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

Saturday, April 29, 2006

United 93

I just got back from seeing the movie United 93, which opened in theaters this weekend. Highly recommended. Very well done, and I have no criticisms. I found it to be a real commemoration of the valor and courage of all people involved in the air and on the ground on that fateful day. Apparently part of the proceeds from the box office on this opening weekend will be going to the Flight 93 Memorial Fund.

Fumed by Thales at 11:56 PM. |

Ave Maria law school dean under fire from faculty

So says today's Ann Arbor News.

Fumed by Ryder at 1:31 PM. |

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

FOCUS and God or the Girl

Last week, Thursday posted about the A&E TV show, God or the Girl, a reality show that follows 4 guys in their 20's as they discern whether or not to enter the seminary. The finale of the 5-part series was on Sunday night, which I was able to catch. The show as a whole was not perfect. I had to cringe when watching some parts that were a little too reality-show-ish, and it was bothersome for the show to be reinforcing a false understanding of discerning God's Will for the sake of creating tension: ("So-and-so has only 3 days and counting to make the decision to be a priest! What will he decide? Will he go for God or the girl?"). Almost to prove the point that the discernment process for the priesthood is not one ultimate choice with no turning back, the "final" decision of the one of the guys , Dan, 21 years old, was to simply put off thinking so seriously about the seminary, and to instead live God's Will in the moment at college and with his youth group and Catholic household. On the whole, the show was positive, if only because it portrayed normal, young men, honestly considering the priesthood.

If you followed the show, I would venture to guess that there was one guy who stood out to you as having his head screwed on the straightest, who was the most mature in his understanding of Catholic priesthood and of discerning God's Will, and who was the most inspirational. This one guy also happened to be the only one out of the 4 to make the decision to enter the seminary during the finale. Steve Horvath.

In the show, there is mention that Steve gave up a high-paying job to be a Catholic missionary. It was only after I started watching, that I learned that Steve is currently a missionary with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), and that he is stationed at the University of Nebraska. FOCUS is an organization of young Catholic adult missionaries who bring the Faith to undergraduate students on college campuses across the country. While I don't have much experience with FOCUS myself, I have only heard great things about the positive impact it is having in evangelizing young people. And if FOCUS is also producing top-notch potential priests like Steve, then it is probably doing God's work.

Fumed by Thales at 5:21 PM. |

Omnes quidem, sed praecipue humaniorum literarum studiosi, latine loquantur.

Having been a beneficiary of the education system proposed in this libellus (possibly one of the last in an authentic way) and also having endured--many times within the same institution--those that deviate and prefer a more eclectic route, I submit this article for your persual. Much ink and many blog posts have been dedicated to rightly criticizing and condemning modern Jesuits who have lost their compass--philosophical, theological and moral. In many ways, the Jesuits of today are more of a club of queers' trades. But, alas, there is hope. Rediscovering the Ratio is a one step to recovering the once great Societas Iesu.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:52 PM. |

Ave Maria Town: Everything but a Parish Church

Looking for a good parish where your wedding can be witnessed? How about the baptism of your first child, born 40 weeks to the day after that wedding (at least in the experience of some good Catholic friends of mine)? Don't look to Ave Maria Town, FL. At least not in the "near future," according to the local diocese. But you can drive ten miles to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Spanish-language parish in Immokalee, FL and the closest real parish, in order to have your wedding, funeral, and/or to baptise the baby.

Does anyone else sense "cartbeforehorseitis" here? In other words, do people settle around parishes, or in "Catholic towns," or are parishes and Catholic towns founded because of the people who have settled in a given area?

Do we solicit not one but two feasibility studies and otherwise plan to move a once-successful law school to Ave Maria [No Parish] Town, to align with an unproven fledgling university, the only question being whether the move will happen in 3 years or 4, or do we wait like sane people, see what happens to said unproven fledgling university, and make the decision based on the actual best interests of the law school?

