Sunday, December 1, 2002

December 2002

This is a placeholder post linking to the page with this month's entries in the pre-Blogger format.

Topics: Resolutions and free will. Segregated Milwaukee. Schall on Reason and Faith. Mortimer J. Adler centennial. Evangelog. Archdiocese says suit stale. Christmas Card. The Third Tower. Spam on spam. Rural Life Day. Archdiocese sued for fraud. Plastic Jesus versus plastic dashboard. Guatemala, 1936. Guatemala, 1945. Spudguns.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Gary Ryan Blair gives helpful hints on New Year's resolutions.
Dr. Daniel M. Wegner asks what's the use.

(Thanks to Zaheer Samee for Times link.)


Monday, December 30, 2002

The Los Angeles Times discovers
the world's longest bridge.


Sunday, December 29, 2002


From the Claremont Institute,
Fr. James V. Schall on Reason and Faith.


Saturday, December 28, 2002

Today is the centennial of the birth of
Mortimer J. Adler (1902-2001). For the occasion, here are his essay on How to Mark a Book, an excerpt from his essay
Labor, Leisure, and Liberal Education
and reviews of two of his books,
Adler's Philosophical Dictionary and
Reforming Education.


Thursday, December 26, 2002

If you didn't go to the
reunion ...


Tuesday, December 24, 2002


MARK The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

LUKE Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us,
According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word:
It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed.

In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.
In him was life: and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it.

LUKE There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.
And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame.
And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren: and they both were well advanced in years.

And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God,
According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord.
And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense.
And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
And Zachary seeing him, was troubled: and fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard: and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son. And thou shalt call his name John.
And thou shalt have joy and gladness: and many shall rejoice in his nativity.
For he shall be great before the Lord and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias: that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people.
And Zachary said to the angel: Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.
And the angel answering, said to him: I am Gabriel, who stand before God and am sent to speak to thee and to bring thee these good tidings.
And behold, thou shalt be dumb and shalt not be able to speak until the day wherein these things shall come to pass: because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time.
And the people were waiting for Zachary: and they wondered that he tarried so long in the temple.
And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they understood that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he made signs to them and remained dumb.
And it came to pass, after the days of his office were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

And after those days, Elizabeth his wife conceived and hid herself five months, saying:
Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he hath had regard to take away my reproach among men.

And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary.
And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.
And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren.
Because no word shall be impossible with God.
And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.
And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth.
And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.
And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy.
As he spoke to our fathers: to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
And Mary abode with her about three months. And she returned to her own house.

Now Elizabeth's full time of being delivered was come: and she brought forth a son.
And her neighbors and kinsfolks heard that the Lord had shewed his great mercy towards her: and they congratulated with her.
And it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child: and they called him by his father's name Zachary.
And his mother answering, said: Not so. But he shall be called John.
And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered.
And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed: and he spoke, blessing God.
And fear came upon all their neighbours: and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea.
And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying: What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.

And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Ghost. And he prophesied, saying:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people.
And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant.
As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning.
Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us.
To perform mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy testament.
The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to us.
That being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear:
In holiness and justice before him, all our days.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt, go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways:
To give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto the remission of their sins.
Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, in which the Orient from on high hath visited us:
To enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace.
And the child grew and was strengthened in spirit: and was in the deserts until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

MATTHEW The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Judas and his brethren.
And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram.
And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Naasson begot Salmon.
And Salmon begot Booz of Rahab. And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse.
And Jesse begot David the king.

And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Urias.
And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abia. And Abia begot Asa.
And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias.
And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias.
And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manasses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias.
And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon.

And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel.
And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor.
And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud.
And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob.
And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

So all the generations from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations. And from David to the transmigration of Babylon, are fourteen generations: and from the transmigration of Babylon to Christ are fourteen generations.

Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost.
Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.
But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins.
Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying:
Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.
And he knew her not till she brought forth her first born son: and he called his name Jesus.

