Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Dear students, staff, and alumni of Ave Maria School of Law:
We write to share with you a copy of a resolution that 11 members of the faculty submitted to the Board of Governors in connection with its meeting on Wednesday, September 27.
The purpose of the resolution was to express our collective opposition to the Board’s present consideration of a relocation of the Law School to Ave Maria Town in Florida, and to provide some of the reasons for our opposition. The faculty was concerned that its collective judgment would not be presented to the Board at its September meeting. Faculty had repeatedly sought a group meeting with the consultants (in addition to and not as a substitute for the meetings that the consultants were conducting with individual faculty members). We thought that the judgment of the community of scholars that is the faculty ought to be considered. The consultants refused to hold such a meeting.
Under the circumstances, we anticipated that the resulting study would not accurately convey the faculty’s concerns regarding the proposed relocation. We therefore deemed it best to communicate directly to the Board. The attached resolution, which was signed by a substantial majority of the resident voting faculty (11 out of 16) was transmitted to each member of the Board on Tuesday, September 26, so that the stated concerns could be considered during the Board’s deliberations the following day. As of yet, we have not received any response from the Board to our resolution.
Regrettably, the study prepared by Deans Read and White makes no mention either of the faculty’s submission of the attached resolution or of the specific concerns addressed therein. Since, as we expected, the study’s presentation of our concerns is inaccurate (indeed, highly so), we have decided to make the resolution public so that each member of the Law School community may understand some of the reasons why we oppose the Board’s consideration of the proposed relocation at this time. We certainly would appreciate any feedback that any of you wish to offer.
Within the next few weeks, the faculty will prepare and circulate a more detailed response addressing the numerous deficiencies of the study. In the interim, we ask that you join us in praying for the intercession of our Blessed Mother on behalf of our beloved school.
Professor of Law
Professor of Law
Joseph L. Falvey, Jr.
Professor of Law
Associate Professor of Law
[See above courtesy of Tommy More.]
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Spiritual Pilgrimage with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on this Pastoral Visit to Turkey (November 28-December 1, 2006)
Heavenly Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name, we humbly ask that you sustain, inspire, and protect your servant, Pope Benedict XVI, as he goes on pilgrimage to Turkey - a land to which St. Paul brought the Gospel of your Son; a land where once the Mother of your Son, the Seat of Wisdom, dwelt; a land where faith in your Son's true divinity was definitively professed.
Bless our Holy Father, who comes as a messenger of truth and love to all people of faith and good will dwelling in this land so rich in history. In the power of the Holy Spirit, may this visit of the Holy Father bring about deeper ties of understanding, cooperation, and peace among Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, and those who profess Islam. May the prayers and events of these historic days greatly contribute both to greater accord among those who worship you, the living and true God, and also to peace in our world so often torn apart by war and sectarian violence.
We also ask, O Heavenly Father, that you watch over and protect Pope Benedict and entrust him to the loving care of Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima, a title cherished both by Catholics and Muslims. Through her prayers and maternal love, may Pope Benedict be kept safe from all harm as he prays, bears witness to the Gospel, and invites all peoples to a dialogue of faith, reason, and love. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord.
As a concerned layman, I am grieved that not much has been done recently in the manner of true ecumenism with our separated bretheren. The recent joint effort of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, has demonstrated once again that--left to themselves--individual Ordinaries will act and do things that are more appropriate to Monty Python. Such actions demoralize the faithful, call into question the intellectual capabilities of the Church's pastors, and confirm the fact that ecumenism is nothing other than a bunch of aging '60's kids patting themselves on the back for their "compassion" towards the world.
Far be it from me, in my rustic backwardness, to suggest a course of action to restore both legitimacy to your dicastery's efforts or to the ecumenical movement at large as it was given new impetus by Blessed John XXIII, of happy memory. But allow me to suggest something that will go a long way to providing a fertile ground for interreligious dialogue and the promotion of goodwill during this holy time of year: Christmas Cookie Parties! Grace builds on nature, Your Eminence, thus, attending to basic human needs and wants will provide fertile ground for the harvest.
Imagine the ecumenical strides that could be made if, say, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Church united with Grace Episcopal, First Baptist, and Good Shepherd Lutheran to sponsor a joint Christmas Cookie Party! This would primarily be an effort of the laity. Good fellowship and good cookies will be had by all! More importantly we will be better missionaries for the Church than the hierarchy. No offense, Your Eminence, but with the laity in charge, your good dicastery will not be scandalized or embarrassed by Bishop So-And-So or Father Whatshisname taking it upon himself to dress up as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or one of Santa's elves. (An all too common occurence.) Most importantly the ecumenical effort will proceed apace in a more normal and common sense fashion contra the current policy which basically reduces ecumenical dialogue to joint statements about the dangers of aerosol sprays and the inadvisability of beating one's wife.
I do hope that Your Eminence will ponder this modest propsal and consider it.
Monday, November 27, 2006
(Hat Tip: Amy)
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Some of our commentators have recently taken to task the faculty (and Professor Rice in particular) for their outspokenness in the face of blatant injustices by the administration and the Board--putting into practice the doctrine that they espouse. More than teaching, this is the type of example that fills me with a tremendous amount of gratitude for the integrity and faith of these stellar individuals. In light of the continuous criticism leveled by some against the majority of AMSL's faculty, these words of our Holy Father come to mind:
Speaking just to find applause or to tell people what they want to hear ... is like prostitution," he told the theologians, according to a transcript. "Don't look for applause, but look to obey the truth.
I believe that Uncle Di's commentary (click the above quote) on the intellectual integrity of Papa Ratzinger can be readily and accurately applied to Professor Rice and the AMSL faculty who have the courage to speak out in this controversy. The applause of the D.C. dinner circuit does not impress, nor should it.
