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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Mirabile visu!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:46 PM. |

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us!

Sadly, I realized at the eleventh hour (quite literally) that today is the feast day of St. Joan of Arc. It is fitting that the United States annually commemorates its fallen soldiers so near the feast of the Maid of Orleans. St. Joan of Arc was a living paradox: a humble peasant girl whom God raised up to do the most manly task of leading an army. As if this were an insufficient accomplishment, St. Joan won the crown of martyrdom with the fortitude of a soldier and the simplicity of the peasant girl she was.

In a book that I number among the best I have ever read, Mark Twain recounts her trial:

Doubt was cast upon the authenticity of her mission because of the ignorance and simplicity of the messenger chosen. Joan smiled at that. She could have reminded these people that Our Lord, who is no respecter of persons, had chosen the lowly for his high purposes even oftener than he had chosen bishops and cardinals; but she phrased her rebuke in simpler terms:

"It is the perogative of our Lord to choose His instruments where He will."

* * *

She was charged with having dared, against the precepts of God and His saints, to assume empire over men and make herself Commander-in-Chief. That touched the soldier in her. She had a deep reverence for priests, but the soldier in her had but small reverence for a priest's opinions about war; so, in her answer to this charge she did not condescend to go into any explanations or excuses, but delivered herself with bland indifference and military brevity.

"If I was Commander-in-Chief, it was to thrash the English!"

Death was staring her in the face here, all the time, but no matter: she dearly loved to make these English-hearted Frenchmen squirm, and whenever they gave her an opening she was prompt to jab her sting into it. She got great refreshment out of these little episodes. Her days were a desert; these were the oases in it.

* * *

"Will you say that you have no judge upon earth? Is not our Holy Father the Pope your judge?"

"I will say nothing to you about it. I have a good Master who is our Lord and to Him I will submit all."

Then came these terrible words:

"If you do not submit to the Church you will be pronounced a heretic by these judges here present and burned at the stake!"

Ah, that would have smitten you or me dead with fright, but it only roused the lion heart of Joan of Arc, and in her answer rang that martial note which had used to stir her soldiers like a bugle-call--

"I will not say otherwise than I have said already; and if I saw the fire before me I would say it again!"

It was uplifting to hear her battle-voice once more and see the battle-light burn in her eye. Many there were stirred; every man that was a man was stirred, whether friend or foe; and Manchon risked his life again, good soul, for he wrote in the margin of the record in good plain letters these brave words: "Superba responsio!" and there they have remained these sixty years, and there you may read them to this day.

"Superba responsio!" Yes, it was just that. For this "superb answer" came from the lips of a girl of nineteen with death and hell staring her in the face.

It took Twain twelve years to research and write his book. It is widely reported that he considered it his greatest work. Amazingly, the book published almost ten years before Pope St. Pius X beatified St. Joan and some twenty-five years before Pope Benedict XV canonized her.

May the virtues of St. Joan of Arc be ours in the battles of this life, and may she continually intercede for our soldiers before the throne of God.

Fumed by Devil's Advocate at 11:00 PM. |



Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 9:48 AM. |

Sgt. Boniberger, we salute you

It's refreshing to see people acting with integrity, even when they would benefit from a lie. It's especially refreshing when the hero is a soldier: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/29/vet.lottery.ap/index.html

(And even more so when he's from New York).

Fumed by AMSOL Pioneer at 9:16 AM. |

Monday, May 29, 2006


Though their true identities may be unknown to some of you, it's no secret that Thursday and his girl Friday have been planning their nuptials since last October. Well, the blessed day arrived this weekend, exactly a year after their first date. It was a rainy afternoon, but that didn't put a damper on the day. They say, after all, that a wet knot is far more difficult to untie than a dry one!

To our dear friends Thursday and Friday (or should that now be "Thriday"?), congratulations. May each passing day present new opportunities to grow in your understanding of sacrifical love for your spouse, and to put that love into practice for the greater glory of God. To this end, be assured of the prayers and support of your Fumare family!

[FYI, for those interested in where the happy couple is honeymooning, our information tells us they are most likely here. We could be wrong, though.]

Fumed by Ryder at 3:16 AM. |

Though I Walk in the Valley of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil

"The rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people, to cancel it from the register of the peoples of the Earth... By destroying Israel with the Shoah, they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith and to replace it with a faith of their own invention."

"In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can be only a dread silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?"

UPDATE: Sandro Magister has more at Chiesa.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:44 AM. |

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Taking a small stand in the culture war

With the overwhelming popularity of Google as the world's premiere search engine, I thought it worth mentioning that they have taken a stand in the culture wars - for the wrong side: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50323

I suggest fumaristas start using www.prolifesearch.com for their web searching needs.

(This was the best I could do to get "that other post" lower down the screen...

