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

Friday, June 30, 2006

Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

OK, re-read the above case name.

That's right. Hamdan, an al Qaeda terrorist and Osama bin Ladin's driver, versus Donald Rumseld, United States of America's Secretary of Defense.

Now, simply consider that Hamdan was successful in his appeal, and victorious in this matter over the Bush Administration. . . . and liberals like Nancy Pelosi can't help but rejoicing.

And liberals wonder why we question their patriotism.

Fumed by Boethius at 11:55 AM. |

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Well, Isn't This Interesting...

It seems that according to the head of Ave Maria University's Board of Regents, the law school is already subsumed into the fledgling university in Florida. Dr. Candace de Russy joined the Ave Maria University Board of Regents in 2005, and was appointed Chair in 2006. Her CV is quite impressive and leads one to believe that she is not a dummy. However, this comment is very telling, especially as Chair of AMU's Board of Regents:

As a Catholic also concerned about the crumbling identity of Catholic colleges, I share the view of Bernard Dobranski, president of the law school at Ave Maria University, that the Society plays "a useful role, and it's a reminder that there are standards that we should adhere to."

One would expect at least a bit more precision from such a distinguished individual, but then again, who could blame her. It's a done deal.

Oh no, there's no "likelihood of confusion" at all!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:19 PM. |

The Church's Special Kids

The last two weeks have brought with them a lot of commentary on the proposed changes to the English translation of the Mass. Opponents of the proposed(and more accurate) renderings of the Latin text call them "slavish and strict," or "jarring and extreme changes to the life and practice of the community." In all this theological, grammatical and philological sparring, it occurred to me that there must be some sort of analogical image out there to capture the essence of the opponents' position. I mean, since truth is the conforming of the intellect to reality, is there an analogical image that would crystallize the debate and put it in a manner that the liturgically or Latinly-challenged might better understand?

I think I found it.

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

"A Unique Ensemble of Buildings"

Cardinal George's weekly column addresses the USCCB's recent meeting in Los Angeles. I couldn't help but laugh, however, after reading the opening paragraph.

"The spring meeting of the United States Bishops' Conference took place last week in Los Angeles. As is the case with most meetings, the bishops spent most of their time in a hotel, but we went one evening to celebrate Mass in the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a unique ensemble of buildings designed to place the Church and her ministry squarely at the center of Los Angeles' life."

In the words of Edna Krabappel, "Ha!"

I understand that Cardinal George is trying to be "collegial" to his brother bishop, Cardinal Mahony, but I can't help but thinking that Cardinal George thinks the L.A. Cathedral is hideous. After all, if he actually liked the cathedral, wouldn't he say so? I mean, can you imagine Cardinal George describing Notre Dame in Paris, or the Cathedral in Amiens, France, or St. Peter's Basillica as a "unique ensemble of buildings"? But, as I'm sure Cardinal George learned from his mother, if you can't say anything nice, just say nothing at all.

Fumed by Boethius at 11:29 AM. |

Feast of SS. Peter and Paul

O Roma nobilis, orbis et domina,
Cunctarum urbium excellentissima,
Roseo martyrum sanguine rubea,
Albis et virginum liliis candida,
Salutem dicimus tibi per omnia,
Te benedicimus: salve per saecula.

Petre, tu praepotens caelorum claviger,
Vota precantium exaudi jugiter.
Cum bis sex tribuum sederis arbiter,
Factus placabilis judice leniter.
Teque petentibus nunc misericorditer.

O Paule, suscipe nostra precamina,
Cujus philosophos vicit industria.
Factus oeconomus in domo regia,
Divini muneris appone fercula,
Ut, quae repleverit te sapientia,
Ipsa nos repleat tua per dogmata.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 9:45 AM. |

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

NCReporter Opposes New Translations

The National Catholic Reporter, that bastion of precedent and of the upholding of Church tradition, once again is beating its drum to oppose change. That's right, the traditionalist NCR is standing up against those that would simply cast aside the ICEL English translations of the last thirty years. The following is from their editorial:

"But the recitation of the history is significant in demonstrating that at the highest levels of the community there were those who had little regard for precedent, competence, the work of others and established process. It is an attitude that has seeped down into lower levels of church governance, where too often power is the only credential necessary for mandating jarring and extreme changes to the life and practice of the community."

Wait a minute. Am I smoking peyote? Isn't the NCR usually for change in the Church and hasn't it ignored and disregarded the precedents of the past 1500 years of the Church's liturgical traditions? Also, weren't the traditions of the parishes routinely cast aside from the top down by liberal priests, bishops, and diocesan administrators, and didn't the NCR support all of these changes?

It seems to me that the NCR didn't have a problem with radical change from the top-down so long as the change was in accord with their modernist beliefs, but that they don't like it now that the shoe is on the other foot. Forgive my schadenfreude, but it's nice to see liberal American Catholics finally lose a liturgical battle. God knows that the traditionalists have been on the losing end for a long time now (elimination of Latin, chant, polyphany, introduction of communion in the hand, disregard of the rubrics, altar girls, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, hand-holding, standing for communion, etc.) I hope the new translations are a sign of things to come and of a change of the tide in the liturgical wars.

But don't expect the NCR and other liberals to roll over. They never have. The NCR already signals their hope that people will resist the new translations: "Finally, we suspect that the way forward will also include accommodating those who simply refuse to go along and will stand in place and continue to use the same language they've been using for decades. Our suspicion is that God will not be terribly upset by a little show of resistance."

Cute. Very cute.

Just be sure not to stand up to them. For that, there is no tolerance. Who does that nun in Alabama think she is to question Roger Cardinal Mahony? Who do those parishioners in the diocese of Orange think they are to question Bishop Tod Brown? When he says kneel, you must kneel. Who do you think you are to think you can receive Communion kneeling and on the tongue? To disobey them is to commit mortal sin. After all, what could be worse than violating the so-called Spirit of Vatican II?

Anyway, the NCR can delude themselves all they want that they stand for the average man in the pews (did I just use exclusive language? Horrors!), but they don't actually represent American Catholics and their kind of liberal Catholicism will eventually lose out.

Fumed by Boethius at 3:56 PM. |

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Judge to Planned Parenthood: Turn Over Records

Last October, I posted on a significant case working its way through Ohio courts in the Cincinnati area. The facts of this case were succintly put by Peter Bronson in his piece in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

All it took last year for a 14-year-old "Jane Roe" was a cell phone number. A staffer at a local Planned Parenthood clinic called the number and got permission - from a 21-year-old man who was molesting the girl and coerced her into an abortion.

