Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
As an ardent pro-lifer, I agree that the difference is clear and that it's time to take a stand in opposition to our "Catholic" Governor's radical and unapologetic pro-abortion policies. Dick Devos' position on abortion is not "extreme." It's the Catholic Church's position. Additionally, as polls have consistently shown that most Americans oppose most abortions, it would seem to me that it his Jennifer Granholm who is the extremist trying to impose her minority views on the rest of society.
Where are our Catholic leaders to correct Governor Granholm's erroneous position?
Bishop Robert Carlson of Saginaw has clearly exposed Granholm's flawed position.
But what about the leader of the Church in Michigan, His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida? Any response to Granholm's attack on Catholic moral teaching?
Well, I suppose your office has been busy lately. Those meddlesome pro-life Catholics sure are undermining your authority. It's a shame you won't respond so forcefully to Governor Granholm -- a Catholic who, instead of trumpeting Church teaching regarding the evils of abortion, openly rejects this teaching and attacks the Church's position.
In 2003, as the Bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Bishop Carlson instructed Democratic Senator Tom Daschle that he could no longer call himself Catholic, in large part due to Daschle's pro-abortion position.
Bishop Carlson, now the bishop of Saginaw, Michigan is once again speaking clearly and forcefully regarding the Church's moral teachings and their implications for those engaged in politics.
(Hat Tip to Prochurus for posting this in the comments section yesterday)
SPEAK WITH A MORAL VOICE
With the approach of the mid-term elections at the national level and many important offices, including the governor, up for election at the state level a person of good will should stop and reflect on their responsibility as a good citizen and as a person of faith.
Each one of us needs to be informed about the issues and the candidates and exercise our precious right to vote. At the same time, while respecting the distinction between Church and state we can never forget the moral dimension to our choices.
The split between the faith we profess and the way we live out our daily life is a serious issue. For the Christian, the Scriptures are clear about human life and the dignity of every human person, marriage and family, war and peace, the needs of the poor and the demands of justice tempered with mercy.
As we learned during the civil rights struggle we have a moral responsibility to state the truth about the dignity of every human being regardless of race. It doesn't matter whether a particular politician or candidate for office agrees with us or not.
The same is true today!
As a leader in the Catholic Church, I must be a moral voice in our society and challenge people to consider the issues from a moral point of view. The Catholic Church has taught from the beginning that the killing of the unborn (burning them with a solution the doctor injects in the womb, cutting them up while still alive in the womb like so much meat or sucking out the brain in partial birth abortion) is intrinsically evil -- murder -- and can never be justified.
Those who perform an abortion and those who cooperate willingly in the action, if fully aware of the grave evil, cut themselves off from the church and separate themselves from God's grace. This is and has been the constant teaching of the Catholic Church.
The legal system itself cooperates in evil when it fails to protect the lives of those who have no protection.
When the Supreme Court interpreted that abortion on demand is a constitutional right, the justices failed to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless new members of the human race; a sin against the common good.
The morality that protects human rights and thus the common good is the first and best thing worth legislating. When a politician says, "I am personally opposed to abortion but don't want to impose my beliefs" or says something like "You can't legislate morality," he or she fails the common good.
When we bring our moral convictions into public life we do not threaten democracy and pluralism but rather enrich them and the nation. As the Catholic bishops said in their statement on faithful citizenship, "The separation of Church and state does not require division between belief and public action, between moral principles and political choices, but rather protects the rights of believers and religious groups to practice their faith and act on their values in public life."
Today there are many who have bought in to the philosophical fallacy called relativism. It teaches that all things and issues are relative and up to the individual to decide which is of greatest importance. It goes hand-in-hand with the attitude, "whatever I think or believe, whatever I feel or desire must be correct."
This group would like to silence the moral voice: let popular opinion or feeling rule the day! Let me be perfectly clear – it is not a matter of one opinion verses the other opinion. Human life is sacred because from the beginning it involves the creative action of God. The direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being (abortion and euthanasia) is always gravely immoral. When the unborn are not protected, the "very foundations of the state based on law are undermined."
Bishop Robert J. Carlson
Diocese of Saginaw
UPDATE: Fidelis has provided a link to Bishop Carlson's Column. See here.
My Comments: Any questions? I didn't think so. Class dismissed.
Monday, October 30, 2006
--Rule for the Benedictine Monastery of Compludo (11th century)
Sound harsh? It could have been worse.
Four years ago, and shortly before the 2002 election, a distinguished member of Ave Maria School of Law's Board of Governors came to the school, and delivered a moving address. The speaker encouraged us to view the practice of law not merely as a profession, but also as a vocation. He also encouraged us to embrace the particular challenge of ensuring that all laws promote the dignity of human life. Citing Pope John Paul II's the Gospel of Life, the speaker emphatically stated: "A law which violates an innocent person's natural right to life is unjust, and as such, is not valid as a law." The speaker then further exhorted us:
"[G]iven the pluralistic society in which we live and the very nature of democracy itself, there will always be cultural challenges and differing outlooks, but the Church and Catholic lawyers must be always ready to speak and act in such a way that the dignity of life is promoted and defended on every level." [emphasis added]
I would like to think that I have done my best to follow the speaker's advice that day and to work for a Culture of Life. I will continue to fight in defense of the unborn, even if it means placing myself in opposition to the current leadership of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
And if you haven't yet guessed it, the speaker at Ave Maria School of Law that day four years ago was Adam Cardinal Maida, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. The entire text of that excellent speech is available here.
So the question is, who is the real Cardinal Maida? Is he the one that delivers inspiring pro-life speeches (to a friendly and obviously pro-life audience) or is he the one that currently sits in his chancery offices and fails to rebuke the radically pro-abortion positions of Michigan's "Catholic" Governor Jennifer Granholm? Unfortunately, for the time being, the real Cardinal Maida appears to be more of the latter, a man who would rather use his priests to challenge pro-life Catholics in parish parking lots instead of a man who would publicly challenge the deeply erroneous anti-life and anti-family positions of Jennifer Granholm.
I, for one, would prefer the courage and leadership of the Cardinal Maida that spoke at Ave Maria School of Law four years ago. Will the real Cardinal Maid please stand up?
Or . . . perhaps he already has.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
While seated at the bar, and the bartender asked why she hasn't seen my for a while, I happened to notice that wearing cashmere sweaters with polyester lined jackets creates some shocking side effects. Nonetheless, I was chatting with some folks. (by the way, the scene in Matrix II were Keanu Reeves flies away leaving the legion of Smiths behind is hilarious).
