Wednesday, June 26

The Penguin Lives series is dead.

No - not as in an anti-Batman comic book series, but as in the short little hardcover bios coupling interesting subjects with allegedly interesting authors - Mary Gordon with Joan of Arc, Karen Armstrong with Buddha, Roy Blount with Robert E. Lee, and so on. The NY Observer article indicates it was a rather arcane business decision, and also says that the remaining 12 volumes of the series that were under contract will, indeed, be published.

Anthony Hopkins might play Pio Nono in a movie based on the Edgardo Mortrara case in which....

In 1858 the 6-year-old Jewish boy was taken from his parents' home in Bologna, Italy, by agents of the Papal inquisition. The year before, seriously ill, Edgardo had been secretly baptized, by the Mortaras' Catholic servant (or so she claimed); it was against the law for baptized Christians to be raised by Jews, and so, in the eyes of the Church, the kidnapping was only just. Secular Italians did not agree, and thus was set in motion a series of reforms that ended the Church's temporal power in Italy and forged the creation of a liberal, near-democratic state. For his part, young Edgardo became a priest and lived in a Belgian abbey until 1940--just before the invading Germans began to deport and execute all those tainted with Jewish blood.

A fascinating look at Dallas from the other side of the pond, in The Tablet You might not agree with every word, but it's well worth your time.
A personal view of Archbishop Dolan from one of his former seminarians.
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for pointing me to the blog debate about theologian Stanley Hauerwas' statements in this NCR article. Hauerwas has been taken roundly to task by many bloggers, but a good response has been offered here.

It's apt that this is brought to my attention today, on a day we're talking about Dorothy Day. Day, of course, was uncompromising in her pacifism. From an article about Day:

"Day's uncompromising pacifism was hard listening for a nation angered by the excesses of totalitarianism; the burgeoning war economy diminished the need for hospitality to the unemployed, and many Catholic Worker houses closed.

Early in the war, Day and Worker Joseph Zarrella testified against conscription and argued for the classification of conscientious objectors before a US Senate Committee. She spoke eloquently of the duty of Christians to disobey laws which they in conscience considered unjust. When the Selective Service Act of 1940 was passed, however, conscientious objectors who were not members of the traditional peace churches found it difficult to gain CO status. Nevertheless, a small band were successful-and the Catholic Worker supported a short-lived camp for them while a New York Worker coordinated the Association of Catholic COs.

When war was declared, Day's Catholic Worker headline read, "We Continue Our Pacifist Stance." Instead of warfare, Dorothy urged prayer, fasting, almsgiving and non-participation in the business of war. She quoted the New Testament as well as the early fathers of the church in support of her stance.

The issue of pacifism caused deep conflict within the movement, and by the end of the war only ten houses of hospitality remained. Day was saddened and shocked at the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and wrote forcefully against the jubilation of the secular press. She urged instead that the US should "destroy the two billion dollars worth of equipment,...destroy all the formulas, put on sackcloth and ashes, weep and repent."

Eileen Egan tells us how Day suffered on learning of the Holocaust and wondered aloud, "If I had known all this, known it while it was happening, would I have been able to maintain my pacifism?" Then she added, "But all the violence didn't save the Jews." "

I hope you are reading the comments on the post below, in which the cultus of St. Rigatoni is explained.
I swear, if I read one more story like this one - I. Am. Going. To. Scream.

Parishioners at St. Rigatoni’s Catholic Church expressed shock and dismay at the removal of their beloved pastor, Father Frank Friendly.

A diocesan spokesperson said that Father Friendly was removed because paperwork had been only recently discovered in his personnel file, indicating that he had been jailed on sexual abuse charge to which he had plead guilty, for several months of 1998.

Late Monday evening, parishioners crowded into the church meeting hall, and took turns at the microphone, tearfully recounting the impact Father Friendly had on their lives.

“We all make mistakes,” declared one parishioner.

“He’s a good man,” said another, to the approving shouts of many.

Several parishioners clustered in a corner of the hall, planning a move for Father Friendly’s canonization, surprised by undeterred by the news that one must be dead in order to be considered for sainthood.

When asked about their stance on the victim of Father Friendly’s abuse, one parishioner questioned whether the six-year old might have gone public with the charges only for “the money and the fame.”

Only one parishioner dissented from the general feelings of support for Father Friendly, remembering the months of the priest’s absence back in 1998.

