Sunday, December 30, 2007

The John White case

Racism and Justice on Long Island

A rumor spreads that a black man threatened to rape a white girl, the rumor is untrue. A crowd of angry white men drive to the black man's house with a baseball bat in the car, they scream racial epithets at the black man and his father, and threaten him. Does this sound like a story from the 1920's or 1940's somewhere in the South? It actually happened on Long Island in 2007!

Any Long Islander with a brain knows that if a mob of angry black men showed up at the house of a white man in Suffolk County and screamed and threatened him, the police would immediately arrest the black men. So, the question is being asked, by Al Sharpton among others, why weren't the members of the white mob arrested? Sharpton is as right in this case as he was wrong in the Tawana Brawley case.

Having grown up on Long Island I know all too well the racist attitudes of many people, both black and white. I have heard a white women scream at a black woman in an office - "Black people were told to overpopulate the world by their black preachers!!" I have seen in that same office in Garden City a black woman get debited for being 1 minute late, punching in at 9:01 AM and having her paycheck docked for that minute. The white Italian man who sat next to her routinely showed up late and his latenesses were "squashed" by the assistant director of this department. In other words, his punch times were altered to take away latenesses so he was not always debited for latenesses which sometimes were as much as 25 minutes. I have heard racist statements by enough white people here in my lifetime to not be fooled by those who scream that "race is not a factor in this case".

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy New Year!

The Diocese of Rockville Centre, God willing, will see 9 men ordained to the priesthood in June of 2008.
Two locals bloggers are back!

Aristotle at The Recovering Choir Director, who has also created the website: The New Pro-Life Strategy

Patrick at Extreme Catholic

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!!


Prayers were answered for Leticia's daughter who was released from the hospital on Christmas Eve.

I was glad to spend a 4 day weekend with family. I was also glad for gifts which included these great books:

Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI

Christians in China A.D. 600 - 2000

Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has entered the Catholic Church

Open Book has a roundup of reactions, most focusing on his record on Life Issues as a politician. I like former Anglican, now Catholic priest Fr. Dwight Longenecker's opinion:

"I don't think it's fair to take easy pot shots at Blair because of his previous views on abortion, gay rights etc. We should give everyone the benefit of the doubt and give him a warm welcome. People do change their minds about certain issues, and instead of criticizing we should give converts time and space."

Monday, December 17, 2007

In today's Newsday I was surprised to read two Letters to the Editor referring to a column by Rabbi Marc Gellman on "cafeteria Catholicism". (Rabbi Gellman now writes the God Squad column exclusively due to Msgr. Hartman's Parkinsons, although he has left his friend's name on the byline). The column is here:

God Squad: 'Cafeteria Catholicism' doesn't work

A snip: "Here are the reasons why Cafeteria Catholicism has no future and is a bad idea: First, in the cafeteria, you could leave behind the beliefs you most need to move closer to Christ and to the Church. You've actually done that in your selections. Abortion, for example, which you've left off your plate, is wrong not just because it's condemned by Catholic teachings. It's wrong because it is the taking of a human life, and that life is sacred; its claim trumps even the most agonizing sacrifices of the mother in helping bring a child into the world."

The first letter writer praises the column and notes the irony of someone outside the faith understanding the failings of cafeteria Catholicism better than many within the faith. The second letter is by Deacon Don Zirkel, who seems to totally misunderstand the term "cafeteria Catholic" and proclaims he is one:

"I feel blessed to be a Catholic and to recognize the generous service of many Christians, although I am troubled by some treatment of women and gays, and the attempted cover-up of the sexual abuse crisis."

Deacon Zirkel does not seem to realize the Rabbi was pointing out the folly of picking and choosing teachings, which has nothing to do with failings of individual Church members. The sex abuse crisis for instance can be condemned harshly by Catholics who fully accept the Church's teachings and doctrine. As a member of the clergy, Deacon Zirkel should more carefully read something before responding.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Zenit summarizes the recent Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

'Missionary Mandate of the Church is to Evangelize'

"3. Today there is "a growing confusion" about the Church's missionary mandate. Some think "that any attempt to convince others on religious matters is a limitation of their freedom,"

Anyone who reads books written by Catholic converts or who browses Catholic blogs, has read stories of people asking for help in converting only to be told they can stay in whatever church they are currently attending or being discouraged by misinformation or ignorance, or worse. The 70's and 80's were low points in apologetics and evangelization but many protestants, including many clergy, converted starting in the 80's and have been a notable force in renewing apologetics and evangelization. They are a big influence and inspiration to many cradle Catholics. I recently purchased Nothing But the Truth by Karl Keating and he writes about all of these things. The lack of apologetics and evangelization by Catholics was part of the sad shape of the Church over the past 35 years, although this too has changed for the better recently.

Related: an article in The Long Island Catholic about Evangelization in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

"The Church also can look at practices like the rosary or eucharistic adoration that seem old to people who grew up a generation or more ago in the Church, Bastien said, but are novel to younger people. “Of course, the way they do it today might be different, not as quiet.”
Smith pointed out that XLT, a form of eucharistic adoration that includes lively music, has a great deal of appeal for teens. “The music is important in a lot of what we do for young people.”

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Voice of the Faithful Long Island continue to show their complete ignorance by inviting clueless speakers such as Paul Lakeland. Here is some of his "wisdom" he imparted to the foolish old folks of VOTF:

"Demand access to the Eucharist, for it is your right! Do not participate in para-liturgies in the absence of a priest."

"The single best thing that we could do for the Church would be to remove the Bishops and replace them with well trained Sisters. "

"He feels that VOTF’s aim to keep away from doctrinal issues is na├»ve. "

I have a better idea: VOTF should accept all the doctrines of the Catholic Church, the liberal bishops should be replaced by orthodox ones, and people should attend Masses on all Sundays and Holy Days, even it means traveling to overcrowded Churches. Here is another idea: Instead of spending $6,000 on a full page ad in Newsday, VOTF should donate all that money to the Sisters of Life, or the Franciscans Friars of the Renewal, or Aid to the Church in Need. But the most interesting part of Lakeland's talk had to be this statement:

"By way of introduction, he reviewed problems plaguing the Church: the sexual scandal, shortage of priests, financial problems and poor ecclesiastical leadership. Recent news from Rome such as more frequent celebration of the Latin Mass is hardly encouraging."

HUH?! Why is the celebration of the Latin Mass hardly encouraging with regard to the problems of the Church. More reverence in the Liturgies, more holiness in priests, and more of a traditional understanding of Catholicism is exactly what is needed. Lakeland, and VOTF just do not get it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Golden Compass

Apparently the author of the books that spawned the movie The Golden Compass is an anti-Catholic bigot and a subversive atheist. The movie reviewers at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops gave the movie a positive review despite the author's publicly stated intention:

"He told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2003, for example, that "my books are about killing God," and that he was amused that American Christians have been more critical of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books than His Dark Materials.
"I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything old Harry has said," Mr. Pullman said.
He has stated a number of times that he wrote His Dark Materials in part to counter the Christian themes and values woven into C.S. Lewis' literary children's classic, The Chronicles of Narnia."


American Papist has been following the story and reports that the USCCB has now withdrawn the movie review. This is yet another story that confirms that pressure from people (The Catholic League, bloggers, etc..) is still needed to get the Bishops to do the right things. Both Thomas Peters at American Papist and Amy Welborn at Charlotte Was Both have asked whether the USCCB needs to have a movie reviewer, and both have mentioned that Stephen Gredanus already does a better job than the people paid by the USCCB.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Rite of Dedication of St. Therese of Lisieux, Montauk, NY

The above link takes you to a 30 minute YouTube video from WVVH-TV Hamptons Television® showing clips of the Dedication Mass of the new Church in Montauk. The parish Church was originally built in 1935 and closed in 1995 due to damage from salt air and harsh winds of the nearby Atlantic Ocean. It took several years to build the new Church due to those same harsh conditions. Shortly after the dedication Mass, the pastor of the parish Msgr. Peter A. Libasci became a bishop.
My post on the two corrupt priests who tried to get out of serving their jail time by claiming to be too sick caused "Mr. T" to lash out again on this blog in the comment section. This time he accused me of being ignorant about things in the Church, a gossip, and of using slander. I deny all three and post a lengthy reply below. Mr. T. is representative of certain Catholics, mostly of an older generation, who are full of fear whenever younger Catholics speak of tradition. My advice to all these Catholics: remember the words of a President of your generation: You have nothing to fear but fear itself. For those who are appreciative of the cleaning out of the corruption and dissent in the Church, who love the renewed sense of tradition on display everywhere: remember the words of a President of my generation: You ain't seen nothing yet!

