevins. The twee lavender script, by the way, is a fitting touch. (Thanks to...

Inclusivity by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 11, 2003

Amy Welborn points us to an essay by a Religious Studies wonk who urges us to Just Get Over It: Is the clergy being feminized? Yes, and it's being queered, too. But the result will not be a hostility to tradition. None of the gays or women I know want to do away with Holy Communion, and none of...

Around the blogs today by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 12, 2003

Here's what's new and interesting on Catholic blogs today: Tom Fitzpatrick has calculated the cost to the Archdiocese of Boston and the other diocese of New England caused by the clergy sex-abuse scandal. The numbers will stagger you. Dale Price gives a hysterical-- and deadly accurate--...

Weigel on hymns that should be banned by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 12, 2003

George Weigel has a half-serious proposal for an Index of Forbidden Hymns. I couldn't agree more. So many hymns sung in Catholic parishes are either insipid, heretical, or just plain bad. The first hymns to go should be hymns that teach heresy. If hymns are more than liturgical filler, hymns that...

Borealis by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 12, 2003

Canadian MP Svend Robinson has emerged from six months of fasting and prayer and intense study of the rabbinic, patristic, and scholastic commentary on Leviticus 20 and, with heartfelt regret and seemly reticence, is obliged to confess he cannot align himself with Cardinal Ratzinger's conclusions...

The doubly redundant deity by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 12, 2003

Bill Murchison has some fun with the pronouncement of the Rev. Sherman Hesselgrave that "God changes God's mind." Ah. Hmmm. Shall we ponder?First, the linguistics -- the deliberate avoidance of the possessive "His," so as not to identify God with male patriarchal ideas. Then, the central...

effective delegating by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 12, 2003

Delegating is an essential management tool. If your chancery's Secret Archives Staff could use a quick review of how it works, a Workshop could easily by arranged with a facilitator who's tanned, rested, ready and knows the subject backwards and...

And no men left on base... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 13, 2003

A bishop in a diocese outside Metro Manila had sexually abused a seminarian. Within a few weeks, Nueva Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi was sent to the diocese as an apostolic visitator -- a Pope's representative acting on specific instructions and with blanket authority -- and ordered the...

The causal sequence by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 14, 2003

You may have caught the story listing among today's News Bytes headlines: the head of the Simon Weisenthal Center charges that Mel Gibson's new movie, The Passion, is fueling anti-Semitic hatred. Now anti-Semitic hatred is a bad thing. And I suppose we'll have to take the word of Rabbi Hier...

Fascist etiquette? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 14, 2003

Could you dream up a scenario in which, during the era of World War II, one individual would be friendly with both Hitler and Churchill? I couldn't. But it happened. Today's NY Times carries afascinating obituary for Lady Diana Mosley: a British expatriate, fascist, and-- perhaps above...

Around the blogs today by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 14, 2003

Here's what's new and interesting on blogs today: Mark Shea doesn't belong to a "heterosexual community" and doesn't care if you know it. He also says he's not trying to "impose the closet" on gays. Tom Fitzpatrick notes that despite...

Antipathies by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 14, 2003

The Boston Phoenix gives all of us an example of sober, impartial, and balanced reflection on a controverted issue. On the one hand... The Statement issued by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on same-sex marriage last week is so offensive, so mind-bogglingly insulting...

Bless me, Father ... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 15, 2003

Jesuit psychiatrist James Gill was enormously influential in the adoption of "psycho-sexual maturity" as a gauge for what he called the human development of priests and religious, and is regarded as a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual abusers. In his Boston Globe obituary, he is...

Then and Now by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 16, 2003

Date: 1536. St. John Fisher, imprisoned in the Tower of London, replies to Ye Weenies Three (wearing "Aske Me About Henry" buttons) sent to convince him that the king and governor of the new church was in a loving and committed relationship with Anne Boleyn: Me thinketh it had bene rather our...

bringing the temple to the moneychangers by Jeff in "Off the Record" - Aug 19, 2003

A Rochester acquaintance tells me that among the confessionals being auctioned there this weekend is the one used by Archbishop Sheen while he was ordinary...

Misdirection play by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 19, 2003

The phony stories about that 1962 Vatican document are still spreading, and you begin to wonder why there hasn't been a more energetic effort by Church leaders to debunk a story that is so obviously inaccurate. Well brace yourself, because there may be an answer, and it isn't a pretty...

celibacy by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 20, 2003

One hundred sixty Milwaukee priests signed a statement supporting optional celibacy in the Roman Rite. I wonder if people realize how clerical life would be revolutionized by that change. For one thing, Catholics would need to get used to their priests living off-campus (in the Northeast at...

Irreligion of peace by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 21, 2003

We can all agree, can't we, that suicide bombers are motivated by bad religious beliefs? Either you accept the notion that "Islam is a religion of peace," and you believe these terrorists have a warped understanding of Islam, or you believe that Islam itself is a false faith with dangerous...

Ministry of Presence by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 22, 2003

Remember Fr. Rick "I feel like I'm a victim here" Boyd, the Crookston, MN, priest forced out of ministry by "groundless accusations"? On [July 17th] he offered his resignation to Bishop Victor Balke, and it was accepted with regret, said the Rev. Roger Grundhaus."This is just so frustrating to...

