Saturday, December 21, 2002

No More Shopping!
We finished our grocery shopping for Christmas today. I fervently hope that neither of us needs to see the inside of a store until at least next Friday. All gifts are wrapped and under the tree. Even the stocking stuffers are in hand. Just some baking, some cards, and dropping off cookie platters with friends left to do.

Blogging will be light and mostly Christmas-oriented, though probably not nonexistent, through Saint Stephen's Day.

A Supreme Court Vacancy?
There is a lot of speculation that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist might retire from the Court, since the Republican majority in the Senate would facilitate the appointment of a conservative jurist to replace him. Rehnquist is 78, has been on the court 31 years, has chronic back pain, and recently suffered a leg injury. He has been one of the greatest conservative jurists in the history of the court. He will not be an easy man to replace.

If President Bush does appoint his successor soon, my advice is to ignore the Lott imbroglio and its ramifications. Don't pander; no affirmative action appointees that will haunt us for 30 years. Remember President Eisenhower said the two worst mistakes he made as president were sitting on the Supreme Court (Earl Warren and William Brennan, who served until the elder President Bush's term). President G.H.W. Bush undoubtably wishes he could take that Souter appointment back. Pick another principled conservative for the ages.

One Silent Night
At National Review On Line, Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews Stanley Weintraub, author of Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce.

O Oriens

O Oriens,
splendor lucis aeternae,
et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina
sedentes in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.

O Dawn,
splendor of eternal light,
and sun of justice,
come, and shine on those ,
seated in darkness,
and in the shadow of death.

Friday, December 20, 2002

A National Disgrace
Not Trent Lott, but Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) , who has now publicly praised Osama bin Laden for building schools and roads for the use of Third World people, and accusing the US of not doing that.

"He's been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. We haven't done that.

If Trent Lott should resign from the leadership of the Senate Republicans for what he said, Patty Murray should go into permanent exile from the United States for praising the mastermind behind the murder of some 3000 Americans. Did any member of Congress in March 1943, praise Tojo for furthering the legitimate aspirations of the Japanese people, or Hitler for ending German unemployment and building autobahns?

Not only are the remarks incredibly insensitive to the thousands of American families shattered by bin Laden's henchmen on September 11th, but they are outright lies and disinformation. The US has been, since 1945 at least, the leading force in building infrastructure and providing relief in the Third World.

Senator Murray has proven once again that she is a fool of monumental proportions, one of those useful idiots that lack direction since the fall of the Communist Party in Moscow from power, but are nonetheless loathesome and dangerous. She is too stupid and blinded by left-wing idealogy to represent the people of any state properly. She should resign from the Senate immediately. If we hold Senator Lott to high standards, we should hold members of the other party to the same standards, and begin a drumbeat in our own media for Senator Murray's resignation from the Senate (since her crime, which is on the borderline of being treasonous, and is certainly divisive at a time when the American people must act as one to defeat the menace of terorism, is so much more offensive than Lott's, and without the mitigating circumstances).

Go, Patty, now, and let us hear your name no more.

An Early Christmas Present
If CBS is correct, that Lott is stepping down as Majority Leader while staying in the Senate, it is excellent news and a great early Christmas present for the GOP. Feel like decking those halls and enjoying the tidings of comfort and joy yet?

Lott Bows To the Inevitable
A day after his spokesman said the effort to unseat Lott was over, and that Lott had the votes he needed to retain his leadership, CBS News is reporting that Lott will step aside this afternoon. The Frist challenge has been building for over 48 hours. Lott is now calling Senate collegues to tell them first. Formal announcement coming later. He will hold his seat in the Senate. Nothing on line on this yet. Developing...

A Miracle Attributed To Mother Theresa
A young Indian woman recovered from a stomach tumor after a picture of Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen, according to the Vatican. The Holy Father has approved the miracle. This approval brings Mother Theresa closer to beatification. In fact, a beatification is planned for October 19th in Rome. One more approved miracle will make Mother Theresa eligible for sainthood.

Defining "Knowledgeable" Down
According to the Washington Times, today's college seniors have slightly more knowledge of culture and history than high school graduates of the 1950s did.

"America has poured enormous amounts of tax dollars into expanding access to higher learning," Mr. Balch said. "Students spend, and pay for, many more years in the classroom than was formerly the case. Our evidence suggests that this time and treasure may not have substantially raised student cultural knowledge above the high school levels of a half-century ago."


More Efforts To Exclude Christmas From the Public Schools
The Washington Times today details more efforts to take Christmas out of the public schools across the country.

The words of Charles Haynes of the First Amendment Center:

"The bottom line is everyone knows it's Christmas. All the kids know it's Christmas, so this is the kind of thing that makes schools places of hostility and conflict unnecessarily."

In the same vein, Michelle Malkin, in her column available at TownHall.com today, discusses Virginia Beach's war on a Christian charity that provides toys and food to the poor.

And "Old Writer" Says
"Now capons and hens, beside turkeys, geese, and ducks, with beef and mutton-must all die-for in twelve days a multitude of people will not be fed with a little. Now plums and spice, sugar and honey, square it among pies and broth. Now or never must music be in tune, for the youth must dance and sing to get them a heat, while the aged sit by the fire. The country maid leaves half her market, and must be sent again if she forgets a pack of cards on Christmas Eve. Great is the contention of holly and ivy, whether master or dame wears the breeches. Dice and cards benefit the butler; and if the cook do not lack wit, he will sweetly lick his fingers."
Quoted by Washington Irving in Christmas, part of the Bracebridge Hall stories.

Libros Deponendi
Most primary and secondary schools start their Christmas vacations today. The following is very fitting for the occasion.

Omne bene
Sine poena
Tempus est ludendi.
Venit hora
Absque mora
Libros deponendi

An old school holiday song

Five More Files Made Public
The Boston Herald, as of 6:20 am had not picked up this story (or did last night when Mrs. Fitzpatrick and I were busy at a school Christmas pageant). But the Globe has done its usual job. It reports here on 2 files, one case of pure homosexual rape and abuse of boys, the other mixed, featuring relations with women, young girls, and boys (a three-fer, or alleged equal opportunity abuser). The priest who allegedly abused boys died in 1984. The other one was suspended from priestly duties this year (he was stationed in Revere). But the Globe has nothing to say about the other three files. All the news that fits "progressive" priorities, as usual.