Fumed by AMSOL Pioneer at 3:44 PM. |

Can we please change the subject?

In an effort to bump the below heading down on my screen to a point where it's no longer visible to passing coworkers and to redirect discussion anywhere but where it's been, I'd like to pose the following hypothetical:

Suppose a self-described "mildly pro-choice, but anti-gay marriage" celebrity were honored with an LLD at AMU's commencement. In her address, she condemned the decision of Tom Monaghan to summarily fire the founding faculty of AMSoL and replace them with Fr. Marciel. At the commencement Mass, Fr. Fessio celebrated a Latin Novus Ordo ad orientem, against the wishes of the local ordinary, who had threatened not to constitute AveTown as a parish unless Fessio celebrated in an English translation mandated by the US bishops in defiance of the Holy See's refusal to approve it on the grounds that it violated the tenets of Liturgicam Authenticam. The valedictorian gave a talk condemning both contraception and the war in Iraq.

Would it be proper to protest such a ceremony? In what manner, and on what grounds?

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 3:03 PM. |

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Great Tits Challenge Evolutionary Theory

Thanks to the ever watchful JTCorey for this one.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:37 PM. |

Memorial Day 2006

This is a rousing tribute to the men and women serving our great nation in the military as well as reminder of why so many great citizens have placed themselves in harm's way. It is worth the download time, even if you don't like country music.

Sound off!

Fumed by Husband at 1:15 AM. |

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

AMU Conferring Law Degrees?

A VERY interesting rumination by Torgo.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:00 PM. |

Aqua Marina University: Where Baptism is a Way of Life

Over at God's Revolution, Columcille has a PDF* satire on AMU in light of our previous Vice President's dire warnings of immediate global warming-related destruction of Earth, or at least Florida.

The images alone are worth the visit...!

*pretty darn funny

Fumed by Ryder at 9:43 AM. |

Monday, May 22, 2006

Having their Cake and Eating It Too!

Ahh, yes, it is that time of year again--commencement at a Catholic college or university. The dignified strains of Pomp and Circumstance, the academic procession of faculty in their varied colors indicating the various disciplines (some with all the colors of the rainbow), young graduates eager to take on the world and "make a difference," and finally homage paid to the traditions that are the hallmark and cornerstone of the academic institution's education. Yes, it is the time of the year to hear lofty appeals to "Jesuit tradition," and "Catholic values." I'm still trying to find out what those terms mean. (See your favorite institution here.)

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

Strong Language from Cardinal Arinze to USCCB

Apropos of the recent liturgical discussion here at Fumare, I recommend reading the following letter from Cardinal Arinze, Prefect, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to Bishop Skylstad, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ("USCCB"). (via Diogenes)


2 May 2006

The Most Reverend William Skylstad
Bishop of Spokane
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Prot. n. 499/06/L

Your Excellency,

With reference to the conversation between yourself, the Vice President and General Secretary of the Conference of Bishops of which you are President, together with me and other Superiors and Officials when you kindly visited our Congregation on 27 April 2006, I wish to recall the following:

The Instruction Liturgiam authenticam is the latest document of the Holy See which guides translations from the original-language liturgical texts into the various modern languages in the Latin Church. Both this Congregation and the Bishops’ Conferences are bound to follow its directives. This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is therefore not competent to grant the recognitio for translations that do not conform to the directives of Liturgiam authenticam. If, however, there are difficulties regarding the translation of a particular part of a text, then this Congregation is always open to dialogue in view of some mutually agreeable solution, still keeping in mind, however, that Liturgiam authenticam remains the guiding norm.

The attention of your Bishops' Conference was also recalled to the fact that Liturgiam authenticam was issued at the directive of the Holy Father at the time, Pope John Paul II, to guide new translations as well as the revision of all translations done in the last forty years, to bring them into greater fidelity to the original-language official liturgical texts. For this reason it is not acceptable to maintain that people have become accustomed to a certain translation for the past thirty or forty years, and therefore that it is pastorally advisable to make no changes. Where there are good and strong reasons for a change, as has been determined by this Dicastery in regard to the entire translation of the Missale Romanum as well as other important texts, then the revised text should make the needed changes. The attitudes of Bishops and Priests will certainly influence the acceptance of the texts by the lay faithful as well.

Requesting Your Excellency to share these reflections with the Bishops of your Conference I assure you of the continued collaboration of this Congregation and express my religious esteem,

Devotedly yours in Christ,

+Francis Card. Arinze

Prefect, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments


My Comments:

Though not approved by ICEL, I offer the following abbreviated translation of the above letter:

Bishop Skylstad, you unfaithful and conniving wretch, don't give us any more of your crap (and that goes for everyone else at the USCCB too). You will follow the directives of Liturgiam Authenticam whether you like it or not.