LUKE And it came to pass that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.
This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.
And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David.
To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.
And it came to pass that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock.
And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone round about them: and they feared with a great fear.
And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people:
For, this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.
And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying:
Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will.
And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.
And they came with haste: and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child.
And all that heard wondered: and at those things that were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called Jesus, which was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord:
As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord:
And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons:
And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him.
And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,
He also took him into his arms and blessed God and said
Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace:
Because my eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples:
A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.
And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him.
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted.
And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser. She was far advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity.
And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day.
Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord: and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel.
And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth.

MATTHEW When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem,
Saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to adore him.
And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born.
But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet:
And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them;
And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him.
Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was.
And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.

And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.
Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod:
That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry: and sending killed all the menchildren that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying:
A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
But when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph in Egypt,
Saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead that sought the life of the child.
Who arose, and took the child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
But hearing that Archclaus reigned in Judea in the room of Herod his father, he was afraid to go thither: and being warned in sleep retired into the quarters of Galilee.
And coming he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was said by the prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene.

LUKE And the child grew and waxed strong, full of wisdom: and the grace of God was in him.


Monday, December 23, 2002

This morning's newspaper editorializes,

No snap decisions on Dolan


Sunday, December 22, 2002

This morning's newspaper reports on a landmark in my old neighborhood,

Water tower getting new life with offices, microturbines: '30s Art Deco landmark on south side preserved after outliving usefulness


Saturday, December 21, 2002

From this morning's newspaper,

Priest in abuse case sues his accuser: He says man broke pledge of confidentiality; family says pledge was moot


Thursday, December 19, 2002

From this morning's newspaper,

Dolan broke promise, abuse victims say: Group mistaken about cases, archdiocese says


Sunday, December 15, 2002

Activities with higher priority, which is just about everything, are keeping me from making regular entries. Maybe I'll change this to a monthly.


The December 12, 2002 issue of the Catholic Herald reports

The Milwaukee Archdiocese plans to file a motion to dismiss five lawsuits filed last week on behalf of victims of clergy sex abuse.

At the same time, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan and other archdiocesan officials were to meet Tuesday night with Peter Isely, a founder and regional director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), other victims-survivors and their advocates to continue discussions on strategies by the church and the community to help heal victims-survivors and to prevent future abuse. ...

The invitation, delivered by Isely Sunday, was written by Jeffrey Anderson, a St. Paul, Minn.-based attorney who filed the five lawsuits on behalf of local victim-survivors Dec. 6 in Milwaukee Circuit Court. Anderson, a nationally known legal advocate for clergy sexual abuse victims, referenced the invitation when he announced the legal action, saying the five cases would be dropped if Dolan accepts an "invitation to reconciliation, healing and prevention."

While people sue and then mediate all the time, the use of the term "invitation" for something drafted by the attorney for the plaintiffs is a bit euphemisitic.

"I just wish they (the victims-survivors) would have contacted me directly, even before they took legal action," Dolan said.

Particularly since he is new here, so it couldn't be said that past experience indicated he was not responsive unless there was a lawsuit.

While Dolan continues his "strong pastoral role" in discussions, active responses to and services for abuse victims-survivors, the legal questions are quite separate, said Matt Flynn, an attorney with the Milwaukee firm Quarles and Brady and legal counsel to the archdiocese. Flynn said Dolan "takes the (legal) allegations seriously." The archdiocese won't wait for the Jan. 23, 2003, response date, but is drafting the dismissal motion based on the "sound ground" that the statute of limitations for the claims has expired, according to Flynn.

Not surprising; the suit alleges actions by a priest between 1959 and 1980.

He noted that 33 percent of any settlement award in the cases would go to the plaintiffs' lawyers on the circuit court level, and that on a court of appeals level, 40 percent would go to plaintiffs' lawyers.

