Sunday, June 30

Thanks to a reader for passing on this link to a good piece by George Weigel on Archbishop Dolan

Archbishop-elect Tim Dolan is a happy man because he is a happy Christian disciple and a happy Catholic priest. Among his favorite quotes: "Joy in the infallible sign of God's presence," which he takes from a letter of the French novelist Leon Bloy to philosopher Jacques Maritain. Moreover, his happiness, which is a function of his profound Christian faith, is irresistibly infectious. For the past 35 years (and not just during the current scandal-time), Catholicism in the U.S. has too often been a grouchy, unhappy place. That is about to change, dramatically, in Milwaukee.That the new archbishop will get off more side-splitting one-liners in an afternoon than many prelates do in a decade should not obscure an equally important aspect of his personality, however. Timothy Dolan is a very intelligent, deeply read man, well-versed in contemporary Catholic thought..

All eyes are on Milwaukee, aren't they? As the first new prelate appointed post-Dallas in one of the most liberal sees in the nation, Dolan has hard row to hoe...this will be fascinating to watch. In a good way, we hope!

A couple of unpleasant stories, but offered to you as evidence for It's not just Catholic clergy (although if you're a longtime reader of this blog you know that I categorially reject such an appeal in defense of abusive Catholic clergy. We shouldn't be happy that the percentage of molesters among clergy seems to be commensurate with what it is in the general population or in other professions. Zero percent is what we're after, I believe.)

But, in an article sent on by Rose (thanks, Rose! I guess...), we read about a Protestant Sunday School teacher (male, married) who told a 16-year old student to write "What Would Jesus Do" on his....well, I'll be you can guess.

And then in our local paper today, our very own Mary Kay Letourneau, a 40-year old guidance counselor who went mad for a fifteen year old boy.

Lots and lots of stuff at Poynter today.
From the NYTimes (LRR), Laurie Goodstein points out that in many states, the obstacles to vouchers are anti-religious school laws dating from the nativist, Know-Nothing, anti-immigrant 19th century.

The state amendments barring aid to religious schools are often called "Blaine amendments." The first state to pass one was Massachusetts, where in 1854, the Know-Nothing party swept to power pledging to "Americanize America." It proposed legislation that would have prevented Roman Catholics from holding public office, dismissed Irish workers from state jobs and added an amendment to the state Constitution that tax money "shall never be appropriated to any religious sect for the maintenance exclusively of its own schools." Other states took up similar amendments, and about 20 years later, a House speaker, James G. Blaine, tried to bolster his presidential candidacy by urging Congress to pass a copycat amendment to the United States Constitution. It failed, but within 15 years, Blaine amendments had been adopted in more states. Many Western states adopted them as a condition of their admission to the Union, and in the Pacific Northwest, the laws were pushed by the Ku Klux Klan, according to Kevin J. Hasson, president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a legal advocacy group that often represents religious groups. "Blaine amendments are a dirty little secret from the anti-immigrant past," Mr. Hasson said. "They not only get in the way of vouchers and prohibit other sorts of useful aid, but they enshrine bigotry in many state constitutions. "

Here's one of the results of being the daughter of a political science professor. You learn things like this nugget from history when you're a child, and somehow they stick with you:

Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine - Continental Liar from the State of Maine!

That was, I believe, a slogan used against Blaine when he ran for president. (Against Grover Cleveland in 1884.)

From the NY Times (LRR): 7 women "ordained" in Germany", and frankly, I wouldn't worry too much about it:

The ceremony was performed by Romulo Braschi, an Argentine former Catholic priest who calls himself a bishop and a specialist in karma. His 13,000-member Jesus Rey Church is not recognized by the Vatican. He said today, "The Vatican is used to treating as sects anyone who differs with its dogma."

Haircut photos here. I don't have a good "after" photo yet, but I'll get one today sometime.

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