Saturday, January 03, 2004

Since I was born and raised in Massapequa I always like to hear about celebrities who were born and raised here. That would include the Baldwin brothers, Peggy Noonan, Jerry Seinfeld, and Brian Setzer. Kathy of Relasped Catholic links to this article about Brian Setzer, formerly of the Stray Cats. I was told years ago that he was a genuinely nice guy and I am glad to see he appreciates religion.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Somebody stop me before I end up like the guy in the bronx who was trapped in his apartment under a pile of magazines and newspapers! I saw this notice on the Catholic World News blog about Spence Publishing having a sale and ended up buying four books:

Faith of the Fatherless by Paul Vitz

Homosexuality and American Public Life by Christopher Wolfe

The Church Impotent by Leon Podles

Shows About Nothing by Thomas Hibbs

Musical Masses

So there is a long tradition of putting masses to music? Were the masses of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven composed to be listened to? or to actually be used during a Mass?? I have the Ave Maria Mass by Stephen Edwards and like it. It was commissioned by the great Thomas Monaghan for the founding of Ave Maria College and School of Law but then dedicated to the victims of Sept. 11th. The Kyrie is beautiful, so is the Sanctus. The Gratias Deo at the end is stirring and inspirational.

The year 2003 saw the War with Iraq, which was probably not a just war but one which removed an evil regime and started millions on the road to a better life. The War on Terrorism had some successes during the year and the heat has been kept on the fanatics within Islam. I hope this will continue into 2004. Locally, the release of the Suffolk County Grand Jury report on the Diocese of Rockville Centre proved that Bishop McGann was not good at keeping corruption out of the local Church, and was in fact part of it. The report did not have much effect since all of the incidents were from years ago - but at least most Catholics are more educated when it comes to the Diocese. The economy has improved in the U.S. and hopefully this trend will continue. The "Great Enema" (Mark Shea's term) of the Church calmed down a bit but thankfully continued. At least now, when bishops such as Grahman in Dallas pull stunts, they have a lot more media attention focused on them. Here are some of my hopes for 2004:

*That the War on Terrorism will continue especially with a focus on the hatred preached in mosques throughout the world.

*That the governments of Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and China will be overthrown

*That the Catholics in Sudan, China, Saudi Arabia, the middle east, Africa, Cuba, and Indonesia will continue to grow in numbers and faith despite persecution and that all people will support them

*That the USA will reform its culture so that it will prosper and influence the world to the good

*That the purge of bad priests, bad bishops, bad theologians will continue in the Church and the New Evangelization will take hold

*That the so called "Catholic" Universities and colleges will either reform or go out of business and the real Catholic Universities and colleges (Steubenville, Ava Maria, Campion, etc..) will grow and succeed

*That the generation of heretics, haters, and fools will retire from positions within the Church so that younger people can once again grow up with a Catholic upbringing

*That the vocation crisis in communities such as the Nashville Dominicans, FSSP, and Franciscan Friars of the Renewal be solved with more space for their new members

*That all religious vocations are supported and nourished

*That Catholic seminaries are reformed or shut down

*That good priests are supported and dissenters ignored

*That the US will open new relations with countries of our own hemisphere and forget about "old Europe"

*That "old Europe" will be dominated by the "new Europe" such as Poland, etc..

*That developing countries continue to develop so jobs, water, roads, education are all more accessible to people

*That Liturgical reform takes hold so abuses in many dioceses end and that Ecclesia Dei is respected in all dioceses

*That Catholic groups such as Adoremus, Catholics United for the Faith, and Roman Catholic Faithful grow and are successful in their apostolates

*That when Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ movie is released it is a critical and commercial success

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Just Asking....

Is it really too much to ask that a Christmas hymn, such as Silent Night, just be sung at Midnight Mass without being coupled with some other song that no one knows???

Monday, December 29, 2003

Voice of the Faithful Long Island had John Salveson, who had been abused by a priest, speak at one of their meetings. The talk is excellent and is posted here. I hope that people who heard the talk were able to pick up a few things that I noticed. I have found that many of the stories of abuse by priests have some similar threads.

“I went through a long period as a child when I aspired to be a priest. I can still remember being fascinated by the book The Making of a Priest, which I would read at night under the covers of my bed with the aid of a flashlight, when I was supposed to be asleep.”

So those who contend that the vocation crisis is in part a result of corruption are correct, this person may or may not have had a vocation but being abused certainly would have squelched it.

“ 1969, I met Father Robert Huneke, a new priest in our parish. He was young, smart, funny and sarcastic. He had us call him Father Bob and quickly became popular”

Beware of priests who want to appear to be just like anyone else.

He was the sponsor of our Folk Mass group and was instrumental in getting us all to sign up for "Christian Awakening" a weekend retreat program involving several Long Island parishes. He let us smoke cigarettes around him and criticized the other parish priests in front of us. He swore. He was like no other priest I had ever met.”

Classic –allowed children to smoke, cursed AND criticized other priests in front of children. I have seen so many stories of abusive priests who criticized others in front of people- no real priest would do this. Of course, to immature children this is “cool” so it is done by pedophiles to win their favor.

“Over breakfast, Father Bob told me that what "we" did was okay. He explained that it was okay to show love for each other, and that God accepted and encouraged it.”

This is familiar, people trying to encourage disgusting behavior by justifying it as “love” that God accepts.

“I wrote to Bishop John Mc Gann of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island in 1980, telling him of my abuse and asking him to let me know what had happened to Father Huneke.”

Many Catholics on Long Island knew Bishop McGann was not doing his duty as a Bishop in many ways, but they were ignored and called “conservative” “old fashioned” and “rigid”.

“My first attempt to "go public" and expose the abuse involved speaking to a reporter at Newsday, Long Island's most widely read newspaper. The paper wouldn't publish the story. The reporter, a religion writer assigned to the story, told me I seemed more like some sort of "Teacher’s pet" to her than an abuse victim. The editors suggested that if I located other victims they might consider an article… By the end of the evening, I had a list of about 10 other victims of Father Huneke. The newspaper was still uncomfortable with the story, despite my new revelations.”

So Newsday remained silent when faced with a case of sexual abuse of a minor?? Interesting.

The talk ends on a beautiful note:

“Father Hesburgh got off the train in Baltimore. He reached above me for his travel bag, shook my hand and started to walk down the aisle. About halfway off the train, he turned and walked back to me. He said, "If no one has said it to you, I apologize for what happened to you". No one had ever said that to me. To this day, he remains the only priest who has said it. It meant more to me than he will ever know.”

This was a great testimony by this victim and I applaud Voice of the Faithful for having him speak. I think this choice of speaker towers over their choice of Richard McBrien. I just hope that people who read this speech, or heard it live, will see some of the things that I noticed. A good priest would never encourage sin, bad mouth people in front of children, or try to say homosexual sex is accepted by God. No good bishop would tolerate this type of behavior from a priest when confronted with it.