Friday, July 30, 2010

One Man’s Opinion: Kenneth Howell Exonerated, Will Return to Teaching Catholicism at U of I…Loyola University Blocks Karl Rove Appearance Because He “Will Jeopardize Our Tax Status”! Wh

 Feast of Saints Abdon and Sennen*
        a?
                                      Howell to Return to Teaching.
        U of I-Champaign  adjunct professor Kenneth Howell will return to the university classroom to teach “Catholicism” in next Fall’s semester.   Attorneys representing the university contacted the Alliance Defense Fund that he can teach once more in the Fall semester after having been fired for explaining the Church’s position on homosexuality which prompted one anonymous letter-writer (who didn’t take the class) to object on behalf of an anonymous class-member that Howell was homophobic.  Howell’s email to the class demonstrated that he was not but merely was describing the rationale of natural law which has guided the Church’s theology for 2,000 years.  But the university’s attorneys said that a U of I committee will continue studying the situation—a chilling warning that Howell had better be on his guard.  
         The justification of Howell comes no thanks to the timorous Peoria diocese whose bishop and woman chancellor along with the bureaucracy were hiding, tremblingly under the bed after Howell’s First Amendment rights (untrammeled free religious expression and free speech) were challenged by the secular multi-versity.  When it was suggested that the course be taught independently of the U at the Newman Center, Jenky and the woman chancellor said “oh no, sorry, that will never do!”   
         You should expect that the bishop and the chancellor… pillars of Jello…will strut around now and say they deftly worked behind the scenes to acquit Howell from the charge but it’s not the case.  The bishop is one of the Notre Dame breed ala the compliant school president Fr. John Jenkins, who acquiesced in the invitation to Barack Obama to speak and receive an honorary degree at commencement.   Daniel R. Jenky CSC who was once superior general of the order at Notre Dame (figures).   Jenky, a ceremonial crosier-carrier and miter-wearer was notably  struck mute, see-no-evil and dumb after the charge and made no public affirmation in behalf of a professor noted for clear, concise and eloquent explanation of the essentials of Catholicism.  Atta boy, Bishop. With that kind of flaccid capitulation under pressure you should expect promotion soon to a major big city archdiocese in the near future with a red hat for your gutless non-response to duty. 
                     Loyola U Nixes Rove Speech Because er, ah It’s Political

        From the throttled throat of spurned academic non-freedom…Loyola University of Chicago…comes the report that Karl Rove has been denied permission to speak on the campus because he will imperil the university’s 501© (3) tax free status, said the University spokesperson Kimberley A. Moore, director of student affairs, struggling not manfully but person-fully to stifle a sardonic laugh.  Reason, said Moore, is that the sacred non-political precincts of the university must retain…get this…it’s “impartiality” and utter pristine non-involvement in political affairs this campaign season. 
         Loyola said, after a long academic discussion, that it would allow Rove to come after the political season where he cannot pollute the celestial, non-participative university with his horrid political ideas.  Of course Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, ex-Democratic presidential candidate and Democratic National Chairman was allowed to speak at Loyola on September 1, 2004, a presidential election year—but as Dean is also a physician his speech could be expected to be categorized in the scientific, biological and health area.  A couple of weeks later, Ralph Nader, a 3rd party presidential candidate, was welcomed on campus but, er, ah, ahem, he could be expected to address consumer protection issues apart from politics.  
          Rove, of course, is not involved in any campaigns.  He is an author and commentator for Fox News Network that hated outlet of information to academic liberals.  He was chief strategist for President George W. Bush the name of whom causes denizens of the faculty lounges to rush for the toilets. 
          Demonstrating how dedicated the institution is to keeping its virginity intact rather than lose it promiscuously to entertain political speakers, here is a rundown on its august Board of Trustees. 
        The chairman is Patrick Arbor, former president of the Chicago Board of Trade and heavy contributor to the campaigns of Mayor Richard M. Daley.  Not that there’s anything political about that! 
        Another trustee is Shirley Madigan, wife of the Democratic Speaker of the Illinois House who is also state Democratic party chairman of Illinois…and mother of the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa and longtime chairwoman of the Illinois Arts Council, named to the post by a succession of governors, Republican and Democrat.  Now who would dare allege there’s anything political about her? She’s just a housewife. 
        Still another is William A. Brandt, Jr. president and CEO of Development Specialists, Inc., a corporate turnaround expert, one of the national Democratic party’s major donors who hosted Obama and earlier Bill Clinton at lavish fundraisers held at his North Shore home; named chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  There you go again, thinking that he would allow politics to flavor his judgment as a Loyola trustee!  Shame on you! 
          Now we come to Joseph A. Power, Jr. named the number one personal injury lawyer in Chicago, the lawyer who sued former Gov. George Ryan for the deaths of six kids by an illegal immigrant trucker who had obtained his commercial drivers’ license fraudulently and hardly knew English, which resulted in his failing to heed warnings from drivers than a pipe was becoming dislodged from his truck, the pipe hitting the highway and striking the car behind leading to the kids being burned alive.  Heavy Democratic fund-raiser with great influence in the party.  Joe Power? Do you think he’d object to a civics speech by Karl Rove at the University where he sits as trustee?  You’re getting paranoid you know!
         
*:Saints Abdon and Sennen [AD 303].  These were Persians who converted many in their country, then came to Rome where they worshiped in the catacombs, ministering to the early Catholics and burying the bodies of the martyrs persecuted under Emperor Decius. They were captured, were trundled in a wagon around Rome and when told that they could save their lives by worshiping the gods, they spat upon their images which certified their execution.  That, my friends, takes real guts. Result: they were fed to the lions while the crowds at the Coliseum cheered wantonly.  They have been venerated as saints since the 4th century.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fair Enough: At Last—Cardinal Tells Gay Priests to Reform or Get Out…Capitol Fax’s Job—Take a Mole-Hill and Build It Up into a Mountainous “Scandal” on the Illinois GOP.