After some bit of talk, I was rather taken by the fact that this diminutive WASPY-decended gal was rather proud of her interest in Geisha and other near east things. She seemed to lord it over others actually, that she was so open-minded. The beer getting the better of me, I decided that I had to exploit this foible, because, as it were, she most likely knows nothing of her own culture.
So I asked from where her roots came. She iterated a laundry list of west european lineage as if she were in confession. I didn't ask her to recite a valid act of contrition, but had I, she might have. (by the way, I love the "check spelling as you type" feature of my particular computer... it's alerted me over four times now that I needed to correct things)...
Well, I forget really to whole point of this other than I wanted to rant about the stupidity of multiculturalism as it is presented by the adisciplined noveau riche. Geisha in... Barbarian tribes out. God forbid anyone study their own culture.
Europe better get some of its head out of the eastern ass lest she have it fed to her by the Mohammedans. But that's a whole other rant. (man, the Monica Belucci asking for a kiss in Matrix II is a pretty durn good scene, too)
Speaking of rants: New Jersey... As Mohammedan zeal presses for a method of dismantling the US, here we are doing it on our own. What is so odd is that the proponents of the measures enacted there, forcing gay civil unions, will have far more to worry about from the mohammedans than the mean nasty christian majority. At least the last time I checked, even Jack Chick refrained from killing gays gays for sport. The story may be different if Osama Barracki el al Mohammed gets to them.
Well, so much for all of that. The beauty of life is that after two quarts of beer, it's all pretty funny really. Maybe that's what the fat chicks in stretch pants ought to be doing instead of purifying sacred vessels is drinking beer.
DON'T FORGET! ROLL BACK YOUR CLOCK in 5 MINUTES! (yep, you get a bonus hour of sleep tonight)
UPDATED: Two editing marks: (i) the references to the Matrix by roman numeral were corrected as ResIpsa indicated in the puffs; (ii) In the spirit of ADA compliance, I bolded certain text in an effort to make this densely cryptic piece of prose more accessible for the skills impaired anonymous commentors among us.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thanks for all the good work that Fumare does for AMSL. Quick question. Who should I vote for Alumni Board? There are a lot of good candidates out there, but I know that some would rather look the other way when it comes to controversy. Any assistance would be appreciated.
Good question. Bottom line, vote for whomever you wish! I can tell you that there certainly are some candidates who have taken definite positions on both sides of the debate and there is no question as to where they stand. As you know, my position is that the Monaghan is doing what he wants, the BoG is complicit with whatever he wants and the Dean is the carnifex. This may seem harsh but there is no easy way to cut it. The treatment of Rice, the contempt for the faculty and the utter disregard for the concerns of the alumni have convinced me of this position. I commend the current alumni board for their courage and I encourage you to vote for people on that side of the controversy.
I recently got married to a wonderful Catholic girl. We each met while we were in college, dated and now are very happily married and living in Chicago. We are both striving to be holy in our marriage and we have made a great study of the Church's tecahing on sexuality and are convinced of the truth of that teaching. Yet, I am frustrated. My wife is really concerned about getting pregnant right now. I don't understand why--money is not an issue. We have been to NFP classes, have been charting, etc. All the teachers and couples there told me that this would bring us closer. To tell you the truth, I'm not all that interested in the cycles of her body and I don't feel that much closer. Am I wrong to feel this way? I don't know what to do.
Having a Hard Time
Dear Hard Time,
Feels like you're doing hard time doesn't it! But seriously, this sounds all too familiar. Allow me to venture a guess. You guys were probably two very zealous young World Youth Day Catholic types, who went on long walks and said the rosary, sipped tea while reading Gerard Manley Hopkins, and whose idea of marriage was suddenly shattered by the shocking realities of life! Am I correct? I am convinced that God uses trickery to get us to marry and then once we are in that unbreakable bond, the scales fall from our eyes and we realize that we married another fallen human being and not Superman or Superwoman. Love then starts to mature and truly becomes an act of the will--which is what it is. It seems to me that your wife needs to have some faith. For one who seems to profess it, she certainly is not acting it! I'm not sure of what your reasons for delaying pregnacy are from your email, but NFP should only be used for cases of "grave necessity." Otherwise, you guys should be rocking and rolling! As to the NFP "bringing you closer together" bit--what a load! If you are a guy who likes an abundance of syrup this may be true, but come on! My thoughts are that a child tends to bring a couple closer together more than knowing when your wife's cervical mucus is just right. Be not afraid!
I just began smoking a pipe. What tobacco can you suggest? I look forward to your response.
I have always enjoyed a nice cavendish. Alfred Lord Dunhill has a nice selection of tobaccos which I believe you can get here: https://www.lilbrown.com/Pipe-Tobacco/DUNHILL-Pipe-Tobaccos.htm
Likewise, I suggest the recommendation of E. Kovacs who often comments on FUMARE. I tried his recommendation and it was quite a good smoke. Here it is: http://www.haloscan.com/comments/cryder/116131698018167336/#204740 and, http://www.haloscan.com/comments/cryder/116131698018167336/#204741
I am a happily married woman who is also active outside the home. I am scheduled to give a lecture on Catholic women in public life tomorrow evening. My problem is that I am kinda nervous. What should I do?
Katie in D.C.
Stay home and wash your husband's socks.
Your extremist views are disgusting! Not only that, your sense of humor sucks. Stop being so judgmental!
Dear Fumare Hater,
Hugs and kisses,
My sources indicate that in addition to preventing CPS volunteers from distributing their leaflets on parish property, at least one pastor has intimidated a CPS member and prevented her from passing out leaflets on the public sidewalk outside of St. Joseph's Parish in Trenton, Michigan. (Note -- This is not the first time this has occurred at this particular parish).
Public sidewalks are public forums and are protected under the First Amendment. CPS volunteers should not be intimidated by attempts to have them ejected from these public forums. They have a First Amendment right to be there.
As an additional matter, I believe it is important to consider that the Archdiocese of Detroit's policy of preventing leafletting on parish property, which ostensibly exists to protect the Archdiocese's tax-exempt status, may now be being used in violation of the First Amendment rights of the faithful. If the Archdiocese is truly concerned about protecting itself from legal liability (as opposed to imposing a political agenda -- which I suggest is the true reason for their policy in opposition to leafletting), it should clearly instruct parishes regarding the difference between private and public forums. Additionally, the Archdiocese should clearly instruct its employees that public forums (such as sidewalks near churches) are protected under the First Amendment and that violations of the First Amendment could expose the Archdiocese of Detroit to legal liability.
UPDATE: Thanks for the quick comments. I have revised the post to reflect that because the Archdiocese of Detroit and its agents are not state actors, it cannot be held legally liable for First Amendment violations. Nevertheless, the reports of intimidation in order to stifle legitimate and protected First Amendment speech remain extremely troubling.