I think cartbeforehorseitis is endemic to the Ave Maria Foundation, frankly. As for the cure, I'm open to suggestions.

Read more here.

Fumed by Ryder at 11:54 AM. |

Diversity and the Cartoon Riots

The Detroit Free Press is running a story about a MSU mechanical engineering professor, Indrek Wichman, who sent an email to MSU's Muslim Students' Association while they staged a "public awareness event" protesting the Muhammad cartoons. Mr. Wichman's email suggested that Muslims who do not appreciate the values of the West should leave the United States. The text of the message, as reprinted by the Free Press, reads:
Dear Moslem Association: As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intened to protest your protest.

I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey!), burnings of Christian chirches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavain girls and women (called "whores" in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France.

This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many, many of my colleagues. I counsul you dissatisfied, agressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile "protests."

If you do not like the values of the West -- see the 1st Ammendment -- you are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.

Cordially, I. S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Its spelling errors aside, Mr. Wichman's message is courageous, astute, and oh-so-politically-incorrect. It is no surprise that the Muslim Students' Association is calling for an official reprimand of the professor and have met with university officials "several times."
In addition to a reprimand, the student group wants the university to implement diversity training programs for faculty and a mandatory freshman seminar on hate and discrimination. . . . The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also is urging the university to take "appropriate disciplinary" action, saying the e-mail creates a hostile learning environment for students.
As should be expected, the merits of Mr. Wichman's message are not being addressed. Instead, the scare tactics of political-correctness and diversity are being employed to shut the professor up. Although the Free Press did reprint the professor's email, which articulately speaks for itself, the paper did its best to display the grievances of the Muslims. The paper went so far as to associate the professor with a list of other controversal outspoken professors, such as University of Texas biology professor Eric Pianka, who advocated the use of Ebola to kill 90% of the world's population, and University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who wrote that the World Trade Center victims were Nazis who deserved their fate. To the university's credit, they have refused to reprimand the professor, stating that his message was within free speech bounds, though they are considering sensitivity training.

For an excellent explanation of how exactly this type of multiculturalism has crippled the West read The West's Last Chance by Tony Blankley, which, although written before the Cartoon Riots, unnervingly begins with a hypothetical in which Europe's Muslims organize riots over Western artwork, scaring all of Europe into compliance. The hypothetical was a chilling prediction. While the first of the Cartoon Riots were initial reactions to the Danish newspapers, the riots which splashed across the international news were spread by informational packets (with cartoons that were not actually printed), shipments of Danish flags for burning, and pyramid scheme text messaging.

Farhan Abdul Azeez, the 20-year-old president of the Muslim Students' Association, says, "There's a bigger problem here of racism and discrimination at Michigan State University. Faculty training and sensitivity training are very important to help prevent future incidents like this from occurring." Prevent what from occurring? The truth? There ought to be a public awareness event about Muslim intolerance.

According to the 18-year-old vice president of the students' association, Maryam Khalil, "The best way to limit or to kind of defuse hate is through education, no doubt." I wonder if they have educated themselves about the deaths caused by the Cartoon Riots or the events spoken of in Mr. Wichman's message. No doubt, the very courageous Mr. Wichman is probably receiving death threats from Muslims for pointing out their hypocrisy.

Fumed by Thursday at 9:22 AM. |

Monday, April 24, 2006

Et cum Lazaro quondam paupere

IMMOKALEE (AP)--Immokalee residents have a new cause to fight for and and a new tactic by which to win the fight. Recent events at the Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, MI have galvanized a rather sleepy community into one that has joined the fight of faculty, alumni and students at the successful young law school. The impending development of Domino's Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan's "Ave Maria Town" and the planned consolidation of his Ave Maria "Empire" outside Immokalee have greatly interested local residents, many of whom are excited at the possible economic opportunities that the new town will have to offer. Unfortunately, the tumult at the law school has this community wondering about the Emperor's new clothes--and they're not talking $10,000 suits and Kelly green ties!

