Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Reading Rat July 2007

On authors and works in my recommended reading:

The Bible Delusion, by Doug Brown, Powell's Review-a-Day, July 14, 2007, review of Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, by Bart D. Ehrman
(via Arts & Letters Daily)

Lamb of God, Social Philosopher, by Christopher Levenick, The Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2007, Page P8, review of The Political Teachings of Jesus, by Tod Lindberg
(via Arts & Letters Daily)

Also of interest:

Book Program Archive, Wisconsin Eye
(via WisBlawg)

Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin's Past, by Erika Janik, Madison, WI: Wisconsin Historical Society Press 2007; 978-0-87020-383-1
(via WisBlawg)

5 Tips to Increase RSS Subscribers, posted July 9, 2007 by Hari
(via WisBlawg)

We should care about good design

The Whitney Gould Cube-of-the-Month is a two-fer.
(...the old Amtrak station, now undergoing a spectacular makeover.)

Bonus: cubes from CABE. [11 pp. pdf]

Monday, July 30, 2007

Full participation before all else

This editorial in the National Catholic Reporter on
Summorum Pontificum [12 pp. pdf], Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter allowing greater use of the Tridentine Mass

Rembert Weakland, then archbishop of Milwaukee, wrote what must now be seen as a prophetic article in America magazine in 1999 that warned of a creeping rubricism and movement to reinterpret Vatican II to assure validity and orthodoxy. Like Weakland, we have to ask: "Can the two, the reform of the liturgy and the reform of the church, be separated?"

Diogenes at Off the Record commented in this post that
The NCR was knocked so far off-balance by the challenge as to invoke Rembert Weakland in defense of its position, which is something like calling Paul Shanley as a character witness.

Grant Gallicho at dotCommonweal, in turn, reacted in this post.
I suppose comparing Weakland to Hitler would have been too passe for a man of Diogenes' rhetorical gifts.

You might recall that in an August 31, 1998 letter to Paul Likoudis, Archbishop Weakland wrote,
...I believe you come as close to being a truly evil person as I expect to meet in my lifetime.

If we use Archbishop Weakland as the measure of rhetorical gifts, then Mr. Gallicho has failed to score a point against Diogenes.

Key aide tightens ties to O'Malley

Also in Saturday's Boston Globe,Michael Paulson reported that Father J. Bryan Hehir resigned as president of Boston's Catholic Charities to take on greater responsibilities as an advisor to Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
Hehir, president of Catholic Charities since 2004, will be succeeded by one of his former students, Tiziana Dearing, who since 2003 has been the executive director of Harvard's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. She will be the first woman to head the organization.

Dearing, 36, a former management consultant, lists among her research interests at Harvard "the functioning and governance of the Catholic Church as a nonprofit organization."

This caught my eye because of my attending one of the Parish Council retreats in the late 1990s. The nun brought in to give a presentation took issue with our new long-range plan's mention of volunteerism, so big big an issue she seemed to regard it as needing no explanation. Since this was Parish Council, our perspective was that Sister's presentation, like all presentations, was another item to be checked off the agenda, and volunteerism remained part of the plan, at least in theory.

Since Sister didn't spell it out, I came to assume the problem with volunteerism is the connotation of growing from self-sown seed, in contrast to the parable of the sower and the seed.

So after hearing that service in the Church is essentially different than in other not-for-profit organizations, I now see Ms. Dearing making no distinction, and leaves unclear whether the call comes from within or without.
"I've been working with nonprofits and made a very conscious choice that that's where I wanted to spend my life," Dearing said. " That was largely due to feeling called to the social mission of the church. I feel a strong sense of calling to take the job, and I think it's because my call to nonprofits in general came from my faith. It came from being influenced by economic justice for all, and it came from a sense that service needs to be a core part of who you are."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Group sees glimpses of divinity in math

While vactioning in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, last week we picked up the Boston Globe each morning. Saturday's paper included this "Spiritual Life" column by Rich Barlow on Barbara Reynolds, a nun who teaches at Cardinal Stritch University near Milwaukee. Sister was at Boston College to explain
how math can be a tool for advancing social justice.

One objection to this approach is that
Teaching values inevitably bites into the time available for teaching math.

In her talk, Reynolds gave her response, forged years ago when she volunteered with the Peace Corps in Africa. Teaching students there, she had to use 1940s-era textbooks that posed math problems involving the calculation of fighter planes' bombing trajectories.

"I had a hard time with some of the examples that were there," Reynolds said.

For reasons that someone assumes must be obvious.
It was an important lesson to her. "No matter who teaches, personal values do come through. . . . What I've done is to be explicit about the values that I teach."

It's still biting into instructional time even if she then chews on the left.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lutherans literally less, and other news

Importance of social statements stressed
From the July 28, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tom Heinen interviews ELCA Bishop Mark S. Hanson. ("what we are literally inviting this church into is that kind of deep engagement with the word of God, to literally hear it, to read it, to sing it, to pray it and to study it. . . . And then to say: How have we as Lutherans historically interpreted the word?" Not literally, he goes on to say.)

Outgoing WELS leader discusses delegate meeting
by Tom Heinen.From the July 28, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ("the denomination has experienced a gradual decline in membership, especially in the Midwest" Though it would take 153 years and nine months until someone literally holds the WELS faith alone.)

Religion briefs
From the July 28, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
including 'Book sale to benefit hunger programs' (See you there.)

Capitol Update July 27, 2007
Wisconsin Catholic Conference
Contents Include:
1. WCC Issues State Budget Recommendations
2. New Bills of Interest
("SB-232. Contraceptives (Robson) Prohibits pharmacist from refusing to fill prescriptions for contraceptives; defines abortion (Birth Control Protection Act.")