"There is no place in the Church for those members of the laity who think that they have a legitimate role to play in politics and the shaping of public policy. The laity should not be involved in such subversive efforts. It is the role of the Church to make public policy determinations. The actions of the laity in defending marriage and the unborn are divisive, misleading, and contrary to ecumenism. I strongly urge anyone to disassociate themselves from any lay organizations engaged in such activities."
The above comments, of course, are not actually the comments of Pope Benedict (for his real comments, see below). Instead, the above comments are paraphrased from a recent bulletin article by Father Thomas Slowinski of St. Andrew's Catholic Community in Rochester, Michigan. Fr. Slowinski's screed was written in response to the leafletting activities of Catholics in the Public Square, an organization of faithful lay Catholics seeking to raise the alarm on Governor Jennifer Granholm's radicall pro-abortion and anti-family positions. Here are Fr. Slowinski's comments in full:
Ouch, no sooner I write about the illicit distribution of campaign literature it happens. My apologies to those of you who attended the 12:30 liturgy last Sunday afternoon. I understand many of you found campaign flyers on your vehicles after mass. The guilty party was an organization entitled "Catholics in the Public Square".
This is why groups like this one are so dangerous. Under the auspices of the title "Catholic" they subversively abuse this term and subsequently the church.
What is so saddening is that this is a Catholic (?) organization, or at least they say they are. What they do is myopically proof-text church teaching to discredit a particular candidate or party in favor of their own, either implicitly or directly. By way of caveat, I strongly urge your disassociation with this organization if you have one. They are divisive to the church, detrimental to ecumenism, and misleading in terms of what the church teaches.
Again, we simply do not enter into the fray of partisan politics. As mentioned last week, please know that we do all we can to prevent these kinds of organizations from infiltrating parish property, but with so many people and so many liturgies sometimes their devious practices win out. I promise our best efforts and ask for your understanding and patience. Please feel free to demand they leave if you ever see them here. Please know that your cooperation and support are deeply appreciated.
Fr. Slowinski's comments should be deeply disturbing to all faithful Catholics, especially since they are completely contrary to the recent comments of Pope Benedict XVI. In an October 19, 2006 speech in Verona, Italy, Pope Benedict addressed the issue of the "civil and political responsibility of Catholics." Pope Benedict stated:
Your Convention has rightly considered the theme of citizenship, that is, the question of the civil and political responsibility of Catholics. Christ has come to save the real, concrete man who lives in history and in the community, and so Christianity and the Church have had a public dimension and value from the beginning.
As I wrote in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est (cf. nn. 28-29) on the relationship between religion and politics, Jesus Christ brought a substantial novelty, opening the way towards a more human, freer world through the reciprocal distinction and autonomy of the State and the Church, that is, between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God (cf. Mt 22: 21).
The very religious freedom that we hold as a universal value, particularly necessary in the world today, has its historical roots here. The Church, therefore, is not and does not intend to be a political agent. At the same time she has a profound interest in the good of the political community, whose soul is justice, and offers it her specific contribution at a double level.
Indeed, Christian faith purifies reason and helps it to be better: as a result, with its social doctrine whose argument begins from what is conformed to the nature of every human being, the Church's contribution is to enable whatever is just to be effectively recognized and then also accomplished. To this end, moral and spiritual energies are clearly indispensable as they ensure that the demands of justice are put before personal interests, a social category or even a State. For the Church, here again, there is ample space to root these energies in the conscience, to nourish them and fortify them.
The immediate duty to act in the political sphere to build a just order in society is not the Church's task as such, but that of the lay faithful, who work as citizens under their own responsibility. This is a duty of great importance to which Italian lay Christians are called to dedicate themselves with generosity and courage, illuminated by faith and by the Magisterium of the Church and animated by the charity of Christ.
Special attention and extraordinary commitment are demanded today by those great challenges that endanger vast portions of the human family: war and terrorism, hunger and thirst, some terrible epidemics. But it is also necessary to face, with equal determination and clear policies the risks of political and legislative choices that contradict fundamental values and anthropological principles and ethics rooted in the nature of the human being, in particular, regarding the guardianship of human life in all its stages, from conception to natural death, and to the promotion of the family founded on marriage, avoiding the introduction in the public order of other forms of union that would contribute to destablizing it, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable role in society.
The open and courageous testimony that the Church and Italian Catholics have given and are giving in this regard is a precious service to Italy, useful and stimulating also for many other nations. This commitment and this witness are certainly part of that great "yes" that as believers in Christ we say to man loved by God.
My Comments: Pope Benedict's comments offer clear support for the legitimate political activity of groups such as Catholics in the Public Square, a group which seeks to influence the social order with Catholic values, particularly with respect to Catholic teaching on the dignity of the human person and the family. Shame on Father Slowinski and the Archdiocese of Detroit for obstructing these legitimate efforts to engage and educate Michigan's Catholic voters.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Amy reports that the Vatican is saying the same thing today!
(What Poland was for the fall of communism, Finland is for the restoration of the great culture of the West.)
"At the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion will no longer be permitted to assist in the purification of the sacred vessels at Masses in the United States."
Most of the article discusses the fact that this may lead to something of a restoration of the practice of receiving under one species. While I think that is good and important and, like St. Thomas More, I question why we should abandon such a long-standing tradition, I think it is also important to note the symbolic value of the purification of the sacred vessels.
The purification of the vessels by the priest, especially when it is done immediately after the congregation receives, is a visual demonstration of the importance of the Eucharist. The sacred vessels are not simply dirty dishes to be put aside until a more convenient time for cleaning, they contain or have just contained the body and blood of God. Immediately purifying the vessels, especially by the priest, is a clear sign that the Eucharist is truly important. It is so important that the priest stops in the middle of mass to "do a chore," to "clean the dishes." It highlights that this "meal" we have received is not simply a community affair. No. What was bread and wine are no longer something merely to be cleaned away. They are God and deserve to be treated with the immediate attention and respect that is His due.
Too many times I see otherwise devout priests leave this seemingly insignificant detail to the extraordinary ministers. I cannot help but think it is generally a sign that the priest has implicitly forgotten the significance of the event in which he is taking part.
LANSING -- In the wake of a new television commercial by Governor Jennifer Granholm boasting of her commitment to protecting abortion on demand, along with her headline appearance yesterday at a pro-abortion rally at Michigan State University, Fidelis of Michigan, a Catholic based advocacy group decried her betrayal of Catholics on the abortion issue.