      Feast of Saint Martha* 
        
                                                Long Overdue.
          Pope Benedict XVI’s vicar for the city of Rome has, at long last, cited the bottom-line threat to the Church--the Lavender Clergy.  It’s a cause that politically correct critics in this country like SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), anti-Catholic fulminator Carl Marin who carries on a persecution of the Church’s dogma via the hotly Catholic-phobe Chicago Sun-Times and heretical propagandists like The National Catholic [sic] Reporter won’t touch because studies long suppressed have shown that pedophiliacs are mostly gay.  That doesn’t mean all gays are pedophiles but that a huge percentage of pedophiles are gay.  
          Publication of this fact is verboten because the Left needs to shelter its key allies like the gay rights movement for the coming domestic and global Revolution.   
           What no one will describe…most church dignitaries, church investigators, SNAP and Marin is this: The root cause is gay priests who are drawn to the young.     Not a peep about this reality has come from the so-called “objective” investigators of clerical pedophilia.  Attorney Jeff Anderson is rolling in dough as a trial attorney. Somehow through circuitous means dough gets to SNAP to keep it going as a front.   
           Why no identification of the root cause? Because their “crusade” is aimed at destroying the Church and making allegations that (a) a celibate clergy and (b) the all-male priesthood are responsible (and while at it knock out the ancient structure against abortion and grease total acceptance of homosexuality as a valid alternative lifestyle). Strident feminist and male-hater Marin…treated as a celeb by the paper’s guilt-ridden, intimidated (male) bosses… has long made an argument against “the boys in Rome”—meaning that if only we have a woman pope, women priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals things would change.  Change why?  Because of the ineffable moral and intellectual  superiority of women to men, of course. 
           Marin wants women in higher roles but make no mistake.  She has no time for the women who have arrived who are not part of her ideological lifestyle.  Like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Phyllis Schlafly, leaders of Concerned Women of America etc.  Uh-uh. She thirsts after righteous justice but only for the Left.  She disdains reportage of the authenticist Catholic professor Ken Howell who has been silenced by the University of Illinois because he dare explain church theology on homosexuality.  If Catholic-phobe Marin were a fact-seeking reporter, she’d go after the story.  But finding out the truth about liberal-fascist academe mind-control invalidates her holy war waged on the side of the Left.    
        The next time you see her beaming like a college girl idealistic and apparently open-minded (all an act) on Channel 11 remember that she’s a hard-rock Lefty whose drive is for indoctrination,  Remember too that part of her pay is taken up by the taxpayers…but I dearly hope not by “viewers like you.”  On public TV she was the near teary-eyed ring-bearer for a couple of lesbians, one, Dick Mell’s state Rep. daughter, Mell escalating in her estimation from a machine hack to near-saint when his daughter Deb “came out” with his beaming approval.  
         I’m telling you the story of the Cardinal who brought up gay priests because you won’t read about it in the tabloid Pravda (the Sun-Times) or the snooty North Shore Gazette (the Tribune).  
          The cardinal is Agostino Vallini who was responding to an article in Panorama magazine which disclosed that many priests were patrons of gay bars and night clubs.  Without a doubt that’s true there…and here where some of them shed their clerical garments and don leather suits to frolic away.  For them, belonging to an all-male fraternity equates with the hunting axiom: if you want to shoot ducks, go where the ducks are.  
          “They should never have been priests,” the Cardinal said.  Well, no doubt about that. As in the case of convicted child abuser Dan McCormack of here whose file was somehow…somehow…mislaid at Mundelein—and about whom the former rector—since promoted to auxiliary bishop, full bishop and is Number 2 at the USCCB…told a Sun-Times reporter (who since publication was let go) that he would ordain McCormack again.       
          Now the question is: Who will crack down on the seminaries’ admission practices?  It is rumored that John Paul II didn’t crack down on lavender seminarians and priests because he feared a scarcity of priests.  Let me say that if it boils down to one non-gay priest a diocese, it’d be worth it rather than the scandalous proliferation of Lavenders we have now.   
          By the way, if Marin wants to agonize over anti-woman discrimination why doesn’t she toss her cookies over frequent cases in Muslim Saudi Arabia where women supposedly taken in adultery are buried in the dirt up to their necks and then everybody tosses rocks at their heads until they are dead? 
         Not a peep.  Why not?  Two reasons.  The 2nd first.  We’re wooing the Muslims now ala B. Hussein Obama and the media’s liberal mission is to facilitate it.  Jews are the heavies although with Catholics.  Not Muslims. Not Palestinians.  
       Now the 1st reason.  Were she to write about that and call down the wrath of the civilized about the inhumane procedure, everybody would be under the desks waiting for the  Sun-Times building to  go KA—BOOM! You know how tolerant of criticism the Muslims are…B. Hussein has always told us about this. 
        So it’s better to continue waging a tong war against the Catholic Church which rarely fights back than stir up angry Muslims.  Easier on the office buildings, for one thing.  
                              You Start with a Mole Hill and… 
        Just when Republicans have a chance to win, Capitol Fax blog sighed yesterday, hiding its inward grin, this happens!  What is it?  Big scandal…tremendous.  Ranks right up there with Mark Kirk’s 1976 boat accident.  The Cook county Republican party’s executive director resigns!  Great God of mercy!  Can the republic stand this earthquake which shakes the very timbers of western civilization?  
      After weeks of trying to sell the story, a newsletter formed to promote the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton finally hit pay-dirt when The Huffington Post a left-wing blog run by political switch-hitter  Arrianna Huffington.   
       The terrible scandal?  The county GOP  exec director walked a girl to his apartment and got frisky with her.  Nothing happened.  Maybe that’s the scandal because some of the young braves around the county party and YRs aren’t entirely brimming with testosterone.  But she alleges he tried to keep her in his apartment by…get this…sitting on her!  That’s it! Finally a cab came and she got out of there. 
       That’s the story that’s going to sink the GOP. Day by day one blogger with an axe to grind pumped it across the Internet writing in lurid tones filled with innuendo…inventing titles for the players. For instance there’s a guy called The Prophet.  He comes and goes in the story.  It brings into focus a prominent rich woman who has contributed much money to the party.  No, no scandal about her either but someone…was…trying…to…dump…her…from…her…party…title!   
      Finally as the story started to bore everyone, The Huffington Post a lefty blog pulled out a bicycle pump and laboriously dinged it up to major proportions. At this point the Capitol Fax which thoroughly covers Springfield and Illinois politics but acts as a megaphone for the Dems and particularly the Madigans sought to breathe more life in the story…oh’ing and ah’ing that just when things look good for the Republicans, THIS had to happen.  Now the Capitol Fax has not to date written a word about Al Gore meeting prosecutors because an Irish female masseuse wouldn’t give him a hand…and that other masseuses have arisen with the same complaint.  
         But this Illinois GOP scandal is really something. What’s really something is the female soldier of fortune, Arianna Huffington. Born in Greece with the catchy name of Arianna Stassinopoulus she moved to England at 16 and attended Cambridge where she became the third woman president of the Cambridge Union. After graduation with a BA in economics she plumped into bed with the journalist and broadcaster Bernard Levin after the two met as panelists on a TV show.  When Levin refused to marry her, she took off and came to the U. S. where she lived in California and became a Democrat strongly interested in Gov. Jerry Brown. 
         That didn’t take so she met a mega-multimillionaire conservative Republican named Michael Huffington at a party hosted by Ann Getty (the oil heiress) in San Francisco.  Getty wanted Ann to get married so she arranged the wedding and paid for it. They lived in Santa Barbara and Michael ran for Congress from there. He won going away.  Arrianna campaigned for him, courting religious conservatives and the duo prepared for Michael to run for the Senate.  Once again Arianna became the duenna of right-wing religious conservatives.  
        Then came a hitch. Michael Huffington lost to Diane Feinstein and he told Arianna that he was…gasp…bisexual.  They split.  The settlement made Arianna a rich, rich lady. She continued as the duenna of conservatives and became very chummy as an acolyte for Newt Gingrich. 
         That got boring and Arriana went back to her first love—the political Left. After a series of mutations she finally started her leftwing blog and is a big player with liberal Democrats.  The blog is really pretty good, designed  by…of all people…Andrew Breitbart. It’s attractive, well-put together…and in style is a forerunner to Breitbart’s own blog.   
        To show you how centrist the Huffington Post  is, a columnist for it is Bob Creamer, husband of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.     
        Arianna who isn’t getting any younger is a frequent guest on left-wing television…MSNBC etc….but her heavily Greek accent combines the shrillness of Laura Ingraham’s tone with a deadly accent, the total effect being an audio approximation of Ma Kettle as played by a rasping, hoarse Marjorie Main with a head-cold.    
        Anyhow, don’t wait for the scandal to erupt and drive the Gulf of Mexico oil spill off the front pages.  It’s a contrivance propagated courtesy of a Hillary for President blog, a few disgruntled Republicans, Capitol Fax and Huffington.  Nothing to worry about.              
_________________________________________________________
       *: Saint Martha.  Martha is the sister of Mary (usually thought of as Magdalen but that’s not firm) and Lazarus who lived in Bethany, a small town down the road a piece from Jerusalem, not far from Mount Olivet.  The famous story is that she was working to prepare a repast for Our Lord while her sister Mary tenderly washed his feet, applied expensive oil to them, washed the feet with her tears and dried them off with her long hair.  Martha then complained to the Lord and asked him to direct Mary to help her with the preparations.  His immortal response: “Martha, Martha you are troubled about many things but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the best part.”  The one thing necessary that He referred to was eternal life. But as you can see, Martha made saint as did her sister.  So all is well.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: Guess Why Obama Skipped the Boy Scouts’ 100th?...Stop the Presses! Kirk’s 1976 Boat Accident Filled with Misrepresentations!

