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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pope Tells Catholics to Multiply

Slow down my Catholic bachelor blogging friends. I think the Pope is directing this teaching to married Catholics.

To all you married Catholics out there. . . Carry on.

Fumed by Boethius at 7:31 PM. |

By What Authority? Part 2

This post offers the latest installment of an e-mail debate I have been having. Part 1 is here.


We may not be so far apart after all. You said: "I agree that Catholics should go to the Internet, but I would say that they should go first to www.vatican.va and www.usccb.org before moving on to Internet sites that 'appear' to have but have no 'imprimatur' or any other way of determining their legitimacy in terms of being 'authentic Catholic teaching.'"

I mostly agree with this, except that I would not encourage Catholics to go first to the USCCB's site. This is not to say that the USCCB's site is not a useful resource. It certainly can be, and I check it somewhat regularly myself. Nevertheless, the USCCB offers no specific guarantee that its teachings are faithful to the Church. Therefore, anything from the USCCB must always be read in light of the authentic teaching of the Church. (For authentic teaching, I would refer to the various councils, canon law, the Catechism, as well as papal encyclicals.) And I'm not just being skeptical of USCCB, all teaching must be read in light of official Church teaching, whether the teaching is from an ostensibly Catholic web site, from an unnamed Vatican official, or from a speech or homily by the Pope himself.

Regarding your statement: "
I disagree that the "Voter's Guide" inference about "non-negotiable issues" is "minor" compared to the fact that farm subsidies are an "important" component of Catholic social teaching," I think we will have to keep disagreeing.

Saying that an issue is non-negotiable does not mean that other issues are not important. What it means is that other issues are not equally important. I guess my question for you is whether you believe that any issues are non-negotiable?

Under Catholic teaching, I think it is clear that some issues are non-negotiable. For instance, the Church has clearly taught not only that abortion is intrinsically evil, but that society has an obligation to prohibit abortion through its laws. There is no room for disagreement regarding this.

The Church also teaches that helping the poor is an obligation of Christians and of society. One could even say that this is non-negotiable.
I am unaware, however, of any political candidates who say that we shouldn't help the poor. Where the disagreement among candidates is as to the legitimate questions of how we should help the poor and what is the most effective way of helping the poor. These questions are legitimate because the Church offers no concrete answers to them.

Catholic Answers' Voter's Guide laid out five issues which it believed were non-negotiable. All of these issues were also issues in the 2004 Election (accordingly, there was no reason to include slavery, genocide, or other uncontested issues as non-negotiable issues). I don't think there should be any doubt that the issues Catholic Answers chose are non-negotiable. I believe the fairer question is whether there were other issues raised in the election which might also have been non-negotiable. This question aside, I think Catholic Answers' Voter's Guide did a commendable job and that it was firmly rooted in Church teaching.

You (and others) have repeatedly argued against the Voter's Guide based on the fact that it was unauthorized by the USCCB and by the Archdiocese of Detroit, and that Faithful Citizenship was the authorized document.
The argument based on the authority of the USCCB and of the local ordinary is weak, however. As explained above, the USCCB and local ordinary can offer no guarantee that their teachings are faithful. Instead of defending Faithful Citizenship based on an argument from authority, it would be more useful to defend the substance and utility of Faithful Citizenship. I have yet to see such a defense, certainly not a convincing defense.

Fumed by Boethius at 12:11 AM. |

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'll buy a vowel, Pat...

Give it up for Boethius, newest guest-blogger here on Fumare. Bo knows law. Bo knows culture. and Bo knows Catholicism. No, I mean he really really knows Catholicism. And for anyone confused by the title of this post . . . Bo knows Wheel of Fortune [includes links to original Latin and English translation].

Welcome, Boethius.

Fumed by Ryder at 10:59 PM. |

The American Belloc Society

Calling one and all to a new society being formed: The American Belloc Society! I heartily encourage all in our esteemed number and all reading this blog to join and support this new venture. I first read of its founding in the American Chesterton Society's wonderful publication, Gilbert!.

Pope Benedict XVI has long lamented that the West no longer loves itself--thus the decline of practicing Catholics and an embrace of relativism, secularism and positivism. His Holiness has also been forthright in his criticism of the emergence of Islam as a dominant force in Europe. No doubt such is the fallout from the loss of the Faith amongst laity and clergy alike in what was once Christendom. Not to mention the anti-child mentality which has swept the West and made people mere sex toys.

