Wednesday, December 31, 2008


May God bless all the readers of my blog in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Criminal Injustice

This new book is about the fight to free Marty Tankleff from jail over 17 years and the attempt to bring to justice the people who murdered his parents. For the interesting and infuriating details of the Tankleff case, see Marty Tankleff's website.
Presidential Pardons

President Bush pardoned and then revoked the pardon of con man Isaac Toussie. Whether Toussie's father's sudden donations to the Republican party sealed the deal, or the president did not really know the extent of his crimes involving poor people, it was obvious that the pardon was a major goof. Some have been reminded of President Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich which outraged even Clinton supporters. It would be good for more discussions on the need for pardons to be given out as acts of mercy for those who could use some mercy. This would be a much better use of this power than giving last minute, lame duck pardons of those who have strong lobbies pushing for them, or those who are wealthy or politically connected. Pardons, if used correctly, could assist justice, not work against it.

Donald DeMarco on the Relationship Between Mercy and Justice

"King Frederick William I (1688–1740). This German king once visited a prison where he listened intently to a number of pleas for pardon from prisoners who claimed to be victims of injustice. All swore they had suffered imprisonment on account of prejudiced judges, perjured witnesses, and unscrupulous lawyers. From cell to cell, allegations of wronged innocence and false imprisonment continued until the king came to the door of a cell occupied by a surly inmate who said nothing.
Surprised at his silence, Frederick remarked, somewhat sarcastically, “Well I suppose you are innocent too.” “No, your Majesty,” came the startling response. “I am guilty and richly deserve all that I get.” “Here, turnkey,” thundered Frederick, “come and get rid of this rascal quick, before he corrupts this fine lot of innocent people that you are responsible for.”

"Mercy must honor justice. It can be dispensed rightly only when the validity of justice is acknowledged. Similarly, forgiveness can be granted only when a transgression is acknowledged.
Mercy “does not destroy justice,” as Aquinas noted, “but is a certain kind of fulfillment of justice.” “Mercy without justice, he added, “is the mother of dissolution.”

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I just got home from dinner where we had heard a thud and felt a vibration, followed by many fire trucks speeding down a street. Apparently this is what happened -

Officials: Gas explosion levels Amityville house

Prayers go out in case anyone was home.....

UPDATE: I just saw on the 10 PM news that the family smelled gas and got out of the home before it blew up!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


My present to readers is this link to The Deacon Bench's Homily for Midnight Mass.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gregory Shemitz, whose photos often appear in the Long Island Catholic, notified me that his website has just been redesigned. The site looks very sharp and contains slideshows including the Funeral Mass for Cardinal Dulles and the recent ordination of transitional deacons. Check it out!

Although we are in the Season of Advent and the Christmas Season is approaching, the end of the calendar year is coming up so it is time to look back at 2008 in the Diocese of Rockville Centre:


There were 26 men ordained in the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 2008 as follows:

Nine men ordained to diocesan priesthood June 14

13 men ordained to permanent diaconate

4 men ordained transitional deacons

Catholic schools

St. Joseph's in Brentwood - it was announced this school is closing due to low enrollment

St. Anthony's in Huntington - the school opened its new chapel featuring a traditional style

St. Pius X in Uniondale - The Diocese seems to be getting ready to sell off this property although there has not been an official announcement. This school closed in 1983 but the building was being used to house retired priests, a health care clinic and was the site of the weekly traditional latin Mass.

Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington - Archbishop Demetrios, patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church in the U.S. spoke on St. Paul for the Pauline Year at the sixth annual Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua Lecture on Pastoral Theology

Voice of the Faithful

A Long Islander became the national head of the organization, which makes less and less news as it focuses even more on the same tired old ideas already done to death by Future Church and Call To Action. VOTF Long Island held their annual convention and it did not even register a blip on anyone's radar.

Diocese HQ

The Diocese created a Pastoral Council

Bishop Murphy issued a pastoral letter 'Do This In Memory Of Me' in which he called for an end to weekday communion services held in place of Mass.

Of interest to Catholics on Long Island:

Catholics in New York 1808 - 1946 Exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York ran from May to December

The murder of Marcello Lucero made international news and put the spotlight once again on Long Island's treatment of the (mostly Catholic) Latino immigrant community.

Friday, December 12, 2008

From the New York Times:

Cardinal Avery Dulles, Theologian, Is Dead at 90

"Cardinal Avery Dulles, a scion of diplomats and Presbyterians who converted to Roman Catholicism, rose to pre-eminence in Catholic theology and became the only American theologian ever appointed to the College of Cardinals, died today died Friday morning at Fordham University in the Bronx. He was 90. His death, at the Jesuit infirmary at the university, was confirmed by the New York Province of the Society of Jesus in Manhattan."

Cardinal Dulles, a professor of religion at Fordham University for the last 20 years, was a prolific author and lecturer and an elder statesman of Catholic theology in America. He was also the son of John Foster Dulles, the secretary of state under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the nephew of Allen Dulles, who guided European espionage during World War II and later directed the Central Intelligence Agency.

For more about Cardinal Dulles, see the Ratzinger Fan Club's Dulles page.
Transitional deacons ordained at seminary

"Taking a major step in their journey toward the priesthood, seminarians Michael Bartholomew, Janusz Mocarski and Harold Noviello were ordained transitional deacons by Bishop William Murphy during a special Mass Dec. 8 at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. Auxiliary Bishop Peter Libasci of Rockville Centre and Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of Brooklyn were among the concelebrants at the liturgy. The ordination of transitional deacons is traditionally held at the seminary on the Marian feast of the Immaculate Conception. "

A fourth seminarian, Gregory Rannazzisi, was ordained in St. Peter's Basilica, so God willing there will be 4 men ordained priests in June for the DRVC.
Former Episcopal priest (now Catholic priest) Fr. Dwight Longenecker writes on his blog of his parish school reviving the medieval custom of boy Bishop for the Feast of St. Nicholas.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Mastic man gets 19 years in deadly home invasion

"A Mastic man sentenced to 19 years to life in prison Friday for a deadly home invasion asked a judge why he was charged with murder when his fellow burglars had actually done the shooting.

"How come I have to take their fall?" Edwin Frazier, 20, asked Suffolk County Court Judge James Hudson in Riverhead. "I know I'm guilty of entering a home without permission, I know I'm guilty of holding a gun. I'm not guilty of killing anybody. Why couldn't I plead to a burglary charge?"

Frazier pleaded guilty Oct. 23 to second-degree murder in connection with a botched burglary that left three people dead in a Medford home last year. When certain kinds of felonies result in death, New York State law holds all who took part in the crime equally responsible." [emphasis mine]

It is good he will go to jail but sad that his sentence is a little longer than Eric Calace's sentence when Calace is the one who set the entire robbery up in the first place. Calace should have to serve more time, he will be out while still in his 30's and able to do more harm to society. What I find very interesting is that this NYS law is not being applied in the case of the murder of Marcello Lucero. Not all 7 are being charged with his murder. Anybody want to explain why?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rerum Novarum excerpt IX -

