Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Debunking the Myths of a Good Death

Date: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: New York University
Kimmel Center, Room 914
60 Washington Square South, New York

A discussion about euthanasia and the value of suffering toward the end of life

with Dr. Margaret SOMERVILLE, Founding Director, Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University, Montreal, and Daniel P. SULMASY, MD, PhD, Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics, Department of Medicine and Divinity School; Associate Director, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, Chicago

Presented by Crossroads Cultural Center

This event is dedicated to the ongoing debate about the possible legalization of assisted suicide or, in some cases, even euthanasia.

 End-of-life issues are not easy to discuss because they involve very fundamental questions, such as the meaning and scope of individual freedom, the very value of human life and the nature of the medical profession. For this event, we have asked our speakers to help us understand better two very basic questions.

The first question is: what motivates the current push towards assisted suicide? What cultural forces are at work and how should we respond to them? Contemporary culture places a disproportionate emphasis on individual autonomy, but is that the only criterion? Is our death really just our own? Or does the idea of legal euthanasia ignore that fact that how we live and die has profound consequences on the lives of people around us?

This last question leads us to second theme that we would like to discuss tonight, namely the apparent inability of our culture to attribute any value to the unavoidable suffering that is associated with dying. Nothing makes suffering more unbearable than the perception that it is utterly meaningless. But is it really so? Is it possible to discover a possibility of good even in suffering?

The event is open to the public and free of charge.

Brooklyn's Catholic churches celebrate Feast of Corpus Christi

From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, a short article on public Eucharistic processions including a picture of the procession at St. Finbars.  My grandfather used to work at St. Finbars as a handyman.

"At Saint Finbar Catholic Church, hundreds of parishioners followed their pastor, the Rev. Michael Louis Gelfant, through the streets of Bath Beach singing “Christ Be Beside Me,” “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” and other hymns.
The participants included dozens of children dressed in crisp white dresses and suits who had recently received their first Holy Communion.
Curious onlookers waved at the religious procession. Some took pictures with their cell phone cameras.
After the procession, the parishioners returned to the church at 138 Bay 20th St., where a benediction took place. Noting the hot and humid weather the participants marched in, Gelfant said, “We were sweating, but we were sweating for Jesus!”

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Fr. Andrew Greeley

When I heard Fr. Andrew Greeley died the first thing I thought of was his writing about having documents hidden away about a ring of pedophiles in the Chicago priesthood.  Fortunately I was not the only one who remembers this.  When I first read that, before the priest sex scandals broke open,  I always wondered whether it was true and if so why did he hide away the documents instead of handing them over to the police or press to expose this ring.   Now that he is dead I hope we find out.

Fake Catholic Weddings on Long Island

When I was an altar boy I served Mass for a newly ordained priest named Fr. Robert Allmendinger.  He later left the active ministry (I am not sure why) and was featured on a local investigative news feature called 'Shame on You'.  He was presenting himself as a Catholic priest and marrying people but they were later finding out that he was not a priest in good standing.  He now seems to have shorted his name to Robert Allmen and is calling himself a bishop (complete with snazzy bishop type outfit!).  He has a second almost identical website here.  I don't know if he is still doing the rent a priest thing here but he was 'returned to the lay state' as of November 9, 2011.  So he is no longer a Catholic priest, and has not been a priest in good standing from long before that.  I hope Catholics of Long Island realize that this man is not an active Catholic priest and if they want a Catholic wedding it will be inside a Catholic parish. 

Update:  Based on this thread on some people still think he is a Catholic priest.  Apparently he founded his own church called the Good Shepherd in Hamptons Bays (this is not a Catholic Church).

Related:  Deacon Greg Kandra of The Deacon's Bench discusses the important question of "Why can't a Catholic get married outside of a Church?".