This is where Belloc is necessary. We must learn to love the West again. Its culture, its wine, its customs and morals. Everything from a kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas, to Holy Hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament, to an evening of singing songs and drinking wine until one is "heavy" (as Homer would put it)! It is the joy of being Catholic! The joy of seeing one's child take his first steps, the pride one takes in seeing a brave son go off to war, and the love that overtakes a husband and wife on their wedding day! All of these things are of the culture that the Greeks, the Romans and the Church produced--The West! Let us embrace the mos maiorum--the customs of our ancestors.

In so doing, let us also fight for the West! Not only militarily--which is nonetheless part of the struggle--but more important through our associations and resistance to the movements that seek to destroy us. We need groups that work at rebuilding the culture. The Belloc Society is one such group! (The Chesterton Society has been doing it now for awhile.) Let us start and read obscure journals that promote common sense, good wine and wholesome devotion. Let's let Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, the ACLU, NOW, Planned Parenthood and the other godless wonders know that they are not the only game in town. Let us have the courage of Belloc who said--at his first campaign rally:
"I am a Catholic. As far as possible, I go to Mass every day." He then reached into his pocket and pulled out an rosary. "This is a rosary." He said. "As far as possible, I kneel down and tell these beads, every day. If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that He has spared me the indignity of being your representative!"
Let us revel in our heritage and truly come in contact with the Communion of Saints who are more alive to us today and are fellow travellers on our path to Rome and to the New Jerusalem--if only we would ask them.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:20 PM. |

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Changes in the works...

Hey folks, along with the new template comes at least one change. You must include some text in the body of the message and link from that text. Using the "Link" option right below "Title" in Blogger won't work anymore. Sorry for the inconvenience, especially to you A.M. I've gone back and fixed some recent posts that this affects. You might check your older ones and change if necessary.

To those who are wondering about one or more of the smokers we have rotating randomly in the upper right image box, here's the list as of August 28, 2005: Bing Crosby, C.S. Lewis, Gen. MacArthur, Ronald Reagan, Mark Twain, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Evelyn Waugh (whose Brideshead Revisited character, Charles Ryder, is an obvious favorite of mine). If you have suggestions or comments about these fellow fumaristi, leave a comment.

UPDATE: Thanks to NN's suggestion, here's an RSS 2.0 feed url you can use: http://feeds.feedburner.com/fumare. If you are using an Atom reader, you can use http://fumare.blogspot.com/atom.xml. You can also use the fantastic Bloglines to do much the same thing, and can include FUMARE by just entering our blog's address.

UPDATE II: The new face is one of our own. Sort of an inside joke. But if you really want to know, send me an e-mail at charlesryder@gmail.com and we'll see what we can do to satisfy your curiosity!

Fumed by Ryder at 10:00 PM. |

Thursday, August 25, 2005

"The Release of Life Devoid of Value"

This heartwrenching story proves that the enemy is not only Islamo-Fascists, but more pressing and even more diabolical is the relativistic and positivistic Hitlerism of modern Western jurisprudence.

Parce nobis, Domine.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:46 PM. |

UPDATE: Keep Watching This...(With Fr. Schall, S.J.)

Reference to my post of August 4th. It is a civilizational and theological conflict. More evidence, if the reports are true.

On this score, I had a wonderful lunch two weekends ago with Fr. James Schall, S.J. in a Georgetown pub (wonderful place--I highly recommend it to those in the Beltway). He has been the voice of reason and sanity on the War since the beginning. I recommend to all his Policy Review article--echoes of S. Augustine, common sense and the political realism that has marked the Church's thought for two millenia, but is now constantly confused by, what George Weigel has dubbed, the "functional pacifism" of recent ecclesial pronouncements on war.

