Monday, February 28, 2011

Archdiocese of Los Angeles Now In New Hands - Archbishop José Gomez

And for many of us we are breathing one HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF.

Whispers has an overview of transition weekend at "We Start Down This Path Because We Have Found Jesus... or, Better, Because Jesus Has Found Us", and Transition, Accomplished.

LSU Basbeall Sweeps Holy Cross But Bigger Test Coming Tuesday

It was a nice weekend of LSU baseball if you could watch or listen to it. For some reason I guess my local radio station thought since they played the Basketball game they did not have to play the baseball game on Saturday :(

Regardless it was productive. And the Valley Shook has the best post on the series with lots of vids and highlights at Weekend Series Recap - Holy Cross: Tiger Run Manufacturing Co.

The biggest game of the week is not so win less Mississippi Valley that come in Wednesday and probably not Ivy League Princeton that come in this weekend for the series. It is in in State Southeastern that continue the development of it's baseball club at rapid pace. They are coming to the box on Tuesday. Coach Mainieri commented yesterday after the game that if LSU gets a Regional he expects them to be in it. Southeastern had a productive weekend over in Mobile this weekend where they swept the mini-tourney in Mobile over the weekend, which included a 6-2 win over Bama.

So big game to say the least.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Anyone Else Having Problems With Old Twitter?

I am still one of the hold out using old twitter. Since Friday (around the time of the outrage that affected everyone) I have not been able to post or retweet anything on my account.

I have an new twitter account that I rarely use and I see I can post there!! So whats up? The problem is it appears I can't even switch to new twitter on my account. I press the button and nothing happens.

Hope this is fixed soon.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Is Church's Warning to Unions Only Involving Communist Parties and Politics? (Wisconsin)

Well that seems to be what this poster at VOX NOVA is saying at Wisconsin and Laborem exercens.

In this sense, union activity undoubtedly enters the field of politics, understood as prudent concern for the common good. However, the role of unions is not to ‘play politics’ in the sense that the expression is commonly understood today. Unions do not have the character of political parties struggling for power; they should not be subjected to the decision of political parties or have too close links with them. In fact, in such a situation they easily lose contact with their specific role, which is to secure the just rights of workers within the framework of the common good of the whole of society; instead they become an instrument used for other purposes.
Laborem exercens

Written in 1981, there seems to be considerable misunderstanding over what “commonly understood today” means. Playing politics is a reference to communists within unions, especially those of Eastern Europe. The common politics were to treat the communist party’s interests and the interests of unions as one. The unions derived their legitimacy from association with the communist party. For those still in doubt on the matter, there are 18 references to variations of proletariat above the excerpt in Laborem exercens. This passage wasn’t alluding to something; it was speaking to a concrete reality.

Color me skeptical a tad. First let me say that in many ways what John Paul the II said in 1981 on the face seems odd and in fact impossible at first glance. How can one get the real social /economic change without"playing politics" and at least forming some relationship with parties on occasion.? See page 52 at Google books- The Costa Rican Catholic Church, social justice, and the rights of workers ... By Dana Sawchuk. for that discussion. In fact read for several pages after that for a interesting discussion on related issues.

There are several other difficulties. It is true what comes before in Laborem exercens very well might have very much has a "communist" overtone or warning. However can that also work the other way. All that comes before that seems to be dealing with the classical case of unions and capital. Of union and the business community. What does this have to do with the issue of public sector union and the rights and obligations they have? Is not what all that which became before very much rooted in a concrete reality that perhaps that does not consider the particular dynamic and challenges of public sector unions?

Further it seems from my reading that in various documents since then issued by the Church on a local level (at least in the English speaking world I have read) they never thought this was limited to involvement or public perceived shared interest with the "reds"

Further Pope Benedict hit on this theme recently in his ENCYCLICAL LETTER CARITAS IN VERITATE . and I am not sure he had in mind in the 21st Century either just the communists. He said:

The Church’s traditional teaching makes a valid distinction between the respective roles and functions of trade unions and politics. This distinction allows unions to identify civil society [rather than the state] as the proper setting for their necessary activity of defending and promoting labor, especially on behalf of exploited and unrepresented workers, whose woeful condition is often ignored by the distracted eye of society.

Again I am not sure at this late date Benedict is limiting this to just communists.

Related see Rev. Sirico: Catholics vs. Gov. Walker? via the Action Inst that also goes into this. (BE SURE TO READ THE WHOLE CATHOLIC VOTE LINK ) which is helpful .

I have no easy answers by the way. A lot of literature on this topic I suspect has been done in Europe but ALAS I speak and read only English.

Update- Related - See Some References for Understanding Church Teaching About Unions from a very good blogger that has put some thought into this.

Heard Governor Bobby Jindal Deliver A Very Pro Teacher Message Today

While one might have some legit gripes against some teacher unions in many States it is always important not to get in the mode of runaway teacher bashing. As this person noted while one can even support what the Wisconsin Governor is doing one can also feel for the people protesting. See A Few Thoughts on Wisconsin and Unions via America Catholic.

I see a good many conservatives note that even in Wisconsin there are some alarming rates of illiteracy among kids. The question is why are we paying so many people so much for perhaps not great results. True this is a mix bag and no doubt the lack of school reform plays a role. However is not the biggest culprit the PARENTS THEMSELVES.

I thought of this today when Governor Jindal came to my area for a "Town hall Meeting". It was more him speaking . To be more detailed it was a unofficial Campaign like speech cloaked in look "what we as Louisiana folks are doing TOGETHER" verbiage. It's not me its you!!! Nothing wrong with that and he brought up a lot of good points. Also the food was good and that puts people in much better spirits :)

However he really hit on education. Not a word about teacher Unions but words about giving teacher options and a TEACHER BILL OF RIGHTS. He basically said the biggest problem we have is that the parents now yell too much at the teachers and take up for their precious children way to much perhaps. He also talked about recognizing teacher achievement and other issues.

It is a good thing to keep in mind even for those of us that see what the Governor of Wisconsin is doing as necessary. There needs to be a balance in all this. I am glad Jindal gave it today.

So Much For Edgy Throught Provoking New York Advertising

Guess some people don't want to be jarred out of their comfort zone. See
Apparently, edginess has its limits via Revolution 21.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Catholic Religious Objects Get Proper Burial In North Louisiana

This is a pretty cool article. This is also the hosptial I was born at by the way. The News Star has Statues retired fittingly

Tip of the Hat to the Dead Pelican.

New Archbishop of Quebec is American Catholic High School Grad and On Twitter

Say hello to Bishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix as the new Archbishop of Quebec. Very good and hopeful news after a tough couple of weeks in Catholic land. WHISPERS has a great piece on him including the interesting fact he is a 1975 grad of an American Catholic High School.

Know doubt of course he shall be elevated to the RED HAT soon enough. Oh and and he is on twitter. It is not all French.

Former " Catholics " For Free Choice Leader Says Pro-life Forces Are Winning

This has been getting some play. See via The Corner this post.

What she is advocating there by the way I expect has some pro-choice folks about to call a heresy trial.

By the way perhaps the often criticized pro-life movement and yes even many Republicans should get get a little less grief. The Pro-life movement and Republicans of course need to be subject to criticism. It is constructive. However much of the argument has been this:

Republicans Don't care about abortion. Look we have had Republican Presidents and we still have abortion. The Pro-life movement are stooges for the Republican party.

Now like many criticisms there are time nuggets of truth. I do think at times the Pro-Life Community should have a more aggressive NRA approach in dealing with friendly democrats. Further not all Republican have pro-life concerns as their main focus or even on the list.

