Saturday, June 08, 2002

Lord Bless Mary Eberstadt
Mary Eberstadt has an absolutely brilliant discussion of the Scandal in the latest Weekly Standard, "The Elephant in the Sacristy". She refutes the evasions raised by those who refuse to confront the true nature of the scandal point by point. Her piece is a true gem, if possible even better than some of Rod Dreher's (NRO)and George Sim Johnston's (Crisis)stuff (see yesterday's blog for link). And yes, it is better than my own piece in the just-published June New Oxford Review. What a flood of useful information on the market now. In addition to the above, Michael Rose's Goodbye, Good Men is available at Barnes & Noble and Borders now, and is a must read. Domenico Bettinelli, Mark Shea, and Amy Wellborn have kept the blogosphere informed about the scandal since the beginning. Eberstadt's is a seminal contribution to the discussion, and is just in time for the bishops' meeting in Dallas.

To paraphrase James Carville, "Its about the homosexual priests, stupid."

Subways Are Next
Drudge tells us that subways are the next targets for terrorist attacks between now and July 4th. Since the government refuses (and it really isn't politically possible) to take widespread action against the source of the problem, we will have to live with these constant alerts. Let us just pray that they come to nothing.

Saint Medard's Day
Saint Medard was a Merovingian-era bishop of Noyon. He accepted the profession of Queen Radegunde when she wanted to enter religious life to distance herself from her vicious husband, King Clotaire. He died around 560 A.D. Saint Medard's Day was looked upon in France as a harbinger of future weather.

Should Saint Medard's Day be wet
It will rain for forty yet;
At least until Saint Barnabas,
The summer sun won't favor us

Well, it is a lovely, cool day in Salem.

By the way, for most of my saints' days entries I rely on Father Englebert's Lives of the Saints.

Friday, June 07, 2002

Fish Or Fowl?
You may have noticed that sometimes the emphasis here is more on Catholic stuff, and sometimes more on conservative stuff. You haven't seen much history yet, but it will come. It just depends on what I am in the mood to discuss, what I'm reading, and what is going on. It does make it a little hard to categorize Verus Ratio. But that is just the way it is. You don't see it, but in another forum, I am simultaneously reporting on and analyzing the financial markets, for pay. I just like to think of myself as multi-faceted.

Terrific Piece in Crisis
George Sim Johnston has this sound take on the Scandal in Crisis. Check it out here.

Now It's The Lawyers
An Italian newspaper with ties to the Vatican is now claiming that the Scandal is the fault of American lawyers. A few weeks ago, we were told by another Italian paper that it was the sex-obsessed American culture that was to blame. Of course, it has been also blamed on the US media.

Believe me. I used to practice law. I know all of the profession's faults. I couldn't open my mouth in Constitutional Law class without being hissed by my classmates for my conservative views. I know that bottom-dwellers like Jeffrey Newman and Mitchell Garabedian see nothing but dollar signs, summer homes on the Cape, a boat, country club memberships, and custom-built Ferraris when they look at a pervert priest case. They mouth the usual platitudes about justice. But that is just a polite veneer. Their real motive can be judged by Garabedian's public rage when his 10 million dollars were yanked back from his outstretched hand after the Archdiocesan Finance Council refused to accept the settlement Law had negotiated.

But the lawyers didn't bugger any young boys. Neither did the media. American society and culture reject NAMBLA-like activity unequivocally. It is an outlaw homosexual subculture (that in some seminaries neared a majority) within the Catholic priesthood and in other faiths' ministries as well that perpetrated this. It was made worse and even enabled by an American hierarchy that gloried in dissent and covered up for these perverts. The seminaries need a strong looking at, not a whitewash. A lot of the American hierarchy needs to go, and be replaced by rigorously orthodox and strong-willed bishops determined to bend the AmChurch to Rome's call for orthodoxy. They can start in the seminaries and their own bureaucracies.

Law Rejected Zero Tolerance In 1993
Psychiatrists consulted by Cardinal Law in 1993 in regard to the handling of predator priests suggested a zero tolerance policy and turning offenders over to civil authorities. That advice was rejected by the Cardinal at that meeting. He cited Canon Law as his reason for not acting on the advice. The full Globe article is here.