Our faculty members have obeyed the truth.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
From: Dobranski, Bernard
Sent: Wed 11/22/2006 5:04 PM
To: All Law System Distribution; All Alumni
Cc: B. J. Harrington ; Bowie Kuhn; Edward Cardinal Egan; Gerard Bradley; Helen Alvare; Jeff Randolph; Joseph Fessio; Kate O'Beirne ; Michael Uhlmann; Peter Carfagna; Robert George
Subject: Feasibility Study
Dear Ave Maria Law School Community,
Attached is a copy of the Feasibility Study prepared by Deans James White and Tom Read at the request of the Board of Governors to assist in the Board's consideration of the possibility of a relocation of the law school to the Naples, Florida area. It was received by me and distributed to the Board yesterday. As I indicated earlier, it would also be shared with the Ave Maria Law School Community -- students, faculty, staff and alumni -- for reaction and comment.
As the first step in the process of receiving reaction, I am creating a daily open door policy for anyone interested in providing comments and reactions directly to me. It will be scheduled each day from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointment or prior notice is necessary. If for any reason I am away on a given day, other arrangements to meet can be made. E-mail and written comments are also welcome.
In addition, we will schedule a series of meetings for interested individuals and groups to meet with available Board members. To this end, we tentatively plan to have meetings on either Wednesday, December 6, or, Thursday, December 7, for current students, non-senior staff, and interested alumni. We also tentatively plan to hold a meeting on Friday, December 8, in Washington, D.C. for interested alumni in that area. In addition, we plan to hold separate meetings Wednesday, December 13, for faculty and senior staff for their reactions and comments. The reason I refer to these meeting dates as tentative is that I am still trying to confirm availability of Board members to be present. I expect to be able to provide more definite information as to exact dates and times when we return from the Thanksgiving break. The reason for choosing December 6 or 7 for the student meeting is because these are the last two class days and thus avoids interfering with scheduled exams. The reason for the December 13 date for faculty and senior staff is that this is the day before the regularly scheduled Board meeting, and we expect a greater number of Board members will be available at this time.
I also wish to emphasize that the primary role of Board members at these meetings will be to listen to what you have to say about the study, irrespective of whether it is critical or supportive of the study. Moreover, if it turns out that more time for reaction and comment is necessary or desirable, we are prepared to provide that time.
I trust you will find this helpful. I, and the other members of the Board, look forward to your comments to the study, and I wish you all a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.
Dean Bernard Dobranski
[CLICK HERE to read the feasibility study (or right-click to download the 5MB PDF to your computer for later reading).]
UPDATE: Part of the feasibility study included statistics on the growth of Collier County provided by the Economic Development Council of Collier County. Interesting who some of the Directors of this organization are, isn't it?
Having read Deus Caritas Est, the FUMARE family is ready to dine.
(pictured from bottom left and going clockwise: Thursday, Mrs. Thursday (Friday), Boethius, Ryder, Buttercup, Sine Metu, Mrs. Sine Metu, Casimir Pulaski, Meg Roper, G.E.M. Anscombe, Advocatus Militaris.
Everyone here probably knows that Pope Benedict XVI released his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, last Christmas. Additionally, everyone probably knows that the encyclical is about "love." But how many of us realize that the encyclical is actually about much more?
I admit that when Deus Caritas Est first came out, I didn't pay real close attention to it. That was a mistake. If anyone else here is guilty of the same mistake, I encourage you to remedy that this weekend and devote and hour or two to reading the encyclical. I don't want to give the whole thing away, but let me just say that, in addition to a thorough examination of "love," Deus Caritas Est provides an excellent overview of the institutional Church's role in interacting with the modern political world. Additionally, it provides some interesting conclusions regarding the respective roles of the laity and the Church in practicing charity in today's world. The encyclical also serves as an examination of conscience, i.e. a "gut check," for the Christian who seeks to fully participate in the life of the Church and to grow in holiness.
Lastly, I should note that Deus Caritas Est is very accessible. The first half is perhaps a little more challenging, but it's worth the effort.
OK. Happy reading and Happy Thanksgiving!
UPDATE: National Review Online has their Christmas Gift Symposium up. Father James Schall, S.J. recommends Deus Caritas Est:
"Ignatius Press has published a handsome edition of Benedict XVI’s Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. Its 108 pages contain as much wisdom as any pages I know. The reconciling of the various meanings of love -- eros, phila, agape -- is something fundamental to human, and yes, divine living. Benedict is clear, erudite, insightful, and succinct. If you are humble enough to learn from a pope, you and your friends, on finishing this really remarkable little tractate, will be delighted to focus on the things that count."
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Good news, gang!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To their Eminences / Excellencies, Presidents of the National Episcopal Conferences
Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum
Prot. N. 467/05/L
Rome, 17 October 2006
Your Eminence / Your Excellency,
In July 2005 this Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by agreement with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to all Presidents of Conferences of Bishops to ask their considered opinion regarding the translation into the various vernaculars of the expression pro multis in the formula for the consecration of the Precious Blood during the celebration of Holy Mass (ref. Prot. N. 467/05/L of 9 July 2005).
The replies received from the Bishops' Conferences were studied by the two Congregations and a report was made to the Holy Father. At his direction, this Congregation now writes to Your Eminence / Your Excellency in the following terms:
1. A text corresponding to the words pro multis, handed down by the Church, constitutes the formula that has been in use in the Roman Rite in Latin from the earliest centuries. In the past 30 years or so, some approved vernacular texts have carried the interpretive translation "for all", "per tutti", or equivalents.
