Sunday, September 1

The New Times LA greets the new Cathedral with this article recapping their reporting on the controversies over the building and Cardinal Mahony's recent problems. If you've been keeping up with their reporting, you won't find much of anything new, but if you haven't, this is a good place to start.

French law enforcement keeping its eye on sect; mass suicide feared

For the past two months, followers of the Neo-Phare apocalyptic sect have been entrenched in a semi-abandoned chalet in Nantes, and some observers fear they might turn to group suicide, said the Paris newspaper Le Figaro. Sect members have stocked up on provisions to "prepare themselves for the last trip to Venus," the newspaper reported. They are convinced that the end of the world will be ushered in by a cataclysm on earth or the landing of flying saucers. Their 36-year-old leader, known as Arnaud, apparently learned of this revelation in an esoteric text of Andrè Bouguenac, who uses language inspired by cabala and numerology.

Bill Cork has some very interesting comments on the "Fullness of Truth" conference he attended for part of this weekend.
A column from the Chicago Sun-Times examining school vouchers: the anti-Catholic roots (Blaine, Blaine...James G. Blaine....) of church-state "separation" in relation to schools, but also the problematic possible impact on the integrity of religious schools:

Blaine was a bigot, but I'm not so sure that massive federal building programs on private campuses haven't diluted the religious spirit, and I have a lingering fear that vouchers will.Therefore, strangely, I'm a Blaine man without his bigotry because I fear there will be a chilling of religious spirit and further encouragement of secularism on religious campuses where nondenominational students come with vouchers.

A nice profile of apologist Patrick Madrid
Leslie Graves, who is associated with the post-abortion healing ministry Rachel's Vineyard, writes with the following dreadful information:

I am sick, sick to my stomach. In the September 2002 issue of "Oprah" magazine, Oprah features an interview with Phil Donahue on the occasion of his starting a new television talk show. See the interchange on p. 279:

[Warning: graphic and very disturbing imagery.]

"Oprah: When you aired controversial shows, were more people pleased than outraged?

PD: If you look up outrage in the dictionary, there's a picture of me. We once even filmed an abortion--a side shot of a woman in stirrups, the physician dilating the cervix, everything. You heard the machine. You saw the birth matter in the jar. We filmed it. Then we called the Archdiocese of Chicago, the pro-life people, and the pro-choice people, sat them in a room, and played the tape before going anywhere near the air with it. When I walked into the room after they'd seen it, half the people were crying. The major grievance of the prolife and Catholic folks was that the tape made abortion look easy. I said, "Well, that's the procedure--15 minutes." Their fear was that if we aired this, everybody would run out and get abortions. I said, "Look, this issue is splitting families. It's at the center of America's agenda." Somehow, we got to air that. The highest percentage of stations in the history of "Donahue" did not show it, yet significant numbers did. Today, you'd never get that on television."

Oprah follows up this stunning revelation by changing the subject, "After 29 years, were you sad to leave the show?"

I am shaking with rage.

1. He calls it "the birth matter in the jar." The birth matter. Birth.

2. Phil displays no recognition of why half the people in the room were crying.

3. This section of the interview will massively trigger many women who have done everything they could to block from their minds those traumatizing moments and don't know where to go for healing, or that there is such a thing, or that anyone else in the world feels the same way they do.

4. How does showing a murder on air cause families to be less split?

5. Turns out that snuff films are not an urban myth.

6. "The major grievance of the prolife and Catholic folks was that the tape made abortion look easy." Um...doubt it.

7. For very large numbers of women, it's not just 15 minutes on a table.

Please, please encourage people to write letters. According to the Oprah magazine letters page, the email address for letters to the editor is: "". Also, this link takes you to a page on the web where you can write a letter that goes to Oprah: Click here: E-MAIL OPRAH
Finally, here's the email address for the new "Donahue" show: ""

In order to stand a chance of touching sorely hardened hearts, letter writers might choose to focus on the emotional suffering that is characteristic of abortion aftermath. This link would take them to the place on the web that has the most information and links about that: Click here: After Abortion: Information on the aftereffects of abortion and post-abortion healing.

Thank you Leslie. It doesn't seem as if Donohue can stay on the air much longer, what with his abysmal ratings and all, but he still deserves a letter alerting him to his moral blindness, as does Oprah Winfrey.
From Baltimore: A very interesting article about the haggling over the restoration of the Basilica of the Assumption:

Over the past 150 years, the Neoclassical landmark has been renovated, redecorated or refurbished 14 times.A $25 million restoration scheduled to begin in earnest next spring will produce the most sweeping changes yet, but it also will be fundamentally different from all the others. What makes it so different - and more than a little unorthodox - is that instead of adding a new layer of changes, architects this time propose to strip away the old layers and restore the cathedral to the way it looked before any renovations were carried out. They want to show the building as envisioned by its original architect, Latrobe, and America's first Roman Catholic bishop, John Carroll - and particularly to restore the way natural light filtered into the sanctuary before 24 skylights were removed in the 1940s. This approach runs counter to the most commonly accepted restoration standards in the United States, which call for preservation of later additions when they are deemed historically significant.

Many links on Poynter today.

Also: reviews (negatived) of The New Faithful and Weigel's book in the WaPost today.

From the LATimes (LRR):An architechtural "review" of the new cathedral, a look at some of those involved in constructing it, and from the Globe a more critical look at the building of the cathedral


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