Arinze out.

Fumed by Boethius at 8:41 AM. |

Friday, May 19, 2006

Just War and Iraq Summary

Christopher Blosser has an excellent (and lengthy) post which summarizes much of the debate regarding the legitimacy of the Iraq War. For those interested in this topic, I highly recommend reading the whole thing. Of particular interest to me was Christopher's takedown of Dale Vree's (of the New Oxford Review) position. I have long been frustrated by Vree's analysis on this topic (which is strongly opposed to the War in Iraq and believes Catholic teaching requires Catholics to be similary opposed to the war) and believe Blosser does an excellent job in both framing the debate and in responding to Vree's points.

Fumed by Boethius at 1:16 PM. |

"Very Influential."

Ok. Two questions: 1.) Who said it? 2.) About what? Now, I know what most of you are probably thinking:

"Why, AM, it is referring to the Pontifical Gregorian University (pictured above), and how its alumni number 14 popes and countless other cardinals, bishops, priests and doctors of the Church; and how it continues to be the epicenter of Catholic academia in Rome."

Or, other more cynical types might have in their minds:

"Typical dustjacket throwaway line by some stuffy professor of modern opinion on a book that nobody will read; thus, influencing said professor and noone else--which makes sense, because that prof thinks that the world begins and ends with him."

Well, I will hold you in suspense no longer. To answer the questions: 1.) I said it. 2.) FUMARE. It seems that we have readers in the very halls of the Society of Jesus' flagship university. Now we don't presume to opine on whether our influence extends to the threshold of the Apostolic Palace itself, however, we can be certain that the Jesuits and (quite possibly) the CDF have taken note of the insights of this august group of beer drinking, pipe smoking lawyers.

So welcome dear readers from Rome! Light up your tobacco, have a strong drink, laugh at our doggerel, chortle when we amateurs screw something up, and enjoy!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:14 PM. |

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vatican Restricts Fr. Maciel's Ministry

John Allen has the story here. Here's a morsel:

Capping a decade-long on-again, off-again investigation of accusations of sexual abuse, the Vatican has asked Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, to observe a series of restrictions on his ministry.

In effect, Vatican sources told NCR this week, the action amounts to a finding that at least some of the accusations against the charismatic 86-year-old Mexican priest are well-founded.

Maciel has not been laicized, but the restrictions issued shortly before Easter by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith limit Maciel's public activity, such as his capacity to celebrate public Masses, to give lectures or other public presentations, and to give interviews for print or broadcast.


UPDATE: Diogenes has a translation of the official Holy See statement on Fr. Maciel:

After submitting the findings of the investigation to careful study, the Congregation for thr Doctrine of the Faith, under the direction of the new Prefect, His Eminence Cardinal William Levada, decided -- taking into consideration the advanced age of Fr. Maciel and his delicate health -- to forego a canonical trial and to invite the Father to a life restricted to prayer and penance, renouncing any public ministry. The Holy Father has approved these decisions.

Apart from the person of the Founder, the apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and the association of Regnum Christ is acknowledged with gratitude.

Fumed by Boethius at 4:39 PM. |

Slave Labor--D'oh!

I like to think of myself as a pro-free markets kind of guy, but I don't think being in favor of freedom necessitates an unqualified support of globalization. I despise Wal*Mart and agree with the Crunchy Cons who place the traditional concerns of families and workers over the desires of large corporations. I know Wal*Mart is considered by some the apotheosis of free human choice, as opposed to centralized bureaucratic planning, but I worry that the free market, and indeed freedom itself, has nothing to do with one of the reasons why many of Wal*Mart's goods are so cheap. We're supporting slave labor, people, whenever we purchase goods made in China. This was brought home to me when I stumbled across this article (scroll down to the middle) that mentions the Homer Simpson slippers made fashionable in the halls of AMSoL by one of our very own. Sadly, the slippers are made by imprisoned members of Falun Gong, presumably before they're killed and their organs are harvested.

Disclaimers: So, it's come to this. I've cited to wikipedia as a source. Shame on me. Also, I do think Falun Gong is nutty; I just don't think they should be imprisoned and killed by the Red Chinese. Finally, please spare me the neo-con cracks for citing to NRO. I found the article through the weblog of the great New Criterion, to which magazine I was introduced by the great AMSoL Law & Lit prof, Dr. McNamara. Also, sorry I couldn't work a Prof. Myers joke into one of the hyperlinks above. You'll know which one.

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 4:25 PM. |

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"Real men kneel on stone."