Fidelis of Michigan President Joseph Cella stated: "In May of 1999, as Attorney General, Jennifer Granholm proudly proclaimed in a letter to the 3,000 Michigan Knights of Columbus gathered on Mackinac Island that she unequivocally supported life 'from the moment of conception to the natural end of life.' Once again, Governor Granholm has bitterly betrayed them by stating that abortion is 'a deeply personal and private decision that should be made by a woman and her doctor and not by politicians.'"
The Knights of Columbus is the nation's largest lay Catholic organization with 70,150 members in Michigan.
"We call on Governor Granholm to release her 1999 letter read to the Knights of Columbus so that Michigan Knights and other Catholics across the state can see for themselves how she cannot be trusted to defend human life," Cella stated.
Following Granholm's participation in the rally at MSU, Cella said she should be serving as an example for Catholic students rather than teaching them to thumb their noses at one of the core social teachings of the Catholic Church.
Cella also cited several other occasions that Granholm has betrayed Catholics on the abortion issue including, helping raise funds for the pro-abortion group EMILY's List, vetoing the partial birth abortion ban and appointing the head of Planned Parenthood of Michigan, the state's largest abortion provider to serve as Executive Director of the Michigan Women's Commission.
In the document Catholics in Political Life, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that Catholic leaders must: "teach clearly on our unequivocal commitment to the legal protection of human life from the moment of conception until natural death."
Cella added: "The fact that Governor Granholm is recklessly and selfishly peddling her abortion on demand agenda without any concern whatsoever for the teachings of the Catholic Church is disgraceful."
My Comments: The Archdiocese of Detroit's website is silent on the issue. On the other hand, the Archdiocese of Detroit's website does include, under its "Voter Education Materials," a link entitled "The Gospel and Global Warming." Sadly, I'm not making this up.
For more on the Archdiocese of Detroit's silence and obstruction on pro-life issues, see this post from yesterday.
Sorry to cut this short...I have to see a man about a horse. But not in the women's W.C. Thanks a lot, buddy!
*Note to the Society for Humorousless Catholics (select text to read): THIS. IS. A. JOKE.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
In 2003, Marlene Elwell founded Catholics in the Public Square (CPS) in order to help educate Catholic voters regarding Catholic social teaching and to rally such voters to use their vote to support Catholic principles. CPS provided a much needed network for faithful Catholics and enabled them to bring their Catholic values into the political arena. CPS scored some early political victories by leading the fight on the People's Override (of Jennifer Granholm's veto of Michigan's Partial Birth Abortion Ban) and also on Michigan's 2004 Marriage Protection Amendment.
This election, CPS has again mobilized in support of Catholic teaching. As one of its principal activities, CPS is attempting to educate Catholic voters regarding Governor Jennifer Granholm's extreme pro-abortion position. In furtherance of this end, scores of CPS volunteers have been distributing fliers in the parking lots of Catholic parishes. The fliers boldly state that Governor Granholm's position on abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and cloning, and on the homosexual life-style is opposed to Catholic teaching. As support, the flier cites Pope Benedict, Vatican documents, the U.S. Bishops, and the Michigan Catholic Conference. The flier also lists Republican candidate Dick DeVos' position on these issues.
In a strange display of gratitude for promoting Catholic teaching, Cardinal Maida and the Archdiocese of Detroit are doing their best to prevent CPS from distributing these fliers at Catholic parishes. Marlene Elwell explained this opposition in a recent e-mail to CPS members:
This has been a most difficult and challenging week for CPS. Although we know we're in a spiritual and cultural war, it is still painful to receive calls and letters that call CPS a "fascist organization", tell us we're not Catholic and scream "just go away." They call us an extremist and biased organization ordering us to cease and desist, and over and over again, tell us that there are other issues equally or more important than abortion and gay marriages. And in most cases, the caller or letter writer expresses their support for Governor Granholm as our "Catholic" Governor.
Unfortunately, some of these calls, no letters, are coming from priests and the ones coming from the priests are the most vicious. It's a priest that called us a fascist organization and said we weren't Catholic, and yet, our flyer doesn't have one personal opinion on it. It has only the Church's position on the moral issues of life and family.
We've had to watch the debates where Governor Granholm makes it clear that she is Catholic and also makes it clear that she is pro-abortion. She is proud of her record of a veto over the partial birth abortion ban passed by both the House and the Senate, representing ALL of the people of Michigan. And now she has a TV ad!
Jennifer Granholm has the nerve to pay thousands of dollars to tell the world that her opponent in the governor's race is an "extremist" pro-life candidate because he takes the Catholic Church's position of being opposed to abortion except to save the life of the mother. Where is the leadership of the Church?
I would think the Michigan Catholic Conference or at least one bishop from our state would challenge her, but the silence is deafening. That's why we have to step up our activities.
As alluded to by Mrs. Elwell, recent television ads by Governor Granholm directly attack her Republican challenger Dick DeVos's position on abortion and stem cell research as "extreme." Despite the fact that this is a direct attack on Catholic moral teaching by an ostensibly Catholic Governor, the Catholic Church in Michigan is silent. Strike that. The Catholic Church in Michigan is not silent. They are complicit in Governor Granholm's attacks on life and Church teaching. The Archdiocese of Detroit is working directly against pro-life lay Catholics who are simply seeking to educate Catholic voters on fundamental issues of Catholic social teaching.
In Deus Caritas Est (see below), Pope Benedict recently explained the respective roles of the institutional Church and the laity in politics. In short, it is the role of the Church to form consciences, NOT to work directly in the world of politics. Instead, direct engagement in politics is proper to the laity.
Not only is the Archdiocese of Detroit failing in its fundamental task of forming consciences, it is obstructing the work of the lay faithful of CPS in bringing Catholic values into the public. Additionally, the Archdiocese of Detroit and other Michigan bishops are wrongfully appropriating the proper role of the laity by taking positions on such political issues as affirmative action (Proposal 2) and the funding of public schools (Proposal 5).
Make no mistake. The Archdiocese of Detroit is working against faithful Catholics who are legitimately attempting to influence the state of Michigan with Catholic principles.
UPDATE: Some may question the public criticism of the Archdiocese of Detroit. As a preemptive response, I'll explain the reason for publicly criticising the Archdiocese. Marlene Elwell and CPS have tried to work with the Archdiocese of Detroit and with Michigan's other bishops. Instead of helping, however, the bishops have obstructed. CPS is a volunteer organization which offers its services. In return, the Archdiocese offers nothing, and in fact prevents CPS' message from reaching the Catholic faithful.
Additionally, let me say that private criticism of the Archdiocese of Detroit has been tried. The reality, however, is that private criticism of the Archdiocese of Detroit is ineffective. The Archdiocese may respond to such criticism, but it need not be concerned with providing a satisfactory response so long as the criticism and the response remain free of public scrutiny. In my experience, however, what the Archdiocese of Detroit hates is public criticism.