O Clavis David
O Clavis David,
et sceptrum domus Israël,
qui aperis, et nemo claudit,
claudis, et nemo aperuit:
veni, et educ vinctum
de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.

O Key of David,
and scepter of the house of Israel,
you open, and no one shuts,
you shut, and no one opens:
come, and lead the prisoner
from jail,
seated in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

The Christmas Candies List
In our house, the sweet tooth predominates. Candy is important at Christmas. In my family, it is what goes into the stockings. No books, no trinkets, no CDs. Just candy. You wake up, go to the stocking, and you get candy. If you want presents, look under the tree. Of course, once you pass 14, you don't gorge yourself on the candy so much Chirstmas morning. But you absolutely do sample a marzipan or a Jordan almond, maybe a piece of Turkish Delight. You have to have at least one piece of sinfully good chocolate while opening presents.

Then, on New Year's Eve, since we don't go out (my father died suddenly on the morning of New Year's Eve in 1989, so it is not an occasion when I like to go out on the town or entertain) we prepare a marathon of comedy videos, chill the Moet & Chandon (sometimes served half and half with Chambord), have nachos in the evening (just to revisit the reason why Mexico has never become a great power), and prepare a platter of fancy chocolates for around 11:00 and into the New Year.

In no particular order:

My Top Ten Christmas Candies

Godiva Truffles (almost any variety)
Ferraro Rocher
Turkish Delight (Liberty Orchards produces several reasonable facsimiles, including some dipped in chocolate)
Sarments Dark Chocolate Orange Twigs
Almond Roca
Mrs. Fitzpatrick's Fudge
Boston Fruit Slices (they have a variation coated in chocolate)
Dark Chocolate Cordial Cherries
Guylian Hazelnut Praline Seashells

Mrs. Fitzpatrick hasn't had time to make her fudge yet (or all of her delicious toffee, either) but everything else on the list, and much more, is here waiting for the day.

May visions of sugar plums dance in your heads.

All-Lott-All-the-Time Means There Is Nothing Else To Talk About
Eight of the 14 columns carried by TownHall.com today deal with the Trent Lott mess. I think we have looked at the problem about as exhaustively as it deserves. I'm bored with this imbroglio. Frankly it is getting much more attention than it should, because most other news stories are shutting down for the Christmas holiday.

We won't start military action against Iraq before late January or February (and then only once we have our diplomatic ducks in a row). Cardinal Law's resignation brought one chapter of the Scandal to a climax, though not a conclusion. The Middle East has been blessedly quiet (Lord, let it stay that way). Retailers are doing well enough this season. Al Gore dropping out the Democrats' nomination fight was a bombshell, but it is done and there is little more to say about it. All the elections are over. The equities markets are in pre-Christmas/New Year stasis.

So the ongoing will-he-stay-or-will-he-go saga of Trent Lott is the story of the day. Too bad for Lott that there is nothing breaking to push him off the front page, but that is the way the PR ball bounces. Besides, after saying such stupid things, he deserves to twist slowly in the wind for a while, even if he hangs on to the leadership. And there really isn't anything more to add to it.

The newsmakers are beginning the process of shutting themselves up for Christmas. News consumers are doing the same thing. Most folks' attentions are being focused now on picking up those last-minute gifts, cleaning the house for the big parties, wrapping presents, keeping the kids from climbing the walls while they wait for Santa, getting the cards done, baking those cookies, and finishing work projects so they can take a few days off around Christmas and New Years. My attention is there too. I expect the next few days here at Verus Ratio to be increasingly news-free.

Let us all pray for a peaceful and joyful Christmas and New Year for ourselves, for our country, and for our Church.

Christmas In Carrick
Performed by the Clancy Brothers on their Clancy Brothers Christmas CD

On the road the frost is glistening.
People stream from Midnight Mass.
Friendly candles glow in windows.
Strangers greet you as you pass.
Home then to the laden table;
Ham and goose and pints of beer,
Whisky handed 'round in tumblers,
Christmas comes but once a year!

Puddings made with eggs and treacle,
Seeded raisins and ground suet,
Sated breadcrumbs and mixed spices,
Grated rind and plenty fruit,
Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg,
Porter, brandy, and old ale.
Don't forget the wine and whisky!
Christmas comes but once a year!

Women fussing in the kitchen,
Lay the food on every plate.
Men impatient in the hallway,
Guinness and porter while we wait.
Who cares if we work tomorrow?
Now's the time to spread good cheer!
Pass the punch around the table!
Christmas comes but once a year!

O Radix Jesse
O Radix Jesse,
qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos,
jam noli tardare

O Root of Jesse,
who stand as a sign for the people,
kings stand silent in your presence,
whom the nations will worship:
come to set us free,
put it off no longer.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

I Warned You
Here it is, another list. This time, it is a list of my favorite Christmas cookies. I don't know why it is, but Christmas, more than any other time of the year, says, "cookies" to me. I started baking cookies at Christmas in high school, 20 years ago. When Mrs. Fitzpatrick and I were courting, I found to my delight that she baked an assortment of Christmas cookies also. Even better, our preferred Christmas cookies do not overlap. So, since we have been married, the varieties of cookies available in the house at Christmas have multiplied. We no longer bake in the 10-15 dozen volume of each type we used to. But we bake more than a dozen varieties.

I'll gladly send recipes to anyone who asks

My Top Ten Christmas Cookies
Mrs. Fitzpatrick's Sugar Cookies (she uses lots of nutmeg, yum)

Jumbles (a cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg cookie I discovered from a Williamsburg cookbook)

Springerles (egg and anise seed biscuits of German origin from the Greenfield Village cookbook)

Shortbread (plain shortbread, but Mrs. F. has 4 stamps; dragon, shamrock, thistle, rose for each of the four British peoples)

Honey Cookies (a little cinnamon, but a lot of honey gathered at Peabody's Brooksby Farm; from Winterthur's cookbook)

Lebkuchen (OK we cheat and buy this spicy gingerbread with apricot jam and coated in chocolate)

Pfeffernusse (those spicy little cookies coated with powdered sugar, usually bought)

Gingerbread Men (you have to have them at Christmas, even if you have to buy them at the bakery)

Peppermint Sandwiches (new to us; chocolate wafers with vanilla frosting and peppermint extract spread between them)

Spritz (Mrs. F.'s little almond flavored butter cookies, some colored red, others with a cinnamon imperial at the center)

Tomorrow, my favorite Christmas candies. Over the weekend, I might put up a list of ways to enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas (until January 6th, the traditional date of the Epiphany).