As far as I can see, the Church has never expressed any qualms about lawyers' turning the capital of various organizations or even whole industries into contingent fees. "They came for the asbestos makers, and we were not an asbestos maker..." etc.

On the other side,

"Today, five courageous survivors have filed lawsuits," said Anderson, in announcing the suits at the entrance of the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center last Friday. "These lawsuits are about opening up this archdiocese to becoming a church of healing and helping instead of hurting and hiding."

Sounds like hooey hurled from a high horse when said by a lawyer for the plaintiffs. If they want to make this two track approach work, they might want to not have Mr. Anderson act as the good cop, and Peter Isely of SNAP as the bad cop.

[Isely] said the lawsuits would be withdrawn if several conditions are met. These include archdiocesan support of changes in state laws to let clergy sexual abuse victims seek legal recourse against religious institutions, of changes to mandatory reporting laws that now exclude clergy from reporting child sexual abuse, and of changes to the state's statute of limitations involving child sexual abuse.

Isely said restitution is also a key for the lawsuits to be withdrawn.



Some time ago I corresponded by email with Fr. Shawn O'Neal on this apparent contradiction.

Therefore no other person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the
liturgy on his own authority. [Sacrosanctum Concilium, Decree on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, 22.]

For the record, I alter the Eucharistic Prayer. For example, in EP 2, go to "Lord, remember your Church..." after the consecration. I say: "...together with John Paul, our Pope, William, our bishop, all bishops, all priests, all deacons, all religious, and all people whom you, Lord, have called by name. [O'Nealism by Fr. Shawn O'Neal, May 14, 2002]

Fr. O'Neal recently referred to our correspondence in this comment he posted at the blog of Karen Marie Knapp.

In one criticism that he had of me during my blogging days, I found him very rude in his delivery.

I could understand his concerns, but given the arrogance in his tone, I found it difficult to be charitable toward him.

It would not have killed him to say "Good morning" or start a letter with "Dear Father" although my statement appeared to have caused him much concern.

Here at my web site, I've uploaded an update to my recommended reading
Criticism links include items from First Things through 1999.


Saturday, December 14, 2002


From a Madison, Wisconsin, correspondent,

We await your comment on the transition in the Boston Archbishopric.

While you're waiting, here's your Christmas Card.

It's my Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Berres near their farm in Marathon County, Wisconsin, circa 1910.


Friday, December 13, 2002


The widow of a former president of Zaire writes offering
an unspecified share of
$35,000,000 with little work and no risk.
Not Nigerian, but still sounds too good to be true.

Today's mail inluded the catalog #14 of
Eight Day Books,

a unique collection of classics in religion, philosophy, history, and literature

I'll vouch for that. The catalog is 156 pages, including a seven page Author/Title Index. The descriptions are more than blurbs. Some mutlti-volume works have a description for each volume which together almost add up to a short essay on the topic of the work. If you read in the areas they stock, order the catalog. You might just find yourself spending a Winter weekend afternoon reading it like a book.

Another catalog comes from Jupiter Toy Co.

Our 1st Catalogue of fine antique and one of a kind toys from around the world. Buy and enjoy.

Two in particular caught my eye.

1890's Violinist, Martin, France
Sam, the Peace Corps Man

To the left is an 1890's Violinist, made in France. It appears to be the model for W. C. Fields' film persona.

To the right is Sam, the Peace Corps Man. I say he defies description. The catalog calls him "interesting."


Thursday, December 12, 2002


The son of a Congolese General writes offering
25% of
$12,500,000 with little work and no risk.
Not Nigerian, but still sounds too good to be true.


Watch Tower Society

Matt Drudge ran this item.

AOLTIMEWARNER vice chairman Ted Turner has opened his mouth again, this time on Wednesday at a news conference in New York City where he compared the fall of his business empire to the collapse of the World Trade Center.

"I went from no money to a pile of money, just as big as the World Trade Center. Then -- just like the World Trade Center -- poof, it was gone. Overnight."