As my criticisms are based in truth, I believe it is legitimate to offer this bit of fraternal correction publicly to the Archdiocese of Detroit. To the extent that they can, they are free to respond and explain their reasons for obstructing Catholics in the Public Square and for failing to educate Catholics regarding the dignity of the human person and other Catholic social teachings.
UPDATE 2: A commenter correctly notes that I failed to include an important piece of information in my post: what Cardinal Maida's role is in this. Cardinal Maida and the Archdiocese of Detroit have a policy, re-articulated recently by the Archdiocese of Detroit's Monsignor Zenz, that "no political materials are permitted to be distributed except those coming directly from the Archdiocese and/or the MCC or the USCCB." In Monsignor Zenz' October 12, 2006 letter, he asserts that the policy is supported by Cardinal Keeler and the USCCB's similar policy. Cardinal Keeler's policy, however, is markedly different. Cardinal Keeler's and the USCCB's policy is to "urge parishes not to distribute voter education materials that are not authorized and distributed by the diocese, the state Catholic conference or this Conference." In some sense, this policy makes sense as Cardinal Keeler does not wish parishes to unnecessary entangle themselves in political matters and possibly risk their tax-exempt status with the IRS.
Monsignor Zenz, on the other hand, says that Detroit's policy is that "no political materials are permitted to be distributed except those coming directly from the Archdiocese and/or the MCC or the USCCB." (emphasis added). Detroit's policy goes further than Keeler's and would even prevent third-parties, such as CPS, from distributing their materials on parish property. The priests mentioned in Mrs. Elwell's e-mail above are acting under Cardinal Maida and the Archdiocese of Detroit's policy.
I should also rebut one other possible defense which exists for the Archdiocese of Detroit's policy. It could be argued that the policy exists in order to keep heresy and dissent off of parish property and to preserve the integrity of Catholic teaching. Such a defense is disingenuous, however. The primary organization responsible for leafletting parishes this election is CPS and their leaflets merely state Catholic teaching. They include no personal opinions. The Archdiocese of Detroit's policy is being used to prohibit the legitimate political activity of the lay faithful of CPS. Additionally, evidence suggests that the policy is being selectively enforced against CPS. Though the policy is being used against CPS, sources indicate that agents of the Archdiocese of Detroit are themselves violating the policy by distributing the liberal Catholic voter's guide Voting for the Common Good.
Deus Caritas Est
28. In order to define more accurately the relationship between the necessary commitment to justice and the ministry of charity, two fundamental situations need to be considered:
a) The just ordering of society and the State is a central responsibility of politics. As Augustine once said, a State which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves: "Remota itaque iustitia quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia?". Fundamental to Christianity is the distinction between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God (cf. Mt 22:21), in other words, the distinction between Church and State, or, as the Second Vatican Council puts it, the autonomy of the temporal sphere. The State may not impose religion, yet it must guarantee religious freedom and harmony between the followers of different religions. For her part, the Church, as the social expression of Christian faith, has a proper independence and is structured on the basis of her faith as a community which the State must recognize. The two spheres are distinct, yet always interrelated.
Justice is both the aim and the intrinsic criterion of all politics. Politics is more than a mere mechanism for defining the rules of public life: its origin and its goal are found in justice, which by its very nature has to do with ethics. The State must inevitably face the question of how justice can be achieved here and now. But this presupposes an even more radical question: what is justice? The problem is one of practical reason; but if reason is to be exercised properly, it must undergo constant purification, since it can never be completely free of the danger of a certain ethical blindness caused by the dazzling effect of power and special interests.
Here politics and faith meet. Faith by its specific nature is an encounter with the living God -- an encounter opening up new horizons extending beyond the sphere of reason. But it is also a purifying force for reason itself. From God's standpoint, faith liberates reason from its blind spots and therefore helps it to be ever more fully itself. Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly. This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place: it has no intention of giving the Church power over the State. Even less is it an attempt to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith. Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just.
The Church's social teaching argues on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being. It recognizes that it is not the Church's responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest. Building a just social and civil order, wherein each person receives what is his or her due, is an essential task which every generation must take up anew. As a political task, this cannot be the Church's immediate responsibility. Yet, since it is also a most important human responsibility, the Church is duty-bound to offer, through the purification of reason and through ethical formation, her own specific contribution towards understanding the requirements of justice and achieving them politically.
The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper. A just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church. Yet the promotion of justice through efforts to bring about openness of mind and will to the demands of the common good is something which concerns the Church deeply.
b) Love -- caritas -- will always prove necessary, even in the most just society. There is no ordering of the State so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love. Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. There will always be suffering which cries out for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbour is indispensable. The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person -- every person -- needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces: she is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something which often is even more necessary than material support. In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live "by bread alone" (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3)--a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.
29. We can now determine more precisely, in the life of the Church, the relationship between commitment to the just ordering of the State and society on the one hand, and organized charitable activity on the other. We have seen that the formation of just structures is not directly the duty of the Church, but belongs to the world of politics, the sphere of the autonomous use of reason. The Church has an indirect duty here, in that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of those moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor prove effective in the long run.
The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society, on the other hand, is proper to the lay faithful. As citizens of the State, they are called to take part in public life in a personal capacity. So they cannot relinquish their participation "in the many different economic, social, legislative, administrative and cultural areas, which are intended to promote organically and institutionally the common good."  The mission of the lay faithful is therefore to configure social life correctly, respecting its legitimate autonomy and cooperating with other citizens according to their respective competences and fulfilling their own responsibility. Even if the specific expressions of ecclesial charity can never be confused with the activity of the State, it still remains true that charity must animate the entire lives of the lay faithful and therefore also their political activity, lived as "social charity".
The Church's charitable organizations, on the other hand, constitute an opus proprium, a task agreeable to her, in which she does not cooperate collaterally, but acts as a subject with direct responsibility, doing what corresponds to her nature. The Church can never be exempted from practising charity as an organized activity of believers, and on the other hand, there will never be a situation where the charity of each individual Christian is unnecessary, because in addition to justice man needs, and will always need, love.
Crowd surfing. "Whenever a crowd gathered, he just couldn't help himself," Giovanni Cardinal Marotta (then a Monsignor) recalled in an incident in 1948. "I recall a very proper Pope Pius XII coming out to the crowds at St. Peter's. Just as he was about to impart the Apostolic Blesssing, he looked down, curled his lips into a big smile, and yelled aggiornamento--I think he meant to say Geronimo--and lept into the crowd! It was terrifying and wonderful at the same time! The crowd kept him lifted up and passed him from one side of the piazza to the other as if on a natural sedia gestatoria."