22. Therefore, those whom fortune favors are warned that riches do not bring freedom from sorrow and are of no avail for eternal happiness, but rather are obstacles;(9) that the rich should tremble at the threatenings of Jesus Christ - threatenings so unwonted in the mouth of our Lord(10) - and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for all we possess. The chief and most excellent rule for the right use of money is one the heathen philosophers hinted at, but which the Church has traced out clearly, and has not only made known to men's minds, but has impressed upon their lives. It rests on the principle that it is one thing to have a right to the possession of money and another to have a right to use money as one wills. Private ownership, as we have seen, is the natural right of man, and to exercise that right, especially as members of society, is not only lawful, but absolutely necessary. "It is lawful," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "for a man to hold private property; and it is also necessary for the carrying on of human existence."" But if the question be asked: How must one's possessions be used? - the Church replies without hesitation in the words of the same holy Doctor: "Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. Whence the Apostle with, ‘Command the rich of this world... to offer with no stint, to apportion largely.’"(12) True, no one is commanded to distribute to others that which is required for his own needs and those of his household; nor even to give away what is reasonably required to keep up becomingly his condition in life, "for no one ought to live other than becomingly."(13) But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one's standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. "Of that which remaineth, give alms."(14) It is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity - a duty not enforced by human law. But the laws and judgments of men must yield place to the laws and judgments of Christ the true God, who in many ways urges on His followers the practice of almsgiving - ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive";(15) and who will count a kindness done or refused to the poor as done or refused to Himself - "As long as you did it to one of My least brethren you did it to Me."(16) To sum up, then, what has been said: Whoever has received from the divine bounty a large share of temporal blessings, whether they be external and material, or gifts of the mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for the perfecting of his own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the steward of God's providence, for the benefit of others. "He that hath a talent," said St. Gregory the Great, "let him see that he hide it not; he that hath abundance, let him quicken himself to mercy and generosity; he that hath art and skill, let him do his best to share the use and the utility hereof with his neighbor."(17)

9). Matt. 19:23-24.
10). Luke 6:24-Z5.
11). Summa theologiae, IIa-IIae, q. lxvi, art. 2, Answer.
12). Ibid.
13). Ibid., q. xxxii, a. 6, Answer.
14). Luke 11:41.
15). Acts 20:35.
16). Matt.25:40.
17). Hom. in Evang., 9, n. 7 (PL 76, 1109B).

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Nun Vs. The Priest
In 'Doubt,' faith is put to a wrenching test of wills.

From Newsweek, a short interview with some people involved in the movie version of the play Doubt, including Meryl Streep. This sounded like a great play which I missed when it was showing in NY. Some snips:

"STREEP: You're a part of that team—the uniform of a nun is like a team jersey—and we all like that. I also found it interesting because it's sort of the second female boss I've played in a short time. People talk to me about "The Devil Wears Prada" and about the stern editor, and now I'm the stern headmaster. We have a very, I think, ambivalent attitude about women in power."

DAVIS: For me, Catholicism was such a sense of community and belonging and identity. I had nothing growing up. We were the first black family in our Rhode Island town. We were on the periphery. And to see all my friends in their white little first communion dresses, looking so cute and going to catechism—it was fabulous to me.

SHANLEY: Now the Catholic Church has its faults, but these dioceses, these church schools, these centers, provided a gravity which kept people from flying off into outer space. And we haven't really yet come up with a great substitute. The best we have is the Internet, that's the new community.
New Grand Rapids wireless cafe, the Catholic Information Center, seeks faithful customers

"GRAND RAPIDS --The coffee bar gleams and offers a variety of goodies. The chairs are inviting, and floor-to-ceiling windows allow plenty of natural light for reading.

Everyone is welcome to this latest entry into the wireless cafe world which offers what commercial places don't -- things that are free and low-key faith information.

The Catholic Information Center, on the second floor of Cathedral Square, doesn't charge anything for the coffee, the goodies, or the Internet service. It also offers -- but doesn't force on people -- reading materials on the Catholic faith. "

I found this story on Whispers in the Loggia. The Info Center looks very nice, just what is needed here on Long Island. I hope someone will run with this here. I know the idea was floated around the DRVC with the intention of locating it in a mall. I have hundreds of good quality books that would be great for a center. The Catholic Information Center in Washington D.C. would be a good model to follow. A place for orthodox faith, for apologetics, socialization, discussion, coffee, music, etc.. is just what we need here. I do not think the coffee and food would have to be free however - as the mobster Barzini said in the Godfather: "After all, we are not communists".

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Be on the Watch: Advent and the Coming(s) of the Lord

For the first Sunday of Advent I went to Mass at a local parish. There was no procession at the start of Mass, the priest and deacon just took their seats in the sanctuary before Mass, joking and talking to each other, and then the Opening Hymn started. What possible reason could a priest have for skipping an opening procession?
Global AIDS crisis overblown? Some dare to say so

I am glad to see this article in Newsweek as I have thought this for some years now. The political correct police have insisted for years that AIDS was a disease that affected everyone and everyone was at risk to get it, yet many more people are affected by cancer. Although the situation in Africa is still bad, the truth is other problems are worse than AIDS, and the excessive funding of AIDS means money is not going to other real problems. Some snips from the article:

"(LONDON) As World AIDS Day is marked on Monday, some experts are growing more outspoken in complaining that AIDS is eating up funding at the expense of more pressing health needs.

They argue that the world has entered a post-AIDS era in which the disease's spread has largely been curbed in much of the world, Africa excepted.

Roger England of Health Systems Workshop, a think tank based in the Caribbean island of Grenada, goes further. He argues that UNAIDS, the U.N. agency leading the fight against the disease, has outlived its purpose and should be disbanded.

By 2006, AIDS funding accounted for 80 percent of all American aid for health and population issues, according to the Global Health Council.

In a 2006 report, Rwandan officials noted a "gross misallocation of resources" in health: $47 million went to HIV, $18 million went to malaria, the country's biggest killer, and $1 million went to childhood illnesses.

AIDS advocates say their projects do more than curb the virus; their efforts strengthen other health programs by providing basic health services.
But across Africa, about 1.5 million doctors and nurses are still needed, and hospitals regularly run out of basic medicines"

I recently read "The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS" and probably came to the exact opposite opinion than what the author had hoped for: AIDS funding is not as needed as much as funding for other diseases, and it does not affect as wide a range of people as the p.c. crowd would have us believe.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Culture of Death on Long Island

Worker dies in crush of shoppers at Green Acres Mall

"According to detectives, Queens resident Jdimytai Damour suffered an undetermined death when shoppers knocked him to the ground of the Wal-Mart. The man was transported to the hospital where he died around 6 a.m. His exact cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner."

"Police describe the scene as "utter chaos." When fellow Wal-Mart workers tried to help Damour, they were shoved and pushed by customers, as were police when they arrived. "

"Police say a 28-year-old pregnant woman, as well as three other shoppers, were injured at the mall and taken to hospitals."

I pray for the day when Long Island will make national news for something good but I will not hold my breath. I would never go anywhere near this Mall, which was the site of a Christmas Eve shooting in a movie in which one person was killed, to list just one of many crimes that have occured there. Imagine the kind of life these people must live to line up at 4 AM to charge into a Wal-Mart for so called bargains.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The muslims continue to be violent, as they have since the days of their perverted founder:

Cardinal of Mumbai: 'Criminal Acts Against a Courageous City'

"Sorrow for the terrible attack which has devastated the city and the nation, and condemnation of the folly of this “senseless logic of violence”, fed by “brainwashing” that is provoked by ideologies: this is how Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai reacts to the terrorist attack in an interview with AsiaNews. "

Actually Cardinal, these people are evil and follow a false religion.

Thousands of Muslims Attack Coptic Church in Cairo

"Several thousand Muslims have attacked the Coptic church of the Virgin Mary in West Ain Shams, in the suburbs of Cairo. 800 faithful attending the first liturgy remained barricaded inside the church. "

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rerum Novarum excerpt VIII -

After discussing the duties that both working class and the rich have towards each other:

"21. But the Church, with Jesus Christ as her Master and Guide, aims higher still. She lays down precepts yet more perfect, and tries to bind class to class in friendliness and good feeling. The things of earth cannot be understood or valued aright without taking into consideration the life to come, the life that will know no death. Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish; nay, the whole scheme of the universe would become a dark and unfathomable mystery. The great truth which we learn from nature herself is also the grand Christian dogma on which religion rests as on its foundation - that, when we have given up this present life, then shall we really begin to live. God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place. As for riches and the other things which men call good and desirable, whether we have them in abundance, or are lacking in them-so far as eternal happiness is concerned - it makes no difference; the only important thing is to use them aright. Jesus Christ, when He redeemed us with plentiful redemption, took not away the pains and sorrows which in such large proportion are woven together in the web of our mortal life. He transformed them into motives of virtue and occasions of merit; and no man can hope for eternal reward unless he follow in the blood-stained footprints of his Saviour. "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him."(7) Christ's labors and sufferings, accepted of His own free will, have marvellously sweetened all suffering and all labor. And not only by His example, but by His grace and by the hope held forth of everlasting recompense, has He made pain and grief more easy to endure; "for that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory."(8)

7). 2 Tim. 2:12.
8). 2 Cor. 4:17.
Proof that white trash are too stupid to learn:

Police: Youths harass Hispanic men in Patchogue

The amazing thing about the Marcello Lucero murder case is how many of the Patchogue and Medford teens seem annoyed at the idea that their friends are racists. They all seem to be saying: Hey they like to mug people, violently attack them for fun, and beat people that are weak in society, but they are not racist God forbid! This NY Times article quotes some of them and also adds this:

"Mr. Conroy was the best known of the defendants and, according to prosecutors, the leader of the group. He was on the school’s lacrosse and wrestling teams, according to his friends, and his lawyer, William J. Keahon, said he had received “a number” of offers of college athletic scholarships."