During my ill-spent youth, our parish was under the care of a great old Irishman. He was tough, no-nonsense, never voted for Roosevelt or Kennedy (but did vote for Reagan--twice!), knew his Latin and Greek, staunchly faithful to the Pope and--though gruff--never turned anyone away. There were 3 Masses a day: 7:00am, 8:30am, and 7:00pm. The reason for so many Masses was the pastor's thought that people have different work schedules and Mass should be available to those people who want to go daily. Typical of a daily Mass, the church was not overflowing, but there were a good number of folks at each of those Masses--the regulars.

One thing that struck me was the good number of men. As could be expected, there was the WWII cadre--older men, retired, then in their 60s and 70s, strong and silent; though fewer, there were the professionals--docs and lawyer-types; and there were the blue collar guys--you would see a goodly amount of these guys in their flannel shirts and lunchboxes at the 7:00am Mass, but not a few were also at the 7:00pm Mass (either returning from work or before 2d or 3d shift). As an altar boy, I remember several distinctly in that there was always dirt under their fingernails and they would receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

Then came 1990 and a new pastor and a new set of priorities: altar girls, no genuflecting, no bells, no kneeling, and building community. I think Diogenes may have had the playbook. Here's a slice:

Suppose your crusade demanded lowering blue collar male attendance from, say, 4% to less than 1%. How would you go about it?
You'd go in for full court stripe-to-stripe buzzer-to-buzzer gender bending. You'd choose your presiders from among swish counter-tenors. You'd coach them in theatrical prancing and homiletics. You'd pack the sanctuary with testy, power-suited women reading inclusive language in scolding voices. You'd choose the most sugary musical dreck you could find, and make sure it was performed in an unsingable register. You'd eliminate private space, forcing everyone into lots of touching and interpersonal contact. In short, you'd do exactly what our betters have done over the past 40 years to "renew" the liturgy, for which they ceaselessly congratulate themselves on their pastoral sensibility.

Diogenes nails it. There seems to have been a conscious disregard and condescending attitude towards the blue collar Catholic man. These guys for years have been the backbone of the Church. These are the guys who work hard, love their wives, protect their neighborhoods (yes, even by chasing 18-year-old speed demons down the street when little children are playing whiffle ball in the front yard!), raise their children with a healthy fear of God and enjoy a good beer and Notre Dame football! These are also the guys who would fight to the death to defend their Church and her doctrine.

So where are these guys? They are still here. They are the men who prefer to kneel on stone, rather than stand and hold hands.

If only our priests and bishops would prefer knees on stone, as opposed to holding hands (or other emasculated things).

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:13 PM. |

Advancing My "Full Employment for Lawyers" Policy

Inspired by a Los Angeles Angels fan who filed a lawsuit against the club because he did not receive a red [actually, I believe they were pink] nylon tote bag as part of the major league club's Mother’s Day promotion last May, the Altoona Curve have announced that they will be holding Salute to Frivolous Lawsuit Night as part of their Sunday, July 2nd game at Blair County Ballpark. The Curve’s salute to all ridiculous lawsuits ever filed will include the following:

-A Pink Tote Bag Giveaway to the first 137 men in attendance ages 18 and over
-The first 137 women 18 and over will receive lukewarm coffee so they will not burn themselves
-The first 137 kids will be given a beach ball with a warning not to ingest it
-A grand prize drawing in which one fan will receive a “clue” and their own frivolous lawsuit.

“We realize that these giveaways as part of our Salute to Frivolous Lawsuit Night are fairly stupid and serve no real purpose,” said Curve General Manager Todd Parnell. “But if our fans don’t like them, then they can sue us!”

Curve President and Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg, himself a practicing corporate and sports attorney, declined to comment on his club’s promotion because of concerns that his comments could lead to a frivolous lawsuit.

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 11:05 AM. |

Does "Catholic" mean "Universal" or not?

What does it mean to be "Catholic", according to this blog's regulars? It has seemed to me that "traditional Catholicism" as put forth here disparages some nonessential elements that we associate with the practice of the Faith. Recent posts here confirm at least an animus against the Charismatic movement (elements of which have been seen throughout history, starting with Pentecost and as recently as the movement which resurfaced in the USA in the early 70's at a prayer meeting in Pittsburgh), and against anything that smacks of a "sop to modernism", including (but not limited to): any liturgical music written since 1900, any expression of faith/worship that involves anything more emotional than quiet, reverent contemplation while kneeling and reciting the beads, and any effort to reach beyond the traditionally established norms in order to speak to different people.

To wit: African-Americans tend to be more emotional and exuberant than whites of European descent (and even among Europeans, the Southern, Mediterranean cultures are more passionate than the more stoic Anglo-Saxons of the north). Is it any wonder that there are so few black Catholics in America, if there is an undercurrent of disdain for exuberant praise among "true" Catholics?

Of course I'm being hyperbolic, but you get my gist. Is there no room for personal preference? Must our praxis continue to be in only one type of vein, without regard for individual personalities and spiritualities? Do we expect that everyone must not only believe the essential, universal truths taught by the Magisterium, but should also conform their personalities and spritualities to one particular type of practice/worship?