However whenever I heard this charge I found it very hollow. What did people want "Republican" Presidents to do. Have the CIA take out liberal pro choice Justices? Send out the Federal Marshals to close all the abortion clinics?

The fact is the "incremental" approach is working. A approach that even by many Catholic friends has been lambasted as "doing nothing" Though avenues are limited, pro-lifers largely outside the view of the Beltway press, have kep the pressure on in the States. The conversation that happened there is what was important. Thus we see the remarks of person linked above today.

Do We Need To Teach In RCIA That One Must Believe in Teacher Unions?

I rather not. The Real Presence, the Virgin Mary, the Pope, Confession, etc etc already gives us a lot on our plate.

Yet to hear some Catholics it is right up there on the list of the above topics. I often wonder if Catholics take time to think people hearing this might think they can't actually become Catholic if they hold a contrary view.

Mirrors of Justice has a good discussion going on at A good Catholic cannot support Gov. Walker's plan. Discuss.

I tend to go where the discussion goes there. That it is not clear at all that Catholic Social Justice thoughts Unions would apply to the public sector for the various reasons given or to collective bargaining . I AM NOT SAYING IT CANNOT but goodness I think its clear it is far from settled. Why all the infallible like statements like it was?

Catholic often berate "Fundamentalist" and throw that term out there with some abandon. However many Catholics (on both political sides in fact ) can often be the worst "Fundamentalist" when it comes to Papal Documents on Catholics Social Justice and of course the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

A Massive Response to Lisa Miller and Newsweek On Gay Relationships and Scripture

Lots happened while I was ill.

It appears someone has taken time of respond to the the horrid Lisa Miller piece I posted a few weeks ago.

See via Titus One Nine the piece More than “Mutual Joy”: Lisa Miller of Newsweek Against Scripture and Jesus.

Now what I like about this piece are the links he provides to past pieces he has done. It is really a goldmine that about answers every pro argument for Christian gay marriage put forward.

For instance I would very much read this piece he links which he links- response to Kristof, “‘God and Sex’ or ‘Pants on Fire’?”,

This is all a pretty massive tome and all his links are worth downloading an reading upon for further study and when Christians are called upon to answer this.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yep I Got the Flu

It's a bummer.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Defending The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Being Critical of the Grand Jury

In my recent post I have torn into the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to a certain degree as to their handing of sex abuse cases. However there is a huge need to come to their defense to a certain degree and at least alert Catholics what is at stake here.

On a big related note one now suspended and angry accused Catholic Priest went on talk radio yesterday.

The horrible reading of the Grand Jury report can be found here .

First a word on Grand Juries. I am not sure what kind of Grand Jury we have here. Most Grand Juries are very much led by the nose by the local DA. There is truth that any half competent DA can get a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich. However this might lean more to what is called a "Runaway" Grand Jury. These Grand Juries after discovering the power they have start convening themselves all over the place and start issuing subpoena to every to everyone on all sort of matters. It is often amusing to watch unless you are on the receiving end. I am not familiar with the history here to tell which this is or if it is a combination of the two to a certain extent. This is the second report in many years so the Grand Jury might have had to do an follow up. Again I am not sure.

One of the biggest concerns I had that the Grand Jury brought forward was how the Church was handling the conflict of interest. To be honest that is not so easy to do and needs to be really looked at. How does one protect and help the victim, protect the rights of the accused, and finally be a responsible steward of the Church resources. Balancing all that is no easy task. This might become a much bigger concern in the future to the person in the pews later on. One think I mentioned is that every victim NEEDS a canon Lawyer provided to him. The problem is those are in short supply. More on this issue later.

The Grand Jury report should be raising some big red flags to policy wonks , the defense bar , and others. That is the Grand Jury went greatly into the area of the tort litigation and the Church. The undercurrent of the report at times seems to be critical that the Church would ever consider using the law to defend itself.

One can have an debate till the cows come home on tort litigation and sexual abuse. However I do raise the question if this is the proper role of GRAND JURY at all. One is reminded of this Mirrors of Justice post- See Against Restitution as the Core Aim of Criminal Law.

One wonders if this is a rather horrid outcome of that. The reason is this is so bad is that it's not really the Grand Jury's role to do this, it is rather ill equipped to handle this, it is using State resources ,and oh yes it can be very abused and unfair. See via Mirrors of Justice The New York Times on Accountability . Will this power Grand Jury focus their lens on other Churches. Will they focus their eyes on the schools districts and juvenile prison system where the accused are shielded and allied with cash strapped administrators? Maybe they will but again maybe they will not. I understand that there is some overlap between the Civil Litigation and what the Grand Jury was looking at. But it seems they have crossed a line.

There were two other things that have gone unnoticed in this report. First the Grand Jury really laid into the abuse review panel. The people on that panel were none too happy about that.

To this point, the Archdiocese’s board that reviews allegations of sexual abuse has been made up of seven members, but several of them (at least three by the count of Eyewitness News) work full-time for the Archdiocese. Eyewitness News asked Bishop Thomas if that is a conflict of interest.

“Well, the Archdiocesan review board includes a varied different number of people,” he said. “They include some lay people, at least one pastor and some non-Catholics.”

The Grand Jury correctly noted that there are real problems and questions unresolved about what standard of proof should be used. Well that if fair enough and true. However I am not going to go into that these people are puppets of the Cardinal without proof. I think this gives us indications that even with the wonderful laity is involved these cases are not easy.

Which now brings us to the other point. The Grand Jury went after a Lay Catholic Teacher here. They were also critical of Catholic school system. I am not totally sure if these abuse panels are handling the lay folks that are accused that work in the Church. If not then why not.

However it is the first indication that the Catholic Laity that is observing this might actually feel the heat more. SNAP (the Catholic Abuse Groups advocates) often throws the word Clericalism around. However I find them guilty of Clericalism when their sole focus seems to be on the Clergy and the and religious. For the most part they are silent on the the standard and cases dealing with Catholic Lay folks that abuse in the Church. It should be noted that Baptists in SNAP at least deal with this and see it as a problem. I understand why they SEEM to do this. Still it is missing a good bit of the problem.

However the combination of the Grand Jury going into the area of tort litigation and the fact that they made a effort to after a Lay Person in this reports is important. In fact it was MUCH NEEDED. This actually might get the Catholic Laity to start thinking about the how to balance the needs for Justice and healing for the accused, and the due process of the accused. Catholic teachers for instance do not have powerful Union interest and lawyers that come to their aid when a student does an allegation. Catholic Teachers and others might start voicing the complaint that some Priest have. That is the Bishop are using them as scapegoats and throwing them to wolves. We see Priests that are having allegations from the DECADES ago having to deal with this in the public square.

We shall see how the Catholic Laity that was a CYO leader , Coach, or teacher soon likes this. That day is coming. We again return to the story of the accused Priest that took to the airwaves today. What is going to be the reaction of a Catholic teacher now retired if he or she is those shoes. This is new ground and quite frankly needed new ground. Children need to be protected and the lay part of this is needed to be looked at. However on the flip side so do the essential rights of the accused whether lay or cleric. We shall see what happens.

Borders Going Bankrupt But Used And Rare Bookstores Survive

I LOVE this post at Mirrors of Justice. See The Endurance of the Used and Rare Bookstore.

On many trip to New Orleans I would annoy my friends by demanding we get up early on Sundy after a late nite in the French Quarter. I did that so I could catch morning Mass (either at St Patricks or depending where we were staying St Dominics in Lakeview). Going to early Mass was important to me because I wanted to hit all the Used and Rare Book stores in the quarter!! That was how my New Orleans Sundays were spent which usually met a late night getting home in North Louisiana.