I would like to know what colleges offered this punk scholarships? Have these offers now been rescinded? I think that if colleges offer scholarships to jocks, at the expense of scholars, then they should have to explain themselves.
Former Southold charity director gets prison for thefts

In the above article from Newsday this criminal's lawyer claims it is the Catholic Church's fault that his client stole money:

"Winterbottom's attorney, William Goggins of Mattituck, blamed the diocese for his client's legal problems. He said Winterbottom was hired to run the center though she had no experience running a business, "lacks a formal education and had a gambling addiction."

"The problem with this case is that the Catholic Church has failed to take responsibility for its malfeasance," he said in a statement to Newsday. " . . . [The church] waited five years before performing an audit."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rerum Novarum excerpt VII -
On the duties the rich and working class have towards each other:

"20. Of these duties, the following bind the proletarian and the worker: fully and faithfully to perform the work which has been freely and equitably agreed upon; never to injure the property, nor to outrage the person, of an employer; never to resort to violence in defending their own cause, nor to engage in riot or disorder; and to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss. The following duties bind the wealthy owner and the employer: not to look upon their work people as their bondsmen, but to respect in every man his dignity as a person ennobled by Christian character. They are reminded that, according to natural reason and Christian philosophy, working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honorable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers - that is truly shameful and inhuman. Again justice demands that, in dealing with the working man, religion and the good of his soul must be kept in mind. Hence, the employer is bound to see that the worker has time for his religious duties; that he be not exposed to corrupting influences and dangerous occasions; and that he be not led away to neglect his home and family, or to squander his earnings. Furthermore, the employer must never tax his work people beyond their strength, or employ them in work unsuited to their sex and age. His great and principal duty is to give every one what is just. Doubtless, before deciding whether wages axe fair, many things have to be considered; but wealthy owners and all masters of labor should be mindful of this - that to exercise pressure upon the indigent and the destitute for the sake of gain, and to gather one's profit out of the need of another, is condemned by all laws, human and divine. To defraud any one of wages that are his due is a great crime which cries to the avenging anger of Heaven. "Behold, the hire of the laborers... which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth; and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth."(6) Lastly, the rich must religiously refrain from cutting down the workmen's earnings, whether by force, by fraud, or by usurious dealing; and with all the greater reason because the laboring man is, as a rule, weak and unprotected, and because his slender means should in proportion to their scantiness be accounted sacred. Were these precepts carefully obeyed and followed out, would they not be sufficient of themselves to keep under all strife and all its causes?"
The murder of Marcello Lucero continues to shake things up here in Suffolk County:

"Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said yesterday that he wasn't getting the information he needed from former Fifth Precinct Commander Salvatore Manno so he stripped him of his command."

It had to do with the whole issue of getting the information, the proper information that I needed in a timely manner," said Dormer, who on Monday replaced Manno with Insp. Aristides Mojica. "I was getting different stories at different times. I wanted to get a handle on this stuff.

"Dormer said he selected Mojica because he is Hispanic, adding that the appointment "clearly sends a strong [message] to the community that I have taken the incidents that occurred in Patchogue very seriously."

Hopefully, this will be just the first step to improving the Suffolk County Police Department's record on violence against latinos. Violence in this county is out of control as it is and the police need to get to work.
Scores killed in Mumbai rampage

It looks like Westerners were targeted meaning it is most likely the work of muslims. However, India is the site of the worst anti-Christian violence around the globe right now. Hopefully, this latest violence will force India to take action against both muslims and hindus until the violence stops. Meanwhile, I hope no westerners go to India for a few years and I hope that any US businesses who use call centers in India will immediately stop using them. Think about it, some of the people who answer the phone when you dial a 1-800 number may be behind the anti-Christian violence.

India church: 50,000 flee anti-Christian clashes

100 die in anti-Christian attacks in India
From Newsday:

Judge: Thefts by ex-leader of charity 'an abomination'

"It was a losing bet.

And the final payout came down Wednesday for Pauline Winterbottom in a Riverhead courtroom."

"The former director of a Catholic charity was sentenced to 3-to-9 years in state prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $700,000 for stealing money from the church-administered program to buy lottery tickets.

"This case is an abomination," Suffolk County Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo said in handing out the sentence in his Riverhead courtroom. "You stole from a charity."

I am glad to see she will serve prison time. Now I would love to see a full investigation into how someone could take $700,000 from this organization. The least this organization could do is write up a full investigation into how this happened and what measures they will take to make sure it never happens again. This full report should be printed up in The Long Island. I also hope this woman has some assets that could be seized so the $700,000 could be paid back.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I was reading The Long Island Press this morning at the bagel shop and appreciated their guide to local businesses -KIOLA (Keep It On Long Island). I was surprised to see a full page ad by Tony Alamo blaming the One World Government and the Catholic Church (which I believe he sees as the same thing) for his recent arrest on child rape charges. Anyone who has ever heard of this anti-Catholic bigot should be glad he is finally under serious charges that may land him in jail for the rest of his life. For more info on this whacko, please see here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I have not posted about Faith on Tap lately, here is Monday's session:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Conscience: Form it and Follow it

Speaker: Fr. Joseph Koterski, S.J., Fordham U. Professor , Department of Philosophy

Wantagh Inn - across from the Wantagh RR Station.
7 to 9 pm

Free Admission!
Deacon Anthony Giambalvo RIP

"Anthony Giambalvo, a dentist who helped found a dental clinic treating AIDS/HIV patients at the height of the AIDS epidemic, died Tuesday of cancer at Christa House, a hospice in West Babylon. He was 75 and had lived in Commack.

A Roman Catholic deacon since 1979, he was asked by Catholic Charities to start the AIDS clinic in their Freeport offices in 1986. When he left seven years later, the clinic, now in a newly constructed wing, was named after him.

Laura A. Cassell, chief executive of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Rockville Centre, said, "Tony had the genuine compassion to see the need in the HIV population and the rare courage to respond when no one else would."