Fr. Schall:
The real question is whether this current situation constitutes a new war of civilizations. Much vested interest is devoted to the proposition that it is not. Our leaders, both civil and religious, have been loath so to designate it as a civilizational war. Islam is said to be a religion of peace. To suspect that it is a threat on a much broader scale is one of those things that must be classified as “secret writing.” It goes against the dominant religious mood, namely, ecumenism, and against the liberal mode, namely, tolerance, according to which all issues can be resolved without war. But ecumenism and tolerance are not in accord with a certain Muslim viewpoint: The world, in their missionary view, ought to be Muslim even if by war, even by suicide bombings. War can be precisely “holy.” Until we can understand that, we simply will not be able to grasp the essence of the problem.
War is not the greatest evil, but at times the only means to prevent evil. This is true on both a large and small scale. What we are left with is that the effective use of force is still best and most properly left in the national state. This is not the war of all against all, but the war of those who can limit terrorism and tyranny when and where it occurs. The worst modern tyranny in the twenty-first century will not come from armies but from their lack, from the lack of capacity and courage to use them wherever they are needed to protect justice, freedom, and truth.

The real alternative to just war cannot be viable without including the necessity and ability to deal with those who do not know or listen to reason. Law enforcement does not work unless there is a more fundamental possibility of dealing with those who are bound by no concept of legal order as we understand it. There is no alternative to just war that does not depend on and include the possibility and the exercise, when reasonable, of just war.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:48 PM. |

"I die the King's Good Servant and God's first."

Interesting new sourcebook on S. Thomas More. Gerard Wegemer is one of the editors and is a More scholar of great repute. Looks to be good.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:31 PM. |

Hey Anti-War Types: "How About a Nice Hot Cup of Shut the F*** Up!"

Pardon my rather crass title to this Post, but it needs to be said to this group of aging hippies.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 11:34 AM. |

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Message, Not the Man

Colleen Carroll Campbell hits another home run.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 9:47 AM. |

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

People's College of Law

Check out this law school in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, pumping out lawyers "for the people" since 1973. Now before you scoff in condescension, you should know that People's College of Law has produced some prestigious alumni, such as current Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and California state senator Gilbert Cedillo. Although PCL does not require its students to have a bachelor's degree or take the LSAT, not just ANYONE can get into PCL. The school's website delineates its selective admissions criteria: "If you are NOT comfortable advocating for the working class, the poor, the disabled, the incarcerated, minority groups, women, immigrants, environmentalists, anti-war activists, or the gay community, (just to name a few), PCL is not the place for you." Moreover, "[a]n eligible candidate [must] be able to demonstrate a commitment to progressive social change."

"We recognize the cultural and social barriers that people have," student Magda Madrigal says of not using the LSAT as an admissions requirement. "If you grew up with a nanny and a tutor and all the comforts of life, you would probably do better than the lady next to you who worked all her life. We would be keeping you in and her out, further marginalizing the community." Of course, by keeping her out, PCL would also avoid the injustice of accepting tuition money from poorly qualified students who have no chance at passing the bar exam. The latest statistics from the February 2005 California bar exam reveal that, of the 10 PCL alumni who were taking the bar exam for at least the second time, all 10 failed. The 1 first-time test taker from PCL also failed. In fact, no graduate of PCL has passed the California bar exam since July 1999, and that person was a repeat test-taker.

Apparently, a sincere commitment to the leftist ideology is not enough to make for a successful practicing lawyer. Thank God.

UPDATE: Phlogizo makes the point that PCl's logo somewhat resembles the communist symbol of the hammer and sickle. The logo also appears to have been executed in the style of Diego Rivera, the famous artist and communist. This would make sense, of course, since it is the PEOPLE'S college of law.

Fumed by Sine Metu at 12:33 PM. |

Nice WYD Photo...

<shameless plug>

This photo was published in Stars and Stripes today. Might just be in the European edition, but Advocatus Militaris might want to check his copy anyway. Nice sticker on that little girl's back, eh? Looks a lot like the one advertised on in the column to the right, the one where sales will go to support Fumare.... Hmmm....

/shameless plug>

Fumed by Ryder at 11:44 AM. |

Monday, August 22, 2005

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a parody...

...and it's probably the best parody I've ever seen. Hands down. If you've seen any film by Ken Burns, you'll get it. If you've seen Baseball or The Civil War, there are points in this film that you will cough up a lung laughing so hard. Here's the summary from IMDb:
In 1957, African-American astronauts found themselves unable to break the color barrier at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Undaunted, and on a shoestring budget, they formed their own space program, the "Negro-American Space Society of Astronauts" (NASSA). Told in documentary style satirizing Ken Burns' documentary "The Civil War," this comedic short traces NASSA's rise and fall with a nod to the true history of the Negro Baseball Leagues.