Angry Catholic Accused Philadelphia Priest Defends Himself On Talk Radio

I am going to try to do a post later actually defending the Archdiocese some. If you have followed my posts on this I have been critical of the Archdiocese. Yet there were some areas of that Grand Jury Report I have serious issues with.

On a related note see Suspended Philadelphia Priest Defends Himself

Let me note something as to this report I link above:

DiGregorio says he is not hiding behind that. He's done nothing wrong.

Father DiGregorio took a lie detector test, but according to the grand jury, the father's answers were "deceptive"

A review board for the archdiocese ruled in 2006 that the test was inconclusive, but reportedly said the woman's allegations were credible because she had maintained her story through the years.

The same board later reversed itself saying there was insufficient evidence against Father DiGregorio.

He was allowed to continue as a priest at another South Philadelphia parish until his suspension on Wednesday. The archdiocese did not respond to Father DiGregorio's comments.

I am not sure we got down yet the different standards of proof and when they kick in. That "credible" word is there again. However "credible" is the lowest standard and is used in just phase one. I think the legal terms and SOP need to be nailed down more by the press and indeed the Church.

How Biblical Principles Are Done At Chick-fil-A ( AJC )

An short but interesting article that sheds light on a company that has been in the news lately. See Biblical principles shape business

Saturday, February 19, 2011

When Did Liberals and Progressives Quit Caring About Conscience

I have posted before on what I view as an alarming trend of Liberals / Progressives seeming to back off their views of free speech.

There is another problem.

Yesterday the Obama administration removed some Bush era conscience regulations wording for health care workers. As for most matters legal both the left and right in their press are doing a pretty bad job of reporting what actually happened and what this means. When we get into this area of law it just gets worse.

Over at National Catholic Reporter there is actually a pretty good post on this that clears this up. See Professor Vischer on New Conscience Regs. A good read. However I want to post his final paragraphs that I think highlights what I view as an increasing problem:

The second question: how did rolling back – or at least holding the line on – conscience protections become a hallmark of a progressive political agenda? This is a much trickier inquiry than parsing regulatory language. One relevant development is progressives’ tendency to conceive of freedom – and the government’s responsibility to safeguard that freedom – in terms of positive liberty, not just negative liberty. Negative liberty requires protection against interference with the pursuit of basic goods; positive liberty requires affirmative assistance in securing basic goods. As progressives have tended to expand the range of goods for which the government’s affirmative assistance is required, the potential for conflict with a provider’s liberty becomes greater. Nowhere is this trend more pronounced than in the debates over reproductive rights. Arguments for conscience protection emerge from a long tradition of negative liberty; arguments for guaranteed access to a particular good or service – backed up in many cases by state power – emerge from a much more recent tradition of positive liberty.

A closely related development is a shifting view of professional licenses. Generally the state’s licensing authority has been viewed as a means by which to ensure a provider’s competence. As access to goods and services becomes an essential dimension of meaningful liberty (in progressives’ eyes), there is a stronger justification for viewing licensed providers as quasi-public officials, and the license becomes a means of ensuring that governmental objectives are met.

Progressives are quick to rally to the defense of a student forced to violate her conscience by participating in the pledge of allegiance. Few progressives have rallied to the defense of pharmacists required by state law to sell the morning-after pill. In my view, this is a progressive blind spot that stands in tension with the overarching progressive commitment to freedom from state coercion in matters comprising a person’s moral identity and integrity. Progressives have shown a steady shift in their willingness to accept incursions on conscience in order to further other socially desirable goals. Progressives may eventually come to regret this shift – state power unbounded by conscience protections is not necessarily captive to progressive causes – but so far there is very little indication of remorse. President Obama’s foray into the debate, though certainly not a disastrous turn of events, shows little indication that the partisan presumptions about conscience will change anytime soon

The fact that the left does not appear to be having this discussion among themselves is disturbing.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Conservative Pro-Life Republican North Dakota Legislator Explains His Vote Against Immigration Bill

Good stuff here.

LSU Baseball Opening Day Links- LSU V Wake Forest

Lets get Fired up!! The Game is just a couple of hours away!!

OK I am lazy today. This computer I am currently on has a nasty habit of making me go into edit HTML to post and past links. That gets tiresome. Have to change that.

So the Picayune guy has some game day links here. Roundup of Day 1 Game tomorrow.

Mike Huckabee's Love For Israel Is Genuine

I recall a conversation I had with a an very well educated evangelical Ivy League educated woman some time back. She mentioned that yes some stereotypes of Jews were very correct in her view but that did not prevent her from having a deep love for the Jewish people and especially ISRAEL. It was an amusing conversation and very very informative. I have no doubt she was very sincere.

She is also not alone among evangelicals. That is very common though it appears even many Jews give that love a back slap of their hand. For instance it gets tiresome to see the Great Defender of the Israel The New Republic often run article that seem to assume the worst about conservative Christian friends of Israel on other political matters.


Politico has a good article on this and Mike Huckabee at Mike Huckabee at home abroad on frequent trips to Israel .

Now I am very Pro-Israel but I am not exactly where Huckabee is at on all issues. I think a two State solution is the way to go and even Jews in Israel realize that. However I think it is a good example of a love that is indeed spiritual at it roots.

Did Pope Pius XII and Other Catholics Sin By Protecting The Jews

Ok this is about to be the last topic on this. First GO SEE Adoro te Devote
post on this at Defense of Lila Rose and Live Action .

Now I am nore interested in the general moral question underlying this not this specific case. Adoro te Devoto I think hits the right points.

Also what about the Jews and the Vatican. American Catholic has a good post on this at
Lying About the Historical Record

Now we can play how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin all day. However the Vatican from the Pope on down was involved in DECEPTION! Does anyone think the Nazis did not think to ask HEY ARE THERE JEWS at the Papal estate, at the Vatican , and in Catholic Churches around Rome and throughout Europe.

Not the Only Catholic Passing On the Great 2011 Breastfeeding War

Republicans and conservatives need to be real careful here!! American Catholic has
This Issue’s A Bust

I actually think the tax credit main purpose is to give it an angle to get the issue of breastfeeding national attention. So I think in some ways it might be effective.

Still attacks like this make conservatives look like idiots. Not joining in.

Getting You Catholic Dance Moves Down- The Sign of the Cross

This is so original and well done. Good to print out for CCD and RCIA. Fun stuff.

Practical Catholic (a convert and former Minister) has Catholic Dance Moves: The Neon Bible Approach to Catholicism

LSU's Fishing Team's Uhmm Uniforms

Budget cuts force LSU fishing team to borrow jerseys from school's Jr. NASCAR squad

Former Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commish Was Out of Control.-Sen Vitter's Wifes Files Accessed Among Others

If you ever knew people that represented bar iwners in Louisiana or a bar owner one would know something was very very wrong for years.

Now we see this-
Former alcohol & tobacco commissioner illegally monitored wife of Sen. David Vitter and others, report says

Tip of the Hat to the Dead Pelican

Parents on Both Sides of Iowa High School Wrestling Controversy Class Acts

I saw the story of the the very good Iowa High School kid (Home schooled) that refused to wrestle a female opponent based on religious reasons on CNN this morning. Get Religion looks at this story at Wrestling with religious convictions

I noticed via their comments that this person thinks this is a sign of SEXISM run wild in sports still.

Though there is some vocal disagreement in the comment section. However what struck me was this.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I wish everyone well, too, but this incident does say something about sexism in sports. No matter how much progress we've made with gender equality, sadly, it's still difficult for female athletes to battle stereotypes and be taken seriously. Someone's always going to question their abilities, decline to compete against them as an equal (as in this case), or ask them why they don't just cheerlead or play a sport for which there's an all-girls' team. That's all there is to it. And it's seriously frustrating.