Denise Giambalvo, 42, of Portland, Ore., one of his six children, said that some in her father's profession actually shunned him for his work.
"At that time, people thought you could get AIDS by touching someone, and dentists didn't want to treat AIDS patients," she said, even as others "respected him a great deal and learned from him."
Rerum Novarum excerpt VI -

on class conflict

19. The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration is to take up with the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and that the wealthy and the working men are intended by nature to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view that the direct contrary is the truth. Just as the symmetry of the human frame is the result of the suitable arrangement of the different parts of the body, so in a State is it ordained by nature that these two classes should dwell in harmony and agreement, so as to maintain the balance of the body politic. Each needs the other: capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital. Mutual agreement results in the beauty of good order, while perpetual conflict necessarily produces confusion and savage barbarity. Now, in preventing such strife as this, and in uprooting it, the efficacy of Christian institutions is marvellous and manifold. First of all, there is no intermediary more powerful than religion (whereof the Church is the interpreter and guardian) in drawing the rich and the working class together, by reminding each of its duties to the other, and especially of the obligations of justice.
Rerum Novarum excerpt V:

"17. It must be first of all recognized that the condition of things inherent in human affairs must be borne with, for it is impossible to reduce civil society to one dead level. Socialists may in that intent do their utmost, but all striving against nature is in vain. There naturally exist among mankind manifold differences of the most important kind; people differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition. Such unequality is far from being disadvantageous either to individuals or to the community. Social and public life can only be maintained by means of various kinds of capacity for business and the playing of many parts; and each man, as a rule, chooses the part which suits his own peculiar domestic condition. As regards bodily labor, even had man never fallen from the state of innocence, he would not have remained wholly idle; but that which would then have been his free choice and his delight became afterwards compulsory, and the painful expiation for his disobedience. "Cursed be the earth in thy work; in thy labor thou shalt eat of it all the days of thy life."(5)

18. In like manner, the other pains and hardships of life will have no end or cessation on earth; for the consequences of sin are bitter and hard to bear, and they must accompany man so long as life lasts. To suffer and to endure, therefore, is the lot of humanity; let them strive as they may, no strength and no artifice will ever succeed in banishing from human life the ills and troubles which beset it. If any there are who pretend differently - who hold out to a hard-pressed people the boon of freedom from pain and trouble, an undisturbed repose, and constant enjoyment - they delude the people and impose upon them, and their lying promises will only one day bring forth evils worse than the present. Nothing is more useful than to look upon the world as it really is, and at the same time to seek elsewhere, as We have said, for the solace to its troubles.

5). Gen. 3:17.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Charge in hate-slay upgraded to murder
Teens attacked another Hispanic man before Marcelo Lucero was stabbed to death, according to indictment

This is a positive development in this awful, violent hate crime. However, the reaction of some of the community of Patchogue-Medford has been the typical 'blame the media' that was seen when the Mempham High football players were exposed for raping younger players.

State: Patchogue-Medford wrong to force reporter out

Often, people (particularly uneducated ones) react to the media spotlight negatively with little to no regard for the importance of educating the wider public about serious matters. This situation should be a wake-up call for people who may not realize what their young people are doing with their time. Parents, educators and community leaders should insist that this incident will be a major focus of attention for years so that something like this (or the Mepham rapes) will never occur again. Instead of having a Newsday reporter removed from a meeting, the community should invite anyone to ask questions and seek the truth.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rerum Novarum excerpt IV -
continuing on the idea of government control of families and takover of land:

"15. And in addition to injustice, it is only too evident what an upset and disturbance there would be in all classes, and to how intolerable and hateful a slavery citizens would be subjected. The door would be thrown open to envy, to mutual invective, and to discord; the sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his talents or his industry; and that ideal equality about which they entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the levelling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation. Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. This being established, we proceed to show where the remedy sought for must be found. "

"16. We approach the subject with confidence, and in the exercise of the rights which manifestly appertain to Us, for no practical solution of this question will be found apart from the intervention of religion and of the Church. It is We who are the chief guardian of religion and the chief dispenser of what pertains to the Church; and by keeping silence we would seem to neglect the duty incumbent on us. Doubtless, this most serious question demands the attention and the efforts of others besides ourselves - to wit, of the rulers of States, of employers of labor, of the wealthy, aye, of the working classes themselves, for whom We are pleading. But We affirm without hesitation that all the striving of men will be vain if they leave out the Church. It is the Church that insists, on the authority of the Gospel, upon those teachings whereby the conflict can be brought to an end, or rendered, at least, far less bitter; the Church uses her efforts not only to enlighten the mind, but to direct by her precepts the life and conduct of each and all; the Church improves and betters the condition of the working man by means of numerous organizations; does her best to enlist the services of all classes in discussing and endeavoring to further in the most practical way, the interests of the working classes; and considers that for this purpose recourse should be had, in due measure and degree, to the intervention of the law and of State authority. "

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Catholic blog comment of the year award goes to Fr. Phillip Neri Powell, O.P. for his response to this post at Mark Shea's Catholic and Enjoying It! -

"A reader writes:

I just got home after a disheartening experience at a work function. A nun railed on me about not voting for Obama, then my views on abortion, and then the Catechism of the Catholic Church (read: it's "outdated" and "needs to be reformed"). I respected her tremendously and am disappointed beyond belief. To make matters worse, a co-worker who is vehemently anti-Catholic, started in on me too, because, you know, I don't think women should be priests, etc. etc. She's the same co-worker who, offended at our practice of closed communion, referred to the Eucharist as "just a hunk of bread."

I tried to be civil, and attempted to end a futile conversation with, "Well, we're just going to have to disagree", after it became obviously clear all of my arguments were being dismissed as "outdated." But they persisted, so I left the function early and went for a long walk in the cold night air.

I need prayers now, for the strength to face these people again, for the souls of both the nun and my co-worker who are clearly misguided, and as I being a much-needed job search to find something a little less obviously hostile to my beliefs.

If you and your readers could do that, I'd be grateful. 2008 has come to a spectacularly disasterous end and I'm pretty much fed up with everything."

The workplace referred to was a Catholic women's college.

Fr. Powell's comment was:
"I've had to note many times lately to my readers that I've taken vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
There ain't no %$#@ vow of nice.
I think the time for "being sweet" to the enemy is last past..."
On the way home from work I heard about this from NPR - YET ANOTHER stem cell breakthrough:

Woman Gets New Windpipe Using Her Own Stem Cells

"- A Spanish woman made medical history recently by receiving a new windpipe which had been grown from her own stem cells. The announcement has brought tremendous excitement among the pro-life as well as medical communities. The former group cited this as additional evidence that adult stem cell research, which is in complete accord with catholic social teaching, is producing real results. "

Day after day I am seeing breakthroughs that are actually helping people NOW using adult stem cells, and yet all we hear are calls for embryonic stem cell research.
Rerum Novarum excerpt III -
On the family

"11. With reason, then, the common opinion of mankind, little affected by the few dissentients who have contended for the opposite view, has found in the careful study of nature, and in the laws of nature, the foundations of the division of property, and the practice of all ages has consecrated the principle of private ownership, as being pre-eminently in conformity with human nature, and as conducing in the most unmistakable manner to the peace and tranquillity of human existence. The same principle is confirmed and enforced by the civil laws-laws which, so long as they are just, derive from the law of nature their binding force. The authority of the divine law adds its sanction, forbidding us in severest terms even to covet that which is another's: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife; nor his house, nor his field, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is his."(2)

12. The rights here spoken of, belonging to each individual man, are seen in much stronger light when considered in relation to man's social and domestic obligations. In choosing a state of life, it is indisputable that all are at full liberty to follow the counsel of Jesus Christ as to observing virginity, or to bind themselves by the marriage tie. No human law can abolish the natural and original right of marriage, nor in any way limit the chief and principal purpose of marriage ordained by God's authority from the beginning: "Increase and multiply."(3) Hence we have the family, the "society" of a man's house - a society very small, one must admit, but none the less a true society, and one older than any State. Consequently, it has rights and duties peculiar to itself which are quite independent of the State.

13. That right to property, therefore, which has been proved to belong naturally to individual persons, must in like wise belong to a man in his capacity of head of a family; nay, that right is all the stronger in proportion as the human person receives a wider extension in the family group. It is a most sacred law of nature that a father should provide food and all necessaries for those whom he has begotten; and, similarly, it is natural that he should wish that his children, who carry on, so to speak, and continue his personality, should be by him provided with all that is needful to enable them to keep themselves decently from want and misery amid the uncertainties of this mortal life. Now, in no other way can a father effect this except by the ownership of productive property, which he can transmit to his children by inheritance. A family, no less than a State, is, as We have said, a true society, governed by an authority peculiar to itself, that is to say, by the authority of the father. Provided, therefore, the limits which are prescribed by the very purposes for which it exists be not transgressed, the family has at least equal rights with the State in the choice and pursuit of the things needful to its preservation and its just liberty. We say, "at least equal rights"; for, inasmuch as the domestic household is antecedent, as well in idea as in fact, to the gathering of men into a community, the family must necessarily have rights and duties which are prior to those of the community, and founded more immediately in nature. If the citizens, if the families on entering into association and fellowship, were to experience hindrance in a commonwealth instead of help, and were to find their rights attacked instead of being upheld, society would rightly be an object of detestation rather than of desire.