The man, now in prison, pretended to be her father on the phone, then posed as her brother at the clinic. He paid with his credit card, and had the girl injected with Depo-Provera birth control, so he could resume having sex with her three days later.

"Jane Roe presented her school identification card, which showed that she was a junior high school student," a lawsuit by the girl's parents says. "(He) presented his Ohio driver's license, which showed that he was 21 years of age and his last name was different than Jane Roe's. (Planned Parenthood) did not question (either) about the differences in their ages or their different last names."

And that was under Ohio's parent notification law. State law also requires notice to law enforcement, because a girl 13 or under who seeks an abortion is automatically a victim of rape.

The suit brought by the parents of the girl claim that PP failed to notify the parents of their minor daughter's abortion; failed to notify law enforcement of the suspect and unusual circumstances of this case in that a minor was having sex with an adult; and failed to fully inform the girl of the abortion procedure and its consequences.

Well, there was a victory for the good guys last week. The Enquirer reported that a Cincinnati judge ordered PP to turn over all of its records of girls under 18 who have obtained abortions at that clinic.

Attorney Brian Hurley, who represents the family, said the information is needed to determine whether the abortion given to his client without parental consent is an isolated issue or a pattern of activity.

Pattern of activity indeed! Perhaps this is the big case that exposes PP for the reality that it is. With this attorney, I am confident that victory will be forthcoming. Additionally, Mr. Hurley appeared on Bill O'Reilly this evening as the case is gaining national attention.

Read the Enquirer piece here.

Mr. Hurley needs prayers but he also needs money (as Ryder can testify having worked on the NOW v. Scheidler litigation.) Send your donations to:

Women's Injury Network
Susan Gertz
401 Pike Rd.
Reading, OH 45215-5900
ATTN: Wallace Litigation

ADDENDUM: Check this site out. Chilling and eerily similar to the instant case.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 8:42 PM. |

Res Publica et Cetera: An archive of Fr. Reginald Foster's The Latin Lover

Res Publica et Cetera: An archive of Fr. Reginald Foster's The Latin Lover

Better than any PBS special on the "lingua antiqua."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:43 PM. |

Pope to Marty Haugen: "Get Thee Back to Thy Sixties Drug Trip"

The latest in sane comments from the Holy Father. (h/t: Ignatius Insight, et al.)

Quoth the Pontiff after a concert in the Sistine Chapel this weekend:

"All of the selections we have listened to - and especially in their entirety, where the 16th and 20th centuries stand parallel - agree in confirming the conviction that sacred polyphony, in particular that of what is called the 'Roman school', constitutes a heritage that should be preserved with care, kept alive, and made better known, for the benefit not only of the scholars and specialists, but of the ecclesial community as a whole. [...] An authentic updating of sacred music can take place only in the lineage of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 1:35 PM. |

Going to War: the Citizen, the State, and Ambiguity

Apropos of last week's post "Army Officer Refuses to Deploy" is this June 26, 2006 article by Dr. Jeff Mirus from CatholicCulture.org.

Fumed by Boethius at 9:57 AM. |

Monday, June 26, 2006

Illegitimi non Carborundum

The next time your liberal, Bush-hating brother-in-law starts in on you about how the President lied about the WMD (so that we could invade Iraq for the oil), send him this: http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/KevinMcCullough/2006/06/25/202574.html

Fumed by AMSOL Pioneer at 12:00 PM. |

Friday, June 23, 2006

And here's to you Mr. Robinson.

Gents, it has been some time since I last posted, though I trust you understand why. I intended to mark my resurgence with an exegesis on the Summa Politicae Catholicae, or at least a discussion of the greatest action movie of all time. But, alas, that will all have to wait, for I stumbled upon a terrific political ad for Vernon Robinson, a black Republican Winston-Salem City Councilman who was nearly elected to Congress in 2004, and is set to run again:

His radio ad is equally incredible. Read his personal statement here. Needless to say, this man needs be elected.

Michigan has its own great black statesman in R. Vincent Green, a black republican from East Lansing who ran for state senator, though ultimately lost. Mr. Green is an excellent trial attorney, who I personally had the privilege to see in action. He deported himself with a great amount of professionalism, skill and knowledge. When a colleague demonstrated surprise at his political affiliation, Mr. Green responded, "You don't think the Democrats are responsible for what blacks have achieved?" Mr. Green understood the defamation the Democrats have perpetrated in order to secure the black vote.

The country needs Mr. Robinson, as well as Mr. Green.

Fumed by Thursday at 5:21 PM. |

Army Officer Refuses to Deploy

I have been aware of this story for some time, but I don't think it has yet been discussed on Fumare, so here goes:


A young US army officer could face court martial after refusing to obey orders to prepare for deployment to Iraq, claiming the war is illegal, his supporters said.

Lieutenant Ehren Watada, 28, was confined to his base of Fort Lewis, in the northwest state of Washington, and restricted from communications with anyone outside but his lawyer, according to people in Watada's support committee.

They said he was the first US military officer to refuse orders to go to Iraq.

Watada's mother Carolyn Ho called his refusal an "act of patriotism."

"As an officer, he believes it is his duty to disobey illegal orders," she told AFP, adding that they had argued over his decision and that he was influenced by questions about the US government's reasons for invading Iraq.


Apparently, Watada does not oppose all war (in which case, he would qualify as a Conscientious Objector and the military would not have permitted him to join) and simply views this war as unjust. He has stated:

"I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to watch families torn apart, while the President tells us to 'stay the course.' I refuse to be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our aggression.

"I wanted to be there for my fellow troops. But the best way was not to help drop artillery and cause more death and destruction. It is to help oppose this war and end it so that all soldiers can come home."

My Comments: When Lieutenant Watada signed up to join the U.S. Army, he swore the following oath:

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." [emphasis added]

Lieutenant Watada was not drafted and he took this oath voluntarily. If he wants to exercise his conscience and not accept his deployment, he will have to face the legal conseqences of his actions, including the possibility of a court martial.

Though I think this matter is cut and dry, my opinion is not shared by a number of faithful Catholics. See Matt Abbott's June 8, 2006 column.


Fumed by Boethius at 1:49 PM. |

Judge to Planned Parenthood: Turn Over Records

Some time back, I posted regarding current litigation against Planned Parenthood near Cincinnati, Ohio. Peter Bronson of the Cincinnati Enquirer put forth the basics of the case in his piece from September 27, 2005:

All it took last year for a 14-year-old "Jane Roe" was a cell phone number. A staffer at a local Planned Parenthood clinic called the number and got permission - from a 21-year-old man who was molesting the girl and coerced her into an abortion. The man, now in prison, pretended to be her father on the phone, then posed as her brother at the clinic. He paid with his credit card, and had the girl injected with Depo-Provera birth control, so he could resume having sex with her three days later.

