The Provincial Emails
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Saturday, August 31, 2002
A Waukesha, Wisconsin, correspondent forwards this, which appears to have been circulating on the internet.
Apparently the owners of this house had been seeing images and hearing voices for quite a while. They did some research and found that a lady once lived in the house who lost her husband during the civil war. Legend says that she used to sit at the table and look across the fields in anticipation of her loved one returning home. He never came. So, they say she still waits. They caught this photo of what they claim to be her. This one was wild and a little spooky once you find the ghost in the picture. It took me a few seconds to find it, but when you do, it just stands out. Like one of those optical illusions. To save you some time, concentrate around the table. Best not to focus too much on one spot. Look around the table and toward the window. It may take about a minute. Click on the link below for the picture. Best to enlarge. For an added touch turn up the volume, it's faint, but the low murmur you hear was what got the photographer's attention first.
Friday, August 30, 2002
Congressman Tom Barrett is one of the Democratic Party candidates for Governor of Wisconsin. One of his recent television ads notes that he is "the only candidate who's not from Madison" and then misses the point by going on to quote what the Madison Capital Times says about him. Sort of like running for president as an "outsider" and having the Washington Post vouch for you.
And I see that the continued existence of what remains of the unincorporated Town of Madison, where I lived while attending law school, may be in doubt. What remains lies between the City of Madison and the City of Fitchburg, and I note that the mayors of those cities are quoted in the article, but no town officials. Well, if the Atwood Avenue Bypass was environmentalism in miniature, this is a Podunk Partition of Poland, a Municipal Munich! We will fight them across the Beltline. We will fight them on Park Street. We will fight them in the Arboretum. We will never surrender.
Thursday, August 29, 2002
The Center has outgrown its current facility and has a capital campaign underway to finance building a larger one. It's already received a couple of substantial pledges, including one from Peter and Olaf Harken, whose family business over in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, produces some of the world's most highly-regarded sailboat hardware.
Ich bin ein Frankliner
From the police blotter in the Franklin Hub, August 29, 2002, p. 6.
Two people called to report a man was taking photographs of cars driving through the road construction in the 6800 block of Drexel Avenue. One woman who called said the man, who is a city of Franklin employee, yelled out to her that her "ticket will be coming in the mail." The city is having problems with people driving through the construction zone, which is posted as a closed road.From what I saw, sometimes it was, sometimes it sort of was, and sometimes it wasn't.
Dilemmas aren't what they used to be.
Leaders of several African countries say they find themselves in a dilemma: Feed their people food that they believe causes allergic reactions or let them die.
Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Back in 1978 when we had two new popes in the span of a month, there was a great effort to get the form of the ceremonies away from the former coronation, so much so that a colleague at the time remarked that maybe they should have just called it the pope's first day on the job.
So I almost expected that when Milwaukee had a new archbishop, we'd see a picture in the paper of him punching a time clock. Maybe next time.
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
This morning's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel includes a Consumer Health Care Guide section with an article "Back in the trenches: Survival tools for a safe and healthy school year," by Carol Berres.
This evening, Milwaukee's Archbishop-elect arrives at the Cathedral and requests entry of the Archdiocesan Administrator, Bishop Richard Sklba, following an old ritual.
Monday, August 26, 2002
Sex and the City of God
The on-line edition of First Things now has the third installment of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus's commentary on the Catholic clergy sex scandals. Of local interest is the section "Meanwhile in Milwaukee" on the fall of Archbishop Weakland.
... he had resigned a little earlier at the mandatory age of seventy-five, but his resignation was swiftly accepted when it was revealed that he had paid $450,000 of archdiocesan funds to a blackmailer with whom he had an affair almost twenty years earlier, when the young creep was in his early thirties.Perhaps we shouldn't be so hard on Mr. Marcoux, for his particular faults might be all that prevented a worse scandal, say editorial cartoons of a Rip Van Weakland awakened from a 20 year Nantucket Dream.
Many conservatives indulged the sin of Schadenfreude (what in older moral manuals is known by the delightful phrase "morose delectation") upon Weakland’s downfall, for he was the most conspicuous of the decreasing minority of unabashedly liberal bishops.There might have been just a hint of that in this by Fr. Neuhaus in his column of four months earlier.