NSFW caveat: Don't play in the presence of anyone overly-sensitive to race-related humor or a smattering of rough language. Judicial clerks might want to wait until they get home tonight too.

Hat tip: Jonah over at NRO's The Corner.

Fumed by Ryder at 2:08 AM. |

Sunday, August 21, 2005

World Youth Day XXIII to be held next door to Middle Earth and Narnia!

Congratulations to Sydney, home of World Youth Day XXIII in 2008! I don't know if it will be Pope Benedict XVI's first trip to Australia, but it will be mine! Anyone for a pre-pilgrimage to WETA and the land moviegoers know as Middle Earth (and will soon know as Narnia)?


Fumed by Ryder at 3:03 PM. |

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A "neo-feminist" abstains...

Interesting article from Friday's McPaper. Isn't this what some have been saying for a while? Maybe hearing it from someone who isn't an "ultraconservative who is cohabitating with a houseful of cats and TiVo'ing Lifetime movies" will make the difference for some hardened types. Kudos to Ms. Sandoval.

Fumed by Ryder at 5:54 PM. |

WYD Update

I just spoke with my brother, who is at WYD. Gotta hand it to those GSM cell phones! How cool to be watching the Holy Father on EWTN, addressing the vigil at Mary's Field near Cologne, and to hear him through my brother's cell phone as well! Anyway, it's nearing midnight there now, and in the morning there will be a beautiful mass with over a million pilgrims. Please pray for this event to restore the relationship of Germany with God and with the world. And pray that it is yet one more seed in the restoration of Europe to Christianity. CNN may choose to focus on a few young pilgrims who don't know better and dissent when it comes to contraception (they didn't find any pro-aborts, though they no-doubt tried), but I'd wager those same young people are at this very moment having the doors to their hearts knocked upon by the Good Shepherd. All night confessions and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will go a long way as well.

That's it. I was just moved to write, moved by memories of my own pilgrimage to WYD Denver in 1993. It is not hyperbole to say that these gatherings have the ingredients for changing lives. Let us pray that those in Cologne recognize those ingredients and make the best of them.

BTW, to those who read this on Saturday, EWTN will repeat the vigil at 8:00 EDT (things don't get going until about an hour and a half later, when they broadcast a tape-delayed address the Pope made to seminarians today). Then, at 3:00 a.m. EDT the mass will be broadcast live. It will be repeated twice on Sunday. You can get the full schedule (and even watch the broadcast online!) at EWTN.com.

Oh, and the music is really good!

UPDATE: Okay, so not all the music was good. I liked the clarinet version of Ave Maria at the vigil, though!

Fumed by Ryder at 4:41 PM. |

Friday, August 19, 2005

Carl Sandburg's Abraham Lincoln

Out of the smoke and stench, out of the music and violent dreams of the war, Lincoln stood perhaps taller than any other of the many great heroes. This was in the minds of many. None threw a longer shadow than he. And to him the great hero was The People. He could not say too often that he was merely their instrument.

--Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years

I recently read an abridged version of Carl Sandburg's famous work, Abraham Lincoln, and have concluded it is one of the best books I have read in the last ten years. Sandburg does a masterful job of capturing the enigmatic Lincoln: his melancholic temperament, his physical awkwardness, his loneliness, his shrewdness, his belief in the sentiments of the American people. One wonders how this seemingly incapable man arose from such humble origins to become president and hold the country together during the Civil War.

One of the most engaging parts of the books is Sandburg's account of the events surrounding Lincoln's assassination. Sandburg relates several haunting vignettes in which Lincoln seemingly predicted his own death the day he died. His description of Lincoln's last hours as he lay dying in bed is dark and palpable: "For Abraham Lincoln it was lights out, good night, farewell and a long farewell to the good earth and its trees, it's enjoyable companions, and the Union of States and the world Family of Man he had loved."

Sandburg's book is sometimes criticized for being "non-historical." He shuns footnotes, fails to cite his sources, and often indulges in anecdotal evidence which seems more like legend and myth than fact. It has been described as a hybrid work, a blend of both history and poetry; the quotes above give you a sense. In my opinion, though, the book is more enjoyable and more revealing precisely because it was not written by an orthodox historian, but by a poet, folklorist, and novelist. It is beautifully written. As for the lore written as history...there is truth even in myth, as Tolkien might say.