Protests continue in their 4th day. The main effort is being spearheaded by the Lazarus group, who seeks to renew commitment to social justice and the principles of Catholic social teaching. Over the weekend, the Lazarus Group sent out a press release indicating that they have been further galvanized by the "open letter" sent by the Ave Maria School of Law faculty. Inigo Lopez, the Founder of the group, said: "The well known commitment of this faculty to the students and the institution is probably the greatest resource that the law school has to offer! For a woman who is a regular in the D.C. dinner circuit to insult and downplay their concerns is unconscionable and disgusting." The woman Mr. Lopez is referring to is National Review columnist, Kate O'Beirne. Mrs. O'Beirne is a member of the Board of Governors and met with concerned students last week to explain the position of the Board of Governors. In response to questions about the faculty's concerns, she replied that the faculty acted inappropriately and their concerns did not dignify a response. "I spit on her," were the strong words of Alvaro de Portilla, a farmer and lifelong Catholic. "These people are just like liberals. They think they are anointed, or something!"

Fr. James McNellis, S.J., professor of theology at Collegio S. Ignazio who specializes in ancient ascetical theology, commented that the form of the protests is very much an ancient practice. "This form of protest finds its roots in the ascetical practices of the Eastern Church. The fourth century experienced a flourishing of the stylitoe or 'pillar-hermits.' The most famous of these was St. Simeon Stylites who remained fasting and doing penance on top of a pillar for over 30 years. The Lazarus group is acting in holy imitation of those saintly men who are our brothers in the communion of saints. One hopes that their example will be heeded." Fr. McNellis also noted that the ancient stylitoe, like their modern bretheren, evangelized from their perches. They would speak to the assembled and call the masses to Christ and his teachings. History does indeed repeat itself.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 9:42 AM. |

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Trying not to immanentize the eschaton...

NRO has this interesting interview with everyone's favorite law prof/political philosopher, Bruce Frohnen, on the newly-published American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. Congrats on the book, Prof. Frohnen...I look forward to my copy arriving!

The interview was done by the loquacious KJL, who it seems was herself a student of Prof. Frohnen back in the day. Nice to know I have something else in common with K-Lo, other than just that we both have to deal with Kate O'Beirne.

Fumed by Ryder at 1:17 AM. |

Friday, April 21, 2006

Law West Of The Pecos

These lawyers need Judge Roy Bean to sort this one out.

Fumed by Sine Metu at 7:09 PM. |

Residents of Immokalee Protest

IMMOKALEE (AP)--In a sight that recently has become all too familiar across the nation, protests have been raging today in Immokalee, Florida--but not on the issue of immigration! It seems that local residents are agitated over a controversy surrounding a successful Catholic law school in--of all places--Michigan. The Ave Maria School of Law is no stranger to controversy. The school's mission of integrating "faith" and "reason" and training lawyers in the "Catholic intellectual tradition" has raised the judicial eyebrow among the who's who of the legal community. Many disagree with Ave Maria's approach. Some Catholic professors at other schools also disagree. Fr. Robert Drinan, former dean at Boston College School of Law, former U.S. congressman, and now professor at Georgetown University Law Center, charges Ave Maria with a holier-than-thou attitude.

Well now it seems that Fr. Drinan may be right, at least according to residents of Immokalee. Recently, the alumni, faculty and students have communicated their disagreement with the governance of the school--specifically through actions that were presented to the school's Board of Governors. The Alumni Board presented a vote of no-confidence in Dean Bernard Dobranski, and the faculty presented their own criticism (which at this writing has yet to be made public). The AP has learned through recently released documents that the genesis of the discontent has been the fact that the school, in essence, is being run as a sole proprietorship of Catholic philanthropist, Mr. Thomas Monaghan, with Dean Dobranski acting as a "resident agent."