The clock is ticking, and many in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee are counting the days, the hours, and even the minutes before Archbishop Rembert Weakland has to submit his resignation at twelve noon on his seventy-fifth birthday. I am told that the champagne bottles will be popped at 12:01 p.m. upon receiving the fax from Rome that the resignation is accepted.I would have been quite surprised if the Vatican had so handled the Archbishop's resignation. The likeliest effect would have been to make things even more difficult for his successor.
Fr. Neuhaus's current comment goes on,
His humiliating exit was made the more humiliating by his claim that he had over the years given his income from honoraria and royalties to the archdiocese, and that amounted to more than the money paid in blackmail. It turned out that his gifts to the archdiocese were less than half the payout, but the more troubling thing is that he seemed to believe that what he had given was still his to use for his personal purposes, which suggests that he had not really given anything at all. It appears the man is terribly confused.And the Archbishop's friends, sharing his confusion, launched a fund drive to raise an amount equal to the balance.
His airs of superiority and his incessant boasting that Rome viewed him as a "maverick" could be galling at times.Maybe his editors are as confused as he and his friends.
But he was also a man of notable talents and considerable charm, to whom everything had been given. He could have been a contender for something great.Papabile? Too much bile, not enough papa.
I do not give up on the hope that, after some years of penance, a chastened Rembert Weakland might write a reflective memoir, having by then discovered, please God, a measure of the wisdom that was so conspicuously absent from a brilliant career built upon prideful foundations that now, through a combination of tragedy and farce, lie in ruins.Perhaps a sequel to ...
Reading notebook: Friendly fire
If the pages that follow are at all successful in depicting the life, work, and thought of an American prelate, it is because this particular archbishop believed in what he was doing and that--with God's continued help--he had nothing to hide.
Sunday, August 25, 2002
Hark! The Herald
You might recall that in the aftermath of Archbishop Weakland's departure, Bishop Sklba had called for accountability.
Sklba stressed the need for accountability, truth and compassion as part of the archdiocese's healing process.
You might also recall that subsequently, a prominent Catholic said that accountability should extend not just to the Church's money but also to its mission.
Don't be surprised if it's later, rather than sooner. Mr. Stollenwerk's comment drew a letter to the editor from Fr. Ralph Gross, pastor of St. Margaret Mary Church.
... Presenting the story with prominent quotes from "one prominent Catholic" (John Stollenwerk) was ludicrous. ...Since Fr. Gross appears not to understand what accountability means, he never engages the issue Mr. Stollenwerk raised. Mr. Stollenwerk did not ask that we be shown what the Archdiocesan staff does or how they do it or how hard they work at it. Rather he asked that we be shown that what the Archdiocesan staff does is accomplishing the Church's mission.
The Catholic Herald of August 22, 2002 has a special section commemorating our new archbishop. It includes an article on the state of the Church of Milwaukee. While activities are described, the clearest reference to objective standards is in the area of vocations, where, of course, results are dismal. In other areas, the article describes what is being done but not whether or to what extent this has advanced the Church's mission.
It happens that Pope John Paul's meditation for today touches on this issue in the context of the 1985 Synod of Bishops.
Twenty years after its [the Second Vatican Council's] close, they gathered to examine the fruits of this great work, to see how the Church had carried out the initiatives and guidelines of Vatican II during the past two decades. We saw the need to pause for reflection so we could objectively assess the state of the Church in the light of God's word and with the help of God's grace.The key word here is "objectively." The accounting in the parable of the talents [Matthew 25:14-30] was of results, not of efforts or dedication or intentions.
You might notice some minor format changes here and elsewhere on my site. One change may be to link the pages of this log together "end-to-end" and make the archive a separate page with some brief descriptions of each section's contents. This would make it easier for any reader so inclined to scroll a bit further back in time. My records indicate few readers check the archive, and I have more reason to, since it serves as part of my external storage.
Some other pages on the site might have their contents shifted to pages in the archive, in effect creating more "back numbers." I maintain sites for several non-profit groups and hope that simplifying maintaining my site makes more time available for them.
Having taken up sailing, I subscribed to a magazine about it, Sail. Owning a boat, I started to think about buying a newer one. The September 2002 issue has an article [not on-line] on new models. The closest to what I sail now is the Hunter Marine XCite. If you see me sailing, don't expect me to look so calm at that angle of heel. Another new model is the Bravo, a 12 foot catamaran for the entry level sailor, by Hobie.
From Cross Currents, If only this could be said, by Czeslaw Milosz.