2. There is no doubt whatsoever regarding the validity of Masses celebrated with the use of a duly approved formula containing a formula equivalent to "for all", as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has already declared (cf. Sacra Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, Declaratio de sensu tribuendo adprobationi versionum formularum sacramentalium, 25 Ianuarii 1974, AAS 66 , 661). Indeed, the formula "for all" would undoubtedly correspond to a correct interpretation of the Lord's intention expressed in the text. It is a dogma of faith that Christ died on the Cross for all men and women (cf. John 11:52; 2 Corinthians 5,14-15; Titus 2,11; 1 John 2,2).
3. There are, however, many arguments in favour of a more precise rendering of the traditional formula pro multis:
a. The Synoptic Gospels (Mt 26,28; Mk 14,24) make specific reference to "many" ([Greek text which Blogger doesn't recognize] = pollôn) for whom the Lord is offering the Sacrifice, and this wording has been emphasized by some biblical scholars in connection with the words of the prophet Isaiah (53, 11-12). It would have been entirely possible in the Gospel texts to have said "for all" (for example, cf. Luke 12,41); instead, the formula given in the institution narrative is "for many", and the words have been faithfully translated thus in most modern biblical versions.
b. The Roman Rite in Latin has always said pro multis and never pro omnibus in the consecration of the chalice.
c. The anaphoras of the various Oriental Rites, whether in Greek, Syriac, Armenian, the Slavic languages, etc., contain the verbal equivalent of the Latin pro multis in their respective languages.
d. "For many" is a faithful translation of pro multis, whereas "for all" is rather an explanation of the sort that belongs properly to catechesis.
e. The expression "for many", while remaining open to the inclusion of each human person, is reflective also of the fact that this salvation is not brought about in some mechanistic way, without one's willing or participation; rather, the believer is invited to accept in faith the gift that is being offered and to receive the supernatural life that is given to those who participate in this mystery, living it out in their lives as well so as to be numbered among the "many" to whom the text refers.
f. In line with the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, effort should be made to be more faithful to the Latin texts in the typical editions. The Bishops' Conferences of those countries where the formula "for all" or its equivalent is currently in use are therefore requested to undertake the necessary catechesis for the faithful on this matter in the next one or two years to prepare them for the introduction of a precise vernacular translation of the formula pro multis (e.g, "for many", "per molti", etc.) in the next translation of the Roman Missal that the Bishops and the Holy See will approve for use in their country.
With the expression of my high esteem and respect, I remain, Your Eminence/Your Excellency,
Devotedly Yours in Christ,
Francis Card. Arinze, Prefect
Thursday, November 16, 2006
From: Ave Maria Alumni Association
Subject: Alumni Association Board of Directors Election
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2006 11:00:20 -0500
We are delighted to report the results of the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors election...
President: Alex Vernon '05
Vice-President: John DeJak '04
Secretary: Luke Reilander '05
Treasurer: Chris Young '04
Chairs (listed in alphabetical order)
Matt Bowman '03
Brian Hoeing '05
Peter Mansfield '03
We hope that you will join us in congratulating these people and in wishing them the very best as they accept this opportunity to serve Ave Maria School of Law and her associated alumni. We also want to acknowledge everyone who accepted nomination for a position on this Board-thank you for participating in this election and for your willingness to serve your alma mater.
Justin Berger '03
Chairperson of the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors Standing Committee on Elections
Mary Anne Zivnuska '04
Chairperson of the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors Standing Committee on Elections
Ermin Gornik, Alumni Affairs Coordinator
Member of the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors Standing Committee on Elections
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Today is the feast of St. Albert the Great, and a great saint he is. St. Albert is a shining example for the modern world of the complementary union of religious faith and scientific inquiry. The teacher and mentor of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert was an intellectual giant in astronomy, chemistry, physics, biology, botany, geology, geography, philosophy, theology, metaphysics, and more.
Sanctus Albertus Magnus, ora pro nobis.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The Constitution is not a living document, although many courts and legal experts treat it as such today, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued at a Yale Political Union debate on Thursday.
A staunch conservative and self-proclaimed "originalist," Scalia said the Constitution should be interpreted in terms of its text and the intentions of its framers, not in the context of personal beliefs or current societal conventions. While some students at the speech said they disagreed with the justice's argument, many said his eloquence and wit at the podium made his presentation compelling.
"I have no idea what the evolving standards of decency are," Scalia said. "I am afraid to inquire."
Scalia, who was originally slated to speak last fall, drew an over-capacity crowd in the Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall, where scores of students were turned away by Yale Police Department officers after the auditorium filled. YPU President Roger Low '07 said the Yale Law School did not allow the YPU to use the larger Levinson Auditorium for Scalia's speech, as it did for Rev. Al Sharpton's YPU address last month.
Scalia mixed legal argument with attempts at wit, drawing several roars of laughter from the crowd. He said originalism keeps everyone, even conservatives, in check. "[Because of originalism] I cannot do the wicked conservative things I would want to do to this society," Scalia said. Chandler Coggins '10 said he agreed with Scalia's approach to Constitutional interpretation and thought the justice presented an effective argument that proved persuasive even with a mostly liberal crowd. "I was already in his camp, so, for me, he was preaching to the choir," he said. "But the most impressive aspect of his speaking style was how he really won the audience over." *** Sophie Wolfram '10 said while she disagreed with Scalia's views, she said his remarks were more thought-provoking than previous arguments she has heard against the prevalent interpretation of the document. [Ed. Hey Sophie, have you ever listened to any other originalist before? Scalia literally wrote the book on originalism, so I'm guessing you've never actually considered the originalist argument before.] "There aren't very many people whom I'm going to listen to with as much respect as someone who's been on the Supreme Court for 20 years," she said. "He didn't sell me on it, but he made me listen more than anyone has before." Sam Purdy '10 said Scalia made him rethink his view on how the Constitution should be interpreted. "He's a brilliant man and he certainly showed that off tonight," Purdy said. "I don't think he was just putting up smoke and mirrors . . . I left thinking he's less of a conservative nut." Regardless of whether they agreed with his views, many students said Scalia's witty and at times self-deprecating rhetoric was a departure from the somewhat villainous reputation the justice carries with liberals. "He was fun, for a conservative," Chris Wihlidal '09 said. ------------------------------------------- My Comments: I think Yale Law students need to get out more. They'd be surprised that conservatives are normal people and are quite often exceptionally funny (You caught me, there I go talking about myself again). What's further interesting is that a Nov. 13 ABC article on a recent speech by Chief Justice Roberts similarly describes Roberts as using "self-deprecating" humor: " With self-deprecating humor, Roberts explained the events leading up to his nomination . . ." (emphasis added.) Wait a minute. I see what's going on here. Scalia and Roberts must have gotten "the memo" from the Bush White House (read -- Karl Rove) urging them to use "self-deprecating" humor so as to provide cover for their evil and sinister conservative beliefs. And to think, they almost got away with it. Well, Scalia and Roberts can't fool me. I can see Rove's fingerprints from a mile away.