Skakel Convicted
Surprisingly, the jury has returned a guilty verdict against Michael Skakel in the matter of the murder of Martha Moxley. They deliberated for about 20 hours. The witnesses to whom he confessed again and again were largely his fellow drug addicts and bar flies. I didn't think their testimony was all that probative. I was prepared to say that he had been acquitted of the murder, but was guilty of having led an empty and pointless life, making no good use of the greatest gifts. Guilty on all counts, then. Another "tragedy" for the Kennedy family, I guess.

Friday is a Penitential Day
The collective "Yipee, yahoo" let out by American Catholics when our bishops did one of the least wise things they did in a period of madness after Vactican II- ending meatless Fridays- still echoes today. The removal of the constraint on eating meat on Fridays has been interpreted as a positive call to ignore this centuries'- old discipline. The concept of Friday as a day of penance has been lost.

Cardinal Law (I really chuckle when he is decribed as the "most conservative prelate in the US"- if true we are in serious trouble) in an interview some years ago was asked about some laymen who continue to observe meatless Fridays as a private penitential practice. He acted as though the idea had never occurred to him. Why would anyone impose a discipline upon themselves if the Church no longer required it? He eventually vouchsafed a qualified endorsement of the practice, but quickly added that he could not be expected to follow it, as it would impose an undue burden on the many hosts who entertain His Eminence on Fridays. Uh huh. Life as cardinal/archbishop of Boston has apparently agreed with Law. A comparison of photos from 1984 and 2002 show a gain of at least 75 pounds. I know, I have no room to kvetch on this score personally. But, even granted that...

Meatless Fridays are a scarcely noticeable burden. Take it from me. I've followed the custom for 5 years. I will yield to few in my love for chateaubriand, prime rib, bacon, steakhouse tips, chicken pie, etc., etc., etc. I also detest most seafood. I'm not a big vegetable-eater, either. Most Fridays, like today, I am barely cognizant of not being able to eat meat. It doesn't touch me. It doesn't qualify me for sainthood, not even close. It is just a tiny reminder.

Fridays were set aside as special in order to remind us of our sinfulness and need for God's mercy. Our nature is a fallen one. We are only redeemed through the sacrifice of the Lord. Sin is a reality, and so are the conseqeuences of sin ("the wages of sin are death"). By acknowledging that fact, we begin the process of individual reconciliation which culminates in the Sacrament of Penance.

But many do not wish to be reminded of the true nature of man. They hold what Thomas Sowell classified as the "unrestrained" view of human nature: that man is infinitely perfectible, that human nature is basically good, but is hindered by institutions like the Church and society. Needless to say, Christianity as it has been traditionally understood directly refutes this view. So it, and its expressions must be muted, and told to go away. We don't want any of your medieval pessimism.

For those who are wiser, and take the Faith seriously, try bringing meatless Fridays back into your family life. This time, it is not because you have to, but because it is a fitting and proper thing to do. But don't justify it on semi-vegan grounds, please. Try this, also. Every Friday, read the 51st Psalm privately. It may bring you to a deeper understanding of yourself, and God's mercy.

Bush's Speech
The President's address did very little to excite me. The subject matter did little to inspire anticipation. His delivery was rushed and off. I'd have been happier if he had announced the resignation of Norman Mineta and very major new spending for the armed services. But, if he thinks this is a useful step in preventing further terrorist attacks, make it so.

I'm Planning To
I'm planning to use Sunday blogs as a commentary on liturgical practices, unless something happens that catches my attention. But I think I can promise you quite a bit. Few things tick me off more than liturgical innovation (or, as I usually call it, goofing up the Mass). I've built up a store of dislikes.

The Romney Home Controversy
The Democrats are trying very hard to prove that Mitt Romney does not actually qualify as a resident of Massachusetts for the last 7 seven years, the statutory requirement for running for governor. The Democrats would much rather not have to deal with Romney, who is popular enough to most likely beat any of the Democrat candidates. Since they can't beat him at the ballot box, they will try to beat him in court.

Romney has a palatial home in Belmont. He has lived in Massachusetts for almost 30 years. Three years ago, he took on the job of saving the Salt Lake City Olympics from controversy (Romney, the son of the former liberal Republican governor of Michigan, is a Mormon, the founder of Bane, and a respected businessman, who ran a creditable campaign against Ted Kennedy 7 years ago). Romney was in Utah full time for most of the last three years. He has filed taxes listing his Utah residence as his primary. But Belmont officials have certified that he has never ceased to be a resident of Belmont. The truth is that the move to Utah was temporary, unless a really tempting political opportunity in Utah presented itself. Romney is a Massachusetts resident. He is running to my left (the last Massachusetts Republican who did not was Ray Shamie (US Senate races, 1982, 1986), but is a legitimate Republican, and Massachusetts resident. Democrat Party hack lawyers should give it up.