Turner laughed as he delivered those words.

Of course he did. No one could seriously compare anything that befell any individual to the death and destruction resulting from the attack on the World Trade Center. Or so I would have thought except for Karen Marie Knapp noting this homily by Alexis Luzi, Capuchin. He starts out telling about his planned homily for May 26th, Trinity Sunday.

But then on Thursday, May 23, when I had the homily pretty well finished off ... bang! The homily was hijacked by an event which brought down a "Third Tower," namely the Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland.
May 23/Sept. 11

On the Sunday immediately following that infamous day of 9/11 which brought down the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan, I remember saying that this is the moment not for preaching but for praying. That’s what we did that day: we prayed instead of preached. Today, with the crash of "Tower Three," I feel the same way. ...

In other words, if he feels the same after the events, the events are equivalent in significance.

The news of the fall of the "Third Tower" broke on the 23rd of May. With incredible speed, the very next day, Rome (that is to say, the Pope) accepted the resignation of Rembert Weakland, simply saying it was automatically the year for him to retire anyway. Rome is notoriously infamous for moving slowly. It moves not by days, not even by years but by centuries. (You slow up after 2000 years.) But because this was a matter of sex (!) and therefore a matter of scandal (!) Rome, also media-driven and "enlightened" by political correctness, gave the matter swift justice.

This misstatement of the facts portrays Archbishop Weakland as a victim of papal harshness. The facts were that Archbishop Weakland had earlier reached the mandatory retirement age and submitted his resignation. When the scandal broke, he requested that his resignation be accepted immediately and TITLE="Pope allows Weakland to retire: Sklba takes over; administrator to be named, by Tom Heinen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 24, 2002">the Pope granted this request.

This portrayal attempts to buttress the rest of the party line, which follows.

And in the meanwhile, so much delayed justice keeps hanging around in the church -- like the justice that women in the church have been seeking for centuries. So much delayed justice -- like the justice owed to the Catholic faithful who have very few priests left to serve them -- the justice of delivering to them even a married priesthood. Rembert was famous and infamous for championing those two very delayed justices.

There you have it: forward-thinking Archbishop versus repressive Pope.

Some hate the Archbishop; the word isn’t too strong at all. Many love the Archbishop for all the good he has done for the Church of Milwaukee.

Other than "championing" an agenda of which our homilist approves, no good that the Archbishop did is described. And I'm almost beginning to detect a general tendency in Archbishop Weakland's most vocal defenders to claim this ability to see into the hearts of his critics.

In the great crisis before us, hypocrisy has understandably become an underlying issue. The complaint is: "They tell us one thing, and there they are doing just the opposite."

Like people who were told that if they kept quiet about the abuse of their children by a priest the Archdiocese would never reassign him to a parish, but then did?
Not what our homilist had in mind. And he's sure that Jesus would concur.

Again, he cries "hypocrites" at us. "You hypocrites! You traverse land and sea in pursuit of terrorists, and you condemn abusers with ever fiber of your being. And yet you make no 'beans or bones' about printing a letter so absolutely personal, so absolutely sacred in content, so absolutely private, so absolutely "none of my business" in its particularity, as that letter of the Archbishop which you hijacked. You got your hands on it by spying and prying, by using and abusing, by hook and by crook, and mostly by crook. You hypocrites! That's terrorism at its best. You hypocrites! That’s abuse at its best."

This again misstates the facts. The letter in question was written by Archbishop Weakland to Paul Marcoux. The scandal broke when Marcoux made his relationship with the Archbishop public on Good Morning, America. The claim that the press obtained the letter in some underhanded way is misleading.

I note that the $450,000 hush money payment from Archdiocesan funds is not mentioned by our homilist. Since our homilist raised the issues of saying one thing and doing another, and violations of the sacred, recall that Archbishop Weakland said in the letter

I know you are pushing me for Church money ... I consider all that Church money as a sacred trust; it represents the offerings of faithful and I must be accountable to them for how it is all spent.