"Jane Roe presented her school identification card, which showed that she was a junior high school student," a lawsuit by the girl's parents says. "(He) presented his Ohio driver's license, which showed that he was 21 years of age and his last name was different than Jane Roe's. (Planned Parenthood) did not question (either) about the differences in their ages or their different last names." And that was under Ohio's parent notification law. State law also requires notice to law enforcement, because a girl 13 or under who seeks an abortion is automatically a victim of rape.

Planned Parenthood never notified law enforcement.

Well, good news. It seems that Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker has ordered Planned Parenthood to turn over its records to determine whether this is a "pattern of practices" that Planned Parenthood engages in with regard to teenage girls who seek abortions at their clinics. Says today's Enquirer:

A judge ordered the Cincinnati Planned Parenthood Clinic on Wednesday to turn over all records for abortion patients under 18 to the lawyers for the family of a teen who had an abortion at the clinic.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker's decision is believed to be only the second time a Planned Parenthood clinic has been ordered to make records available, and the first time during a civil case.

Attorney Brian Hurley, who represents the family, said the information is needed to determine whether the abortion given to his client without parental consent is an isolated issue or a pattern of activity. He said the patients' names will be blacked out on their records.

Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region will appeal, said Becki Brenner, the clinic's president and CEO. That likely means the documents won't be released until the appeals process is complete. Appeals could take years. Even if the order is upheld, that doesn't mean the floodgates will open and medical records will be readily available, experts say.

"We're very concerned about the exposure of private medical information," Brenner said. "Anyone that has private medical information should be fearful." Medical information should not be subject to review by outside parties, she added.

Dinkelacker wrote in his order that the plaintiff's needs outweighed the patients' rights to privacy.

Mr. Hurley is a dear friend of AM's family and is one of the finest lawyers in the State of Ohio. He needs our prayers--which I know he will get--but he also needs MONEY!!! As Ryder could testify in his work on the Scheidler case, this type of litigation will head into the millions and the opposition will stop at nothing to keep murdering unborn children. Write your checks here:

Women's Injury Network
Susan Gertz
401 Pike Rd.
Reading, OH 45215-5900
ATTN: Wallace Litigation

We will keep watching this case.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 9:22 AM. |

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Feast of St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More, patron saint of lawyers,
Pray for us.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for Ave Maria School of Law and for the formation we received there. We come before You today, asking You to anoint our minds to better serve You and Your people. Continue to form our hearts to be responsive to the promptings of Your Spirit. Enlighten us with the true counsel that only You can give. May our lives and our work always be pleasing to You, and may our integrity, virtue and high ethical standards never cease to reflect the education we received. Preserve Ave Maria in its mission and bless its efforts to create the culture of life that You desire. We also ask that you grant the Ave Maria School of Law graduates the perseverance to study hard so that they might be successful on their bar exams. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Fumed by Thales at 2:06 PM. |

What They're Saying about Fumare and The Fumantes: The Babes

"...stupid war-mongering little boys. F*** you..."
erin is nice

"I love you guys...even if you are singlehandedly destroying my chances of spending the rest of my life on a beach in Naples sipping non-alchoholic daquiries and reading Ephesians."
The American Princess

"Advocatus Militarus: YOU lighten the hell up."
Debbie Schlussel

"Ryder of Fumare's one-sided discussion [of NOW v. Scheidler]... does not fairly consider the arguments NOW raised in opposition."
Kim Gandy, President, National Organization of Women

"Sex is for after marriage. [Men] have to respect that this is my choice. If there's no respect, that means they don't want me...I know the guys from Fumare and Jay Anderson from Pro Ecclesia think this way too. Are any of them single?"
Adriana Lima

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:41 PM. |

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ozzie Guillen, Fags, Madonna, and the WNBA

You're probably wondering how the above items are related (and before today, it is likely that they were not).

ESPN reports that Ozzie Guillen, the manager of the Chicago White Sox directed a "homosexual slur" at a Chicago sports reporter following Tuesday's game.

"Angry with a recent column by Mariotti critical of Guillen's handling of recently demoted relief pitcher Sean Tracey and upset with Mariotti with columns of the past, Guillen said to reporters when referring to Mariotti before Tuesday's game with the Cardinals, "What a piece of [expletive] he is, [expletive] fag."

Today, Ozzie is trying to explain his comments. I'm not sure, however, if his explanations will not get him into further trouble from the PC police.

Before writing the column, Couch asked Guillen for an explanation. Guillen defended his use of the term "fag" by saying this about homosexuals and the use of the word in question: "I don't have anything against those people. In my country, you call someone something like that and it is not the same as it is in this country.''

Guillen said that in his native Venezuela, that word is not a reference to a person's sexuality, but to his courage. He said he was saying that Mariotti is "not man enough to meet me and talk about [things before writing].''

Guillen also told Couch that he has gay friends, attends WNBA games, went to a Madonna concert and plans to go to the Gay Games in Chicago.

[Emphasis added].

Well, there you have it, dispositive proof that Ozzie Guillen does not discriminate against homosexuals: Ozzie attends Madonna concerts and WNBA games.

Fumed by Boethius at 4:05 PM. |

Is It in You? or What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

Just ran out for pizza at a local joint. They had CNN on the telly. (Sadly, no footer matches at the time. If you're like me, I suppose you spend much of your day fiddling (fittling?) with your World Cup fantasy league team. Perhaps, like me, you disconcerted your fellow office-workers with your cries of anguish when Omar missed that penalty kick earlier today and cost you some dearly needed points. Losing to Ilie "Nasty" Nastase is one thing, but I'm behind the three sultry minxes who together constitute the Britpop phenom "Atomic Kitten." Not a bad place to be, perhaps, given the view, but, alas, I speak metaphorically.)

Now, where was I? Ah, yes, watching Jeannie Most's report on Dan Rather's farewell. Some prominent news reader (the name escapes me) actually opined that he thought Kenneth got a raw deal. Then Kenneth himself said, and I quote inaccurately, but stand by the general drift (much like Kenneth and his 1970s National Guard letter written on MicroSoft Word), "CBS has reneged on its promise to let me do that voodoo I do so well. They have offered me an office but no assignments. It's not in me to sit in an office and not do any work."

To which I reply, "It sure as Hell is in me to do precisely that!" I've been looking for a job with that description on Monster.com for quite some time now, but haven't been able to come up with the right search terms. I'd prefer an office at CNN (the Time-Warner building has an Whole Foods in the cellar), but Black Rock will do.