14. The contention, then, that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the family and the household is a great and pernicious error. True, if a family finds itself in exceeding distress, utterly deprived of the counsel of friends, and without any prospect of extricating itself, it is right that extreme necessity be met by public aid, since each family is a part of the commonwealth. In like manner, if within the precincts of the household there occur grave disturbance of mutual rights, public authority should intervene to force each party to yield to the other its proper due; for this is not to deprive citizens of their rights, but justly and properly to safeguard and strengthen them. But the rulers of the commonwealth must go no further; here, nature bids them stop. Paternal authority can be neither abolished nor absorbed by the State; for it has the same source as human life itself. "The child belongs to the father," and is, as it were, the continuation of the father's personality; and speaking strictly, the child takes its place in civil society, not of its own right, but in its quality as member of the family in which it is born. And for the very reason that "the child belongs to the father" it is, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, "before it attains the use of free will, under the power and the charge of its parents."(4) The socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and destroy the structure of the home. "

2). Deut. 5:21.
3). Gen. 1:28.
4). Summa theologiae, IIa-IIae, q. x, art. 12, Answer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rerum Novarum excerpt II -
On private property

"7. This becomes still more clearly evident if man's nature be considered a little more deeply. For man, fathoming by his faculty of reason matters without number, linking the future with the present, and being master of his own acts, guides his ways under the eternal law and the power of God, whose providence governs all things. Wherefore, it is in his power to exercise his choice not only as to matters that regard his present welfare, but also about those which he deems may be for his advantage in time yet to come. Hence, man not only should possess the fruits of the earth, but also the very soil, inasmuch as from the produce of the earth he has to lay by provision for the future. Man's needs do not die out, but forever recur; although satisfied today, they demand fresh supplies for tomorrow. Nature accordingly must have given to man a source that is stable and remaining always with him, from which he might look to draw continual supplies. And this stable condition of things he finds solely in the earth and its fruits. There is no need to bring in the State. Man precedes the State, and possesses, prior to the formation of any State, the right of providing for the substance of his body.

8. The fact that God has given the earth for the use and enjoyment of the whole human race can in no way be a bar to the owning of private property. For God has granted the earth to mankind in general, not in the sense that all without distinction can deal with it as they like, but rather that no part of it was assigned to any one in particular, and that the limits of private possession have been left to be fixed by man's own industry, and by the laws of individual races. Moreover, the earth, even though apportioned among private owners, ceases not thereby to minister to the needs of all, inasmuch as there is not one who does not sustain life from what the land produces. Those who do not possess the soil contribute their labor; hence, it may truly be said that all human subsistence is derived either from labor on one's own land, or from some toil, some calling, which is paid for either in the produce of the land itself, or in that which is exchanged for what the land brings forth.

9. Here, again, we have further proof that private ownership is in accordance with the law of nature. Truly, that which is required for the preservation of life, and for life's well-being, is produced in great abundance from the soil, but not until man has brought it into cultivation and expended upon it his solicitude and skill. Now, when man thus turns the activity of his mind and the strength of his body toward procuring the fruits of nature, by such act he makes his own that portion of nature's field which he cultivates - that portion on which he leaves, as it were, the impress of his personality; and it cannot but be just that he should possess that portion as his very own, and have a right to hold it without any one being justified in violating that right.

10. So strong and convincing are these arguments that it seems amazing that some should now be setting up anew certain obsolete opinions in opposition to what is here laid down. They assert that it is right for private persons to have the use of the soil and its various fruits, but that it is unjust for any one to possess outright either the land on which he has built or the estate which he has brought under cultivation. But those who deny these rights do not perceive that they are defrauding man of what his own labor has produced. For the soil which is tilled and cultivated with toil and skill utterly changes its condition; it was wild before, now it is fruitful; was barren, but now brings forth in abundance. That which has thus altered and improved the land becomes so truly part of itself as to be in great measure indistinguishable and inseparable from it. Is it just that the fruit of a man's own sweat and labor should be possessed and enjoyed by any one else? As effects follow their cause, so is it just and right that the results of labor should belong to those who have bestowed their labor.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yesterday at Mass one of the prayers of the faithful was for Marcelo Lucero. Bishop Murphy asked all parishes to include this prayer in the Masses yesterday. Also, Lucero was remembered at Masses in Patchogue, Riverhead, and Ecuador: (from Newsday)

A message of unity in Long Island's Catholic churches

"Inside St. Francis De Sales Church Sunday, where more than 400 people flocked to hear Sunday Mass celebrated in Marcelo Lucero's name, his brother, Joselo, sat alone in a front pew, a single red rose in his hand."

"Christ went through the same thing," said Lucero, 40, Marcelo's sister. "He was punished and killed for an unjust reason."

At immigrants' Mass, a call for forgiveness amid sorrow

"Hundreds of immigrants gathered for an annual Mass celebrating their contributions to America were urged to summon forgiveness amid mourning the death of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean killed in Patchogue a week earlier in what police have termed a crime of hate.The Rev. John Dunne, auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, called upon the "great grace of the immigrants here on Long Island" as he delivered the message during the Diocese of Rockville Centre's annual "Immigrants of Yesterday and Today" liturgy at Bishop McGann Mercy Diocesan High School in Riverhead. About 500 people from 60 countries attended."

Lucero's family hosts Mass at home he helped build

"GUALACEO, ECUADOR - Close to 300 people gathered for a Mass on the cobblestone street in front of the house Marcelo Lucero built for his mother and was promising to move to after 15 years away from his homeland."
Rerum Novarum Excerpt I -
This part talks about socialism and why the socialist way is not correct:

"4. To remedy these wrongs the socialists, working on the poor man's envy of the rich, are striving to do away with private property, and contend that individual possessions should become the common property of all, to be administered by the State or by municipal bodies. They hold that by thus transferring property from private individuals to the community, the present mischievous state of things will be set to rights, inasmuch as each citizen will then get his fair share of whatever there is to enjoy. But their contentions are so clearly powerless to end the controversy that were they carried into effect the working man himself would be among the first to suffer. They are, moreover, emphatically unjust, for they would rob the lawful possessor, distort the functions of the State, and create utter confusion in the community.

5. It is surely undeniable that, when a man engages in remunerative labor, the impelling reason and motive of his work is to obtain property, and thereafter to hold it as his very own. If one man hires out to another his strength or skill, he does so for the purpose of receiving in return what is necessary for the satisfaction of his needs; he therefore expressly intends to acquire a right full and real, not only to the remuneration, but also to the disposal of such remuneration, just as he pleases. Thus, if he lives sparingly, saves money, and, for greater security, invests his savings in land, the land, in such case, is only his wages under another form; and, consequently, a working man's little estate thus purchased should be as completely at his full disposal as are the wages he receives for his labor. But it is precisely in such power of disposal that ownership obtains, whether the property consist of land or chattels. Socialists, therefore, by endeavoring to transfer the possessions of individuals to the community at large, strike at the interests of every wage-earner, since they would deprive him of the liberty of disposing of his wages, and thereby of all hope and possibility of increasing his resources and of bettering his condition in life.