 Feast of Saints Nazarius and Celsus* 
      
                                           B. S. Plenty.
       Obama can be on “The View” any time he wants, right? But he’s chosen to be on the liberal feminist TV show as an excuse to miss honoring The Boy Scouts on their 100th birthday.  Why? 
       It’s endemic for this alien in the White House (“alien” the word Peggy Noonan memorably used to describe him)…who has waffled on the issue of whether the U. S. is exceptional (saying yes but Greece is exceptional to the Greeks and Britain to the Brits)…to arrange to avoid a personal appearance at the Boy Scouts (he’ll do a video instead).  His strong gay rights base is still fretting over the fact that the organization has blocked admission to avowed gays and that the courts have defended the right of this private organization to determine its membership.  
        Everything Obama has done…save Afghanistan… heretofore is to court his left-wing base…from the appointing of gays to key posts (like the School Safety Czar Kenneth Jennings who devised the “Day of Silence” in order to propagandize students to regard toleration of homosexuality as a valid lifestyle) to pandering to eco-nuts for a moratorium on deep water drilling even despite being shown the damage it would do to Gulf states’ economy.   
         Again: he can be on The View anytime he wants. He has chosen the same day as the Scouts anniversary to further placate his Lefty, Daily Kos, pro-homosexual rights base. If it were the Girl Scouts celebrating their 100th, he would be there. They accept gay recruits and gay scout-mistresses.  You’d better believe he’d be at any celebration they hold with bells on.  
          Interesting that the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, has criticized him for choosing to go on the hen gabfest. Of course it’s to shore up his numbers with liberal women.  There’s only one conservative regular on the panel.   This decision shows Axelrod at his most panicky.   
          I repeat again…and this is not a condemnatory judgment but an historic one:  
        He is the worst president in U. S. history…starting and ending with the incontrovertible fact that he is not a patriot…as per his purposeful fudging  on Exceptionality—and his patronizing low bows he gives to chiefs of state of color, such as the Emperor of Japan.  How did this refugee get through the vetting net?  Because the mainstream media stands for exactly what he does: the minimization of the United States.       
      A 3rd Worlder by breeding and instinct (forget the birth certificate issue), a radical faculty-lounge creature by conviction, he has been allowed to escape normal scrutinizing by a fawning media represented by the whores writing in Journo-List.   A president of the Harvard Law Review by affirmative action with no writing of articles. No writing extant.   His college papers all sealed. Billy Ayres boasting to Ann Leary that he…Ayres…ghosted Obama’s two books.  After he’s out of office and the real story is told about this Mystery Man, news consumers will come after the “mainstream media” at night with lanterns.   The spectacle: Lynn Sweet the stenographer for him and The Squid.  The condescending embarrassment of the Tribune editorial board, gulping down his endorsement ala Bruce Dold obediently following the business office and marketing diktat.  
                               OMG!  Stop the Presses! 
         Hold everything. Here’s an issue that is bound to be a game-changer! The Tribune slapped on its front page July 23 the breathless revelation that Mark Kirk stretched the truth about his 1976 boat accident which he says convinced him to enter public service.  Now that’s one hell of a story. I congratulate theTribune…the once great newspaper that broke FDR’s war plan in 1941…who had Stanley Johnson reporting from the Lexington as it was going down…who had foreign correspondent/ cartoonist John T. McCutcheon standing on the deck of the USS Olympia side by side with Admiral George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay…Floyd Gibbons writing what it was like to fly with Amelia Earhart… 
          …this self-same Tribune slaps on its front page the devastating news that Mark Kirk exaggerated his experiences on that boat accident!   
          Enough irony. What a sucker story!  All this negative press is being dredged up by Giannoulias’ muck factory run indirectly…I mean steered…by the man-and-wife team of Bob Creamer and Jan Schakowsky.  She pledged to do it in public…pledged to turn the election around to save Giannoulias…and this beatific couple…testament to the adage that the couple that preys together stays together…the executioners… sold quite a sucker story to the Tribune. 
         Creamer is a decent enough guy. Oh he went to federal stir for kiting checks but he’s not all bad. Schakowsky is the one I savor.  My congresswoman, believe it or not. She ran the first time, saying to Mike Barone that one can’t be too far left for the district she chose.  One look at her and you know what she’s capable of.  In a re-do of The Wizard of Oz she could easily carry off the Margaret Hamilton role as The Wicked Witch of the West without makeup.   Just a cocked 3-cornered black hat will do.  Give her a broom, turn on the special effects, light the fuse and she’ll muster up an authentic cackle as she zooms up to make a silhouette against the harvest moon.  
          But I don’t blame either of the couple for concocting this sucker story.  It’s the august Tribune which stands for…nothing, zilch, principlessness that I despise. At least with the Sun-Times you get vitriolic leftwing bias and anti-Catholicism undiluted with Hitchens mocking God and Steinberg equating babies kicking in the womb them with gall bladders.   With the Tribune you get blah, pap, Dawn Trice telling us what it’s like to be black.  And we get this sucker story about Kirk’s 1976 boating mishap masquerading as political news on the front page, below the fold. 
           ______________________________________________________
     *: Saints Nazarius and Celsius.  Nazarius’ father was a heathen, an officer in the Roman army; his mother a zealous Catholic.  He was instructed by none other than Simon Peter.  Out of zeal for the salvation of others Nazarius left Rome, his native city, and preached the faith in many places with fervor, becoming a disciple of the Apostles.  In Milan he was apprehended and beheaded, together with Celsus a youth he had taken with him as a kind of intern. These martyrs were victims of Nero’s first persecution.  Their bodies were buried in a garden outside the city where they were discovered and identified by Saint Ambrose soon in 395. Ambrose took the bodies of the two martyrs into the church of the Apostles which he had just built. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: Sun-Times Drives Home its Anti-Catholic Point with 3 Columnists Blasting the Church.