Budget Issues of Concern to the Wisconsin Catholic Conference
Presented to the Budget Conference Committee by John Huebscher, Executive Director, July 23, 2007

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Homily by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, July 22, 2007 [audio]


God of the Philosophers

by Wolfhart Pannenberg, First Things, June/July 2007
In Christian theology, there is no room for a pre-trinitarian monotheism of the one God. In our time of intense interreligious discussion, Christians cannot compromise the truth that the trinitarian conception of God is not simply a Christian addition to a monotheism that we otherwise share with others. The Christian insistence is that God as such is to be understood as a differentiated unity.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Eradication of Poverty is a Moral Commitment

In an address delivered during the "Substantive Session" of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi C.S., permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, said,
Poverty elimination demands an integration between the mechanisms that produce wealth and the mechanisms for the distribution of its benefits at the international, regional and national levels.

Perhaps this could be demonstrated by mechanisms for the distribution of wealth that would reduce disparties between richer and poorer parishes within each diocese, and between richer and poorer dioceses around the world.

(via Diogenes at Off the Record)

Update: At Musings of a Pertinacious Papist, a report by Ralph Roister-Doister on The fate of the inner city parish. When a local politician criticizes parish closings in Buffalo,
Local commentators, echoing the smugness of suburban Catholics, professed wonderment that the diocese should be criticized for running itself like the business it is.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein Pop Art T-Shirt, by Felix Bennett, from the cover of The Philosophers' Magazine issue 33, 1st quarter 2006, at CafePress

Recommended reading:
by Ludwig Wittgenstein at Reading Rat

Criticism (articles, essays, reviews):

The philosopher in the family renounced virtually all of his inheritance early on, living a simple life throughout his extraordinary career, whether in a Norwegian hut or sparsely furnished rooms at Cambridge. --Carlin Romano , An Author's Favorite Wittgenstein, The Chroncle Review, April 24, 2009 (via Arts & Letters Daily)

Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations offers phi­lo­so­phy a way out of its insuperable conundrums—about the existence of the external world and other minds, for example—not by providing a new system capable of answering all questions but by way of ­freedom from such barren speculation. --Thomas S. Hibbs, Mind Games, First Things, January 2009, review of Work on Oneself: Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Psychology, by Fergus Kerr

... Ludwig Wittgenstein was not a guru; he was a supremely rigorous thinker who, by paying minute attention to the structure and limits of language, sought to clear away the conceptual confusions that plague philosophy. --Jim Holt, Suicide Squad , The New York Times, March 1, 2009, review of The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War, by Alexander Waugh

By the time that Ludwig (the youngest of eight children) was born, in 1889, the Wittgensteins were living in grand style in a Viennese 'Palais', enjoying the best of everything - especially music. Their musical soirées, attended sometimes by Brahms, Strauss or Mahler, were among the best in Vienna, and they also had a major collection of manuscripts by Mozart, Beethoven and others. --The Telegraph, Review: The House of Wittgenstein, December 9, 2008, by Alexander Waugh

Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Pictures by Kristof Nyiri, Wittgenstein Research Revisited: Conference at the HIT Centre - University of Bergen, 12th-15th of December 2001

Problems or Puzzles? review by Edward T. Oakes of Wittgenstein’s Poker: The Story of a Ten–Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers, by David Edmonds and John Eidinow, First Things, May 2002

Wittgenstein's Significance: on the 50th anniversary of Ludwig Wittgenstein's death, by Mark Cain, Philosophy Now, September/October 2001

Martin Luther

Although he titled it Luther, W.H. Auden’s poem applies better to the systematizers of Lutheranism and those who preached the system. --Richard John Neuhaus, On Loving the Law of God, The Public Square column, First Things, February 2009

With conscience cocked to listen for the thunder
He saw the Devil busy in the wind,
Over the chiming steeples and then under
The doors of nuns and doctors who had sinned.

What apparatus could stave off disaster
Or cut the brambles of man's error down?
Flesh was a silent dog that bites its master,
World a still pond in which its children drown.

The fuse of Judgment spluttered in his head:
"Lord, smoke these honeyed insects from their hives;
All Works, Great Men, Societies, are bad;
The Just shall live by Faith..." he cried in dread.

And men and women of the world were glad
Who never trembled in their useful lives.
--W. H. Auden,, Luther, Anti-Climacus, April 14, 2009 4:16 PM

his frequent assertion that the Protestant Reformation was all about elevating the conscience of the individual is certainly wrong. For Luther, for instance, the error of the Anabaptists was a capital offense: Those seeking a second baptism were to be put to death by drowning. --Gary A. Anderson, A Level Praying Field, First Things, February 2009, review of Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought, by Joshua A. Berman

...Benedict XVI gave a general audience touching on Martin Luther’s doctrine of justification by grace through faith. Benedict is a close and appreciative student of Luther and has made inestimable contributions to healing the breach of the sixteenth century between Rome and the Reformation. Luther’s doctrine of justification is correct, if care is taken not to oppose faith to charity, the pope said. --Richard John Neuhaus, On Loving the Law of God, The Public Square column, First Things, February 2009

Pearls Before Swine --Stephen Pastis, Pearls Before Swine, December 19, 2008

When it comes to gays, 'What would Luther do?' By Mary Zeiss Stange, USA Today, Posted at 12:16 AM/ET, July 9, 2007
(via Catholic and Enjoying It!)