So why are the residents of Immokalee protesting? Because Immokalee is the site of the future and controversial Ave Maria Town. The dream of Mr. Monaghan seems to be to consolidate his Ave Maria empire into this "Catholic town." Juan Carlos Escobar, a Immokalee resident, who hopes to work for the planned Sacred Ground coffee shop which is due to open in Ave Maria town said "Que loco!" He indicated that he was worried at how he would be treated if this is the way the Board of Governors of the law school treats its own. Mr. Escobar is not the only one. A coalition of farmers in the town have demonstrated their discontent by forming Lazarus, a group committed to the principles of Catholic Social teaching. "We must show the world that not all that glitters is gold," said Lazarus founder Inigo Lopez, "There are real people and real families affected by this action. We want to affect a change in hearts and attitudes and therefore we must demonstrate our disagreement in a way that is 'Biblically-based.'" Thus, members of Lazarus are not only shedding their sins, but their clothes as well. This silent protest is in imitation of the Biblical story of "The Rich Man and Lazarus" (Luke 16:19-31), and members pledge to stand on barrels overlooking the proposed sight of Ave Maria Town until justice has been served. Perhaps this silent and poignant witness will cause the powers of Ave Maria to offer a scrap of food or a sip of water.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:40 PM. |

This Martini needs to be shaken

This "front runner" for pope was more like the lead actor in a farce of opposition to the election of an orthodox pontiff. As such, this article should not come as much of a surprise to us.

It's still important, though, to thank the Holy Spirit at every opportunity for saving the Church from what would have been a ruinous reign had Martini been elected.

Fumed by Ryder at 11:52 AM. |

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sanctum Stercus!

Check out Torgo for a good discussion of the recent documents sent out by the Alumni Association. Seems like the BoG were too little too late in responding to the Alumni Board.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:14 PM. |

I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

"NOBODY expects the [Dominos Catholic Inspection Team]! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again."

In other news, Tommy's actions have made it into the Ethics Bowl at the University of Washington! Check out Question 5.

Fumed by Thursday at 10:56 AM. |

No confidence in AMSoL leadership, an addendum.

To wit:

1. New student applications have taken a nosedive, as the administration will not promise applicants that they will graduate in Michigan. The Dean is promising applicants a refund of the non-refundable deposit and a refund of the non-refundable deposit given to an alternate law school. (Tortious interference with contractual or business relationship?)

2. Approximately one half of the 1L class is considering transferring. (2L & 3L students are not permitted to transfer.)

3. Many faculty are looking for alternate employment.

4. Replacement faculty cannot be found due to the instability of the looming move.

5. All three constituencies under the Dean, the faculty, students, and alumni [through their representatives on the Alumni Board], have formally expressed no confidence in the Dean's leadership.

6. The financial aid office is conducting an internal work-study audit of tenured Founding Faculty member Professor Stephen Safranek in a fishing expedition for dirt.

7. Dean Joseph Falvey has resigned from his position as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.
Anyone who still has confidence in this administration is either blind or keeps his eyes wide shut!

Fumed by Thursday at 9:07 AM. |

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Thank you, Dean Falvey

Dean Joseph Falvey has resigned from his position as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Dean Falvey, I would like to thank you for your commitment and service to Ave Maria School of Law.

WhoseAMSoL has more.

Respectful and thoughtful comments are always appreciated.

Fumed by Thales at 8:20 PM. |

Ad Multos Annos, Papa!

And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 11:49 AM. |

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

True to Our Traditions


Of course numberless Americans smoke numberless cigars; a great many others eat cigars, which seems to me a more occult pleasure. But there does exist an extraordinary idea that ethics are involved in some way; and many who smoke really disapprove of smoking. I remember once receiving two American interviewers on the same afternoon; there was a box of cigars in front of me and I offered one to each in turn. Their reaction (as they would probably call it) was very curious to watch. The first journalist stiffened suddenly and silently declined in a very cold voice. He could not have conveyed more plainly that I had attempted to corrupt an honorable man with a foul and infamous indulgence; as if I were the Old Man of the Mountain offering him hashish that would turn him into an assassin. The second reaction was even more remarkable. The second journalist first looked doubtful; then looked sly; then seemed to glance about him nervously, as if wondering whether we were alone, and then said with a sort of crestfallen and covert smile: "Well, Mr. Chesterton, I'm afraid I have the habit."