Open letter to the good folks at CBS (and to whoever does the hiring, as well--sorry, didn't mean to single out the custodial staff):

I can ring the bell in the church. Hire me. I can be reached care of this blog.


Boko Fittleworth

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 2:19 PM. |

"If abortion is about women's rights, where were my rights?"

Folks, I just want to highlight an addition AM made to his Limbaugh post below. This story has nothing to do with Rush, though, and you may have missed it. It's not something you should miss.

Thanks, AM.

Fumed by Ryder at 1:05 PM. |

Deans Read and White...

...making Mr. Monaghan's Fantasies come true!!

If anyone actually thinks that these guys care what Ave Maria School of Law alums think about the potential move to Florida, I have some land to sell him near Immokalee.

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Well, if liturgical dance was more like this...

...I might not have such a problem with it!

Fumed by Ryder at 11:12 PM. |

Deep Thoughts from the Episcopal Church's Newest Bishop

Here's a heart-warming story from Reuters:


Newly elected leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said on Monday she believed homosexuality was no sin and homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender.

Jefferts Schori, bishop of the Diocese of Nevada, was elected on Sunday as the first woman leader of the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church. the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. She will formally take office later this year.

Interviewed on CNN, Jefferts Schori was asked if it was a sin to be homosexual.

"I don't believe so. I believe that God creates us with different gifts. Each one of us comes into this world with a different collection of things that challenge us and things that give us joy and allow us to bless the world around us," she said.

"Some people come into this world with affections ordered toward other people of the same gender and some people come into this world with affections directed at people of the other gender."


My Comments: Ah, yes. We all have different God-given gifts. Some of us are artists, some are athletes, others are intellectuals. And then there are those who have the gift of homosexuality and are able to "give us joy" and to "bless the world" by having anal sex with one another. Thanks to Bishop Schori for helping us all to recognize these important gifts and blessings.

And may God bless you Bishop Schori!

Fumed by Boethius at 4:02 PM. |

Latest Fumare Group Photo

Yesterday, I was delighted to find in my inbox a link to view wonderful pictures from the recent nuptials of Thursday and Friday. It was a glorious day and also a perfect occasion for a Fumare group photo!

Pictured: (standing) Ryder, Columcille, Thales; (seated) Devil's Advocate, Thursday, Phlogizo, Sine Metu
Not Pictured (but present in spirit): Boethius, Advocatus Militaris, AMSOL Pioneer, Boko Fittleworth

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:27 PM. |

Monday, June 19, 2006

Rush Nails It!

Rush Limbaugh:

"But despite all this, folks, there is one place in this country which, if you're there, you are at far greater risk than any American soldier anywhere in the world today, including Iraq, and that is the womb of an American woman. Uniformed soldiers in Iraq are much safer than a baby in an American woman's womb, particularly if that American woman happens to be in a Planned Parenthood office. If you wear the uniform of the United States military in Iraq, you have a fairly good chance of walking out alive. That's not so if you are in a Planned Parenthood clinic in the womb of an American woman who happens to be inside the clinic. Facts are facts, and you don't hear the Democrats concerned about that at all. You don't hear the American left concerned about that at all."

(Broadcast, June 16, 2006)


Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:31 PM. |

Friday, June 16, 2006

New Mass Translation Approved

It looks like the Bishop's Conference finally got the message as they voted to approve new English translations for the Mass. Here's the story from the AP:


LOS ANGELES (AP) - The nation's Roman Catholic bishops signed off Thursday on a new English translation for the Mass that would change prayers ingrained in the memories of millions of American parishioners.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted at its biannual meeting for a new translation after a brief but vigorous debate over several small changes in wording. The 173-29 vote on the Order of the Mass was aimed at satisfying Vatican calls for a translation that's closer to the Latin version.

Before Mass changes at the parish level, the Americans' version must go to offices in the Holy See for final approval. The bishops' leader on the issue said that process could take years.

``Without a doubt, this is the most significant liturgical action to come before this body for many years,'' said Bishop Donald Trautman, chairman of the conference's Committee on Liturgy.

``It will take some adapting, but it is not earth-shattering when you think of the changes we went through 40 years ago,'' he said, referring to the Second Vatican Council, where the Latin Mass was replaced by the vernacular languages in each country.

[Ed. Bishop Trautman must have been grinding his teeth when he said that, because has been the standard bearer for modernist liturgies and was perhaps the leading opponent to the new translations.]

Prior to the meeting, the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and a Jesuit priest, said the new Mass would ``cause chaos and real problems and the people who are going to be at the brunt end of it are the poor priests in the parishes.''

Ed. Oh, Boo hoo. It's interesting to see that Father Reese is now opposed to change in the liturgy. Apparently change is only acceptable when it suits his whims and fancies.]

Trautman acknowledged the adjustment could be difficult. ``I think we all recognize that our priests are overburdened now and stretched thin,'' he said. ``We do believe, however, that this is important for the worship life of the Church. These texts are presenting a new richness that we haven't seen in the past so that will have to be the driving force.''

[Ed. I'm starting to wonder whether someone replaced the real Bishop Trautman with an imposter.]

Minor changes to the wording of many portions of the Mass will be obvious to Catholics. The repeated exchanges ``The Lord be with you'' / ``And also with you'' between a priest and his congregation, for example, become ``The Lord be with you'' / ``And with your spirit'' in the updated version.

The prayer said before Communion would become ``Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,'' instead of ``Lord, I am not worthy to receive you.''

Fumed by Boethius at 3:07 PM. |

Yet Another Reason to Read Diogenes:

His wonderful grammar.

Related: Readers of FUMARE will no doubt recognize the musings of one of our frequent puffers--TheLawDog. As Franklin famously said, "He who lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." And so TheLawDog has! It seems that the blog bug (or should I say flea) has bitten him while he was relaxing with our fellow canines here. TheLawDog has established his own blog ETHIKA-THELAWDOG and it looks to be a promising venture and yet another cultural oasis in the blogosphere. Check him out and his relevant musings on Latin, the Mass and the bishops.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:02 PM. |

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Obedient Priests vs. Disobedient Cardinals

Excellent piece by the good Fr. Orsi in this month's Homiletic and Pastoral Review. My only criticism: he should have just come out and said: "Stop the bullsh**!" Read it here.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 5:04 PM. |

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

By Popular Demand

(pictured at bottom right: Phlogizo, Devil's Advocate, Advocatus Militaris)

Devil's Advocate: (pointing) "Always our children?"

Phlogizo: "Yep."

