Saturday, February 21, 2004

Catholic officials find textbooks wanting

"A church committee that studies the material found that some of the textbooks avoid saying adultery and premarital sex are sins. Others depict the Bible as little more than a history book, the group says.

That's not all: It claims one textbook explains that Jesus' miracles were the result of luck. "

Coverage of anything Catholic is so biased and silly that I am surprised anytime you read a real report. This article just gives the facts of the committee's report, and even mentions Ignatius Press.
Report: Gibson Expands 'Passion' Screens

"LOS ANGELES -- Mel Gibson is adding 800 theaters to the debut of his controversial Crucifixion drama, "The Passion of the Christ," next Wednesday. "

I am going to see this movie just to support a man who is getting tons of grief just for creating something based on his faith. It better be good, I don't like the sound of how violent it is.
Father Benedict Groeschel is back in New York!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Thanks to A Catholic Blog for Lovers (Most Pious Blog 2004!) for pointing out this Daily News article about The Passion of The Christ that mentions the good brothers at Chaminade and Kellenberg here.

"It's a meditation on our own inhumanity to each other and how this doesn't destroy God's love," said the Rev. Philip Eichner.

Eichner heads up Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, L.I., where more than 1,000 upperclassmen plan to go on a 2-mile "pilgrimage" to see the movie on Ash Wednesday.

Eichner, who saw a cut of the movie last summer, thought it was a powerful spiritual statement, despite the violence. "We want our students to see that redemption," he said."

"Brother Thomas Cleary, dean of students at Chaminade High School in Mineola, L.I., said his students had read all about the film and were eager to see it.

About 50 members of the school's Catholic League chapter will go with faculty to see the movie, and Cleary expects the movie will be a hot topic of discussion during one of the school's retreats scheduled for Ash Wednesday."

Fr. Eichner was the president of Chaminade when I attended the school, and Brother Cleary, who graduated a couple of years ahead of me, was in college when I was there. They are Marianists of the Province of Meribah which was formed in the 1970's by some Marianists of the Province of New York. The community has flourished since then. If anything I write on this blog is good it is due to the education I received from the brothers, and anything bad is my own fault.

Two interesting things in The Long Island Catholic today:

George Weigel on Andrew Greeley and Young Fogeys

And an Open Letter from Bishop Murphy on the history of accused priests in the Diocese since its founding in 1957. I find these statistics to be the most interesting:

The percentage of accusations by the decade in which the incidents occurred are:
7% during the 1950s;
26% during the 1960s;
29% during the 1970s;
23% during the 1980s;
14% during the 1990s;
1% during the 2000s.

1.6% of priests serving the Diocese in the 1950s;
4.0% of priests serving in the 1960s;
3.6% of priests serving in the 1970s;
1.7% of priests serving in the 1980s;
1.0% of priests serving in the 1990s;
0.6% of priests serving in the 2000s.

So this means the real major problem occurred in the 60's and 70's. The report does not say it, but the percentage of child molestation claims against priests since Bishop Murphy has been here = 0.00%.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Bishop William Murphy disclosed yesterday that 132 persons said they were sexually abused by 66 Catholic priests and religious brothers since the diocese was founded in 1957.

"The 42 priests accused represent 2.08 percent of all the priests who have ever served in the diocese. The alleged abuse incidents peaked in the 1970s when 29 percent occurred; 26 percent occurred in the 1960s and 23 percent in the 1980s, the report said. "

That is pretty much what I figured, most of the abuse occurred in the 60's and 70's. The report does not say it, but none of the abuse occurred under Bishop Murphy's tenure here. So far I have seen a lot of the figures broken down, but none that break down the sex of the abuse victims. I would like to know what percentage were boys and what percentage were girls.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Church of the Masses points out a couple of great articles (Here, then a followup) slamming Roger Friedman's Foxnews thingy1 and thingy2 on The Passion of The Christ distribution. How do people get away with printing such garbage?? I think blogs have a higher level of fact checking! David Poland said Friedman should be fired and I thought that was a bit much but look at this:

"Mel Gibson couldn't find anyone to make "The Passion of the Christ," so he put up $25 million of his own money to produce it."
-I don't think he ever looked for anyone to make it-he produced it from the beginning by choice?