    Feast of Pope St. Victor*
         
                             The Blisteringly Anti-Catholic Tabloid.
        The Chicago Sun-Times is the number one Catholic-basher among U.S. urban newspapers…running on regular basis columnists Carol Marin, Neil Steinberg and Christopher Hitchens all of whom repeatedly slug the Church, the paper not bothering to run any defense of the Church…despite the fact that Catholics comprise 40% of the population of Cook and Lake counties.  
         Marin, a strident liberal who is a one-person oligopoly in commentary (newspaper columnist, NBC-TV and WTTW-TV public television commentator) on occasion calls herself Catholic but rabidly disagrees with the Church’s basic theological fundamentals—abortion, gay rights (she endorses same-sex marriage) and the male priesthood. A braying ignoramus on theology and church tradition, known as Apassionata van Leftward the 60sh flame-haired, radical feminist frequently baits the Church, last Sunday wrote of interviewing heretical lefty nuns who are challenging the hierarchy.  In the paper she blasted the Church (the theology of which she knows nothing and cares not a whit) for certifying that the nuns who want to be ordained priests are under scrutiny.  
        How dare the Church seek to discipline its own without checking with the rabid man-hater who nurtures a grievance that men are usurping women’s rightful place…this despite the fact that she earned big bucks as a TV anchor on NBC and duplicitously avoided being fired for low ratings by serving up the pretext that her exalted standard of ethics would force her to resign because her station signed Jerry Springer.  That bogus stand for “principle!”  Calculating her story with abject cynicism, she avoided being tagged for the real reason she was being demoted—a ratings flame-out.  
         Skillfully this authenticist Catholic-hating ranting far-left ideologue linked the charge made by the Vatican scored the fact that a bishop excommunicated a nun for sanctioning the abortion of a woman…repeating the canard—earlier disproven—that the nun ordered the procedure in order to save the life of the mother of four.  Then she equated the legalized murder perpetrated by the nun with laxity of the “old boy” network concerning pedophilia.  If she dared intake a breath of honesty she would know that neither she nor the Vatican officially have the guts to call the reason for pedophilia by the right name.  As Marin is a patron of homosexual “rights” she cannot reconcile herself to recognize that the cause of child abuse is the liberal intake by the seminaries of outward exhibiting and closet lavenders. . 
        Marin is one of three Sun-Times lightweights to slurp ink over the vestige of the Church, its 2000 year old rubrics against abortion, its refusal to stomach gay advocacy and its opposition to women priests.  
        The second is the syndicated columnist Christopher Hitchens.   
       Hitchens’ glowering bearded face appears weekly in the tabloid.  He is so virulent an anti-Catholic that shortly after the death of Mother Teresa…the beatified nun who served the very poor of the Calcutta streets, ministering to the hungry, sick, dying and their progeny, he wrote the scurrilous, blasphemous book The Missionary Position which ridiculed her work, the title, of course, the double entendre of a sex position, blistering her as one who adopted the guise of a saint to spread an extremist religious ideology (Catholicism) and raise money. 
        Explaining his choice of the book’s title, Hitchens said: “It was either this or Sacred Cow and I thought Sacred Cow would be in bad taste.” This regular weekly columnist for The Sun-Times maintains that she used contributions to open convents in 150 countries rather than establishing a teaching hospital, that she did not lift a finger to support “structural measures to end poverty” and that she did not do anything to raise the status of women.  Shades of Carol Marin.  
        The third is Neil Steinberg.   He’s a reform Jew who makes much of his Jewishness although he’s far from observant…a guy who slugged his wife in a drunken rage with a cell phone and spent time in jail and who writes a column frequently berating the Church’s lack of humanity (last week he called me a Catholic “gargoyle” because I defend the Church from his abuse). He’s called the Church a “a bully in eyeglasses” [I don’t quite get what it means but maybe he’s gone back on the bottle] because some members of the hierarchy have called for excommunication of politicians who support abortion.  He has no time for Catholic dogma but then doesn’t know a thing about its theology, counting on long-disproven theories to shore up his pseudo-sophisticated bigoted anti-Catholic rants, raking up make-believe sophistry on Galileo and Copernicus that begs for scholarly erudition…but it is not in him.  
          Attacking the pro-life movement isn’t the same as being virulently ant-Catholic as Steinberg is, but you can understand by reading his words on abortion why he hates the Catholic Church.  Simply, abortion means a great deal to him.  His jaded cynicism about life can be seen readily by his terming abortion “murder lite.”  
           “Abortion isn’t murder—well, not until the last stage of pregnancy when it is, but rather a sort of murder—murder lite…” 
         Again: “If being pro-life meant an across-the-board reverence for life—if pro-life activists were Human Watch members, also fierce opponents of capital punishment and vigorous battlers of AIDS in Africa and, of course, anti-handgun and anti-war—then I could almost understand the compressed rage that pro-lifers often exhibit.” 
          More:  “The abortion is murder line is just that—a slogan. The people saying it obviously don’t believe that in their hearts [sic] because otherwise they’d be even more extreme than they already are. If it’s murder then why aren’t they talking about, not only banning abortion, bu also conducting enormous public trials to prosecute the millions of women who have had one?”  
          There you have it…Marin…Hitchens…Steinberg.  My word to the tabloid is not to fire them…but not be surprised if—as I hope—a wave of criticism and canceled subscriptions hits.  The idea that the paper has a supposed Catholic publisher…John Barron…and a Catholic editor of the editorial page…and both can stomach this tide of religious hatred is sickening.  
    __________________________________________________________
    *: Pope St. Victor [AD 199]. He was a native of Africa   and succeeded St.Eleutherius as pope.  He struggled hard against heresies including one caused by an arrival from Byzantium of a leather merchant named Theodotus who taught that Jesus Christ was only a supernaturally endowed man. Then there was a group of Asians in Rome who insisted on celebrating Easter on a date that accorded with their own traditions. When certain Asian bishops supported them he threatened the whole bunch with excommunication.   St. Iranecus of Lyons told him he was too severe but Victor’s strength got the dissidents to yield. He died worn out, a chilly and aloof man but whose vigor and energy caused his enemies to accept the rule of Rome. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fair Enough: U. S. Gave Tacit Approval to “Compassionate” Release for Lockerby Bomber—Report…Special Senate Election May be Essential…Loyola, Ignatius Preps Here Observed Gay Day of Silence.