6. What is of far greater moment, however, is the fact that the remedy they propose is manifestly against justice. For, every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own. This is one of the chief points of distinction between man and the animal creation, for the brute has no power of self direction, but is governed by two main instincts, which keep his powers on the alert, impel him to develop them in a fitting manner, and stimulate and determine him to action without any power of choice. One of these instincts is self preservation, the other the propagation of the species. Both can attain their purpose by means of things which lie within range; beyond their verge the brute creation cannot go, for they are moved to action by their senses only, and in the special direction which these suggest. But with man it is wholly different. He possesses, on the one hand, the full perfection of the animal being, and hence enjoys at least as much as the rest of the animal kind, the fruition of things material. But animal nature, however perfect, is far from representing the human being in its completeness, and is in truth but humanity's humble handmaid, made to serve and to obey. It is the mind, or reason, which is the predominant element in us who are human creatures; it is this which renders a human being human, and distinguishes him essentially from the brute. And on this very account - that man alone among the animal creation is endowed with reason - it must be within his right to possess things not merely for temporary and momentary use, as other living things do, but to have and to hold them in stable and permanent possession; he must have not only things that perish in the use, but those also which, though they have been reduced into use, continue for further use in after time. "

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rerum Novarum Intro

I first read Rerum Novarum a couple of years ago and meant to list some excerpts from it but have decided to do so now for the following reasons: 1) The economy is a mess 2) The murder of Marcello Lucero reminds me that people are still suffering trying to make a simple living 3) I enjoy reading the Encyclicals from past centuries as the writing is so clear and interesting 4) I just starting reading Autobiography of a Campaigner for Christ by David Goldstein, a Catholic convert and former socialist.

So here is the introductory part of Rerum Novarum, the entire thing can be read here.

"That the spirit of revolutionary change, which has long been disturbing the nations of the world, should have passed beyond the sphere of politics and made its influence felt in the cognate sphere of practical economics is not surprising. The elements of the conflict now raging are unmistakable, in the vast expansion of industrial pursuits and the marvellous discoveries of science; in the changed relations between masters and workmen; in the enormous fortunes of some few individuals, and the utter poverty of the masses; the increased self reliance and closer mutual combination of the working classes; as also, finally, in the prevailing moral degeneracy. The momentous gravity of the state of things now obtaining fills every mind with painful apprehension; wise men are discussing it; practical men are proposing schemes; popular meetings, legislatures, and rulers of nations are all busied with it - actually there is no question which has taken deeper hold on the public mind."

"2. Therefore, venerable brethren, as on former occasions when it seemed opportune to refute false teaching, We have addressed you in the interests of the Church and of the common weal, and have issued letters bearing on political power, human liberty, the Christian constitution of the State, and like matters, so have We thought it expedient now to speak on the condition of the working classes.(1) It is a subject on which We have already touched more than once, incidentally. But in the present letter, the responsibility of the apostolic office urges Us to treat the question of set purpose and in detail, in order that no misapprehension may exist as to the principles which truth and justice dictate for its settlement. The discussion is not easy, nor is it void of danger. It is no easy matter to define the relative rights and mutual duties of the rich and of the poor, of capital and of labor. And the danger lies in this, that crafty agitators are intent on making use of these differences of opinion to pervert men's judgments and to stir up the people to revolt."

3. In any case we clearly see, and on this there is general agreement, that some opportune remedy must be found quickly for the misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working class: for the ancient workingmen's guilds were abolished in the last century, and no other protective organization took their place. Public institutions and the laws set aside the ancient religion. Hence, by degrees it has come to pass that working men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition. The mischief has been increased by rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different guise, but with like injustice, still practiced by covetous and grasping men. To this must be added that the hiring of labor and the conduct of trade are concentrated in the hands of comparatively few; so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself. "

1). The title sometimes given to this encyclical, On the Condiction of the Working Classes, is therefore perfectly justified. A few lines after this sentence, the Pope gives a more comprehensive definition of the subject of Rerum novarum. We are using it as a title.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

From the Long Island Wins site:

"The seven men charged with being members of the lynch mob that murdered Marcello Lucero are each individuals. Each one had his own distinct level of culpability or innocense in the commission of this crime. The justice system provides a forum for the law to assign responsibility and determine punishment.
The families and friends of each man are trying to differentiate the individual they knew from the act that was committed. Many are telling the press that their particular defendent was not really involved, didn't know the others, or was simply following the crowd. Experience teaches that that may be true to a lesser or greater degree, but that some of the men described as
"good kids" were throwing out warning signals for months or even years.
In this post I want to look at a few of the men accused of killing Lucero.

Jeffrey Conroy is accused of delivering Marcello Lucero's death blow. He was a star athelete and the police believe he led the attackers.
Jeff Conroy's girlfriend broke off with him when she found he had a
Nazi tattoo on his thigh. When she confronted him about it, he said "It's what I believe in."
He was known at school for getting into fights with Latinos and fellow students described him as having a problem with "illegals".
Chris Overton was arrested when he was fifteen for a home invasion by himself and other teens in which an African American man was murdered. Overton, who is White, was not charged in the death and the killing was not treated as a hate crime by Suffolk authorities. The killing drew particular attention because the dead man was found with his young son sleeping on his chest in the backyard of the house.
After Overton's arrest in the Lucero case, a
family friend said that the implication that this was race based was "unfair".
Jordan Dasch has been described as a
"typical Long Island" teen. As this site documented, his public myspace pages included Nazi emblems and he described himself as "Nazi Jew". He also described his desire to kill Arabs.

To read the entire article click here:

"Good Boys"?
By Patrick Young CARECEN

The article also quotes a teen saying teens liked to go out mugging people for fun and latinos were often targeted. I would like to hear what the Suffolk County Police are doing about this. I would also like to hear what the Patchogue-Medford school district is doing about this.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Diocese of Rockville Centre has this on their webpage:

Statement on Marcello Lucero

Upon learning of the tragic death of Marcello Lucero, Bishop William Murphy, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, offered Mass for him and his family.

Bishop Murphy, who was participating in the Catholic/Jewish Liaison Committee Meeting in Budapest, Hungary, is deeply saddened by this senseless crime. While deploring violence, especially when it is racially motivated, the bishop said that this is a time for calm and healing in our communities. He has directed every parish in the diocese to include prayers for the deceased, his family and all those affected by this tragedy. “My prayer and the prayer of the whole diocese is for the families directly affected and for a renewal of mutual respect that eschews violence in all of our communities on Long Island,” Bishop Murphy said.

As an expression of oneness in grieving, in sorrow and in hope, Bishop Peter A. Libasci, auxiliary bishop and Episcopal Vicar of the Eastern Vicariate will come to St. Francis De Sales parish on Sunday, November 16, 2008. He will offer Mass in Spanish at 12:30 p.m.

St. Francis De Sales Parish
7 Amity Street
Patchogue, NY 11772
The Traditional Latin Mass on Long Island

Starting Sunday, November 30th, the Mass in the extraordinary form that was offered at St. Pius Chapel in Uniondale will now be moved to St. Ladislaus Church in Hempstead. The time will be changed to 9 AM. So, the 4 locations for Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form on Long Island are:

  1. St. Ladislaus in Hempstead @ 9 AM (beginning 11/30)
  2. Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa Park @ 1:30 PM (beginning 11/30)
  3. St. Matthew's in Dix Hills @ 9 AM (in the chapel)
  4. Sacred Heart in Cutchogue @ 3 PM

This is a vast improvement from the days when the Diocese offered only once a month Masses in Uniondale and Cutchogue. Now, does anyone know where I can go to Mass on Long Island in the ordinary form and hear latin, chant, solid orthodox homilies and pray a reverent Mass in a traditional Church? That would be a vast improvement also, but if anyone knows a parish that would come close to this please let me know. I am happy with the Masses where I attend but am always on the lookout for good Liturgy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prosecuting Johns
Why allowing Eliot Spitzer to break the law is a mistake.

This is a good opinion piece in Newsweek on the former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer. The former 'sheriff of Wall Street' and persecutor of pro-life centers was exposed buying sex with a prostitute but for some strange reason not prosecuted for this crime.

"Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned in March 2008 after it was discovered that he had used women in prostitution, a violation of New York's comprehensive anti-trafficking law. Last week, we learned that the former prosecutor will not be prosecuted for breaking the law."

