Friday, September 30, 2005

Catholic institutions must follow archdiocese's guidelines

Wishful thinking? No, this September 22, 2005 Catholic Herald article (not available online) is about Procedures for Catholic Institutions in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for Major Renovation and/or Building Construction [PDF 21 pages].


On the twentieth page, under procedures, we find that

4. All bids shall adhere to the prevailing wage standard for that area, as determined by the Wisconsin Statutes, Section 66.293, (applicable to all contracting done by Wisconsin municipalities).

This statute looks to be the state equivalent to the Davis-Bacon Act, in effect requiring that union scale be paid on such projects.


Is the Archdiocese generally equating union scale or prevailing wages and just wages. Not really. In the minutes of the local priests' union's February 25, 2004 meeting we find that the Archdiocese had been using an outside consulting firm in determining annual raises in priests' salaries. The minutes seem to say that, for the first time, the consultant's recommendation was not followed. Raises will be 2.5%, rather than the 5% it recommended, and the consultant has been terminated. The Archbishop decided on smaller raises so they would be more in line with raises being given to lay staff.

[Fr.] Ken Mich said this was not an issue about the Archbishop's authority, but rather concern over the system that was put in place to bring us up to parity with people with comparable responsibilities and positions.

So we have the oddity that the Archdiocese might someday pay priests on the same basis that it now compels parishes to pay construction contractors' employees, but only because the priests raised a stink about it. Otherwise, the Archdiocese seemed to think the priests ought to bear part of the burden of the financial squeeze.


At the parish level, the goal, set by the Archdiocese as I understand it, is to get employee pay up to 80% of comparable wages. At St. Al's, last I saw, this was done by comparing to the local public sector equivalent. So far, the parish has never been able to get up to that 80% level. Despite that, I assume the cost of the recent building project included paying union scale. These provisions in the Procedures are presented as requirements of justice, but they turn out to be special interest legislation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tu Fu

For Tu Fu, the realm of being and value is not bifurcated. The Good, the True, and the Beautiful are not an Absolute, set over against an inchoate reality that always struggles, unsuccessfully, to approximate the pure value of the absolute. --Kenneth Rexroth, Tu Fu, Poems, Classics Revisited (1968)


Recommended reading:
by Tu Fu at Reading Rat

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Goal of welcoming, inclusive parish about to be realized

This September 22, 2005 Catholic Herald article about Racine St. Rita's soon-to-be-dedicated new church is not posted online. But you can visit the parish web site. There you will find that St. Rita's felt the need for its own original Mission Statement, which begins,
Saint Rita Parish of Racine, founded in the Augustinian tradition, is a welcoming, inclusive Catholic community. In Eucharistic-centered worship, we gather together around God's table to celebrate His love. ...

Based on my parish council experience, I surmise that at the drafting meeting someone wanted to say worship and someone else gather together, someone wanted Eucharistic, and someone else Eucharist-centered. As an inclusive community, they included them all. At least it doesn't say "centered around" the Eucharist.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Treasures From Our Tradition

Yesterday's St. Al's bulletin [1.4 mb PDF p. 4] has this item which begins
Eastern Christians have no sacrament of confirmation, but they have always had the custom of richly anointing the newly baptised in myron or sacred chrism. ...

How many bulletin readers, I wonder, will conclude the Eastern Church has six sacraments, not seven, and not realize this Chrismation is actually the sacrament the Western Church calls Confirmation?

PWTN

The Curt Jester tunes in the Progressive Word Television Network.


(via Catholic and Enjoying It!)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Kettlekamp Denies Pro-Abortion Bias

Christopher Manion reports in The Wanderer on his follow-up interview with Teresa Kettlekamp, director of the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection. The Wanderer had revealed that Kettlekamp was an adviser to the National Center for Women & Policing, which is affiliated with the pro-abortion Feminist Majority Foundation.

Not Liberating, After All

Wendy Shalit in Opinion Journal asks How did feminists end up in bed with Hugh Hefner?