Burnham Murdered
Martin Burnham, the American missionary in the Phillipines held hostage for about a year along with his wife Gracia, was murdered yesterday by the Abu Sayyaf thugs. A rescue attempt by the Phillipine military was "not entirely successful." Gracia was shot in the leg, but is expected to survive. The Burnhams are second-hand friends of ours. They were quite close to a missionary couple my wife knows very well. We have yet another act of murderous violence to add to the litany of those committed against the West, Westerners, and Christianity in the last 30 years by Moslems. God rest you, Martin, and may perpetual light shine upon you..

Thursday, June 06, 2002

President Bush will address the nation at 8:00pm (EDT) to announce the creation of a cabinet-level department that will handle all homeland defense coordination. In Europe, this would called an Interior Department, but here that maintains national parks and deals with the Indians. It is being billed as the largest reorganization since 1947.

On the surface, it seems to make sense. Why don't we simultaneously downgrade the caretaker for the national parks from the cabinet? And the Veterans' Affairs Department, and the Education Department, and the Energy Department? After all Ronald Reagan did promise to get rid of Education and Energy. Time to trim those who don't belong in the cabinet from it. Better jobs can be found for Gail Norton and Spencer Abraham.

Good For Him
Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) says enough is enough on celebrities testifying before congressional committees on pet issues. Not my favorite Republican, but a good point.

Harvard Commencement
In Puritan Massachusetts, today was one of the few holidays observed, Harvard Commencement Day (after all, Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide -Pentecost- celebrations were banned in the 17th century). Today, the graduates were treated to a "learned" pronounciamento by the Valedictorian titled, "American Jihad". Jane Fonda was making angry noises that the univeristy is not making good use of her eventual $12 million gift to establish a Gender Studies Center. She is threatening to withold the balance of $6 million. In contrast to last year, when 91% graduated with "honors", only a little more than 50% received that distinction this year. Just as the festivities opened, it started to pour.

No, I'm not still bitter that I wasn't accepted. I was better off at B.C., in what Lisa Birmbaum described as a preppy haven in The College Handbook. "Everyone is preppy, and Catholic, which means that you can marry someone you meet there", she wrote. At B.C., I could co-found the conservative newspaper, and even found a few moderate and conservative professors. I only regret that I didn't take any classes with Peter Kreeft,or William Kirk Kilpatrick, or Andre Daniere. But I was a single-minded history major planning on law school. Didn't need any theology back then.

NewsMax Just Reminded Me
Like everbody who gets them, I normally just delete the daily dose of junk e-mail from NewsMax.com. But the title, "Book Warns Conservatives About Giuliani" reminded me of something I have intended to publically note for some time.

Rudy is clearly angling for a spot on the '04 ticket. He must expect that Cheney will be tossed over the side for the re-election. After all, Bush would dearly love to take New York. Wyoming, Cheney's home state will vote Republican no matter what. Bush has put aside the "gravitas" issue that led him, in part, to select Cheney in the first place. Besides, Cheney has serious health problems. Politics is a cold-blooded business.

Rudy has been in California campaigning for Bill Simon, an unusually conservative choice for Giuliani. It was explained that they were prosecutors together once. Recently, Rudy has been heard on radio ads in the Boston/New Hampshire market for Bob Smith, who is facing a tough challenge from the somewhat less conservative (but more stable?) John Sununu, Jr. Another chit into the Giuliani bank account, and that one in the state with the first primary.

Bush-Giuliani '04? I would not bet against it. The Democrats couldn't beat it with Padre Pio/Mother Theresa (as if they would ever run as Democrats). But I deplore the idea of making Giuliani the heir apparent for '08. He is no conservative, no matter what chits he is gathering. He is just a more successful practicioner of the Bill Weld School of Liberal Republicans. His record on life issues is abysmal, one of the very worst. Let us hope that a viable conservative leader emerges before then.

The "Sweet" Smell
Heard yesterday, when I couldn't blog, that the next gathering of the National Organization for Women is to be "scent-free." The organizers are asking delegates to refrain from wearing perfumes or scented deodorants. Lets see, lots of feminists gathered in a convention center and barred from scented deodorants and perfumes. I think we can confidently predict that there will be a scent in the hall, notwithstanding. It is usually known by its initials- (b. & o.). Yes, that was sophmoric. But I liked it.