Mr. T's comments in italics, my response below:

"12/4 - you say I have no faith in the USCCB"

Wrong – I said “Although I don't put much faith in the USCCB, I wish Bishop Murphy the best in this responsibility” Seems like you are simply seeing what you want to see…Everything you write next does not change the fact that I have little faith (which is different from none) in the UCCB

“I trust that is base on personal, direct experience. Did you know that in the United States, but for the American Bishops, there would be significantly less lower and middle income (affordable) housing. That post Katrina, US Catholic Charities distirbuted more DIRECT aid and faster than any agency other than FEMA.”

Yes, I don’t put much faith in the USCCB since for years it was run by the “liberal” faction of bishops, for lack of a better word. This organization put out positive reviews of Brokeback Mountain and The Golden Compass, but mild and weak statements of policy, and watered down theology. The things you mention are wonderful, but nothing I have ever said on this blog has anything to do with this stuff. I post mostly on liturgical and criminal matters, as well as education and vocational stuff. Also, is Catholic Charities run by the USCCB? - I thought it was an independent charity. Still do not see slander or gossip…

“That there voice has been the only leading voice for the unborn and the elderly.”

That is hard to believe – the ONLY leading voice?? What about Priests for Life? What about Operation Rescue? American Life League? Feminists for Life? Still do not see slander or gossip


“They failed to deal appropriately with the sexual abuse crisis, but again I believe they felt constrained by Canon Lawyer and its protection of the clergy. They have been more aggressive since in dealing with a horrible disorder that affected a limited number of priests. However, one is too many.”

I am one of those rare people who care less about the Bishop’s handling of priest abusers than the abusers themselves. I really object to your term “horrible disorder” to describe grown men who molest young boys and girls or teen. I see it as sin, not a disorder – although some of the men may have been sick. Still, my blog focuses mostly on the corrupt (such as Michael Jude Fay) or perverts (such as Paul Shanley) not the sick types who were truly contrite. You should also notice my blog focuses a lot on crime and corruption in general – I have posted more about the Mepham High rapes and the Roslyn school district scandals than most places on the net. So, if you weren’t so angry you might notice a pattern of hating crime and injustice, not of bias against priests. Still do not see slander or gossip…

106 "typical of Bishop Wcela's "smug and condesending attitude toward tradition" When was the last time you engaged in personal, face to face dialgoue with Emil Wcela who many and I mean many would say is one of the simplest, holiestm gentlest priests on Long Island.”

When was the last time you engaged me in personal face to face dialogue? Everything I have read by Bishop Wcela on traditional Catholicism has been smug and condescending. If Bishop Wcela writes publicly in America Magazine I can write on this blog criticizing what he writes. Just as you can criticize what I write. This is not slander, I am commenting on his writing. Why do I need to have spoken to him in person? I met him once, and heard him speak and along with other younger people was not that impressed. Still, I was grateful he gave the talk he did. I am sure if he wanted to talk about Church stuff we would have a nice conversation. I would want him to know how much younger people want tradition that was thrown overboard in the 70’s and how that is a good thing, not a bad thing. I am sure we would agree on some things and disagree on others. I am sure he could teach me a lot on scripture. I have never commented on his personal holiness. Still do not see slander or gossip…

"11/17 - sidebar comment in church to your wife about "child molesting priests" causing the emptiness in pews.”

This was in response to a pastor (of a parish where 3 priests have been removed) saying ‘that there were less people coming to Mass these days, less people giving money, and he didn't think there was anyone to blame for this’ I mean come on, do you have to have a crystal ball to see why so many would be hesitant to give money? This was the purpose of the priest’s talk by the way, it was not the homily. Still do not see slander or gossip…

"As a parent, practicing Catholic, a sinner, I would rather paint myself with the brush of sin than some broad statement about a whole class of people.”

Are you the same Mr. T. who said “you and your kind”????? As in “Oh yes, the restoration of the Tidentine Mass will heal all your woes. If you and your kind are fruits of that, the future is far worse than the past.” Still do not see slander or gossip…

"Would you care for more comments on what I consdier ignorant and slander?”

I would settle for just 1 example because so far… Still do not see slander or gossip…

"Contribute to the healing, not the pain.”

From what most people tell me that is what I am doing, now why don’t you take your own advice instead of ranting against the traditional Mass? Still do not see slander or gossip…

"Some priests caused scandal. Most did not.”

We are in complete agreement here. Still do not see slander or gossip…

"Highlight in your blog a priest (other than one simply saying a beatiful Tridentine Mass) bearing the heat of the day...like Fr.Frank Pizzarelli caring for 1,000's of kids, Fr. John Cervini giving his life and health to the missions in the Dominican Republic,Fr. Gene Murphy caring for the sick at Winthrop Hospital for decades,or the late Fr. Larry Penzes who served his country in the military, minististered to all with kindness and gave his life as he celebrated holy mass...the novus ordo holy mass.”

I have mentioned good priests and good things in this Diocese, but your anger seems to blind you from seeing them. Please click on the category on the right that says: Diocese of Rockville Centre and you will see some of them. Still do not see slander or gossip…

"Who cares about the Pope's MC and what vestments B16 is wearing. The gospel focuses on action and the men I mentioned have lived the gospel.”

Many Catholics care, because they understand the importance of taste and tradition. Still do not see slander or gossip…

"And, as I have told you in the past tens of thousands of people would completely find offense in your assessment of the ministry of one John McGann, whom I am certain you never spent five seconds speaking to or praying with.”


You are wrong, I served Mass for Bishop McGann and was confirmed by him. So, I have spent more than 5 seconds speaking to him and praying with him. I am always uncertain of people that are so certain of things.

I can’t understand why anyone would be offended by my assessment of Bishop McGann’s leadership of this Diocese. Catholics are not mindless sheep you know, we can disagree with priests, nuns, bishops and even the Pope on simple matters. I disagree with the direction he and his staff took. I do not believe his actions helped foster vocations, or orthodoxy on this island, but I do not find him to be unusual in that regard. Nor do I think that made him a bad person. Nor would I list him as one of the country’s worst bishops in any regard. I like the direction Bishop Murphy is taking this Diocese, but I am not offended when people criticize him. Criticism is not something that offends me, unless it is mean or ignorant.

I do get offended by priests who rape children, or spend other people’s money on their lovers. I find offense in violent criminals and liars. I find offense in people that lie or steal. I find offense in killing and raping. I simply do not understand why anyone would be offended by someone’s opinion, unless it was evil or hateful, which this blog has never been. I do not slander or gossip, nor do I lie. I am always careful of what I say, even when I criticize, which I do not do often. Recently I upgraded my blog and was able to tag each post with a label to put them all into categories. Doing this enabled me to read old posts that I had forgotten about. The ones that were angry posts were always about a bigot (like Jimmy Breslin) or about a violent criminal (like the Mepham High rapists) or a jerk (like Roslyn School District thief Pamela Gluckin). And yes, many were on corrupt priests or bishops, that is to be expected from someone who loves the Church and whose blog concentrates on Catholicism. I guess I have a high sense of justice, or a low tolerance for evil. The only posts I have ever thought of deleting or changing while labeling all the posts were the ones on islam. I reread them while organizing the categories and thought they may have come close to the line from righteous anger to hate a few times, but this has never been true of my posts on any Church stuff.

