Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Here's the print article. My favorite 2 paragraphs:
Responsible canon lawyers have raised questions about whether this arrogance on the part of Bishop Fellay does not cast into question his fulfillment of the canonical requirements for a lawful lifting of his excommunication. In any event, non-canonists will read his letter as Fellay's unilateral declaration of victory: the Lefebrvists have been right all along; the Holy See has finally recognized the error of its ways; the only things left to discuss are the terms of surrender. Ironically, but hardly coincidentally, the Catholic left (which has been clever enough to avoid formal schism while living in intellectual and psychological schism since Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical on family planning, Humanae Vitae) has welcomed Benedict XVI's canonical rescue of the Lefebvrist bishops, with numerous left-leaning Catholic dissidents now saying, in effect, "Where's my bailout?"
and the concluding one:
Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the pope's spokesman, emphasized to reporters on Jan. 24 that the lifting of the excommunications did not mean that "full communion" had been restored with the Lefebvrists. The terms of such reconciliation are, presumably, the subject of the "talks" to which Bishop Fellay referred in his letter. Those talks should be interesting indeed. For it is not easy to see how the unity of the Catholic Church will be advanced if the Lefebvrist faction does not publicly and unambiguously affirm Vatican Council II's teaching on the nature of the church, on religious freedom, and on the sin of anti-Semitism. Absent such an affirmation, pick-and-choose cafeteria Catholicism will be reborn on the far fringes of the Catholic right, just when it was fading into insignificance on the dwindling Catholic left, its longtime home.
I've been doing some historical study on the town in which I live. The fact always mentioned about North Olmsted is the famous bus line which was the oldest transit system in the nation until it was gobbled up by Cleveland's RTA in 2005. What I didn't know was that the mayor at the time of its founding was a chap who was more famous for writing western novels, Charles Alden Seltzer. I'm not a big fan of reading westerns, although in general I like western films, so I'd never heard of the man through that connection. He's most famous for being the father of Louis B. Seltzer, erstwhile editor of the now-defunct Cleveland Press.
I found a short auto-biographical piece online which served to endear Mr. Seltzer to me. His writing is quirky and self-deprecatory with dead-pan dry humor. I don't know of whom that reminds me. Here's part:
I have no regular working hours, but I try my best to turn out at least two full-length serials each year. I still try to make an occasional trip to the West. I like to go over the old ranges. I do not like to have any one refer to Western stories as "wild and woolly," because, while I concede that the West was wild, it never became woolly until the advent of the sheep -- and that was after I lived there. I never saw a pair of sheep chaps; I never heard a cowhand call another "cowboy," "cow-puncher" or "waddie." "Hand," or "rider," or "cowhand" was the radius of the terminology as applied to the regular ranch employee. "Straw-boss," "wrangler," "buster," "range-boss" were others -- all understandable and universal in the Southwest. To be sure, there were Mexican equivalents used.
I have made some trips into the country which I have written about in Gone North. Fishing, hunting and observing. My hobbies are hunting, fishing, trap shooting, pistol practice and politics. I have broken ninety-two out of a possible hundred clay targets. In a pistol shoot in competition -- with a thirty-eight Colt -- at twenty yards I have made a ninety-one and a quarter per cent target. Last November I rang the bell in North Olmstead politics by being elected mayor of the town -- and I am now serving my sentence. North Olmstead is a suburban town on the edge of Cleveland and has a population of twenty-five hundred people and by the end of my two-year term I expect they will all join in chasing me out of town.
I have been married thirty-five years. Five children. One girl married, one at home. One boy Louis B., is editor of the Cleveland Press; another, Robert M., is a star reporter; the third is an advertising man. I am grateful that they did not attempt to follow in their father's footsteps.
Is he stone-cold serious with that sheep remark or what? Fortunately for Charles Seltzer, Zane Grey and other western writer guys, they were allowed to pass on to the Great Dude Ranch in the Sky before the advent of Brokeback Mountain.
Maybe I'll pick of one of the man's novels one of these days and read it with some sipping whiskey out in the shade of yonder tree grove, jes' south of the western sheep pasture.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood.