Fumed by Sine Metu at 11:11 AM. |

Thursday, August 18, 2005

World Youth Day

Amy Wellborn has the goods on WYD sites and livebloggers from Cologne. Enjoy!

Fumed by Ryder at 8:54 PM. |

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Life of Karol Wojtyla

I recommend watching Karol: A Man Who Became Pope on the Hallmark Channel. I watched it a few nights ago and was pleasantly surprised by the movie, which tells the story of Karol Wojtyla's life from his struggles against the Nazis up until his election as Pope. I especially enjoyed the fine acting by the man who played Karol Wojtyla. He really seemed to capture Wojtyla's optimistic leadership through good times and bad. There's a re-broadcast of the movie Sunday, August 21, at 9 a.m. ET. If you watch it, you might recognize the actor who plays Wojtyla's KGB archrival -- he's the same guy who played the convicing Pontius Pilate in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

Fumed by Phidippides at 2:49 PM. |

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Netscape's birthday

Ten years have come and gone since Netscape's IPO ushered most of the world into the internet age and the Information Revolution. Today, we should be especially thankful for the way the web has allowed us to advance and has brought our society on par with the Greeks and Romans. See for yourselves...thought-provoking pages like this, this, and this.

Fumed by Phidippides at 3:55 PM. |

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Limbaugh wants to help Owens, McNabb settle dispute

I always thought that Rush Limbaugh got smeared by the media way too much for merely asserting a "conspiracy theory" about the way race operates in the NFL. His theory seemed like a stretch to me, but it wasn't anything worse than Dusty Baker's comments a few years ago. It's interesting to find out, though, that Rush is now offering to be peacemaker in the Donovan McNabb-Terrell Owens training camp spat.

Fumed by Phidippides at 7:51 PM. |

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Swimming Upstream, Part I

"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."
- G. K. Chesterton
Everlasting Man

I have been a curious observer of Bud MacFarlane Jr. since learning of him about five years ago. Bud is a layman who has spread populist Catholic materials at Catholicity. Bud seemed to be the virtual mayor of that site for many years. His greatest visibility has come both through the three novels he has published, which he gives away, and the "Catholicity Message" -- a monthly e-mail message to the "citizens" of Catholicity.

As the erstwhile Mayor of Catholicity, Bud has been the cheerleader for a number of sometimes novel ideas, not the least of which was spearheading a campaign to give away books and other media. Among others: the E5 Men concept, promoting frequent prayer, telling jokes, and "preaching" on many topics of interest to the Catholic laity via his monthly messages. On this last point, I can recall Bud frequently drawing from his own life, using many stories involving his wife, Bai, and four boys. While I've often found Bud to be mildly entertaining, I never could quite figure out how he managed to support a family in a line of work that specialized in giving things away. While I never expected that Bud would live in a house of gold, I supposed that, like many who take risks on worthwhile ventures, Bud and his family were among those well attended by Divine providence.

Having imagined the real-world difficulties inherent in Bud's ventures, I wasn't too surprised a couple of years ago when his Catholicity messages became infrequent, and then ceased to be authored by him. I expected that he would turn up in some other venture before too long.

Several months ago, I learned of the more recent happenings of Bud MacFarlane Jr., and they were unexpected: Bud had filed for divorce. Though I never saw Bud as one conceived without sin, I did feel betrayed, knowing how strongly Bud had preached about the virtues of marriage both in his Catholicity messages, and even once to me personally.

Well, the next chapter is being written as we speak. Bai MacFarlane, having had a husband inexplicably leave her, the police forcibly remove her children from her custody, and her matrimonial bond pierced by the sword of no-fault divorce, is fighting with all of her might to save her marriage against the tide of easy divorce and her children from daycare. In addition to having secured the services of Ave Maria School of Law Professor Stephen Safranek, Bai is using her experiences to teach others about the ugly reality of modern divorce.

Her legal case has many interesting points and is proceeding in both civil and canonical courts.

Bai tells her story in this interview.

Bai's website on the scourge of no-fault divorce can be found here.

Professor Safranek's True Marriage Project is here. (A bit buggy on Firefox)

More to follow . . .