I am going to hit this in another post. Yes we have a HUGE gender problem in sports but the males are very much more the victim nowadays and it is having long term consequences. I will hit that in another post.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Auburn Tree Murder (Poisoning) By Crazed Bama Fan Hits the British Press

They try to explain the whole Toomer's corner thing to the UK readership lol.

Know Your Enemy LSU - Wake Forest Baseball Links and Stuff

On that thing above:

The actual mascot made its first appearance in 1941. As the "Demon Deacon" terminology became more popular, Jack Baldwin (1943 Wake Forest graduate) took the first step and became the first in the long line of Deacon mascots.

"Some of my fraternity brothers and I were just sitting around one evening," Baldwin recalls, "and came to the agreement that what Wake Forest needed was someone dressed like a deacon -- top hat, tails, a black umbrella and all that. We wanted him to be more dignified than other mascots, sort of like an old Baptist Deacon would dress" [2]

Baldwin found an old tuxedo and a top hat, and on the following Saturday, he led the Wake Forest football team onto the field, riding the North Carolina ram. Two years later, when Baldwin graduated, many interested students were willing to continue dressing up as the mascot. Initially, the responsibility to pick new Demon Deacons fell on Baldwin's fraternity, but later it broadened to include all students. Today, special tryouts are held annually for new Deacons, but the competition is very intense

I was going to open this post with a good Baptist Deacon's joke but it is maybe too PG13 for this blog.


So time to know our enemy the evil Wake Forest Deacons. Here is their home page.
A link to online media guide. Oh and they are on that twitter doo dad.

Also Freshmen players John McLeod ,Conor J Keniry , Nate Jones , Zane Yanzick and Grant Shambley are on twitter.

On their site they have Baseball Game Notes - Wake Forest at LSU

More ON LSU tomorrow.

Geaux Tigers

What Would A Real Truce On Social Issues Look Like?

Andrew Sullivan goes after Rush and seems to like GOP 2012 possible hopeful Gov Mitch Daniels.

The fact that Sullivan is attacking Rush on the basis of the culture war or character assassination is pretty funny since Sullivan engages in that in spades.

I am actually kinda of surprised that Rush chimed in on the social issues. Maybe he felt like throwing a bone to a part of his base It never seems to me to be the main part of his arguments.

Anyway what would a TRUE truce on social issues that Mitch Daniels says he wants be like? First to be a true truce it cannot be unilateral disarmament by one side while the other side ATTACK ATTACKS ATTACKS.

If someone wanted to have a TRUE TRUCE then one would have to say this:

"I am running to address the fiscal disaster this nation is headed for. As such, there are some issues for which I may have an opinion but which I will specifically NOT address if elected. As such, if you are pro-choice and that is among your most important issues; don't vote for me. If you are pro-life and it is one of your most important issues, don't vote for me. Same for being pro-gay marriage or anti-gay marriage.

Should I be elected and a bill addressing such issues crosses my desk, I will veto it. IE, if a bill restricting abortion reaches my desk, I will veto it. If one expanding it reaches my desk, I will veto it.

If a bill deal withs DADT or gays in the military it will be vetoed. If a bill deals with the limitation of rights of Civil Unions or the expansions of the Civil Unions it will be vetoed. If a bill deals with the limitation or expansion of Federal rights regarding workplace discrimination it will be vetoed. If a bill deals with Hate Crimes and sexual orientation it will be vetoed. ETC ETC

In other words, my administration will be focused on the most critical issue of the day. The overwhelming growth of our federal government and the accompanying excessive spending that goes with it. It is THIS issue that threatens ALL of our freedoms and as such, concerns over the aforementioned issues are luxuries this nation cannot afford. Thank you."

Of course what exactly is a social issue is kinda of fuzzy? Is drug use an social issue or an economic issue or a general welfare issue. What about PORN?

Then we have the matter of the Court system that I suspect will not go along with this truce by not taking cases that deal with "social issues". Would a no "social issues" President take a pass or use his position to make sure the GOVT advocated for a Status Que across the board position on all this matters till the "crisis" was resolved.

Further what about the fifth estate? Shall the Paper of the record the New York Times and publications such as Newsweek quit doing endless op eds and pieces on how the mean ole Catholic Church is mean to gays and women that want to abort.

Then what about the States? Those 50 little labs where this is all bubbles and all the cities within them. Will they stand by this truce.

Problems Problems Problems. However before we get to those problem a future President's remarks like the above would go no where with the "left" . They view these concerns as real evil that must be addressed.

However that is what a real truce would have to sort of look like. Now of course it can be argued if such a truce would be a good idea? I suspect not but that is partly what a person would have to do.

Would Andrew Sullivan join that? I am doubtful.

The New York Times Not Being Consistent On Sex Abuse and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

This is related to my post at The Fallout Continues In Archdiocese of Philadelphia ( Child Abuse )

Mirrors of Justice has a post on a theme I consistently hit. See
The New York Times on Accountability

The Fallout Continues In Archdiocese of Philadelphia ( Child Abuse )

UPDATE -Related from today -The New York Times Not Being Consistent On Sex Abuse and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

For good or good bad there is really no such thing as the "United States Catholic Church". What we are composed of are numerous Dioceses that are communion with the Bishop of Rome.

Still we are "One" Holy Catholic Apostolic Church and when one sees what appears to be a obvious failing of the Archdiocese as to the Sex abuse problem then it hurts us all.

Whispers has a good post on the fallout one week later at In Grand Jury's Wake, "We Have Fallen Short" .

The Catholic Church has made tremendous progress in dealing with this issue but the Archdiocese of Philly case shows us perhaps the extremes. We have certain places where it can be argued that "safeguard measures" are rather draconian and violate any sort of Due Process or fairness. Then we have this Archdiocese that seems to go in the other extreme.

With that being said I am not taking every "finding" or suggestion of the Grand Jury report as fact yet. That does not mean I don't find it serious but I suspect there is a lot more gray.

One thing that shocked me in the Whispers report is this:

In his initial response to the report, the cardinal said last week that, although “the report states that there remain in ministry archdiocesan priests who have credible allegations of abuse against them,” he sought to “assure all the faithful that there are no archdiocesan priests in ministry today who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them.” Addressing Rigali’s statement in interviews in the report’s wake, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams alleged that the archdiocese failed to deem as “credible” any allegation where the reported abuse took place beyond the statute of limitations.

If that is indeed true that is incredible and concerning. Of course as I always say we need to get this "credible" standard of proof definition down and what exactly it means. My understanding is that "credible" is a pretty low standard( less than probable cause) and it just allows an investigation to go forward. Still that needs to be examined.

Further despite the Grand Jury actions as to a Catholic Lay teacher in the indictments it is not clear to me that if the "outraged" public Catholic or otherwise is ready for this same standard and exposure to be used against "lay members of the Catholic Church" working either as volunteers or being paid. So that will be important to watch.

Prayers for all involvd are needed.

Catholics and Lying Again- Post 1,239 On This Subject

Tip of the Hat to Morning Reads for this.

Let me say as always I will in the end submit happily to Holy Mother Church in these matters.

Saying that I am pretty much where Mr Archbold is right now on the latest lying matter. See Is Deception Always Wrong? I'm Not Convinced

I might disagree slightly with his "Thou Shall Not Kill example though since I THINK the Hebrew word there is really akin to murder which is more specific. However I am about where he is at

I am not sure why these expose videos cause this discussion to come up and other things do not. RIGHT now in the USA today countless Catholics on Vice squad are about to lie /deceive in order to arrest a escort or a customer of escorts.