Lest They Not Be Noticed, Again
Here are the words of Father John McNally, written to Cardinal Medieros in 1973 about a sexually abusive priest and ignored:

"For 22 years, this man has been transferred from one parish to another -- something like 17 times -- but no one has ever faced the real problem. The man is sick and needs help," McNally wrote. "Why must we always place the immediate accommodation of the priest above the good of the church? Why should so many people have to be abused and insulted and alienated from the church, just so that we can give this man a place to sleep? We seem to have our values confused."

Say a prayer for Father McNally, who is most likely no longer with us (he isn't listed any longer, and was a pastor in 1973).

Bishop Lennon Has His first Press Conference Today

The Boston Herald On Garabedian's Tirade and McLeish's Response

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents scores of Geoghan's victims, said two of his clients were molested by the now-jailed ex-priest after Lennon saw documents outlining Geoghan's past.

``He had a moral obligation to notify the public,'' Garabedian said. ``At the least, this taints his ability to run the archdiocese.''

One lawyer familiar with church files, Roderick MacLeish Jr., defended Lennon yesterday. ``We have seen nothing in our review of over 10,000 documents,'' he said, suggesting Lennon ``was complicit in placing known child molesters back into ministry.''

Reparations In New York?
Heather McDonald, writing for City Journal, and carried at FrontPage Magazine, describes the latest effort of the reparations lobby to pass pro-reparations legislation in New York City. Does anyone seriously think Mayor Bloomberg will take a second away from his war on smokers to try to defeat this insidious measure? Think again.

Making the Way Straight, But for Islam
Daniel Pipes reports about PBS' lovefest with Islam in a column carried on FrontPage Magazine.

More Priest Files Released In Boston
Another 3,000 pages of personnel files of 13 priests accused of various forms of sexual abuse were released yesterday.

Father Joseph K. Coleman was accused by a mother of molesting her 14 year-old son in 1987. He acknowledged to church officials twice touching the boy and once performing a sex act on him while he slept. He also admitted doing the same to a 15 year-old boy. He also admitted touching the genitals of other boys while they slept. He was sent to a mental facility, but later assigned to two hospitals. The Archdiocesan review board was concerned that he may have abused other boys while serving as a hospital chaplain, so they requested that he write an apology for his file for future use (what a bizarre request and a do-nothing approach to the problem!). He is currently listed as on health leave.

Here is a letter to Cardinal Medieros about a priest who could not keep his hands off women and girls (comparatively a refreshing problem here among Boston's priests), slept with a gun (for dealing with jealous husbands?), enganged in various financial shenanigans, and was described as "homicidal," from a priest who sounds as if he has his priorities right in this regard (Father John J. McNally, in 1973 pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Revere, but no longer listed in the Archdiosesan Directory, so I fear you can't write a thank you):

"For 22 years, this man has been transferred from one parish to another -- something like 17 times -- but no one has ever faced the real problem. The man is sick and needs help," McNally wrote. "Why must we always place the immediate accommodation of the priest above the good of the church? Why should so many people have to be abused and insulted and alienated from the church, just so that we can give this man a place to sleep? We seem to have our values confused."

But no one at the chancery listened to Father McNally.

From 1951 to 1979, Creighton was placed in 20 different parishes as an assistant pastor. In 1979, he was placed on a leave of absence that was renewed annually until his retirement in 1985.

Father McNally, who apparently either left the priesthood or has died, had it right in 1973. The problem with this particular priest was before Cardinal Law's appointment to the see of Boston.

If we left it to the Boston Globe, that is all we would know about, one case of repeated homosexual abuse, and one of repeated heterosexual abuse. So we would be left with the false impression that the abuse is equally heterosexual and homosexual, and that homosexual abuse is not the major component. Thank Heavens we have the Boston Herald.

The Rev. Andrez Sujka returned to his native Poland last year after allegations emerged he sexually abused a boy in the late 1980s, records show. ``I was never raped, but I was definitely used for his sexual satisfaction,'' a parishioner of South Boston's Our Lady of Czestochowa wrote to the archdiocese in September 2001.

The accuser, who was 12 when the alleged abused began, said in June 2001 he confronted Sujka, who did not deny the acts but asked him to keep them secret. Sujka, who was ordained in 1975, resigned the day after archdiocese officials received the letter.

Can't tell the gender of the victims from the information in the story:

In November 2000, the Father C. Melvin Surette of Peabody resisted orders from the archdiocese that he resign from the board of Matignon High School in Cambridge. Surette had been told in 1995 to have no ministry involving youth.
After a series of letters, Surette told the church he would resign. In 1994, Surette had admitted to inappropriate conduct with minors

There was a problem with both Father James Foleys (recall that Father James D. Foley's file was released, and showed that he had pulled a Ted Kennedy, letting the mother of two of his bastards die of a drug overdose while he was present without calling for help in a timely manner):

Father James J. Foley Jr., 50, was assigned to St. Ann's in Dorchester in 1978 and left for Holy Name in West Roxbury in 1981, where he allegedly fondled a boy under the guise of measuring him for bodybuilding training.
But the priest denied the allegation, saying he measured the boy's body parts but not his genitals.

``I am only guilty of gross stupidity and indiscretion,'' he said.

Foley, who also served in Scituate, Beverly and New Mexico, was treated at Ontario's Southdown Institute. He was placed on health leave in 1999. He was banned a year later from ministering to minors, a decision he threatened to appeal to the Vatican.

Brotherly love?

Father Benjamin McMahon Jr., 60, was alleged to have raped three young brothers while he was associate pastor at Immaculate Conception in Marlboro for a decade until 1983. ``(The family) felt particularly devastated because Ben was a close friend,'' said the Rev. Walter Cuenin of Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton in reporting the allegations in 1991. McMahon has been on leave since 1986.

