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Preview: extreme Catholic

extreme Catholic

Patrick Sweeney's weblog of the Catholic faith and media, politics, technology and the other stuff he's interested in.

Updated: 2017-11-21T10:17:23.531-05:00


test for Nov 20, 2017


test for Nov 20, 2017


‘God’-awful OWS mob steals sacred item from church: New York Post

At West Park, Rev. Brashear walked into the church for a morning service to find the 18-inch-diameter bronze basin and lid missing from the baptismal font’s 800-pound base. Holy water — straight from the River Jordan — had been poured from the missing basin insert into the base’s bowl.

This Presbyterian Church had been hosting 60 Occupy Wall Street protesters each night.


Biblical blunder at White House briefing: AP
"I believe the phrase from the Bible is, `The Lord helps those who help themselves,'" [Jay] Carney [White House spokesman] said.
Attention must be paid to ignorance at this level.


Michelle Obama 'Distressed' About Power Held in IL by 'White Irish Catholic' Families: Chicago Sun-Times
When Michelle Obama worked in Mayor Daley's City Hall in the early 1990s, she was "distressed" by how a small group of "white Irish Catholic" families -- the Daleys, the Hynes and the Madigans -- "locked up" power in Illinois.

She must have forgotten Harold Washington, the African-American mayor of Chicago from 1983 to 1987. He died at the start of his second term.

I will see if other how Catholic blogs cover this as I contemplate restarting this blog.


Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority by Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Mario Toso

You can google "Caesaropapism" or "Catholic monarchists" and see the deep roots of this: a theme throughout Christian is to put faith in princes [Ps 146:3] who have the power of the sword, and not in the appeal of the Gospel to people sitting in pews through the power of the word for voluntary offering. There's nothing in Mt 28:19, the commission given by Christ to the Church about banking.


Disarm the Aggressor: Libya Edition

I could have sworn when the denunciation of the foreign military intervention in Libya began it fit the template of the demand by Pope John Paul II for foreign military intervention in Bosia, Somalia, Rwanda, (and those are locales I can recall).

New York Times: Pope Seeks a Disarming Of 'Aggressor' in Bosnia January 13, 1994.

So I will be reading news reports to see what's different about the circumstances in Libya.


Small motor assisted bicycles

A hundred feet from my front door a rider of one of these was struck by a car and I saw the police and EMS response. Later I saw a few more of these bicycles. They don't have license plates. At this point I don't know if they are required. However, I saw that the riders in the street simply aren't aware of the cars around them and how slow they are travelling relative to the other traffic. I prayed for the person on the ambulance gurney. Maybe I haven't been paying attention but they just seemed to have appeared in September in Queens.


Is Jesus just Savior, or is He Lord and Savior?

This is a point I have overlooked. I have internalized it. I have a debt to Rev. Mark D. Roberts on the Hugh Hewitt Show. Roberts remarked on Anne Rice who recently announced her apostasy (or it is a schism?) from Christianity. He suggested that Rice could accept Jesus as Savior but not as Lord. That struck me as a profound observation: We are told to take up the cross and follow Jesus. It is in two parts: carry the cross, and follow Jesus. We are not only the grateful receivers of unmerited salvation and grace, but also his followers.


Since when is the fourth time something has happened "historic"? Anyway few are noticing this a "New Yorkers" court: Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Scalia.


(image) Mexican bishops denounce Arizona immigration law: Catholic World News
The bishops of Mexico have released a press statement denouncing the controversial Arizona immigration law. The statement was signed by Bishop Víctor René Rodríguez Gómez of Texcoco, secretary general of the Mexican bishops’ conference.

“With deep sadness, we have received the news that the immigration law SB1070 has entered into force,” the statement begins. Expressing solidarity with Latinos residing in the United States, the bishops “ask with insistence that the Lord of life and all the earth move the hearts of all people who do not know the Father of all and have not been able to discover brotherhood, tolerance, and mercy.”