I'll guess those broads succumbed to a few highballs and Miles Davis on the hi-fi.


(via GodSpy)

Guided bus proposal gets a test ride with public

Larry Sandler, in the September 22, 2005 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reports on hearings for the proposed Milwaukee Connector transit project.


Some kind of light rail or equivalent system might make sense if it connected the major destinations in the more densely populated parts of the metropolitan area with a few straight routes on separate right-of-way. This would be expensive and might require taking people's property to construct the new routes.


I note that, for hundreds of millions of dollars, the proposed routes of the Milwaukee Connector tram meander on city streets and don't even serve as big a geographic area as Milwaukee streetcars in 1892.

Friday, September 23, 2005

What Makes a University "Great"?

George Weigel joined Fr. Richard John Neuhaus in taking to task Marquette University President Fr. Robert A. Wild, S.J., for this recent statement.
We must remember that Marquette University is first and foremost an academic institution. We have great momentum resulting from the accomplishments of our students, faculty and alumni over the past several years. Just last week we received the largest single donation in university history with a gift of $28 million that will transform our College of Communication. For the third consecutive year, we celebrate the fact that students are applying to Marquette in record numbers. Marquette has risen in national academic rankings. The campus has undergone a physical transformation, and Marquette has enjoyed the most successful fund-raising period in its history, raising more than $300 million during the current comprehensive campaign. These are the true measures of a great university.

Based on my experience there, I tend to agree that "Marquette University is first and foremost an academic institution." Fr. Wild, however, is stating that as an ideal, not just a fact. A few decades ago, it was said,
Marquette's primary reason for being is a shared conviction on the part of its sponsors and sustainers that their Catholic belief has dimensions pertinent to and salutary for higher education, and that those dimensions can best be celebrated in distinctly Catholic institutions.
--University and Catholic: Final Report of the Special Committee on the Christian Character of Marquette University (1977)

The true measure of a great university was then a bit different, as well. Here's Rev. John P. Raynor at the commencement on May 18, 1975 (the 300th anniversary of the death of Jacques Marquette).
But there is also a larger reality which Marquette represents, an overarching educational objective which we hope is achieved for you and with you, no matter what particular paths you may have followed while here. This is best summarized by saying that at its core, this University aims to represent Christian humanism.

Sic transit majorem gloria.
(via Sykes Writes)

Isaac Bashevis Singer

Recommended reading:
by Isaac Bashevis Singer at Reading Rat


Reference: Featured Author: Isaac Bashevis Singer, With News and Reviews From the Archives of The New York Times


Criticism (articles, essays, reviews):

'A Life' pulses with genius, contradictions of Isaac Bashevis Singer, by Julius Wagman, review of A Life: Isaac B. Singer, by Florence Noiville, translated by Catherine Temerson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 19, 2006

What Yiddish Says: The God-haunted fiction of Isaac Bashevis Singer, review by Joseph Epstein of Collected Stories: Gimpel the Fool to the Letter Writer, by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Collected Stories: A Friend of Kafka to Passions, by Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Collected Stories: One Night in Brazil to The Death of Methuselah, by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Weekly Standard, October 25, 2004

Sex and the Shtetl, review by William Deresiewicz of Isaac Bashevis Singer's Collected Stories, New York Times, September 12, 2004

Isaac Bashevis Singer, essay by Kenneth Rexroth (1957)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Public vigil, fasting to push for peace in Iraq

Following up on my earlier post, a reader points out this in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel religion notices for the Week of September 18, 2005
Catholics for Peace and Justice will sponsor a public, all-night vigil of prayer and fasting for peace in Iraq. It will begin in Cathedral Square at 4 p.m. Sept. 24, move to the cathedral's atrium after 10 p.m., and end with Mass with Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan at 8 a.m. Sept. 25 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson St. The opening rally at 4 p.m. will include talks by Franciscan Father John Celichowski "on the immorality and illegality of this war," Hamid Alwan on the impact of the war on the Iraqi people and Deacon Steve Przedpeski of Franciscan Peacemakers on the costs.

