Wednesday, May 8

A note on mail: I really love my email... I do. Just a couple of reminders:

Any email received by me is fair game for (anonymous) posting, unless you specify otherwise.

The longer your email, the longer it will take me to answer it. Why? Because I think, "Oh, I should respond in kind," but I also think, "I must do this when I have more time." And do you know what? I'll bet you do. That "time" just might never come.

That goes double for long-lost acquaintances who've googled me and found me here. I am so glad to hear from you, but sometimes I get behind on responses, and I always want to give extra care to my responses to you...so it might take a few days..so don't worry, Tom, you'll hear from me soon!

Lane Core tells us that the 1985 report on priests and sexual abuse authored in part by the exiled Fr. Thomas Doyle may be found online here and here.
Why am I so lame?

Why can't I be smart enough to design a site that looks cool like Lileks'?

Re/ The deposition. For those of you who don't feel like reading down the incredibly narrow column, I'll summarize:

Cardinal Law was asked about his background. (He was born in Mexico. I didn't know that. Attended high school in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands). Then the focus of the deposition settled on September - October 84, a time in which Law was in his first months of being Archbishop of Boston and the issue of Geoghan was being raised, prompted by a letter from a parent. The deposition was trying to establishment Law's awareness of the circumstances and participation in the decision-making re/Geoghan.

What's clear to me is what I've always thought. Law is (at least in this tiny part of the picture) guilty of poor oversight, but the real decision-making was done by his underlings, many of whom are bishops now - Dailey and Banks were the focus of today's deposition. I think there (as with our friend McCormack) is the real dirt. And I mean dirt.

The transcript of today's deposition
Rod Dreher reports dreadful news from Collegeville
Wow. I'm impressed.

We have our answer. Definitive, too. Many thanks to Don for this one:

It appears to be a Brazilian brand, as you will see at the WSJ article linked below. "Jesus" is the name of the druggist who invented it:

Here's the link.

Ah-ha.

From Paul:


On the Jesus/Coke thing, I believe it's a case where somebody did the name and "honors" of Our Lord in the Coke-style script lettering and colors for a t-shirt. I suspect
that Coke bought the design in an effort to own every design that might be mistaken for a Coca-Cola logo. I'm sure they don't market any products under that name.

Makes sense.

Just saw a fellow on CNN who has defended the clergy in 500 cases of sexual abuse. (All Catholic? I'm not sure.) Anyway, one thing he said was very important for any of us who are starting to mumble about false accusations. He said (and remember, he was defending the accused clerics) that in his estimation, out of the 500 cases in which he participated, 10 involved false accusations.
Hypotheses for the the Coca-Cola Companies "Jesus" brand are starting to come in:

First, a sort of serious one:

marketed in Mexico, where lots of men are called Jesus {Haysus} and where religion permeates everything, as it does in most Latin countries. It would be a cynical ploy on the part of Coca Cola Corp. in that case, but not matter for shock or distress by the population to whom it's being marketed. Only explanation I can think of.

And then, from Brian of Kairos:


In response to your question about Coke, I found the following text in the section marked "our beliefs":


The heart and soul of our enterprise have always been our people. Over the past century, Coca-Cola people have led our success by living and working with a consistent set of ideals. While the world and our business will continue to change rapidly, respecting these ideals will continue to be essential to our long-term success.Nothing is more important to our success than integrity. This begins with insisting on absolute quality for every one of our products, and acting with a strong sense of accountability in everything we do. Coca-Cola people have always known that building and nurturing our relationships with other people and the world around us is an essential part of our work. No matter how big or complex our business becomes, we must always demonstrate complete respect for each other. As the world becomes more interconnected, yet more firmly rooted in local pride, recognition of our interdependence with our stakeholders becomes even more essential. A large part of our relationship with the world around us is our relationship with the physical world. While we have always sought to be sensitive to the environment, we must use our significant resources and capabilities to provide active leadership on environmental issues, particularly those relevant to our businesses. As we have expanded over the decades, our company has
benefited from the various cultural insights and perspectives of the societies in which we do business. Much of our future success will depend on our ability
to develop a worldwide team that is rich in its diversity of thinking, perspectives, backgrounds and culture. Coca-Cola is the world's most inclusive brand, and Coca-Cola must also be the world's most inclusive company.


Since this sounds an awful lot like what many people suppose Christianity to be, perhaps they just decided to go ahead and register Jesus as a trademark, just in
case.

Or, perhaps, they think they are bigger than the Beatles.

Finally, it may be that they just wanted to expand on that great moment in Dr. Strangelove, when Col. Guano and Captain Mandrake argue about getting change, and decided to upgrade from President to Big Cahuna.


"Guano: Okay. I'm gonna get your money for ya. But if you don't get the President of the United States on that phone, you know what's gonna happen to you?


Mandrake: What?!


Guano: You're gonna have to answer to the Coca Cola company!"



Here's a very useful resource.

