Saturday, April 30, 2005

The article from National "Catholic" Reporter is for subscribers only (I don't subscribe), but the preview is enough. Jeanetta'll love it:

Pink smoke declares 'priestly people come in both sexes'
By Catholic News Service

"Before the cardinals locked into the Sistine Chapel had a chance to cast their first ballot, a group protesting the lack of women’s voices in the conclave gathered outside Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago April 18 to send up billows of bright pink smoke along with prayers for women to be heard."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Is there some reason "top-quality pre-engineered steel buildings" are considered especially attractive to conservative radio show listeners?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

New link in the sidebar to the blog England Expects.

Friday, April 22, 2005 - Daily Dish:

"EMAIL OF THE DAY: 'I am a 67 year old gay man (born in the reign of Pius XI and have suffered under 5 popes - John XXIII being a breath of clean air - and Benedict XVI promises to continue the tradition of the others). I read and sympathize with your agony; may I offer some advice?
"1) If you want to be a Catholic, be one. Let no one define your Catholicity for you. Conservative Catholics, alternating between crowing and fulminating, do not speak for the whole church as it has marched down through the ages. (Think Dorothy Day, Bernadette Soubirous, Francis of Assisi, the fathers Berrigan, GK Chesterton, to name but a few.) Although I don't have precise figures, my guess is that, in the Western hemisphere, they are in the minority. In America, they make 'majority' noises because they have united with evangelical Protestants to vote for the Bush Imperium. It is a dangerous liaison; to the fundamentalists, the Church of Rome has always been the Whore of Babylon."

GK Chesterton fought against the Church? That's way out there. Francis was very strictly obedient to the Church. He just happened to get instructions directly from Chirst. I don't think Mr. Sullivan would make progress claiming those criteria. Same w/Bernadette, but substitute Mary. Note that both were taken seriously by the Church w/in their lifetimes. Dorthy Day is a complicated figure theologically. Where Church doctrine was clear she toed the line.

See here:

"She was theologically and liturgically traditional, while radical in her social justice activism. She once stated, "[w]hen it comes to labor and politics, . . . I am inclined to be sympathetic to the left, but when it comes to the Catholic Church, then I am far to the right." 478"

"478. For example, the Catholic Worker has never concentrated significant attention to issues of abortion or homosexuality. See Voices from the Catholic Worker 63 (Rosalie Riegle Troester ed., 1993). "That was a very funny thing about Dorothy. For all her radicalism politically, Dorothy had a profoundly conservative streak in her makeup. She was a very conservative Catholic, theologically ...." Id. at 75. "Dorothy was an extremely orthodox Catholic, not at all theologically a dissident. She certainly would not at all favor abortion. She would, I think take a very dim view of homosexual behavior." Id. at 80; see also Alden Whitman, Dorothy Day, Outspoken Catholic Activist, Dies at 83, N.Y. Times, Nov. 30, 1980, at 45."
In German town, Benedict XVI known for love of cats, conversation - Yahoo! News:

"Hofbauer and many others in Regensburg, where the new pope remains on the faculty rolls, shared mixed emotions, pride and sorrow, when they heard the news. Georg Ratzinger said he almost feels as if he's lost his brother, knowing that it won't be easy to see him now.

"'I thought he'd retire soon, and we would finally have a lot of time to finish all the talks we've started through the years. We talked about that, just this Christmas when he was home,' Hofbauer said.

"'He thought it sounded nice, to retire, to take it easy. That's not how it worked out though, is it?'"

Kind of sad.
In German town, Benedict XVI known for love of cats, conversation - Yahoo! News:

"'I went with him once,' said Konrad Baumgartner, the head of the theology department at Regensburg University. 'Afterwards, he went into the old cemetery behind the church.

"'It was full of cats, and when he went out, they all ran to him. They knew him and loved him. He stood there, petting some and talking to them, for quite a long time. He visited the cats whenever he visited the church. His love for cats is quite famous.'

"...those who know the man known as 'God's Rottweiler' say his soft, human side has been ignored.

"The pope loves cats, can't resist Christmas cookies and, three months ago, waxed on about how he dreamed of retiring from the hectic life at the Vatican to enjoy his last years reading, writing and talking with friends."