"U.S. Attorney Michael J. Garcia's decision not to pursue criminal charges against Mr. Spitzer for buying women in prostitution is a stunning betrayal of the public trust. Citing precedent, Mr. Garcia indicated that the Department of Justice (DOJ) does not typically prosecute johns who buy women from pimps, except in cases of prostitution of children. ("In light of the policy of the Department of Justice with respect to prostitution offenses and the longstanding practice of this Office, as well as Mr. Spitzer's acceptance of responsibility for his conduct, we have concluded that the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges in this matter," he said in a statement.) The DOJ also chose not to charge Mr. Spitzer for transporting a woman across state lines for the purpose of prostitution—a violation of the Mann Act. Congress might be interested to learn that its laws are being effectively nullified by DOJ policy."

"Even when the pimps are alleged to be running a high-end, high-class call-girl service, they still sell women for sexual use and still take their cut. And those in it, like Ashley Dupré—a young woman whom Mr. Spitzer bought for sex—more often than not, have entered prostitution as a result of long-term abuse, neglect, and economic desperation; a situation that worsens disproportionately for women as the economy declines. Ms. Dupré ran away from what she has described as an abusive home, and her lawyers have confirmed she was filmed by "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis, who pleaded no contest to child abuse and prostitution charges stemming from his work, when she was 17. Ms. Dupré later met up with the pimps and johns at Emperor's Club VIP in New York, a prostitution ring that sometimes moved women from the United States to Europe on what they called "travel dates" rather than human trafficking."

The authors of this good piece are:

Melissa Farley is founder and executive director of the nonprofit group Prostitution Research and Education in San Francisco.
Norma Ramos is the coexecutive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women in New York.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prosecutor: Teens targeted Hispanics

In Patchogue, a man was stabbed to death by 7 men. They told police they wanted to go after 'Mexicans' and ended up stabbing the victim to death.

From Newsday:

"In their own words, 'Let's go find some Mexicans to -- -- up,' " said Assistant District Attorney Nancy Clifford at First District Court in Central Islip.

"The victim, Marcello Lucero, 38, of Patchogue, was attacked and killed near the Long Island Rail Road station in Patchogue late Saturday, police said"

"Christopher Overton, the youngest of the group who is also awaiting sentencing for his involvement in a violent home invasion which left a man dead, was held on $250,000 cash bail, or $500,000 bond. The other defendants -- Kevin Shea, 17, Jordan Dasch, 17, Nicholas Hausch, 17, and Jose Pacheco, 17 -- were all held on $150,000 cash bail, or 300,000 bond. All the suspects pleaded not guilty."

What I cannot believe is that these monsters have not been charged with federal civil rights violations:

"Conroy, of 189 Jamaica Ave. in Medford, was charged with first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime.

Both James Margolin, a spokesman for the FBI in New York, and Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for Eastern District U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell, said their offices were aware of the situation, but were not actively involved in the investigation, at this time.

The U.S. attorney's office is "monitoring the situation to see if there are any potential federal civil rights violations," Nardoza said."

This Newsday article lists all their names:

Cops: Fatal stabbing of Patchogue man a hate crime

"One suspect, Jeffrey Conroy, 17, of 189 Jamaica Ave. in Medford, was charged with first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime, said Fitzpatrick.

Another suspect, Christopher Overton, 16, has the same name, age and address, 9 Yacht St. in East Patchogue, as one who pleaded guilty to burglary in another fatal attack in May 2007 in which a 38-year-old East Patchogue man was shot dead when a group of teenagers robbed his home. A neighbor found the victim, Carlton Shaw, dead in his backyard, his 3-year-old son sleeping on his chest.

The others are: Jordan Dasch, 17, of 5 Lyndsie Ct., Medford; Anthony Hartford, 17, of 94 Greenport Ave., Medford; Nicholas Hausch, 17, of 36A Middle Island Ave., Medford; Jose Pacheco, 17, of 244 Hospital Rd., East Patchogue; and Kevin Shea, 17, of 301 Jamaica Ave., Medford."

Sunday, November 09, 2008

In this post I mentioned the closing of the former St. Pius X High School building and wondered what would happen with the traditional Latin Mass that is now offered each Sunday in the Chapel. I found out yesterday the Mass will be moving to St. Ladislaus in Hempstead! I will post the exact time and place when I can get it confirmed.
I attended the lecture yesterday by Msgr. George Graham on "Liturgical Reform: Pluses and Minuses" at the Nassau Community Center for Catholic Studies. Msgr. Graham covered all the 'usual suspects' such as the reformers Pius X and Pius XII as well as the villians Hans Kung and Bugnini. My friend Aristotle, the Recovering Choir Director, attended also. He was smart enough to get up after the lecture to ask a question (on the musical aspects of Liturgical Reform) while I wrongly assumed there would be enough time for me to ask my question. I was interested to hear Msgr. Graham's take on the reintroduction of the traditional Mass (Extraordinary Form) and how this movement will influence the 'Reform of the Reform'. As Aristotle mentioned, there is expected to be, and has been, a 'gravitational pull' where the EF will help to bring about more reverence and tradition in the Ordinary Form. However, I wonder if we will see the OF, especially here in the Diocese of Rockville Centre infused with tradition? After all, many Catholics interested in these matters now have the EF to attend - 4 places in DRVC - so would any bother attending the OF? Is there enough interest in the 'reform of the reform' within parishes and amoung everyday (Joe and Mary?) Catholics? Interestingly, Fr. Z at What Does the Prayer Really Say? posts pictures of a very nice OF Mass offered by the great Fr. Jay Scott Newman . The comments in this post seem to indicate that even OF Masses offered with tradition will not satisfy some, and may actually lead to the exposure of the great difference between the EF and the OF. What about the DRVC where there is almost no latin, no reverence and no tradition in most parishes? Does a Catholic interested in such matters have no 'choice' but to attend one of the traditional latin Masses? I think this is an interesting topic because although interest in the EF is high in online Catholic communities, it is not as high in the average parish. I would love to see both a spreading of the EF and a real reform of the OF.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

From the New York Times:

As Girls’ School Plans Closing, the Tears Flow

I was emailed by the author of this article to ask if I had any insights to offer before its publication. I advised her I did not have any real useful information or insights but appreciated being asked. After reading this and a couple of other articles on the closing I was even more aware of how sad this is: the school was open since 1856! I feel especially bad for the students there.

A snip from the article:

"Administrators of the academy, run by the Sisters of St. Joseph, said that they had been struggling with low enrollment for nearly 20 years and that aggressive fund-raising and recruitment efforts had proven insufficient. This year’s freshman class has 37 students, down from about 150 in the early 1990s."

An article in The Long Island Catholic adds:

"Brentwood — Years of dwindling enrollment have culminated in the decision to close the Academy of St. Joseph here at the end of the school year, ending a 152-year tradition and closing the only all-girls’ Catholic high school in Suffolk County.The decision has been “extremely difficult on the students and families,” said Sister of St. Joseph Jean Amore, the congregation’s president. “It is extremely difficult for the Sisters of St. Joseph as well.”

"We tried everything,” she said, to keep open the school which serves about 340 students. Grades kindergarten-eight are co-ed; the high school is all girls. The Academy of St. Joseph was founded in Brooklyn in 1856 when Sisters of St. Joseph came from Philadelphia to start a school. The original school was also the convent and, as more sisters joined the order, the convent and school moved to Queens. In 1896 they moved to the current location in Suffolk County, on a campus that also includes the order’s motherhouse.

“Although the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph has subsidized ASJ over the years, it cannot continue to do so,” read a letter sent by the school’s administration to all parents October 29. “Also, in justice, faculty salaries should be significantly improved in light of current economic pressures. In addition, the Member Board feels that a more serious concern is the difficulty of providing all options, enrichment opportunities and special programs that a diverse population needs and deserves.”
Mary Ellen Barrett of Tales From The Bonny Blue House has a new article in The Long Island Catholic on keeping holy the Sabbath:

Sacred Sunday

It is a response to the Long Island Press article I posted about here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Nassau Community College Center for Catholic Studies Presents
Liturgical Reform: Pluses and Minuses
November 8

Garden City, NY – The Nassau Community College Center for Catholic Studies is honored to present a lecture by Monsignor George A. Graham, Ph.D., J.C.D., on the debate surrounding liturgical reform in the Catholic Church of the United States from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Liturgical Reform: Pluses and Minuses will take place on Saturday, November 8 at 11:00 a.m. in the College Center Building.