Discovering Luther, review by George Sim Johnston of Martin Luther, by Martin Marty, Crisis, October 2004

Martin Marty's Martin Luther: A masterful life of the Reformer, review by Kenneth L. Woodward, Books & Culture, May/June 2004

The Catholic Luther, by Ted Dorman, First Things, December 1999

The Catholic Luther, by David S. Yeago, First Things, March 1996

Reversing the Charges, by Robert Benne, First Things, April 1995

Life of Luther (1881) by Julius Kostlin, Project Gutenberg

The Bull Exsurge Domine by [Pope] Leo X, with which he threatens to excommunicate Martin Luther, June 15, 1520
(via Anthony Sacramone at First Things)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Casey on deck, S[a]t. Patrick, and other news

Religion briefs
From the July 21, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
including 'Archbishop to say Mass to honor Solanus Casey'
("In 1995, the late Pope John Paul II named Casey 'venerable,; the second of four steps to sainthood.")

Legendary vessel to be part of sesquicentennial Mass
Pere Marquette's reputed silver chalice to be used in high school service, by Tom Heinen. From the July 21, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
("Some Jesuits say the history of the gleaming vessel that will be used to celebrate Marquette University High School's 150th anniversary Mass today goes back to Father Marquette. Some add the caveat 'maybe.'")

Bishops Seek To Meet With Both Parties On Iraq War
("The bishops’ International Policy Committee has been encouraging the Administration and members of both parties to forge a bipartisan consensus to address the situation in Iraq for some time." As long a time as some people have been encouraging the bishops to resolve all the outstanding clerical sexual abuse cases?)

Catholics to celebrate feast of St. Patrick two days earlier in 2008
by Michael Kelly, Catholic News Service ("...in 2008, March 17 falls on the Monday of Holy Week and, according to church law, the days of Holy Week and Easter rank above all others, so the solemnity of St. Patrick must be moved to another date." The new date is a Saturday, which I hope doesn't lead to anyone using the occasion to drink to excess.)

Secular media: Don't believe everything you read
Editorial, Catholic Herald, Madison ("The State Journal did publish a clarification with a very small headline in the July 14 issue. It said: 'A headline on Page A3 of Wednesday's [Wisconsin] State Journal mischaracterized comments made by Pope Benedict XVI...' In contrast to the initial large headline, this article almost needed a magnifying glass to read!")

Group asks congregations to aid immigrants
Effort to house illegal workers at churches is growing, by Tom Heinen. From the July 17, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ("The Rev. Carlos Aranda, its pastor, voiced support for the effort Saturday in front of more than 100 people at a gathering at Prince of Peace Parish, a Catholic congregation on the near south side.")

On Independence Day, and Blowing Things Up [3 pp. pdf]
Homily, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, July 1, 2007, St. Mary’s Visitation Parish, Father Nathan Reesman ("To put in another way, we are free to choose our actions, but we arenot free to re-define what is good and true, or we are not free to re-define what brings true freedom.")

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee Entrusted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [audio]
June 15, 2007, Relevant Radio

07/22/07 Adoration for Vocations
("St. Peter and Paul Parish, Green Bay Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel is the location of this week's Adoration for Vocations. Please pray for priests and priestly vocations in the Diocese of Green Bay.")

Casa Maria Catholic Worker House, Newsletter August 2007
("We are in need of new, live-in workers for Casa Maria’s ministry.")


Friday, July 20, 2007


Joseph A. Komonchak at dotCommonweal reports on the demographics of a "common ground initiative"-type meeting.
There were about 100 people in attendance, but I don’t think there were more than five of them under the age of 50, and the great majority seemed to be over 60.

He wonders if this is part of a larger trend.
A couple of years ago I gave a talk for "The Upper Room," a small reform-group in Westchester Co., NY, somewhat like Voice of the Faithful in aim. There too the vast majority were people well over fifty. I’ve given lots of talks over the last ten years on the Second Vatican Council. Almost always the audiences are of similar ages, as were almost all of the members of various groups that publicly protested the Vatican’s discipl[in]ing of a French bishop some years ago.

It's what I see as an occasional observer at local Voice of the Faithful meetings. There's further support in this From the Editor's Desk column by Sr. Rita Larivee, SSA at National Catholic Reporter.
The average age of an NCR reader is about 68. This average has been on a continual rise since the late ’60s, when the average age was about 36. During Vatican II, most of our readers would have been in their mid-20s to mid-30s, formative adult years.

That is, the average age has increased 32 years in less than 32 years.

If they've been stuck in the Sixties, now they're stuck in the Sixties in their sixties.

(via Dad29)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Best Places to Live: Top 100:
90. Franklin (Milwaukee County), Wis.

Brad Nelson at Money Magazine.
It's easy to see why businesses love Franklin. With easy access to four major highways and an international airport, along with plenty of tax breaks, Franklin, located 11 miles south of Milwaukee, has attracted a number of major companies. Harley-Davidson has a distribution center there, and Northwestern Mutual has built a sprawling campus. From 1990 to 2006, the city's population has skyrocketed 51% to 33,000. The city faces the challenges of managing all that growth.

(via Franklin Now)

P.S. At Sprawled Out, John Michlig notes who's number one this year and asks
Middleton is where the great Middleton Hills traditional neighborhood development is located - coincidence?

Judging by the Middleton Hills home page, I'd say yes.
Middleton Hills is located in the City of Middleton, eight miles from the State Capital in Madison, Wisconsin.

At least when a developer in Franklin uses a spelling like "Shoppes" it's intentional.


Summit brings bloggers out of the woodwork

After participating on a panel at this year's Blog Summit, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane wrote,
The folks who found time to speak to me assured me they liked my column and blog even if they didn't always agree with it. They forgot to mention how they'd give up a lung to have my job.

Sounds like a high price to pay to have a bigger audience for one's opinion of the transition from cash to credit card parking meters.