All they are saying is give peace a chance ... and the war is illegal and immoral, etc.


My reader notes that

a previous posting in some of the parish bulletins had him [Father Celichowski] addressing, in less pejorative terms, "the morality and legality of the war."

as you will see if you go to my earlier post and follow the link to my parish's bulletin.


Why September 24th? That was the date in the

call issued by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition on May 12.

The local secular protesters are more candid about the connection.
There will be a protest in coordination with events in Washington D.C. on September 24th in Milwaukee on the corner of Brady and Farwell.


In a comment to another post, Donna made the first mention of the CPJ rally. Looking at the lineup of speakers, she wondered if Cindy Sheehan might also appear. Afraid not, she's featured at the concert in Washington DC.


Update: Unless I missed it, the reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for Sunday, September 25th, said nothing about the local protests.


Update 2: Milwaukee IndyMedia reports on the other local protest, over on the East Side, but not on the downtown prayer vigil protest.

The point they're missing on McCarrick

Commenter Brian at BettNet says,
Not to let [Cardinal] McCarrick off the hook, but to be frank, I am tired of George Bush always being held up as a great Christian as I have never heard him utter the name Jesus in public. ...

Sure he does, as in his remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition 20th Anniversary.
Rabbi Stanton Zamek of the Temple Beth Shalom Synagogue in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, helped an African American couple displaced by the storm track down their daughter in Maryland. When Rabbi Zamek called the daughter, he told her, "We have your parents." She screamed out, "Thank you, Jesus!" (Laughter.) He didn't have the heart to tell her she was thanking the wrong rabbi. (Laughter and applause.)

(via PowerLine)

Hurricane Katrina, God and Social Morality

Rabbi Michael Lerner in Tikkun discovers transcendent class discrimination.
And yet, the law of karma or Torah doesn't work on a one to one basis, delivering "just rewards" to those who have been directly involved in causing evil, as Job noted in the Bible and as we can note watching global warming play out. The terrible truth is that it is the poor, the most vulnerable, who are the first to suffer.


Update: Leo Wong writes,

Sin brings sufferings. It is not usually the sinner who suffers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Church and Change

This column by Fr. Richard McBrien was published in the Catholic Herald of September 8, 2005. One topic is the importance of credentials.
He [Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)] never attended a Catholic college or university, having received a B.A. in Political Science from Penn State in 1980, an M.B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.


One of his fellow Catholic senators, Susan Collins of Maine, has referred to him as a Catholic missionary in the Senate. She occasionally attends the study group he organized to promote more knowledge of the Catholic faith. Only Republicans are invited.


One is tempted to ask if this is one of those cases of the blind leading the blind (with apologies to anyone offended by the politically incorrect usage). Indeed, there is a book, Catholicism for Dummies, co-authored by two priests who also lack theological credentials. But they are "safe" enough to have a regular program on Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).


That is, the imporance of credentials for people on the other side of the Church from Fr. McBrien. If conservative, a layman needs a degree in theology before leading an office Bible-study, and a priest needs one to be qualified to answer questions about the Faith.


What about folks on Fr. McBrien's side?

Without benefit of advanced degrees in psychology, they recognize individuals who lack a healthy self-image, who are defensive and self-righteous, who are rigid and judgmental toward others, and who place undue emphasis on rules narrowly applied and on "orthodoxies" simplistically interpreted.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

At A Crossroads: A Role for the People

Marcia Froelke Coburn and David Zivan wrote this long profile in Chicago on that city's Catholics. Here's a passage on the decline in the number of priests and how one parish responded.
To some extent, however, the math seems to make the future clear: nationally, the number of priests has decreased by 11.7 percent since 1995, while the number of Catholics has increased by 12 percent, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. By necessity, then, more responsibilities are shifting to lay leaders for all aspects of parish life.