The Tangled Web
Today's Boston Herald has some fascinating information regarding the connections between the various Boston area pervert priests. Add in the names Banks, McCormack, Ryan, and Daily to get a more complete picture. One point, though. I thought Father Martin was removed, or took a leave of absence just because he did such a lousy job supervising the now-notorious Christopher Reardon, the youth minister who abused a great number of young boys at St. Agnes parish in Middleton (the next parish but one to my childhood and young adult home parish, Our Lady of the Assumption, Lynnfield), not because of any "sexual issues" of his own. Actually, I thought he stepped down because he couldn't face his parishioners after the Reardon arrest two years ago.

That Paper Again
Today's Washington Times is just loaded with good stuff. This article on the lack of any measure against homosexual priests generally is interesting.

On the whole, I agree with RCF that they should not be there, but have no idea how to bring that about fairly. Maybe we just have to live with the homosexuals in the priesthood now, and hold to the 1961 letter for admissions to the seminary and ordinations from this day on. The scandals will lessen over time. The press, which has been beating up on the Church for having too many predatory homosexual priests, will happily turn around and claim we are engaged in a witch hunt if we start rooting homosexuals out (of course that doesn't mean it wouldn't be the right thing to do). Since a large percentage of them wash out after a few years, we may not need to root them out actively. Also, the argument that homosexuals who live within the vows of celibacy and are orthodox in their preaching are unobjectionable has some validity.

The problem is that homosexuality is almost defined as the fact of having gay sex. In other words, I don't think there are many gay priests who are both genuinely celibate and vigorously orthodox. If there are, more power to them, as long as they don't favor those similarly inclined in other ways, like covering up for them.

Keep this in mind. Many of the problems in the church stem from the post-Vatican II reforms. But Geoghan, Shanley, Birmingham, Paquin, Law, Weakland, McCormack, Banks, Daily et al. were in seminary well before Vatican II, when homosexuals were formally banned from the seminary and the priesthood (I didn't mean that to sound like I think all of those are homosexual, I don't know about Law or Daily-they may just be clueless, don't-rock-the-boat types). You can't just take applicants' word for it, apparently.

McCarrick-This Dog Won't Hunt
According to the Washington Times, D.C.'s Theodore Cardinal McCarrick believes that the draft proposal I discussed yesterday will not be approved next week, though he plans to vote for it. The leading objection is that it is too lenient on past offenders. Baltimore's William Cardinal Keeler opposes the plan on those grounds, we are told.

Keeler is correct, it is too lenient on past offenders. The only-bugger-one-teenage-boy-and-you're-still-ok provision is highly offensive. But that leniency is beside the point. There is nothing about disciplining bishops and bureaucrats who knowingly shuffled predatory homosexuals from place to place in the interests of the brotherhood. Of course one wouldn't really expect much of that from the bishops themselves, and only the Holy Father has the power to discipline bishops. There is nothing about the seminaries, the root cause of much of this problem and still in need of a thorough, informed flushing out. The proposal, if adopted, has no genuine standing in Church law. Any diocese that wishes to may ignore it, and will have nothing to fear. Even where it is adopted, be sure that those who wish to will find ways around it in order to protect fellow members of the lavender mafia, to whom they feel more loyalty than to the Church.

Kerry Gets A Pass
The deadline has passed. No Republican has come forward to challenge John Forbes Kerry Heinz (a few years ago, he married the widow of ketchup heir John Heinz and her 700 million bucks, which he added to his 200 million). So Kerry gets to save resources (not that he needed to) for a presidential run in 2004 and 2008. This is the first time in 80 years that one of the "major" parties has failed to challenge a US Senate seat. There is a libertarian on the ballot, but one has to hold one's nose pretty hard and squint (well, some of us squint anyway) to look past that party's absurd ideas regarding drug legalization.

The Massachusetts Republican Party is now demographically dead. Although we have had nominally Republican governors for the last 12 years, they did nothing to build the party. A party staffed at the local level by 60 year-olds 20 years ago is in serious trouble now. Let the Globe do its gleeful autopsy. We deserve it for running to the Democrats' left on homosexual rights, abortion, "affirmative action", and feminist issues. Bill Weld, Paul Cellucci, and Jane Swift have done the Republican voter the greatest possible disservice by doing nothing to organize the grass roots. The idea, pioneered by Weld, that you only need to be conservative on crime and taxes did not work. In fact, a sickness can be seen in the Republican Party throughout New England, with the possible exception of New Hampshire. It is now time for those who enjoy local political organization to start on a Reaganite Massachusetts Conservative Party, one that marries social conservatism to economic conservatism.