Advocatus Militaris: "Uh-huh."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:46 PM. |

Ave Maria Law Alumni website

Interesting new website. Check it out here.

Fumed by Thales at 10:35 AM. |

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Those Grand Ushers

A traditional mainstay at Sunday Mass is disappearing, and it is a tragedy. It seems that for time immemorial--at least in the United States--the usher has been an ubiquitous presence at Sunday Mass. Usually, these gentlemen were of the retired set. They generally dressed up in a coat and tie and were very distinguished in their reverence and propriety at Mass. The stately old gentlemen made sure that the folks were escorted to their seats and that latecomers were found seats. In many ways they performed the duties of a Sergeant-at-Arms during the Mass.

Each Mass on Sunday morning would have its own set of ushers. It seemed as if there were a hierarchy. Now perhaps this is just my experience, but I seem to recall the "younger" old guys (or even middle aged gentlemen) at the early Masses. As if on the cursus honorum for ushers, they seemed to be relegated to the early Masses (ala' 6:00am or 7:30am). Once one achieved a certain sort of respectability, he might ascend to the last Mass of the morning (generally around 12:30pm). But the cream of the crop would be reserved for the "big Mass" (generally, the mid-morning 10:00am or 11:00am Mass). These guys seemed also to be picked for the Midnight Mass on Christmas and the other "nuclear High Masses" (as my father would call them).

Unfortunately, this breed has become quite rare and the liturgical poachers have done their best to do away with them. Instead we are treated to the "Greeter Ministry" or "Hospitality Ministry." Ok. All our readers know by now that I have no patience for the ridiculous. A "Ministry of Greeters" is simply ridiculous. First of all, I object to the use of the word ministry, as it more properly should be reserved to liturgical functions (and those functions presbyteral in nature). Second, who really wants the local busybody, thrusting her sausage-link fingers towards another with a big "Good morning, welcome to our faith community;" (make no mistake, the local busybodies are those who are attracted to this sort of thing). Third, where is this "ministry" provided for in the GIRM, Sacrosanctum Concilium or Redemptionis Sacramentum? Protestants do these things, Catholics don't. If you want to be touchy-feely do it at a campfire with some real cool praise and worship hymns.

A friend of mine, a law professor, attended Mass at a parish that was recently "wreckovated." The kneelers were removed, the church was rearranged to be "Kum By Ya" in the round, Our Lord was hidden, images were gone and the jacuzzi...er...baptismal font was larger than the altar. They, of course, had the professional greeters but they also had an old cadre of ushers. She commented on the elderly gentlemen who were the ushers. They seemingly didn't know where to go because of the new arrangement and couldn't help but be a bit lost. They voiced their opinions rather loud, throughout the Mass--not realizing that their hearing aids must not have been working properly. This esteemed professor of law commented--very insightfully--that these gentlemen reminded her of the two old men in the balcony from the Muppet Show.

Bring back the ushers!! Even more for the fact that their hearing aids don't work and we hear the common sense that comes from their mouths.

UPDATE: It seems that our readers are very perceptive indeed! Some have cited the Wal-Mart factor with the "ministers of hospitality" or "greeters." Well, it seems that the campus ministry types--who generally are in charge of these things--had Wal-Mart in mind when they recommend these changes. Consider these pieces:

(1) Fr. Richstatter, OFM on "The ministry of Hospitality." (AM's comment: Some seminary psychologist probably told him that a condition of admission was to check his testicles at the door.)

(2) Ms. Kristeen Bruun, on "Hospitality at Church." (AM's comment: "Kristeen A. Bruun, of the Gesu Parish in Milwaukee, Wis., has worked in parish ministry for the past 20 years." Told you so!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 11:13 AM. |

Monday, June 12, 2006

Nothing Surprises Me Anymore

Fay Clayton, Esq., an attorney known not only for her stylish hairdo but also her penchant for upholding the absurd, is at it again:

Claiming she had had no time to consider the simple Judgment that would put an end to the twenty-year-old lawsuit, Clayton said she had objections to some of the elements of the Judgment. She said she wanted to make sure that the Settlement Injunction NOW had secured against Randall Terry would continue in effect in spite of the Supreme Court's finding that there had never been a RICO violation.

Judge Coar decided to continue the case until June 22. So NOW v. Scheidler heads into year 21.

Hey Fay baby, you lost.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 10:06 AM. |

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cardinal Confusion: McCarrick's "Clarification"

A few days ago, I posted on Cardinal McCarrick's CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer in which McCarrick explained that he supported civil unions for homosexuals. According to a "Clarification" issued by the Archdiocese of Washington, it seems that I, and other commentators, "misinterpreted" the good Cardinal's words. Here's the Clarification:

Some remarks by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington, that were made during an interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN (air date June 7, 2006) were not clear and have been misinterpreted by some individuals. To prevent further confusion, the Cardinal issued the following clarification:

"I'm afraid that I misspoke last Wednesday when I was being interviewed on CNN.

"We were talking about the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment and the protection of marriage between a man and a woman. Here is what I said: 'We really have to continue to define marriage as we have defined marriage for thousands of years as a union between a man and a woman.'

"After that, I spoke of the legislation as it had been proposed and that it would not eliminate the possibility of civil unions. I said, 'If this is what the legislation would provide for, I think we can live with that.'

"My point was that the wording of the proposed legislation to protect marriage, which did not eliminate civil unions, might be necessary in order to have the votes needed to pass it. I added, 'to say that you can take the concept of marriage and use it in ways that it has never been used before, as far as I know, in the history of the world, I think makes no sense.'

"When probed further on the question of civil unions, which came up because the wording of the constitutional amendment did not seem to eliminate them, I returned to the ideal -- that everybody should be 'able to enter a union with a man and a woman and that would bring children into the world and have the wonderful relationship of man and wife that is so mutually supportive and is really so much part of our society and what keeps society together.'

"I added, 'If you fool around with the whole nature of marriage, then you are doing something which affects the whole culture and denigrates what is so important for us. Marriage is the basic foundation of our family structure and if we lose that, then I think we become a society that is in real trouble.'

"In trying to reply to a question, I mentioned people who may need the right to take care of each other when they are grievously ill and hospitalized, but it was always in the context of the proposed legislation and in no way in favor of a lifestyle that is contrary to the teaching of the Church and Scripture. I realized that my words could have given the wrong impression to someone who did not take my remarks in context.

"I regret any confusion my words may have caused because I did not make myself sufficiently clear."


My Comments: OK everyone, are you now clear on the Cardinal's position on civil unions? Neither am I.

