Thursday, August 29

There's only one seminary left in Ireland

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, whose network of theological schools once exported priests worldwide, closed another hallowed institution Thursday, leaving just a single seminary in this predominantly Catholic country. The directors of St. Patrick's College in Thurles, County Tipperary in southwest Ireland said that their few remaining seminarians would transfer immediately to the church's flagship seminary, Maynooth College near Dublin, which is struggling to produce enough priests for the next generation of Irish Catholics.....The Thurles seminary was the seventh to close in the Republic of Ireland since 1993, leaving only Maynooth, which was the first Irish seminary, founded in 1795. This summer Maynooth enrolled 15 new seminarians. A handful of others entered the Irish College in Rome and a Belfast seminary, St. Malachy's, in the neighboring British territory of Northern Ireland.

Hideous, hideous stuff. This is what we're talking about, and you've got to read the whole thing:

Molesting priest has hidden for years on St. Maarten's, with the law after him and more than a few Church folk aware of his location, even if they deny it.

The Rev. Laurence F.X. Brett vanished abruptly almost a decade ago, leaving clothes still hanging in his closet and a trail of accusers stretching across four states and back 30 years. Now, a Hartford Courant investigation has found the onetime fugitive - whose flight took him beyond the reach of police and plaintiffs' attorneys investigating accusations that Brett sexually abused teenage boys - living a secretive but comfortable life on the tropical island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean....Since shortly after his disappearance late in 1993, the official position of the Roman Catholic Church has been that it wants Brett found and brought to justice. Church officials in Bridgeport and Baltimore have called Brett a criminal and an "evil man." The FBI and a private detective have tried, unsuccessfully, to find him.But interviews and documents make clear that, during the past decade, a handful of priests and laypersons loyal to Brett have known where to find him - and, in one case, were financially supporting his life on the lam.The Courant found evidence that Brett has been in contact for years with at least one and perhaps two priests in the Bridgeport diocese, a prominent businessman who is an associate of Baltimore Cardinal William Keeler, a psychologist from Johns Hopkins University, and an order of Catholic priests in Washington.An evangelical branch of the order, the Paulist Fathers, for whom Brett worked for many years, supported him financially for years on St. Maarten by sending checks to a Miami mailbox, where they were forwarded to an offshore company in Brett's name, a source familiar with the arrangement said.

Christianity Today's Film Forum asks the question:

Is software that enables a viewer to edit out offensive material from movies a good idea?

The most frequently cited examples in this discussion are Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. I say - if you're old enough to see either, you're old enough to see the "offensive" material in either - these are mature, complex films. Isn't it a bit crazy to "be offended" by nudity in a movie about genocide? What - you want your movies about mass murder to be...inoffensive?

And as for the rest of the film canon, ready for the parent's editing knife, I say - sure. But wouldn't it save time, instead of going through all the trouble of editing the vulgarities out of an Adam Sandler or Eddie Murphy movie, to maybe...skip the movies completely (masterpieces that they are) and read a book or watch the Marx Brothers instead?

Today is the feastday of the Beheading of John the Baptist.

I'll be heading off to Mass at our parish/school (St. John the Baptist) where Katie will be doing the first reading this AM.

From the Chicago Tribune (LRR): Black Catholics still crusading

More than a century ago, when delegates to the Congress of Colored Catholics met in Chicago in 1893, they called for the ordination of black priests, an end to discrimination in churches and schools, and more evangelism in black communities.When the National Black Catholic Congress opens another Chicago meeting Thursday, delegates will demand more progress toward all of those same goals. They also are calling for the acceptance of blacks at the highest levels of church leadership and for a full recognition of their gifts in a church they feel has too often dismissed their concerns."Some of the issues that came up at the congress in the late 19th Century are the same issues that are important to the congress today," said James Cavendish, sociology professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa. "The difference is that we have 13 black Catholic bishops, and we have 350 black Catholic priests who can represent black Catholics."Among those 13 are Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry and Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Both men will participate in the four-day congress, which is expected to draw 3,000 people and will be addressed Friday by Cardinal Francis George

The kind host of Cella's Review has sent along a link to a wonderful essay by Rebecca West on St. Augustine.


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