As I also have the habit, and have never been able to imagine how it could be connected with morality or immorality, I confess that I plunged with him deeply into an immoral life. In the course of our conversation, I found he was otherwise perfectly sane. He was quite intelligent about economics or architecture; but his moral sense seemed to have entirely disappeared. He really thought it rather wicked to smoke. He had "no standard of abstract right or wrong"; in him it was not merely moribund; it was apparently dead. But anyhow, that is the point and that is the test. Nobody who has an abstract standard of right and wrong can possibly think it wrong to smoke a cigar.

--G.K. Chesterton from "On American Morals"

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:36 PM. |

We're Number 1!

At least somebody likes Ave Maria. I hope the feasibility deans factor how much people like our present digs into their study!

Fumed by Ryder at 10:28 AM. |

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Must See TV

Just when I thought there was absolutely nothing of worth on television, when it seemed as if the networks were intentionally airing godless programs on Sundays and holy days, I saw God or the Girl by A&E. It is perhaps the most inspiring, Christian show I have ever seen on secular television. It chronicles the experiences of four devote Catholic men as they discern their call to the priesthood. The show is honest and respectful of the Faith, especially at times when it could easily distort or even mock it. It is nothing short of amazing.

It doesn't stop there. Running simultaneously with God or the Girl is TLC's Raising 16 Children, a beautiful show about a mother of 16 beautiful, grounded, well-balanced, loving children, and the sixteenth can only be seen on ultrasound! It is, without equivocation, a ringing endorsement of the family.

If you watch television, you must watch these shows. You must watch not only for their value, but also to reward these networks with ratings. The networks know that airing sacrilegious shows will provoke backlash and boycotts. Now let them know that airing reverent shows will result in ratings!

Christ has risen!

Fumed by Thursday at 9:41 PM. |

Christ is risen.
Truly, He is risen.

Alleluia, alleluia.

Fumed by Thales at 1:11 PM. |

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Raising of the Cross

This is the wood of the cross, on which hung the Savior of the world.
Come, let us worship.

Fumed by Thales at 1:01 PM. |

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Email from Alumni Association Board

The following email was sent today to all alumni from the Alumni Association Board of Directors:

On April 10, 2006, the Board of Directors of the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association passed a resolution of "no confidence" in Dean Dobranksi. We believe that delaying the release of the resolution to the public in order to provide the Board of Governors the courtesy of reviewing the resolution is the most appropriate course of action. Please rest assured that the vote and Resolution are well-supported and appropriately-timed. As always, the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association welcomes your comments and thoughts at any time.

In Our Lord,

Board of Directors of the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association

Fumed by Thales at 2:25 PM. |

Miserere mei Deus

A true story that I am reminded of every Holy Week is the curious way that a truly inspired piece of music was brought to the wider world. The piece that I am referring to is Allegri's Miserere. It is a setting of Psalm 50(51) and is possibly the most heart-wrenching, prayerful, and beautiful setting of a Penitential Psalm ever composed. The music was composed by Gregorio Allegri in the 17th century and was so highly favored by the Pope, that it was to be played only during Holy Week for the service of Tenebrae on Wednesday, and at the services on Good Friday (the Adoration of the Cross, Mass of the Presanctified, and all that). It was held in such high regard and considered such a treasure of the Church, that anyone who took the music outside of the Vatican was to do so under pain of excommunication.