Fumed by Devil's Advocate at 10:42 PM. |

Waxing Philosophical


"If you would be a seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things."



"[I]ntellectual freedom is customarily defined by the mentality of free inquiry, the mentality which sees itself as not enslaved to any fixed conception but free to subject every doctrine to critical examination and possible rejection.
[F]ree inquiry is usually justified by its effect in the pursuit of truth. More truths will be discovered, and more surely held, it is said, if all beliefs are subject to question and possible reversal. But such an assertion, if it is not a "dogma," must be grounded on the actual examination of the issues upon which men have disagreed, a judgment where the truth lies in each case, and then a determination of whether and how much the principle of free inquiry was an advantage. It would then follow that the resolution of those issues--the test cases of intellectual progress--would be immune to criticism under the principle of free inquiry, since the value of the principle is predicated on their resolution.

A further difficulty is that the principle of free inquiry would be nullified by the achievement of its stated purpose. As long as a man is ignorant, it is consistent with his condition to remain open to both the affirmative and negative answers to the issue in question. But when and if he comes to know (which is the purpose of his investigation) the matter ceases to be doubtful to him, and his mind closes to the possibility that the opposite might be true. He is no longer free to doubt, except willfully. Thus by the assumed definition ignorance makes free, while knowledge enslaves."

--A Proposal for the Fulfillment of Catholic Liberal Education

Fumed by Sine Metu at 3:28 PM. |

Monday, August 08, 2005

"Faith e'er with reason...Truth e'er in season... Fides et Ratio... Deo gratias!"

[Note to non-Ave Maria readers: the title to this post is a "double super-secret background" inside joke. If you want an explanation you'll have to wait for Bob Novak to write about it.]

Congrats to our alma mater! The fastest a law school can be fully accredited by the American Bar Association is five years. Ave Maria School of Law did it in minimal time! [Read the AMSL press release here.]

Fumed by Ryder at 10:58 PM. |

The Once Great Society of Jesus

This story carries with it the foul stench that usually seems to emanate from the California Jesuit Province. Primarily, it is the sad history of Father James Chevedden, a Jesuit priest who committed suicide after contending with a mental disorder. But the story is also emblematic of the decay that results when a religious order becomes entrenched with homosexuals who refuse to recognize their condition as a "disorder."

The Provincial of the Jesuit order in California, Father Thomas Smolich, is apparently not prepared to admit that homosexual men are largely reponsible for the sexual abuse within his ranks: "From my first year as Provincial, I have said publicly and in print that we always have had and will continue to have gay or homosexually-oriented members of the Province who are exemplars of our way of life." How many children, seminarians, and priests have to be sacrificed to sexually active homosexual priests and religious before homosexuality is recognized as a fundamental cause of the problem, both within the Jesuit order and without? The fact that some homosexuals can be and have been faithful priests does not render the question moot. And the numbers do not lie: 81 percent of the minors abused by Catholics priests since 1950 were male. Of those males victims, 85.8 percent were 11 or older, meaning the vast majority of those cases fell outside the clinical definition of pedophilia.

We all struggle with our own sins and disorders. Where we go wrong is when we call the sin good and the disorder normal. Homosexuality is not some boon to the priesthood; it is an intrinsic disorder. And as a sexual disorder, one would expect that those who struggle with this condition find it more difficult to be chaste. This indeed appears to be the case. Although most priests are heterosexual, the vast majority of priestly sexual transgressions are homosexual in nature.

Pictured above: Brother Charles Connor, the Jesuit who allegedly abused Father Chevedden before he died.

Fumed by Sine Metu at 3:54 PM. |

Thursday, August 04, 2005

He's absolutely fabulous!

Today, NPR aired a story on the pro bono gay rights work Roberts performed while at Hogan & Hartson. The head of the pro bono department, Walter Smith, discribes how Roberts never turned down anything that Smith sought him out for, though it was Roberts' prerogative to do so. Listening to Smith describe Roberts' willingness to help, however, makes me wonder if the story is a red herring. Smith's inflections lead one to image that Romer v. Evans was a big day for him, and his glee in speaking of Roberts' work on the case seems rather queer. And, so far it seems that the only help Roberts gave Jean Dubofsky was oral arguments tips, as our good friend Boethius reports.