Cats! We've found the Holy Father's flaw.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

ScrappleFace: Vatican Spins Off U.S. Catholic Church

"(2004-04-20) -- In one of his first official moves, Pope Benedict XVI today announced that the Vatican would "spin off" the U.S. division of the Roman Catholic church, but retain a 49-percent stake in the new entity, called R.C. Lite."

Personally I was pulling for "New Church", or "Passover Coke" or something.
National Catholic Reporter: Joan Chittister April 13, 2005:

"Journalists are rushing from source to source trying to determine the future of a church led by a theologian considered by many to be both doctrinaire and dogmatic. "

Doctrine and Dogma from a Catholic? Who'd've thunk it?

Well obviously Joanniekins wasn't expecting it...

"Did anyone really think such an election could happen at a time when the church is apparently more in need of openness than intransigent resistance in the face of so much new information and emerging new questions? Answer: No."

Umm, Michael Novak predicted it and there were others. People who actually report and analyze and don't just project their own views onto the Church. John Allen of your very own paper thought it entirely likely.

"Does anyone know why the Cardinals of the church elected as Pope one of its most polarizing personalities? Answer: No. "

Umm, well the quick answer is that the electors presumably know why they voted for him.

"Hospitality, the fourth dimension of Benedictine spirituality, takes everyone in. No one is excluded from the Christian community. No one is too bad, too poor, too useless, too unimportant to be part of the community. 'Let the Guest be treated as Christ,' the Rule says. Treating one another as Christ becomes the norm."

We should note that there is also a section in the Rule on excommunication.

Anyhow, it's not as bad as one might of expected from the ex-Abbess.
The New York Times > International > International Special > New Pope's Birthplace Becomes a Center of Pride, With Muted Misgivings at the Edges:

A former subject from Munich chimes in:

"'He would never be able to connect with young people like John Paul,' said Christian Schuster, 35. 'The pope had humility. Cardinal Ratzinger has a different image. He is a very powerful man.'"

Of course, Schuster was 12 when the Pope moved to Rome.

The New York Times > International > International Special > New Pope's Birthplace Becomes a Center of Pride, With Muted Misgivings at the Edges:

"In the joyful din here, there were few dissenting voices concerning Cardinal Ratzinger or his conservative leanings. 'The pope must set a path for the church that he believes in,' said Engelbert Feldner, 69, the town's former brew master. 'He can't bend with the times.'"

And if you were wondering about the culture of the Pope's hometown, note that they have a "Brew master".
The New York Times > International > International Special > For America's Divided Roman Catholics, a New Disagreement:

"Clem Boleche, 29, an Augustinian brother from the Philippines who is studying to be a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston, said his classmates at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology rushed into a room with a television to await the announcement of the new pope. When Cardinal Ratzinger appeared on the balcony, he said, the room grew silent.

"Brother Boleche said he and many others were hoping for someone less conservative and more open to debating church doctrine.

"'I'm honestly not surprised, but I think it would have been more exciting, more of a challenge, if he came from a different area,' Brother Boleche said. 'Latin America is alive. It is open, and is not stifling the spirit like many European churches.'"

With all due respect to Brother Boleche, how much experience does a 29 year old seminarian from the Phillipines who studies in America have with the "stifiling of the spirit" of the European Church, or for that matter with the "alive"ness of Latin America.
Voice of the faithful spokeswoman optimistic about Ratzinger!

The New York Times > International > International Special > For America's Divided Roman Catholics, a New Disagreement:

"Some groups critical of the church's handling of sexually abusive priests also said it was too early to draw conclusions. Suzanne Morse, communications director for Voice of the Faithful, which advocates a greater role for the laity in church governance, said that even when the new pope was a cardinal, his views on the abuse scandal were evolving.

Ms. Morse said that when the first accusations were made against priests, Cardinal Ratzinger 'seemed to think the problem was a media creation.' She added, 'But since then, we have seen small but significant signs that he has some sense of the scope of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.'"
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Smoke Gets in Our News:

"After all, Cardinal Ratzinger, nicknamed 'God's Rottweiler' and 'the Enforcer,' helped deny Communion rights to John Kerry and other Catholic politicians in the 2004 election."