The First Openly Muslim Priest

At On the Square, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross on living in a difficult age for satirists
The day before the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops voted to confirm the church’s first openly gay bishop in the late summer of 2003, conservative humor website ScrappleFace satirized the move with a piece entitled Episcopal Church Appoints First Openly-Muslim Bishop. It was a fine example of reductio ad absurdum humor: If the Episcopal Church sacrificed a long-held moral doctrine, would it next have a bishop of another faith? The point worked as humor, but would not work as argument precisely because the possibility seemed absurd. Yet less than four years later, the Episcopal Church has been faced (albeit briefly) with its first openly Muslim priest. [12 pp. pdf] (p. 9)...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Trouble for Little John, Trouble for Us All

Dean Barnett at Hugh Hewitt explains how the re-election prospects of Senator John Sununu, Jr. (R-NH) might be harmed by demographic changes.
It's all the result of an insidious plot in which New Hampshire lured Massachusetts residents to the Granite State by having no income tax or sales tax while Taxachusetts of course had healthy ones. Many people and companies who didn't like paying more taxes than necessary relocated from Massachusetts to the home of Living Free or Dying Hard. I know what you’re thinking – "I thought liberals liked paying taxes. This should have bolstered New Hampshire’s conservative population." Alas, this isn’t quite correct. Liberals don’t like paying taxes so much as they like other people paying taxes. Anyway, they voted with their feet.

The Most Rev. David A. Zubik to return to Pittsburgh as its twelfth bishop

As reported yesterday at the Diocese of Green Bay.

Here's today's Diocese of Pittsburgh news release.

So, now there's an opening in Green Bay.

(via Relevant Radio)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

On Wisconsin: Some Friendly Constitutional Advice

This article [12 pp. pdf] by William A. Niskanen is part of the Spring 2007 Marquette Law Review issue from the recent Symposium: Is the Wisconsin Constitution Obsolete. He prefaces his recommendations on constitutional changes regarding education with some factual background (p. 709) [footnotes omitted].
The record of public education in Wisconsin is impressive relative to the national average. ...

The problem, however, is that the current national average grossly underestimates the potential performance of American students. The difference between the relative and absolute performance of a school system is illustrated by the new Cato Index of Education Market Performance; Wisconsin has the highest score of any state on this index but with an absolute score of 26 on a 100 point scale. Professor Caroline Hoxby of Harvard has estimated that the average productivity of American schools declined by around 55% (based on math tests for nine-year-olds) or 73% (based on reading tests for seventeen-year-olds) between the 1970–1971 and 1998–1999 school years. The average seventeen-year-old in the 1970–1971 school year had a score that fewer than 5% of American seventeen-year-olds now attain.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Beware of the Liturgi-cops

From a letter to the Editor of The Catholic Times (Saginaw, Michigan) from Father Steve Gavit, Pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption parish in Bay City.
They can get sneaky with their tactics as well. Wanting to know what is in the Eucharistic bread, they will call up the right person for the recipe, claiming they are thinking of using it in their parish. The recipe is gotten and a house meeting is arranged with other liturgi-cops. The recipe is scrutinized and--oh my gosh--they discover it has honey in it; really, really busted! The smile widens on their faces as their evidence mounts. They compile their notes and send off a letter to the bishop claiming this parish is breaking all sorts of liturgical rules and norms.

Diana at St. Fiacre's Garden says she knows of a Liturgi-crime-scene.
One parish that I know of was using little cubes of bread for the Host, made of so many ingredients it was deemed invalid matter.

It wasn't her parish, so in Father Gavit's mind I suppose that makes her a Liturgi-cop, but Father Gavit's got me wondering.

Would it be "sneaky" for the Liturgy Committee to change to a new recipe for the Eucharistic bread without disclosing that it might be invalid matter? Would it be "sneaky" if they asked the Parish Council to back them in the subsequent controversy without disclosing this problem? Would it be "sneaky" for the members of the bread ministry to successfully pressure the pastor to stick with the new recipe despite years of parishioner complaints, when they know of the undisclosed problem? Would it be "sneaky" for the pastor to quietly go along with all this?

Just asking, since that's what happened at the parish Diana refers to, my parish of St. Al's. The Euchroutons themselves were sometimes rather tasty, reminding me of Roman Meal Bread; the Euchrouton experience left a bad taste in my mouth.

(via Christifidelis)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Evelyn Waugh

...most critics regard Helena as one of Waugh’s minor works. On the contrary, it’s both an interesting experiment in literary postmodernism or metafiction and a devastating critique of gnosticism. --George Weigel, What to Give a 'First Things' Reader, First Things, December 2008

On the recommended works by this author:

In Brideshead Revisited, Rex Mottram is determined to become a Catholic--for reasons that have nothing to do with faith. Actually Rex has no interest whatsoever in questions of faith, and consequently he is quite happy to profess whatever beliefs are required of him. --Diogenes, Rex Mottram, model for the Catholic laity, Off the Record, Posted Mar. 6, 2009 3:27 PM

Animal Farm and Brideshead Revisited, published in the same year of 1945, might seem worlds apart, and yet both are biting parables of disenchantment. --Eric Ormsby, Against the Day, The New York Sun, July 30, 2008, review of The Same Man: George Orwell & Evelyn Waugh in Love and War, by David Lebedoff

Unlike Charles’ [Charles Ryder's] upbringing, which tried to reduce the complexity of existence to a logical equation, the Flytes are guided by a faith that makes claims on their every thought, word and deed. --David Luhrssen, Brideshead is back: Revisiting a Classic, review of Brideshead Revisted (2008), Milwaukee Shepherd Express, Wednesday, July 30, 2008

But do not, when attempting any course of reading aimed at appreciating Waugh's wit, give undue attention to Brideshead Revisited, a misfit of a book, much loved, and often loved in the wrong way, as the vomitous stupidity of Miramax's new film adaptation attests.--Troy Patterson, Brideshead Revisited Revisited: How to watch Evelyn Waugh, Slate. Posted Friday, July 25, 2008, at 3:08 PM ET.