And another brother act:

Father Anthony Buchette was accused of molesting two teenage brothers after using trophies to lure them to his room at St. Hugh's in Roxbury in the late 1970s, according to records. Buchette allegedly would show his tan line, partially exposing his genitals, to one boy, and he engaged in more blatant contact with his brother.

Buchette denied the allegations.``I do not recall the boy. I would never force myself on anyone young or old,'' Buchette responded to church investigators.

One with problems with women:

Father Kelvin Iguabita, 33, was arrested in January on charges he raped a 15-year-old girl in 2001. Three months later, he faced charges of sexually assaulting an adult woman while a deacon at Rockport's St. Joachim Church in the late 1990s.
Ordained in 1999, Iguabita had only one assignment as a priest, to Haverhill's All Saints parish, followed by an appointment by Msgr. Michael Smith Foster to the Metropolitan Tribunal office, before being placed on sick leave in 2001.

Iguabita is free on $15,000 cash bail while awaiting trial.

Files were also released on the Father Paul Finnegan, Father Joseph Gilpin, Father Paul Hurley, Father Dennis Keefe, and Father John Turnbull. Those files had not been taken notice of by the press as of 6:00 am. today.

Christmas A Week Away
The headline is a line from an old Bing Crosby song. Well, no more trips to the stores for us. All the presents are bought. Mrs. Fitzpatrick is done with her wrapping, and wrote more cards last night. All the mailing is done (except for cards). The decorating is done (the tree has been up a week and a half, and will stay up until Plough Monday). The Advent wreath has been getting regular use. Christmas readings are on track. Cookie baking is proceeding, and the cookie tins are filling up (I'll do a list of Christmas cookies later). We are working our way through our annual viewing of holiday movies and the specials we grew up with (since we have everything on video, we can watch at our own pace and on our own schedule: it's wonderful to be free of network programming). We only need to make a long visit to the grocery store and the liquor store to finish up.

The excitement is building. The King of Kings is near at hand.

O Adonai
O Adonai,
et dux domus Israël,
qui Moyse in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Mighty Lord,
and leader of the house of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the burning bush,
and on Sinai gave him the law,
come to redeem us with outstretched arm.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

WBZ Has Something Up
WBZ Radio's website has finally managed to get something on what Bishop Lennon knew on line (scroll down). But it lacks the full text of Garabedian's tirade, and is slanted against Lennon, and ignores McLeish's comments.

Dontee Stokes Acquitted
And Fox News reports that the jury recommends mercy on the gun charges he was convicted on.

McLeish Takes Issue With Garabedian
Showing some class, Roderick McLeish, Esq. has challenged the vicious, thoughtless, and thuggish contentions Mitchell Garabedian, Esq. made this morning on WBZ Radio about Bishop Lennon, saying the documents he has seen show no evidence that Lennon was complicit. The effective lawyer gets his case made, and knows how to get a deal for his clients quickly.

When I see a link on WBZ's website, or the Globe, on either Garabedian's remarks or McLeish's statement, I'll get it up.

A Gathering Of Know-Nothings
The Boston Globe has a message board running today that is supposed to be about how parishes are coping with the Scandal. It has become a general forum for Catholic-bashing. Almost every one of the two dozen or so respondents have said that they have stopped going to Mass, that the Catholic Church is inherently corrupt, etc. This is the only exception:

I have attended Mass weekly all my life, (41 years), and continue to do so. The comments on this page have been rather disappointing in both their shallowness and lack of insight, and fairly blatant anti-Catholicism. I mean, Killing Jews? Ursuline Convent, which was attacked in an atrocious act of violence. these are obvious canards and betray the thoughtlessness and ignorance of the commenters. For the faithless and the shallow, this is evidently another excuse to indulge bigotry and prejudice. For the faithful, I think the story has been one of great anguish, sorrow, hurt and anger. I am as disappointed in Cardinal Law as anyone, and am devastated that a priest I know well has been implicated. (Of course, people seem to overlook the fact that teachers, doctors, social workers, and all manner of others abuse children every day, not to mention the thousands of teenagers and college students taken advantage of by lecherous men and women to no consequence or attention whatsover. Of course, no one says, i'll never let my child alone with a teacher again. Now, to be sure, it is deeply shocking that this has involved men of God, and more shocking still, is the extent of covering up the crimes on the part of chancery officials and the Cardinal himself, but people of faith I think continue to look to Christ, take part in (and comfort from) the Sacraments and recite the Creed. The Church will endure and the People of God will continue to give thanks to Him who gives us all free will and then sent his Son to die for our sins. Cardinal Law can do nothing to make the wrongs right, but he can't make what is right wrong either. The many contemptous commenters will perhaps never know the joy of the Liturgy, but those of us who do, will continue to seek it even if our priests are lazy, corrupt or weak. and even if our Church is subjected to ridule and scorn. My own parish is a wonderful place for the simple reason that there is a Mass there every Sunday that I can go to and witness the Eucharist and hear the Gospels. I bring my children there every Sunday, and hope that they will come to love their faith as I do. The best I can do for them is to expose them to the truth of the liturgy, and the traditions of our heritage.

Dave, Charlestown

New Hampshire's Father Talbot Pleads Guilty
Father Francis Talbot,66, of the Diocese of Manchester has pled guilty to buggering a boy. Prosecutors were going to indict him on 500 felony counts. They are looking for a prison sentence of 10-20 years.

VOTF Will Now Target Bishop McCormack
I doubt the protests will be as effective in New Hampshire (it's so inconvenient to drive all the way up to Manchester, unless you are planning to stop off on the way to ski). Though I dislike VOTF quite thoroughly, since McCormack was the figure behind the curtain here in Boston for ten years and has a record of protecting perverts going back to the 1960s here in Salem (he even stayed at Shanley's gay B&B in California) I hope the effort to get rid of McCormack succeeds. The participation of VOTF is annoying, but if they can be used as a tool in the effort to cleanse the Church, let us use them. Just don't get to close, or the heterodoxy may rub off.

Father Lavigne Will Finally Be De-Frocked
Long past time. This guy has actually done time for buggering boys. No "alleged" is necessary when calling Father Lavigne a pervert priest.