"The Passion" is now the most expensive vanity production in history."
-Dead wrong

"The theaters they have chosen in Jewish areas are minimal — none, for example, on Long Island near Valley Stream and the Five Towns or Great Neck and Roslyn — but screens in more friendly places like Merrick, Lynbrook and Seaford."


Towns where the movies is showing compared to the towns he cites:

Lynbrook is 12 minutes (4.77 miles) from the Five Towns area
Lynbrook is 5 minutes (2.20 miles) from Valley Stream
Port Washington is 17 minutes (5.28 miles) from Great Neck
Port Washington is 13 minutes (4.38 miles) from Roslyn

And: The movie is showing in Seaford, which is in between Massapequa and Bellmore, both of which have large Jewish populations. Also, Merrick is both heavily Jewish and upscale. Who does Friedman's fact checking--The former minister of information from Iraq???

"They have booked "The Passion of the Christ" at the Metro on Broadway and West 100th Street — a grimy two-screen house used for second runs and considered a throwaway by distributors. Ironically, it stares at two Orthodox synagogues that reside within a block. It will be interesting to see how the movie plays in that neighborhood. "

Across from two Orthodox synagogues....but I thought it was not showing in Jewish areas??

Are people in other parts of the country aware that the Statue of Liberty has not been open since September 11th, 2001? Read the details about the campaign to raise the money needed to re-open the statue here.
Coach Charged In Assault of Student

"I think I am somewhere between Howard Stern and St. Francis of Assisi on the scale of morality"

-Mel Gibson

My favorite line from a GREAT interview.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Apologia pro Murphy

I have used this humble space to “defend” Bishop Murphy in the past. The attacks on the bishop come mostly from dissenters and Catholics who know very little Catholicism so I mostly ignore them. However, recently even some good Catholics have joined in the bashing. It is unfortunate that many good Catholics put him in the category of “bad shepherd” as Mark Shea did recently. I am not one to defend bishops or to care too much about what they do. I think the notion that bishops can “control” the actions of their priests right down to making sure they say their prayers and are in bed by 9 pm is nuts. If there is a Bishop whose actions are to be deplored in this Diocese it is Bishop McGann, but he has gone to his reward. Murphy seems to get attacked mostly for not allowing Voice of the Faithful to meet on Church property, and for coming from Boston. I don’t have a problem with either of these things. The fact is: Murphy is as close to a Bruskewitz or Chaput as we are likely to get. And compared to previous leadership, we are very lucky indeed. When Bishop Murphy first came here (a few days before 400 of his flock were killed by Crusading Muslims), he announced that if the seminary were not run according to the dictates of the Church, then he would shut it down. This was music to Catholics’ ears since for years this seminary was notorious for faulty teaching. There have been some changes made in the faculty that I take as good signs. Bishop Murphy has also allowed the Traditional Latin Mass to be offered weekly rather than monthly, which is a huge shift from previous policy. Bishop McGann invited Fr. Richard McBrien to speak to all the priests, while Bishop Murphy invited Fr. Benedict Groeschel. Of course, Murphy has to deal with the dozens of staff members left over from the McGann days and this has slowed the progress considerably. But the fact remains that progress has occurred. A bishop is not the be-all and end-all that some seem to think he is. The fact is that the bishop provides leadership and the people do most of the work. In this diocese the people have failed just as much as the bishops.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

LIers Torn Apart Over Haiti

Please pray for peace in Haiti. There are many Haitians here on Long Island and they are nice, hard working, lovely people who also happen to be some of the most devout Catholics I have ever met.
Roger Friedman on the Foxnews website says: "Theater-goers will also be hard-pressed to find 'The Passion of the Christ' in Nassau County, Long Island on either the south or north shore". Since I live here and plan to go with a group of people I checked to see if this were true. Turns out I have a choice of going to Glen Cove, Lynbrook, Merrick, Port Washington, Seaford, or 2 different theaters in Westbury. Glen Cove and Port Washington are both on the north shore and Seaford, Lynbrook and Merrick are both on the South Shore. Westbury is right in the middle. None of these places are more than 30 minutes away from me. 2 of them are within 15 minutes from me. The movie is also showing in Farmingdale where I usually go to see movies, and this is only 15 minutes away but in Suffolk County.