Must we all prefer chant to "On Eagle's Wings" to be truly Catholic?

Fumed by AMSOL Pioneer at 11:04 AM. |

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 8:31 PM. |

Monday, May 15, 2006

Cleveland's New Ordinary

Bishop Lennon assumes his cathedra. He has a big job in Cleveland and our prayers are with him. As I post this, he is yet offering the Holy Sacrifice.

UPDATE: In tracking the latest appointments, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Donald Wuerl, Bishop of Pittsburgh, as the new Archbishop of Washington, D.C., succeeding Theodore Cardinal McCarrick.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 5:13 PM. |

sanguis Papae

A simple stone slab marks the spot in St. Peter's Square where Pope John Paul II's blood was spilt by a would-be assasin's bullet 25 years ago (May 13, 1981). The very place where, centuries ago, the blood of the martyrs christened Nero's Circus.

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

Reflections on AMSOL's Commencement

Yesterday, I attended Ave Maria School of Law's Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2006. I think it is fitting to post my reflections and also to offer my congratulations to the Class of 2006.

Despite the recent turmoil at the Law School, the Commencement proceeded without incident. It obviously was a joyous occasion for the graduates and their family and friends and I commend the Class of 2006 for their accomplishments. I was nevertheless struck (and saddened) as I considered that the school which was conferring these law degrees remains bitterly divided.

Dean Dobranski, who presided over the Commencement, sat on the stage in the front row. A few seats away was Mr. Monaghan. In the rows behind, sat the faculty. Though close in proximity, these professors' recent vote of "no confidence" in Dean Dobranski, makes it clear that they are quite far from Dobranski and Monaghan in terms of vision for the school.

Seated in front of the stage was the Class of 2006. Many of these students had their final weeks of law school marred by the feasibility study into moving the school and by the low ranking in the U.S. News and World Report. Many (perhaps most) of the students remain angry with the current leadership of Dean Dobranski, Monaghan, and the Board of Governors.

Jason Negri, President of the Alumni Association, which voted "no confidence" in Dean Dobranski, was also present. As part of the Commencement program, Negri was invited by the Dean to the stage to lead the new alumni in praying the Alumni prayer. Again, the image of the school's bitter divide was striking (to those aware of the recent events) as the two shook hands at center stage.

Lastly, I presume I was not the only one that felt a little awkward when Mr. Monaghan took the podium and addressed the graduates.

I do not intend this post to present an argument either for or against the move to Florida (though I strongly oppose such a move). Instead, I simply wanted to present my thoughts and feelings regarding yesterday's Commencement. Put simply, it was an unusual experience. Joy mixed with sorrow.

Unfortunately, the thought that kept returning to me yesterday was this. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Fumed by Boethius at 2:32 PM. |

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Road Trip 2006

Friends and barristers, peace be with you. I am back in Ann Arbor after my road trip! Eagerly I await the graduation ceremonies of my cherished 3Ls. Here are the last pictures of my holiday:

Doing a little reading.

Taking a nap after perusing the school directory.

Pumping iron keeps the mind fresh. I can bench my own body weight!

I'll see YOU at graduation!

Fumed by Tommy More at 1:49 AM. |

Friday, May 12, 2006


Here's another blog that chronicles the saga. Check out the comments from the post. (Great blog by the way!)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 7:19 PM. |

New Oxford Review

A shameless plug for one of the most hard hitting, insightful publications out there! Get your gear here.

Also, here is an article by the great Dr. Mitchell Kalpakgian from the NOR in 2004: "The Empty Self vs. the Rich Soul." Wonderful as always!

UPDATE: Great piece in this month's NOR on the importance of the Classics! Mirabile visu et dictu.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:13 PM. |

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Allah Takes Over Catholic Church

In search of solidarity, the Bishops cast aside Christ and the just laws of the nations.

"The Belgian Bishops have opened their churches to illegal immigrants in order to pressurize the Belgian authorities to allow the immigrants to stay in the country.

Most of the immigrant squatters in the churches are Muslims. They display banners in the church showing the name of Allah (picture taken in the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Brussels). "

Now I know where we get the term "Belgian Waffles."

Read about it here.

Compare it to the actions of the US Catholic Bishops described here.

Fumed by Husband at 7:12 PM. |

Interesting Timeline

There have been some interesting points made by Ave04 in a response to Phlogizo's important post below. Even more interesting is the response by Stanislaus. If this is true, then I for one am very uncomfortable with the Alumni Board having to send something to the administration before it can be disseminated to the alumni at large. Seems to me that communication is not being facilitated as envisioned by the Alumni Association's bylaws. Worth a look.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:12 PM. |

Hollywood Gives Us What We Deserve

I'm not sure which I find more morally offensive coming out of Hollywood: Ron Howard's The DaVinci Code, Brokeback Mountain, or Chris Tucker becoming the highest paid actor after accepting $25 million for Rush Hour 3.