But Can We Afford This?
John Derbyshire reminds us that Lott probably would resign from the Senate rather than settle into the back benches. And the governor of Mississippi, who would appoint his successor, is a Democrat. If we had won the Louisiana seat, we could afford to lose Lott's seat, but now we can't. Is holding the seat and the two-seat margin more important than holding our integrity and having an effective Majority Leader?

Maybe we need a vacancy in a Democrat seat in a state with a Republican governor. Any criminal probes pending? If the good die young, Ted Kennedy will live forever, but his liver is another question. Daniel In Our Way must be getting up there (and Hawaii will have a Republican governor soon). We need some lucky breaks to get out of this near-stalemate in the Senate. The Democrats have had their breaks with the deaths of Coverdell and Governor Carnahan, and the corruption of the New Jersey Supreme Court giving them Lautenberg. It is our turn.

Rich Lowry Agrees With Me
From National Review On Line's The Corner
Lott's BET performance was an utter confirmation of the David Frum thesis--that he would to try to survive by selling out conservatives. He supports affirmative action, he's going to re-think his support for Judge Pickering, indeed he's go to re-think everything and try to get his colleagues to do the same (Lott will apparently now be handing out lessons in racial reconciliation). Get ready for Rep. John Lewis to become the co-majority leader. Lott's defenders say his resignation would be a victory for racial mau-mauing. Wrong. This was a victory for mau-mauing and every day for a long time that Lott continues to be majority leader will be just such a rolling surrender to the NAACP and other grievance groups.

But what was Lowry doing blogging at 3:00 am?

Time To Mercifully Put Him Down (As Majority Leader)
Trent Lott is now courting public support from blacks by prostituting himself as an advocate of "affirmative action." He is out of control and now ignoring the public good to hold on to his position. Time to step down. If only the vote was sooner than January 6th.

Obvious Parallel
Paul Greenberg, appearing in TownHall.com, makes the obvious comparison between Cardinal Law and Trent Lott. I like his characterization of Boston as the "capital of Catholic America," though I am sure that many at St. Blog's will take exception.

Actually, a good case can be made that Lincoln, Nebraska is the real capital of Catholicism in the US, if you mean by that the place where the orthodoxy, fervor, and strength of belief and dynamism of practice is greatest. And that is due to Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz. The only problem I have with Bruskewitz is that NARAL is not on his list of banned organizations.

The White House Has Evidently Come To the Same Conclusion About Lott That Most Conservatives (and Verus Ratio) Have

Missile Defense System To Be Deployed in 2004
According to this article in the Washington Times, President Bush has done what Ronald Reagan (Ronald the Great of happy memory) tried to do but could not, and his father pursued as well. He will deply a national defense against incoming missiles in 2004. I would suggest that the first generation be directed at missiles that migfht be launched rom Asia, say, China or Korea. That is where the threat of missiles coming from will be greatest for a while.

President Bush deserves a rousing cheer for this. It took 20 years to bring this necessary move to fruition (of course 8 of those years were a total waste, with total waste Bill Clinton in the White House).

"Catholic" Charities Accepts VOTF's Gilt ("O, Gilt Indeed")

Cardinal Law is Leaving the Boston Area
Good call, your Eminence.

Mitchell Garabedian Would Be Better Employed As A Dustman
I heard a WBZ Radio interview at 6:40 am with Mitchell Garabedian, Esq., the attorney for many of the victims of Father John Geoghan. The man is hysterical, inarticulate, ill-informed, and a real no-class act. He is the living embodiment of what I was talking about yesterday when I said a chap can get through law school and still not be a gentleman, except by title. You can swear someone in at the bar (or as a doctor) but their upbringing and social class shine through no matter what. Lower class people, without monumental and well-informed efforts at disguising their origins, will always come across as lower class. Eric McLeish and Jeffrey Newman may be blood-sucking members of the plaintiffs' bar, but at least they show a little class.

Today Garabedian is railing at the selection of Bishop Richard Lennon as Apostolic Administrator. He claims that Bishop Lennon is tainted by the scandal. Some documents Garabedian has show that Lennon knew about certain perverts, and did not go public with the knowledge. Of course he didn't. The documents Garabedian has do not reflect anything he might have said to Law or others without leaving a written record. And he was not the Archdiocesan official ultimately responsible for the problem in 1995 or 1996.

The situation in the Boston Archdiocese dictates that someone from within (who is familiar with some of the details of this sorry situation) has to run the show until this mess is cleaned up. There is no one who has served in any significant administrative capacity in the Archdiocese in the last 30 years who is utterly ignorant of the problem. Throwing a neophyte into this maelstrom would just delay any settlement for your clients, Brother Garabedian. Want your clients to have to wait another 6 months, or year, while an outsider gets up to speed on the scandal?

In Bishop Lennon, we have someone as clean as you can get and still be an insider familiar with the details of the scandal. Launching vicious attacks on him three days after he took up his heavy an unenviable burden is ridiculous. The effort by Garabedian is nothing less than an attack on the Catholic Church itself. There is no one who can expeditiously deal with this matter who is absolutely clean of all knowledge.

And while we are throwing stones, Brother Garabedian, since you have been representing victims of priest abuse for quite a while, and have agreed to secret settlements that kept details from being made public, you are just as responsible for what you claim Bishop Lennon is. Oh yes, it was in the best interests of your clients, you say. Well Bishop Lennon had no direct responsibility to go public either (which would have been an extraordinary move under any circumstances) in 1995 or 1996. Lennon evidently thought it was in the best interests of his Church to not go public then. And Brother Garabedian, you could have discreetly arranged to have the information you were privy to leaked to the press after the settlement check was in your clients' hands and spent. As a lawyer, you may have had a duty to not do so, but as a citizen? As for Bishop Lennon, he had a duty as a priest to obey and respect the structure and procedures of his Church. As a citizen, he had the same duty you did.

Glass houses, Brother Garabedian, glass houses.

O Sapientia
O Sapientia,
quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter,
suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom,
who proceeds from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching out mightily from end to end,
and sweetly arranging all things:
come to teach us the way of peace.