“You know, we wondered where he’d gone. It did seem kind of strange at the time.”

When you visit this page, I hope you take time to read the comments. Most of them are very good and helpful in bringing out various aspects of stories. Gerard Serafin has this to say about Dorothy Day:

I think it safe to say that Dorothy Day, in todays' Situation, would have increased her regimen of prayer and fasting. She knew wither to go and from whence cometh help (she liked the older translations of the Bible). I suspect, too, that if she were interviewed her reply would be identical to her words in a Life Magazine for the US Bicentennial. Many well-known personages had their photo and under it their words to Americans on this grand occasion. Many were quite long. Dorothy's wasn't. Under her photo was the single word: Repent. Prayer, fasting, repentance - and, I add here, an increased love of the Church as well.

A welcome break in the Rudy-worship , offered by Maggie Gallagher

Apparently the guy's being a shmuck in the divorce preceedings, giving a laughably small percentage of his income for child support. (Question: doesn't New York have an income-based formula in calculating child support? Is it left totally up to the good will of the parties involved?)

Giuliani acted with greatness and superb leadership in the wake of 9/11, and there's no argument that he turned New York City around, but I've never understood supposed conservatives' unquestioning love affair with the guy, particularly given totally liberal stance on social issues. In my opinion, his "outrage" at the dung-splattered Mary at the Brooklyn Museum of Art was mostly a ruse to position himself sympathetically, at least in one issue, with social conservatives. I remember hearing Dr. Laura gush about him at the time over his "strong stand" on that issue, which involved, of course, his outrage at the offense the exhibit caused to his "faith." Oh - but it's okay to support abortion - even late term abortion. It's okay to completely ignore the Church's stand on homosexuality. Apart from the government funding issue , It seems to me that an outsider's use of religious iconography, no matter how distasteful, is far less an offense to faith than a supposed adherent of same religious tradition flagrantly flouting its precepts, especially in matters that involve life and death.

Dissing the absolutely lovely LA Cathedral. If you could imagine.
Via Holy Weblog

WWDDD?...or...What Would Dorthy Day Do and say about our current crisis? The column writer offers a quote to explain:

"I loved the church for Christ made visible,” she said. “Not for itself,
because it was so often a scandal to me.... The church is the cross on which Christ was crucified; one could not separate Christ from his cross, and one must live in a state of permanent dissatisfaction with the church."

The Church isn't the only one that protects (some of) its own.

Here's a startling piece from the NY Daily News about criminals remaining as employees in New York school systems thanks, of course to unions and sympathetic arbitrators.

Pastor hires convicted child sexual abuser as music minister. Is found out. Is removed as pastor.

Predictably, parishioners go beserk, rend garments, insist on immediate canonization of pastor, use word "mistake" 573 times in 30 minutes.

You will find one voice of reason in this article, however:

"We're Catholic," said longtime parishioner Mary Simon, 54. "We know it's not a democracy."I feel sorry for Tom, I feel sorry for Mr. Gee. But they broke the rules. How many people would have been here screaming [in support] had [Gee] molested a child? They're directing their anger at the wrong people."

By the way, do read this article. Read between the lines - pastor hires old seminary friend who's been convicted of child sexual abuse. Then read a parishioner's statement of how what happened was obviously the result of the pastor's "passion for his vocation" and marvel at people's gullibility and other people's talent for exploiting that gullibility.

African priest, member of the Holy Ghost Fathers in NY to raise money, allegedly molested a boy, is arrested. Here's the story from the NY Daily News.
Many thanks to a reader for pointing us to more information on the liturgical texts item below:

The site is Liturgy Help Online, and it is, in fact, a subscription service. Here's the reader's analysis:

"Now, if I understand things aright, had to get the US bishops' permission to publish English texts on which they hold the copyrights. ICEL owns some, and the USCCB owns some. Down in Australia, their Bishops' Conference owns some.

But lest anybody get too sanguine about how helpful the bishops were or how convenient it will be to have authoritative English texts in one handy place, please note that the subscription fees start at $365 a year, some of which goes back in the form of royalties to ICEL and the Bishops' Conference.

I guess that explains in part the USCCB's willingness.

Do remember to destroy the printed copies you make after you terminate your subscription to the service: that's in the terms-and-conditions agreement.

I guess you can't buy the sacred liturgical texts through you can only rent them."


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