Conclusion – I do not see gossip or slander on my blog, but if you want a place where corruption in the Church is ignored or tradition is disparaged, then you are not going to like it here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Judge sentences Darien priest to just over three years in prison

The above link refers to the priest Michael Jude Fay from Connecticut, who stole money from a parish and spent it lavishly with his gay lover. He tried the same trick to get out of prison that a priest of the Diocese or Brooklyn tried: claiming he is close to death from terminal cancer.

"I beg for your mercy not to send me to prison, Fay told the judge. I am already in prison and I beg you to let me die with the medical dignity my doctors and nurses provide."

Fortunately, this judge was smart enough to ignore this trick. Check out this quote from an article about Fay:

"Fay learned he had prostate cancer, but Patafio and other parishioners said he cited problems from the cancer to avoid duties he disliked. He called it playing his "cancer card" they said."

This is exactly what another priest Barry Ryan tried to pull - See my post here. Ryan claimed in 2004 he was too sick from terminal cancer to go to jail, and then ended up moving to Missouri in 2007, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. He finally began serving his jail time in Oct. 2007:

"Ryan, 58, was formally sentenced in 2004 after pleading guilty to criminal sexual act charges. But because he was in the advanced stages of terminal liver cancer, Suffolk County Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo agreed to put off sending Ryan to jail for seven months."

Three years later, Ryan was still alive and his illness had stabilized, but Ryan had moved to Missouri, according to prosecutors."

Ryan appeared frail and gaunt when he was brought into the Riverhead courtroom in a wheelchair Monday. But while informing Gazzillo of the various medications he required, Ryan spoke far more clearly than the whisper he used three years ago at his sentencing."
From Catholic.org:

A nice story on a former Long Islander who is bringing a Mexican art to Churches in the US.

"A self-described handyman who built his own house on Long Island and said he knows “all the trades,” Donaldson is focused today on transforming religious pictures into magnificently painted tile scenes, eight of which are mounted on and around the courtyard walls of Santa Cruz Parish at 6th Avenue and 22nd Street in Tucson."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Bishop Murphy Elected Chair of USCCB Domestic Policy Committee

"The Domestic Policy Committee is a standing committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It coordinates the USCCB's policy development and advocacy on major national issues including: health care, welfare reform, violence and the death penalty, poverty, civil rights, housing, homelessness, hunger, rural life, economic justice, labor and employment. It has oversight of the USCCB Department of Social Development and World Peace with regard to these issues. "

Although I don't put much faith in the USCCB, I wish Bishop Murphy the best in this responsibility. Perhaps a good tool he can use for this work is the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Curt Jester has a great post on the media coverage of the Pope's new encyclical Spe Salvi. First, he lists headlines that seem like they are typical Curt Jester spoofs, but they are real headlines he is listing. Then, he quotes Tom at Disputations who spoke about the Ginger factor:

"The Ginger Factor, named for a well-known "Far Side" cartoon, is a measure of the ratio of words said to words understood. A dog named Ginger, for example, only understands the word "Ginger" in the sentence, "Okay, Ginger, if you get into the garbage one more time, you'll be spending the night outside." I think most people, not just benighted reporters, experience a high Ginger Factor with most papal encyclicals"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Speaking of the Long Island Catholic, they have an announcement that there will be a new Q & A column starting after the New Year, written by Msgr. Francis Maniscalco. This made me realize they are thankfully not running the awful Q & A column by Fr. John Deitzen any longer.
From the Long Island Catholic:

Dan Schutte, former Jesuit and composer of the songs “Here I Am, Lord,” “Table of Plenty” and “City of God" recently spoke at Good Shepherd Parish in Holbrook. I wish I had known he was coming to Long Island so I could have driven the 20 minutes to Holbrook, went to the talk, and taken the opportunity to throw up on Mr. Schutte's shoes. Payback for all those times his music at Mass made me cringe and think unChristian thoughts.

"The Gospel image of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples is the perfect example for all liturgical ministers, according to Schutte, who asked the participants to think about how they would prepare for a dinner party.

“As good hosts we think about those who are coming and their needs,” he said. “As people of hospitality, as the Body of Christ, we have to think about the same things when we plan the eucharistic celebration.”



(Ok, ok, full disclosure: I sort of liked "Here I am Lord" when I used to hear it in high school sung by the choir)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Summorum Pontificum on Long Island update:

1) My friend Aristotle is back to blogging at The Recovering Choir Director after a long absence. He is the organist for the 9 AM Mass at St. Matthew's in Dix Hills and he reports:

"In three consecutive weeks, three of the priests that minister to St. Matthew’s parish (including the pastor) have now publicly celebrated the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite."


2) I have not heard about the traditional Mass in Cutchogue which is currently held once a month. This was going to be made weekly when it was possible, perhaps someone could fill me in on when or if that will happen. [UPDATE: Anthony in combox indicates Msgr. McDonald, the rector of the seminary, has been celebrating it the past few Sundays]


3) I did hear that Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa Park was going to be starting a Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I do not see anything in their bulletin regarding this, could someone please verify this?

UPDATE: In the combox, Anthony pointed out what I missed in the OLL bulletin:

"We received over 400 signatures requesting a Latin Mass. Therefore, we have decided to have a Latin Mass every Wednesday at 8am and one on Sunday. The Sunday Mass will begin on Sunday, November 25, 2007 at 8:15 am. It will rotate each week to 9:30-10:45 & 12 noon, so that all who requested will have an opportunity to attend. We hope this meets with everyone’s approval."

This is excellent! A traditional Mass in the Church on Sunday as part of the regular schedule.

This also means the number of weekly Sunday traditional Masses in the Diocese of Rockville Centre went from 1 before SP, to 4 after SP! The number of weekday traditional Masses went from 0 to 1. Unfortunately, the number of Novus Ordo Masses with latin and chant went from 1 to 0 so hopefully this can be fixed soon.

4) Finally, the main celebrant of the traditional Mass at St. Pius X Chapel in Uniondale, Fr. James Pereda has been made a Monsignor! This is a well deserved honor.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ever hear a homily that claimed Jesus did not really perform the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes? I did once, and Mark Shea brilliantly summarizes everything wrong with this at InsideCatholic:

Lying About the Loaves and Fish

"Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and the crowd, so moved at his warm fuzziness, started to share their own lunches with each other and sing, "Wind Beneath My Wings."

"In countless parishes all over the United States this Thanksgiving, some variation on this rubbish will be the theme of the homily as, once again, this tired naturalistic exegesis is trotted out to bore parishioners, confuse the young, irritate the theologically informed, and insult the ancient Jews it so casually caricatures."
Pope Elevates 23 New Cardinals

The above links to the Associated Press story on the consistory held in St. Peter's Basilica. Important highlights are:

The first Cardinal in the south of the USA (Dinardo of Houston) which reflects the growing population of Catholics down there.

The first Cardinal in Iraq (Emmanuel III Delly), which reflects the suffering of the people of Iraq, especially Christians who are being slaughtered almost out of existence.

Less important, but very good to hear, is the description of the vestments worn by the Pope:

"Wearing resplendent golden robes and a 19th century gilded bishop's hat once worn by Pope Pius IX"

"Benedict's vestments were particularly ornate: He donned a long, golden silk cape, embroidered with scenes from the life of the saints that was held up by two altar servers as he processed down the main aisle."

This is the another sign that the era of "Marini I" is over, and the era of "Marini II" begins. For those not familiar with the background of this Good Marini/ Bad Marini stuff, click here to read about it on JimmyAkin.org.

Or to put it simply:

Marini I -






Marini II -




I just added RealChoice to the blogroll, after finding it while searching for more info on Francisco Leonardo Fletes Sanchez. The most information seems to be in this article:

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE A RECURRENT PROBLEM IN RURAL NICARAGUA
Man Behind Effort to Legalize Abortion in Nicaragua Gets 30 Years for Step-Daughter's Rape

"MANAGUA, November 21, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Francisco Fletes Sanchez, who covered up his sexual abuse of his stepdaughter "Rosita" in 2003 with the help of international pro-abortion organizations, has received the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for his crimes."