In the original CNN interview, Blitzer asked McCarrick the following question: "You think that you could live with -- you could support civil unions between gays and lesbians, but you wouldn't like them to get formally married, is that right?" McCarrick answered "yes" and then tried to clarify his answer, and in doing so only ended up reiterating his support for civil unions.

Now McCarrick's "clarification" explains that his CNN remarks were confusing and may have been misinterpreted. Well, this commentator continues to be confused by McCarrick's position. Re-read the Cardinal's "clarifying" remarks. Does he ever indicate that he opposes civil unions for homosexuals? No.

I believe that Cardinal McCarrick now needs to offer a clarification of his clarification in order to unambiguously state that both he and the Catholic Church oppose civil unions for homosexuals. Until McCarrick makes such a statement, he is failing in his duty to oppose civil unions (see Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons), and I will be forced to continue in my belief that Cardinal McCarrick, in opposition to Church teaching, supports civil unions for homosexuals.

Fumed by Boethius at 4:51 PM. |

Friday, June 09, 2006

Letter from the VP of the Alumni Board

I received this from the VP of the Alumni Board today and he asked me to post it for our readers:

9 June 2006

Dear Friends:

I make bold to write this letter today and disseminate it via the blogosphere (since there is nowhere else to disseminate it) to speak for myself and my perceptions of the current goings on at the law school. I thank our fellow alums at Fumare for allowing me this forum. By my comments, I do not intend to speak for anyone else on the Board, but I offer my reflections on several recent events that may be of interest to our constituents.

Last Tuesday evening, the Alumni Board met for their monthly meeting. It was during this meeting that Mr. Chris McGowan resigned as Chairman of the Development Committtee. The Development Committtee (like the Admissions Committee) is a standing committee of the alumni association board. He indicated his reasons for resigning in a well written letter addressed to our President, Mr. Jason Negri. In light of this resignation, there currently are no alumni members of the Alumni Board on this standing committee. Rather, Mr. Dave Kelley is currently the only member of this committee. Furthermore, the Board did not consider a replacement for Mr. McGowan at this time.

I understand and am in accord with Mr. McGowan's sentiments for resigning. I indicated on the record at Tuesday's meeting, that under the circumstances, I concur with Mr. McGowan's reasons for not supporting the current giving campaign. Thus, I cannot encourage others to do what I myself will not. I am fairly confident that this view is shared by other members of the Alumni Board. Thus, when a solicitation letter was presented to us for our approval, my impression was that those members in attendance--as indicated by their silence--were very uncomfortable about having our names and offices signed to it. I then proposed that the letter come from the Development Committee, knowing full well that there were no alumni members on said committee. I think that this information is crucial to our position and needs to be disseminated to all alumni. In a subsequent conversation with an Alumni Board member who was not in attendance at the meeting for this discussion, he indicated to me that he was upset that it came from our association at all. He thought that it should have come from the Development Office only. I couldn't agree more, and in retrospect should have taken a harder line. However, the suggestion that I offered to the Board as to the signature block was voted on and approved by the Board. I am not aware of any alumni member of the Alumni Board, however who is very excited about this campaign under the current circumstances. Those that are may make their views known, and if I unfairly include them by implication, I apologize.

Furthermore, I noted that there was mention made in the solicitation letter of the class gift of the class of 2006, to wit, the John Paul II Scholarship. The way the letter described the scholarship, it seemed exactly the same as the already established John Paul II Leadership Award and Scholarship (the one established by Matthew Boever, Vilius Lapas, Chris McGowan and Mark Rohlena). The explanation given to me by the Director of Development, was that the distinguishing feature was that one was a scholarship and the other was a commencement award. I have no reason to doubt the good word of Mr. Dave Kelley, our Development Director. He has been a wonderful man to work with and has done wonderful things for our law school. Unfortunately, this distinction seemed lacking to me. Two John Paul II Scholarships? The "likelihood of confusion" is rather significant. Although this was what I took to be the official explanation, the timing of it is also curious. On May 18, 2006, the founders and funders of the original scholarship, in a letter to the Board of Governors, suspended the scholarship indefinitely due to the unfortunate circumstances at the law school. I will take Mr. Kelley at his word that the distinction given is adequate and understood, but nevertheless--to my mind--it is very confusing that such a situation would normally be allowed to exist without some further distinguishing feature.

My intent in writing this letter is not to discourage or encourage alumni to contribute to the law school in any way. This is a decision that is best left to individual alums to make on their own and according to their own means. I thought that these were significant issues that needed clarification. Communication on these issues has been lacking and we are trying to find a better means of sending forth information from the Alumni Board. A website will be forthcoming where we will post minutes and board actions and be a repository for our work. It will not be a place for editorial comment. I do encourage all to pray for the law school through Our Lady Seat of Wisdom that the current tumult may be resolved.

In Our Lord,

John M. DeJak '04
Vice President, Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 1:50 PM. |

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Reason #12,645 Why I Have No Faith in the American Hierarchy: Theodore Cardinal McCarrick

Soon to be retired (Thank God!) Theodore Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, D.C. recently was interviewed on CNN by Wolf Blitzer (Hat Tip: Diogenes). Among other things, Cardinal McCarrick addressed the issue of Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Unions. My comments follow.


BLITZER: Another very sensitive issue that's being dealt with in the Senate right now involves a constitutional ban on same sex marriage. Senator Ted Kennedy said this yesterday. He said, "A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry, pure and simple." You disagree with him, don't you?

MCCARRICK: On this one, I do. Ted and I have -- do have differences from time to time. And this is a real big one. It seems to me that we really have to continue to define marriage as we've defined marriage for thousands of years as a union between a man and a woman.

Now, I think the legislation as it is proposed would not throw out the possibility of a civil union. And I think we can -- we can live with that if this is what -- if this is what the Constitution will provide for. But to say that you can take this concept of marriage, this word of marriage and use it in ways that it has never been used before, as far as I know, in the history of the world, I think that makes no sense.

BLITZER: So just explain. You think that you could live with -- you could support civil unions between gays and lesbians, but you wouldn't like them to get formally married, is that right?

MCCARRICK: Yes. I think -- I think basically the ideal would be that everybody was -- was able to enter a union with a man and a woman and bring children into the world and have the wonderful relationship of man and wife that is so mutually supportive and is really so much part of our society and what keeps our society together. That's the ideal.

If you can't meet that ideal, if there are people who for one reason or another just cannot do that or feel they cannot do that, then in order to protect their right to take care of each other, in order to take care of their right to have visitation in a hospital or something like that, I think that you could allow, not the ideal, but you could allow for that for a civil union.