The celebrated incident when a little Italian girl gave Pius XII 'the bird'. "I was shocked! Such audacity," exclaimed Sr. Hilda Irtenkauf, in an interview in 1951 just released from the Vatican's archives. "This little bambina, obviously not caring for propriety, stepped on the toes of all of us as His Holiness was visiting San Sebastiano in a parish visit. She ran right up to him almost tripping him, and gave him the bird! Oh saints preserve us!"
The Society of Humorless Catholics had no comment.
Monday, October 23, 2006
UPDATE: And here's a link to the International Boethius Society. Yeah, you read that right. International.
"The International Boethius Society is a non-profit organization promoting scholarship on all aspects of the work, influence, and age of Boethius. The purpose of the society is to promote interest in Boethius and to advance Boethius studies [Ed. Or should that be "Boethian studies"?]; to make accessible to all members, by means of publications approved by the Society, information of common interest, especially concerning the teaching of and research in Boethius; to hold annual international meetings and other gatherings for the purpose of exchanging ideas and techniques pertitnent to the proper study of Boethius and his times; to promote and publish research and texts in Boethius and related fields; to promote the teaching of Boethius and related areas at all appropriate levels of education; and to operate and maintain the Society exclusively for educational purposes."
Remember the story about the MSU faculty voting no confidence in their Dean?
Today's State Bar newsletter includes the following article:
Also note that I bolded the statement below that the MSU law school is up for reaccreditation this year, and the dean's "leave" is conveniently timed right before ABA visit.
What still cracks me up is that the MSU faculty has not even aired the issues. AMSOL faculty laid their issues out in the open.
On the counter is a banana that has maybe 48 hours left in its usable life. There is some maple and brown sugar oatmeal in the pantry and some milk that is in good shape in the fridge. There is also a container of plain yogurt into which several things can be mixed: morello cherry preserves (made with sugar, no corn syrup -- good stuff); organic frosted miniwheats (meijer had them on sale for a steal); organic cinnamon miniwheats; honey (local and direct from an apiary).
If I wanted to get hardcore, I have eggs in the fridge, too. There's some orange juice, some apple cider, and fixins for toast (sprouted grain bread).
Alas, I can't make my mind up as to which thing I ought to have for breakfast. So, I'll sit here and drink my coffee and read instead.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
M. Klaes of Rotterdam amassed a large fortune in the linen trade during the latter part of the last [19th] century. His hobby was collecting pipes, and during his eighty years he smoked over four tons of tobacco and consumed a half-million quarts of beer. Just before he died, he made his own will, in which he invited all the smokers of the country to attend his funeral and receive two pipes and ten pounds of tobacco, for smoking during his funeral.
[that's cool -- imagine the scene that made]
Finally, he directed that his casket "be lined with cedar of his old Havana cigarboxes, and a box of old Dutch tobacco should be placed at the foot of his coffin; his favorite pipe and a box of matches at his side, 'as one does not know what might happen.'"
Truly, this man was way ahead of his time -- indeed, he beat FUMARE to the punch by a little over a century. ...and the damn busybodies today tell us tobacco is bad...
****On another suspensful note...
M. Zalesky of Poland died fifty years ago [from 1894], leaving property valued at 100,000 roubles. His will was enclosed in an envelope directing it to be opened after his death. Inside there was another envelope, "To be opened six weeks after death." When that time had elapsed the second envelope was opened and a third one found, "To be opened on year after death." A fourth ws discovered at the end of the year, "To be opened two years later"; and so it went on until 1894, when the actual will was discovered and read.
My kind of men.
The answer is no, you do not need to rank all the candidates. You may leave some names blank, without fear of spoiling your ballot. Even a very low ranking for a candidate whom you would not prefer on the Board still gives that candidate some votes in support. If there is a candidate who you would not prefer to be elected to the Board, it is better to not rank that particular candidate at all.
(Hat tip: Buttercup.)
Should the Board of Governors decide to move the school to that swamp, the next logical step is for them to establish a clinic focussing on First Amendment and municipal law issues--I predict a lot of hands-on experience.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I'm not sure that it's appropriate for Fumare to come out and endorse particular candidates, but more importantly, I myself don't know enough about the views and positions of each candidate.
So let's harness the power of the blogosphere. I invite all alumni (or even better yet, the candidates themselves) to post comments on this topic.
Which candidates support the past actions of the Alumni Board? Which candidates believe the Alumni Board has been acting ultra vires? Where do the candidates stand on the potential move to Florida and other important issues?
Please share your knowledge.
UPDATE: Because I want this post to be useful to readers, I'll be freely editing and/or deleting comments that are irrelevant or pointless.
UPDATE 2: Commenter jtcorey objects to anonymous comments on the candidate's views. I don't want to get into a discussion of the pros/cons of anonymity, which we've had before. I've invited everyone, anonymous or not, to provide what they know on the candidate's positions. We, the voters, are entitled to know; for every other election there is a great deal more transparency of the candidante's views with debates, media questioning, etc., and all we have is a generic one paragraph candidate statement. Though an anonymous comment is unreliable, it is better than nothing. If you disagree with a comment on a certain candidate, say so. If you can corroborate a comment on a certain candidate, say so. There is plenty of merit to that, even if it is done anonymously.
UPDATE 3: I don't think that a person has a right not to have their name used on the Internet. However, because I'm a nice person, I've edited out the name of a candidate, pursuant to her request and the vociferous defense by commenter jtcorey. Miss T, I apologize for any offense, Fumare means no harm, and please come visit us again, even anonymously. I should remind you, however, that if you win in the election, your name and contact information are going to be prominently placed on the Internet. Best of luck with the vote.
Today I have three things to report: 1) I saw a cool bumper sticker and made some chicks jealous (women crack me up); 2) Michigan issued a shotgun to me; and, 3) I have a list for your emergency preparedness.
As I was driving today, I happened to notice a bumper sticker that made me chuckle...
I hadn't seen that particular bumper sticker before, nor even seen any official stuff taking aim at the otherwise gay-oriented "pride" stickers. I was laughing. Then I notice it was a gal driving, so I decided I had to ask her about it...
Several traffic lights later, I was talking out the passenger window to her as our cars were side by side at a red light (I stopped next to hers... but then again she made it very easy to talk to her). She was pleasant and after some chatting about it, told me tht she gets cut off, yelled at, and otherwise abused for the sticker.
Turns out you can get your own at cafe press.
I had to laugh, though, because in the next few blocks some other drivers (all of whom were women) made fantastic efforts to get my attention after seeing me chat with this gal. One driving a very large SUV nearly clipped my bumper as she pulled up beside me to slow down and look at me, smile, and try to talk to me then closed passenger window. amazing.