“We value and we are thankful to the noble and generous people of the United States of America, who for years have offered a warm welcome and support to Mexico and so many countries in need on the continent and in the world,” the statement continues. “We are disappointed to see, and we firmly condemn, the selfish and irresponsible attitude of certain powerful groups which aim to separate countless families, leaving them to drown in deepest misery and poverty after having made enormous sacrifices and risked their lives in the search for a better life and a future of wellbeing and justice for their children.”

“We join our voices with those of all men and women of goodwill calling on Mexican authorities, and Mexican families and parishes, to warmly welcome with specific pastoral care our brothers and sisters forced to retrace their steps.”

“We intend to continue our activity to render our people of Mexico ‘A Home and a School of Communion,’ enabling them to be present in faith and prayer. We give them our blessing as Bishops and we commend them to the Heart of God, to His Son Jesus Christ, and to Holy Mary of Guadalupe.”

The bishops of Mexico with deep sadness should acknowledge their country -- its politics, its culture, and the how the Catholic faith is acted out in the temporal order -- have failed Mexicans and the United States has been successful in creating opportunity, wealth, and hope for millions of Mexicans. I call upon the bishops of Mexico to convert the selfish, irresponsible, and powerful elites who keep so many of Mexico in poverty and misery to create a future for Mexico that doesn't depopulate itself. God bless Mexico and God bless the United States of America.


What a Catholic who is a capitalist believes

Capitalism is a economic system. It is not an ideology, not a political system, not a social system, not a religion, by itself, it does not define a culture.

Economic systems are about scarcity. What's perpetually scarce is intelligence, labor, and raw materials. As a Catholic, I believe that these are gifts from God and therefore subject to God's plan for how we use them. That's important because this is an area in which we are not autonomous from God. What is scarce will always engage moral questions of who owns it, who gets to use or consume it?

In Capitalism ownership of the means of production is held privately. The owners of capital make decisions on supply, demand, and allocation in free markets. That's the outline definition.

I am a capitalist who thinks that addressing poverty is important to giving capitalism a moral foundation. This puts in me in opposition to Ayn Rand and her followers who minimized if not deprecated charity as a virtue.

If I were to look at what the critical question today worth talking about is whether the poor have a claim to the wealth of others by the fact they don't have it. Is wealth inequality in itself contrary to God's justice? My own opinion is that poverty entails suffering from deprivation: not enough food, not enough shelter, not enough health care - the critical needs for life are not being met among people without an ability to earn it in a capitalist economy.


(image) Blasphemy Watch: Double Feature: Lindsay Lohan Licks Gun, Dresses as Nun for 'Machete' (Popeater:AOL)
Lindsay Lohan's 'Machete' promo poster is hidden deep on the movie's website, but it sure is causing a stir! Lohan -- who will begin her 90-day prison sentence on July 20 -- is dressed in a nun's habit and licking a gun. In the film, Lohan plays a gun-toting avenger called "The Sister."
So the poster speaks for itself. You are supposed to be shocked by it. I think among people of Lohan's age, the image doesn't register as reality, except perhaps from a Halloween costume character: nun, pirate, princess, goth, etc.

I think I heard this from Fr. Benedict Groschel, CFR, "if virtue is mocked, a culture will self-destruct." (Virtue-driven Life)


(image) Blasphemy Watch: Dutch bishop gives priest red card for orange Mass (BBC)

A Catholic priest in the Netherlands who held an orange-themed Mass in support of the national football team has been suspended.

The Reverend Paul Vlaar wore an orange robe and decked out his church in orange before Sunday's World Cup final.

During the service he even acted as a goalkeeper as a parishioner kicked a football down the aisle.

But the Bishop of Haarlem said he had not paid sufficient respect to the sacred nature of the Eucharist.

Maybe we allowed ourselves to be swept along a little too much in the 'Oranje' euphoria
said Win Bijman Obdam parish vice-chairman.

Footage of the service in the village of Obdam north of Amsterdam made it on to YouTube and was broadcast around the world.

However, it failed to impress Bishop Jozef Punt.

In a statement, he said the service had "caused outrage" in the Netherlands and overseas. He ordered Mr Vlaar to enter "a period of reflection" and suspended him from his duties.