       Feast of Sts. Joachim & Anne.*

       
                Let Him Stay in Scotland in “Compassion”: State Department 
      The U. S. government urged Scottish ministers that it would be “far preferable” to free the Lockerbie bomber and allow him to live in Scotland rather than in Libya reported The Daily Australian quoting the Australian newspaper The Sunday Times—contradicting a statement by President Obama that “all Americans were surprised and angry” when the bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was released to Libya because he was at death’s door with advanced prostate cancer and had only three months to live.  After he was released, a doctor in Libya said he can live for a long time: meaning the pretext of the release was a hoax.  And the soft underbelly of the U. S. State Department under Obama technically agreed but wanted him to stay in Scotland.  The report was quoted in the Drudge Report last night.  
       A letter to that effect was written and signed by the deputy head of mission at the London U. S. embassy, Richard LeBaron.  It was sent to the Scottish First Minister.  Its release has been fought by the Obama State Department which has maintained that the memo should be treated as confidential to protect the integrity of communications between the U. S. and other nations.  But the memo from LeBaron says flatly that if the bomber must be released “from Scottish custody the U. S. position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be far preferable to prisoner transfer which we oppose.”  
      This memo from an Obama State Department official changed the decade-old agreement between Britain and the U. S. that anyone convicted of the bombing would serve that sentence in a Scottish prison.   That soft-headedness really rubs it in for the families of the 243 whose loved ones  flying in a Boeing 747 were blown out of the sky over Lockerbie Dec. 21, 1988 on a flight from Heathrow (London) to JFK International in New York.  On January 31, 2001 Abdel Bastel al-Megrahi was found guilty and sentenced to 27 years in prison in Scotland.  He was released by the Scottish Justice secretary on compassionate grounds…grounds Obama seemingly opposed but which his State Department gave a tacit “o.k” to via the memo from LeBaron.     
          If this doesn’t become a major issue in the 2010 campaign I’ll be surprised. 
                          Special Senate Election May be Essential. 
           At first I was vexed at the folderol and expense to taxpayers surrounding the possibility of a special U. S. Senate election which would elect an Illinois Senator to complete the Obama term by serving from election day Nov. 2, 2010 until the date of the next term’s inauguration in January, 2011…but last night on the radio Chicago Daily Observer president John Powers pointed out that a chance for a Republican senator is paramount to block what may well be a last-ditch attempt by the Dems to use a lame-duck session to ram further liberal legislation to passage.
            I agree.  Good thinking, John.  I hadn’t considered that possibility.  
              Day of Silence Adhered to by Loyola and Ignatius: Report.
          Catholic parents who dig deep into their cash reserves to pay for expensive, supposedly “Catholic,” education for their kids at top drawer schools as Loyola and Ignatius prep in Chicago may not be aware of the fact that both schools participated in the “Day of Silence” dinged up by gay advocates under the leadership of GLSEN the Gay, Lesbian and Straight [sic] Education Network last April 16. The event is a slick attempt to use public and parochial education to propagandize the nation’s children on the nature of homosexuality…rendering any objection as akin to hate speech by bigots.  Smart and duplicitous idea which was started by Kevin Jennings, gay activist and founder of GLSEN.  He’s Obama’s assistant deputy secretary for…get this…Safe and Drug-Free Schools.  
              Kicking to the schools for sponsoring it won’t work as the brilliant gay-rights strategists manipulate it to the point where the Day of Silence is ostensibly promoted by the students—but you can bet gay instructors are savvy to the ploy.  GLSEN says it is designed to “end bullying of gay students.”  What it actually does is to affirm gay rights in the impressionable young minds of students along the same lines as civil rights.  Clever huh?
           Slick and duplicitous, the campaign is endorsed by the National Education Association, the American Library Association, the chairman of the University of Illinois Music Education, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance [sic]  and the hardy left-wing perennial the Southern Poverty Law Center. Student participants remain silent in classes on the day of observance and don’t respond to academic questions. 
           It’s no good to protest to public  school administrators because they will say that their schools do not officially endorse or promote the Day of Silence because technically it is promoted by students (but don’t be so na├»ve as not to believe that pro-gay and gay teachers aren’t behind it and snuffling with laughter up their sleeves). 
         But for Catholics there is a 2000 year history of opposition to homosexual practice and advocacy. The Church teaches that homosexual advocacy and practice is in moral contradiction to the purpose of  sexual activity which is God-given…the self-giving of two married persons cooperating with the Creator to transmit human life.  The answer is to insist that the Catholic school administrators not tolerate the student-led practice because it is at serious moral variance with Catholic theology and philosophy.  Don’t believe for a moment that these school administrators don’t know what you’re talking about. They know and either support or shrug their shoulders at the stratagem that promotes gradualism. Today kids will be taught how awful it is to discriminate against gay people; tomorrow there’ll be the beginning of a “Tolerance” course to accept the practices as normal, under the lie of a pseudo-science that homosexuality is neither pathological nor reversible.  
          The thing to do when this next occurs…and it comes around once a month…is to keep your kids out of school for that day.  Then it’s my advice for you in company of other parents raise holy hell with the flaccid weaklings who run these institutions.  Tell them you’re going to pull your kids out, you’re going to protest.  They have the responsibility to protect your kids from insidious influences, not to turn their backs while liberal Dem advocates pervert Catholic dogma and theology.  
      _____________________________________________________
      *: Saints Joachim & Ann, parents of the Blessed Mother. Absolutely nothing firm is known about them and I’m not going to burden you with apocryphal tales which are pietistic but which has no basis in historic or scriptural fact…such as they were wealthy, couldn’t have children for a long time and that they tithed 10%.  All this stuff has filtered down through the ages.  But they were the parents of the Blessed Mother and that’s definitely all we know.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Personal Aside: It’s Number 82, Folks, and Counting—and So Far it’s Been a Fun Ride.