The degree of their involvement depends in large part on how creatively individual pastors interpret canon law. At Holy Family Church, in Inverness, the Rev. Patrick Brennan has found some wiggle room. "My approach to laity involvement is shaped by Vatican II, where all the baptized are people of God," he says. "As such, my training was not to do things for parishioners but to do things with them."


A parish of 3,800 members, Holy Family stands as an archetype of intensive lay involvement: It is divided into 20 mini parishes, each with a lay overseer, and 160 neighborhood ministries. Financial affairs are overseen entirely by lay people, and the church employs a CEO, just like any other large business. Brennan describes his primary role as eliminating a top-heavy management style. "I'm the bearer of the vision, but this is a collaborative effort," he says.


Tonight is Common Meeting Night at St. Al's, when all the various committees meet. Back when I attended as a member of the Parish Council, there might be over 100 people there for these meetings. It seems to me it would make more sense to have far fewer people involved in this policy work, and instead have them connecting with the 8,755 parishioners. Maybe Common Meeting Night could instead be the pastor meeting with 100 people who each had contacted 1% of the parish that month. The parish would be asking parishioners if they need something more often than the parish is telling parishioners that it needs something.

I was so inspired...

In case you thought nothing could put this weblog on the map.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Cluster Is Not Just Chocolate With Nougat And Nuts

This item from the St. Al's September 18, 2005 bulletin [PDF p. 5] explains.
No, to cluster in parish jargon is to cooperate with one's neighboring parishes in order to broaden ministry ... to go beyond parish boundaries! It is to cooperate and collaborate on projects to utilize human energies better, to capitalize on space better and to provide better ministry to a broader group of people. It means to cross pollinate with ideas and efforts. It is to move beyond the parochial church, the tight familiar family church and to broaden the scope of mission and ministry with other parishes.

To boldly go where no parish has gone before! Perhaps this means that someday we will know as much about what's happening at a neighboring parish as we can know about what's happening on Mars by visiting the NASA web site.
The concept is somewhat new for us, but important as we look at the future of parish life.

Somewhat new? The parish cluster was talked about as an established fact back when I joined the parish council, almost ten years ago. There must be some time dilation effects localized in the meeting rooms and offices so that it seems like only yesterday to the council, committees and staff.
Which parishes are our cluster parishes? Well, the churches nearest us: St. John the Evangelist, St. Martin of Tours, St. Mary and St. Alphonsus.

After all this background, you might expect at this point an account of what clustering has accomplished. Instead ...
Patricia Lynch, graphic artist and designer, thought it would be nice if the four parish cluster in the 16th District of the diocese had a logo, an identifying symbol and so she put together the one shown here: a tree with a dove taking flight. The tree represents the park-like land in our area, the farms, the fruit trees and orchards. The dove ... the spirit of God taking flight in our midst. The waters are baptismal images of life and movement.

So that's what's been holding us back from collaboration; the lack of a logo?
And, periodically you will see it on flyers for events in which the four parishes share in ministry ... part of the way we will CLUSTER!

If ten or more years means new, periodically could be a long, long time.


P.S. If I commissioned a logo with a dove, I'd ask that it be based on this.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

What Does It Mean To Be A Catholic?

Last week's bulletin at our parish [PDF p. 5] had a notice of tomorrow afternoon's presentation by Michael Crosby.
In his Conclave sermon before being elected Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger called for an adult faith among Catholics. Hear this challenging talk and discover whether our church leaders are truly ready and willing for Catholics to have an adult faith, or if it just might be easier for them to have us remain like children, accepting whatever is taught us.

Cardinal Ratzinger saw it differently in that pre-conclave homily.
And what does it mean to be children in the faith? St. Paul answers: It means to be "tossed to and from and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14). A very timely description!

If you won't be at the presentation, I suspect you can get some idea what you missed from Fr. Crosby's weblog.

Protecting Your Rights as a Priest: A Practical Guide

The Milwaukee Archdiocese Priest Alliance hasn't posted much at its web site lately, but it did post this document prepared by its Priests' Rights Committee [PDF].
If the Vicar for Clergy (or another archdiocesan official) summons you to a meeting after informing you that you have been accused of sexual abuse or other misconduct; or, if you are summoned to a meeting without being given the reason: ...