Another case of "the spirit of Vatican II". A Mass that doesn't call the popular culture to conversion, but allows the popular culture to corrupt the worship of God. This would have been unnoticed if the involvement of the priest was merely to show enthusiasm for the team in a secular setting, but to infiltrate it into the Mass reveals a disturbing lack of insight into what the Mass is:

The Eucharist is the very sacrifice of the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus which he instituted to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until his return in glory. Thus he entrusted to his Church this memorial of his death and Resurrection. It is a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet, in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us. (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 271)


Why did the scandal of sexual abuse by priests get covered up by bishops?

The instincts of many of the bishops was to see the accused priest as a brother (if close in age) or as a son (if not). These predator priests were in their "family" and as isolated as the bishops are from ordinary life, they viewed the victims as selfish whiners, exaggerators, or worse, liars, who threatened the reputation of the Church. They were unfortunate collateral damage. This was my answer in a comment box over in Catholic Culture: News


Sale of the convent of St Margaret Mary (Staten Island) via Atlas Shrugged

Iran and the Saudis have more than enough money to come in and buy America's vacant Catholic convents, schools, rectories, seminaries, and churches. To the Catholics, it is cash, and cash is necessary to pay for the sexual abuse settlements. To Muslims, this is more than real estate, it is a monument to the triumph of Islam and the retreat of Christianity. Photographs and videos fuel a propaganda campaign demonstrating that it's only a matter of time before the West is dead, enslaved, or converted to Islam. This not the loss of the Hagia Sophia, but in principle, the same.


Catholic Health Association and the future of Catholic unity : Catholic Advocate

Political hands have a term for this: "muddying the waters". Unfortunately, no genuinely pro-life spokesman with a title that confers authority in this area appeared to challenge her. There's only one CHA, and there are over a 100 bishops and no single bishop speaks for them all. Looking to the future, it is a fantasy for the CHA to think this is good for their hospitals. They won't have "their" hospitals much longer. New York City recently lost Cabrini, St. John's, Mary Immaculate, and St. Vincents. Catholic heath-care is extinct in New York City and it is because the government at all levels would not fund the indigent care which was mandated by the licenses of these hospitals. The government will standby as all the CHA hospitals fail in like manner and Catholic health care will be extinct in this country.


Stories we didn't finish: Italian Dept.

Cardinal laments Italy’s ‘demographic suicide’ and on Zenit

Rome 2049: As the last woman born in Italy in the last century, turns 50 this week , Maria regrets none of her four former husbands and her ever decided to have a child. This regret of the over-50's is shared among both men and women who were childless by choice. Not all, however, call this the death of Italy. The Institute of European Ethnology reports that Italy is not empty of people, only empty of what were historically "Italians" Today's Italians are likely to have grandparents who were...


How can one story get so many points?

'Do your job, you b#&*h!' slap at cop, New York Post

According to the press accounts, from his car, Wayne Mahlkeshouted at a police office "Do your job you fat bitch".

Here is how I score it:

  • The story only is a story because the b-word was used. 1 pt.
  • The utter pointlessness of it all. 1 pt.
  • Non-lethal confrontation with a police officer. 1 pt.
  • One person white, one person black. 1 pt.
  • Fat person calling person fat. 1 pt.
  • Very familiar location: Bridge Plaza North at the Queensboro Br. 1 pt.
  • False claims to work for Bloomberg, Brown. 1 pt.
  • A gay angle which I don't understand. 1 pt.
  • The arrogance of being a former staffer for a New York State senator (or two). 1 pt.
  • Producing two phony parking placards. 1 pt.
  • Not producing a valid driver's license. 1 pt.
  • "Don't you know who I am?" 1 pt.
  • The officer, Denise McDonald, refusing comment to the media. 2 pts.
  • The great understatement that "this former public servant should have known better" 2 pts.
  • The revealing insight into how the politically powerful regard themselves and how they regard the police: arrogance. 3 pts.
Elsewhere, some comment boxers who have looked at the story that "reasonable suspicion" does not proceed from merely yelling an insult at a cop, so everything that followed the cop's approach to Mahlke's Honda Civic is going to be thrown out, since the stop wasn't constitutional.