It's easy to blame Hollywood for all the trash that they produce (and I regularly do blame Hollywood for this), but to some extent, perhaps we're just getting what we deserve. After all, the total worldwide take for the first two Rush Hour movies was $600 million.

Fumed by Boethius at 10:55 AM. |

Dean's Email

The Dean's email from yesterday. Just a band-aid. WhoseAMSOL has the scoop.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 6:53 AM. |

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Time to speculate

As Fumare readers are no doubt aware, the Vatican is taking up the issue of condom use by maried couples in the case then one of them has a life-threatening, communicable disease. Before the Magisterium speaks on this, howsabout we start discussing it amongst ourselves? I figured we needed something else to fight about.

Then, when/if an authoritative teaching is put forth, we can fight about submitting to it.

Fumed by AMSOL Pioneer at 12:38 PM. |

Libertas Ecclesiae Still an Issue

O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of Holy Mother Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Sock it to them Your Holiness!

UPDATE: Quoth the Chinese Communists: "[T]he Vatican cannot interfere with 'internal' matters such as the appointment of Catholic bishops." I don't know which comment was more idiotic--the original 5th grade title of this post or the response by Beijing? I leave it to our esteemed readers to consider and apologize to the urologically sensitive among you for the original title.

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

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Special Gift for The Saccharine Posters

For all those who come to this blog and state (or think): "I-am-called-to-share-my-unique-gifts-with-others-on-this-blog-who-need-to-be-more-charitable-so-I'm-graced-to-be-here-to-show-you-the-way."

A vignette that aptly summarizes my attitude:

There is a story about him which every English Catholic knows but which might be new to you. He was standing bolt upright when the synchronized congregation were kneeling down, and a verger who took him for a Protestant who did not know the form tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, sir, you ought to kneel at this point." "Go to Hell", replied Belloc. "Sorry, sir", said the verger, "I didn't know you were a Catholic."

We are an Easter People.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 1:14 PM. |

Monday, May 08, 2006

Et in his omnibus inter nos et vos chaos magnum firmatum est ut hii qui volunt hinc transire ad vos non possint neque inde huc transmeare.

"I am confident that the Board will agree with whatever Tom decides. The Board confirmed its compliant role when it voted "[u]nanimously" to express its "total confidence" in Bernie on the same day that virtually unprecedented charges were made against Bernie by the faculty who requested a discussion with the Board. The Board rejected the faculty complaint without deigning even to discuss it with the faculty. That act of the Board was, in my opinion, irresponsible and a violation of its duty to the faculty under ABA standards. It was disgusting. Every Governor who voted for that resolution should resign. Incidentally, the Board resolution of approval was described as "[u]nanimously passed at a special meeting," which apparently was a telephone meeting. I know at least one Governor who declined to vote to support that resolution because that Governor had not heard both sides of the issue." --Professor Charles E. Rice

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:36 PM. |

Road Trip 2006

Day 5 1:45pm Washington, D.C.

Peace of Christ! (Peace especially to the gentlemen here at Fumare, who appear to be embroiled in troubling circumstances.) I ask your pardon, my dear friends, for my tardiness in writing to you. My whirlwind tour of this nation's beautiful capital has left me without a moment to write, and with much need of recuperation. Ever still, my friends and colleagues are always on my mind. And so I give you these pictures to enjoy. I am leaving for my beloved country of Michigan, and hope to see you all for graduation! God bless you all.

Having no legs, the best way for me to see the city was on a tour bus.

Luckily, I got a window seat.

As you can see, I was a real hit. They acted like they've never seen a saint before.

First stop, the Washington Monument.

Forsooth, this thing is tall!

Meet Charity, a saintly sister in the making.

And, Yoshi, the uber-hip Japanese foreigner.

Here is a treat for all you Franciscan University of Stubenville graduates: Baron von Stuben!

Here I am at the highest court of the land.

Rather how I felt before the King's Court.

My obligatory shot for the inevitable nomination.

Here's Frank, he is a member of the Capital police.

Here's Frank explaining why the Justices will not sign autographs.

On the steps of the Capital!

Where the laws are really made.

Final stop, the White House. Needless to say, the Secret Service were a bit suspicious--like they've never seen a saint before!

Fumed by Tommy More at 12:24 PM. |

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Rice Delivers Another Right Hook

It seems that the good Professor Charles E. Rice has delivered another missive to Dean Bernard Dobranski and Mr. Thomas Monaghan. This communication is all the more interesting for its proposed solution to the problems that currently beset our dear law school. Our friend Torgo has the exclusive.