                                                          Feast of St. Brigid of Sweden.*   
  
                                      July 23, 1928.
    Today is number 82 for me, thank God. I say thank God because I’m very grateful to Him for giving me great parents, a wonderful wife, four good kids to be very proud of and 13 superb grandchildren…besides which… 
       an interesting career which includes these highlights: 
      … a 1938 visitor to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy and eyewitness to Hitler’s “anschluss” of Austria,  in company of my parents (my father was a covert FBI consultant)…a beneficiary of traditional Catholic education with 4 year intensive understudy of a great authenticist theologian and philosopher, Fr. Ernest Kilzer OSB…a great find of a wife whom I have loved more than 50 years which led to the aforementioned 4 kids and grandchildren of whom I’m extraordinarily proud. . 
       …And as an adult several careers. One as, a journalist, the 2nd as aide to a major political party, 3rd: aide to two top-notch congressmen including the ranking Republican on House Foreign Affairs (this during the Cold War)…4th: aide to an extraordinarily successful governor of Minnesota;  
        5th: Service as Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 6th : director-public affairs for the Peace Corps and a foreign service officer.  7th : vice president of Quaker Oats; 8th: adjunct teaching experiences  at Harvard (where I was a John F. Kennedy Fellow; Princeton, N. J. a Woodrow Wilson International Fellow; lecturer at St. John’s College, Oxford, Wharton, Northwestern, Loyola, DePaul, the University of Illinois-Chicago and Roosevelt University)…8th: media experiences as Op Ed writer for the Sun Times, Tribune, Wall Street Journal and currently for The Wanderer, the oldest sustaining national Catholic weekly…as well as a continuing Sunday talk-show host on WLS.   
       And for multiple civic experiences here in Chicago. 9th : founder of Project LEAP (an anti-vote fraud organization), longtime board member of the Better Government Association, 10th: president and chairman of The City Club of Chicago, 11th: leader of two pro-life organizations and chairman of Catholic Citizens of Illinois and 12th (which means very much to me) the vice chairmanship of Haymarket Center which ministers to the poor-addicted in Chicago. 13th: writer for this blog and for The Chicago Daily Observer in partnership with John Powers.  
        Beyond that for giving me generally excellent health (notwithstanding a continuing search for the origin of the mystery fever of unknown origin that comes and goes).   
         One eulogist at the funeral of a lawmaker whom I believe was one of the greatest extant in my lifetime, Sen. Robert A. Taft of Ohio, said that the best thing he could say about the distinguished Ohioan was the list of impressive enemies he had collected. The list included the entire cadre of the FDR and Truman administration as well as big labor unions handicapped by Taft-Harley.  Global internationalism as well.    I have a goodly number of them, all of them liberals including the Tribune’s Eric Zorn and the Sun-Times’ columnist Neil Steinberg.  Steinberg the other day called me a “Catholic gargoyle.”  Interesting appellation.
    
         In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque with a spout designed to siphon water from a cathedral roof and spew it away from the side of the building so as avoid drainage which erodes the mortar between the stone blocks.   Gargoyles originally were conceived by architects to convey messages to the common people.  Since literacy was uncommon in  the Middle Ages they were molded to influence the average passer-by of the end of days.  Well, then, being called a Catholic gargoyle by the eminent Mr. Steinberg may not be too bad.  
        Zorn has accused me to spewing…well…bile. This comes from, in part, my having referred to Obama as a “mulatto” which Zorn deems offensive although “mulatto” has long been acceptable as describing the progeny of one black parent and one white.  But those who do not believe in religious or theological absolutes must compensate in other ways…and Zorn (as well as Steinberg) have an entire list of liberal politically correct concepts from the canons of modern liberalism which I violate regularly and intentionally on this blog.   
        Wouldn’t like to disappoint them.  
      ___________________________________________________________
      *: St. Brigid of Sweden. [1303-1373].  The patroness of Sweden who has much to do to return that country to its original Catholicism. She is another member of the nobility to be canonized. The daughter-in-law of Berger, governor of Upland, she married  Ulf Gudmarrson when she was only 14 and for many years she lived as chatelaine (mistress of the household) on the estates and bore eight children, one of whom became St. Catherine of Sweden.  In 1335 she was summoned to court to become principal lady-in-waiting to the Queen, Blanche of Namur, wife of King Magnus II.  But she was too pious for the court and became the victim of gossip because of her sanctity and frequent pilgrimages. 
         Then her husband died and she lived for a time at a Cistercian convent before undertaking to found a monastery-convent at Lake Vattern, Vadstena, for 60 nuns and 25 monks. In temporal matters Brigid as Abbess was supreme but in spiritual exercises it was the monks.  All superfluous income was given to the poor; luxurious buildings were forbidden but members could have as many books as they wished to study.  It was known as the Brigettine Order and was under the patronage of King Magnus. 
        She went to Rome to obtain approval for her Order and never returned to Sweden but spent the remainder of her life in Italy and on various pilgrimages. Her austerity of life and her energy in serving pilgrims and the poor won her widespread recognition despite her disinclination to be well known. She tried to dissuade King Magnus from making a crusade against the pagans of Estonia and Latvia but failed. She urged Pope Clement VI to return to Rome from Avignon and to help effectuate peace between England and France.  Her Order once numbered 70 houses but now there are only 12 Brigettine convents in the world.  She died a great visionary and supporter of clerical reform.   
                         

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fair Enough: Mel Gibson Reminds Me of Someone Else—David…Shirley Sherrod—the Trouble Started with Our Side.