I wonder how much time elapsed between his arrest and when he was released on his own recognizance. It might have been a hour. It might have been 24 hours.


Pro-choice guest blogger:  Overheard in New York

Girl on date: My mother had an abortion when I was 11.
Boy on date: That must be because your parents realized they could never produce anything as beautiful as you again.


Good Friday

I have returned from my parish's Stations of the Cross. I'm listening to the news on FOX 5 NY and hear a voice saying "no beverage tax on Jews." It turns out I'm not the only one to have heard (misheard) it. Google Search The controversy seems to be whether it was intentional or not. From context, it would appear the word is "juice". Woody Allen in one of his movies suggested that calling a menu item "Roast Beef au jus" was antisemitic.

I look forward to celebrations of Passover and Easter, where ethnic and religious slurs are so remote in history that it doesn't enter the popular culture each year.


Why does the media hate the Catholic Church: Catholic Advocate

To unpack this question, the "media" represents three groups: reality, diversion, and advocacy. "Hate" means more the opposition at an intellectual level, but delight in and working actively for the destruction of the object of hatred. "Reality" spans everything from a news blog to an encyclopedia where the media consumer expects either an absence of advocacy or balanced presentation of the several sides of controversy. But reality is so boring, it gets blurred into diversion and advocacy.

The "reality" of reality is that unless it is taxpayer-funded there needs to be advertisers in the picture to make it "mass communication" to attract an audience. You attract an audience by being entertaining, or attracting the like-minded in advocacy, or even better in both modes.

Not every person who is an abortion advocate is also a gay marriage advocate or even a advocate of requiring the Catholic Church to ordain women. But there's a uniform code of political opinion maintained in news and editorial offices and it's enforced by looking at the trail the internet leaves behind in their blogs and social media as people attempt to enter the media club. You will find the least diversity of opinion in places where the left wants to wear a mask of objectivity.

They don't formally carry an anti-Catholic label, they don't need to, it just worked out that way. The edge of political, social, and cultural change in the United States always seems to be pointed in the opposite direction of where the Catholic Church is pointing. So it's not enough for Catholics to go into a bunker but to push back. How dare we do so. The first people we have to persuade are fellow Catholics who are even now unaware of the target painted on the side of their Church.


The Two Best Arguments against Repeal

(1) Universal health care is inevitable in social progress. Things are moving forward -- the end of child labor, a 40 hour work week, social security, health care for elderly, health care for the poor, and now health care reform for everyone. This is the inevitable progression of history.

(2) Republicans are nothing but hypocrites -- every socially progressive change they oppose politically and years later, when it is woven into the fabric of America, they dare not oppose it. Health care will be the next to be as beloved by Americans as Social Security. It's inconceivable that Social Security or Medicare could be repealed.

I'm going to be emailing this to my favorite conservative talk-show hosts.


Reaction to the imposition of a socialist healthcare scheme

(1) Tomorrow, March 22, 2010 will be one of the most important days in the history of the conservative movement. It will be a critical day to start to reverse the course that Obama has put this country on. (2) National politics from now until repeal will be dominated by health care, it will displace discussion of national security, taxation, the economy, etc. It will be not merely topic 1 but topics 1 through 10.


Scott Roeder found guilty of murder

This is the only verdict that was possible. The defense of "necessity" was correctly excluded by the judge prior to the trial.

There's a lot of misinformed comment on the web now -- such as here Bruce Maiman "Populist" blog where he asks if Roeder should be executed.

Roeder cannot be executed

Roeder cannot be sentenced to the death penalty, even though Kansas has a law providing for lethal injection. The murder of Tiller was not committed in the special circumstances. However, there are seven on Kansas' death row.

Pro-life groups did not support a verdict of not guilty

Another problem with discussion of the verdict on the web is the unsupported claim that pro-life groups desired a verdict of non-guilty. Catholic groups did not. Operation Rescue did not. Even Randall Terry doesn't condemn the verdict only the rhetoric from pro-life groups which he feels undermine the pro-life cause.