Enter a young 12 year old Austrian. In 1770, this young man was traveling Europe with his father and came to Rome during Holy Week to attend to the sacred offices. One can imagine the mood in Rome as Holy Week 1770 (around April 11-16) was marked by cold, rainy weather and dark skies. Truly this mournful music during the solemnity that is Holy Week, coupled with nature responding to the commemoration of her Lord's passion and death, must have made an impression on the young 12 year old.

The historical record actually indicates that it did. This precocious young man--seemingly unaware of the penalty of excommunication--transcribed the Miserere. His father seemed both delighted as well as cautious as his words in a letter indicate: "Moreover, as it is one of the secrets of Rome, we do not wish to let it fall into other hands, ut non incurramus mediate vel immediate in censuram Ecclesiae."

Like the music, the Psalm itself is not the preserve of one, but the common gift and prayer of all. Let us make it our prayer during these Holy Days.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:15 PM. |

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cardinal Mahony And The Law

George Neumayr, the son of one of the founders of Thomas Aquinas College, is one of my favorite writers. He knows how to deliver a blow with the pen and knows when and where a blow is needed. His acerbic writing style is on full display in his recent piece on Cardinal Mahony:

I had to laugh when I heard last week that he in effect called on Los Angeles Catholics to "fast" and "pray" that amnesty be extended to illegal immigrants. This is a cardinal who normally considers such practices ultramontane burdens — a cardinal who waives Holy Days of Obligation when they fall too close to Sunday, because he doesn't want the faithful to suffer the agony of going to church twice within three days. Yet to advance his chic liberalism he will harness the power of old-time piety and invoke weighty Catholic language he usually dismisses as too sectarian. The Church, he proudly harrumphs against a phantom threat, "is not in a position of negotiating the spiritual and the corporal works of mercy" — a phrase I've never heard him utter before.

Fumed by Sine Metu at 1:44 PM. |

Bishop Bruskewitz Interview

The Wanderer has an interview posted on its online site. In addition to explaining his confrontation with the USCCB's National Review Board, Bruskewitz addresses the issue of altar girls. Here's the portion on altar girls:


Q. Under your direction, the Diocese of Lincoln has had spectacular results in fostering vocations to the priesthood. What do you think accounts for that?
A. First of all, it is God's grace and the patronage of Mary, to whom the diocese is dedicated. And it's also due to the wonderful diocese that I inherited from a great predecessor, Bishop Flavin; also a cadre of excellent priests who are wholesome, holy, pure, learned, and good.
Q. As you have probably heard, Bishop Paul Loverde has announced that girl altar boys will now be allowed in the Diocese of Arlington. That means that your diocese is alone in not allowing them in the United States.
Will you continue that policy?
A. I've been alone before. However, it might be interesting to know that there are other dioceses that don't have altar girls, but they do not want it to be known. But, as I've said many times, if I see a diocese, chiefly because of altar girls, with convents overflowing with novices, and hundreds of priests being ordained, then I'll change my mind. In the meantime, we'll just continue in the old traditional way.

[emphasis added]

Fumed by Boethius at 8:42 AM. |

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Recent Alumni Association Board of Directors Resolution

On Monday, April 10, 2006, the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors approved a resolution of "no confidence" in Dean Dobranski as Dean and President of Ave Maria School of Law. The resolution will be forwarded to the Board of Governors for further action. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Fumed by Thales at 9:57 AM. |

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Thank you Sir, may I have another!

To those with a vested interest, it is no news that Ave Maria School of Law's Board of Governors has voted to conduct a second feasibility study regarding a proposed move to Florida. The first feasibility study was prepared in 2003 by J.M. Lord & Associates. The results of that study, although eagerly anticipated, were never released. That is, until now . . .

The 2003 study is now on display at the school's circulation desk, albeit, with many onerous viewing restrictions--apparently alumni are not included in the list of authorized viewers. It is over 1000 pages long. Here are some highlights:

The 2003 study is refreshingly frank, expressing what many knew for quite some time but the administration seemed unwilling to acknowledge. The question now is: What has changed, so that a new study is needed? In addition, why did the Dean choose his friend, Prof. Reed, to conduct the new study? J.M. Lord & Associates are in the business of providing consulting services to colleges and universities. Would it not have been logical and less expensive to have them update the 2003 study?