The Massachusetts Republican party did a lot of good in its history. A distant relation of mine was a Republican governor. But it is now time to pull the sheet over its head. Requiescat In Pace.

The Sixth of June
There are many men still alive who served our country, and the cause of civilization on June 6, 1944. But year after year, the numbers get fewer (as Tommy Makem wrote about the Gallipoli veterans). We certainly should take a moment to reflect upon the enormous sacrifice so many made that day, and in the weeks of fighting in the Norman hedgerows that followed. For us Americans, the landings at Utah Beach went fairly smoothly. But Omaha Beach was almost a bloody disaster. The Germans were well-entrenched above the beach, and rained bullets, shells, and mortar rounds on the men landing, pinning most of them at the sea wall for a long time. Check out the movies, The Longest Day, and Saving Private Ryan. Thank you to those who served there, Army, Navy, and Air Corps, as well as our British, Canadian, and French allies.

Sorry About That
We had a little problem with MSN since the last blog. We're back. For those who just can't live without my constant updates, you may calm down.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Some Interactivity Would Be Nice
I am going to look into adding some interactivity, in the form of a comments button. Be nice to know when I'm going over like a lead ballon, and when people think I'm in the zone. If anyone is reading, that is.

Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Anyone?
The Israeli military released this very interesting datum. In the March mass murder bombing in which 29 Israelis died, the Palestinians tried to deploy a cyanide bomb. It did not explode due to technical difficulties. We now see the true face of Arafat and his thugs. It is the same face as Osama bin Laden. I'll just re-emphasize what I said earlier. We must let the Israelis alone to deal with this problem as they see fit. If we don't, we will be responsible for multiple murders of innocent Israeli citizens. Colin Powell, GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Taking It Public
I think it is amply proven by the reactions of bishops all across the country, especially in Boston, to accusations of homosexual abuse, that they will not honestly and openly implement whatever policy is agreed to. They will always seek to shield the homosexual predator to the extent that they can. If they can keep the incident off the public record, they will.

The laity has an obvious response to this. Do not go to the pastor, the bishop, the diocese, the cardinal, or the Vatican embassy. If you suspect that a priest has molested a child of yours, call the police. Call the DA. Call the Attorney General. Call the local newspaper. Call the local TV station. Call a lawyer. Just take this out of the hands of the Church's bureaucrats and the lavender mafia.

The reflex of generations of Catholic parents has been that this is a matter between the Church and the family. They are satisfied if the priest is transferred or made to apologize, or both. That can no longer do. Nothing meaningful will be done that way. The problem will not be solved. Have the pervert investigated and put on trial and exposed in the press. Then the Church will have to act. Only then will the Church bureaucrats do the right thing.

It is a hard choice. Even though there is no fault in the victims, there is shame. There is a reluctance to go public. They don't want the abominable sin perpetrated on their child publically known. People don't want to be heroes. They just want the problem dealt with. Unless victims automatically go public, the Church bureacrats will not solve the problem. There will just be more victims. Be a hero, it is better for all in the long run.

A Red Sox Moment
I know I will regret making this comment. The Red Sox have been known to let us all down time and again. The heroes of April and May are usually the second or third place finishers of September. Often the bridesmaid, never the bride, at least since 1918. It is also true that the Yankees are just a couple of games behind them. But they are playing well. May it continue.

This Is My First Try At A Link
Neil Seeman, writing in National Review On Line has some interesting comments on Creating a Life. Check it out here.

Technical Difficulties
Blogger seems to be having some problems today. Aside from what I mentioned when I was responding to the bishops' proposal, I just lost a brilliant assessment of who is more evil, Geoghan or Shanley. I don't feel like recomposing it now. Maybe later.