Inform the Vicar for Clergy that you will expect to review your entire archdiocesan personnel file, and any other records kept about you in the Chancery, Tribunal, or Vicar for Clergy office, when you meet. It is possible that your file contains written complaints or allegations about which you were never informed, even though you have the right to be informed of any such allegations according to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Clergy Manual. The provisions of the Clergy Manual have, on occasion, been completely ignored.


I can think of at least one parish and one former pastor about which it has been said that the Order of Mass has, on occasion, been completely ignored. One might get the impression that some priests think rules protect rights only when someone other than a priest is supposed to follow them.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton's homily given at Saint Leo Church, Detroit, Michigan, September 4, 2005, includes this striking statistic.
Fifteen out of every 1,000 people born in Detroit die.

National Catholic Reporter

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Death Penalty Questions and Answers

Jerry Daoust says in an article reprinted from the March 2004 issue of The Winona Catholic Worker, Winona, MN
[Q.] Should the people decide this issue by voting on whether to re-institute the death penalty in Minnesota?


[A.] Governor Pawlenty wants to let Minnesotans vote on the death penalty in a ballot initiative in November. At first glance that looks fair and democratic, but some ideas are so wrong they shouldn't even be raised for consideration. Would it be a good idea for people to vote on a ballot initiative to reinstate segregation? Forty years ago, that might have been popular; today, civilized societies reject racial segregation. State-sponsored execution ought to be another idea whose day is past.


(via The Catholic Worker Movement)


It's one thing if Mr. Daoust is merely trying to be persuasive. But if he means what he says literally, then he's saying there should somewhere reside a power to decide that "some ideas are so wrong they shouldn't even be raised for consideration," including ideas which a majority of the people wish to consider. That does look undemocratic.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Truth shall set you free

Archbishop Dolan's column in the August 4, 2005 Catholic Herald,
To a culture that believes it has the right to an orgasm whenever, wherever, however, with whomever we want, she [the Church] tells us the truth that sex is so sacred, an actual reminder of God's love for us, that it is intended only between a man and woman united in lifelong, life-giving, faithful marriage.

unexpectedly gets something of a second from Christina Nehring in The Nation,
What's bad is that now we have books like [Jonathan] Margolis's O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm, which insistently and insipidly fetishize orgasms--adding, thereby, not just to our fears in the erotic realm but also, paradoxically, to our boredoms. What may be worse is that such books are in sync with the zeitgeist.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

'Proud that's my church'


Brian T. Olszewski writes in the September 1, 2005 Catholic Herald on the dedication of a new church building for the merged parishes of St. Hubert's, St. Mary's, and St. Columba in Washington County.
Fr. Hanel [Fr. Charles "Chuck" Hanel, Pastor] said that "anywhere from 20 percent to one-third" of those affected - 1,100 families or about 3,000 people - "were excited from day one" about the merger. He estimated that another 50 to 60 percent took a "Well, OK, if this is the way it has to be" approach.


"It has really been difficult for 10 to 20 percent of the people," he said.



A minority in favor, a majority ambivalent, and a minority opposed; sounds like the typical "consensus" before a church building project.

"People will say, 'I am proud to say that's my church,'" the priest said.

Let's hope that means the "Church means people, not a building" line was never used against the unhappy 10 to 20 percent.


P.S. Here's an article by Peter J. Nixon from the August 2005 U.S. Catholic on suggested improvements in the process of closing and consolidating parishes.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Vigil for Peace in Iraq

Donna noted this upcoming event in a comment to an earlier post. There's an announcenent of it in this week's bulletin [large PDF, p. 5] at my parish.
Catholics for Peace and Justice, a newly-formed group of laity, religious and clergy, will sponsor a prayer service for peace in Iraq in Cathedral Square ...