Scalia mixed legal argument with attempts at wit, drawing several roars of laughter from the crowd. He said originalism keeps everyone, even conservatives, in check.
"[Because of originalism] I cannot do the wicked conservative things I would want to do to this society," Scalia said.
Chandler Coggins '10 said he agreed with Scalia's approach to Constitutional interpretation and thought the justice presented an effective argument that proved persuasive even with a mostly liberal crowd.
"I was already in his camp, so, for me, he was preaching to the choir," he said. "But the most impressive aspect of his speaking style was how he really won the audience over."
Sophie Wolfram '10 said while she disagreed with Scalia's views, she said his remarks were more thought-provoking than previous arguments she has heard against the prevalent interpretation of the document.
[Ed. Hey Sophie, have you ever listened to any other originalist before? Scalia literally wrote the book on originalism, so I'm guessing you've never actually considered the originalist argument before.]
"There aren't very many people whom I'm going to listen to with as much respect as someone who's been on the Supreme Court for 20 years," she said. "He didn't sell me on it, but he made me listen more than anyone has before."
Sam Purdy '10 said Scalia made him rethink his view on how the Constitution should be interpreted.
"He's a brilliant man and he certainly showed that off tonight," Purdy said. "I don't think he was just putting up smoke and mirrors . . . I left thinking he's less of a conservative nut."
Regardless of whether they agreed with his views, many students said Scalia's witty and at times self-deprecating rhetoric was a departure from the somewhat villainous reputation the justice carries with liberals.
"He was fun, for a conservative," Chris Wihlidal '09 said.[Emphasis added.]
My Comments: I think Yale Law students need to get out more. They'd be surprised that conservatives are normal people and are quite often exceptionally funny (You caught me, there I go talking about myself again).
What's further interesting is that a Nov. 13 ABC article on a recent speech by Chief Justice Roberts similarly describes Roberts as using "self-deprecating" humor: " With self-deprecating humor, Roberts explained the events leading up to his nomination . . ." (emphasis added.)
Wait a minute. I see what's going on here. Scalia and Roberts must have gotten "the memo" from the Bush White House (read -- Karl Rove) urging them to use "self-deprecating" humor so as to provide cover for their evil and sinister conservative beliefs.
And to think, they almost got away with it. Well, Scalia and Roberts can't fool me. I can see Rove's fingerprints from a mile away.
Having enjoyed a pipe and a scotch with the President and hearing his ruminations on Shakespeare and Voegelin, I can assure you that this school will be a success! Pray for its success and for its institutional strength during its foundation and beginnings.
Spread the word.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Last week, England's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology called for an opening of the debate on the mercy killing of disabled infants. Well, as a general rule, doctors seem to be in favor of killing disabled babies in the womb, so what difference does a little geography make? After all, there's no real distinction between being in the womb and being out of the womb.
But I didn't expect the Church of England to agree. After all, they presumably still read Jesus's words in the King James Bible: "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." (Matt. 18:5)
Yes, the Anglican Church has adopted the policy that doctors should be permitted to let sick newborns die. From its official statement, written by Bishop Tom Butler:
Perhaps this is just another instance of what happens when you've broken with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Magisterial teaching authority of the Catholic Church.
It may in some circumstances be right to choose to withold or withdraw treatment, knowing it will possibly, probably, or even certainly result in death. . . . There may be occasions where, for a Christian, compassion will override the 'rule' that life should inevitably be preserved.
UPDATE: The American Papist reports that the media has conflated the Anglican Church's position supporting the right to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from sick newborns with outright infanticide, and points to this recent Lifesite article, which cites experts attempting to make the distinction between the two positions. I'm not entirely convinced that a good distinction can be made between withdrawing life-sustaining treatment for newborns and infanticide. Newborns are helpless and will perish within a few hours if they're not given nourishment. A direct act of killing is not required in order to terminate the suffering of a newborn in a timely fashion; all that has to be done is to leave the newborn alone on the operating table. I think that it is a very small step to thinking that the refusal to give the newborn baby nourishment is simply "withdrawing life-sustaining treatment" and, I think it is clear that such refusal to give nourishment to a newborn is euthanasia or infanticide.
The Latin language now, he said "is in the ecclesiastical refrigerator ... Mass today should be in Latin from time to time."
"Is it a small matter," he asked, for priests or bishops from around the world to be able to speak to each other in universal language of the church? Or for "a million students" who gather for World Youth Day every few years "to be able to say parts of the Mass in Latin?"
In an hourlong, often humorous, address that received several standing ovations, Arinze suggested that, in order to give Catholics options, large parishes offer the Mass in Latin at least once a week, and in smaller, rural parishes, at least once a month. (Homilies, he said, should always be in the faithful's native language.) Latin "suits a church that is universal. It has a stability modern languages don't have," he said.