Saint Boniface

On both the reformed and traditional calendar of saints' days, this is the feast of St. Boniface, an 8th century Englishman (well, Saxon) who dreamed of converting Saxony to the Faith. For many years, he worked hand-in-glove with the Mayors of the Palace (Charles Martel and Pepin the Short) in the re-introduction of Christianity into "Roman Germany"- essentially the Rhineland. He was bishop of mainz for a great while, and helped re-establish sees in modern Bavaria, Thuringia, and Franconia. At an advanced age, he set off by boat with about 50 priests and monks, to begin the conversion of Saxony. He and his associates were martyred by the pagan Saxons near Dockum in 755 A.D.

Saint Boniface is believed to have said, "The Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship, but to keep her on her course." Even if the bishops at the wheel are dolts, or worse.

Islamic Jihad's Latest Atrocity
Islamic Jihad is claiming responsibility for the latest mass-murder bombing, which killed 18. The US State Department continues to bleat about a peace process. People cry "peace, peace", but there is no peace. Maybe Colin Powell should just step aside, tell the Arabs to shut the heck up and stop finanically supporting these brutes on threat of losing US business (with Russia, we have much less need for the Saudis), and give Israel the green light for six weeks of turning the Moslem-controlled areas that make up "Palestine" inside out with no consequences afterward (a promise to veto "war crimes" charges in the UN Security Council). Israel has the means to end this nightmare of murder. The question is, does it, and the US State Department have the will. With regard to Foggy Bottom, I am afraid the verdict is already in- "Thou hast been weighed in the balance and been found wanting."

Its OK
Just a boorish drunk, according to the Boston FBI.

Here We Go Again?
An alarming incident at Logan Airport just reported. A flight from Cancun to Rome was just diverted here. Fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the airliner. Police and FBI took a passenger who was tied up and subdued, presumably by the passengers and crew, off the plane. That's all we have now. A flight from Mexico to Rome would still have loads of jet fuel on board by the time they neared Boston, about as much as the planes that slammed into the World Trade Center.

It is confirmed that the passengers and crew subdued the offender in flight. The flight was a charter flight. it remains to be seen if this was just a case of some half-wit doing something stupid when drunk, or upset, or something much more serious. A charter from Cancun to Rome would, presumably, be loaded with pilgrims or tourists, who all know each other. I'm hoping it was just an alcohol-related incident.

The Proposal, At Last-Take 2
It is pretty frustrating to spend about 20 minutes composing a blog, only to see it disappear and be unable to relocate it. Let's try again.

The draft proposal for a national policy for dealing with pervert priests was made public yesterday. It is disappointing, to say the least. In sum, priests who, in the future, are reported to the bishop for sexual abuse of minors will be immediately reported to police or prosecutors. The process of involuntarily defrocking them will begin, I assume automatically. But with regard to priests who have committed sex abuse in the past, how many reported incidents are on the record will decide how they are dealt with. Repeat offenders will be turned over to civil authorities, along with all relevant information (presumably). But if there is only one instance of sex abuse on the past record (and the past includes up to yesterday), then the priest will be protected.

There are some glaring omissions. There is no mention of disciplining bishops or their bureaucrats who have knowingly shuffled predatory homosexuals from one parish to another, or otherwise covered up for them, or enabled them, or treated victims like filth. There is no mention of the Augean Stables that most US seminaries remain, nests of out-of-the-closet homosexuality and dissent. The two go hand-in-hand, as homosexuality leads individuals into dissent, and dissent enables and encourages homosexuality. There is also no mention of changing the offending passages in the Code of Canon Law which direct bishops to deal much more leniently with predatory homosexuals in the priesthood, than with priests who sin with adult women. That can never wash with the laity, who know that the fomer is a much more serious breach than the later. Rome must change that. And what if the pervert's victim is not, technically, a minor, but some gullible or impressionable young man of 18 or 19 or even 20?

The bifurcation in dealing with past perversions based on how many are on the record of the offender is illogical. It puts an alarming spotlight, yet again, on how the American hierarchy view the world. It is not us (Catholics) versus them (non-Catholics), but us (the ordained) versus them (the laity)- clericalism. If you are a member of the club, it is alright if you have only buggered one teenage boy. But if you have buggered two you are a monster, whose abominable sins mean you must be driven from the priesthood. Obviously, the bishops do not believe that the predator is a monster just because he has buggered more than one (especially since most victims do not come forward and are never known). They are just bowing, a little bit, to public pressure.