Monday, December 16, 2002

And I Have Not Forgotten
That December 16th is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, and the start of the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. Read about the Boston Tea Party at the Tea Party Ship & Museum website. Unfortunately, a fire has closed the museum for the rest of the season.

As for the Battle of the Bulge, how can I forget it? Aside from the fact that the movie is one of my favorite war movies, the event got my father jostled out of a comfortable billet stateside providing security for an airfield ancillary to the Manhattan Project to the 69th Infantry Division, First US Army, in time for the Spring 1945 campaign to invade Germany. Read John Toland's excellent account, Battle: The Story of the Bulge.

Sharing This Day As A Birthday
The great English novelist Jane Austen was born on this date in 1775. What would English letters be like without Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion? What would A&E and the BBC have done in the 1990s without them?

Austen wrote fine works that tell us a great deal about how people in the lower gentry lived in the late 18th and early 19th century. People who dismiss her as a writer for women, merely because she wrote from a woman's perspective, need to re-think her. As an historian, I can testify that I have picked up a great deal of helpful detail from her. If you have been meaning to start one of her novels, today would be a good day for it.

Speaking of the Cabots
On this date in 1751, US Senator George Cabot was born here in Salem. He abandoned Harvard and went to sea at an early age. Cabot was a prominent Beverly merchant, and a staunch Federalist. He profited greatly in the Revolutionary War. He was a member of the Massachusetts legislature and the Massachusetts convention that ratified the US Constitution. He was a driving force in the construction of the first predecessor of the current Beverly-Salem bridge. He served a term in the US Senate, and was offered by President John Adams (and turned down) the job of being the first Secretary of the Navy. He was a sounding board for his friend Alexander Hamilton's ideas on political economy. He was also on very good terms with George Washington. Abigail Adams' letters praise him frequently.

He preferred his business interests and being one of the guiding forces behind the so-called Essex Junto, not really a secret society at all (unless it was a very well-kept secret) but just a reflection of the fact that there was a great deal of prominent and conservative Federalist talent situated in Essex County between 1785 and 1815 (specifically here in Salem). Aside from Cabot, some men reputed to be members at various times were Fisher Ames (of Dedham), Benjamin Goodhue, Elias Haskett Derby, Timothy Pickering, and Nathaniel Bowditch (of Salem), and Harrison Gray Otis (of Boston). Cabot capped his career by presiding over the Hartford Convention, which has been unjustly vilified by pro-Jeffersonian historians for generations. He died in 1823.

Michael Novak on Tribalism and Law's Resignation
National Review On Line carries Michael Novak's reflections on the peculiar culture of Greater Boston, and its impact on the scandal in Boston. I find his analysis interesting and useful.

The tribalism he speaks of is fading, but not as fast as some seem to think. The tribes are based on social class, ethnicity, and religion. Mrs. Fitzpatrick grew up in Anchorage. One day shortly after our marriage, she was talking to an older ethnic lady at the supermarket (Shaw's in Peabody). She asked the lady if she had always lived in this area. The lady replied, "Oh no. I live with my son in Danvers now. But I'm from Lynn." Lynn borders Peabody on the south and east, Danvers borders it on the north. Shaw's in Peabody isn't more than 6 miles from Lynn. To that lady, Peabody/Danvers was a different area from her native Lynn. To my wife, New England was the area. The conversation left a deep impression on someone whose parents were from Nebraska and Illinois, moved to Wisconsin, and then to Anchorage, owned property in Hawaii, (now the survivor lives part of the year, the summer, in Anchorage, and the rest in Arizona).

It is also interesting to note that my wife, with roots in the more open societies of the Midwest and Alaska, struck up a conversation with an obviously ethnic older lady. I, with more than a generation of Boston Irishness with a substantially Yankee demeanor grafted onto it, would respond civilly to anything the lady would direct at me, but would not necessarily take any notice of her (certainly not initiate a conversation). I would instinctively classify her as NOKD, and lose myself in my own thoughts. I guess we in New England are trained to look for and respond to those in our own tribe. Mine consists mostly of middle class and upper-middle class professionals, and people with similar political beliefs, religious views, and interests. People not from (and of) New England have a different approach.

People passing on the street here are not accustomed to greeting people they don't know. I was, this past summer, temporarily flummoxed by someone from another part of the country giving me a cheery, "Good morning!" as I walked back from the Common. I managed a brief smile, and civil nod. The other day, I was addressed by a stranger (an unusual circumstance, as I am rather reserved by nature). The fellow was a middle class or upper-middle class middle-aged white chap whose wife was also shopping in Filene's Basement). His voice betrayed at least a college education, though not in New England. We talked briefly about the decline in places for men like us to idle away the time while our wives were shopping in parts of the mall. The conversation petered out rather quickly, because we had not been introduced, probably had little in common beyond socio-economic status, and likewise no common acquaintances. If someone had taped what we had said, the conversation would probably sound rather stilted and uncomfortable.

The working classes, I have observed, are often much more garrulous and, lacking a sense of boundaries (that their social betters possess in perhaps too great a degree), strike up conversations with those well above their station, who generally patronize them politely. One's "tribe" is not easily transcended. Your accent places you, as does what you wear, whether you smoke cigarettes, what you drink, how you behave, what you listen to, what you read (whether you read), where you live, what you drive, etc. And if you think it "un-American" to bring up topics like social class in our supposedly classless society, I refer you to the works of Paul Fussell, John Molloy, Lisa Birnbaum, etc.

Tribalism is alive, though declining with the rising generation. Some might think that I am a "townie", since I was born in Malden, lived 30 years in suburban West Peabody, and now 5 years in Salem (which borders Peabody on the east), with an education in a parochial school in Lynnfield, at St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers, at Boston College and Boston College Law School (Boston/Newton), and Boston University School of Law (an LLM). Despite that, I lack a strong accent (though I use regionalisms like tonic for carbonated soft drinks and pronounce drawer, draw, and have been known to drop an r from time to time). My parents lacked distinctive Boston accents also, and they grew up in the 1920s and 1930s in working-class Malden. That lack, the fact that a distant cousin on the Italian side was Governor of Massachusetts and served in Nixon's cabinet, plus being a quick study, has made me what Paul Fussell distinguishes as "Class X," someone who transcends many of the traditional distinguishing features of the various classes, and looks at them mostly from the outside.