My Comments: Who does Cardinal Arinze think he is? Weekly and monthly Masses in Latin? This is a complete rollback of everything Vatican II stood for!
What's that? You want me to read Paragraphs 36 and 54 of Vatican II's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy? OK. But this changes nothing. Believe me, I know what the Spirit of Vatican II is.
36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.***
54. In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and "the common prayer," but also, as local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people, according to tho norm laid down in Art. 36 of this Constitution.
Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.
Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur
- Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.
sit simplex, stulte
- keep it simple, stupid
Si hic carrus commovet non quaerete
- if this cart is a-rockin, don't come a-knockin ( literally:if this cart is moving thoroughly, don't ask)
cogito sumere potum alterum
- I think I'll have another drink.
Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.
-Don't call me, I'll call you.
Me transmitte sursum, Caledoni!
- Beam me up, Scotty!
Si fallatis officium, quaestor infitias eat se quicquam scire de factis vestris.
- If you fail, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your activities.
Fac ut gaudeam.
- Make my day.
Conlige suspectos semper habitos.
- Round up the usual suspects.
Certe, Toto, sentio nos in Kansate non iam adesse.
- You know, Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.
Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert.
- Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.
Pope Benedict said that the regular practice of giving thanks before meals is a custom that "should be preserved and rediscovered, because it teaches us not to take our 'daily bread' for granted, but to recognize it as a gift." That gift, in turn, comes reflects the bounty of the earth's resources, the Pope observed, and mankind should always protect natural resources, showing respect for nature and consideration for future generations. [Emphasis Added.]
Pope Benedict sure knows how to cut to the heart of a matter. For all the thousands of times I have prayed grace before meals, I've probably never truly appreciated the importance of the prayer. Thanks for the reminder Papa! And just in time for lunch!
Oremus. Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Let us pray. Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Mass emigration slows Dutch population growth
Once-mighty Russia fades to a dying population
Things look grim in Europe but elsewhere...
It appears life is thriving.
Among Catholics, Proposal 2 passed 64%-36%.
Some of you may recall that Cardinal Maida and the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) urged a "No" vote on Proposal 2. The MCC produced 200,000 FOCUS fliers in an attempt to persuade Michigan Catholics to vote "No." Last Sunday, pursuant to the instructions of Cardinal Maida, priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit read a statement from Cardinal Maida which urged a "No" note on Proposal 2.
Apparently, Michigan's Catholics were not persuaded by Cardinal Maida's or the MCC's arguments, and instead embraced the principle that two wrongs do not make a right and that we should not discriminate as a means of remedying past discrimination.
Though I am happy that Michigan's Catholics rejected Cardinal Maida's Proposal 2 recommendation, it is nonetheless unfortunate that the moral authority of the Catholic Church in Michigan has been further undermined. When the institutional church issues "recommendations" on political issues over which it holds no special competence, it undermines its moral authority in those areas of Catholic social teaching where the Church rightfully takes strong positions, such as regarding the importance of traditional marriage and the dignity of the human person. Additionally, it is deeply confusing to many members of the laity who are seeking to be faithful to their bishop and are confused as to the level of obedience owed to such political "recommendations." Furthermore, it undermines the moral authority of faithful Catholic laypersons working to promote Church teaching on marriage and life issues, who now appear (at least to many Catholics) to be in dissent or opposition to the teachings of their local ordinary.
As I have discussed in the past, I believe Pope Benedict has taken the correct approach by encouraging the institutional church not to engage directly in politics. Pope Benedict instead encourages the Church to form consciences and to leave direct political action to the laity. See Deus Caritas Est (Sec. 29). If only the institutional church in Michigan would heed the words of Pope Benedict and adopt a similar approach.
Far from it, however, the institutional church in Michigan is not only wrongfully engaging directly in politics and failing to properly form consciences, it is also wrongfully obstructing the laity from engaging in politics. And though the Archdiocese of Detroit may have sufficiently exhausted any of its remaining moral authority, its recent actions in subverting Catholics in the Public Square (CPS) from exposing Governor Granholm's pro-abortion and pro-homosexual positions, have shown that it still has the power and the ability to affect elections by suppressing the flow of information to Catholic voters.
Exit polls show that Catholics supported the pro-abortion "Catholic" Jennifer Granholm 56%-43%. Thus, though Cardinal Maida and the MCC failed in their opposition to Proposal 2, they nevertheless succeeded in helping Michigan's pro-abortion "Catholic" Governor to obtain a second term.
In summary, the Catholic Church in Michigan appears to have lost its moral authority, but it nevertheless remains a powerful political actor due to the control it exercises over church property and Catholic lay organizations.
My message to Cardinal Maida and his fellow Michigan bishops and priests (as well as other diocesan employees) is this: (1) Stop using your office with the Church to engage in politics, (2) stop obstructing the laity from engaging in politics, and (3) help form the consciences of the laity with regular instruction regarding authentic Catholic social teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the newly published Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching.
UPDATE: In addition to the Catechism and the Compendium as excellent sources for Catholic social teaching, I also recommend Father Rodger Charles, S.J.'s An Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching. Mark Brumley recently reviewed the book (as well as offered a significant summary of the book) on the Ignatius Press blog. As Brumley explains, " An Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching is just the sort of volume that can and should be used to good effect in parish adult faith formation." Exactly.
MICHIGAN BAR RESULTS
The results of the July Michigan Bar exam have been announced, and 25 of 26 members of the Ave Maria School of Law Class of 2006 passed the Michigan Bar, which is a pass rate of 96%. Please congradulate these graduates for their outstanding performance. Listed below for your review are the results of all Michigan law schools on the July exam. This is the third time in the last four years in which our graduates have earned top honors among Michigan law schools on the Michigan bar exam.