As I looked up the statute, I am now required to wear either the Carhartt, or "a jacket of similar construction with ownership traceable to sale at Cabela's, Meijer, a Michigan-based tractor farm and fleet supply, or similar store situated with ownership in the state of Michigan." A brief review of cases also shows that a weather-lined flannel or flannel pattern fleece jacket suffices in alternative, so long as purchase requirements are met.
Pretty exciting if you ask me.
Opting for an international emergency preparedness kit, I now have the following items available for emergencies in my office desk, my vehicles, and my deer stand:
- Hockey stick / helmet
- Emergency bacon / maple syrup
- False teeth (see hockey gear)
- Parka / winter hat (year round, and conforming to MCL requirements listed above)
- Mouth guard (for when the elk/moose/deer/college student you just hit comes through your windshield)
- Tire chains (year round -- not necessary in desk)
- Case of beer (Molson, some in the trunk, one can in your hand while driving)
- Razor and soap (just kidding)
- Antifreeze (for your beer)
- Snowshoes (on the roof ski-rack)
- Eight flannel shirts (aka, your entire closet)
- Bright orange hunter's vest
- Extra winter boots (on the dash)
Uncle Di quotes approvingly.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
It is noteworthy that race and ethnicity are apparently more heavily weighted in undergraduate admissions now than in the system declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2003.
In the most recent year for which data were available (2005), the median black admittee's SAT score was 1160, versus 1260 for Hispanics, 1350 for whites, and 1400 for Asians. High-school GPAs were 3.4 for the median black, 3.6 for Hispanics, 3.8 for Asians, and 3.9 for whites.
In the four years analyzed, UM rejected over 8,000 Hispanics, Asians, and whites who had higher SAT or ACT scores and GPAs than the median black admittee -- including nearly 2700 students in 2005 alone.
The black-to-white odds ratio for 2005 was 70 to 1 among students taking the SAT, and 63 to 1 for students taking the ACT. (To put this in perspective, the odds ratio for nonsmokers versus smokers dying from lung cancer is only 14 to 1.)
In terms of probability of admissions in 2005, black and Hispanic students with a 1240 SAT and a 3.2 high school GPA, for instance, had a 9 out of 10 chance of admissions, while whites and Asians in this group had only a 1 out of 10 chance.
These disparities are reflected in subsequent academic performance at the University of Michigan, where blacks and Hispanics earn lower grades, and are less likely to be in the honors program and more likely to be on academic probation than whites and Asians.
For Clegg's discussion of law school and medical school admissions policies, see Clegg's article here.
For those Michigan voters that want to do something to eliminate these types of practices, vote Yes on Proposal 2.
(1) "[T]he Council, which advises[,] said it was 'upset and dismayed that [he] has been personally vilified in this manner,' and expressed its support. 'We stand with him in confidence, and look forward to his continued [leadership].'"
(2) "...morale was the lowest in memory"
(3) "the...relationship...was fractured"
(4) "...given his time, attention and interest to matters financial while paying little or no attention to the...'needs and concerns' of the...people"
(5) "...relations been defined by dishonesty, deception, disinterest and disregard..."
(6) "...[his] severely vindictive nature."
(7) "No Confidence."
Whence does this come? Check either here or here.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Featured at this year's conference is regular dissenter Joan Chittister. Also featured is a "Eucharist" celebrated by Roman Catholic Women Priests. And let's not forget the presentation Body for Peace: Yoga for Peacemakers. I bet they'll be lining up for that one.
It comes as no surprise to me that the USCCB endorses the heretical Call to Action Conference. Unfortunately, many Catholics are still unaware of the USCCB's subversive agenda. Spread the word.
UPDATE: The USCCB calendar is posted at its website here.
UPDATE II: The USCCB has updated its website and no longer includes the Call to Action Conference on its calendar. Nevertheless, the fact that it appeared in the first place says much about those working at the USCCB.
UPDATE III: Amy Welborn picked up this story here. That's probably what prompted the USCCB's quick action to cover up their trail.
UPDATE IV: Thanks to Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia for providing a link to the screen shot from the USCCB's website which clearly shows the Call to Action Conference scheduled for November 3 -5 on the USCCB's calendar.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of All Ages! FUMARE Presents--A Good Irish Mother, MRS. GALLAGHER!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Our Lord tells us that "no greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for his friends." Those in the armed forces know that when they fight in a war, they fight for their country and home. Chesterton made the comment--and I paraphrase--that "[t]he true soldier fights not what is in front of him, but for what is behind him." Talking to soldiers and other veterans who have engaged the enemy in the battlefield, you will also hear the more common reason why they fight--they fight for their battle buddies. It may be said that a secondary motto of all the armed forces is "no man left behind." The bond that a soldier, sailor, Marine or airman has with his fellows in a combat zone is unparallelled.
These are men who talk the talk and walk the walk. They know the meaning of sacrifice, duty, honor and love. Whatever flaws our military members may have (and they are many and generally the same as university professors, lawyers, doctors and factory workers), they acutely understand what love of neighbor is. And sometimes, Our Lord provides us with examples like Petty Officer 2d Class Monsoor to demonstrate what courage, honor, and love of neighbor is all about.
Requiescat in pace.
(Hat tip: JTCorey and Professor Messaros)
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The guide states:
Are there any "non-negotiable" issues for Catholics involved in politics?
There are several issues that are "not negotiable" for Catholics in political life, because they involve matters that are intrinsically evil. In an address to European politicians on March 30, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI stated: " As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today:
- Protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;
- Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family -- as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage -- and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;
- The protection of the rights of parents to educate their children."
The issues mentioned by Pope Benedict are all "non-negotiable" and are some of the most contemporary issues in the political arena. I should note, however, that other issues, while not intrinsically evil, deserve prayerful consideration, such as questions of war and capital punishment, poverty issues and matters relating to illegal immigration.***
Do bishops and priests have the right to intervene in political, social, or cultural matters?
Bishops and priests are not to participate in the public administration of the government. Nonetheless, they do have the right, and sometimes an obligation, to speak out on political, social, or cultural matters impacting the Church or the common good.
In his encyclical Deus Caritas Est (28), Pope Benedict XVI states: "It is not the Church's responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest."
The Holy Father goes on to write (ibid): " The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to awaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper."
My Comments: These last quotes from Deus Caritas Est are very interesting as Pope Benedict makes it clear that the Church's role is not to take part in political battles and not to attempt to bring about the most just society possible. Instead, the Church's primary role is to form consciences. Once the laity have been properly formed, it is up to them to engage the world in politics. I am happy to see that Bishop Olmsted is drawing attention to this important teaching. Unfortunately, Bishop Olmsted's brother bishops in the USCCB and other bishop conferences seem ignorant of this teaching and appear intent on interfering in political issues that should best be left to the lay organizations to address.