                                            Feast of St. Mary Magdalen*     
   
                                      Mel Gibson.
      Along with almost every other “mainstream media” outlet, the Chicago Sun-Times wreaks with attacks on Mel Gibson…and has printed the diatribe of the proud atheist Christopher Hitchens (who on television assailed Mother Teresa during broadcast of her funeral).  Hitchens has his own psychological problems but what about Gibson who went on a mad tear, picked up a girlfriend although he was married and the father of seven children, got his concubine pregnant, then split with her and exploded into a series of disgusting taped rages that slurred Jews and blacks?   This is the same guy who produced the masterpiece The Passion of the Christ which in film genre equals Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci at their finest?  How could this guy produce a masterpiece and yet behave not just rudely but like a horse’s patoot?  
       To me, though not giving a pass to Gibson for his outrageous excesses, a comparison can be made between this raging near-beast and the Old Testament David.  David, son of Jesse, was the second king of Israel and generally is regarded by scholars and theologians as the second most important character in the pre-Christian Bible, the first being Moses. We must note that the Gospels carefully trace and ancestry of Jesus Christ back to David.  David was many things…king of Israel who reigned 40 years from the end of the 11th century to the early part of the 10th century B.C.  He was powerful and popular but fell into grievous sin, not once but many times.  
         The worst was his lust for Bathsheba.   Not just the fact that he was stirred with passion watching the young Bathsheba bathe…that although married to Michal, Saul’s daughter, he seduced Bathsheba and impregnated her, that he called her soldier husband Uriah back from the wars so he could have relations with his wife and claim paternity to the unborn child.  Uriah, wise to the game, refused to sleep with his wife…in return for which David sent him to the front lines of the wars where he was killed—David intent on having Bathsheba for himself. He sends him to Joab his commander with the instruction that Joab should abandon Uriah on the battlefield so “that he may be struck down and die.”   
          That’s about as rotten a case as history has ever recorded…and indeed the Old Testament makes no effort to whitewash David. You will remember that following Uriah’s death…murder by David, really…he marries Bathsheba and she bears their child.  
        The prophet Nathan confronts David and says scornfully: “Why have you despised the word of God to do what is evil in His sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife!”   
       Their child is born but dies seven days later as punishment by God. So what does David do?  He stops weeping, dresses himself and eats a hearty breakfast. When his servants ask why since he wept when the child was struggling for life but has neglected the sorrow now, this wretched man says: 
       “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. For I said `who knows whether Yahweh will be gracious to me that the child may live.
But now that he is dead, why should I fast?  Can I bring him back again?” 
         That kind of insolent answer…cynicism to the extreme…should have scared David to fear he would be struck dead. But it didn’t.  Paradoxically he is remembered as the best king Israel ever had…bringing prosperity and unity to the country, enlarging its territory and defeating its enemies…his character even apart from the adultery and murder he perpetrated was pock-marked and scarred.  
          For a time he served his people’s enemies, the Philistines…he was an extortionist and accomplice to murder (Nabal and Abigail)…he fought bitterly with his family…he was slow to punish crimes perpetrated by his supporters…he instructed his son Solomon to take ruthless revenge on his enemies despite having made promises to the contrary. 
        But in the end, David not only repented of his sins but wrote 73 of the Psalms which will live forever in spirituality and indeed in literature.  To me the greatest is Psalm 51 where he confesses his horrible sins.   I’ll reproduce the King James version because it is a masterpiece of literature. 
         Have mercy on me, 0 God/ according to thy loving-kindness/ according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 
         Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity/ and cleanse me from my sin. 
         For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 
         Against thee, thee only, have I sinned/ and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 
        Behold I was shapen in inquity/ and in sin did my mother conceive me. 
       Behold thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 
      Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean: wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. 
    Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken will rejoice. 
     Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 
    Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 
   Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit away from me. 
   Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit. 
  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 
  Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 
    O Lord, open thou my lips/ and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. 
   For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 
   The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God thou wilt not despise. 
   Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion/ build thou the walls of Jerusalem.  
  Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar. 
     You know what?  As beautiful as this is, I still don’t like the guy and thinking of the slain Uriah have trouble forgiving.  
        But then I am not God but a sinner with vengeance in my heart.  We are instructed that God forgave.     
       Now, you ask about Mel with his adulterous behavior, drinking to excess, his rages.  Remember his masterpiece, The Passion of the Christ and before you condemn him to hell, think of David and God’s tender mercies…mercies that all of us must count on at the very end.  
                                             Shirley Sherrod. 
        There’s enough blame to go all around: the panicky reaction of the Obama administration that demanded her resignation…in fact, it asked her to pull over by the side of the road as she was driving and resign via cellphone to a USDA official…this despite the fact that she had been talking about her conduct not as a USDA employee but a non-governmental employee 24 years ago…that her speech was merely a description of how unenlightened she was that long ago and how she came to her senses on the issue of race and poverty… 
          But let’s remember it all started with a terrible…maybe willful…editing job of tape by a conservative media outlet—Breitbart.  We just can’t continue criticizing the legitimate excesses of the liberal media if we don’t say…ala King David…mea culpa.  As I haven’t really heard it yet from our side, I’ll say it…Mea Culpa.  
    _________________________________________________________
    *: St. Mary Magdalen Fittingly as I discussed the sins of King David and his 51st psalm and the fault of an agent of conservative media that caused a furor and the unjust firing of an innocent woman by the hair-trigger Obama administration, the feast today honors a great repentant sinner, Mary Magdalen. In a sense she represents all of us who are sinners. She was from Galilee and her surname probably came from her hometown of Magdala. Jesus drove seven devils out of her and her gratitude was everlasting. According to tradition she had been a harlot.  But her fidelity to Christ was seen in that she was one of the very few on Calvary at the crucifixion.  She watched Jesus as he was buried and was one of three women who came to the tomb on Resurrection morning, discovering that He had risen.  Indeed, the first one to whom He appeared that morning was Mary Magdalen.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: If I Were Blago I’d Testify…but then I’m Not…Michael Savage Makes Fun of Glenn Beck Losing His Sight (Ugh)…

   Feast of  St. Lawrence of Brindisi*
       
                                          If I Were Blago…
       Far be it from me as a non-lawyer to quibble with the Adamses (father and son) over whether or not Blago should testify…but all the same, I’d pull the ripcord and encourage him to get on the stand.  The only conversation I ever had with Blago was shortly after his election when he stunned me with the breadth and scope of his knowledge of history. Since then I’ve been equally aghast at his surreptitiously recorded FBI tapes.  But all the same since he has made a big deal about his eagerness to testify…an affirmation that probably hasn’t been lost on at least some jury members…I’d go on the stand were I he.  For one thing, I’d hate to be serving 24 years in stir thinking that if I HAD gone on the stand things would have been different.  
                                       Michael Savage. 
        The very first time I heard/saw the talk show host Michael Savage he was on MSNBC with a simulcast, taking calls from a radio audience and staring straight ahead at the camera.  One guy called up and said he was gay and vehemently disagreed with Savage on the nature of homosexuality. Savage flew into a rage and wound up saying to the guy that he hopes he gets AIDS and dies from it.   For that he was…justifiably…fired from the network.  
        That took care of me so far as Savage is concerned. The few times since then that I’ve heard him, I found him to be compelling but a fun-house mirror of contrasting emotions.   For one thing he is bitterly envious of his conservative competition: Limbaugh, Hannity et al.  He once made fun of a TV host who has arrested muscular dystrophy.  And now he thinks it’s uproarious that Beck may be losing his sight.  
          Not only is he wildly out-of-order, he is constitutionally unable to be civil when he confronts a competitor.  Although the elite class despises Beck, I think he’s contribution is outstanding.  He teaches a revisionist history that needs to be communicated to all those who haven’t had the benefit of solid historical grounding.  As one who went to school long before Beck was born and who had the benefit of learning history before the liberals skewed it, I can tell you that almost 100% Beck is right on. 
          No, I’m not saying that Savage should be terminated.  Just that I cannot fathom what people see or hear in his bitter denunciations of others who agree with his views but are competitors. To me way of thinking, conservatives have a brilliant repertoire of good commentators. All of whom can be used for different ends. Limbaugh is good for helping to postulate arguments and for helping conservatives with one-liners: akin and often better than Jon Stewart is on the Left. 
          Hannity is good for a less clever but equally dedicated audience.  He doesn’t have Limbaugh’s humor but he has youth and intensity that communicates well on TV.  Michael Medved is scholarly and rigorously honest in debate—plus a scholar of Judeo-Christian philosophy.  Megan Kelly now that she has cleaned up her one-time immature act on satellite radio with Howard Stern, has the makings of an extraordinary prosecutor in her questioning of liberals on Fox-TV. Laura Ingraham is far better on TV than she has been on radio (although for the life of me I can’t imagine why she published a book that supposedly contains fictional Obama “diaries.”  Ann Coulter is our version of Maureen Dowd and is fun to read…although when she appears on TV, swishing her long blonde hair around and crossing her bony legs in semi-seductive fashion,  she’s not for me.  But she’s a genius at hurling barbed one-liners.  
            Dennis Prager whenever I can get him is probably my favorite. I find him smart, cerebral and a master of incisive analysis. 
             With this armada of conservative commentary I cannot understand why Savage has to…savage…his competitors—except for one thing. He’s a terribly insecure individual.   But he’s the least valuable of all the foregoing in my book.  
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    *: St. Lawrence of Brindisi [1559-1619].  Born near Naples, Lawrence came from a wealthy family (notice of how saints have?) and displayed great spiritual insights from a very young age. He became a Franciscan at 16 and soon developed an extraordinary gift for languages, ancient and modern which he used to study the Bible.  Transferred to Rome, he was sent by Clement VIII to pioneer in the conversion of the Jews (lots of luck!). It didn’t work out but his energy convinced the Pope to send him to establish Capuchin reform in Germany.  Capuchins are a stricter variant of the Franciscans.  He founded houses of reform in that country and in Prague.  He became minister-general of the Order in 1605 but refused to stand for reelection. Against his will he was dragooned to become the Order’s commissary-general and later definitor-general. 
         Perceiving that Lawrence had diplomatic skills, Rudolf II, the emperor, gave him the mission of uniting the quarreling German princes against the Turks (Muslims).  Then he became a kind of male Joan of Arc, exhorting the troops and riding at their head armed only with a crucifix…inspiring them to win the battle of Szekes-Fehervar (1601),  Later he persuaded Philip III of Spain to join the Catholic League and founded a Capuchin house at Madrid.  Later he became papal nuncio at Munich and coordinated the efforts of the League  as well as preaching. 
         In 1618 he retired to Casera for a life of contemplation and prayer but they wouldn’t let him rest. The Pope sent him to Spain and Portugal to persuade Philip III to replace the viceroy of Naples. He died at Lisbon, was buried in a Poor Clare cemetery at Villafranca. He was canonized in 1881 and declared a Doctor of the Church by John XXIII in 1959.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One Small Voice: Who’s Around to Beat Daley?...Why SNAP is Not Unlike the Chicago Archdiocese……Com’on, Archbishop Dolan—Please!

