Wednesday, December 18

Do people go to college to learn how to do local broadcast news? Do they get degrees in it? Do they tell their parents what they do for a living?

Tonight, on one of our local stations, the consumer watch segment, always hosted by the male anchor, was devoted to some bizarre sandpaper mitt leg hair removal system. No, he didn't test it, but he went to a tape of two women doing so, one of whom was his co-anchor. Yeah. She sat there in a chair, sandpapering her leg, and then when it was concluded that the old method worked best, proven by a close-up of the stubble on her leg, so there she sat again, slathering shaving cream on her leg, and shaving.

Back to you, Dave.

Thanks to reader Kirk for sending along this link to a Gallup poll of Catholics and their Mass attendance habits

I have to get other stuff done right now, so I leave it to you to pick apart..

Bishop Lennon meets the press

Says he supports settling with abuse victims:

Lennon said he has asked that all parties "set aside, except for activity mandated by the court, the day-to-day litigation activities for a period of time so as to permit all parties to actively pursue the potential for a comprehensive settlement of all cases."Lennon said he would continue to offer counseling and outreach support for victim survivors."And I will also begin to meet with victim survivors who wish a meeting with me. Respectfully listening to them, I hope to learn and appreciate the depth of their suffering."I will in turn extend to each of them my apology on behalf of the church for the abuse which they have suffered."He said selling off some of the church's properties and bankruptcy still have not been ruled out as a means of paying claim settlements.

This UPI article says that no reporter asked him about the claims that he knew about abuse in two cases for laicization, didn't report to the civil authorities, but should have. I find it strange that he wasn't even asked.

More documents.Too depressing.

Because, you know....gays and lesbians are so victimized by discrimination

In an unusual move for a U.S. automaker, Ford Motor Co.'s Jaguar brand is launching an advertising campaign targeting gay consumers, the company said Tuesday. The campaign germinated from a major internal study at Ford and Jaguar on how to reach gay consumers, which tend to be fairly affluent with a taste for luxury goods. Ford estimates there are some 14 million gay and lesbian consumers in the United States who wield $450 billion in purchasing power. "They spend more money on luxury cars and they have more money to spend," said Simon Sproule, a spokesman for Jaguar. "

From the NYTimes, a long article about the NY Presbyterian minister accused of abuse

So began a hushed investigation last February that exploded this month into a public litany of sexual abuse allegations leveled against one of Westchester County's best-known ministers. Eight men told the Presbytery that during the 1970's and 80's, when they were teenagers, Mr. Miller initiated oral-genital contact with some, masturbated in front of others, took nude photographs of one and exposed himself to all eight. The Presbytery read these charges publicly at a regional meeting in Middletown on Dec. 3, and the next night they were read again to the Mount Kisco congregation. In both cases, the identities of Mr. Miller's accusers were not revealed. Three of those men agreed to interviews on the condition that their names be withheld.

Once Mr. Miller was apprised of the findings and warned that the Presbytery would seek a church trial, he resigned, voluntarily renouncing his jurisdiction, which means that he is no longer an ordained minister and can never be a pastor again. He then sent a letter to the Mount Kisco congregation saying that in his longtime struggle to accept himself as a gay man, he had done "things that were wrong and inappropriate to my position as a minister." He said he would "carry the burden of this wrongdoing for the rest of my life."

Among the most troubling aspects of the case to many in the town is the suggestion that numerous people were aware of Mr. Miller's inappropriate interest in teenage boys. Some said that they had been told to quash ugly talk that was circulating about the popular pastor. Others said that they had heard youths snickering about Mr. Miller but had decided to ignore the remarks. Doug Phillips, associate pastor at the church under Mr. Miller, said parents had twice complained to him during the mid-1980's about the minister's use of "inappropriate language" around their children. He was concerned, he said, but met with Mr. Miller and thought the issue had been resolved.

Was Bishop Lennon wrong in not reporting abusing priests he was involved in laicizing to the civil authorities?

Two lawyers for alleged victims of defrocked priests say archdiocese documents raise issues about the role of Bishop Richard G. Lennon in overseeing problem clergy.The documents, reviewed by the Herald, show that Lennon - interim head of the Archdiocese of Boston - was responsible in his role as assistant for canonical affairs for overseeing the formal dismissals from the priesthood of the Revs. Paul J. Mahan and John J. Geoghan. Both were dismissed, or ``laicized,'' on Feb. 17, 1998.Lennon was familiar in the mid-1990s with case histories of both men, but there is no indication in subpoenaed files that he alerted civil authorities to their pasts.