While you might expect a prayer service to involve prayer, this prayer service,
will include three speakers: Fr. John Celichowski, a Capuchin with a law degree from Georgetown University, will address the legality and morality of the war; Hamid Alwan, an Iraqi-American business owner in Milwaukee with family still in Iraq, will talk about the impact of the war and occupation there; and Deacon Steve Przedpelski, Director of Franciscan Peacemakers Street Ministry, will address the cost of the war here at home.

Mark Peters, one of the organizers of Catholics for Peace and Justice, has been a reader of this weblog and contacted me about the group. What he had to say is also in his letter in the August 25, 2005 Catholic Herald [not on its web site].
We see this war as a pro-life issue, and want to join with those who believe in the sacred dignity of human life in praying and working for peace.

So CPJ will co-ordinate with some existing Catholic pro-life groups? Not as far as I can see.


In initial meetings, Mr. Peters says,

We agreed that this group would be non-partisan, and our only ideology would be that of Catholic social teaching, which cannot be branded as merely "conservative" or "liberal."

Which I interpret to mean they hoped to not be just another left-wing peacenik Catholic group.
To that end, we began, not with protest or lobbying, but prayer.

Prayer with three speakers sounds more like protest to me, a kind of teach-in. Just in case there was any residual appeal beyond the Catholic Left,
We have also held monthly meetings and formed committees ...

They found inspiration in Bishop Sklba's August 11, 2005 Herald of Hope column The sorrow of a war-torn world. As Peters describes it,
We merely ask, like Bishop Sklba, that we not allow ourselves to become numb to the daily suffering of the Iraqi people, or the unmet needs of "the least among us" here at home.

On the issue of numbness to suffering, compare Bishop Sklba'a December 30, 1990 Milwaukee Journal op-ed "War in Gulf: US is not justified in light of Augustine's criteria" [PDF].


He took note of

...the brutality and violations of basic human rights in Kuwait. This compounds their invasion ...

So what did he think should be the goal?
Thus the response of the world in the form of United Nations sanctions and peace-keeping forces is a needed action to promote stability in a troubled part of the world.

He was so numb that in the face of brutality, he wanted to promote stability. His compassion seems to have an ideological bent.


After discussing CPJ with Mr. Peters, I had to say I couldn't join, though we've corresponded since. CPJ looks to have already failed if it was an attempt to be a different kind of organization. It seems to me that an organization as Mr. Peters originally described his were to exist, it might have a name more like Catholics for Life, Justice and Peace. But I suspect it wouldn't draw many members from CPJ, given the phrase comes from Instrumentum Laboris 73.

Some receive Communion while denying the teachings of the Church or publicly supporting immoral choices in life, such as abortion, without thinking that they are committing an act of grave personal dishonesty and causing scandal. Some Catholics do not understand why it might be a sin to support a political candidate who is openly in favour of abortion or other serious acts against life, justice and peace.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Roman imposition

This Arthur Jones column in the National Catholic Reporter September 9, 2005 is the third of four summing up his career and his views on the Church. This one, "on his years as NCR editor, and the dawn of the Wojtyla-Ratzinger continuum," got a Hmmm from Amy Welborn at Open Book.


Mr. Jones draws this contrast.

Hundreds of millions of heaven-bound Catholics just want Jesus. They stand in line and question nothing. As is their right. Others, more pugnacious, Catholics steadfastly loyal and questioning, rooted in their eucharistic communities and New Testament realities, remain to demand better from the institution.

Better than Jesus? That tops "bigger than Jesus".


Ms. Welborn responds

So there it is, still mired in the Old Dispensation ...

meaning, as I understand her, that Jones is saying more conservative Catholics have a less complete understanding of the New Testament.