But if you begin to fool around with the whole -- the whole nature of marriage, then you're doing something which effects the whole culture and denigrates what is so important for us. Marriage is the basic foundation of our family structure. And if we lose that, then I think we become a society that's in real trouble.

(emphasis added)


My comments:

In 2003, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons." The Document was approved by Pope John Paul II and by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Though Cardinal McCarrick was undoubtedly busy working on the task force examining the church's relationship with Catholic politicians whose voting records conflict with Church doctrine, some of us did have the opportunity to read the document.

Though I am not schooled as McCarrick is in the art of nuance [FN], the Church's position seems clear enough to me. Here are two paragraphs from the document:

"In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection."


"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

Note to Cardinal McCarrick: the Church opposes civil unions for homosexuals as well as so-called Gay Marriage. Perhaps you'll have more time to catch up on your reading of Church documents during your upcoming retirement.

As a final treat to our readers, I have decided to include the remaining portion of Wolf Blitzer's interview with Cardinal McCarrick. Enjoy!


BLITZER: You're about to retire. What are you going to do, because a lot of us think you're hitting your prime right now. Those of us who have seen you in action over the years here in the nation's capital. It's almost a pity you're retiring. Are you being forced to retire? Is that the rules of the Catholic Church, the Vatican? Says you reach a certain age, you've got to retire?

MCCARRICK: Well, the rules are a certain age, when you hit 75, you have to send in your resignation. And that's what I did. The Holy Father gave me a whole year later, because I sent it in July of last year.

So now the Holy Father felt that it was good to have a younger man who's going to be -- who's going to be wonderful. He's the best possible archbishop of Washington, I think, is Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh, who is going to succeed. And I think he's a great teacher. He's a man of the center. He's articulate. He's courageous. The people are going to love him, and he's going to love the people.

I think I'm really happy that we have a good man coming. I keep saying this is going to be the golden age of the archdiocese. They're in the Bronze Age now. We're going to make good progress.


[FN] Cardinal McCarrick received the honorary degree "Doctor of Nuance" from Georgetown Univeresity in May of 2003.

Fumed by Boethius at 4:20 PM. |

AMSL Names New Governor

Ann Arbor (AP)--"Continuity with our tradition was the most important factor for this appointment." So said a statement issued by the Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors on the appointment of Mr. Alfred E. Neumann, Esq. to replace the Honorable James Ryan as a member of the same body. The announcement was made today in the midst of the law school's annual giving campaign. "We're hoping that the addition of Mr. Neumann to the Board of Governors will add to our already prestigious group of established legal scholars," said Hilda Von Woffenshmidt of the school's communications office.

A committee of the Board of Governors had been considering the move for some time now. "We wanted someone on a par with the current members of the Board. With the absence left by Judge Ryan, the sense of the Board was that we needed another Kate O'Beirne or someone of that caliber," said Tad Rich, Director of Board Affairs for Mr. Thomas Monaghan. Mr. Monaghan is the Chairman of the AMSL Board of Governors. "Mr. Neumann is a experienced legal mind with an especial interest in intellectual property law which, as you know, is a burgeoning field. His talents and contributions--recognized the world over--will surely be an asset to our thriving law school," continued Rich.

In the past year, the law school has been embroiled in controversy over the mode of governance of the law school, the removal of Prof. Charles Rice from the Board of Governors, a possible relocation of the law school to Florida, and a low national ranking. The school's faculty and alumni association board both expressed votes of "no confidence" in Dean Bernard Dobranski and the student body is deeply divided over the issues. Chairman Monaghan dismissed the controversies as based on misinformation, "If there is one thing I have learned throughout all my years in business, it is to drive on no matter what anybody says. If you lend someone an ear, don't expect to be repaid with interest." When asked if the current controversies surrounding the school gave him pause to accept this appointment, Mr. Neumann responded, "What me worry?" Time will tell.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 1:06 PM. |

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Kennedy to Cardinals: You're All Bigots!....Cardinal to Kennedy: You're a Fat Drunk!

Rome (AP)--Senator Edward Kennedy wasted no time in commenting on the proposed federal marriage amendment to the United States Constitution. In harsh language, characteristic of the reigning Kennedy patriarch, he denounced amendment supporters by thundering "[a] vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry, pure and simple." The Senate takes up debate on the issue today. This statement is not unusual for the socially-minded and outspoken Dean of the congressional liberal establishment. What is surprising is the fact that he includes senior churchmen of his own Church as the object of his statements. The 7 Catholic Cardinals of the U.S. signed a statement in support of the amendment. Richard Lessner broke the story for Human Events yesterday.

While the U.S. Cardinals have been silent in the face of these attacks, an outspoken retired Cardinal in Rome has not been. Giovanni Cardinal Marotta, 98, a retired official of the Roman Rota and Titular Archbishop of Colossae, spoke out forcefully today against the senior Senator from Massachusetts. "Senator potor corpulentus est! " (Which roughly translates as "The Senator is a fat drunk!") The frail elderly Cardinal, who makes his home at the Villa Santa Zita on the outskirts of Rome, still keeps abreast of the American political scene. Fr. Hilario Lim, J.C.D., canonist and former student of Cardinal Marotta said, " This is vintage Marotta. His Eminence has for a long time been critical of Catholic politicians espousing positions contrary to the Faith. While some might disagree with Cardinal Marotta's approach, he sees it as an imitation of Our Lord when he called the Pharisees a 'brood of vipers.'"

A cigar chewing, scotch drinking native of Florence, Cardinal Marotta was styled by one Vatican observer as a "modern day Dante." An outspoken cleric, he has held a number of influential posts and was once considered a papabile. He and colleague Cardinal Silvio Oddi were critics of the Vatican's permissiveness with regard to the liturgical reforms initiated by Vatican II. He was the canonical advisor to Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, the powerful Head of the Holy Office (now, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) and, most recently, helped author Dominus Iesus, a controversial document that stated that Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church are the only means of salvation. In his later years, Marotta retired to a villa outside of Rome where he writes and offers spiritual direction.

In a famous incident in 1985, the Cardinal and some Jesuit seminarians were seen in the Campo de' Fiori drinking scotch, smoking his trademark cigar and singing boisterously. "It was unbelievable! I was deeply offended," said Francesca Delle Torre, then a student organizer of Marxista. "The Cardinal and seminarians were obviously intoxicated and the disrespect...(sob)...(sob)...it was too much." Delle Torre, now a campus minister, recalls that the Cardinal and his young confreres were toasting the statue of the bound Giordano Bruno and singing the Platters' famous hit Smoke gets in your Eyes. The Vatican did not take disciplinary action.