Ave Maria School of Law: 96% Pass
Michigan State University: 94% Pass
University of Michigan: 93% Pass
Wayne State University: 93% Pass
University of Detroit Mercy: 92% Pass
Thomas M. Cooley: 80% Pass
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Any guesses as to whether they think this shift is a good thing?
They explain the shift this way:
"Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which performed the preliminary analysis on exit poll data, credit the swing to Catholic voters' increasing concern with 'kitchen table' moral issues like the Iraq War and political corruption."
Translation: "We at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good have succeeded in convincing voters of the morally relativistic position that there are many issues in every election and that Catholics should ignore fundamental Catholic moral teaching and simply vote their 'consciences' -- that is -- they should vote for Democrats."
Hat tip to Diogenes. See his analysis here.
Does anybody really seriously think that this is in the law school's best interests? (h/t, WhoseAMSOL). I also noticed that Ave Maria Town has a new motto: Every Family. Every Lifestyle. Every Dream.
(I'm sure that this will keep the ACLU off their backs. )
In his article "Don't Despair," Whelan basically says that, though the loss of the Senate to the Democrats hurts, we originalists shouldn't despair regarding President Bush's judicial nominations. Whelan argues that there is still a strong opportunity for the President to have a few more Supreme Court justices confirmed before the end of his presidency. Not convinced? Go read the whole article here.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
CA Prop 87 - tax on oil. NO.
CO domestic Partnership: NO 73% Gay Marraige: NO 56% No Legal Marijuana. Colorado kicked ass.
MI Prop 2 Ban Affirmative Action. MI had no Gay Marriage Issues on the ballot. MI also canned the education pork grab by 80%.
MT, NV, OH and several other states - Minimum Wage Increases. YES. Everywhere it was presented, the minimum wage was raised.
TN No Marijuana, same with Colorado.
WI, VA banned same sex marraige.
TWO issues don't make much sense with the rest of the results, and both occurred in the Midwest:
1. MO passed embryonic stem cell research measures.
2. OH passed a state-wide smoking ban (one far more aggressive than California's) and turned down exceptions for bars and similar establishments.
Both of those are liberal results.
OH had a lot of liberal results... enough to make one think they aren't a red state by any means.
Ohio by far had the strangest results. All of the other states put democrats into office out of spite. Ohio seems to have done it by preference, given the other ballot issue results.
Life goes on -- I think we're gonna be hearing strange stories about Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton vying for camera time.
Whatever else the vote was (perhaps an ultra vires vote of no confidence in flaccid republicans), I don't think it was carte blanche adoption of liberals. It should probably be viewed as a wake up call to some of our idiots rolling around on the ground.
Sadly, one candidate who was not flaccid was Ken Blackwell, who was basically attacked by his own republicans in the primaries. Maybe the Republicans in Ohio can figure out that Ken was the best thing they had going, but their own smear campaigns against him damgaged them irreparably for the general election - he may even be the best 08 Republican candidate, really (can anyone else se him as Palmer from 24?).
On the other hand, given much of the laxity in DC over the border, the massive entitlements this current regime has given, maybe the candidates from the dems will be a little more fiscally responsible than what we've had... who knows.
it all fits together in some wierd twisted way....
Michelle Crockett, an attorney with Miller Canfield in Detroit, said Proposal 2 will be challenged with lawsuits.
"This is not the end of it, even though it may win tonight. It's going to be in the court for a long time to come," Crockett said.----------------------------------
My Comments: Typical sore loser behavior from our liberal friends. They hate it when the people, in a pure exercise of democracy, overwhelmingly reject their social experimentation.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
"Well boys, looks like the election is over. We can start talking about abortion and embryonic stem cell research now."
In other news, the Pope said this.
Monday, November 06, 2006
US Senate - Bouchard. Michigan could use some cajun-style crooked instead of that lump that has been in that chair (really, what has Stabenow done for anyone?)
Attorney General - Cox. (Dems need to blame their own party for nominating Williams, and the other candidates are the sort that can make one tempted to think that two party system is a good thing).
Sec. of State - Land. (everybody loves her and for good reason -- but I still think she should implement ).
Board of Education.
Erwin Williams (give the libertarians a chance!) besides, one look at the candidates in this race reveals them all look pretty sleazy. This position is important, don't get me wrong, but I'd advocate a tabula rasa approach to the educational disaster otherwise known as Michigan education system (albeit with some exceptions, the higher ed system does quite alright -- it's the rest that is a mess).
U of M regent
Just vote for the libertarians and the Tax Payer people. If you still have people to vote for, put the Natural Law Party people in.
Do the same.
Prop 1. Yes (this speaks for itself -- but it also has a secondary effect: it prevents state park fees from funding welfare, general fund, etc)... Granted, it will make the park system into a mini-bureaucratic empire rife with fifedoms, but how is that different from the way it is now?
Prop 2. Yes. c'mon people! the 60s are over. get over it. besides, anyone who honestly believes they aren't programmatically at an advantage (especially in private industry) by being a woman or other minority is an idiot, or so blind that they should be on disability anyway.
Prop 3. Yes, kill the pigeons. Ever had em in stew? (they are really tasty). Besides, this has been legal in Michigan for three years. If you fall prey to the rhetoric of this issue and vote No, you should be on the hunting list next.
Prop 4. Yes, give Michigan a chance to repeat the good news of the poletown case reversal.
Prop 5. No. This bill is a nightmare in legislative clothing. Say no and let them figure out a better way to do the funding shift than the way proposed (shift retirement costs to the state general fund).
I'm not making any local recommendations, nor any for State Supreme Court, nor even any more for US Congress.