The TAC is a growing global community of approximately 400,000 members that took the historic step in 2007 of seeking full corporate and sacramental communion with the Catholic Church – a move that, if fulfilled, will be the biggest development in Catholic-Anglican relations since the English Reformation under King Henry VIII.
TAC members split from the Canterbury-based Anglican Communion headed by Archbishop Rowan Williams over issues such as its ordination of women priests and episcopal consecrations of women and practising homosexuals.
The TAC’s case appeared to take a significant step forwards in October 2008 when it is understood that the CDF decided not to recommend the creation of a distinct Anglican rite within the Roman Catholic Church – as is the case with the Eastern Catholic Churches - but a personal prelature, a semi-autonomous group with its own clergy and laity.
And here we go again. I liked Reaganite in NYC's comment:
Rod, it is impressive―in an odd sort of way―to see how you took a story about a middle-aged homosexual politician having a sexual relationship with an underage intern and pivoted it towards one of your favorite topics of late: the pederasty scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.
Of course, Dreher gets this part right―most of the offending priests involved in "The Scandal" are homosexuals and not true pedophiles.
Rather than beat this to death or offer more of my own tired and snarky commentary, I will post part of this insightful and sincere apology which David Benkof, a gay male, offered to non-gays; it seems to be pertinent here:
Whenever a Boy Scout leader is caught diddling young teen Scouts, or a priest is sued for fellating choir boys, the professional homosexuals trot out and declare that most child molesters, including the accused in that particular case, are “not gay.” Oh, please. Most such cases are not pedophiles who equally victimize little boys and little girls. These dreadful predators tend to be ephebophiles - men who are attracted to adolescent boys, and who coerce them into sexual activities that are precisely the same as the ones gay and bisexual men do in bedrooms, bathhouses, parks, and piers with each other. When two penguins or monkeys are found to be engaging in those same activities, the professional homosexuals rush to the microphones and announce the animals are “gay.” If a lizard who can’t speak or count to ten is “gay” when it sodomizes another same-sex lizard, what exactly is “not gay” about a Scoutmaster who does the same thing to a 12-year-old? The fact is, the gay community should apologize for and take steps toward preventing future cases of same-sex molestation. I’m really, really sorry people who enjoy the same sexual activities I am inclined toward have been hurting so many young men and boys.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Doyle McManus (who has a very cool name) wrote this thoughtful piece on Pres. Obama as old-fashioned politician, not the Hope We've Been Waiting For, or whatever. My favorite paragraph is the second to last:
But the partisan divide runs deeper than mere political gamesmanship. The debate about how big the federal government should be has been at the core of American politics since the Articles of Confederation. In his inaugural address, Obama dismissed it as one of "the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long," but it's too fundamental a question to wave away, even in the face of a crisis as big as this one.
Then he concludes:
Obama talks as if he'd like to avoid choosing sides, but he can't. At this point, the enactment of the stimulus package, the centerpiece of his domestic agenda, looks more like old-fashioned politics―a popular president steamrolling a fragmented opposition―than any New Age post-partisan convergence.
I can't see why an argument is "stale" merely because it's old. Does an enlargement of the government's role in our lives have a negative effect on its citizens? There are those in our country who passionately answer "yes" and others who passionately disagree with them. So the evidence shows the argument is pertinent, not "stale" or merely a construct of party politics. From hourly workers in Cleveland complaining in a bar about how they are required to stand out in sub-zero weather to have a smoke to corporate boards contemplating moving their operations off-shore, those on the "smaller government" side represent practically every education and income level.
Obama's staleness claim is classic liberal-left intimidation-by-ridicule, albeit in the soft-pedaled rhetorical tones which Obama utilizes so skillfully. It presumes that he takes no side in this argument, but that he is somehow magically above and beyond the partisan discursists. This has been the problem with our new President all along. To conservatives, this mantra reveals that liberals have no good arguments for their belief in big government―its acceptance is purely dogmatic. At best, they are waiting for us to "see the light", but more typically, they are accusing us of starving poor children, suppressing minorities and suchlike in order to get us to cave-in.
Before you go ordering a pizza, here's the translation:
Sing to the Lord a new song,
Sing and give praise to His name:
For He has done marvelous deeds.
Sing and exult and praise
In songs with the harp and the voice:
For He has done marvelous deeds. [Ps. 96 (95)]