I can give numerous examples in that area. YET despite countless THOUSANDS of Catholic police officers, FBI/CIA/DEA agents, etc etc committing these supposed STATE SANCTIONED immoral acts each day, I don't hear a peep from the Church.

Not a peep. Which leads me to believe that the Church sees some gray area here or that this is a area still not defined.

This does not mean we should ignore this. Truth is truth. It is also not just a Catholic thing. If recall correctly many Protestants argue that because of the alleged "deception" in Tobit it can't be scripture.

I don't have a well thought out theory on this but in some ways it seems that the State in times has a duty to deceive while perhaps a non state actor is a lot more limited. I have to think that through.

I think the people that are bringing up this argument have a good point that must be addressed. I just don't know the answer right now to it fully.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

There Be Dragons Release Date Set - MAY 6th 2011

Pretty pumped about this movie. Catholic Aggies has the details here.

Is It Sinful For Wisconsin Teacher Union Members To Call In Sick In A Sickout

Well I think not.

But since we blog twittering Catholics are discussing the morality of deception in Planned Parenthood videos and before that we had the annual is it bad if you tell the kids Santa is real discussion. WHY NOT bring this in. :)

Althouse has that and other interesting thoughts from Wisconsin at Madison schools close for the day to allow teachers to protest Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting budget plan.

Surprise - Bobby Jindal Has No Serious Oppostion For Governor

Tip of the Hat to the Hayride for this. See
Governor's race mostly a "one-man" show with eight months to go .

This was pretty much confirmed to me after a conversation I had with someone that is TUNED IN to State politics.

Now this is sort of shocking. While Jindal is a smart politico one can argue he has made some mistakes. Sometimes his endorsement or rather NON ENDORSEMENT of GOP people in the state baffles me. Yet maybe it is paying off. Despite the yapping of the Moon Griffon crowd there appears to be no opposition from Bobby's right to emerge.

The fact that the States economic woes plus the horrible University budget crisis has not brought for an opponent is striking.

Now one could make an argument that in reality that this is not a good thing. That if Jindal had made some harder choices early on that we needed that should have sparked an opponent. That is Jindal has avoided the hard controversial things so far and therefore a natural opponent has not risen.

Maybe no one wants to take on this mess we are in?

However it is what it is. It appears all thos trips to North Louisiana where a Governor rarely appears has paid off. All those Sunday morning Church trips from places to A to Z has paid off. All those events where Jindal is giving a medal to every Veteran he can find haspaid off. The fact that actually people get to see their Governor outside Baton Rouge and the political $500 dollars a couple political cocktail circuit has paid off.

While people might complain that Jindal has been out of State the fact is Jindal has perhaps traveled in State more than any other Governor in recent memory.

Again it appears to have paid off.

Jeff Flake's Supposed Major Immigration Problem

Jeff Flake is likely going to be a major contender for AZ U.S. Senate. Here is a article on him this morning and the immigration issue.

Immigration restriction guy Mark Krikorian takes aim at Flake and a while host of GOP folks at No ‘Truce’ for Daniels on Immigration.

He says among other things:

A lot of Republicans running in 2012 are going to face problems with the Tea Party on immigration. The Tea Party groups didn’t address immigration (except maybe those in Arizona), just as they avoided all issues other than spending and size of government, and that was a smart move at the time. But as an outpouring of populist nationalism, they are almost coterminous with immigration hawks, and woe to any open-borders Republican seeking their help. This is why Dick Armey and Grover Norquist, both strong open-borders guys, don’t even utter the word “immigration” to Tea Party folks, lest they have tomatoes thrown at them.

Except what he does not mention is that among the major contenders Krikorians and Numbers USA's view of the issue was not exactly highlighted either. Texas Governor Rick Perry basically gave a reference to Border Security but that was the highlight.

He says as to FLAKE:
Jeff Flake, for instance, may face rough sledding because of his C- grade from Numbers USA, making him one of the worst House Republicans on immigration. (He has the same grade as Gabby Giffords, who’s one of the better House Democrats.) .

Hmm will he have rough sledding? There does seem a pattern that the Federal delegation (DEM OR GOP) on the whole seem to reflect the complexity of the immigration issue. That is they don't speak to the extremes on either side. I have a feeling that this how AZ residents feel on the whole.

However what about Flake. Well someone has to got explain despite this issue being hot in AZ for years he has such a easy time getting reelected. See his numbers at the bottom of the page. Look a the breakdown of this District here.

This issue has been hot hot hot in AZ yet he has not even had a credible GOP primary challenge. People also attempt to explain that away every election cycle but those theories are getting less credible to me.

Newsweek Gets Taken To the Woodshed on Articles Regarding Sex and The Bible

I don't know what is more frighting. That people are taking these articles as truth or that that people don't realize how dumb downed these are articles are they are reading. It is pretty evident that they are on a crusade.

I touched on this last week. Get Religion has Exegetical malpractice in — of all places — Newsweek One knew was something was further up when Al Mohler was "quoted" in the Newsweek article. I strongly suspect even that was wrong because I can't imagine a Southern Baptist in authority actually saying that. His link is good to read too.

I intend to hit on this again regarding comments by someone a tad more important than Lisa Miller.

Louisiana Native Bishop John Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee Submits Resignation to the Pope

Whispers has a nice piece him at And Now, As the Panhandle Turns.....

As Rocco points out not only has Bishop Richard been a Bishop of a very long time , the State of Florida is having a good number of their bench replaced in a short period of time.

Best health wishes to Bishop Richard. Bishop Richard was born In Baton Rouge Louisiana and attended St Francis Xavier High School. He later served St. Peter Claver Church in New Orleans till 1972. Wikipedia has a nice entry on where else he was stationed as well as his education.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Latin Mass Liturgical Conference Held At St Johns Berchmans in the Diocese of Shreveport

Some pretty impressive pics. Wish I had been there :(

Catholics, Lies, and Undercover Police Work

Well the Catholic blog sphere is on this topic again!! The current Planned Parenthood videos are the cause of a return to this topic. We saw this topic visited not too long ago as to the now famous Acorn videos.

I never quite understand they these cases cause the question of lying and deception to be examined yet every day Catholics by the ton lie or deceive their jobs and are expected to be very good at it.

Rick Garnett at Mirrors of Justice kinds of opens that up at Tollefsen: "Why lying is always wrong"

Every time this comes up I expect someone to try to at least interview perhaps a Catholic chaplain to Law enforcement, or a Catholic Prosecutor , or a Catholic Judge get their thoughts. Maybe this time someone might do do it. This is not a issue I spend a lot of time thinking about but I have to admit it seems that if ALL LYING IS WRONG then the Church has been pretty negligent in dealing with these professions.

An Email Exhange With Father Alberto Cutie

This is pretty interesting. See

Alberto Cutie - Amazing Email Exchange

I find it interesting that Father Cuties still thinks he has found something huge as to the Ratzinger letter regarding the discipline of celibacy!! The fact that decades ago as a theologian Ratzinger might have put his name to it does not exactly shock me. It also does not really change my views that the discipline should remain the same. Yet Father Cutie acts as if he has found something akin to the some secret Kennedy assassination document.

Tip of the Hat to Morning Catholic must-reads: 15/02/11

Archbishop Dolan of New York Attacks Back On "Gossip" By Lawyer

Appears the Archbishop is getting tired of being accused of trying "hide" over 100 million dollars.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Signing Day: Biography of a Blue Chip-The recruitment of Jermauria Rasco ALL Links

If you are a College Football stand this short series produced by KTBS out of Shreveport is something else.


If Illegal Aliens Are Breaking the Law Then Why Care About Them?

One often hers this in the great immigration debates. The Catholic Key has a Bishop's response to that at Bishop, They are Breaking the Law’.