For example, in Michigan, the Michigan Catholic Conference recently has issued its position in opposition to Proposal 2 (which seeks to ban affirmative action which uses preferential treatment) and more recently has taken a position in opposition to Proposal 5 (regarding funding of public schools). Regardless of one's position on these issues, one must question why the Catholic Church in Michigan believes it is necessary to make its political opinions known on these issues -- I mean, is there really a Catholic position on the funding of public schools?
One of the real problems that results from the announcement of such opinions by the local hierarchy is that then those members of the laity that are engaged in politics and have legitimately reached different conclusions as to these issues are made to look as if they are in dissent from Church teaching. This then makes it that much harder for these members of the laity to influence public opinion.
Unfortunately, in addressing political issues here in Michigan, the Michigan Catholic Conference is merely following the long-standing principle of the USCCB which, rather than forming the consciences of the faithful on the moral principles underlying Catholic social teaching, routinely attempts to influence wide-ranging political issues from illegal immigration to the minimum wage.
Let us hope and pray that Bishop Olmsted's voter's guide will influence Catholics everywhere (including Bishop Olmsted's brother bishops).
The political bias of the geeks striving to build Web 2.0 is becoming more and more apparent. According to World Net Daily, YouTube has blocked access to a controversal political advertisement mocking the Clinton Administration for its appeasement overtures to North Korea. YouTube blocked access by flagging the video for objectionable content, which requires users to sign in to verify that they are not minors. The video, however, contains no objectionable content. In fact, the video is quite good and I recommend that you watch it, if you can. WND's article also details Google's method of deriding the Bush administration by linking the president's name to less-than-desireable serach terms.
Not only do these tactics render the services unreliable, but it makes me wonder why I patronize them at all. Google's recent purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion is only going to make matters worse. It is rather frightening if you think about it. Many internet users consider Google to be the definitive source for what exists on the internet.
Sadly, even Fumare patronizes Google. We should find a new home.
(Hat tip: Drudge.)
FOLLOW-UP: Robert Cox: When will the right recognize the cost of conceding Web 2.0? A must read for any conservtive blogger.
(Hat tip: E.M.)
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
As an example, Bottum addresses last year's "kneeling controversy"[FN] from the Diocese of Orange. Bottum levels criticism towards both sides in the controversy, and specifically addresses one incident in the diocese where certain Catholic parishioners hired a private investigator to "out" a homosexual priest.
The individuals who hired the private investigator have responded to Bottum here and offer a shocking glimpse (actually, perhaps it's not shocking to many of you) into the Diocese of Orange and its administration by Bishop Tod Brown.
[FN] In a nutshell, the "kneeling controversy" refers to a dispute which arose in a parish in the Diocese of Orange when a newly installed pastor ordered his parishioners to stand during certain parts of the Mass and to stand during the reception of communion. A number of parishioners refused, and the pastor accused the parishioners of mortal sin for disobeying him.
The latest rumor comes to light regarding a favorite topic of many of this august group. Drudge links to this Times (UK, not NY) story. Cause for hope in the ranks of loyal Catholic Americans? A chance for everyone to fumble through responses inexpertly (AM exempted) instead of mumble them reluctantly? To frantically flip through the pages in their missal instead of the latest list of liturgical abuses? We can only hope.
A number of years ago, the Vatican authorized construction of a new parking garage. In the midst of the project, workers discovered some ancient Roman relics. The work on the garage stopped and a great archaeological expedition commenced. Only in Rome! Now, three years later, scholars have unearthed what has been styled "a little Pompeii" and have opened it to the public so that they might catch a glimpse of Roman life in the 1-4th centuries A.D.
Among the many artifacts, a most touching find was the burial site of an infant: "From specially constructed walkways, visitors can look down on some skeletons, including that of an infant buried by loved ones who left a hen's egg beside the body. The egg, whose smashed shell was reconstructed by archaeologists, might have symbolized hopes for a rebirth, officials at a Vatican Museums news conference said Monday."
How many times has this tender little scene been repeated in this valley of tears? There is something so very human in this simple tribute to a beloved child who died. It points to universals--the love of parents for their children, the hope of life after death, the longing in the human heart for God. A simple little grave can say so much. Fittingly it is in the shadow of St. Peter's. Perhaps we can hope that the graces that flow through the Church embraced this parvulus Dei and brought him to tender arms of his Father in heaven.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Especially on the eve of the Detroit Tigers' ride to the big time, it is well worth the moment to consider that Monaghan, while owning the Tigers, was known to fire people from time to time, but always denying it ahead of time (much like moving things to Florida).
Recent hostiry sort of paved over the mess of Monaghan's idiotic decision to "not renew" the contract of Ernie Harwell, aka "the voice of the Tigers."
(does any of this sound like how they treated Charlie Rice yet?)
Wikipedia has a small blurb, "In a controversial move, Harwell's contract was "non-renewed" by the Tigers and then-flagship station WJR in 1991, but a popular outcry led to his partial reinstatement on the team's television broadcasts the following year, after the Tigers franchise was purchased by Detroit businessman Mike Ilitch. He resumed full-time radio duties with the team from 1999 to 2002."
The story is a little more connected, however. For some time prior to Harwell's release/firing/term limits from the Tigers, Monaghan and President Bo Schembechler denied they planned to change the sportscasters. But, at the end of the 1990 season, Ernie was informed by Tiger President Bo Schembechler that the team wanted to go in a "new direction". Harwell was told he could announce the Tiger games until the end of the 1991 season.
The then 76 yr old Harvell was to be replaced by young guys who could push product placement ads during the game (make money).
(Does this sound like any plans to make all kinds of cash in the sagging Florida real estate market?)
Ironically, right hand minion, Dob... I mean Schembechler, was heralded and publicly spoke on "principles, values" and all of the usual moral talk. Funny how they didn't care what people thought -- they were going to do what Monaghan wanted.
Harwell was returned to the Tigers in 92. Maybe Monaghan could remember that story when thinking about the law school. uhh... maybe he won't though because WJR required Schembechler be fired for the act -- that means Bernie would have to go like Schembechler did in 1992.
Moreover, doesn't it sound a lot like what they did to Professor Rice, too (firing old hall of famers in favor of getting young yes-men?)
FOR MORE INFORMATION (and a nice story piece on Mr. Harwell), see Ernie Harwell and Tiger Stadium: Two old friends
© 2007 FUMARE