A Companion to Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, British Edition, by David Cliffe

On this author:

Although Waugh despaired about the future, he saw the Catholic Church as an enduring bulwark against chaos. His moral order was backed by divine authority. Orwell too was a passionate believer in objective truth, including moral truth. But unlike Waugh, Orwell did not attribute transcendent power to the truth; indeed, he feared that it might ultimately prove impotent in history. --Jim Holt, Two of a Kind, The New York Times, August 29, 2008, review of The Same Man: George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh in Love and War, by David Lebedoff

Waugh Stories by Joan Acocella, review of Fathers and Sons by Alexander Waugh, The New Yorker, July 2, 2007
(via Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor)

Why I love Evelyn Waugh, Posted by Pertinacious Papist at 10:28 AM March 4, 2007

Fathers, sons, feuds and myths, interview by Sam Leith of Alexander Waugh, Daily Telegraph, January 9, 2004

Waugh: What is he good for? Absolutely everything, by Brian Mortan, The Scotsman, October 28, 2003

Oh what a lovely Waugh, by Owen Richardson, The Age, October 26, 2003

Evelyn Waugh topples charlatans from their pedestals, by Gerald Warner, The Scotsman, October 26, 2003

The spoils of Waugh: on the essence of Evelyn Waugh, the anniversary of whose birth falls next week, by W.F. Deedes, The Spectator, October 25, 2003

Literary Scamp Evelyn Waugh by Arthur Jones, Notre Dame Magazine, Autumn 2003

Evelyn Waugh, Reconsidered, by Judith Shulevitz and Christopher Caldwell, Salon, August 5, 2003

Behind the pose: A hundred years after the birth of Evelyn Waugh, we need to get beyond his elaborate persona and focus on the fiction, by William Boyd, The Telegraph, May 10, 2003

Evelyn Waugh: Author Evelyn Waugh served honorably in the British Army as an SAS Commando, by Paul S. Burdett, Jr., World War II Magazine, May 1999, at About.com

Waugh Revisited, by Kenneth R. Craycraft Jr., First Things, June/July 1998

St. Evelyn Waugh, by George Weigel, First Things, May 1993

Evelyn Waugh, by Joseph Pearce, Lay Witness magazine

Doubting Hall: A guided tour around the works of Evelyn Waugh, by John Porter

An Evelyn Waugh Website, by David Cliffe

Evelyn Waugh by Petri Liukkonen, Authors' Calendar

On other works by this author:

Orwell had fought in the Spanish civil war; his disillusion with that cause is chronicled in “Homage to Catalonia”. Waugh was part of an ill-fated military mission to the cynical, wily Communist partisans in Yugoslavia. His disillusion is told in his masterpiece, the “Sword of Honour” trilogy... .--The Economist, Fighting against the future, August 21, 2008, review of The Same Man: George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh in Love and War, by David Lebedoff

When the Going Was Bad, review by David B. Hart of Waugh Abroad: Collected Travel Writing, by Evelyn Waugh, First Things, May 2004

Reading Africa in Waugh: What Evelyn Waugh can tell us about contemporary Africa, by James Panero, The New Criterion, Summer 2003

Walker Percy

In Percy’s own novels many of his characters face the challenge of suicide. Some succeed in overcoming it, while others do not. In his first novel, The Moviegoer (1961), Kate Cutrer contemplates suicide in Camusian fashion as a way of “keeping herself alive.” Her love for Binx Bolling helps her to contend with the temptation to suicide. In The Last Gentleman (1966), Will Barrett’s father commits suicide in despair over the collapse of the Southern code of honor and virtue, much like Quentin Compson. Will’s adoptive father-figure, Dr. Sutter Vaught, tries unsuccessfully to kill himself, and vows not to fail in his next attempt. In Love in the Ruins (1971), Dr. Tom More attempts suicide when his daughter dies and his marriage subsequently collapses. In The Second Coming (1980), an older Will Barrett makes a suicidal descent into a cave as a perverse Pascalian wager to force God either to reveal Himself and save him, or allow him to die—in which case the question of God’s existence would become a moot point, so he argues. Instead, an ordinary toothache drives Will from the cave and back to the world, where he finds a saving love with Alison Huger. --John F. Desmond, Walker Percy and Suicide, Modern Age, Winter 2005

Recommended reading:
by Walker Percy at Reading Rat


Walker Percy, The Mississippi Writers Page

The Walker Percy Project

Criticism (articles, essays, reviews):

Lost in the Cosmos and Lost in the Cosmos: A few more thoughts. Muddled Ramblings and Half-Baked Ideas (via Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor)

Walker Percy: Doctor of the Soul, by Gregory Wolfe, Godspy, April 20, 2004

Surviving His Own Bad Habits: A previously unpublished interview with Walker Percy, by Robyn Leary, DoubleTake no. 19

The Homesick Homeless, by Molly Finn, First Things, May 1993

Walker Percy and the Christian Scandal, by Marion Montgomery, First Things, April 1993

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Third priest ordained, Social Action hot air, and other news

Pope Accepts Resignation Of Cardinal Keeler Of Baltimore, Names Archbishop Edwin O’Brien To Succeed Him
(Wasn't Archbishop O'Brien rumored to be one of the front-runners for New York?)

Factors work against impact of pope's decision on Latin Mass
by Tom Heinen. From the July 14, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
("Witczak [outgoing Seminary rector Father Michael Witczak] noted that many of the young seminarians tend to be more attracted than the older priests to traditional devotional practices.
"'There's actually been an increase in the number of college-age young men who are starting to pursue an interest in seminary, and all of those guys are taking Latin in college,' he added.")

