Thursday, June 5

George Neumayr on the Diocese of Phoenix:

Will someone at the Vatican please explain to Catholics -- who respect its authority but are sincerely puzzled by its passivity -- how telling the O'Briens of the American church not to resign protects its integrity and autonomy? Church officials didn't want to cave to undue pressure from the state? Well, that's now what they've got: the state peering into the office of bishop because church officials wouldn't let a bad one leave it.

On Tuesday's "O'Reilly Factor," a Catholic professor surmised that the Vatican wanted O'Brien to clean up his own "mess." If that's true, the reasoning is mind-bogglingly reckless. Did Ken Lay get to clean up his own mess? How could it be in the interests of the victims of a mess to let the mess-maker take a crack at cleaning it up? Having O'Brien clean up his own mess makes about as much sense as elevating Jayson Blair to ombudsman at the New York Times.

....."A diocesan Bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfillment of his office, is earnestly requested to offer his resignation from office," say Canon Law. By not following its own law, the Catholic Church invites the intrusion of the state's.

Also from the Spectator, apparently the Voice of the LA Archdiocese has had enough of Neumayr's Mahony-Flogging:

When it comes to his misinformed and specious claims that the church is not seeking reconciliation and healing, Neumayr might as well be talking about himself. He doesn't give a hoot what happens to victims, as long as he gets to use them to pummel the church back into the 14th century, where he undoubtedly believes it should have stayed.

Will Harvard take 2.5 million from a Holocaust denier?

Despite Sheik Zayed's track record, Harvard Prof. William Graham, now dean of the Divinity School, hailed his donation. "This endowment," he told the Harvard Gazette in September 2000, "is a most welcome gift. We are delighted with this encouraging development." At the time, Mr. Graham was probably not aware of Sheik Zayed's links to hate speech and Holocaust deniers. So a group of Divinity School students, including me, went to him this March with a dossier of evidence and a request that Sheik Zayed's hate money be returned. Mr. Graham told us that he was going to have an "independent" researcher look into the matter and that he would get back to us in four to six weeks. We're still waiting. It should be noted that Mr. Graham has not been afraid to take a public stand on Harvard's ties to the Middle East--last year he signed a petition calling for the university to disinvest from Israel--but so far he has not spoken out on Sheik Zayed's gift.

Went to the zoo today. We were there last summer, once, and I swear I don't remember it being as big as it is. Did it grow or did I shrink? Undoubtedly the former.

Joseph liked most of it (last year, he was barely one and not really into it), especially the monkeys and the kangaroos, both of whom, as it happened, had babies. The Capuchin monkeys (of course he would like them, his middle name being Bernard after Venerable Solanus Casey and's that for complicated?), living in the middle of an island surrounded by a moat, had a baby they carried around on their backs, one of the adults reaching back and arm to steady the baby, just like any of us would. I hate to tell you, though, that since the water in the moat also glistened with dozens of shiny pennies and nickels, Joseph, clearly not imitating his patron here, was almost as fascinated by that sight: "Money!Money!"

The kangaroos had babies, er, Joeys, er whatever - two of them carried about in pouches, which is the first time I'd ever seen that. And we saw prairie dogs and snakes and fed ducks and nasty geese (why does any zoo have geese? They are such despicable animals) and saw a very nice sea lion display with one of the happy, shiny creatures, lolling under a waterfall, head under the water, mouth open. I was jealous.

I decided to go ahead and buy a family membership, seeing as Joseph enjoyed himself, there's a playground nearby and picnic tables on the lawn outside the gate. Besides the fact that the membership gets us free admission to our own zoo, we can also get in free to various other zoos in places we frequent, like Knoxville. As for here in "Fotewayne," as Joseph as begun to say, it will be good for a couple of hours of good, hard running on sunny summer mornings. We were probably the only family there with a toddler and without a stroller. People looked at me funny. They don't understand, but they should. Nothing like a forced march through a zoo to wear a two-year old out.

We're back. Apparently, post were migrating at a slower pace than the general Blogger Continental Drift. Funny, I didn't know that posts were migratory, but you learn something new every day. The best part is that in this switch, a big chunk of my archives that has been MIA for ages has reappeared. So now all 19 months or so of Naps is available - if you find yourself battling insomnia tonight, for example.

Oh, and Mark?


Okay, thanks Blogger.

They are going over to a new publishing screen thing, and in the process, it seems as if the whole current blog has been disappeared.

I don't know where it is. I can't find it. My apologies. I will try to add to this distressingly blank screen later, but can't do so right now....

In Hollywood, Florida, there's a battle over theChabad Lubavitch meeting in homes in a residential neighborhood...just a few doors down where a woman named Rosa Lopez has been claiming to have Marian apparitions for years.

How bishops are avoiding indictment

"Should some bishops be indicted? Probably. But I don't think they're going to get one," said Monsignor Kenneth E. Lasch, of the Church of St. Joseph in Mendham, N.J., a leading voice within the clergy for assisting victims. "There's still something about indicting a Roman Catholic bishop in this country that's distasteful and politically not the proper thing to do in many places."

Prosecutors and legal experts said, however, that there are huge legal hurdles to prosecuting a bishop who has not committed sexual abuse himself, but has not prevented abuse by others.

"The first problem is proving criminal intent," said Robert M. Bloom, a professor at Boston College Law School. Even when prosecutors can show "all kinds of inaction" by bishops in the face of sexual misconduct by priests, it is not easy to prove that "they conspired with these bad priests to allow this to continue," he said.

Since the scandal broke, many states have made it a crime not to report child abuse, but such laws cannot be imposed retroactively.In New Hampshire, prosecutors were able to turn to a state law on child endangerment that imposed a broad obligation on churches and other organizations to safeguard children in their care. In California, the child endangerment law is not as far-reaching, but prosecutors say that if they can show a single violation of the law within the current statute of limitations, they can reach back further in time to try to prove a conspiracy by church leaders to protect sexual abusers.

Prosecutors in numerous other jurisdictions have expressed frustration with their state laws and statutes of limitations. Grand juries have indicted a small number of priests, including one in Cleveland, two in St. Louis, six in Phoenix and nine in Los Angeles. But on Long Island and in Westchester, N.Y., grand juries were stymied by time limits on prosecuting sexual abuse cases and issued stinging reports calling for changes in state laws.

In Kentucky, more than 200 lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese of Louisville, many alleging not just abuse by priests but also a pattern of concealment by their superiors. Yet Commonwealth's Attorney David Stengel decided there was no point in calling a grand jury to investigate the diocese's leaders, said his spokesman, Jeff Derouen."The problem in Kentucky is that not reporting [sexual abuse] is a misdemeanor, and misdemeanors have a one-year statute of limitations," Derouen said.


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