Sunday, April 18, 2010

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Figment Newton

Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press indulges in some levity.
Even though an asteroid would be farther than the moon, the voyage would use less fuel and be cheaper because an asteroid has no gravity.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Made to be broken

One of my pastor's themes is that there are people who are too concerned with knowing and following rules. That came to mind to when I read his remarks on the Church's sexual abuse scandal in his column in last Sunday's St. Al's bulletin.
I truly believe that after child abuse became a 'crime' in the legal sense, those who were involved with 'obstructing' justice needed to be held especially accountable.
If it's a tradeoff, I say it's better for a pastor to know it's not a recent development that sexually abusing children is a crime even if he's also a bit of a stickler on other rules.

See Weakland says he didn't know priests' abuse was crime


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Counter for Two

James Auer in his Table for Two column reviewed Dutchland Dairy Restaurants in the Milwaukee Journal, April 5, 1974.
it's a neat, quiet place where you can eat indoors and be waited on at drive-in prices.

And, in the adjoining convenience store, you can pick up a snack for later in the evening.
A take-out option, in addition to the regular menu items, was "Grub-in-a-Tub" to go, your choice of deep-fried chicken or fish with french fries.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SFS Watch?

For the anniversary of Archbishop Romero's death, Bishop Sklba observes
The final report of Robert White, the former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, made it very clear that the military leader who had been the mastermind of the murder, together with a large number of his colleagues, had in fact been trained in the U.S.
For the anniversary of a Catholic Culture article on the book After Asceticism "Diogenes" at Off the Record includes an excerpt.
It is unfortunate—and unusual from the perspective of standard research practices—that the (John Jay) study does not provide a breakdown of the number of reported (pederasty) cases within each diocese. Nor does it provide a listing of the bishops who governed their respective dioceses over the reporting period and a tabulation of the seminary origins of the offending priests.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

That's the way the cookie crumbles

The corporate owner decided the New name for Midwest-Frontier airline: Frontier. Probably made the most business sense.

Of the names lying around in Republic's closet, I still like Skyway, the former name of Midwest's feeder subsidiary. At least it couldn't just as easily be the name for a bus line.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where is this blog going?

On the technical side, before the end of the month this blog is probably going to move to hosting by Blogspot. If so, this address will still be my website home page, in some other form, and will include a link to the new weblog location.

As to content, looks like it still won't be going anywhere.

My website just turned 14 years old. The weblog feature was added in 2002 when Church-related topics were in the news generally. Kathy Shaidle, Mark Shea, and Amy Welborn caught my blog-reading eye. Nationally, there was the scandal over priests sexually abusing minors and bishops not acting to effectively prevent repeat offenders. Locally, Archbishop Weakland was often controversial and the Cathedral renovation was the latest example, soon followed by exposure of the Marcoux payoff. So I wound up posting more on Church topics than anything else, perhaps assuming it would be for a few months, then to go on to something else. Eight years later and the abuse scandal, Weakland, and even the renovated Cathedral are still hot topics.

It's as if we might like to change the subject, but it's the subject that changes us. For example, Archbishop Dolan spoke at an event at the Wisconsin Club a few years back. It might have been the annual appearance by the Milwaukee Archbishop before the Peter Favre Forum. Peter Isely of SNAP attended and, in the Q&A, asked if Archbishop Dolan would commit to not put our Archdiocese into bankruptcy as a result of the clerical sexual abuse claims. Dolan, during his answer, edged out Isely, during his question, on whose apparent level of enjoyment was closest to that of a dog getting a bath. What they'd rather have been doing instead was a little part of the collateral damage of the scandal.

I sympathize with them both. It was uncomfortable even to watch at the time.

Despite everything, it's a tiny bit funny to think about now.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

WCC Capitol Report, April 2010

The latest issue of the newsletter of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference contains
  • WCC Weighs in on Private School Busing
  • Director’s Corner: John Huebscher, Executive Director, on “prudential judgment”
  • Legislative Session Ends in April
  • Poor Given Greater Access to State Public Defenders
  • WCC Comments on Livestock Siting Rule
Regarding that last item,
On March 9, the WCC urged the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to amend its administrative rule governing Livestock Facility Siting to allow for greater input by local government. The rule, ATCP 51, governs the establishment or expansion of large livestock operations, also known as “concentrated animal feeding operations” (CAFOs). ...
Sort of an agricultural counterpart to merged parishes.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Do unto other's tenure

Yesterday on Wisconsin Public Radio,
Joy Cardin’s guest says the Pope should resign because of the ongoing church scandals and allegations of cover-ups.

Guest: Dan Maguire, Professor of Theology at Marquette University and President of The Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics.

Week late, dollars short TBD

At the Archdiocese of Milwaukee website
April is National Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Trolley Song

Milwaukee's chief need is a modern, co-ordinated transit system which will combine the service of modern, silent streetcars, trolley buses and motor buses.

That statement was made in a letter sent Thursday to Mayor Zeidler by the Railroad Society of Milwaukee. ...
Silent Streetcars Called City's Need, The Milwaukee Journal, July 8, 1948

'What is truth?' said the witness in response to the oath

Marie Rohde tells the The story of a 40-year cover-up. Our Archdiocese has not made it easy to counter that headline.
Months ago, Milwaukee archdiocesan representatives told lawyers for the victims that all requested documents had been produced. But Michael Finnegan, a lawyer working with Anderson, said his firm found hints of more in documents produced by the Superior, Wis., Diocese. Murphy had served for years in Superior after leaving Milwaukee in 1974 but remained under the supervision of the Milwaukee archdiocese, so records on Murphy must have been shared by the two dioceses.