Monsignor Graham is president of the New York Regional Chapter of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, Judicial Vicar for the Interdiocesan Court of Appeals for the eight Catholic dioceses of New York State and a member of the Liturgical Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre.

This event is free and open to the public, but requires both registration and a parking permit. To register and receive a permit, contact the NCC Office of Lifelong Learning at 516.572.7472.

I hope to be able to attend this lecture as it is my particular area of interest - Liturgical reform.
William Walsh cover-up unraveled quickly, cops say

Police reveal details about arrest of husband in Leah Walsh case

The above link is from Newsday on the sad case of a Long Island teacher of autistic students who was found murdered. Her husband was arrested and charged with her murder.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Long Island Catholic had a short article on the Seminary program for college age men. The program is rightfully called 'one of our best kept secrets' and it should be better known:

"Douglaston — For college-age men considering a vocation to the priesthood, the Cathedral Semi-nary Residence here offers “the best of both worlds,” said Father Brian Barr, diocesan vocations director.
“They have a foot in both worlds,” Father Barr said of about 25 men from the Rockville Centre and Brooklyn dioceses who are living at Cathedral Residence while studying at St. John’s University or another local college. “They can have a normal college experience while beginning their formation for the priesthood. They can be with other guys who have that same goal,” said Father Barr, who is also director of campus ministry. Six men from the diocese are in the program here."

This is the type of program that the Dioceses (Brooklyn and Rockville Centre) should be promoting more. If the program were done well, the men could be prepared for the seminary and priesthood, and if this vocation were not for them, then they would be prepared to be Christian gentlemen. It is a win-win situation and should have a hundred young men or more.

"To find out more, contact Father Brian Barr at the diocesan vocations office at 631-424-9888, or"
From Newsday: The Academy of St. Joseph in Brentwood is closing due to lack of enrollment.

"The only all-girls Catholic high school in Suffolk County, a hidden gem housed in majestic buildings on a lush 211-acre campus in Brentwood, is closing its doors. The Academy of St. Joseph, whose history dates back 153 years, lacks the students and money to make running it financially feasible, Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood president Sister Jean Amore said yesterday. The school will shut down in June."

This is sad news but common around the Northeast, with declining enrollment and escalating costs it is just too difficult to keep many Catholic schools open. Of course, many religious communities stopped focusing on education and orthodoxy in the 60's and 70's and that too hurt their ability to remain vital and growing, in turn affecting their apostolates, so that also has played a role.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre announced a short time ago that retired priests of the Diocese would be moved to a new residence on grounds operated by the Dominican Sisters of Amityville:

Dominican Village to Become New Residence for Retired Diocesan Priests

They currently live at the former St. Pius X High School which closed in 1983. The St. Pius alumni run a website here. The press release mentioned that the residence for priests was to close when the preists move, so I assumed the entire St. Pius property would be sold. Today, Newsday reports the health care clinic operated by Rotacare on the property was told it would have to leave so it seems the property will be sold. This all makes sense for the Diocese to sell off this property but I do wonder what will happen to the Mass in the Extraordinary Form that is currently offered in the chapel? Perhaps it will be moved to a parish which would be great.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In the past, rumors suggested Bishop Murphy would be moved to a bigger Diocese, if this does happen -

Will one of these men be the next Bishop of the Dioecesis Petropolitana in Insula Longa?

Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci

Bishop Paul Henry Walsh

Just askin'
Crime and Justice on Long Island

Marty Tankleff, who spent 17 years in jail on charges of killing his parents and then had his conviction vacated, has started the Fortress Innocence Group. The goal is to help those who are wrongly convicted, a very worthy cause.

Pamela Gluckin, the Roslyn School embezzler is up for parole after serving only 2 1/2 years of a 3 to 9 year sentence. She should not be released yet considering all she stole, another year or two would be appropriate.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I found this explanded story of Seattle nuns returning to the Catholic Church after decades as schismatics on the blog The Black Cordelias. The nuns who returned are now the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church. I had known about this situation but did not know of the role of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity:

"Last July, 15 nuns from a schismatic convent in Washington state rejoined the Catholic Church. They left the motherhouse of the Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI), located on the outskirts of Spokane, to form a new congregation: the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church. They formally renounced their state of schism, made a profession of the Catholic faith, became a private association of the faithful under the care of Spokane Bishop William Skylstad, and recognized the legitimacy of the popes from Paul VI through Benedict XVI.
Their former order, which still has approximately 35 sisters, holds to the sedevacantist position that popes elected since John XXIII are invalid and that Vatican II was a heretical council. "

"In June of 2006, Sister Nirmala sent four of her sari-clad sisters to start a new foundation in Spokane and told the Missionaries of Charity novices to begin praying to Mother Teresa to help bring back the schismatic nuns of the CMRI order. There were exactly 32 Missionaries of Charity novices in the US at the time and 32 CMRI sisters stationed at the Mount. The novices’ prayers began to bear fruit.
Sister Alinda, the superior of the MC nuns in Spokane, went up to the Mount shortly after arriving. She continued to visit six more times in the first few months, after her arrival. On her last visit, the sisters at the sent her home with a large concrete statue of Our Lady of Grace for the garden of the MC convent. As she left the CMRI convent, Sister Alinda says she whispered to the Blessed Mother statue, “OK, I am taking you down the hill today, but now you have to come back here and bring the CMRI sisters down the hill with you."
Also found via the blog The Black Cordelias:

"More than 80% of the prisoners in the concentration camps are not Jews but Christians, and the best tribute to the spirit of Germany's Christians comes from a Jew and agnostic (TIME, Sept. 23) — the world's most famous scientist, Albert Einstein. Says he:

"Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. . . .

"Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."

The above excerpt is from a fascinating article in Time Magazine, Monday, December 23, 1940
Good News in the Diocese of Rockville Centre

The Recovering Choir Director gives an update on Gregorian Chant classes held at St. Matthew's in Dix Hills: "The last two Wednesdays have seen the class grow from four to almost twenty willing participants."

I have to ask: How many unwilling participants are there Aristotle? Seriously, this is a great development in the continuing 'reform of the reform'. It is so good to see Vatican II being implemented concretely on Long Island.

"116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

From the Long Island Catholic:

Local priests react to violence in India

"As new reports of Hindu extremists attacking Catholics reach the U.S., Indian priests serving on Long Island are hoping that U.S. Catholics and other Christians will become aware and vocal in defending their fellow Christians in India.
According to Catholic News Service reports and information from a Web site of the Indian bishops, about 60 Christians have been killed, 300 villages have been destroyed, 50,000 people are left homeless, more than 18,000 have been injured, including priests and nuns, two women were gang raped, and more than 150 churches and other church facilities have already been destroyed while still more were vandalized or desecrated.“It is terribly troubling,” said Father Augustine Fernando, associate pastor of St. Kilian’s Church in Farmingdale and a native of India. He has been in touch with priests from his home diocese and has gotten information from a Web site of the Indian bishops’ conference. He is hoping that Americans will become aware and raise their voices."

One of the causes of the violence may the fear of losing out to Christianity:

"There has been a surge of Indians who have joined the Catholic and other Christian Churches, Father Sabhasundar said, but he denies that the Catholic Church has made any special effort to draw Hindus. Rather, the Catholic Church and other Christians offer health and other services to people of all faiths.“They find dignity and equal-ity in Christianity,” Father Sabhasundar said, and many are drawn to the teachings of Jesus. This is particularly true of “outcasts,” those who are excluded from the traditional Hindu caste system."