Here's a tasty morsel:

The Board rejected the faculty complaint without deigning even to discuss it with the faculty. That act of the Board was, in my opinion, irresponsible and a violation of its duty to the faculty under ABA standards. It was disgusting. Every Governor who voted for that resolution should resign.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:07 PM. |

Friday, May 05, 2006

Those Krazy Kennedys!

Like father, like son.

Fumed by Thursday at 5:42 PM. |

Road Trip 2006

Day 2 5:08pm Chicago

Friends and colleagues, may the blessings of God be upon you. I write to you after a full and fruitful day in Chicago. Joe Scheidler and I were able to celebrate his victory and I was able to tour this wondrous city. I have decided to continue my trip with a visit to the capital of this great nation, Washington, D.C., for which I depart on the morrow. Until then, please enjoy these pictures from today's festivities:

Mr. Scheidler sends his best to Ave Maria School of Law and his thanks to those students and alumni who have been so helpful in his efforts to fight the good fight, especially Vilius Lapas, Christopher Young, and Capt. John DeJak.

With my intercession, the Cubs will win the World Series this year!

Chicago is a wonderful city, even when the weather is not.

Fumed by Tommy More at 5:00 PM. |

No Amnesty for the Unborn

Amnesty International (AI) is considering whether to promote abortion as a universal "human right." Currently, the influential organization is neutral on the issue of abortion, but it appears that the groups pro-abortion leaders have put forth the proposal and are asking for comments from the groups million+ members worldwide.

As C-FAM reports, AI's chief executive has stated "Governments . . . must act with due diligence to punish abuses of sexual and reproductive rights by private persons, organizations and other non-state actors." The proposal states "Governments have responsibilities to ensure that everyone's sexual and reproductive rights are protected, . . . ." And, "[n]o one should be discriminated against when and if they attempt to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, or ask that they be protected." One proposal calls for a requirement that healthcare workers be compelled to provide abortion services regardless of their personal beliefs.

If AI adopts the policy, then they would be required to oppose pro-life organizations such as the Church. It goes without saying that such a policy would run counter to AI's commitment to protect the helpless and the innocent.

You can find news articles here, here and here. I find it deplorable that the major news outlets have not covered this story.

Please consider donating to C-FAM.org as they are gearing up for a campaign to persuade AI to not adopt the policy. I just donated $100.00.

Fumed by Thursday at 10:42 AM. |

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Road Trip 2006

Day 1 9:25pm Chicago

To all at Ave Maria, peace of Christ. I have made it to Chicago, the Windy City. By God's providence, my hotel room has a high-speed internet connection. Tomorrow I will see Chicago and visit Joe Scheidler, but before I do, here are a couple pictures I took along the way:

I did not know there was such a city in Michigan. I thought of taking a detour, but I figured that the rest of my trip would have been a downer.

Dante reserved a special place in the Inferno for that bastard Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Fumed by Tommy More at 9:14 PM. |

Keep Praying for Nick Thomm

This is from Mark Shea:


As of late Tuesday afternoon, Nick Thomm of Ave Maria Radio has been moved to a regular semi-private room following a stay in the ICU while initially recovering from brain surgery. His color is coming back and he is already eating and feeling better. He has a bit of tingling in his arm but no paralysis or other adverse effects. They may have him up and walking around later this evening. Later in the week, he's looking forward to visitors.

One change from the previous update is that a MRI from Tuesday morning indicates that at least 30-50% of the tumor was removed. Please continue your prayers for Nick and Jen and leave a message for the Thomms here. You can find the Litany for the Sick in the first two comments.

If you would like to send a message to Nick you can do so by clicking here or address cards to 1 Ave Maria Dr., PO Box 504, Ann Arbor, MI 48106

And here is more news.

Last week was the fund drive for our Catholic radio station and besides Nick's problem during that time, Al Kresta, the president of our Catholic radio station, and Mike Jones, the general manager, both faced problems too.

Al's wife was discovered during the week to have breast cancer and the last day of our drive she had surgery to prepare her for further surgery maybe next month. Al still found some time to lead the drive efforts even though his time was cut short from his usual involvement.

Mike Jones got a call from his wife Wednesday because she was having great pain in her abdomen. He had to take her to the hospital right away and they found that she had a burst appendix. She stayed in the hospital and had intravenous feeding of antibiotics and was sent home Saturday to continue the medicine until she was well enough to go for surgery next month.

These three men are the top men of the seven employees in the Ave Maria Radio station and that made it look like the evil one was doing all he could to cause the failure of the fund drive that keeps the station going. He failed and the drive went a little bit over what we were looking for. The hard work of everyone at the station is all for the honor and glory of God and that was just too much power for the evil one to succeed to cripple operations.