After all, Roberts did not mention his involvement in Romer v. Evans when he filled out the Senate Judicial Committee questionaire.

You can find the approximately 4 minute audio clip here.

Fumed by Thursday at 11:43 PM. |

Keep Watching This....

Hopefully it won't come to this before the peace-love-dope wing of the Church wises up.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 5:08 PM. |

I'm Still Not Sold on This Guy--I'm Not Looking for Metaphysical Certitude, Just a Little Common Sense!

He had enough clout to refuse. If the report is correct, why was he so enthusiastic?

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 1:03 PM. |

Reuters, The News Room

This was just too good to ignore. Reuters posted a picture of, as AM puts it, "the Sack of Rome" and numerous faithful responded. (I couldn't find a workable link, so I've reproduced the content below. You can go there yourself by clicking here and then clicking on "The News Room" from the menu on the left.)

The News Room
The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly
Feedback from our online readers
July 29, 2005
Black text = Reuters headlines and stories
Blue text = Reader Feedback
Red text = Editor's note

Three of the nine women to be ordained as Roman Catholic priests and deacons lay on the floor during a ceremony on a boat in international waters on the St. Lawrence Seaway near Gananoque, Ontario July 25, 2005. Nine North American Catholic women were ordained priests or deacons in what will amount to a test of Pope Benedict's determination to enforce the Vatican's ban on women's ordination.

Please stop your inaccurate captions regarding Catholic women who are being ordained. Once they are ordained, they will be something, but they will NOT be Roman Catholic Priests. Here's a good rule of thumb. If it has a vagina, it's not a Roman Catholic Priest. You can write captions like: "Roman Catholic women excommunicate selves by becoming ordained". Tony

Ordination to the Roman Catholic Priesthood requires two very simple things: 1. The subject being ordained must be Catholic. 2. The subject being ordained must be male. It's quite simple. And it's been the teaching of the Church for, oh, about 1,960 years (give or take). Claire H.

You can't call a terrorist who blows up a bus or train car a terrorist. But, you can call a person ordained outside the Catholic church a priest, even when they are not recognized by the church as a priest. What planet do you people come from? David T.

Lots and lots of readers caught us on this one. In the end, we had to correct captions for several pictures. As one reader said, “I could call myself a Reuters photographer, but that wouldn’t make me one." Editor

Fumed by Thursday at 8:59 AM. |

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The first year of law school in about five minutes

Michael Dorf of FindLaw.com has The Five-Minute Law School: Everything You Learn In Your First Year, More or Less.

Now, if it were not for the law-school requirements of most bars, we could have all saved a substantial wad of cash.

Fumed by Thursday at 1:53 PM. |

I Guess the Archbishop Confused "Unprotected Intercourse" for "Indirect Discourse"

This post is significant in demonstrating what happens when Bishops hand over control of their dioceses to fat women in strech pants, or some bloated bureaucracy. Do the Bishops actually know what is going on?
(1) If they do, they are willfully and intentionally dissenting from Catholic doctrine and thus are "wolves in sheep's clothing" and qualify for the Millstone of the Month Club.
(2) If they don't, then they are guilty of not safeguarding the doctrine of the Faith, failing as rulers and teachers--preferring instead a life of cocktail parties and golf outings--and qualifying for the Millstone of the Month Club.

Either way I mention this in demonstrating what practically happens when Bishops abdicate their responsibilities. Here it is with regard to the Fr. Mentula situation which is of interest to us Catholic lawyer-types:

Under the direction of Portland's archbishop at the time, William J. Levada, church attorneys tried to get the suit dismissed in 1994 on several grounds. In a motion, they argued that the "birth of the plaintiff's child and the resultant expenses ... are the result of the plaintiff's own negligence" because she engaged in "unprotected intercourse."

Well, I feel confident with the new CDF Head. Diogenes is also confident.

(N.B. "Indirect Discourse.")

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 1:48 PM. |

All judicial law clerks should be aware of this opinion:

US v. Schwartz, No. 03-35-1 (E.D. Penn., July 26, 2005)(Slip Op.).

Such wonderful citations.

Fumed by Thursday at 12:22 PM. |

Monday, August 01, 2005

Helen Thomas Update: The Ole Double Standard

Looks like Helen "Jimmy Durante" Thomas just can't stand the heat.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:41 PM. |