And isn't Jones talking about a form of Dispensationalism? In conventional Dispensationalism,

A greater breakdown of specific dispensations is possible, giving most traditional Dispensationalists seven recognizable dispensations.
1. Innocence - Adam
2. Conscience - After man sinned, up to the flood
3. Government - After the flood, man allowed to eat meat, death penalty instituted
4. Promise - Abraham up to Moses and the giving of the Law
5. Law - Moses to the cross
6. Grace - The cross to the Millennial Kingdom
7. Millennial Kingdom - A 1000 year reign of Christ on earth centered in Jerusalem

But these specifics obscure a more basic principle.
While not everyone needs to agree on this breakdown, the point from the Dispensationalists view is that God is working with man in a progressive way.

Once you realize that progressive Catholics are Dispensationalists, it becomes clear why they often characterize Vatican II as a New Pentecost, or they equate "adult faith" with their own.

TYME OUT Youth Center marks 25 years

This article from the September 1, 2005 Catholic Herald isn't included in its online archive, so the post title link is to the organization's own site. The article discloses that the name TYME OUT stands for Total Youth Ministry Experiences - Openness, Understanding, Trust.


Where's the Committee to Reduce Acronym Proliferation when we need it?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Outreach to Gay and Lesbian Catholics

In this August 8, 2005 column by Richard P. McBrien, published in the August 18, 2005 Catholic Herald, he discusses this column by Bishop J. Terry Steib of Memphis. In announcing a new diocesan ministry to gay and lesbian Catholics, Bishop Steib wrote
I have become more acutely aware of the number of people -- the number of Catholics -- who are no longer comfortable in their home. In fact, some are no longer certain that the Church is their home.

Can't have anyone uncomfortable. Or can we? Fr. McBrien later says
It is no secret that any discussion of homosexuality -- particularly one without the standard condemnations -- makes many people uncomfortable, inside and outside the Church.

What does Fr. McBrien mean by "the standard condemnations"? Apparently Church teaching.
It teaches that homosexuality is an "objective disorder" and that homosexual acts are an "intrinsic moral evil." At the same time, the Church insists that the homosexual is a person of dignity who should never be the object of contempt or discrimination.

To Fr. McBrien (and Bishop Steib?), hate the sin and love the sinner is "ambivalence."

DD(Rex)

My Dad served in the Second World War aboard a Destroyer Escort, so I found this interesting.
The Navy's newest destroyer brings stealth to the high seas--and may mark the return of the gun to naval combat.
Michael Goldfarb in The Weekly Standard 09/08/2005

My Dad's ship, by the way, was named for an ensign who died in the defense of Pearl Harbor.

Friday, September 9, 2005

Diocese of Wenchoster

With links to the official Wenchoster Diocesan publication - The Pharisaios Journal, to The Society for the Promotion and Inculcation of Theology (SPIT), and to email The Rt. Revd. Roderick Humphrey Latitudinarian, Lord Bishop of Wenchoster.


P.S. Frankly Unfriendly Catholics

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Jean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud

...I’d recommend Wyatt Mason’s two-­volume Modern Library edition of Rimbaud’s complete writings (works and letters). Any translation requires special focus from a reader. Of the large-scale Rimbaud efforts, the Mason is the most alive. --Richard Hell, I Is Another, The New York Times, October 15, 2008, review of Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel, by Edmund White


Recommended reading:
by Rimbaud at Reading Rat


Criticism (articles, essays, reviews):

The life falls neatly into three segments. First came the dull rural childhood with its occasional bids for freedom, then the riotous years of hard drinking and sexual adventuring with the married Verlaine, with whom Rimbaud lived, off and on, in France and England, for most of his masterpiece-writing years. The third and final phase began when Rimbaud—not yet 21—abandoned both Verlaine and verse. --The Economist, Rebel, rebel, October 9, 2008, review of Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel, by Edmund White

What did Rimbaud accomplish in poetry? He developed, refined, and pushed to its final forms the basic technique of all verse that has been written since in the idiom of international modernism — the radical disassociation, analysis, and recombination of all the material elements of poetry. This means all, not just the syntactical structure. --Kenneth Rexroth, Rimbaud, Poems, Classics Revisited (1968)

Rimbaud: sophist of insanity, by Eric Ormsby; Upon the publication of Rimbaud: A Biography, by Graham Robb, The New Criterion, June 2001