It's my own fault for reading Maureen Dowd, nicknamed "the petulant child", but when was John Kerry denied communion?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | "The church will continue to suffer":

Andrew Greeley:

"Women -- and not only in the United States -- are very angry at the church. It is no exaggeration to say that many of them, devout Catholics to the core, will tell you they hated John Paul because he hated women."

Othewise known as "people who are insane".

"He will have to put off his persona as stats professor and put on his persona as a parish priest."

A Stats Professor? Wow, that's a very strange comment. It kind of makes sense since Greeley is a sociologist and sociologist spend a lot of time studying statistics. I wonder if he's refering to his colleagues or his old professors.

Frances Kissling:

"I can no longer delude myself about these princes’ almost total lack of interest in healing the divide in the Church, in showing compassion for or even in listening to the voices of the suffering. The time for nuance is over. Let the unholy war begin."

Was the manuevering she did after the election was tactical and not a real change of heart? I think you've already been fighting the bad fight for a lot of years ma'am.

"Mary Segers, professor of political science at Rutgers University"

"Ratzinger thinks that since Europe has Christian roots, by definition you can't admit a Muslim country into the European Union. That worries me more than anything else, because I think that one of the tasks the next pope must undertake is making some sort of outreach to Islam."

Huh? I guess this is a reference to Turkey. tells us:

"In an interview with Le Figaro in 2004, Ratzinger expressed his clear view on one of the most divisive issues facing the EU: 'Turkey has always represented a different continent, in permanent contrast to Europe,' he was quoted as saying."

But it's not that surprising that their's controversy over Turkey. That's why they're not members already. And we all know how much weight Catholic views get in the EU. Remember the controversy over the preamble to the constitution. Then there was the EU presidency candidate who was "outed" as a Catholic and forced to step aside.

"James Martin, Jesuit priest, associate editor of America magazine and author of 'In Good Company'"

"While I trust that the Holy Spirit will be helping Pope Benedict XVI over the next few years, I would be lying if I didn't say how disappointed I was by the cardinals' selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as pope. To my mind, there were many other candidates who had more pastoral experience, who have been more open to dialogue with other religions, and who have demonstrated more sensitivity to the thoughtful questioning that has always characterized Christian theology. But the cardinals quickly settled on a man who would forcefully continue John Paul's approach to governing the church. I can only pray that Pope Benedict proves to be more tolerant and open-minded than Cardinal Ratzinger was. But stranger things have happened in the Catholic Church, and I am hoping that the God of Surprises will surprise all of us."

But of course theologians who have worked with Ratzinger say just that about him, that he's open to questioning. And the World Jewish Congress and the Traditional Anglican Communion both have commented on how open to interfaith discussion he is. Oh, but you wanted him to be open to Liberal discussion.

There's a lot more nonsense later on in the article. For instance that he left Tubingen because of student unrest, which is true but unremarkable. Would you want to teach theology with Marxists sitting-in during your classes? Not a productive use of ones time. But I'm bored with it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

National Catholic Reporter: Electing a new pope April 19, 2005:

"As a young priest, Ratzinger was on the progressive side of theological debates, and served at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as a peritus for reform-minded Cardinal Josef Frings of Cologne, Germany. After the student revolutions of 1968, however, Ratzinger shifted to the right. In the Vatican, he has been the driving force behind crackdowns on liberation theology, religious pluralism, challenges to traditional moral teachings on issues such as homosexuality, and dissent on issues such as women's ordination."

Really that should say "a great mass of academic theologians, especially ones that were paid attention to by the media, shifted to the left making Ratzinger, a theologian seem to be on the right.

As best I can tell, I've got Ratzinger's memoir, but I've just started reading it, Ratzinger is in the vein of the synthesis of Thomism, philosophical personalism (with such proponents as Martin Buber, Karol Wojtyla [tempered by phenomenology], and more recently Leon Kass], and the nouvelle theologie of de Lubac and von Balthazar, a school that doesn't really have a name other than "the ascendent modern orthodoxy", rather than the further left Kung, Rahner, and Schillebeckx.
Great shirts!

That says: "Viva El Presidente Summers!"

Sadly not in my size.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

This is pretty funny:

From the NY Daily News today:
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is cracking down on narcotics detectives to tame what some brass consider a cowboy culture open to corruption, the Daily News has learned.