"Fletes achieved notoriety in 2003 when he cooperated with a coalition of pro-abortion feminist groups in Nicaragua to secure an abortion for his nine year old stepdaughter, whom he falsely claimed had been impregnated by a Costa Rican neighbor while the family was living and working in that country."

"The abortion prevented authorities from identifying Fletes as the perpetrator."

"Fletes continued to rape his daughter for four more years, and ultimately fathered a second child, who was not aborted. When the media discovered the child, Fletes confessed to the rape, resulting ultimately in today's sentence."

From Lifesite via The Hermeneutic of Continuity

Friday, November 23, 2007

Just when we are giving thanks, another thing to be thankful for regarding Msgr. Eugene Costa of the Diocese of Springfield:

Springfield's Monsignor Kicked Out Of Priesthood
Move Made Directly By Pope Benedict XVI Over Sexual Misconduct Claims


"Costa was once chancellor of the Springfield diocese. His problems began when he was beaten by two young men in a park in December of 2004. It was later alleged that he had solicited the two for sex.

Subsequent investigations by the diocese and the U.S. Attorney's office revealed a pattern of sexual misconduct. "

News accounts do not mention Roman Catholic Faithful and its leader Stephen Brady, who is recovering from a motorcycle accident. Brady and RCF have been exposing the corruption of the Springfield Diocese for years. The Diocese was one of the most corrupt in the USA, and its former bishop Daniel Ryan was exposed by RCF for paying teenage male prostitutes.

10/24 update: Questions remain: Does Daniel Ryan still get some sort of pension money from the Diocese? How exactly did Costa become a Monsignor, and who was involved in getting him that honor? Who else in the Diocese covered up for Ryan, Costa, and the other perverts? Do any of these men have anything to do with the unsolved murder of Fr. Kunz, who was helping RCF expose corruption? Have the people who attacked Stephen Brady and RCF in the past apologized and admitted RCF was right?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Great news from Newsday:

Stem Cell Breakthrough Defuses Debate

"Scientists have created the equivalent of embryonic stem cells from ordinary skin cells, a breakthrough that could someday produce new treatments for disease without the explosive moral questions of embyro cloning.

Research teams in the United States and Japan showed that a simple lab technique can rival the complex and highly controversial idea of extracting stem cells from cloned embryos.

It was a landmark achievement on all fronts, defusing one of the most divisive debates in modern medicine and religion. It was lauded by scientists, ethicists and religious groups."

The best line in this very positive story is this:

"An official of one group fiercely opposed to destroying embryos saw things differently, saying scientists should thank "pro-life voices" for pushing them to find alternatives."

Just check out the archives of LifeSite regarding stem cells to see how true this is.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Please Don’t Pray at Mass!

Fr. Vin, the pastor of Our Lady of Grace in West Babylon wrote this in this week's bulletin, and it is published online at the parish's website. The main point he makes is an good one:

"Please don’t “pray at Mass”; instead, Pray the Mass."

Unfortunately, to make his point he does the "tradition bashing" that has been so common for 35 years:

"People who grew up with the Mass in Latin couldn’t “pray the Mass”: It was incomprehensible. So instead, we were encouraged to “pray at Mass.” The priest “did his thing” with his back to the people, murmuring (as instructed – people weren’t supposed to hear some of the prayers) in a foreign language. Rather than be bored silly, lay people brought things to do – rosary beads to pray with, booklets of devotions, English-language “missals” that had translations to follow. And well-meaning instructors told people to conduct their own private devotions in the context of the time they spent at Mass – not a good solution, but the best that the times allowed."

I was not around to experience any of this first hand, but many Catholics have said that the general thrust of this argument is incorrect or exaggerated. I do know a few things however: That at the couple of dozen traditional latin Masses I have attended, none of the things described above occurred. In fact, I have found that those attending the Mass in the "extraordinary form" tended to be more prayerfully following and yes, praying the Mass than the seemingly bored people at the local parish Masses. Many at local parishes do not pray any of the prayers aloud. I have also found that the traditional Mass is very comprehensible, and the more I attend the more I learn.


I also know this: that when I attend the traditional Mass I use my Dad's 1943 Missal that I found in a box in the attic. The very first printed words in the Missal are: Pray the Mass. I remember seeing this for the first time and thinking it was stunning. Somehow I did not imagine that phrase being used in 1943 but there it was. I think that for those who want Catholics to pray the Mass today, in either form, it is better to point out positive things rather than talk about how bad things were years ago. For example, I learned by attending the traditional Mass that we genuflect during the Incarnation lines in the Creed: "By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man." The present rubric is to bow during those three lines, which I started to do only after attending the traditional Mass, and I found it to be better than genuflecting. So, this is a positive change that is found in the Mass today. If things were really as bad as some say up until 1970, and the new Mass revisions were so wonderful, then there would be no reason for the huge drop in the numbers of Catholics who attend Sunday Mass from before 1970 to today. People would be flocking to parishes in order to attend a Mass they can understand, to see a priest face the people, to pray in their own language, to join together in prayer. This is simply not what happened, in fact the opposite occurred. So, although I totally agree with Fr. Vin's commentary and hope Catholics "Pray the Mass" either in the normative or extraordinary form, I think his reliance on the old argument of "things were bad before the changes" does not help the case at all. And now, here are some scans of my father's 1943 Missal, please note the first page:
- Click to enlarge





"And then there were these three woodsmen...but only one of them talked"

Karen Hall at Some Have Hats mentioned the TV show Newhart which I enjoyed. She reveals her ex-husband was one of the creators of the characters "Larry, Daryl and Daryl". This caused me to remember the show's final episode. Forget the Soprano's fade to black,the final episode of Newhart was the best finale to a show ever!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

From Newsday:

Charles Wang, formerly of Computer Associates and current owner of the NY Islanders, has submitted his revised plan for the development of what is called the Nassau Hub.

"Will its residents embrace a new vision of development that accepts urban scale and density on the promise that it will deliver vibrant, walkable communities where the next generation can afford to live?

Or will they see it as just another attempt to jam too many buildings onto too small a piece of land, with too much traffic and not enough parking?

The hockey team, The Islanders, play in a pretty run down arena called the Nassau Veterans Coliseum. This needs to be replaced, and Wang proposes not just replacing it, but building an entire development around the new coliseum. Some of the pictures and ideas of this "Lighthouse at Long Island" are intriguing, such as the waterways and the promise of "walkability". But the original plans for this area were scaled down after Long Islanders complained of the project "looking like Queens". This is the common complaint of all of us who grew up here, the place is starting to become more like the city - too many buildings, cars, and people and not enough space to put them all. This "Nassau Hub" area already has way too much traffic. I am concerned about this project not having enough parking spaces, and including too many new buildings for conferences and hotels. I have to give them credit however, this project is not just more strip malls and box stores. My preference: scale it down some more - just rebuild the coliseum with extra rinks and waterways, add some nice stores and restaurants for people to go to after events, and leave the place looking like Long Island.

Monday, November 12, 2007

100,000


The person who came to this blog from Manchester, New Hampshire at 9:10 AM this morning was visitor #100,000. Thanks for visiting, and sorry but you do not win anything.

*Sigh*

It is now confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass at Yankee Stadium and National Stadium when he visits the US in April. I had hoped the era of the Mega-Masses were over. At least with the new Master of Ceremonies, we can hope the silliness of previous years will not be repeated. The Pope will also visit Ground Zero, Dunwoodie, and the UN.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Amy Welborn, who is not blogging as much as she used to, still manages to find interesting Catholic related links. At Charlotte Was Both, she points out a great piece-

Give Garry Wills that old-time religion

This is an op-ed in the LA Times by St. Blog's own Gregory Popcak. Mr. Popcak, who I met at the blogging conference at St. John's Law School, responds to a previous editorial by Garry Wills where Mr. Wills tried to say abortion was not a religious issue. In the editorial, Mr. Popcak mentions both Peter Singer and James Watson, both people I have written about recently on this blog.
From Newsday -

Navy chaplain Capodanno set on road to sainthood

"His story was told Friday in a presentation following a Mass for the football team at St. Anthony's High School in South Huntington. The presentation was given by Vietnam veteran John Scafidi, who was at the battle where Capodanno died."