Religion briefs
From the July 14, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
(A two-day youth conference, "Reviving Our Purpose: Taking Back Our Stuff," is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 21 at Mercy Memorial Church, 2477 N. 37th St.)

Lawyer brings faith, wit, intellect to priesthood:
Joseph Shimek to be ordained Saturday, by Maryangela Layman Roman, Catholic Herald, Milwaukee, July 12, 2007
("Dugan [Conor Dugan, his law school roommate] said Shimek exemplifies a 'happy medium between being lax and rigid.'")

Latin Mass offered at St. Stanislaus:
Historic church is new home to archdiocese’s Tridentine community, by Brian T. Olszewski, Catholic Herald, Milwaukee, July 12, 2007
("'We’re grateful to the archbishop in letting us come here,' she [Joan Patzer] said. 'We look forward to it becoming an oratory and our own Tridentine parish.'")

Sr. Virginia closes book on 49 years in education:
Spent 48 years at St. Joseph High School, Kenosha, by Karen Mahoney, Catholic Herald, Milwaukee, July 12, 2007

Don't Worship Your Emotions
by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, column of June 17, 2007, published in Catholic Herald, Milwaukee, July 12, 2007
("...it's a long way from the love and understanding that Jesus preached. In essence, what this sincere man is doing is worshipping his emotions by saying: 'I can give my love and support when I can feel good about it, but I can't give my love and support when I can't feel good about it['], no matter that a pedophile suffers from the most unglamorous of all diseases.")

[Links to the June 28, 2007 Catholic Herald, Milwaukee, not working as of this posting]

Social Action Summer Institute
at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin from July 15 thru July 20, 2007.
(If you were concerned that money you would donate to Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, or the Catholic Campaign for Human Development wouldn't be spent on seminars about global warming, your concerns are allayed by the Registration Brochure [4 pp. pdf])

Case Statement
for St. Joseph House, Vocations Office, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
(a "Multicultural House of Discernment")

Days of Prayer and Devotions for Vocations
("Every first Friday of the month and the weekend following are designated as days of Prayer for vocations in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee")

Capitol Update July 12, 2007
Wisconsin Catholic Conference
("Contents Include:
1. Assembly Passes Budget [2.-7.:]
2. Children and Families
3. Workforce Development
4. Education
5. Corrections
6. Health Care
7. Other
8. New Bills of Interest
AB-427. Abortion (Gundrum) Voluntary and informed consent to an abortion and requiring provision of information on domestic abuse services.")

Casa Maria Catholic Worker
(links to a UW-M library archive page with September 24, 1968 video of the "Milwaukee 14" burning draft records.)

Bishop comments on use of the Roman Liturgy
by David A. Zubik, Bishop of Green Bay, July 8, 2007
("The normal way that we have been celebrating the Mass for the past 40 years remains." Apparently normal meaning usual as opposed to meaning based on norms.)

Regarding Catholic Church’s consistent teaching on sanctification
Media Release, July 11, 2007, Diocese of Madison
("The Church has never taught as a piece of doctrine that 'Protestants are going to hell.' Thus, despite what today’s inflammatory headline in the Wisconsin State Journal claims, neither this Pope nor his successors has the authority to teach such a thing.")

A message from Bishop-elect Christensen
Catholic Herald, Superior, July 12, 2007
(Quotes St. Augustine, patron of the Diocese of Superior)


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Roman Catholic is only true church, pope says

The Associated Press and Tom Heinen reported in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on reaction to a Vatican document, Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church.
The statement brought swift criticism from Protestant leaders.

The Reformation was merely about providing alternatives, you see; they really were saying "Or, of Babylon".
"It makes us question the seriousness with which the Roman Catholic Church takes its dialogues with the reformed family and other families of the church," the group says in a letter charging that the document took ecumenical dialogue back to the era before the Second Vatican Council.

Their letter, to Cardinal Kasper, manages to avoid the exact phrase "turning back the clock".
The top Protestant cleric in Benedict's homeland of Germany complained that the Vatican apparently did not consider that "mutual respect for the church status" was required for any ecumenical progress.

In a statement "Lost Chance," Lutheran Bishop Wolfgang Huber argued that "it would also be completely sufficient if it were to be said that the reforming churches are 'not churches in the sense required here' or that they are 'churches of another type' - but none of these bridges is used."

Bishop Huber may go too far saying the phrasing used by the CDF in the document's fifth answer is disrespectful.
These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called "Churches" in the proper sense. [citations omitted]

He has a point that the document would have benefitted from a bit of elaboration on the phrase "in the proper sense".

As noted at Disputations, the fourth answer had already said,
On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history[citation omitted].

Tom Kreitzberg says this again points out the difference between "is" and "subsists in".

P.S. Father Tim at the Spirit of Vatican II Catholic Faith Community in Knoxville, Tennessee, shows the CDF how it should be done.
2. Is the Church of Christ in the Catholic Church? This is just stupid. The Church of Christ is a whole different Church - they meet in little white buildings and handle snakes and stuff. You'd think the Pope would know this kind of thing.

John Doe v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 2007 WI 95

The Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously reversed the dismissals of these cases on one of the two grounds raised on appeal. Justice Roggensack's majority opinion summarized,
¶2 We conclude that the claims asserted against the Archdiocese for negligent supervision are barred by the statute of limitations because according to controlling precedent such claims are derivative and accrued as a matter of law by the time of the last incident of sexual assault. However, we also conclude that the claims of fraud for intentional misrepresentation are independent claims based on the Archdiocese's alleged knowledge of the priests' prior sexual molestation of children and the Archdiocese's intent to deceive children and their families. We further conclude that the date of the accrual of the fraud claims is "when the plaintiffs discovered or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have discovered" that the Archdiocese's alleged fraud was a cause of their injuries. [citation omitted]

The court remanded to the circuit court to determine if the facts supported the fraud allegation.