Thank you again for your prayers.

Fumed by Boethius at 2:24 PM. |

Peggy Noonan on Death Penalty

Since today seems like a good day for non-AMSOL posts, here's one.

Peggy Noonan has a tough article regarding the recent sentencing of Zacarias Moussaoui. It's entitled "They Should Have Killed Him." Read it here.

Fumed by Boethius at 2:17 PM. |

Bird flu hits Collier County, Florida

(AP) Naples, FL. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta issued a statement today confirming numerous reports of a bird flu outbreak in Collier County, Florida. Collier County is home to the cities of Naples, Imokalee, the site of recent protests, and the controversial Ave Maria Town, the real estate development of Tom Monaghan centered around the new Ave Maria University (AMU). Ave Maria Town and Monaghan garnered national press when Monaghan declared that the planned Catholic utopia would not allow condoms or pornography.

Residents of Ave Maria Town stated that they were not too concerned about a possible bird flu pandemic. "Compared with what Ave Maria School of Law has to deal with up in Michigan, the bird flu seems like nothing. What's a little plague, compared to the disease running rampant up north?" said Joan Hangeron, an Ave Maria Town resident and employee of AMU.

Fumed by Thursday at 1:16 PM. |

Road Trip!!!

God bless you, fellow legal scholars. With my finals done and only graduation to await, I find it incumbent upon myself to embark on a lengthy and adventurous ROAD TRIP!

Forsooth, a few months back, our brother in Christ and friend of the most dependent, Joe Scheidler, won his cause up in the highest of courts---with the assistance of Thomas Brejcha, of, ahem, the Thomas More Society. So, mindful of my fraternal obligations of charity, I concluded that my first stop on my journey should be to visit Scheidler. He lives in a little town outside of Gary, Indiana---Chicago!

The gallant gentlemen here at Fumare have kindly allowed me to post my pictures here for you to see. I am indebted to these most obliging gentlemen; please join me in praying for them. I will post more on the morrow. Peace of Christ with you all.

Fumed by Tommy More at 10:10 AM. |

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Timeline of controversy at Ave Maria School of Law

In the comments, ResIpsaLoquitur alerts readers to his attempt to set out a Wikipedia article outlining the past events involving Ave Maria School of Law, and is asking for contributions. The article is here. As ResIpsaLoquitur comments:
Note that I've tried to cite verifiable facts wherever possible. In my opinion, if we can't back it up, it shouldn't be included.

Fumed by Thales at 6:57 PM. |

Financial support of Ave Maria

AMSOL Pioneer suggested a new thread for the sticky issues of alumni donations and financial support. How should alumni and students who are opposed to the current governance/sole proprietorship of the school financially support the school? As Friday noted, in some ways it's "damned if you do, damned if you don't." Supporting the school financially would indicate support for how the school is currently being run. Not supporting the school damages the school's reputation (with the lower alumni/student donating percentage) and gives those governing the school another reason to move it where Mr. Monaghan's money is guaranteed.

Some options that have been suggested include:
1. Creating an outside, public escrow account for alumni donations.
2. Making pledges to the school, but no donations.
3. Making donations with conditions attached. ("This donation can only be used for Lex Vitae," or "This donation can only be used for the institution in Ann Arbor.")

Any other possible options? Pros and cons? Are they practical or possible?

Fumed by Thales at 12:04 PM. |

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"White Guilt"

Opinionjournal.com carried this piece today by Shelby Steele. Rush Limbaugh's spin can be found here.

P.S. I'm working to confirm the rumor that Mr. Steele and Mr. Stout have never been seen together in the same room at the same time.

Fumed by Devil's Advocate at 9:09 PM. |

Is it a question of "if" or a question of "when"?

This comment was buried in the 100+ comments of Ryder's Ann Arbor News post below. Because it deserves a little more air time, I'm putting it up here so that it doesn't get lost.

I have just heard news that does not surprise me, but should harden the resolve of "the resistance" and hopefully pull the remaining scales off the eyes of the loyalists.

A BoG member recently told someone (the boss of an alum) that AMSOL's "move to Florida" WILL happen - it's only a question of whether it happens in 3 or 5 years. The BoG, this member said, "has no choice - TM will pull his funding".

We are not in a court of law, so please spare me your evidentiary / hearsay protestations.

What then are we to make of the current "feasibility study"? And what are we to make of a Chairman who dominates every institution he's associated with, a Board who abdicates its fiduciary responsibility to the institution, and a Dean who can't stop this abuse?
Can this be correct? Are the Board of Governors resolved in favor of a Florida move before the feasibility study has even been finished?

As some commenters have observed, the source of the dispute is not geographical. It is not about Florida. It is about governance.

Fumed by Thales at 7:04 PM. |