The official website for the canonization of Fr. Vincent Capodanno is http://www.vincentcapodanno.org/

Thursday, November 08, 2007

From the where do they find these people files:

Priest accused of stalking Conan O'Brien

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Interesting discussion going on over at Catholic Matriarch in My Domestic Church aka Catholic Mom on Catholic Schools. I am interested in the discussion of CCD programs and how they are treated at parishes, especially parishes with Catholic schools. The blogger mentions a parish school installing smart boards in classrooms and not allowing them to be used for CCD. Here on Long Island, the number of students in CCD classes is greater than the number of students in Catholic schools so we should be making sure the CCD programs are top notch. Are parishes and the Diocese doing enough for these programs?
Cool

From the Long Island Catholic:

"Bishop William Murphy, flanked by Msgr. Robert Morrissey, left, and Deacon John Coughlin, faces the altar as he celebrates Mass at St. Mary Major Basilica"

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is sponsoring a golden jubilee pilgrimage to Rome. Click here to see a picture of Bishop Murphy celebrating Mass "ad orientem".

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

John Paul II Named Patron for Youth Day '08

"World Youth Day organizers say that Servant of God Pope John Paul II was a natural choice as one of the event's 10 patrons, since the Polish Pontiff invented the gatherings."
President Bush nominates Mary Ann Glendon as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican

Monday, November 05, 2007

Fr. Francis Mary Stone of EWTN's Life on the Rock show has taken time off to "discern" after becoming close to a woman he was counseling.

Update: The reaction throughout St. Blog's Parish has been one of sadness with many offering prayers for Fr. Francis. A few have expressed anger and noted that the time to discern is before ordination not after. I would agree with this and also add that traditionally priests have always had to be careful not to become too close to someone they are counseling or teaching. Still, prayers for Fr. Francis and this widow are the best response.
Steelers first in local market brand strength

"The Pittsburgh Steelers are more than just a good football team. They're also a powerful brand.
The
franchise was named the strongest team brand in its local market compared with scores of other professional sports teams across the country in a new consumer survey"

Anyone that has been to Pittsburgh can vouch for this. I have seen the Steelers logo painted on a side street, I have seen busloads of fans pulling up to a hotel the weekend of a game, and I have seen Pittsburgh fans gathered around a tv watching the game with an intensity of generals at war.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Come Here Watson, I need you

Now that James Watson has resigned from Cold Spring Harbor Lab after making racist comments, Newsday has published an article entitled An Echo of the past which mentions the racism of the first head of the lab. Per the Scientific American blog, Cold Spring Harbor was once the center of eugenics studies in America and although there are many great things the Lab has done, and is doing, it is important to remember how even good intentions can lead to bad science and bad things. This is especially important to remember considering James Watson's on the record stance against the Catholic Church for its teaching on (embryonic, not adult) stem cell research. Consider:

Edwin Black, author of IBM and the Holocaust, wrote a book about Eugenics called War Against the Weak Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race

The website for the book says: It began on Long Island and Ended at Auschwitz.....and yet it never really stopped. Here is a quote from an interview the author did with the Dallas Morning News:

"Question: All this happened 60 or more years ago. What's the lesson now?

Answer: First, it's important to understand that the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institute and Planned Parenthood were completely cooperative. We should not judge these organizations today by how they were 50 or 90 years ago. These organizations publicly regret the involvement of their originators.
The "take away" is how easy it is to mask racism and prejudice in science. How easy it is to be deluded by credentials and academic titles. Remember, eugenics in the U.S. and in Nazi Germany was based on "settled science." The eugenicists all agreed on it.


Question: You mentioned that, universally, the Catholic Church spoke against eugenics. Why didn't it work? Is there a lesson there for organized religion, in terms of preventing something like this in the future?

Answer: But it did work. Where the Catholic Church was strong – parts of Illinois or Massachusetts, for instance – eugenics measures were not enacted. The problem was that organized religion failed to project itself beyond its small sphere of influence. If there had been a more universal approach, had the Catholic Church and other churches ... been far more aggressive in defending human rights during the 12-year Hitler era, things might have been different. But, you have to understand, eugenics never acted in the name of an organized religion. Eugenics held itself out to be its own religion.

Question: Is there a religious issue here?

Answer: Sanctity of life is a religious issue. The devaluation of human life is a religious issue. Once you say, "I want to improve society by doing away with someone else, or someone else's family," you're into genocide. No matter how pure your heart is.
The recent paper delivered by Peter J. Colosi on Pope John Paul II vs. Peter Singer at the conference of Catholic Social Scientists has a foonote I found very quotable. Singer's decision to supply his ailing mother with aides, rather than kill her, completely contradicted his philosophical beliefs and his work in ethics. A footnote in Colosi's paper quotes Peter Berkowitz in the New Republic Jan. 10, 2000 :

"The ethicist's innocence, at this late date in his career, of the most elemental features of his subject matter boggles the mind. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more stunning rebuke to the well-heeled and well-ensconced academic discipline of practical ethics than that its most controversial and influential star, at the peak of his discipline, after an Oxford education, after twenty-five years as a university professor, and after the publication of thousands of pages laying down clear-cut rules on life-and-death issues, should reveal, only as the result of a reporter's prodding, and only in the battle with his own elderly mother's suffering, that he has just begun to appreciate that the moral life is complex."
Hereditary, My Dear Watson?

James Watson, formerly of Cold Spring Harbor Lab made racist comments recently that made the news . Check out Dawn Eden's description of her meeting with him.

Then, please see this article which includes this telling quote:

"James Watson would have aborted his son if a genetic test had been available at the time warning that his child would be born with severe epilepsy.

"Any time you can prevent a seriously sick child from being born, it is good for everyone," Dr Watson told The Sunday Age. "Most mothers wouldn't want to have dwarfs."


Or:

"For instance, he believes abortions are acceptable where a foetus is found to be genetically inclined to homosexuality."

Then there is the whole question of how much credit should have gone to Rosalind Franklin for the discovery of DNA's Double Helix:

From Wikipedia:

"Watson's original title was to have been "Honest Jim," in part to raise the ethical questions of bypassing Franklin to gain access to her X-ray diffraction data before they were published. Watson seems to have never been particularly bothered by the way things turned out. If all that mattered was beating Pauling to the structure of DNA, then Franklin's cautious approach to analysis of the X-ray data was simply an obstacle that Watson needed to run around."

Or from Jewish Virtual Library.org:

" In fact, many scientists believe Franklin played a larger role than previously acknowledged in the research that led to the 1962 Nobel Prize that was awarded to Maruice Wilkins, Francis Crick, and James Watson for the discovery of DNA's double helix.
Wilkins shared Franklin's data, without her knowledge, with Watson and Crick, at Cambridge University, and they pulled ahead in the race, ultimately publishing the proposed structure of DNA in March 1953."

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Is this a trend here on Long Island? First St. John the Evangelist parish and now Cure of Ars in Merrick?

"The church was re-opened in early October after an extensive renovation. Some generous parishioners took on the cost of the renovation which included having the tabernacle moved to the center of the church behind the altar."

From The Long Island Catholic
Special Report: Are they inventing their own Mass in Holland?

"In Nijmegen, Holland, in the church of the Augustinian friars, each Sunday the Mass is concelebrated by a Protestant and a Catholic, with one presiding over the liturgy of the Word and the sermon, and the other over the liturgy of the Eucharist, in alternation. The Catholic is almost always a layperson, and is often a woman. For the Eucharistic prayer, the texts of the missal are passed over in favor of texts composed by the former Jesuit Huub Oosterhuis. The bread and wine are shared by all."