We get into if a law is "Just" or "unjust" here. First let me say I am not saying that Bishop is wrong there. I just think in some ways he is not hitting the right points.

First we should be reminded that "under the law" we as Christians would all be convicted. We Catholic should recognize that is through the abundant mercy of God through the Sacrament of Confession we are forgiven of sins that scream to the Heavens for Justice. Yes we must do Penance but under immigration reform those folks have to Penance too.

I have a different view on the "Just" nature of this. First this "justice" seems to be mightily one sided. For decades we needed illegal Aliens to help fuel our economy. Many people in New Orleans and on the Gulf used illegal aliens to get their homes built again. Many people us them in their own business and around their own house.

BUT BUT BUT I am not doing that is whatI hear. Well that might be so. However many of our fellow countrymen did and I am not sure we can just ignore that. The laws are pretty much set up so in reality the punishment comes down on just one party. That is the illegal alien. So in some ways this "Justice" is indeed unjust and needs to be reformed.

Further complicating the picture is that these many of these people that stayed had families. They include people that are now American Citizens (wives and children). Part of Justice requires us to balance out what happens to them. What we call the "domestic Church".

We saw recently the cases of kids brought here at a young age in the Dream Act drama. What about them. Did they "break the law" too.

It is a very complicated issue. Under the proposed immigration legislation we saw in the Bush years many would be deported even in these tough situations. But it was a real attempt at Justice recognizing the responsibilities and fault was in many places.

That does mean we have to give Citizenship to every illegal. That does mean we cannot control our borders. That does not mean that some people have no buiness being here no matter what.
That does nto mean that we should stop all deportations.

However it means (at least in a Christian sense) throaing out half a bible verse or half a paragrpah fo the Catechism while ignoring the rest is not productive.

Oprah Is Right On Need To Respect President Obama

Well this got a lot of people buzzing!!

Here is what Oprah said via the Politico:
Oprah called on President Obama's critics on Friday to “show some level of respect.” "I feel that everybody has a learning curve, and I feel that the reason why I was willing to step out for him was because I believed in his integrity and I believed in his heart," the influential TV host said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in Chicago. Of the negative mood of the country, Oprah added, “I think everybody complaining ought to try it for once.”

She said the presidency is a position that “holds a sense of authority and governance over us all,” and that “even if you’re not in support of his policies, there needs to be a certain level of respect.”

I want to focus on the last line. She is right.

First from the dear ole Catechism:

The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and good-will.
Pope St. Clement of Rome provides the Church's most ancient prayer for political authorities:

18 "Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, concord, and stability, so that they may exercise without offense the sovereignty that you have given them. Master, heavenly King of the ages, you give glory, honor, and power over the things of earth to the sons of men. Direct, Lord, their counsel, following what is pleasing and acceptable in your sight, so that by exercising with devotion and in peace and gentleness the power that you have given to them, they may find favor with you."19

For those that go well I am not Catholic I am a "Bible Christian" well look at this:

When Jesus was engaging Pilate:
Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin.

Jesus on those Pharisees we think so badly of:
THEN Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not.

Romans 13:1-3 says:
Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. [2] Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. [3] For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. [4] For he is God's minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. [5] Wherefore be subject of necessity, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.
[6] For therefore also you pay tribute. For they are the ministers of God, serving unto this purpose. [7] Render therefore to all men their dues. Tribute, to whom tribute is due: custom, to whom custom: fear, to whom fear: honour, to whom honour.

Now of course all political systems have ways of showing respect and engaging in disagreement with Civic leaders. It should also be noted that this does not NOT JUST apply to the President.

So I have no idea what Oprah's view of the standard of respect or non respect is toward political office. However I do get a sense that her view comes from her Christian background. Still what she said is Christian teaching. At least that part!

Glenn Beck Gets A Defender At The Chronicle of Higher Education

I am not a big Glenn Beck fan and I rarely watch him. I just don't get into his style. I think Glenn Beck gets and should get a lot of healthy criticism. However sometimes the mirror needs to be turned back on the accusers.

Ann Althouse has excerpts (and a link to be sure to read in full) of great column that shows a double standard that is going on. See "But what about Beck? Are his comments about Piven fairly characterized as having crossed some line into dangerous irresponsibility?"

Is the Our Father Doxology at Catholic Mass Really Protestant?

Father Z has answered a question I had for years. See QUAERITUR: Why is the Protestant “For the kingdom, the power, the glory…” in our Catholic Mass?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Presbyterian Pastor Finds Catholic iConfession App Useful

First Things has iConfession for iProtestants

Planned Parenthood Videos Start Catholic Blog War

CMR has a review at Thomas Peters vs. Vox Nova

As you can see this all started when Thomas Peters decided to do a review of how the more liberal/progressive Catholic elements were handling the news of the recent Planned Parenthood videos. Peters included Vox Nova in that list.

In a way I can understand why Vox Nova reacted the way it did. There are blogs and then there the big Catholic publications. It is always dangerous to assume even on a group blog that because a person is not blogging about "x" they hold a certain position. For instance I am very interested in the Planned Parenthood vids but I have not blogged on them. Now of course after a period of time and if the news cycle dictates one might want to make inquires. For instance a times I think some very Orthodox Catholic conservative blogs are sometimes hesitant on speaking out on immigration reform because they don't want to offend allies. I have to be careful there before I assume that or think they support x position.

That being said Vox Nova reacted and perhaps not in a very productive way. Though I do think some of the later posts at Vox Nova and some of the back and forth in the comments sections are good .

I have largely ignored this because I suspected the issue would resolve around an ever popular Catholic topic around this sort of thing. Is it ever ok to lie or deceive for a greater good. A topic that seems to debated quite a bit.

However the back and forth got to be more than that. It might be productive in the end or so we can hope.

Soon To be Epsicopal Priest Asks If New Anglo Catholic Ordinariate Is Sign Of A Gift?

I don't know a ton about Jordan Hylden, a candidate for holy orders in the Episcopal diocese of North Dakota , but I do like him. It appears he speaks his mind which is out of sync to say the least with the TEC leadership. It also makes me wonder about this Episcopal diocese of North Dakota.

He writes on occasion for First Things. I loved his very fun column here from a few years back Hylden: An Evening at GTS.

He has quite a column over at First Things called Anglicans, the Ordinariate, and the Unopened Gift. I like it because it contains a good bit of history especially of the TEC and it's view on Church Unity from the past till now.

In essence he is exploring the option if perhaps the Primacy of Rome is an "Gift" that needs to be explored.

By the way I have no indication that Hylden plans to jump and swim the Tiber himself. He very well might have legitimate theological problems with a certain facets of doctrinal Catholicism. He does not tell us. However again this is coming again from a man that appears on track to be a Priest in the the TEC. Moving on.

It is no small understatement that it seems the critical component of possible moves by various Anglicans to the Catholic Church is the Bishop of Rome. To be more specific a structure is being set up that they will have their own structure answerable to only ROME itself. The huge elephant in the room is it appears that many Anglicans are fearful if not such a structure exists that local Catholic Bishops will not lets say look after their best interest. Sadly there appears to be some evidence this is true. Just look at how Catholic Bishops handled the Pastoral Provision and overtures of John Paul the II as to Anglican Use Parishes. That was they were largely ignored and not used. So Rome has decided to take matters into their own hands.

He makes a very interesting point that has wider implications beyond the Catholic Anglican dynamic.

Rowan Williams, speaking at the Vatican after the document’s release in November 2009, argued that it did not break any “fresh ecclesiological ground” and remained “at the level of spiritual and liturgical culture.” In an important sense, the point is a sound one: in 1993, the Joint International Orthodox-Roman Catholic Commission disavowed “uniatism” on the model of the Eastern Rite churches as the way forward for ecumenism, but it appears that the proposed Anglican ordinariate has much in common with precisely those churches. Is Williams right to argue that no important ground has been broken by Anglicanorum coetibus? .