Let us pray that more rigorous voices prevail in Dallas next week. But I doubt that they will. This, I fear, will be it.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

The Bishops' Proposal
I know that I promised my views on the bishops' draft proposal on pervert priests. That will have to wait until tomorrow. Gives you something to look forward to. Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

More On Midway
The first American attacks on the Japanese carriers at Midway were nearly suicidal. The outdated American planes failed to coordinate their attacks at first, and whole squadrons were wiped out by Japanese Zeros. The sacrifice of these crews allowed the success of the later attacks. It pulled away the fighter cover over the Japanese fleet. Proving Bismarck's quip, that there is "a special Providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America", the Japanese admirals dithered over whether to launch their second wave of attacks against Midway, or against the US carriers, whose presence and location they had just learned of. As a result, when the first properly coordinated US attacks went in, they found the Japanese carriers with their flight decks covered with stacked bombs.
God bless the USA!

Midway Remembered

I just heard that this is the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. Midway was the turning point in the war in the Pacific. The US Navy had taken a hard hit at Pearl Harbor. Fortunately, the Japanese failed to locate and sink our aircraft carriers. Those carriers, despite the fact that they deployed nearly obsolete aircraft, were pivotal at Midway, locating and sinking numerous Japanese carriers. Nimitz and MacArthur's island-hopping campaign could never have begun but for the tip in the balance of power in the Pacific that the Battle of Midway caused. Thank you to all those who served there.

Cigar Time
It is a beautiful afternoon in Salem, sunny, fairly cool and dry. If a man fails to take advantage of this once-in-a-month coincidence of weather and schedule to take a cigar over to the common for a one-hour vacation at lunch, he has no heart. Will rant again later.

Dig Him Up!
Tired of Karl Rove and the Bush Administration's alarming new tendency to cave in to liberals over and over again? I sure am. First it was the education bill, then campaign finance reform, then steel tariffs, and the farm bill. Now it is global warming. Rove is an admirer of the Republican king-maker of a century ago- Mark Hanna (the man who made William McKinley). We don't need Mark Hanna now. This business of pre-empting the other side's issues to leave them without something to campaign on is corrupt and will be suicidal. We must stand for something, preferably what we ran on, conservatism.

This is still the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. We are Republicans because we believe in certain things. We are not Bill Clinton trying to stay above the fray. We know that most people agree with us on certain emotional wedge issues- patriotism and the flag, English as a national language, more restrictions on immigration, more stringent requirements for welfare, more tax cuts, fighting the war vigorously, tough educational standards, less regulation of business, more power to the states (as opposed to the federal government). Stick to those issues, nationalize them, run on them in every district and every state. We would gain 20 seats in the House and 5 in the Senate. If we refuse to stand for what we are all about, we won't gain a thing in the Senate (two more years of stalled judicial nominations) and will lose control of the House (Speaker Gephardt).

We don't need Karl Rove (or Mark Hanna, or Dick Morris). We need Lee Atwater.

Goodbye, Good Men
I just read Michael Rose's Goodbye, Good Men over the Memorial Day weekend. I think that, given the nature of the subject matter, he did as good a job as possible in presenting evidence. no approach other than the presentation of one anecdote after the other would work. If you think that the seminaries would publish objective data on why men left, think again. Some of the incidents may be dated, but the problems existed.

Some of the problems have been solved, but by no means all. Some of the seminary officials who made a living harassing and driving out orthodox Catholic men have been promoted to bishop rank, or are further "up the bureaucracy" of dioceses and orders. I see that a woman who calls herself Frodo Okulam, a "priestess of the Goddess, and both a Dianic Wiccan and a Ecofeminist Christian" has become an associate of the Holy Name Sisters of Portland Oregon. The original quote is from an article in the Catholic Sentinel, by Mel Damewood. It is quoted in a couple of Catholic blogs this morning (Mark Shea and Domenico Bettinelli) Rose describes her as a lesbian activist whose presence in a Catholic seminary attended by one of his sources was distracting to say the least (pp107-109). Critics may claim that Rose is writing too much about past problems. Looks like this problem is with us still. Obviously, the Holy Name Sisters in Portland don't "get it". And some people want the priesthood opened up to the likes of Frodo and her friends.

If you want a clear picture of how bad the seminaries were, why so many men left them, and why there are so few young priests, read this book.

When I Figure Out How To Do It
I will eventually link to a website. It is, shall we say, in development. I'll post some images of me and my bride (and Gaspar the Great, our cat), maybe my CV, and full-length articles. But don't hold your breath. I don't have enough insurance for you to do that.