Tradesports Contracts on the MI Gov Race predict Granholm win (I think that's what this says):
alt="Price for Michigan Governor Race at TradeSports.com"
title="Price for Michigan Governor Race at TradeSports.com" border="0">
here's the graph on the DeVos win:
alt="Price for Michigan Governor Race at TradeSports.com"
title="Price for Michigan Governor Race at TradeSports.com" border="0">
Maybe somebody more versed in futures trading can correct me, but I think high price on a contract means more likely, while lower price means less likely?
Maybe I have that backwards.
Sadly, the Senate seat looks worse:
alt="Price for Michigan Senate Race at TradeSports.com"
title="Price for Michigan Senate Race at TradeSports.com" border="0">
You know, however, as I look at these and the volumes, I think perhaps that these carts may show some traders taking advantage of hopeful betters. I wish I understood what these numbers meant better. But, I do get that volume on these is low, so I suspect they aren't as predictive as other contracts on tradesports.
Connecticut Senate (field) is trading at 94+, and that would be a favorable bet on Lieberman, so I think I understand the numbers -- but I think Michigan is screwy because there aren't many contracts (the connecticut race has well over ten times the volume of the michigan one).
Republican candidates Dick Devos, Mike Bouchard, and Mike Cox all fully answered the survey questions. Most other Republican candidates also answered the survey. DeVos, Bouchard, and Cox all indicate by their answers that they are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. Additionally, their answers indicate that they will work in support of the common good and that they recognize the fundamental importance of the dignity of the human person.
Pro-abortion Democratic candidates Jennifer Granholm and Debbie Stabenow failed to answer the survey, as did nearly every other Democratic running for office in Michigan. Granholm's failure to respond to the survey is particularly egregious considering that she publicly claims to be Catholic. For whatever reason, however, Granholm apparently thinks that her fellow Catholics don't deserve to know her positions on these questions.
Regarding the lack of a response from Granholm, a recent Detroit News article stated:
"The governor did not respond to our survey, so parishioners are left only with the answers provided by Mr. DeVos, which is unfortunate," said Paul Long, vice president for public policy for the Michigan Catholic Conference.
No, Mr. Long, that's not what's unfortunate. What's unfortunate is that the Michigan Catholic Conference and leadership of the Catholic Church in Michigan didn't do more to expose Michigan's pro-abortion, pro-homosexual rights "Catholic" governor. Instead, Michigan's Catholic leadership did much to muddy the waters on Catholic moral teaching and to obstruct the Catholic laity from speaking the truth regarding Granholm's (and other Michigan Democrats') anti-life positions.
This Tuesday is Election Day and in our Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship
is a virtue; therefore, our participation in the political process is a moral duty. I strongly
urge you to properly form your consciences according to Catholic moral teaching and to exercise your right as a citizen. So, please make sure you vote!
As you do so, in conjunction with the other bishops of the state, I ask that you keep
the following matters in mind:
- First and foremost, as believers we should vote for candidates who are respectful of the common good, especially the dignity of life, from the first moment of conception until natural death. "The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin." See 2004 Ratzinger Letter. Though there are many issues at stake in each election, we must recall then-Cardinal Ratzinger's admonition that "[n]ot all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia." Id. "There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia." Id.
- Secondly, this year in Michigan, Proposal 2 seeks to end the practice of affirmative action. Though the Catholic Church takes no formal position on the issue of affirmative action, and rightly leaves the prudential decisions on such public policy issues to the properly formed consciences of the laity, [a]s bishops, we see the continuation of affirmative action, especially for women and persons from minority groups, as a positive policy in our contemporary culture. We recommend a “no” vote on Proposal 2, though in your application of Catholic moral principles, you may legitimately disagree with us on this issue.
- Proposal 5 concerns funding for public education, which is a noble cause. Let me be clear. As with Proposal 2, though the Church takes no formal position on such public policy issues as Proposal 5, we nevertheless personally believe that [t]hrough a careful reading of the proposal, however, it becomes clear that the proposal has many dangerous flaws: it would jeopardize the availability of funds for other necessary programs for adoption, foster care, and health care for the poor. Again, we recognize that you may legitimately reach a different conclusion as to this issue.
Let us pray for the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit as we make necessary
choices which will impact our own lives and those of generations to come.
My Comments: Because I found Cardinal Maida's actual comments to be somewhat lacking, I chose to make several additions to his remarks. My additions are in red. I believe that my additions have sufficiently cured the Cardinal's comments of any material omissions (unintentional, no doubt) that he might have made regarding Church teaching. I do this service (at no charge, mind you) for Cardinal Maida because I am sure that his initial comments did not accurately convey his true intent, which certainly is in full conformity with the mind of the Church on these issues.
As a second matter, I would like to again offer my services to Cardinal Maida. In perusing the Archdiocesan website, it seems that Archdiocesan Communications Director Ned McGrath has been a bad boy. On the Archdiocese's home page, the headline reads "Cardinal Maida Recommends Defeat of Proposals 2 and 5." The following paragraph then purports to give an overview of the Cardinal's above comments and states:
At the conclusion of Mass at Detroit's Blessed Sacrament Cathedral on the Sunday before the General Election, Cardinal Adam Maida urges defeat of the statewide ballot initiatives Proposal 2 and Proposal 5. The cardinal notes that he and his brother bishops in Michigan " . . . see the continuation of affirmative action, especially for women and persons from minority groups, as a positive policy in our contemporary culture." In conjunction with the Michigan Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in our state, Cardinal Maida recommends a "No" vote on Proposal 2. A "No" vote is also recommended on Proposal 5 -- funding for public education -- because the proposal "has many dangerous flaws" and could jeopardize funding for other necessary programs for the poor and marginalized.
To the perceptive reader, it will immediately be noted that there is no mention of Cardinal Maida's statement that "[f]irst and foremost, as believers we should vote for candidates who are respectful of the common good, especially the dignity of life, from the first moment of conception until natural death." It does seem curious that the Archdiocesan webmaster would omit the only minimally pro-life statement of the Cardinal's remarks.