We have many older friends who are very much products of the various tribes of Boston. Our pastor is South Boston Irish. We have Italian friends just a generation out of the North End. I had professors who were from the Catholic professional class residing west of Boston. My grandfather was a golf pro in Scituate (the "Irish Riviera" south of Boston) and thus participated in the heavily-Irish culture south of Boston (I dated a girl from that background). I am acquainted with a few genuine Brahmins (Ameses, Cabots, Spauldings, and Saltonstalls). I also know a fair number of "Swamp Yankees," WASPs of less distinguished lineage from outside the immediate Boston area.

Various factors are undermining the traditional culture. Boston firms no longer give preference to New England natives in hiring. Bad times in Boston drive locals to the job market outside the sacred soil of New England. Thus there is greater geographic mobility. The great American melting pot is causing a blending of ethnic groups, religions, and even races through intermarriage. Popular culture is a relentless leveller, and not even the most tough-minded lace curtain Irish or Brahmin parents succeed in filtering it out as an influence on their children. As in the case of Michael Skakel, younger generations fall prey to many social pathologies (in his case drug and alcohol abuse, mostly) because their parents were too engrossed in their own pursuits to insulate them from bad influences until they are sufficiently formed to resist them on their own. Yuppie transplants, here from all over the country and the world to work in our high tech and bio-tech industries and medical and legal professions (as well as to attend or teach college here) are no great respecters of traditional Boston culture. In fact it is an unopened book to most.

The changes are most observable in the vast middle of the class structure. The top and towards the bottom remain intact, though muted. The top has given up ostentation, and largely withdrawn from public view. Corporate boardrooms, law offices, academia, and non-profit institutions are now their stomping ground. An Italian guy from Revere may be a lawyer, but he is still an Italian guy from Revere. Thomas Menino may be Mayor of Boston, but he is still Thomas Menino, an inarticulate lump from the urban Italian working class. Billy Bulger may disguise himself as an academic now , but he is still South Boston Irish pol, with a murderous Irish mafia brother to boot.

But yet, some things persist. The Irish dominate politics (both state and local) and the priesthood. Brahmins still have money, a great deal of it protected by trusts against the foolishness of any particular generation. The Phillipses still have a house on Chestnut Street in Salem (next door to the one that is now a museum). The Saltonstalls, among the early political powerhouses of the Bay Colony, still produce a politician every generation or so (I have had interesting but brief discussions with the late Bill Saltonstall, who was active in Republican politics, though much more liberal than I am). That prominent man's rotted-out and missing front teeth were a reminder of the persistence of English culture in New England.

So don't discount what Novak has to say about tribalism in Boston. It is still here. It may be particularly strong among our priests, who, on average, are older than the population as a whole. They did resent the outsider Cardinal Medieros (whose family was from the Azores), and even Cardinal Law, who was born, I think, in the Virgin Islands, was a bishop in Missouri, and was English, not Irish. As I pointed out in my June New Oxford Review article on the Boston background of the Scandal, the Irish/English culture of insular privacy/secrecy certainly played a role in bottling up the facts of priestly abuse for so long. Also don't forget that some of the Archdiocese's reaction to pervert priest complaints can be accounted as "informed" Boston priests disdaining complaints from the unwashed, not taking them seriously because of the social class of the source (while many priests are from working class backgrounds, don't forget that some of the worst snobs are people who have themselves made the climb). Boston is not quite what it was, but reminders and residual attitudes are all over the place.

George Will On Arms Inspections
George Will's column, carried in TownHall.com, reminds us of the failures of the arms inspection regime imposed on Germany after World War I, with obvious parallels to today's Iraq. The lesson: don't rely on the inspections to prevent a future catastrophic war. Let the civilized nations, led by the US, take the matter into our own hands now, while we can. See that Iraq is disarmed and those who desire war and instability and support terrorism in its government are removed.

Larry Kudlow Tells Us: Rejoice!
Larry Kudlow's column in TownHall.com tells us that this holiday season will be a good one for retailers, and that the economy is poised for good things. He is among a handful of economists (David Ranson and Alan Reynolds being two others) I listen to in order to gauge where the economy is going. I pretty much ignore the static models of the rest. Feel free to buy that MP3 Player this Christmas. Things are much better in the economy this year than last.

What To Do With Lott?
Conservatives are lining up against Trent Lott continuing as Senate Majority Leader. David Horowitz is calling for him to step aside in today's FrontPage Magazine. National Review On Line called for the same thing last week. It comes down to this: conservatives do not want to spend the political capital it would cost them to defend a weak and fairly ineffective senate leader. Nobody in their right mind wants to defend legal segregation. And no one on the right is in a mood to defend Trent Lott.

Lott planted his foot firmly in his mouth in praising Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign. There were many things from the last 30 years to praise about Thurmond, but Lott decided to drop a greasy verbal french-kiss on the Dixiecrat Party, which did not deserve the praise. In doing so, he showed how tone-deaf and clueless he really is. I don't think he should resign from the Senate over this faux pas (after all he was just thinking on his feet in an effort to say nice things about a distinguished senator celebrating his 100th birthday, and something stupid and offensive to some came out).

No, Lott's real problem is that he is not an effective leader of the Republicans in the Senate. He was terrible over impeachment. He has been weak as Minority Leader. It is true that the Senate has a lot more people who are wayward regarding the party line than the House has (McCain, Snow, Collins, Chafee, Specter, sometimes Hagel). But the perception clearly is that Lott is too caught up in the gentlemanly decorum of the Senate, and not willing to take the fight with the Democrats into the gutter and bite off an ear when necessary. The Democrats certainly don't hesitate to do that. Some might say they have bitten something more vital than an ear off Senate Republicans.

So, my view is that Lott should not lead the Republican majority for the next two years, but not because of the stupidly offensive things he said. He should be replaced as majority leader just because his continued leadership promises stagnation. Mitch McConnell or Don Nickles would be a more effective conservative leader. Either would do nicely.

Bishop Lennon's First Homily
The Boston Globe carries the transcript of Bishop Richard Lennon's first homily as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Boston.