The NYTimes reports on the reactions of 3 CT parishes that lost their pastors this past weekend

In interviews today, parishioners at each church said it was difficult to believe that their pastor could be guilty. Still, the parishioners said, they were keenly aware of other abuse cases, especially some notorious cases in the Bridgeport Diocese.

"It's like a plane crashing into our house," said Judith Mastoloni, director of religious education at St. Paul Church. "We live close to the airport, but it could never happen to us."

Mrs. Mastoloni said it was hard to believe the charges. "I could almost swear there has never been anything in our parish," which serves 700 families in Greenwich and in towns across the New York border in Westchester, she said. "I am sure people would have come to me. I am not only the director of religious ed, but this is my parish. I know the parents. My grandchildren were in the program. My grandsons used to run through Father Al's house chasing a dog."

Nevertheless, Mrs. Mastoloni said, she thought the resignation was appropriate. "Guilty or not guilty, step aside," she said. "Let's get this straightened out."

......At St. Mary's in Ridgefield, parishioners said they supported Bishop Lori. "The bishop had to do what he had to do," said Joe Gulick, a member of the church for 30 years.

Maria LaRosa Smith said she had faith in Father Morrissey, the pastor since 1992. "We want our Father back," she said. "I think the person who made the accusations did so against three pastors from well-to-do parishes. He decided it was a good way to get income."

Other parishioners said they also suspected a financial motive. Mrs. Mastoloni of St. Paul said she was curious that one man had accused three different priests. The accuser is being represented by Tremont & Sheldon, a Bridgeport law firm that has represented many other victims of sex abuse by priests and negotiated a multimillion-dollar settlement last year in lawsuits involving 26 people and accusations against 5 priests.

Read Fr. Paul's comment here. It's #5. Do we get it yet? Do we see how these people operate? OF COURSE they present themselves well. OF COURSEthey are skilled at crafting a winning public image.

If they didn't, they couldn't continue exploiting, abusing, and doing other sick things behind the rectory doors. It's all part of the horrible game they play with the rest of us, and it will be a great day when we get over that bump on the road to seeing all sexual predators, no matter what profession - ministry, education, social work...whatever...for what they are and refuse to be taken in by their carefully crafted personas, designed to deceive.

US stands alone at UN population conference

George Neumayr points out the historical logic of Stanford's decision to clone embryos for research purposes

David Starr Jordan, the first president of Stanford University, was a "biological elitist," writes historian Kevin Starr in Americans and the California Dream. Jordan promoted a cult of the Strong. He did not want the "eugenically inferior" to populate America.

He thought that the "survival of the unfittest is the primal cause of the downfall of nations." He worried about "those whose descendants are likely through incompetence and vice to be a permanent burden on our social or political order." "Sons and daughters of the Western pioneers, yours is the best blood in the realm," he told Stanford students. "It is blood which tells."

Now for Stanford it is stem cells from cloned embryos which tell. Jordan's pursuit of a superior race of humans unblemished by bad blood continues at the school. Stanford announced last week that "it will establish a new Institute for Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine," an effort to "develop a new series of embryonic stem cell lines that will serve as models for a wide range of genetically related diseases."

Weakness is so intolerable to the Stanford ethos that the school is willing to clone humans embryos for experimentation in order to eradicate it. But Stanford officials, lacking the rhetorical chutzpah of their founding president, conceal their intentions in medical cant.

More on the Philly-area priest in the story below.

The archdiocese took away his public duties when the charges emerged, and Father DePaoli entered the Villa of St. John's Vienny, a Catholic health facility in Downingtown. In 1988, he went to the House of Affirmation, an after-care facility in Hopedale, Mass., for two years, Rossi said.After his recuperation, Father DePaoli spent several years at St. John the Baptist parish in New Jersey, Rossi said. With the sacrament ban in place, he came back to Philadelphia to reside at Immaculate Conception in 1992, Rossi said. He went to St. Gabriel's on Dec. 2, 1995, with the understanding that he would work within the restrictions imposed by the archdiocese."He had no parish responsibilities," Rossi said. "He was simply in residence there."

Oh. Well, that's nice. Get convicted of possessing child pornorgraphy, spend the rest of your life hanging out at the rectory. Surely the man had to do something to earn his keep.Seems to me that if a guy like that insists on remaining in the priesthood and attached to the diocese, they should put him to work as the Chancery maintenance man or something...

LA Archdiocese drive for needy schools and parishes sets record numbers

Despite this year's sex abuse scandals and economic downturn, parishioners in the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles have pledged $16 million to aid their needy parishes and schools -- the highest figure in the annual fund-raising campaign's 10-year history.


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