Chief Justice Abrahamson concurred, joined by Justice Bradley, but would also have reversed on the claim of negligent supervision.

Update: At NewWatch, Marie Rohde reported comments by James Smith, local counsel for plaintiffs.
While the decision involves four victims, now all adults, Smith said he believes the decision could open the door to many other cases in the state.

Smith said he was involved in negotiations with the archdiocese for a group of victims three or four years ago that could have resolved the cases "for far less than what it will result in now."

He said the negotiations fell through because the archdiocese was "disingenuous" in its negotiations.

"The attorney fees for the archdiocese are astronomical," Smith said.

The report also quotes briefly from Archbishop Dolan's July 11, 2007, E-mail to Diocesan Leaders, which gives a heads-up on the court decision but otherwise says nothing new. The report goes on,
He [Archbishop Dolan] said the church was preparing to go back to court but declined to say whether it would attempt to negotiate and out-of-court-settlement or comment on the fiscal impact of the ongoing litigation.

My guess remains bankruptcy.

Update 2: The July 12, 2007 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has its full story by Marie Rohde and Tom Heinen Abuse victims can sue for fraud and an editorial Justice may be at hand.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

His barque is worse than his bite

We were indoctrinated in all the arguments against Protestantism (of course with due recognition of shared Christian truths, but always completely wrong when it differed from us). But we lived through the sea-change represented by Vatican II and understood that the mighty ship of Catholicism had to be refitted to sail forward on contemporary seas.
--Fr. Joseph S. O'Leary

Church's revival a beacon of hope and renewal

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel architecture critic Whitney Gould's "Spaces" column yesterday is on the restoration of the bell tower at St. Hedwig Church, one of three locations of the merged Three Holy Women Parish on Milwaukee's east side.
People who live in downtown high rises are always telling [pastor] Father Tim Kitzke how lovely St. Hedwig Church looks at night, when its majestic 162-foot steeple is washed with light.

We've been through a phase during which church architecture avoided bell towers and even crosses. St. Al's, for example, only later added its name, the crosses, and the informational sign. From the article, it also appears that the meaning of the word "restoration" is being recovered (though too late for Milwaukee's Cathedral).
And then there is that architecture: that beautiful brick and stone, those radiant stained-glass windows, those slender spires crafted by immigrant artisans.

Kitzke put it well: "There's nothing sadder than looking at old picture books of the city and saying, 'Man, if only those beautiful buildings were still here.' "

Sad in the context of what was built subsequently. Or as my Sunday School tenth graders put it, "Why does our church look like an auditorium?"

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Road Home

The New York Times editorialized yesterday in favor of immediate withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq, despite the likely consequences.
Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide.

Mickey Kaus finds that "morally curious".
I could be convinced that withdrawal is justified because the ensuing burst of sectarian killing will be short, followed by relative stability--preferable, in the long run, to continued occupation. I could be convinced we should abandon the goal of a unitary Iraqi state and focus on some sort of engineered partition. I hope I couldn't be convinced that we should abandon Iraqis to "genocide" just because the resulting deaths can be blamed on Bush. Does that mean they don't count? . ...

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Robert A. Heinlein

Recommended reading:
by Robert A. Heinlein at Reading Rat

Criticism (articles, essays, reviews):

Robert Heinlein at 100 by Brian Doherty, Reason, August/September 2007 (via Arts & Letters Daily)

Robert A. Heinlein's Legacy by Taylor Dinerman, Opinion Journal, July 26, 2007 (via Arts & Letters Daily)

“We must ride the lightning”: Robert Heinlein and American spaceflight by Dwayne A. Day, The Space Review, July 2, 2007 (via Arts & Letters Daily)

New Liturgy documents out!

At From the Anchor Hold, Karen Marie Knapp on Pope Benedict's Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, translated with FAQ at the USCCB Apostolic Letter on Use of the Preconciliar Liturgical Forms [12 pp. pdf]. Ms. Knapp recalls that
I've never been able to quite catch on to the whole carrying-on about "rupture" ... with slow and careful implementation and good cetechesis I went almost seamlessly from the Mass of 1962 as permitted by the bishop, which was the dialogue Missa Cantata, right to the current Mostly-Sung Dialogue Mass in the Known Tongue, by the time I graduated from high school.

The rupture usually refers to the change in the form of the Mass being a break with the past. Its implementation, though, could also take the form of a rupture, as in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Amy Welborn was here last year for a speaking engagement at the Cousins Center, which then housed the Archdiocesan offices.
during my talk, Michael studied a display outside the Archdiocesan archives - materials from the Vatican II era, including a letter written by, I believe, the Archbishop (or perhaps an underling) to the priests of the Archdiocese in September, after the Council ended. He wrote them that beginning on the First Sunday of Advent, the Mass would be in the vernacular instead of Latin, and that should be time enough to prepare the people for the change. 3 months.

Aldous Huxley

Recommended reading:
by Aldous Huxley at Reading Rat

Other works online: The Politics of Ecology, Program 29, The Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions Audio Archive

Criticism (articles, essays, reviews):

Laura Huxley, Her Husband’s Biographer, Dies at 96 by Margalit Fox, The New York Times, December 19, 2007

Brave New World at 75 by Caitrin Nicol, The New Atlantis, Spring 2007
(via Arts & Letters Daily)

Out of Sight; The curious career of Aldous Huxley, by Clive James, The New Yorker, March 17, 2003

The complex world of Aldous Huxley, review by Roger Bishop of Aldous Huxley, by Nicholas Murray, Book Page, March 2003

What happened to Aldous Huxley, by John Derbyshire, The New Criterion, February 2003

Island of dreams: The living legacy of Aldous Huxley's visionary ideas, by Duncan Campbell, Guardian, April 27, 2002

Huxley’s Hucksters, by Mark Gauvreau Judge, First Things, April 2002

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Longer leash for Latin, Peters' Pan's Labyrinth, and other news

July 9-13, 2007 Catechetical Summer Institute 2007 - Advance Certification
(I'm just a Sunday School teacher, but I think they mean Advanced Certification.)