Not one to question the motives of Archdiocesan employees, I decided to let this little omission -- no doubt, an innocent mistake -- slide. Next, however, I followed a link to an official press release issued by the Archdiocese of Detroit's Communications Director Ned McGrath. Here, it is unfortunately clear, however, that there was no mistake on the home page, and that the omission was intentional. The press release is similarly headlined "Cardinal Maida Recommends 'No' Vote on Proposals 2 and 5." Again, the text focuses primarily on the Cardinal's comments regarding Proposals 2 and 5.
At the end of the press release, and basically as an afterthought, it finally mentions the Cardinal's minimally pro-life statement. The press release states: "He reminded parishioners that ". . . as believers we should vote for candidates who are respectful of the common good, especially the dignity of life."
Hmmm . . . that's interesting. The only pro-life statement of the Cardinal's election remarks is minimized by placing it at the end of the press release. If that were not enough, Ned McGrath then decided to further minimize the Cardinal's already minimal pro-life remarks by further neutering the statement. McGrath omitted the Cardinal's introductory comment that "first and foremost" we consider the life issues. Furthermore, McGrath conveniently omitted the Cardinal's modifying phrase "from the first moment of conception until natural death."
Thus, with a waive of Ned McGrath's magical press release pen, Cardinal's statement that
"First and foremost, as believers we should vote for candidates who are respectful of the common good, especially the dignity of life, from the first moment of conception until natural death."
". . . as believers we should vote for candidates who are respectful of the common good, especially the dignity of life."
Apparently, Ned McGrath, the Archdiocese of Detroit's Communications Director, cannot even stomach a very modest pro-life statement made by Cardinal Maida. I'll let you draw your own conclusions as to what this tells you about the pro-life credentials of McGrath, and the man he represents, Cardinal Maida.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
In light of Cardinal Maida's election materials policy (see here), he may want to order a couple thousand of these.
Or perhaps he could get some signs made specifically for his purposes. He could have these signs posted conspicuously throughout Archdiocesan and parish property. I suggest using the following text:
This property is owned by the Archdiocese of Detroit. Cardinal Maida graciously permits Catholics to traverse the property to attend Sunday Mass (where they may deposit their weekly offering). Any other use of Cardinal Maida's property is strictly prohibited without his express permission.
Violators will be prosecuted.
My Comments: If Cardinal Maida's priests are going to threaten Catholic laypersons with arrest for distributing election materials, I only think it's fair to provide adequate notice of the Archdiocese's policy regarding the use of parish property.
I admit that I used to think that, as a Catholic, I had a right to be on parish property. Apparently, at least in the Archdiocese of Detroit, I was wrong. I am only permitted to be on the property so long as the local ordinary approves of my being there.
Friday, November 03, 2006
It turns out that the show is produced in Michigan and that Michael Voris was on one of the Detroit network TV stations for a while before he reverted to the One True Faith.
Here's the show's website. I encourage you to watch the show if you get a chance.
Now, I suppose it is possible that there is such a thing as a real pro-life Democrat, but in my experience in Michigan, I haven't seen any. My family used to dutifully vote for the pro-life Democrat candidates recommended by Right to Life, but then we started noticing that these same "pro-life" Democrats were far more Democrat than they were pro-life. Sure, these pro-life Democrats would support pro-life legislation (and even co-author it) in the Michigan legislature, but these same "pro-life" legislators would then publicly support pro-abortion Democrats like Jennifer Granholm, Debbie Stabenow, Carl Levin, and John Kerry.
How is it that a pro-life Democrat can support pro-life legislation, but also support a Democratic Governor who proudly vetoes such legislation, or support a Democratic Senate candidate who applies a pro-abortion litmus test on judicial nominees? A true pro-lifer could never vote (as well as campaign) for radically pro-abortion Democrats.
I encourage you all to look at the Michigan Right to Life's Voter's Guide, but I don't recommend voting for any candidate that has a "D" next to his name.
UPDATE: Father Frank Pavonne's Priests for Life takes a similar approach. In its voter's guide, Father Pavonne states:
"Voting with a clear conscience also means that you consider how the outcome of the election in which you vote affects the balance of power. In other words, elections do not only put individual candidates into power; they put political parties into power. And it is not only the candidates who have positions. So do the parties.
The same questions, then, that you ask about the candidates’ positions on fundamental issues have to be asked of the party. What is the platform of that party? Is it possible that the balance of power might shift as a result of the outcome of this particular race? Keep in mind that the party that is in power controls the committees responsible for initiating legislation. A pro-abortion party will not normally allow pro-life legislation to come forward, no matter how pro-life the individual lawmakers may be. Do not just look at whether the candidate is pro-life. Consider whether or not, if he or she wins, the pro-abortion party will come into power."
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding?
surely, even the Brits jest.
Society of humorless catholics need not comment, nor the enlarged missives of patrimony.
Don't forget the beloved Church Suffering today. Pray the Dies Irae for our beloved dead, as is the custom of the Roman Church's Office.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
In Robert Bolt's play A Man for All Seasons, More remarks, "I believe, when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties . . . they lead their country by a short route to chaos." Unfortunately, far too many modern Catholic politicians have mistakenly ignored this principle and instead have embraced "Cuomoism." (see also yesterday's post regarding Governor Granholm's political ad on abortion)
Instead of cataloging all of the erroneous moral views of prominent "Catholic politicians, however, let us simply reflect on St. Thomas' example of leadership, humility, and holiness and pray for his intercession. His assistance is especially needed in the days leading up to next week's election.
St. Thomas More, patron of lawyers and statesmen, pray for us!
© 2007 FUMARE