Fumed by Thursday at 10:18 PM. |

Letter from Current 3Ls

[Letter removed by request of authors.]

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 6:36 PM. |

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Tell me what I want to hear.

With much interest, I have been following the brouhaha surrounding Ave Maria School of Law's possible move to Florida, sometimes noted here and here. Amidst a veritable hurricane of activity, the school has commissioned a second feasibility study (the first having been undertaken sometime in 2003). The purpose of the study, as can be guessed from its description, is to determine whether it is feasible to move the school to Naples, Florida.

Putting aside the obvious question about a need for another study, this course of action leaves me somewhat perplexed. Should it not first be determined, in some form, whether it is in the school's best interest to move at all? I understand that the feasibility study can help determine if it is in the best interest of the school to move--I don't need a J.D. to know that what is not feasible is not in one's best interest. Nevertheless, feasibility studies are not cheap. Commissioning an expensive feasibility study before deciding whether it is even a good idea, at least generally, is putting the cart for before the horse.

Or perhaps it is a foregone conclusion? See Dean's response to third question, keeping in mind that the feasibility study will be completed in August.

Fumed by Thursday at 8:47 PM. |

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Cardinal Lied

The time will soon come when, for many, a statement will be judged false simply because a bishop claims it to be true. The task of Catholics will be to teach the world yet again the meaning of apostolic witness by our willingness to suffer for those utterances of bishops that are at once the truest and the least demonstrable: that is, when bishops repeat revealed teachings, especially the teachings that launch those who believe them into losing battles.

On the Church's tongue, the Cardinal's is forked.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 11:05 AM. |

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mulier taceat in ecclesia

As Ronaldus Magnus once said: "There you go again." It seems that the USCCB with its penchant for bureaucracy and employing the glitterati has once again chosen a winner with the current head of the Office of Child and Youth Protection. Apparently, the esteemed Ms. Ewers saw fit to recommend that His Excellency the Bishop of Lincoln out to be "fraternally corrected" for his diocese's lack of compliance with the OCYP's audit. Diogenes reported this several days ago, but Bishop Bruskewitz has seen fit to respond himself:

Some woman named Patricia O'Donnell Ewers, who is the Chair of something called 'A National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People', has said that her Board 'calls for strong fraternal correction of the Diocese of Lincoln.' The Diocese of Lincoln has nothing to be corrected for, since the Diocese of Lincoln is and has always been in full compliance with all laws of the Catholic Church and with all civil laws. Furthermore, Ewers and her Board have no authority in the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Lincoln does not recognize them as having any significance.

"It is well known that some of the members of Ewers' Board are ardent advocates of partial birth abortion, other abortions, human cloning, and other moral errors. It is understandable then how such persons could dislike the Diocese of Lincoln, which upholds the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.

"The words attributed to Ewers seem to confirm the suspicion that the members of her Board are unfamiliar with Catholic teachings, Catholic ecclesiology, and even the basic rudiments of the Catholic Catechism. Rather than concerning themselves with the Diocese of Lincoln about which they appear completely ignorant, Ewers and her colleagues would occupy themselves in a better way by learning something about the Catholic religion and the traditions and doctrines and laws of the Catholic Church.

"The Diocese of Lincoln does not see any reason for the existence of Ewers and her organization."

It is about damn time! While Ed Peters may have some concerns, I think that this approach is precisely the way to stem the tide of busybodies employed by the bishops. The Bishop is in charge not some layman or woman.