This story by Sandro Magister was found on Catholic Online . In the land of the murder of Theo Van Gogh, it appears Christianity is on its way out.
THE SOCIETY OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

The 15TH ANNUAL MEETING at St. John's University Law School

Post IV

Professor Joseph Varacalli, the founder of the Center for Catholic Studies at Nassau Community College, asked me if I could put together a panel on Catholic blogging and I was intimidated but very honored. I knew there were a some local bloggers around and asked Leticia Velasquez of Causa Nostrae Laetitiae and Dawn Eden of The Dawn Patrol first. I knew there were others in the NY area I could ask but both of these women said yes so there was our panel. We would each speak for 15 minutes and then there would be a question and answer period. Later, Elizabeth Andrew, a local blogger I was not familiar with, was added to the panel so we had a 4 person panel. I was exciting to talk about Catholic blogging since I have been very interested in them since I started reading some of the blogs on Gerard Serafin's "List of Some Catholic Blogs". When Gerard died I created the Catholic Blog Directory to continue this valuable resource of having a list of blogs of interest to Catholics. I wanted in my talk to give a background/history of Catholic blogging and to point out the importance of blogs to Catholics, and hope I did some justice to this. In hindsight, I wish I had gone over some ideas on blogging that I would have liked to stress, but because of time constraints and nervousness I left them out or mentioned them briefly. I also would have liked to gone into some criticisms of blogs but we did not as a panel do this. Overall though, the panel went fine. Next, I will post my basic talk for the panel and fill in some of the stuff I left out in the talk.

Monday, October 29, 2007

THE SOCIETY OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

The 15TH ANNUAL MEETING at St. John's University Law School

Post III

After the great panel on Pius XII, I skipped the expensive lunch and went across the street to the Fame Diner and had a turkey burger. Then I met up with Leticia and we went to the room where the blog conference was being held to see if we could get our blogs put up on the screen in the "smart classroom" (we figured it out somehow). Before our blog conference in this same room was a panel on The Legacy of Pope John Paul II Continues so I stayed. The discussant was Brian Scarnecchia, Chair of Humanities and Professor of Catholic Social Thought at Franciscan University. He introduced Peter Colosi of the Franciscan U. Gaming, Austria campus, who delivered a paper on "John Paul II and Christian Personalism vs. Peter Singer and Utilitarianism: Philosophical Reflections on the Foundations of Ethics".

Colosi began his talk by mentioning Peter Singer's decision to hire people to take of his elderly mother who was suffering from dementia. This was a shock to me. After all, this is quite a strange thing to do for a guy who has spent years telling people killing disabled, sick, elderly, and newborn people is morally okey-dokey. Colosi said Singer could not bring himself to do what his philosophical beliefs would have him do, because he loved his mother. He contrasted Singer's philosophy with that of Pope John Paul II's and it is quite a contrast. Colosi gave a deep and interesting talk and I can't wait to read the paper, which he gave out to all in attendance.

Following Colosi, was Jose David Lapuz, UNESCO Commissioner and Executive Vice-President, Philippine Council on Foreign Relations. He spoke on "The Inspired Thoughts of Pope John Paul II and UNESCO: Why Human Rights and Reduction of Poverty is Quintessentially a Catholic Concern". Professor Lapuz spoke fondly of his encounters with Pope John Paul II and of the Pontiff's interest in the work of UNESCO in fighting poverty and in championing human rights. Later, at the wine and cheese reception, I found Professor Lapuz to be very charming and humble in describing to me his encounters with the Pope.

After this conference was the conference on Catholic blogs, which I will write about shortly...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I went to see the movie Bella today with my wife and my mother. The movie was very good, I would encourage all to go see it. I am a bit leery about movies that are touted as pro-life, or Catholic or Christian as they can be cheesy. Bella was not, it was very well done. On the way out of the theater, who did I run into? My fellow blog panelist Leticia. I still have to write about the rest of the Conference at St. John's Law School, including the blog panel. More to come...
Pius XII and The Catholic Church during World War II

THE SOCIETY OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
THE 15TH ANNUAL MEETING at St. John's University Law School

Post II

I was able to attend Panel # 39 at the conference of The Society of Catholic Social Scientists yesterday. This panel was "The Pius Wars and Sister Margherita Marchione" Sister did not speak, except to mention 1 interesting fact, but at the lunch following the panel she was given an award for her work on Pope Pius XII and World War II.

The panel was moderated by Fr. Edward Krause of Gannon University. First, Kenneth Whitehead, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, gave a review of several books written about Pius XII that refuted the charges of anti-semitism and non-action during WWII. These included:

The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII

The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis

Pius XII, the Holocaust, and the Revisionists

Consensus & Controversy: Defending Pope Pius XII

Did Pius XII Help the Jews?

Righteous Gentiles: How Pius XII and the Catholic Church Save Half a Million Jews from the Nazis

Inside the Vatican of Pius XII: The Memoir of an American Diplomat during World War II

Mr. Whitehead gave an overall summary of the job many people, including those on the panel, have done in showing the charges that Pius XII was silent at the plight of the Jews during WWII was incorrect.

Next, Ronald Rychlak, author of Righteous Gentiles: How Pius XII and the Catholic Church Save Half a Million Jews from the Nazis, gave a talk that mentioned some more details in the fight to correct the perception of Pius XII. He spoke of the sudden attacks on Pius XII that started about 8 years ago and asked why all of a sudden was this an issue? His answer: the chattering classes saw the end of Pope John Paul II's reign approaching and wanted to influence the Church in a different direction. For example, Rychlak mentioned that the last chapter of "Hitler's Pope" was all about Pope John Paul II! Also, the last chapter of "Constantine's Sword" was about the need for a Vatican III. Interestingly, Rychlak pointed out the play The Deputy, the first attack on Pius XII's character, was produced at a time when Pope John XIII was expected to die. (In 1963 he died and the play was first staged). When Rychlak was discussing John Cornwall, Sr. Marchione mentioned that Cornwall has now recanted his thesis of "Hitler's Pope"! Another interesting fact, but the panel pointed out how the damage was already done.


Bill Doino, a Catholic columnist spoke next on "Pius XII: An International Perspective". He mentioned the collection of people, mostly those on the panel, who had been doing important work around the world to correct the errors that are now commonly held about Pius XII. This whole panel was held in the St. John's Law School Moot Court Room, and the verdict was overwhelming against those that had defamed the character of the holy Pope Pius XII. Thanks to these scholars, and to the Catholic League, (Bill Donohue was in the room also listening to the panel) the truth about Pius XII and the Catholic Church during WWII is being told.
Around St. Blog's

I have been enjoying reading The Deacon's Bench by Deacon Greg Kandra, from Queens.

I have also enjoyed reading The Cafeteria Is Closed with Gerard Augustinus' reaction to the fast pace of Manhattan, and to his experience with NYC cab rides.

I also enjoyed checking out the pics at Hallowed Ground.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

THE SOCIETY OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
THE 15TH ANNUAL MEETING

The panel on Catholic blogs went well today at the conference. I spoke about the background of Catholic blogging and gave a bit of history. I mentioned two ways I felt that Catholics use blogs - as a correction to and extension of the mainstream media, and also as evangelization. I will post more about the panel and the conference tomorrow.

It was a bit weird being at St. John's University for the first time since graduating in 1992. The campus has been built up, it now has dorms and also a Church, where a Mass was held for conference attendees. I love the academic world and felt a longing to be back at a University setting.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

FINALLY, via Newsday the AP has studied the sex abuse scandals of school systems.

AP: Sexual Misconduct Plagues US Schools

"An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic."

"Most of the abuse never gets reported. Those cases reported often end with no action. Cases investigated sometimes can't be proven, and many abusers have several victims. "

"The seven-month investigation found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned from 2001 through 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct. "

"The findings draw obvious comparisons to sex abuse scandals in other institutions, among them the Roman Catholic Church. A review by America's Catholic bishops found that about 4,400 of 110,000 priests were accused of molesting minors from 1950 through 2002. "

It is about time that the problem has been studied in depth, but I wish they had done the study covering the school system from 1950-2002 as was done with the Catholic Church. I would also add that there have been many false claims of abuse filed against teachers, as there have been against priests. But at least now a study has been done that will call attention to the problem of abuse in schools.