And, yes, CTA's version of teaching is much closer to the Church's heart than the Wanderer Forum's version is --- but both need to come in from the cold howling wilderness they've taken to wandering and acting in.I had commented on her post's assertion that Archbishop Weakland had tried to transcend faction, when a look at what he actually had to say showed it to be partisan. Regarding my subsequent comment on her next post, she wrote,
What does the raving of Mr Padovano or CORPUS have to do with the works of mercy or the fallacy of sola fide?Her post did contrast "backbiting or the bishop baiting" by unnamed Catholics to the beatitudes as what Catholics do. Mr. Padavano's words from his address to a Call to Action conference call into question both Ms. Knapp's and Archbishop Weakland's assertions about CTA, particularly since both rested their assertions on a claimed lack of proper respect for bishops on the part of the folks on the other side.
After our exchange, she recounted a homily from Mass at the Cathedral.
That homily was a call to arms. In the previous week the factional "reform" organizations had made their demands of the new bishop, that he announce that he's for them and against the other guys ---- as though a bishop could be the bishop for only some of the sheep! And issuing such challenges when he hasn't even been properly installed yet (that's not for another week)! But the Lord's house is a house of prayer for all people, the sacrifice is acceptable from all who believe ...Is that saying that we should at least leave aside the issues that divide us when approaching the altar? If so, here's an example. Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh reassigned Fr. Bill Hausen for raising the issue of women's ordination in a homily. While not recanting,
Hausen acknowledged that stating those opinions during the homily was not appropriate.Contrast the following in the Pastoral Letter Eucharist without Walls,
We fear that we could be deprived of the other sacraments as well. We pray on bended knee for vocations to priesthood, but we do not want to lower our standards for this challenging calling. As members of the Universal Church, we know we must accept the Pope’s decision against a married clergy and the ordination of women as possible immediate solutions.Beyond just including the issue, note the particular phrasings, "the Pope’s decision" and "possible immediate solutions."
Peter Nixon took the What's Your Order? quiz,
I would have guessed Jesuit or Franciscan before I took the test, but here's how it came out:He might be on to a connection there. I had eight years of Franciscan education followed by eight years in Jesuit schools, and got the same result.
Which reminded me of one year's "Senior Follies" back in high school. In the play, the school's Jesuits needed to distract a Dominican who was there heading up an accreditation inspection. The answer, sung to a familiar tune from Mary Poppins, was to slip him some sleeping tonic,
A spoonful of tonic makes the Dominican go down,
Karen Marie Knapp says we agree to disagree, as if we reached different conclusions from the same facts. Again not so. In my earlier post, I pointed out why her position is contrary to fact, and her response cites no facts to counter that.
But her subsequent post might be the occasion to check the bishop-bashing baseline at CTA. Anthony T. Padovano, president of CORPUS, addressed the Call to Action Conference in Chicago November 5, 1994, on "Power, Sex and Church Structures." According to the transcript [Corpus Reports, Corpus Research Paper number four] he said,
Pius [X] created a Catholic Gulag in which all who did not think and speak as one man would be punished.Should we regard that as mere hyperbole, and that really "Their fear, one to be taken seriously, is that the church can easily become callous and ingrown, more concerned about retaining authority and institutional structures than pastoring people in need." as Archbishop Weakland said? If so, then his critics should have as much leeway in expression as critics of Pope St. Pius X.
By my calculation, under the old liturgical calendar this would be the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, and the gospel reading was the cure of the dumb man, Mark 7:31-37. In a collection by St. Alphonsus, patron of my parish, his sermon for this gospel is on the danger of speaking immodestly, including this.
It is necessary to remark, that words of a double meaning sometimes do greater evil than even obscenity, because the art with which they are spoken makes a deeper impression on the mind.
Reconsiderations > Society and History
To mark Tran Do's recent death, here is his first letter to the Communist Party and second letter to the Politburo of Vietnam, and his later letter on Democratization and letter on "absolute leadership".
Reconsiderations > Philosophy and Religion
The Spanish-language Bible I recently purchased includes an index to the gospels, a table listing the events recounted and citing the passages in the particular gospels which contain them. I had read a retelling of the life of Jesus by Ronald Knox, but this was in his words, not the words of the gospels. There have been attempts to so collate them, The Book of Jesus and The Chronological 4 Gospels (K.J.V.).