What ceasefire? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 22, 2003

Yesterday Israeli helicopters fired several rockets at a car on a crowded street in a civilian area in Gaza; Israeli troops shot down two teenagers in the West Bank. So why do this morning's newspapers tell us that Palestinian groups have decided to end the ceasefire? I'll answer my own...

Quick-response capacity by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 22, 2003

On Wednesday a group of 160 Milwaukee priests called for an end to mandatory clerical celibacy. On Thursday the president of the US bishops' conference called for "honest conversation" on the issue. If a group of 160 priests called for a return to the Tridentine-rite Mass, do you suppose they'd...

Open & Honest Conversation by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 22, 2003

Imagine a Protestant denomination with 400 married ministers. 160 of them sign a petition asking their church governors to permit optional polygamy. Would we be inclined to think that these 160 were conspicuously faithful to the wedding vows they'd already...

Options by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 22, 2003

The man who "mentored" Milwaukee seminarians reflects on the petition to permit priests to marry: Father Andrew Nelson, the retired rector of St. Francis Seminary, said he did not sign the letter but was in sympathy with the cause. "My concern is the timeliness of it," Nelson said. "Under the...

Purple prose, blue headlines by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 23, 2003

Internet gurus now believe that the SOBIG worm originated with a porn newsgroup. A porn newsgroup? I can understand why people would want to exhange the latest news from the Catholic world, or the world of finance, or technology, or entertainment. But porn? What sort of news would this...

"Poignantly Painful." And Public. by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 23, 2003

Milwaukee auxiliary bishop Richard Sklba has a column on inter-communion which makes some good points but also scores a couple own-goals. The Holy See's 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism lays out the specific conditions when someone not of our Catholic...

New Creation, skewed creators by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 24, 2003

A secular writer for the Asia Times discusses the gaying of the priesthood and suggests that its attraction for homosexuals is not "bells and smells" but the opportunity for refashioning human nature. Many Catholic priests are not traditional Christians, but Utopian radicals whose goal is to...

RENEWAL WATCH by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 24, 2003

Sobering figures on vocations from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which had 276 priests in 2002, projects that in 2015 it will have 138. That's a 47% drop over the next twelve years. We recently got an informational mailing from our clergy personnel office in...

Alabama battleground by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 26, 2003

The poll on our home page shows that a solid majority of our readers back Judge Moore in his argument with a federal court order. I agree with his argument, too. But I question whether this is the time or the place for a battle. Sooner or later, we're going to have to settle the question of...

Murderer and victim by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 26, 2003

As the initial shock wears off, several thoughts on the Geoghan killing: 1) The accused (and confessed) murderer, we are told, was motivated by a hatred of homosexuals. Oh, then Geoghan was homosexual? For months the media avoided that issue, repeatedly telling us that homosexuality and...

Around the blogs today by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 26, 2003

Here's what's new and interesting on Catholic blogs today: Mark Shea says he's with the Pope in generally opposing the death penalty, but acknowledges, as the Pope does, that when the system can't keep killers from killing again then perhaps execution is necessary. Has the John Geoghan murder...

Gay lawyers, Jesuit sponsors by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 27, 2003

Just thought you'd want to know that: The annual conference of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (NLGLA) and the National Lesbian and Gay Law Foundation (NLGLF) will be held in New York City, October 17-19, at Fordham University School of...

Heresy never prospers. What's the reason? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 28, 2003

So now we have a Catholic bishop arguing that women should hear confessions. Oh, of course he's not challenging the definitive Church teaching that women cannot be ordained as priests. And he's not suggesting that sacramental confession need not involve an ordained minister. Oh, no; nothing...

Around the blogs today by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. in "Off the Record" - Aug 28, 2003

Here's what's new and interesting on Catholic blogs today: Mark Shea points out that usually the Protestants who are getting all worked up over the Ten Commandments monument in Alabama would be castigating Catholics for having statues of saints in their churches and homes. Speaking of the Ten...

Last chance: summer reading by Leila in "Off the Record" - Aug 28, 2003

Summer reading is supposed to be light, I guess, so The Red Horse really doesn't qualify  but you can't read it any other time  it's just too long! So haul all 1000 pages of it off to the beach with you for that last summer weekend. You just have to read it! Thomas Fleming said in his review,...

Just coincidence by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 28, 2003

On November 4, 2001, the Boston Globe was billing and cooing about the Archdiocese of Boston's makeover of its annulment court: The pew-like benches in the once-austere marble lobby have been replaced with brocaded furniture, along with oversized art books, the strains of classical music, and a...

Judge Moore's legal standing by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 29, 2003

The Alabama case has put Judge Moore at the center of a revealing constitutional conflict. The issue is not only whether the government should (or even can!) acknowledge the sovereignty of God, but also whether the federal government can dictate the policies of the individual states on such...

The punishment fit the crime by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 29, 2003

Imagine that you're the judge. The jury has found the defendant guilty of launching one of those obnxious "worm" programs that send billions of annoying messages across the internet. What do you think would be an appropriate sentence? In grammar school, did the teacher ever make you...

Papal Diplomat by Fr. Wilson in "Off the Record" - Aug 31, 2003

If this story is true, how to explain it? A papal diplomat enjoyed steady promotions and served until very recently as the second in command at the Nunciature in India despite the fact that his archdiocese (Cincinnati), archbishop (Pilarczyk), the Secretariat of State AND the head of the Papal...

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