Well, as I said, I'm still getting the bugs out of this thing. The link from Jonah Goldberg I posted did not come up. It is http://techcentralstation.com/1051/defensewrapper.jsp?PID=1051-350&CID=1051-060302D.
Hope that works for you.

June New Oxford Review
Now it is time for some shameless self-promotion. The June New Oxford Review will carry an article I penned back in February about the ephebophilia crisis among Catholic priests in Greater Boston. A lot of revealed tragedies have come to light since then. Cardinal Law has offered to resign, and been turned down by the Holy Father. Milwaukee's Archbishop Weakland has accelerated his resignation over revelations of his own homosexual behavior. The US bishops will gather next week and consider a national policy on pervert priests. I will take a look at the proposal, and comment on it later.

If you have trouble finding the New Oxford Review, you are not alone. It is a dead-tree operation published monthly. Its website is updated with some content from the paper edition a few months after the issue appears. It is the Catholic journal that made such a name for itself through its anti-liberal ads published in National Review and the American Spectator. The circulation is just 14,000, but they are all serious, well-educated Catholics. It's not carried at many newsstands, but if you see it, enjoy.

The Usual Suspects
Jonah Goldberg called our attention to this in Yesterday's The Corner at National Review On-Line. I don't think that it can be disputed. The question is what to do with it. We can't just wave a wand and rid ourselves of this problem. Even the nuclear wand won't do the trick. We don't want to do anything about Moslem men here in the US. I suppose all we can do is watch our vulnerable spots (power plants, the electic grid, the Internet, food processing plants, water supplies, and airports) closely, hassle the suspicious-looking, and watch the borders much more closely. Are the INS, Norman Mineta, and the State Department up to it? I don't think so.

Welcome to Verus Ratio. I'm G. Thomas Fitzpatrick, a 37 (well, almost 38) year old married guy of Irish and Italian descent from Salem, MA. My background is in law (I practiced on and off for ten years, but gave it up as unprofitable,and too liberal a profession), history (early America and early modern Europe, specializing in the 18th century), and politics (very conservative and Republican). Verus Ratio will deal with issues that interest me. That means you will read a great deal about the Roman Catholic Church and the (I hope) growing move to restore a sense of the holy and transcendant to its customs and practices. You will read a lot about New England politics, with an emphasis on the wrong-headedness of all but a few regional Republicans on social issues. You may also see, from time to time, some commentary on the history of New England.

You should know a few things about my views. I am not, in the least, politically correct. You may see condemnations of black leaders and organizations. But I am not a racist. You may read ringing condemnations of feminism, abortion, and "gender equity". I'm not anti-women (I married one, a terrific lady named Mary who shares my views and may choose to post here from time to time). You will see an utter and complete refusal to accept homosexuality, bestiality, pedophilia, ephebophilia,and other perversions as a valid lifestyle choice. Love the sinner, hate the sin. You won't, ever, see gender-inclusive language in my blog. I don't have much patience with pro-tax groups, teachers' unions, Democrats, liberals of any stripe, "reformers" in the Church who want to further the "spirit of Vatican II", safety-Nazis, libertarians, government officials who don't follow the Fitzpatrick line, or the French. I don't suffer fools lightly. Expect some vitriol when I write about certain things. I can be Juvenal to Rush Limbaugh's Horace.

But I can be a pussycat, too. I love traditional customs and devotions. Don't be surprised if I post a recipe for the best mince pie in the world late in the Autumn. I'll sing the praises of New England's conservative cultural heritage, even when I think Jane Swift would be better employed enquiring, "Do you want fries with that?". I like few things better than a good conservative Mass. I'll let you know when I am subjected to anything less. Reading this will tell you a great deal about my sense of esthetics (traditional), morals (traditional), religion (very traditional), and politics (very conservative). You may find that you just can't go on without your daily dose of Fitzpatrick. I'll try to oblige, but get a life, and a grip, and a job.

I hope you enjoy this blog, and let others know about it. I'll try to post just about every day (I know you have heard that before, but I really will try). This will be a learning curve for me in terms of how to set things up and how to do certain things. Be patient. I'll eventually figure it out. I may have earned my Phi Beta Kappa key for being a brilliant historian, but I'll get the hang of making the computer do what I want despite that.

By the way, Verus Ratio translates as Right Reason: reason, rightly understood. That is how I like to think of my approach. it is also (in English) the title of one of William F. Buckley,Jr.'s books.

Let the adventure begin!

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