Hark! The Herald
... local CUF activist Mr. Al Szews [the acknowledged leader of the local Bishop Bashing Brigade for many years] has made his first demand [or is it challenge?] of the new archbishop-elect. According to Mr. Szews, the new archbishop must prove his true Catholicity by denouncing the Call to Action (CTA), one of two "reform" groups (the other being Wanderer Forum) which have made a tradition of plaguing the city of Milwaukee almost every year.This is not the first time Ms. Knapp has asserted that our former Archbishop took an even-handed or "plague on both your houses" approach to Call to Action and its opponents. It isn't so. Even the article she cites has this about Archbishop Weakland from Call to Action's co-director,
"He's been a person who was, over the years, 'simpatico' with our concerns, but he also challenged us publicly," said [Dan] Daley.
Call to Action's Spirituality Justice Reprint, July 1998, is of an article by Archbishop Weakland, which includes this on Church factions,
Ms. Knapp cites no basis for claiming that Mr. Szews hated Archbishop Weakland, rather than hating some things which the Archbishop did or failed to do. Perhaps she is of the belief that we are never justified in hating other people. The Archbishop is the one who wrote,
For various reasons we are hated by many on this globe. Not all are terrorists. In fact, most are not. Some have valid reasons for such hatred, others do not.If Ms. Knapp is of the view that there are no valid reasons to hate other people, then the person with whom to take up that point is Archbishop Weakland, not Mr. Szews.
A Madison, Wisconsin, correspondent pans the Sight and Sound poll
Not a single critic or director nominated a single film by Lina Wertmuller. If that doesn't demonstrate how fashion rather than quality rules such lists, I don't know what could.Maybe the ballot required using her full name.
Speaking of films, this morning's newspaper reviews Blue Crush.
By the time the credits roll, we've learned only one thing: Although the surfing world has a seamy underbelly, it's an incredibly taut and shapely underbelly.
at Shawano, Wisconsin
Cheap wine log:
As an experiment, I also applied this approach to Pinot Noir, and selected a Nathanson Creek marked down to three dollars. It was quite a bit drier than I expected, but this probably was not a fair test. Next time I might move up to the least expensive Pinot Noir that's still on the shelf, rather than a close-out on the liquor store floor.
Okay, maybe a little retroactive posting.
At our parish, there are often baptisms during Mass. This morning when my pastor said the parents and godparents should come forward and everyone else could take a seat, the infant's preschool age brother took this literally and ran up and sat in the presider's chair.
No posting for the rest of the week while we vacation.
Sight and Sound Top Ten Poll is out, with lists of the top ten films of all time as chosen by critics and as chosen by directors. What if you collated the two rankings? Then you get this:
1. Citizen Kane (1941)
This morning's newspaper has this front page article.
When the University of North Carolina required 4,200 incoming freshmen and transfer students to read a book about the Qur'an this summer, student body president Jennifer Daum didn't think it would cause much of a stir.
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Foreign Affairs is making available the full text of a selection of new and previously published articles on the interests, goals, and political dynamics on all sides, as well as the history of the two parties' recent interactions and American involvement in the region.
Thanks to Skip for mentioning my site yesterday.
According to its latest newsletter,
Gutenberg Music expands offerings to include MusicXMLRecordare.
In the latest TPM Online, John Cottingham reviews A Short Treatise on the Great Virtues: The Uses of Philosophy in Everyday Life by André Comte-Sponville.
The Great Virtues? Sounds like Mortimer Adler.
Reading notebook: The Snake has all the lines
You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream of things that never were; and I say "Why not?"
Mark Shea is holding a contest for the best translation of a common exprssion into the language of ICEL, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Some examples,
Smile and the world smiles with you.
A Madison correspondent brings to my attention The Booklist Center, edited by David Wilson Taylor.
The Project Gutenberg newsletter presents the results of its contest on "The Best Merged Literature."
Reconsiderations: Science and Technology
Global warming ravages Lady Liberty.
Here's an essay by newly-added author Stanislaw Lem on The Time-Travel Story and Related Matters of SF Structuring.
Hark! The Herald
The August 1, 2002 Catholic Herald reports that some local Catholics are dissatisfied even though the Archdiocese committed no crime in its $450,000 settlement with Paul Marcoux.
One prominent Catholic said the settlement was unjustifiable and shows that the archdiocesan administration is out of touch with Catholics in the pews and a review of their roles is in order.
This year marks the centennial of the birth of Richard Rodgers.