June 2008 Archbishop Dolan to Lead 2008 Pilgrimage to International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City

Pope relaxes restrictions for Latin Mass by Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
("Benedict issued a document authorizing parish priests to celebrate the Tridentine Mass if a 'stable group of faithful' request it.")

Religion briefs. From the July 7, 2007 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
(includes Milwaukee Interfaith screening Michael Moore's latest at an East Side cafe)

On Being Patriotic, by Mark Peters, at Catholics for Peace and Justice
("In 1944 Spain resistance to evil demanded huge sacrifice, often even of one's life." For example.)

Archdiocese of Milwaukee Offices at the St. Joseph Center Staff Listing
(Now at their new location.)

Farm Bill 2007: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread [2 pp. pdf]: Eye on the Capitol editorial June 28, 2007, by Barbara Selle, Director for Respect Life and Social Concerns, Wisconsin Catholic Conference
(Let 'em eat Documents?)

Father’s Day Homily [4 pp. pdf], 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year C, June 17, 2007, by Fr. Nathan Reesman, St. Mary’s Visitation Parish, Elm Grove, Wisconsin.
("...it’s not just in jail or in the inner city that we encounter the idea that manhood runs counter to faith and fatherhood.")


Friday, July 6, 2007

"Our Creator Who Art in Heaven ..."

At Ten Reason, Rich Leonardi notes that a parish in his area had A Prayer for Independence Day that begins with the "genderless invocation"
God our Creator...

rather than, say, God our Father.

At my parish, the Daily Prayer we received in connection with the latest triennial debt reduction campaign goes a step farther.
Creator Spririt, present within us each day of our lives, we thank you that you have called us by name over and over again. ...

Actually, it's the fund-raising that calls us over and over again, such as when the prayer concludes
Bless St. Alphonsus Parish as we prayerfully respond to our Gathering In Reaching Out Appeal.

Transcript of Interview With Senator Clinton

I believe in the father, son, and Holy Spirit, and I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit on many occasions in my years on this earth. --The New York Times, July 6, 2007

(via Just One Minute)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Declaration of Independence

British researchers have announced the discovery of a rare original copy of America's Declaration of Independence ...
Katrina McClintock, a spokeswoman at the National Archives, said Thursday that a researcher accidentally discovered the "Dunlap print," named after a printer, several months ago. ...
The prints, known collectively as the Dunlap Broadside, were the first copies of the Declaration of Independence. They were printed by John Dunlap of Philadelphia and distributed to political and military leaders, including George Washington, and dispatched throughout the colonies to be read to the public.
--Gregory Katz, with Michael Bushnell, Rare copy of Declaration of Independence found, Associated Press, July 3, 2009 (via JSOnline)

Liveblogging the Continental Congress July 4, 1776 by Rick Moran, RightWing Nuthouse, July 4, 2007 (via Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner)

Independence Day Address, by Robert H. Jackson, Attorney General of the United States, Washington, D.C., July 4, 1941

The Declaration of Independence in American, I. Specimens of the American Vulgate, The American Language (1921), by H. L. Mencken, Bartleby

Claremont Institute

Liberty Library

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sufficient Political Knowledge

Voters can be ignorant of ideological terms or the Chief Justice's name and still make competent choices in the voting booth. Alternate terms, such as "Democrat" and Republican," or "liked by people I respect" and "disliked by people I respect," can produce the same choices tha voters would have made if they were walking political encyclopedias. Observing that survey respondents answer questions about ideological labels or common political knowledge incorrectly means nothing more, in itself, than that the respondents cannot (instantly) recall terms that political scientists and journalists know well. Broad claims about what such observations tell us about voter competence are of dubious credibility.
--Arthur Lupia, "How Elitism Undermines the Study of Voter Competence", Critical Review Vol. 18, Nos. 1-3, pp. 222-223

The Church's mission is....what?

At Intentional Disciples, Fr. Michael Fones, O.P. recalls going through the national directory of the Catholic Church in the U.S.
Imagine my surprise to find that most of the dioceses I looked at did not have a director of evangelization. ... Why was I surprised? Because Paul VI made it clear that our primary purpose as a Church is evangelization!

Then he recounts how a pastor who launched a program of evangelization got this response from some of the other priests.
"Why do you want more parishioners? You already have the largest parish in the diocese?"

Fr. Fones explains.
As long as you think of the parish as a place where spiritual needs are met, rather than as a place of formation for intentional disciples who live their faith in a conscious way throughout their week, and who put their discipleship into practice through works of service and evangelization within the secular community, "more parishioners" means just more work.

As it does at St. Al's, for example.

(via Open Book)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Call to Action is Coming!!!

"A Faithful Catholic" at Catholic Wintertime In Milwaukee is not our Paul Revere.
If you've never been to Call to Action, it's worth going. It's the largest organized Catholic event I can think of in America where true intellectual dialogue is welcome.

Depends on how broadly you define "intellectual"; a lot of the people placing personal ads in The New York Review of Books thought they qualified.
But conservatives beware, if you give as an arguement: "The Pope says so," that will not be good enough.

Conservatives? The person who most literally said something like that is Mark Peters.