Gerard Serafin has put together a good page of links to resources about The Situation. It contains links to secular newspapers' coverage as well as to commentary from the secular and religious press. Go visit. It's very good. And thank Gerard for his hard work.

Equal Time

A reader with extensive experience at the Church of the Circus Mass (below) writes to defend the pastor and the parish:

You might criticize the Mass as being unconventional. And, many might say that Jim English, himself, was unconventional as pastor. But I can also tell you that he was simply the
most charismatic pastor I have ever known and spent considerable effort at finding ways to reach young Catholics at the parish's famed Family Mass,where he was the regular celebrant. He focused his sermons so that kids at the 6th grade level could understand God's word; walked through the aislesmicrophone in hand asking questions and offering answers for the children.


...Holy Trinity is a thought leader and we have been blessed to have many fine pastors after Jim. (One is Fr. Jim Connor, who just retired as head of the Woodstock Theological Center, a think-tank on Catholic thought based at Georgetown University; another was Fr. Larry Madden, who started (and now works full time) at the Georgetown Liturgical Center offering liturgical, musical and architectural advice and conferences to Catholic parishes throughout the country; our current pastor is Fr. William Byron,former president of The Catholic University of America and former dean of Georgetown University's School of Business.)

Under Jim English's pastorship, the Family Mass became so popular that two simultaneous Masses had to be held, one in the parish theatre. That tradition continues today and the Theatre Mass (once considered the 'overflow' Mass) now has a spirit all its own.


It was Fr. English who had the courage, in the face of national attention (yes, NATIONAL) to move forward with critical parish building renovations rather than capitulate to a 'fast-to-the-death' by community organizer Mitch Snyder (the fast eventually was ended, Snyder committed suicide a number of years ago). He later instituted the parish tithe for Social Concerns in which 10 percent of all collections are earmarked for social justice causes -- a tradition that also continues today (how many parishes
do you know that took such a stand 20+ years ago and still do it today? Holy Trinity's contributions through grants and scholarships to the
poor and needy generally exceed $200,000 per year).


Oh yes, under Fr. English's pastorship, the congregation in the 9 a.m. Family Masses sing Happy Birthday each Sunday to the people celebrating
theirs that week -- because that's what families DO. (We replace the "Dear...", with "God Bless You".)


Unconventional parish: yes. (But one that despite extraordinary logistical difficulties -- no parish parking, crowded Georgetown streets,parishioners who live primarily well outside of parish boundaries -- is quite old-fashioned in that it is the center of so many parishioners' social lives, too.) Wonderful, spirit-filled parish: absolutely. I
spent 6 years in San Diego between 1988 and 1993 and every Sunday I missed being able to go to Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown. I am indeed blessed
that my children are able to call Holy Trinity their spiritual home.


I'd welcome the circus back to Holy Trinity any week of the year.


Did anyone notice this?

When church governance is focused more on power than service, whether exercised by priests or by lay people, the entire church suffers, Pope John Paul II said. "Where it is not service but power which is the model for governance in the church, whether on the part of the clergy or of the laity, the opposing interests begin to make themselves heard," the pope said May 7 in a message to bishops from the Antilles Episcopal Conference.

From Catholic News Service.

The Cranky Professor has a blog!
Jesus: Son of God, Son of Man, Messiah, Lord, Rabbi, King of Kings....

Brand of Coke.

Really, Click here to see. Explanations, anyone?

As usual, Michael Kelly sets it all in perspective this morning:

Yes, we have been a little disappointed, haven't we? You give a fellow a perfectly good peace process, not to mention the Nobel Peace Prize; award him much of the land he demands and a $90 million monthly budget; let him build an armed force on Israeli territory; and, finally (as America's former top negotiator, Dennis Ross, recently revealed in a remarkable Fox News interview), get both the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel to promise him all of Gaza and nearly all of the West Bank as an independent and joined Palestinian state, with a right of Palestinian return to that state, plus a multibillion-dollar reparations fund -- and what does he do? He goes to war against you. Yes, a disappointment to us all.

This is the country we live in.

Preborn human beings have no right to life. But Giraffes have a right to privacy.

Illionois priest proclaims his innocence in face of decades-old charge.
From Insight Magazine, three articles:

The story of a vile Benedictine monk at St. John's in Collegeville.

Two articles about the prophetic 1985 report on the problem by the now-exiled Fr. Doyle: here and here.

Thanks to a reader who sent along some fascinating links offering sound evidence that the "circus Mass" was not an urban legend...

This article from the Washington Post describes a Palm Sunday liturgy in 1975:

A young woman in pink and gold spangled tights balanced herself on a weaving pole 20 feet above the high altar of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Georgetown yesterday.


A cheeky clown shouted encouragement to the priest; a sequined showgirl piled her cape of fluffy turquoise marabou on the altar as her part of the offertory.



While worshipers throughout Christendom celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday with more traditional commemorations of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Rev. James English of Holy Trinity enlisted the talent of nine circus performers to drive home a gospel lesson.

Here's the article.

Here's a photo and additional information.Make sure you're not holding your coffee when you read it. You might hurt yourself.


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