UPDATE: The link was corrected

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Two Long Island housing related stories from Newsday:

Natalie Gaebelein started Stay on Long Island to lobby for affordable housing.


"There's nothing for people my age," Gaebelein said. "There's nowhere to live. You either live at home in your childhood bedroom, which is pretty embarrassing ... [or] somebody's basement."

Although my wife and I own a coop, we are looking for a house. Both of us spent plenty of time living at home. There is simply nothing affordable for college grads here. The condo complexes that are beautiful are mostly for people 55 and over. Houses that need a lot of work cost a huge amount of money. Although the housing prices are coming down, the taxes are not. When I saw some of the places my siblings lived in other states before they bought houses I was struck at how there was nothing comparable here on Long Island. Either something needs to be done to get affordable housing here, or people need to continue to move elsewhere.


"The community's homeowners' association board approved the rule this year, banning religious statues and bird feeders and birdbaths from all common areas. In those gardens, residents are allowed to place other small statues, gazing balls, scarecrows and even plastic pink flamingos so long as they don't exceed certain other restrictions."


The president of the Condo board Arlene Crandall -


"Typical decorations" should be allowed, as opposed to religious statues, for instance, which only appeal to one segment of the community's population."

So, pink flamingos appeal to everyone?
As mentioned earlier, I live in a coop so we have common areas for planting flowers and I am familiar with the types of rules complexes must set down. We are not allowed any statues or flags or anything except flowers to be put in the common areas. This is a sensible rule since people tend to lack common sense and taste. But banning only religious statues is simply bigoted, and does not make any sense when things like pink flamingos are allowed. If the complex didn't allow statues of Mary because or the danger of a huge wind storm picking it up, this would make sense, but they actually ban any specifically religious item. If I lived in this complex, I would respond to this by planting the biggest, most gaudy, ugly and tastless stuff in every inch I could.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Massapequa Park is asking people to sign up next week if they wish to attend a traditional latin Mass. From today's bulletin:

"Our Holy Father has given permission to
parishes to have a Latin Mass. Next Sunday
there will be a sign up sheet in the back of
the church after all the Masses so we may
see how many people are interested in attending
this Mass. Date and time of Mass to be
announced."

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Long Island Catholic was mentioned in The Long Island Press on 10/3/07! Overall, a nice mention, but what was I smoking when I said Mama's Family was one of my favorite television shows?? I think I have found the link and it was a post on really bad tv shows that I still enjoyed watching. For the record, my favorite tv shows are The Simpsons and Seinfeld.

Here is the link to the article and text featuring my blog:

Citizen Journalists

A Long Island Catholic

http://www.revertedxer.blogspot.com/

What's the deal? Most of the entries deal with Catholic education, the Diocese of Rockville Centre and other Church matters. This LI Catholic school veteran (16 years) started following this modus operandi after Catholic bloggers reminded him "how awesome it is to be Catholic (even now)." He says that although his personal Church experience has been completely positive, things are so bad that he has occasionally blogged to complain or write about the corruption.

Why should you care? These are well-written posts by a self-described "liturgy nut" who is rooted in the religion of the ages, yet is a child of the times. (He says he met his future bride on www.catholicmatch.com.) He favors humor, observing that after a September 2006 address by Pope Benedict XVI resulted in violence in the Muslim world, The Onion could run a headline reading, "Pope Calls Violence Unreasonable, Muslims Violently Protest." But the 30-something cradle Catholic also veers far from matters of faith, sometimes focusing on non-Catholicism Long Island stuff: He didn't care for the Rosie/Trump feud and confesses that his favorite TV shows include Monty Python's Flying Circus and Mama's Family. He offers fixes for the high taxes Long Islanders shoulder. He reviews rock concerts.

Quotable: "When someone asks you, 'Think about what Jesus would do,' remember that a valid option is to freak out and turn over tables." (He attributes this quote, which appeared on one of his entries, to http://www.catholicpillowfight.com/.)
I am back from a relaxing week in Mexico and am just catching up with the news from Long Island. Seems I missed an interesting week Church-wise:

The parish of Leticia from Causa Nostrae Laetitiae and Patrick from Creative Minority Report is all over the Catholic blog world. It seems Bishop Murphy was at Saint John the Evangelist Parish for confirmation and was not happy with the comportment of the parishioners before Mass. The result: at his direction, the tabernacle is being moved front and center! This is great news and typical of the leadership of Bishop Murphy. Please go to the two links above to read the Bishop's letter.

Also, Diogenes at Off The Record and Fr. Z. at WDTPRS both link to retired Bishop Wcela's article in America magazine regarding the traditional latin Mass. The article is typical of this bishop's smug and condescending attitude toward tradition. Bishop Murphy is pushing this Diocese into the right direction, which is opposite from the direction that Bishops McGann and Wcela took it when they ran things.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Found via Charlotte was Both -

Fr. Philip N. Powell, OP at Domine, da mihi hanc aquam! has some great observations on campus ministry including:

"You had a crappy childhood at St. Sixtus of the Perpetual Frown under the bruising discipline of Sr. Mary of the Five Wounds of Christ, so religious habits, rosaries, crucifixes, devotional booklets, Latin, incense, sanctus bells, etc. all remind you of stifling dogmatic lectures, knuckle-rappings, silly moral imperatives, triumphal-martial Catholicism, etc. Guess what? They aren’t you! They didn’t have these experiences, so they don’t associate Eucharistic adoration and First Friday Masses with intellectual repression and physical pain. Let them transform these traditions and make them their own."

The whole post is very good, go read the whole thing. Thankfully, the campus ministry, youth ministry and young adult ministries in the Diocese of Rockville Centre have all been transformed over the past few years so they are on the right track.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I have always read the obits in Newsday. I don't consider it morbid, they can actually be a pleasant read, especially when the person has lived a good, long life. An example was -

Peace activist Jozef van der Grinten dead at 88

Today, liberal Catholic and Newsday columnist Bob Keeler remembered him in this column.
I had sent Fr. Z at What Does the Prayer Really Say? a link to Bishop Murphy's column on the Motu Proprio published in The Long Island Catholic. He does his usual parsing of the statement and mentions the statment was a pleasure to read. For some reason the comments section became a bitch-fest on the Diocese of Rockville Centre with many talking as if conditions in this Diocese are a result of Bishop Murphy's leadership. I never thought I would be defending a Bishop or the DRVC but there I am in the comments section doing just that!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

THE SOCIETY OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
THE 15TH ANNUAL MEETING

Friday and Saturday, October 26-27, 2007

The St. John’s University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway Jamaica, Queens, New York 11439

I had listed the panels and speakers for Friday, now I will list the panels for Saturday. The panel on blogging is Panel Sixty-Three.