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): Is there a sexual abuse problem with clergy and children in Lincoln, Nebraska? I think not. Ad multos annos, Bruskewitz.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:50 PM. |

Attention Fumare Tech-Nerds

Add this picture to our rotating cavalcade of smokers! It is from a good blog too!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 1:36 PM. |

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Advocate (2002) v. Advocate (2006)

Following up with my previous post, a group of thoughtful current students at AMSOL ask you to consider two issues of the Advocate. These from 2002, and the latest edition's piece at WhoseAMSOL. Compare these with WhoseAMSOL's take on the current issue. (Click the picture for a larger version to read.)

Who "initiated" the school? Hmmm.

UPDATE: Our good friend Torgo has both side by side. Check out his blog and keep in touch with Fumare and WhoseAMSOL.

UPDATE II: "Boy am I glad that there is no timeline on this!" (dripping with sarcasm). Torgo does a nice job on this.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 11:29 AM. |

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Apparently, many of the current students at our alma mater are beginning to wage a ground assault on the administration of the law school. I am also told that the Alumni Association will be meeting tonight as well to bring alumni concerns to the table. Is the faculty saying anything? Developing.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:36 PM. |

Monday, April 03, 2006

Fourth Lateran? Florence? Trent? Vatican I? Vatican II?

In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, a minister of the holies and of the true tabernacle; we sing a hymn to the Lord's glory with all the warriors of the heavenly army; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Saviour, Our Lord Jesus Christ, until He, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with Him in glory.

(originally in Latin, of course!)

Whence this quote?

UPDATE: For your meditation.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:04 PM. |

Did the Pope Have Rosa in Mind??

(Rosa DeLauro D-Conn: as Executive Director of EMILY's List; in 2005)

Several days ago, the Holy Father put the smackdown on goofy Democrats. In an address, he indicated that Catholics must be active in the "public square" and they "must continue to fight" for certain issues that are paramount in today's political discourse:

[T]he Pope said that the main area of the Church's intervention in the public sphere "is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person." "...She is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable."

Here, he listed a number of principles for which Catholics must continue to fight. Namely, these are: "Protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family, as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage, and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role; and the protection of the right of parents to educate their children."

(I'm sure this is in the Catholic Democrats' Statement of Principles, but perhaps I missed it?)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 10:58 AM. |

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Let the Games Begin - Who Gets the Catholic voter

An article in The New York Observer signals the significant work the Democrats have already undertaken to woo the Catholic Voter. For a breakdown of the Catholic votes in the 2004 election, where the Democratic nominee was a Catholic look here. Here are the important facts as I see them:
  1. For the first time in nearly 100 years the majority of Catholics voted for a Republican presidential candidate.
  2. The switch of Catholics casting their votes for Republicans instead of Democrats is a long-term major trend (not a one-time event) that began in the 1970's.
  3. There are two reasons for this trend; an increase in wealth among Catholics and a variety of social issues like abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and pornography.
It is generally perceived that the increase in the number of Hispanic Catholics in the electorate will benefit the Democrats. the conventional wisdom is that they are new to this country and therefore will enjoy the government benefits that have been the bread and butter of Democratic politics. This may be true, however there are still the social issues as well as the trends within the Catholic Church (it grows more and more Conservative).

Here is the first part of an interesting article...

Clinton Makes a Pitch For Catholic Voters

By E.J. Kessler

The hunt for the great American Catholic voter of 2008 started in earnest last week, led by none other than New York’s junior Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Speaking about a Republican-passed immigration bill that would make it a felony to be in the United States illegally, or to aid an illegal immigrant, Mrs. Clinton said, “It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures, because the bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself.”


OK, I can't take anymore. When Hilliary Clinton starts interpreting scripture she comes off like a complete phoney. It didn't work for Kerry, and I don't think that it will work for Hillary.

Of course, it shouldn't come to anyone's surprise that Cardinal Mahoney and a cadre of dissenting has-been bishops are a key element of Hillary's bid to be President. They continually confuse the issues and create disorder in the Church.

Fumed by Husband at 5:01 PM. |