More Good News
The Vatican has approved the revised norms of the US bishops for dealing with pervert priests. The approval came quickly, since the US bishops basically just did what the Vatican told them to do. Especially good is the inclusion in this new set of norms of the religious orders, who were not bound by the original US bishops policy. You may recall that the orders account for a third of all US priests, and that the major orders decided to not deal harshly with any perverts among them. The inclusion of the orders under these norms closes a major loophole that perverts might have used to remain in the priesthood (by tranferring from diocesan status to an order, and being posted out of the diocese, or even out of the country).

As the Church told us yesterday, rejoice!

Starting The Work Week Right
Some good news for the start of the work week. The prestigious Boston law firm of Godwin, Proctor, & Hoar has completed an analysis of the insurance policies the Archdiocese of Boston has held during the years in which pervert priests were molesting minors. It concluded that $90 million in insurance coverage is available to cover the claims against the Archdiocese, not the $65 million that has been discussed.

Of course, the insurance companies are balking at paying even the $65 million, claiming that moving pervert priests around constituted reckless conduct. So the $90 million in coverage will have to be litigated between the Archdiocese and Kemper and Travellers. But there is substantial hope that the Archdiocese will be able to compensate victims without seriously weakening its operations. If parishes close in the next few years, it should be because there are not enough priests, or because the parish is not viable, not because the Archdiocese needs to sell the property to pay to settle a pervert priest claim.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

We Won't Have Al Gore To Kick Around In '04
Fox News is reporting that Al Gore will announce on 60 Minutes tonight that he will not seek the Democrat nomination for president in 2004. Basically, it comes down to the fact that neither Gore, nor any other Democrat, will be able to match the financial resources of John Forbes Heinz Kerry. If President Bush is not careful, and more clever in doing what an Administration can do to get the economy moving more robustly, Kerry's money (wealthy in his own right, and married the widow of the heir to Heinz ketchup, who seemed to inherit just about everything her husband had) could overwhelm him, too.

The two President George Bushes have had some superficial similarities to the two John Adamses. Let us hope that President George W. Bush will not repeat the pattern of John Quincy Adams, and be a one-termer like his father.

Lost in the Shuffle
So much attention has been given to the pervert priest scandal and Cardinal Law's resignation that a small triumph was overlooked. The Vatican has ruled that communicants cannot be denied the Sacrament because they kneel to receive. Adoremus carries the good news. MJ alludes to this news in a comment below. I saw it several days ago and meant to blog about it.

I still don't recommend that people plop down unexpectedly in the front of a line of people standing to receive. People could get hurt that way. I prefer to kneel if a rail is available and in use, though.

Another little reason to rejoice.

Another List
So far this Advent, I have offered for your amusement lists of my 10 favorite Christmas CDs, my 10 favorite Christmas readings, and my 10 favorite Christmas movies. Next up:

My 20 Favorite Christmas Songs, in no particular order:

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
Christmas In Carrick (a cut on the Clancy Brothers' Irish Christmas CD)
The Holly and the Ivy
I Saw Three Ships
The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Wassail Song
Adeste Fideles
Good King Wenceslas
The Boar's Head Carol
Deck the Halls
The Wren Boys' Song
Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
Once In Royal David's City
The Coventry Carol
The Gloucestershire Wassail
Ding Dong Merrily On High
Joy To the World
What Child is This?
Silent Night
The Wexford Carol

Earning Honorable Mention, because it is so darned funny, is Frank Kelly's (Father Ted) Christmas Countdown, an hilarious account of what would happen if someone started sending her true love all the things listed in the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is available on Kelly's Comedy CountdownCD (it is by far the best track on the album). Irish goods shops sometimes stock that CD. Sorry I can't be of more help in locating it.

Update: Well Amazon offers Frank Kelly's Christmas Countdown used only. There is a sample you can listen to here, though you need RealAudio to use it.

OK, we all need a little break from All-Law's-Resignation-All-the-Time (the Boston media has really been insane since Friday: the Globe had 2 special editions hit the streets Friday morning).

Today is Gaudete Sunday (one of the two "pink" Sundays of the year). The other is Laetare Sunday, the 4th Sunday in Lent. Both "pink" Sundays serve the purpose of giving us breaks from the periods of preparation before the two major feasts. Gaudete means "Rejoice!" Laetare, fitting to the more somber Lenten season, merely means to be happy. On Laetare Sunday, Good Friday is still ahead of us. But there is no equivalent of that in Advent.

The twelve-day feast of Christmas begins in just ten days. The "O" antiphons start Tuesday. That is indeed something to rejoice about. No matter how bad things seem, the cycle of Christian faith continues, through war, oppression, dissent and scandal.

Today's readings at Mass were a stirring call to rejoice. The first reading was the one the Lord read in the synagogue in Nazareth, proclaiming a year of favor. The Psalm was the Magnificat. Even if the new translations are not as stirring as the ones we grew up with, they still convey the message proudly: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour." Even the often difficult to follow St. Paul told us in fairly straightforward words to rejoice today. The Gospel, John's account of John the Baptist's self-identification, reminded us to make straight the paths and prepare in our hearts for the Coming. Our hymns today were On Jordan's Bank, a bad 1994 version of Ave Maria (part in english, part in Latin), and Veni, Veni (translated, of course). But our choir after Communion also offered us Dona Nobis Pacem. Father Dan emphasized that ours is an ancient faith that wears out languages and that Dona Nobis Pacem was there to remind us of the continuity of the Faith.

Rejoice! Not only is the Incarnation about to be observed again, but I think we are beginning to see light at the end of the Scandal tunnel. I fervently pray that all that has happened, and will happen, furthers the cause of cleaning things up in the Church in the US, and taking out of the way part of a generation and a half of Church leaders who have been wittingly (Weakland) or unwittingly (Law) obstructing genuine restoration of Catholic traditions, practices, and beliefs. John Paul's pontificate has been a huge exercise in retrenchment and getting back to basics, especially clarity of Catholic doctrine, a revitalized cult of the saints, Eucharistic adoration, and the (now revitalized and more Christ-centered) Rosary. Let that work trickle down to the diocese and parish level here in the US, and the Church here will be more cohesive than ever. Pray for it and Rejoice!

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