Panel Twenty-Two: Economics and Catholicism: II
Panel Twenty-Three: Topics in Catholic Historical Research
Panel Twenty-Four: Problems and Prospects in Catholic Education
Panel Twenty-Five: Problems and Prospects of Globalism
Panel Twenty-Six: Eastern Catholic Saints: Developers of Eastern Social Conscience
Panel Twenty-Seven: The Knights of Columbus: Founding, History, Apostolate
Panel Twenty-Eight: Issues of Life and Death
Panel Twenty-Nine: The Sociology of the Two Great Commandments: Shaping the Structure and Function of Society
Panel Thirty: The Voice of the Poor: The Advocacy Mission of the St. Vincent de Paul Society
Panel Thirty-One: Topics in Catholic Psychology: Community and Church Based Counseling Services, Parental Attachment, and Human Formation at a College Seminary
Panel Thirty-Two: Human Society
Panel Thirty-Three: The Sexual Scandal in the Catholic Church Today: Should The Church Oppose Extending Statutes of Limitation?
Panel Thirty-Four: Evangelization through the Airwaves: The Example of Radio Maria
Panel Thirty-Five: African American Catholicism and Catholicism in Africa
Panel Thirty-Six: Faith and Reason in Catholic Thought as Understood by Pope Benedict XVI
Panel Thirty-Seven: Catholics in American History: Perspectives on the Founding
Panel Thirty-Eight: Catholicism Transforming Culture
Panel Thirty-Nine: “An Afternoon with C.S. Lewis”
Panel Forty: The Pius Wars and Sister Margherita Marchione
Panel Forty-One: The Inevitable Metaphysical Connection with Social Science
Panel Forty-Two: Abortion, The Church, and American Society: Past, Present, Future
Panel Forty-Three: The Sociology of New York City
Panel Forty-Four: The Contribution of Frederic Ozanam
Panel Forty-Five: Teaching in the Classroom
Panel Forty-Six: Psychology and Catholicism
Panel Forty-Seven: The Cardinal Newman Society/ The Promotion of Chastity: National and Local Efforts
Panel Forty-Eight: Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, andSocial Policy (Scarecrow Press)
Panel Forty-Nine: Catholic Approaches to Criminal Justice
Panel Fifty: Trends in Sacred Music During the Twentieth Century: An Appraisal
Panel Fifty-One: Roundtable: The Ancient-Moderns Distinction: Catholic Perspectives
Panel Fifty-Two: The Sexual Revolution: How Christians Accepted It and How to Counter It
Panel Fifty-Three: The Legacy of Pope John Paul II Continues
Panel Fifty-Four: A Critique of the Writings of Some Prominent Secular Thinkers: Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Sigmund Freud
Panel Fifty-Five: Catholic Faith and Morals in the Institution of the Family
Panel Fifty-Six: Catholics of the South
Panel Fifty-Seven: Catholicism and Social Work
Panel Fifty-Eight: Resolving Conflict in the Middle East
Panel Fifty-Nine: “Catholicism and Social Science”
Panel Sixty: “Catholicism and the Law: Special Topics”
Panel Sixty-One: Staying the Course! A Tribute to Monsignor George A. Kelly”
Panel Sixty-Two: Attacked on All Fronts: How Secular Ideology is Marginalizing the Rule of Law and Catholic Contributions to Law and Society”
Panel Sixty-Three: The Impact of Catholic Bloggers: How They Are Becoming An Important Alternate Voice in Catholic Culture
Panel Sixty-Four: The Legacy of Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI and the Direction of the Church Universal
Panel Sixty-Five: Critiquing MacIntyre’s Critique of Liberalism
Panel Sixty-Six: Critical Issues in Catholic Education
Panel Sixty-Seven: Roundtable Discussion with the S.C.S.S. Sociology Disciplinary Section: “Developing a Sociology Textbook As a Companion Volume for the Compendium of Catholic Social Teachings”
Panel Sixty-Eight : Catholicism and Politics
Panel Sixty-Nine: Economics and Catholicism: III
Panel Seventy: The Use of Virtue in the Treatment of Psychological Disorders
Panel Seventy-One: What Catholics Need to Know About Islamic Jihad
Panel Seventy-Two: Strengthening Catholic Higher Education: A Roundtable Discussion

Saturday, September 08, 2007

New "Extraordinary Form" of the Mass on Long Island!!!!!!

Thanks to reader Anthony for pointing out this from Fr. McCartney, the pastor of St. Matthew in Dix Hills:

"For some four years now we have offered the Novus Ordo Mass (the Mass of Vatican II) celebrated in Latin each week with music provided by our Gregorian Schola. Because I have received so many letters from parishioners requesting the Tridentine Mass, I am happy to announce that the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass in the chapel will become a weekly Tridentine Mass. The first Mass of this “extraordinary form” of the liturgy will be celebrated by Msgr. Vincent Keane on Sunday, September 16, 2007. It will be a learning process for both priests and people, and there may be some bumps along the way. But I am very happy to be able to offer this Mass, so important in our Catholic tradition, to those who desire it. I have been studying the liturgy, and look forward to being able to celebrate the Mass myself soon."
Leticia Velasquez of Causa Nostrae Laetitia, who was aptly named a "dynamo of Catholic energy" by Oswaldo Sobrino, has created the Dr. Jerome Lejeune Society. The goals of the group are:

1. To provide support for parents of children with Down syndrome with the help of their Catholic faith, including a beautiful prayer which Dr Lejeune's daughter, Anouk Lejeune Meyer will send us.
2. To raise society's awareness of what beautiful children they are to lower the 90% abortion rate
3. To raise funds to support ongoing research to treat and to cure Down syndrome, like Fondacion Lejeune
4. To support Dr. Lejeune's cause for sainthood, by raising awareness of his contributions to the science of genetics, to the pro-life movement, and to raising the dignity of individuals with Down syndrome.

I read Life Is A Blessing, written by Dr. Lejeune's daughter and it was a wonderfully inspiring book. Here is the link to the Dr. Jerome Lejeune Foundation and a link to the Wikipedia article on him.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

THE SOCIETY OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
THE 15TH ANNUAL MEETING

Friday and Saturday, October 26-27, 2007

The St. John’s University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, Queens, New York 11439

This is going to be a huge event with dozens of panels and speakers. Anyone who wants to attend has to pay a $50 registration fee. You can email me for the details of how to register. I am not a member of the Society, however, I will be in a panel discussion on Catholic blogging. I will post more on that another time. Here are the panels on Friday:

Panel One: Italian American Catholic Studies
Panel Two: University Faculty for Life and Its Long Island Chapter: Goals, History, Activities, and Future
Panel Three: Eastern Catholicism in the United States
Panel Four: Key Issues Affecting the American Family, the Church, and the Nation
Panel Five: The Contributions of Dietrich von Hildebrand
Panel Six: The New Evangelization in the U.S
Panel Seven: The Contribution of Francis Canavan, S.J.
Panel Eight: Contemporary Catholicism Around the Globe
Panel Nine: “Today’s Culture and Its Effects on Psychotherapy Practice”
Panel Ten: Edith Stein: Saint and Feminist
Panel Eleven: Topics in Economics and Catholicism: I
Panel Twelve : Humble and Heroic: The Academic Career of Salvatore J. LaGumina
Panel Thirteen: Catholic Contributions in Providing Diversity Within Public Higher Education
Panel Fourteen: Evangelization Efforts in the Dioceses of Rockville Centre and Brooklyn
Panel Sixteen: The Campaign for the International Right to Abortion in International Institutions
Panel Seventeen: The Legacy of John Paul II
Panel Eighteen: Toward A Theology of Work
Panel Nineteen: Catholic Social Teaching Applied: Some Irish Contributions
Panel Twenty: Abortion, Contraception, and the Future of the Catholic Church in the United States: The Need for a Comprehensive and Authentic Program in Catholic Education and Communication
Panel Twenty-One: The Society of St. Vincent de Paul—Embracing All Works of Charity: Blessed Frederic Ozanam’s Legacy


Those are the panels for Friday after which the Keynote Address will be given by Dr. William Donohue of The Catholic League. Following that will be remarks by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver. Later I will post the panels for Saturday.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mullah Brother, meet Brother Death

"Berader, also known colloquially as Mullah Brother, was close to Taliban leader Mullah Omar. His death will come as a major blow to the Taliban hierarchy and follows the deaths of senior commander Mullah Dadullah Lang in May and the arrest of Defense Minister Mullah Obaidullah in Quetta, Pakistan in March."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Religious women lost prophetic place, but can regain relevance, Gen X nun says

“We are on the verge of extinction, not because of some cataclysmic event, but because for the last 30 years or so, we have slowly removed ourselves from church circles, and have failed to recognize when we were no longer needed as a work force, that perhaps the spirit had a new call for us.”

That quote is from Sr. Laurie Brink who spoke at the LCWR Assembly, that is the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a group of mostly old nuns who for the most part gave up being Catholic nuns years ago. Sr. Brink spoke positively about a group of former nuns who left the Catholic Church, which is all you need to know about her and this assembly.

This group is not to be confused with the younger, more orthodox group, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious. See this post at The Cafeteria if Closed for a brief shot of both groups.