But most striking is that our homilist's moral equivalency. Embarrassing Archbishop Weakland was, to him, at least as evil as priests molesting children or mass murder by terrorists.

In Between Knapp's

Now we get to the portion of the homily quoted by Karen Marie Knapp.

In the gospel of St. Luke, Jesus tells the parable of a good shepherd who has a hundred sheep and one of them strays and gets lost. The shepherd goes in search of the one that’s lost and when found, he rejoices, he hoists the found sheep upon his shoulders and carries it home. Then he invites friends and neighbors to celebrate with him. Jesus ends that parable with these words, "I tell you there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine self-righteous and respectable people who have no need of repentance" (Lk 15: 4-7).

Here we have an example of the increasingly common ignorant or deliberate substitution of "self-righteous" for "righteous," apparent if you compare the same passage in the
New American Bible
. I pointed this out to Ms. Knapp in the Comment box to her post. Her reply explained our homilist's translation by saying "In the text, Jesus is being a little, might we say, cynical or snide."

This makes nonsense of the analogy to a Good Shepherd, who finds the lost sheep and returns it to the ninety-nine who did not stray. If needed to buttress a defense of Archbishop Weakland, some are apparently willing to rewrite Scripture, oblivious that the rewrite says, in effect, that the Good Shepherd risks his life to bring the lost sheep back to the fold of the self-righteous.

Continuing the quoted portion of the homily,

We now ask, when the shepherd gets lost, who shall hoist him on their shoulders and carry him home?

I'll venture that it's other shepherds. It seems to me that Archbishop Dolan went out of his way to do so. If the flock could do this for the shepherd, then they would have no need of a shepherd in the first place. What we see here is the view of Archbishop Weakland not as shepherd but as a party leader. His partisans do not appear to feel any loss of his guidance; rather they feel the loss of his office to advance their views.

Five year non-plan

This morning's newspaper picked up this piece from the AP, but I could not find a version
on-line that included this local angle.

In Milwaukee, former Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland reported in 1995 that, in the previous eight years, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, its insurance companies and offending priests had paid nearly $5.5 million for settlements, legal fees and counseling costs associated with cases of sexual abuse by priests. He expected that total to grow by another $800,000 in 1996. Since then, the archdiocese has not released updated statistics.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 12, 2002, p. 16A]

While Archbishop Weakland said "I consider all that Church money as a sacred trust; it represents the offerings of faithful and I must be accountable to them for how it is all spent," he didn't say when.


Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Simplify, simplify, simplify.


Tuesday, December 10, 2002

This morning's newspaper reviews Greetings, a Christmas comedy playing at the Broadway Baby Dinner Theatre. (One of the actors is Jim Iaquinta, who I met when he gave a presentation to a Toastmasters Club.)


Monday, December 9, 2003


"So you want to be a spammer?"

The latest candidate for the ultimate in spam.

I'm a college dropout. I work about two hours a day.
I'm ambitious, but extremely lazy, and I make over
$250,000 a year. Are you curious yet?

In a minute I'm going to tell you my secret,
it's the dirty little secret of the Internet ...

If you've ever recieved an email advertisement, then
you know what bulk email is. I bet you can't click on
DELETE fast enough for most of those ads, right?
You might not want their product, but remember that
thousands of other folks probably do. Email is a
percentage game - every bulk emailer who contacts you
makes a six figure income on the Internet. I
guarantee it. ...

... here's the deal. You give me $29.99.
I give you ALL THE TOOLS YOU NEED to become a
successful, high profit bulk emailer.


Sunday, December 8, 2002


The Sower and the Hayseed

The December 5, 2002 issue has
this column by Archbishop Dolan

Tomorrow, I will have the privilege of participating in "Rural Life Day" at Resurrection Parish in Allenton. Coming a week after our national feast of Thanksgiving, when we as a country praise the Lord of the Harvest for his lavish bounty to us, this is a good time to write you about a cause close to my heart, the church and rural life.