I think this brings up an important point. Can we now see a reversal possibly from the "uniatism" that was we are told was disavowed. By the way I hate that term "uniatism". especially since in my mind the Orthodox that throw that word around seem to be practicing that to some degree themselves.

However are we seeing perhaps a new structure here. For instance could we see in the future an "Lutheran" versions incredibly as that sounds Ordinariate ( or uniatism) in the future.

He then goes on to the what was the supposed Anglican alternative which I will quote :

Catholics have long insisted that the Roman primacy is an integral and necessary part of the ecumenical movement toward Christian unity. And they have further insisted, as Pope John Paul II paradigmatically did in Ut Unum Sint, on the “power and the authority without which such an office would be illusory.” But this is precisely what Rowan Williams challenged in his Vatican address: whether instead it might be that shared theological understandings of primacy could coexist “alongside a diversity of canonical or juridical arrangements,” leading to a sort of communion of communions not united “juridically or institutionally” but instead by “lasting loyalty, shared theological method and devotional ethos.”

Primacy, in such a scenario, would not need to be constituted by a “centralized juridical office” and a “single juridically united body.” It would instead serve as the focus of unity within a communion of communions, each committed to sustaining a “mutually nourishing and mutually critical life” and each following mutually agreed-upon “protocols of decision-making.”

Williams’ proposal, as he himself indicated, sounded very much like that of the Anglican Covenant, of which he has been the principal proponent in recent years. The long-discussed Covenant, which by now has been approved by three provinces, in essence consists of the shared “protocols of decision-making” by which Anglicans worldwide would commit to walk together in faith and morals rather than apart.

The elephant in the room, of course, was and is that Anglicans have thus far failed spectacularly in bringing anything like the vision of ecclesial life Williams described to fruition. It is not at all clear that there exists among Anglicans anything remotely close to “lasting loyalty, shared theological method, and devotional ethos,” as the events that have transpired during his time at Canterbury have shown.

As such, the question raised by John Paul II remains open: Is it not the case that such a vision will continue to remain illusory without the power and authority held by the Bishop of Rome? As the former Episcopal bishop Jeffrey Steenson asked in a 2005 Anglican Theological Review essay, is not the authority of the Roman primacy just the “unopened gift” that Anglicans need? Then-Bishop Steenson thought so; he is now a Catholic priest.

Now read the whole piece. As he notes later :

To say all of this is not to say that such judgments ultimately are correct. Nor is it to say that Williams has not raised a set of important questions. But it is to say that those questions cannot be asked by Anglicans with any force and integrity unless they are able to show that they have a serious alternative to offer in their own embodied life. And to date, Anglicans simply do not.

Of course this is why the current events in the Anglican communion, which he goes to detail, are such a concern to Rome and why I think they acted as they have.

The Incredible Life of Out Going Cardinal Lubomyr Husar Of The Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine

He belonged to that era of the Cold War that now seems so so long ago. John Allen has a nice piece on him at End of an era in Ukraine.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Archbishop Gomez Talks Immigration Policy ( A Good Voice)

Ok I know among conservatives Cardinal Mahony was radioactive. He was also the point man for the immigration reform debate.

NO matter what you think of Cardinal Mahony ( He is a Saint, He is Liberal heretic etc etc) I thought he was too much of a lightning rod to have as the point man from a pure PR standpoint.

Plus the fact that he was in up to his neck dealing with the sad woes of the sex abuse scandal well made his leadership problematic. He also I thought had the amazing habit of being a tad lets say polarizing. That is perhaps just one side of the Church's position on immigration was getting out.

As someone that invested time in advocating for the Bush immigration proposals well this was counterproductive.

So one reason I was glad that Archbishop Gomez was becoming Archbishop of LA was that he felt he could get all sides of the Churches position on immigration out there. IE we not for open borders etc etc.

It seems he is making progress on that front. Catholic Vote has a good piece on a talk he gave in Florida recently.

I am hopeful. Both sides get very very very hot under the collar on the issue fast. Each side gets defensive and emotions run wild. Archbishop Gomez appears to me someone that calm the waters so people can talk. That is really needed among Catholics.

Why The Election of A New Leader For the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Is Huge....

For Catholics worldwide

Whispers has an excellent overview on the events coming up the next few weeks at Now Open: B16's Great Gate of Kiev

Grand Jury In Philadelphia Issues Scathing Indictment of Archdiocese -Priest Arrested For Negligence (Updated)

Whispers via twitter just broke this Grand Jury report. A Priest Rocco said has been arrested for negligence in his supervision of Priests that abuse minors. This arrest is new legal ground to say the least. There is a living Cardinal that the Grand Jury pretty much goes to the water's edge and almost declares guilty but because of health it is not clear any actions will go against him.

On a side note others were arrested.

I have skimmed the Grand Jury report and it is not a pretty picture. Can't spin and it and it should not be.

That being said I do find it curious areas the Grand Jury went and that will have to be a subject of debate.

There are a series of "recommendations" including lifting of the Statute of Limitations. It is not clear that if the Grand Jury thinks that should be against JUST the Church or if this means ALL cases including the public school system and other assorted public bodies that have custody and guard over Children.

Again it is a Grand Jury Report only and I think the issues are a tad more complex as to some things they tackle. For instance issues of mandatory reporting are there. Further the Grand Jury is silent it appears that if ANY allegation in the past to be made public should include Catholic Lay folks that worked for the Church. (Update See Below Update II)

One thing that strikes me is the Grand Jury use of "credible" as to accusation. I think we really need to make some attempt to get a idea of what we mean by credible. "Credible" as my understanding of the word is simply matching time and place. Thus it could have happened.

The Grand Jury seems to recognized that there is a problem with the standard of review though it gives really no suggestions beyond ok perhaps guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is too much.

The Archdiocese of course has a right to defend itself and I suspect certain members of the review panel will do so will quick.

Again I just skimmed the report. Very tragic to read it and I will have to read it again later to get a firmer grip on it.

There is a lot here inluding should handle conflicts of interests. I have to read that part again to give thoughts.

As always Pray for the Victims.

I think one thing the Grand Jury Report touched on that is good is the NEED FOR VICTIMS TO HAVE AN CANON LAWYER provided by the Church herself. I think that is needed. But the problem is of course Canon lawyers are not exactly in abundance.

Update II-
As I mentioned I just skimmed the 128 page report. The Grand Jury actually asked for the indictment of a LAY TEACHER!!! that abused. It also documented how he wandered around the system. With this fact I have to think the Grand Jury has indications that standards need to apply to lay people. So I take it for granded their reporting requirements and other matters they recommend would apply to lay people

UK Document On Catholic Deacons Praised By The Vatican

The UK Catholic Herald has brought my attention to a Document on Catholic Deacons from a Diocese over there that has also got the attention of the Vatican. The article is Vatican praises Lancaster document on diaconate

I have to say the document that can be viewed and downloaded here is impressive!!

I have one minor complaint. Of course I do which is why I am OPINIONATED.

It is important to keep in mind that the
deacon is not ordained to replace
participation by the lay faithful but to
facilitate it. Therefore it is appropriate for
deacons to assist in the formation of altar
servers, readers, and extraordinary ministers
of Holy Communion. This service of
formation is a very appropriate expression
of the deacon’s role as servant of the
worshipping community

I have no problem with extraordinary ministers of the Holy Communion as long as we get back to the extraordinary part of it. Sometimes we have so many of these folks in the Church I just think it is for the purpose of giving them something to do. I think this is leading to a informality that is becoming counterproductive.It seems that In the Church itself having a deacon itself means less need for extraordinary Ministers.