  Feast of St. Jerome Emiliani* 
        
                                   Who’s Around? 
         With only 31% who want Richard M. Daley reelected, what’s likely to happen?  First, don’t think for a moment that he’ll give it up.  He’s a political creature who can’t imagine living without the mayoralty. No matter what happens to Maggie…terminal illness, incapacitation or death…he’ll run.  And he’ll be sure to show tears whenever she’s mention. These aren’t crocodile tears. He means them. But no matter, he must run.   He can’t help it. A limited, totally un-introspective man this is his life.  So he’ll run. 
           Understand The Squid is not a democratic (with a small “d”) organization but is left-wing fascist-like in machinations… one whose candidate can survive unpopularity, scandal, anything and get elected with the benefit of vote fraud or a consortium with the supine media.   It is preparing to do so now. For one thing there’s nobody around who can beat Daley.  The only formula to do so is to find somebody with a billion dollars ala Mike Bloomberg—but obviously a vastly different type (Bloomberg is a New York Jew, a self-made man familiar in style and ethnic qualities  to New Yorkers: not a Chicago type at all).  
           I suppose you could conjure up the idea that this could fit Pat Ryan, the retired chairman of AON but he’s 73. Aside from age, though, he could fill the bill: a white-haired helmeted, ruddy faced Irishman…self made multi-billionaire…a back slapper who hosted fund-raisers for George W. Bush…then Barack Obama.  Heading the Olympic drive that failed hasn’t hurt him (it would have, had the Olympics decided to come here).  A friend of Daley’s but friendships melt in politics like a snow cone in July.  But no matter: he’s too old.  Enough. 
            The idea that liberal reformers…ala David Hoffman…could do it is ridiculous.  If anyone was promoted by the media beyond his political competence, it is Hoffman.  Patrick Fitzgerald could probably do it but he’d have to have a lot…and I mean a lot…of money. Still I don’t know if his personality…which always struck me as frosty, Jansenist, purer-than-thou…would pull him through. Maybe if the media got behind him—but in order for them to do this, Fitzgerald would have to be super-liberal on social issues.   
            Still, we’re in an age of political unrest, tumult and revolution.  
            Who do you think could do it?  Not just who you like ideologically—who do you think could actually carry it off? 
                SNAP’s Agreement With the Catholic Establishment. 
              In the past I interviewed the two leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. I’ve also interviewed from time to time a woman I greatly admire for her constancy in dealing with the bishops of the USCCB: Anne Burke.  SNAP is going to have a convention here soon…and Burke, who was interim head of the investigatory group formed to ferret out abuse and structure recompense of the Catholic bishops organization, will speak.   
               Frankly, I’m not anti-SNAP because I wouldn’t count on the Church personnel itself to blow the whistle…even though I know that Jeff Anderson, the Minnesota lawyer, makes his living with lawsuits and presumably helps fund SNAP.  When I asked Blaine and her assistant how they were funded and if they profited from Anderson and the personal injury bar, they stuttered, stammered and turned away.  But there is no doubt that they do. 
              Neither SNAP nor the Catholic establishment is willing to comment on whether or not the cause of the difficulty is not the Lavender Priesthood.   Both shy away from the question because of  fear of violating the inflexible canon of political correctness that dominates our society in almost every feature of life. 
                            Archbishop Dolan’s Response. 
            New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan was shown on YouTube smiling and applauding the introduction of a Gay/Lesbian/Transgender/Bisexual Group at a New York church…known for its condescension of the gay lifestyle.  He had just celebrated Mass there and was seated in the altar throne when leaders of the congregation hailed the various gay-oriented groups.  The question arose whether or not the groups were advocacy or not.  The huzza’ing of the crowd would seem to argue that they were advocates.  
             The YouTube scored an impressive number of viewers and of course Dolan, a man of infinite eloquence, was required to respond given that the sexual practices of the group are not consonant with the teachings of the Church.   
             His statement was brief and said that he was impressed with the compassion that the group held out to gay people—not because it ever dawned on him that they were celebrating permissively such practices—although it must be said that nothing in the service indicated their opposition to homosexuality. 
             But the archbishop says otherwise. 
              Uh-huh.   
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    *: St. Jerome Emiliani [1481-1537].  After an exciting time in the Italian military where he was engaged in the defense of Castelnuovo, taken prisoner and escaped, he made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Treviso to fulfill a vow.  Appointed to a high municipal post in Castelnuovo he returned home to supervise the education of his nephews.  In his spare time he devoted himself to the study of theology and practice of charity. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1518, he spent a major part of his time serving the poor. In 1528 a year of famine and pestilence he seemed to be everywhere and showed zeal especially for orphans. He rented a house to care for them near the church of St. Rose and with the assistance of some laymen ministered to their wants.  He also added another project: the building of a hospice for the incurably ill.  
         He founded a community dedicated to the care of orphans, aged and incurably ill.  He contracted a fatal disease while caring for the terminally ill and died at Somascha. He was beatified by Benedict XIV in 1747 and canonized by  Clement XIII in 1767.  He has been designated as the patron saint of orphans and abandoned children.