Amazing! Didn't anyone who's ever watched a cop show on TV know this already?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

National Catholic Reporter: Electing a new pope April 11, 2005: "Outline of a Ratzinger papacy"

John Allen practically endorses the Ratzinger papacy.
Inside the Vatican - Monthly Catholic Magazine: "Rosario's Choice

- by Dr. Robert Moynihan, Editor, Inside the Vatican"

This is the most interesting article I've seen yet on the conclave. Whether it's the best article won't be known, of course, until after the conclave.
There's an Benedictine monastery of (largely) Americans in Italy at Norcia. If you think that's a long way to go to join a religious congregation, consider the nascent Canons Regular of Jesus the Lord. They're recruiting for their Canonry in Vladivostock.
An interesting article on goings on in Theology.

Friday, April 15, 2005

National Review Online has reposted Jonah Goldberg's essay on McDonald's which includes this classic line:

"Watson credits McDonald's for the fact that middle- and upper-class customers in Hong Kong, and increasingly throughout China, have come to accept a wait-your-turn system instead of mobs. This may sadden traditionalists, but nostalgia for mobs is not a strong argument."
Another in our continuing series "Do not confuse...":

Hans Kung and Hans Urs von Balthasar

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Mass at St. Patrick's last night had the usual annoyances (the usher who always decides that the consecration is a great time to dump money into the box, and he's standing right outside of the choir!), but the organ playing was very strange. The program said the playing was being done by the principal organist. The solo playing and improvisation was outstanding, including a "Tu Es Petrus" (not Durufle's but it escapes me at the moment whose it was) that was amazing. The hymn playing included, however, impossible ritardandos at the end of the hymns and exagerated rubato. This made singing along very difficult. (The choice of communion hymns was also unfortunate. We had both "Be Not Afraid" and another similar hymn. One would have been alright, but two in a row was a bit too much sentimentality all in a place.)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

5 cities on $250 a day
"Experience the most glamorous places for less"

Umm...that's quite a bit of money isn't it?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Restaurants I want to try:

Hummus Place
Listed in New York as a place for meals under $10.
109 St. Marks Pl. (212)-529-9198

Chef profiled (was it GQ or Esquire I forget) for his doing unnatural things to food, e.g. fried mayonnaise, also mentioned as "Weird Food That Actually Tastes Good" in New York.
50 Clinton St. (212)-477-2900

Japanese Chicken wings. Positive note in the Sun.
144 West 19th St. (212)-924-3335

Richshaw Dumpling House
From the Post.
61 W. 23rd St. (212)-924-9220

Also the resurrected Jazz club Smalls at 183 W. 10th St.

(Ok, I admit, the purpose of this post was mainly to get a stack of restaurant reviews of my desk.)

Friday, April 01, 2005

From Amy Jean:

make black the states you've been to, bold the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C.
The Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Daniel and Companions

Friars Minor and martyrs; dates of birth unknown; died 10 October, 1227. The martyrdom of St. Berard and his companions in 1219 had inflamed many of the religious of the Order of Friars Minor with the desire of preaching the Gospel in heathen lands; and in 1227, the year following St. Francis's death, six religious of Tuscany, Agnellus, Samuel, Donulus, Leo, Hugolinus, and Nicholas, petitioned Brother Elias of Cortona, then vicar-general of the order, for permission to preach the Gospel to the infidels of Morocco. The six missionaries went first to Spain, where they were joined by Daniel, Minister Provincial of Calabria, who became their superior. They set sail from Spain and on 20 September reached the coast of Africa, where they remained for a few days in a small village inhabited mostly by Christian merchants just beyond the walls of the Saracen city of Ceuta. Finally, very early on Sunday morning, they entered the city, and immediately began to preach the Gospel and to denounce the religion of Mahomet. They were soon apprehended and brought before the sultan who, thinking that they were mad, ordered them to be cast into prison. Here they remained until the following Sunday when they were again brought before the sultan, who, by promises and threats, endeavoured in vain to make them deny the Christian religion. They were all condemned to death. Each one approached Daniel, the superior, to ask his blessing and permission to die for Christ. They were all beheaded. St. Daniel and his companions were canonized by Leo X in 1516. Their feast is kept in the order on the thirteenth of October.