Rimbaud as Capitalist Adventurer, by Kenneth Rexroth, The Nation , October 12, 1957, at Bureau of Public Secrets

Monday, September 5, 2005

Permanent Presence Means Permanent War

Dave Robinson in Catholic Peace Voice July/August 2005
I attended that recent congressional briefing in order to signal Pax Christi USA's strong support of an initiative developed by our colleagues at Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). Their proposal, initiated at the briefing, was for a grassroots campaign seeking a congressional resolution that states: "It is the policy of the United States to withdraw all U.S. military troops and bases from Iraq." ...


The intent of this initiative is to have churches across the nation discuss, debate and then adopt the resolution which is worded as a call upon congress.


Sort of like the intent being to have a fair trial before the hanging.

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Dear Fellow Democrat,

...writes Governor Howard Dean, M.D., Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, enclosing another survey. The survey heading says,
Special Notice for Terrence Berres
You have been selected to represent Franklin, WI in the 2005 Grassroots Survey of Democratic Leaders. Survey documents registered in your name are enclosed.

I hope my party has better mailing lists than the Democrats. On to some of the questions.
1. Which of the following issues is the most important to you? Please rank from 1-10 with "1" being the most important to you.

Must be a lot of Bo Derek fans among Democrats. I might have picked the war in Iraq, or countering terrorism, but these weren't listed. I assume Gov. Dean and his party are aware of them. Perhaps they are included in the choice "National security/foreign policy" or "Other."
8. Thinking about the issue of education, which of the following is your number one priority? Please select only one answer.

This survey has three possible answers, each of which starts with the word "funding." No "Other."
13. Do you support increased defense spending to fight the war against terrorism?

Yes or no. Actually "No, the money should be spent on domestic needs like education and health care." Maybe this should have been added to the funding answers for question 8.


In his cover letter, Gov. Dean reviews progress to date.

The fact is, the investments we have made in grassroots organizing have put our [sic] Party in excellent position to re-energize Democrats and engage the American people with a positive plan for a nation's future.

Eventually?
All that's missing is the energy, commitment and support you can provide as the newest member of the Democratic National Committee.

Also still missing is a mailing list of Democrats.

Eugene Ionesco

Is there anything amusing about not wanting to die? Yes, if you are lucky enough to see Exit the King, a largely forgotten work by Eugène Ionesco, a 20th-century French absurdist playwright. --The Economist, Forgotten gem, April 2, 2009, review of a production directed by Neil Armfield at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York


Authors' Calendar, by Petri Liukkonen

Books on and by Ionesco; Biography; Play by play, at Sorens Ionesco

Rhinoceros: Everything you need to know about Eugene Ionesco's classic play 'Rhinoceros' is featured on this web site - from a history of the author and links to international theatre productions plus much more.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

The Council of Bologna: The Rise and Fall of a Dream of Church Reform

Sandro Magister reviews Breve storia del concilio Vaticano II [A Brief History of Vatican Council II]
A significant portion of the account of the Council centers around the "workshop" of scholars in Bologna that was gathered around Fr. Giuseppe Dossetti (1913-1996), the trusted expert consultant of cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, one of the four cardinal "moderators" who presided over the assembly.


This conviction not only of having collaborated in the Council's work, but of having determined its direction, was already present in Dossetti. In an interview published posthumously in 2003, Dossetti went so far as to say that he was convinced of having "reversed the fortunes of the Council itself," thanks to his ability to manipulate assembly which he had developed at a young age, when he was a political figure.


This Socratic role of the Bologna "workshop" seems to be even more accentuated in the Brief History.


(via Open Book)


My comment:


This baloney has a first name,
It's G-i-u-s-e-p-p-e.
This baloney has a second name,
It's D-o-s-s-e-t-t-i.


We hear about it each Sunday,
A second Pentecost, they say.
Socratic-ly it still holds sway
From B-o-l-o-g-n-a.


(special thanks to "Touchy Technician")