“We told Milwaukee that we got stuff from Superior that had come from Milwaukee,” Finnegan tells NewsBuzz. “We told them there had to be more in their files and that if they didn’t produce it, we’d go to court, and they could explain what was going on.”

As it turned out, most of the most damning information eventually came from the Milwaukee files.
While it sometimes can be difficult to be sure all documents have been located in response to an expansive request, it's gotten hard to give that benefit of the doubt in these cases.

As I've indicated, I don't see any of the pending cases going to trial. If nothing else, our Archdiocese will file for bankruptcy if that's what it takes to keep its people from testifying before a jury. Its press release on the bankruptcy, which I assume was drafted years ago, will give some different explanation.

(via Murphy's Law)


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The 2.45 Million Dollar Archbishop

WisBlawg reported Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel since 1890s Available on Google News
Archived news articles from the Milwaukee Journal and Journal/Sentinel are now available in Google News from the 1890s to the present. Unfortunately, there is no way to print the pages, but you can direct link to an article.

To access the archives, go to the advanced search page and enter Milwaukee Journal in the Source box.
You'll find items like this: Rome endowments to honor Weakland: Foundation here funding professorships in music, liturgy, Catholic teaching, by Tom Heinen, Milwaukee Journal, November 22, 1997 (specifically $1.5 million and $500,000 endowed chairs at the Gregorian University and International Benedictine College, Sant'Anselmo, respectively, from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Supporting Fund, Inc.).

That date was during the settlement negotiations in the Timeline: Weakland, Marcoux relationship, which ultimately resulted in our Archdiocese's $450,000 settlement.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We have ways of making you talk on the phone

Allan Hall reported in The Daily Mail Abuse hotline set up by Catholic Church in Germany melts down on first day as 4,000 people phone in
The effect on the Catholic Church in Germany has been profound; people are leaving in droves, de-registering with the government department that levies an annual tax of 800 pounds each on worshippers to fund it.

A quarter of Catholics in Germany said in a recent survey they had lost faith in the Church leadership.
This hurts the budget but reduces workloads. Judging by my Archdiocese and parish, indications are that many bishops and priests can live with that tradeoff.

(via Drudge Report)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Beyond the pale

Johnathan Kay in the National Post goes to the Toronto Women's Bookstore to be White & guilty: ‘Whiteness’ workshop helps expose your inner racist
Another woman described her torment when a friend asked her to give a presentation about media arts to a group of black students -- an exercise that would have made a spectacle of her white privilege. "Should I say yes? Or is it my responsibility to say no?" she said.
(via Arts & Letters Daily)

Casting the first shadow

An alert reader notes that among the New York Times documents from Father Lawrence Murphy's file, reposted at Bishop Accountability, is the September 2, 1998 letter from Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Archbishop Weakland first informs Cardinal Bertone that he can close his file because Father Murphy died August 21, 1998. Weakland goes on,
Although we thought the family had agreed to a private funeral Mass at the chapel of one of our cemeteries and that the casket would be closed, they did just the opposite, defied our agreement, invited people from the deaf community to attend, had the casket open and Father dressed in full vestments. The Mass was celebrated by the Auxilary Bishop of Milwaukee, His Excellency Bishop Richard Sklba. Bishop Sklba, in his carefully prepared words, alluded to the good work Father Murphy did, but also, in deference to the deaf community present, had to mention that some shadows had been cast on his ministry.
My reader wonders if Bishop Sklba could not have insisted, before proceeding, that the family comply with the agreement to the extent it was still possible. The letter goes on,
In spite of these difficulties, we are hoping we can avoid undue publicity that would be negative toward the Church.
How much negative publicity could there be if "Murphy’s actions were public knowledge and reported to civil authorities as early as 1973; in newspaper articles as early as 1974; and through civil court proceedings as early as 1975." as we were told in that statement from Archdiocesan spokesman Jerry Topczewski in the October 13, 2009 Milwaukee Catholic Herald?


Friday, April 2, 2010

Grating expectations

Katherine Lingle unintentionally points out a potential problem with "Restorative Justice" programs.
Is it fair to expect victims to be the ones who make the first move?
I say not if it's put that way, but she's already got the expectation ramped up to mandate.
To follow Jesus, Catholic victims should come forward and ask for the services of the program.
For an example of how "expectations" of victims can work in practice, see the letter to the editor from Miriam C. Ross, SSND, published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

P.S. Though "two can play" the expectations of victims game.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fleet Farm vs. Farm & Fleet

The two chains, Mills Fleet Farm and Blain’s Farm & Fleet, besides similar names, originated in the same year, have similar numbers of stores, serve similar areas, and the stores often have similar layouts and sell similar merchandise. The common explanation is they were a single chain that split in a family dispute.

In his Furst Draft column in the Rochester (Minnesota) Post-Bulletin, Jay Furst explained that they are and always have been separate companies.
Though it’s often rumored in farm country that the Mills and Blain’s chains are the result of a family feud, they’re not, says Blain’s spokeswoman Renee Tarnutzer. “In fact, we chuckle every time we hear the rumor that there was some sort of family dispute between two brothers,” she says.
(via Wikipedia)

Erie-dishin' erudition

In Father Ron Rolheiser's column on The Imperative for Ecumenism:

Paradox: all religions aren't equal, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Literary reference: T.S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, Hafiz.

Readability level: the selected test passage
Perhaps what this suggests most of all is that we must be open to a deeper understanding of the ineffability of God and the humility that asks of us.
scores as beyond the comprehension of John and Mary Catholic of the Diocese of Erie.

(via Milwaukee Catholic Herald)


Commonweal maneuver

I'm no fan of Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, but in a dotCommonweal post discussing a Russ Douthat column she says,
Douthat then exercises a Commonweal maneuver... on the one hand, on the other... all sides bear some responsibility for this... .