When I was a graduate student in American Catholic history at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., I did my doctoral dissertation on the life of the founder of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, Fr. Edwin O'Hara. Eighty years ago, while pastor of a country parish in Eugene, Ore., O'Hara provided the church a "wake-up call": Catholics on the farm and in small towns, he warned, felt abandoned by the church they so loved, which seemed concentrated in the urban areas.

If Catholics were concentrated in urban areas, then it's hard to see how rural Catholics have a grievance if the institutional Church concentrated its efforts there. Unless one is going to argue that rural Catholics have some kind of higher inherent value.

Not only that, the prophetic priest preached, but agrarian life, the backbone of our country and the natural ally of the church, was being turned into big business at the expense of the small family farm.

For O'Hara, farming was not a job but a vocation, not a business but a way of life. The farm and the small town, he argued, were much more supportive than the city of marriage, family, faith, virtue, prayer, vocations, goodness, charity, and responsible living.

If true, the battle is lost. For example, the recent
census says that 0.9% of Wisconsinites worked in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations. If the wake-up call rang eighty years ago, we've been hitting the snooze button ever since.

Eight decades later, I am startled by how the same threats to agrarian life exist today.

On the contrary, the agrarian life of eighty years ago is long gone. The number of people whose living comes from farming, without income from a job in town or from government subsidies, is miniscule.

Last year, for instance, Voices for Justice -- our archdiocesan legislative network -- and our Rural Life Committee engaged in a joint campaign, "Toward Living Shalom: Land, Food, and Community," an effort to help us from the city and suburbs become aware of the farm crisis: loss of family farms, impersonal agribusiness, ecological abuse, and lack of support for the sturdy people of the land.

Many, perhaps most, people have parents or grandparents who, over that last eighty years, were the last of the family to farm. What we "lack awareness" of is a patronizing fantasy of the faithful, virtuous, prayerful, good, charitable, responsible, and sturdy people of the land in a struggle against impersonal agribusiness.

Tomorrow's meeting will bring hope, dreams, strategy, and planning.

Perhaps to be summarized in a document. Make that yet another document.

Here at my web site, my recommended reading
Criticism links now include items from First Things through 1998.
Authors and titles listed now take into consideration those in the appendixes to The Western Canon (1994) by Harold Bloom.


Saturday, December 7, 2002


This morning's newspaper reports further on the latest lawsuits against our Archdiocese.

While victims of clergy sexual abuse are committed to challenging court decisions that have blocked their lawsuits since 1995, they invited Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan on Friday to meet with them to achieve "reconciliation, healing and prevention" of future abuse.

"If you come to the table, we'll drop every single lawsuit," said Jeffrey Anderson, a Minneapolis lawyer who has represented hundreds of victims in lawsuits around the country.

But not the five suits he filed Friday against the Milwaukee Archdiocese - at least not until one of those suits succeeds in getting Wisconsin courts to "open the doors to the victims of sexual abuse by clergy." ...

Why not those, too?

Anderson, their attorney, said that it was imperative to reverse the court decisions that have protected the local church from lawsuits such as those that have forced the Archdiocese of Boston to say it will consider seeking protection in bankruptcy.

Hard to see why this is imperative if Mr. Anderson's and his clients' purpose in meeting with Archbishop Dolan is to "achieve 'reconciliation, healing and prevention' of future abuse."

In what might be another bad sign,

Dolan did not respond to a request for an interview ...


Friday, December 6, 2002


This morning's newspaper reports on new lawsuits against our Archdiocese, apparently alleging negligent supervision of priests and fraud.

A lawyer representing five men who say they were abused as boys by the late Father George Nuedling said he would file a lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court today accusing the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese of fraud. ...

The lawsuit will assert that the church should be responsible for damaging sexual acts because it was negligent in supervising the priest, said Jeffrey Anderson, a Minneapolis lawyer for the men. ...