"He calls it like he sees it, and unlike the Senator from Massachusetts, he also tells the truth," said Fr. Lim.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 5:15 PM. |

Oh Hilary!

Imagine my dismay when I discovered that one of my favorite blogs had a post headlined "Oh Fumare!" but it wasn't about us. Still, the post is a good read, as is the entire blog.

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 3:12 PM. |

Monday, June 05, 2006

"Praeclarus Calix" or "Cup"

I have always had the gut feeling that those folks who inhabit and staff Campus Ministry Departments, are generally those who are too dumb to teach theology and thus fall back to being professional retreat givers or at least permanent retreatants--now, lest there be any confusion, this is to be read as being permanently out to lunch.

These are generally the same folks who plan liturgies, create worship spaces, memorialize the murder of communist so-called martyrs, excise any Latin from the Mass, and sing Spanish songs when the congregation is 98% white. I remember even back in my Jesuit high school--the liturgy planning team. (I was a member just to piss off the fat woman faculty member in stretch pants and members of the drama club. Ok, ok, not the purest of aims.) When it came time for the graduation Mass and discussion of the music, I suggested Panis angelicus or some such hymn as a post-Communion reflection, but alas, I was outnumbered. The drama kids won--which was about everyone else but myself and one other person. Ahh yes, there is nothing more fitting for meditation and contemplation than listening to the strains of James Taylor's "You've got a friend" after receiving the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord.

What is my point. My point is that it seems that many of our beloved Bishops were members of Campus Ministry Departments. In the liturgical battles that continue unceasing, Uncle Di points out the challenge of translations and what the language of the Mass is supposed to look and sound like. The Campus Ministry bishops would have God be reduced to our level, but are opposed to the faithful being raised up to God. We can't possibly call it a "precious chalice," we must call it a "cup"--after all the Scriptures just say "cup!" These Shepherds are content with earthen vessels but seem to forget that Our Lord is Rex tremendae maiestatis.

A vignette from Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.'s experiences in Russia points to the preciousness of the Mass and the power of language:

After a few months, when Father Victor and I had adjusted somewhat to barracks existence as a way of life, we were able to find more and more occasions to say Mass. We would walk out together, for example, into the forest and there offer Mass on the stump of a tree. I could not help thinking how the forests sometimes resembled a cathedral--the tall rows of towering trees arching over us, the hushed silence, the natural beauty around us, the silent whiteness of the snow in winter. Even time seemed to stand still as we offered the eternal Sacrifice of Calvary for the many intentions that filled our thoughts and hearts, not the least of which was the thought of the deprived thousands of the Church of silence here in this once Christian land for whom we had come to work as priests in secret.

The Campus Ministry types might scold Father for using such terms as "forests...resembled a cathedral" or "eternal Sacrifice of Calvary." Normal folks would get it.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 10:33 AM. |

Friday, June 02, 2006

Putting Catholic Social Teaching into Practice

Dom Bettinelli has a popular and, to my mind, quite good blog. Recently, along with his usual commentary on church-related issues, he's also blogged about his wife and their newborn baby. Dom is also the editor of Catholic World Report, a great magazine with a great website (featuring the great Diogenes) (Subscription is required to receive the full range of online services.) But CWR has decided they want to go in a new direction and has reached an agreement with Dom that the July issue shall be his last as editor. (I'm very curious about what new direction CWR wishes to pursue. I thought the old direction was pretty true. I'm well aware that this may be a gentlemanly euphemising of other issues, but if anyone knows anything about a new direction, let me in on it. Otherwise, I'll just have to keep reading, trying to discern for myself what's new.)

So who "lets go" an editor right when his wife has a new baby? Well, CWR is published by Ignatius Press, which was founded by Fr. Fessio, who is still "editor" there as well as Chancellor at AMU. I've let this story go for a few days, but now these issues have come up in Dom's combox. Dom is very gentlemanly about it all and has played down any connection between "Ave Maria/Monaghan" and Ignatius Press, claiming they are "completely separate." (Well, I wouldn't go that far, Dom.)

This story illustrates an important facet of the whole brouhaha with which we're all so familiar. There are problems with the way Monaghan's enterprises are run: promises broken and justice denied. (Cf. AMC, St. Mary's, IPT, Campion College, and, of course, AMSoL.) Well, who's gonna get the word out about these problems, sunlight being such a powerful disinfectant? Tom Monaghan's association with Fr. Fessio raises two problems in this regard. First, it means that CWR is no longer an unbiased reporter and commentator upon circumstances Ave Marian. And (b), Ignatius Press is a major advertizer in other Catholic publications, like First Things. Most orthodox Catholic publications are barely getting by on a wing and a prayer and can ill afford to upset major revenue sources. (I note here that the Ave Maria Fund appears to be one of the biggest advertizers on National Review's NRO website. Kate O'Beirne, call your office.)

Pray to St. Joseph for Dom and his family. Pray to Sts. Maximillian Kolbe, Francis de Sales, and Paul the Apostle for Catholic journalists. And pray that the Dallas Mavericks win the NBA Finals so that Mark Cuban's basketball dreams are satisfied and he can then turn his attention to buying the Pittsburgh Pirates and lifting them and their fans out of the hell we've been in lo, these many years.

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 9:29 AM. |

Typical Illinois Politics

Check out Uncle Di for the detailed analysis.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 6:23 AM. |

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Freedom of Speech?

Every year around this time in Chicago and elsewhere in the country the Pro-Life Action League sponsors and promotes Face the Truth Tours. The group describes Face the Truth Tours as:

Holding pictures of beautiful unborn babies and huge graphic signs of aborted babies, we line the roads at major intersections, to show Americans the truth about abortion.

We need you to help show people that abortion is the deliberate taking of an unborn child's life. If you believe that abortion is murder, this is your chance to stand up and be counted. Join us this summer as we line the roads at major intersections to show our fellow Americans the ugly truth about abortion.

In the past--even at our beloved law school--some pro-lifers have disagreed with such tactics. Some have even called for prosecution of folks who engage in this sort of protest and witness. A repugnant view, to this Fumare contributor! Which brings me to Steven Mosher's piece in Human Events Online. The article details that authorities in the UK have prosecuted a 75 year old Catholic man for sending graphic pictures of an abortion to the chief executive of the hospital where the abortion took place. The stated purpose of the pro-life activist was to educate the hospital's chief executive on the horrors of abortion. He was convicted.

I'm sure this type of action will be making its way across the pond soon enough. Brush up on your "balancing tests" or "local standards" or "forum analysis" or...oh hell, I can't keep track! Boethius, what's the latest test?

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 9:06 AM. |