Anyway besides that I am really enjoying reading this.

By the way Happy Blog Birthday to Louisiana Catholic Deacon abitadeacon .

66 Louisiana House Districts Will Have to Be Remapped

As a poltical nerd redistricting interests me. Sadly it does not seem to interest the public till it's too late.

The Hayride has linked a Advocate article at 66 Of 105 La. House Districts Must Be Remapped.

Now in the backgorund of this of course are certain provisions of the voting rights act which Louisiana is STILL UNDER. What to watch for is that again alliance that forms about this time. That is between the the black caucus and the GOP. That is maintaining as best as possible the black majority district which make many other districts more white and in fact GOP leaning.

Which means that often white (or indeed a black) conservative to moderate democrat is on the whole going to have a harder problem getting elected because the necessary coalition disappears. There are exceptions to this of course but the wheels are turning behind the scenes.

I think this is one reason why we saw some state /local elected folks defect to the GOP across Louisiana just like the rest of the South. They know what is coming.

Has An Eucharistic Miracle Occured In A Michigan Catholic Middle School

Needless to say this different than reports of Jesus appearing on a grilled cheese sandwich. Catholic Vote has In Michigan, a Eucharistic miracle?

Baptist Minister :Bible Can't Really Teach Us Much About Sex and Morals

This is part II of a post from yesterday. See Baptist Minister- Bible Can't Teach Us Much About Marriage.

Prof and ordained American Baptist MinisterJennifer Wright Knust has part II of of her thoughts up at the Washington Post at What does the Bible say about sexuality? .

Needless to say Prof Knust is on the edge of even what Liberal Baptists think. There is so much fail here I don't even know where to start to attack it. I might try to see if anyone has attempted to refute all that in a coherent organized way before attempting it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Episcopal Liturgy Helped Former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director to Become Catholic

and her husband too boot.


Now I don't want to focus on the perhaps real problematic issue that the TEC is direct vocal active political and moral opposition to us on abortion. There are believe it not still pro-life TEC folks. What got me was this part:

Johnson’s embrace of Catholicism was a natural development after she became pro-life but was precipitated by her pro-choice Episcopalian community’s vocal rejection of her change of heart, she said. Even before the dramatic experience of assisting in an ultrasound abortion, Johnson said God had been calling to her for several months through the penitential rite of the Episcopal service, which is similar to the Catholic prayer.

Now that is interesting. There are of course people that downplay Liturgy as boring, as man made, as coming between them and God yada yada yada. Here we see a person, a person indeed in active sin it appears, at the time immersing herself in the Liturgy as an active participant. And God was talking to her thought it.

A Black Majority Congressional District in North Louisiana? ( Major Update)

UPDATED- See below

Tip of the Hat to The Dead Pelican

Well that appears what Senator Gallot is thinking about. See Gallot flexes his muscles

I assume that district would include his little section of the world in Lincoln Parish :) .

I am trying to envision what a District like that would look like. Lets us recall the last time we tried to do this (add another majority minority district- the Cleo Fields District) the U.S. Supreme Court rightly found it absurd and unconstitutional.

Unless I have missed something I don't think there has been overall shift in black/white demographics in a geographical sense to make one that is feasible or legal.

Update- Ok go to this site and go the map and comment here. I produce the comment and maps in full below.

Now the map is based on 2009 figures and of course we don't have the real census numbers yet. However the guy is right that there has been black resident growth in Baton Rouge. However is it enough?

He says (based on 2009 available figures and what appears to be a political bent here to protect Charlie Charlie Melancon's to a certain degree . Recall this is a 2009 post:

I was gonna post this in another diary, but...
I'll just post it here. I made my own map of LA based on the idea that they might want to recreate the "Cleo Fields" district given the huge explosion of black growth in the Baton Rouge Area. Here was the old Cleo Fields district.

Notice how it emanates from Baton Rouge, up the Mississippi, over to Shreveport in the northern direction, and does a weird swoop over to Lafayette in the southern direction. The large growth in the black community meant that your district didn't need to do the Southern swoop; in fact, yours didn't even take in all of Baton Rouge. I figured that if I took in all of Baton Rouge and clipped the district before it went to Shreveport and other crazy places then I could create something that would stand up in court. Here's what I came up with.

District 2 close-up/New Orleans Metro

Baton Rouge Close-up

Lafayette Close-up

Monroe Close-up

Alexandria Close-up

District 1 Full

District 1 (blue) is the new Cleo Fields District, stretching from Baton Rouge through Lafayette to the Southwest and up the Mississippi, West to some mid-size towns. It's actually very compact and geographically reasonable and get this - it's 57.7% black!!! Seriously, it looks just that good and it's just that black. I think it looks damn good as it is, but even if someone wanted to smooth out the edges a little, it could take it since it has about 7.7% to spare.

District 2 (green) is Anh Cao's New Orleans district. It takes in some white areas in New Orleans for population purposes as well as some rural black areas to the West to keep it VRA-protected. If someone wanted to smooth out the edges a little, it could take it since it's still 53.7% black.

District 3 (purple) is Charlie Melancon's district. It gives up some black areas to keep CD-2 majority black, while taking in white parts of Baton Rouge for proximity purposes, as well as some parts of the old CD-7. Melancon should be fine, unless I put Boustany's home in this district; if I did, he'll have one hell of a fight on his hands. (15.5% black)

District 4 (red) is John Fleming's district. It's pretty much the same thing, plus part of the old CD-7. He's pretty damn safe here, unless the black percentage raises over time. (30.5% black)

District 5 (yellow) Rodney Alexander's district. He should be safe; I may have put Boustany's home in this district, but it's mostly Alexander territory so he should win a primary easily. (21.4% black)

District 6 (teal) Steve Scalise's district, pretty much the same, except it now takes in parts of Baton Rouge for population purposes. Still the most Republican district in the state. (11.2% black)

So there you have it, I'm not sure where Cassidy ended up, but who cares, he has no seniority. He's either in CD-3 or CD-6 most likely. He'd lose in the primary in CD-6, and in CD-3 he'd either face Boustany in the primary and lose there or go on to face Melancon in the general, which would be a real race.

Ok well that is all nice and all.

Well needless to say the political environment has changed to where Congress Cassidy ends up has moved beyond the who cares category. Further one really has to question if putting the "white parts" of Baton Rouge in a Cajun Coastal District makes sense.

That being the case this new proposed black majority district would not look quite as insane as the old Cleo Fields District. However has the black population in Baton Rouge really increased that much so not to have to dash along the Arkansas border to pick up black neighborhoods in Shreveport? Well may be it has. It is somewhat problematic still but again better than the old Cleo District.

However. I am pretty confident that when push comes to shove Cassidy will exert more power than little ole State Senator Gallot no matter if heads the committee or not.

Also while I think it is interesting that all of a sudden Lake Charles and a coastal Parish will now be in the same District as Shreveport does that really make sense?

It seems in order to get a black congressional district even under this plan we are creating other Districts that are well unmanageable.

Update II-
Let me add that I think the districts (where Fleming is RED and where Alexander is YELLOW) as proposed in the map above may not be that absurd. Alexander's District is at least linked by a common farming interest. Fleming's new District is a tad tougher because not only will he have Coastal matters he will have to deal with new shipping and petro chemical concerns. That is a lot of add to his plate. Fleming already has his hands full representing the two main military bases in Louisiana and their interest.

The main problem with the other districts (not including the new proposed black majority district) is that the Bayou District is just too big too diverse to be manageable) Also the chomping up of Baton Rouge seems like folly.