The fraud charge in the suit Anderson intends to file in Milwaukee stems from the nature of the priesthood. Priests are given power over their flock - especially children - and have a responsibility to protect them from abusive clergy, the suit will assert.

The church had a responsibility to find and reveal misconduct, but instead misrepresented, concealed and failed to disclose Nuedling's misbehavior, the suit will allege. ...

Anderson and his clients have a major hurdle to overcome: Starting in 1995, the state Supreme Court issued a series of decisions that effectively ended attempts to hold the church responsible for the actions of priests accused of abuse.

The leading case on this First Amendment defense against liability of the diocese for the acts of a priest held,

... the tort of negligent hiring and retention may not be maintained against a religious governing body due to concerns of excessive entanglement, and that the tort of negligent training or supervision cannot be successfully asserted in this case because it would require an inquiry into church laws, practices and policies.

[Pritzlaff v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 194 Wis. 2d 302, 533 N.W.2d 780, 791 (1995), cert. denied, 116 S. Ct. 920 (1996)]


Thursday, December 5, 2002

Now that we're SUV owners, I take a personal interest in reviews of
Keith Bradsher's book, such as these by
Brock Yates and
Stephanie Mencimer.

(thanks to A&LD)


Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Plastic Jesus versus plastic dashboard

Out of the mouths of converts, in this case, Dwight Longenecker

... one of the burdens you have to lay down when you become a Catholic is the burden of good taste.

Which reminds me, there's nothing of steel on the inside of my car to hold the magnets in the bases of all these religious statuettes I bought at the Xavier Knoll rummage sale. Maybe I'll try those adhesive-backed Velcro strips.

What Would Jesus Drive? What I want to know is who's statute would He have on the dashboard?

Last week, the remains of Alexandre Dumas were entombed in the Pantheon in Paris.


Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Guatemala, 1936

Guatemalans are proud, and justly so, of the fine coffee grown in their highlands ... . Placards in English and Spanish remind the visitor at every turn that "Guatemala Grows the Best Coffee in the World." ...

[Guatemala Interlude: In the Land of the Quetzal a Modern Capital Contrasts With Primitive Indian Villages and the "Pompeii of America," by E. John Long, National Geographic, October 1936, pp. 431-432]


Monday, December 2, 2002

Guatemala, 1945

Often you will see an Indian bowed under the load of a big marimba, ancestor of the xylophone, heard everywhere in Guatemala ... . Old-time marimba makers fasten dry gourds under the resonant hardwood keys to amplify the sound, the biggest and longest under the bass keys, and so on in diminishing size under the treble.

Of a man with a series of regularly spaced offspring Guatemalans will say: "Pascual has a regular marimba of a family."

[To Market in Guatemala, by Luis Marden, National Geographic, June 1945, p. 88]


Sunday, December 1, 2002

Give me a big enough piece of PVC pipe and a place to stand...

This morning's newspaper reports on Appleton's Dan Suprise, maker of the Spudgun,

... plastic cannons that fire anything imaginable and use aerosol deodorant spray or compressed air for fuel. ...

Suprise takes a visitor into his backyard to show what his guns can do. He notes one of his bigger cannons can fire a tennis ball out of sight. It takes 23 seconds for it to return to earth.

Just the kind of thing I would have wanted when I was a boy for reasons which would preclude me ever buying one for my boys.

You can learn more about Spudguns at the Spudgun Technology Center,

Home of the world's most advanced hand held laser-guided bolt-action aluminum SP9004 potato rifle.


A correspondent from Cape Town, South Africa, another Executive Accountant with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, sends two emails offering
25% of
$21,500,000 with little work and no risk.
Not Nigerian, but still sounds too good to be true.

Here at my web site, my recommended reading
Criticism links now include items from First Things through 1997.
On my etext page, I've added a list of on-line libraries by subject.



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