Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Note to Weigel

I have a job for you. There may be a book deal in it.

Figure out why after I uttered the words "You are emotionally abusive" to a Monsignor the police were called on me to harass me after a Mass. I -a lawyer- with an attempt at humiliation and implicit slander. I promise not to bring suit-wasn't arrested so I laughed it off as more of the same ignorant insanity and just went to other churches thereafter. I promise I don't have a dog in the abuse fight-not on any contingency-don't represent anyone. The statute of limitations on intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation runs after a year in DC which expired on March 31-so everyone is safe. Phew. Connect the dots for me because until someone either explains or offers an apology I am going to keep saying that the creepy factor in the Archdiocese of Washington is off the hook and I think Sinead O'Connor is really reasonable and a peacemaker.That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Secondly, what you in the EPCC articles fail to recognize is that the difference between your run of the mill average pedophile or just way too horny predator in the culture of American lust gone wild and a Priest is that the Priest assumes a sense of moral piety and superiority (the church insists he implicitly has moral superiority and piety) which is frankly, deeply misplaced if he is a practicing pedophile-and that is the BIG LIE. No Archbishop in his right mind should allow such a person to pretend he is morally superior to anyone by giving him a place to hear anyone's confession. Not for ONE SECOND. Not for 50 years, not until he dies a peaceful death. NOT FOR ONE SECOND.

This is also for the good of the soul of the Priest. Because such a person is the very definition of a pharisaic hypocrite and they are flatly locked out of the kingdom of heaven according to scripture. Seriously.
Whose the Big Fat Liar Now-


Capital Blessings

For Easter Joy

If you are in DC walking around anywhere near the Mall or the Tidal Basin today you are probably thanking God under your breath you got to see such beauty. It is rumored to be over 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) this Easter week-end so if you can get out to see the Cherry Blossoms and Dogwoods blooming in brilliant pinks and whites all over the place, do it soon because they are likely to drop by the end of this week-end. Resurrection- the Cherry Blossoms return every year. The timing couldn't be more perfect.

If you are around the Mall there are two Must Sees in keeping with a true Resurrection spirit-you can hear the angels singing at you sit quietly by the reflecting pool watching the gulls chase the ducks to the other side of the pond. The Orchids garden exhibition at the National Botanical Conservatory just on the southwest side of the main Capital building is a slice of Paradise. It's free-just walk into the little piece of heavenly mystery on earth and take in the glorious deep purple, white and every shade in between of tropical Orchards in the moss dripping conservatory that evokes images of Asian jungles. I didn't want to leave. The Purple Orchard is about as powerful as a red rose in it's intent- it should only be given to one you think you truly love and never taken as a mere potted plant to take up coffee table space. Properly nurtured it will speak passionate love to you for a lifetime.

Then, since you are so close, pop your head into the National Gallery and take a look at the Sacred Made Real Spanish exhibition- which features sculptures from Spain's 17th century in which a new technique of sculptured wood painted realistically like portraiture was developed. Spain holds the chair this year as head of the EU. This exhibition is courtesy of the Embassy of Spain and other generous benefactors. You should go if for no other reason than that you won't believe that Saint Ignatius of Loyola actually looked like that- and it's probably the closest most realistic image of him anywhere in America now as this life-sized statue was done in 1610 and is still in remarkable condition-as are all the featured sculptures. It looks like he would actually say "hi" back at you.

It's a gloriously sunny day in DC- time to smell daffodils, climbing roses, orchids, and time to landscape the reed pond around the Native American Museum. Proud to be an American.

The Banality of Evil

And Ends Justifies Means Theology -They Still Don't Get It.

Larry King last night ran a special with Sinead O'Connor, a practicing Catholic who sported a large cross, and other panelists including priests discussing the "crisis" in the church resulting from the sex abuse scandals. She was most reasonable, in contrast to a puffy faced old white church-defending gentleman Donohoe who looked like Daddy Warbucks on Guiness.

"The Pope is libeled!" he declared, after three victims of molestation by the Wisconsin priest stated that the Pope should resign. And who in the world is going to make him? Na na na na na na.

It was up until only about a generation ago that Catholic priests in confession and counselling would routinely tell women that they had to forgive and stay with abusive husbands who beat them raw and bloody because of the sanctity of their marriage vows, which caused a number of them to just take their own lives. This was, of course, off its rocker and the fact that they were Priests did not make it any less really rotten bad advice.

For a very long time the forgive your abuser mentality has been preached in the name of Christ, who after all said "Forgive them Father, they know not what they do" hanging from the cross- this Forgive even when you don't feel like it, or Forgive even when it hurts, or forgive in spite of the fact that the wrong done you amounted to a stringing up leave you for dead, is a principle theological doctrine of the Church apparently- it has been used to justify perpetuation of the most hideous and heinous evil in the name of Christ. The word "abuse" trivializes what it is- it is rank EVIL from the devil himself. It is ends justifies means theology that has allowed the church to work it's magic in protected silence for millenia. The Church has been soft on crime when the Priests are the criminals-always. We know some Priests are criminals- some have actually done jail time, some more need to. Priests have been judged in part for promotion and other perks by how much money they can generate back for the Archdiocese who accounts back to the Vatican so cultivate followings, and by hook or by crook (literally) raise or take money to bring back to the Vatican Crown Jewels for their due kudos. Did you know that there is a vast Vatican Treasury? Did you know that there are some diocesan priests who are called "Secular Priests" because their vow of poverty is waived-unlike those in orders-thus they have an incentive to make money and some have died with vast estates. One Monsignor who recently died bequeathed a sizeable amount of money, it was reported, to the private catholic school that his parish runs. Did you think that personal ambition was all lost when someone puts on a Roman Collar?

Priests, people who assume positions of spiritual authority, who are supposed to be holier, who are supposed to be purer, who are supposed to actually care for the well-being of their flock have been instead allowed to essentially eat their sheep, spend years and years and years committing crimes- molesting children- emotionally manipulating and some cases emotionally torturing women, and because they are Priests they are simply told everyone has to forgive them, move on, and not hurt the institution in the name of Christ-because they believe that Christ appears as the "pinnacle and summit" most forcefully in the form of the Eucharist that only Priests can transubstantiate by virtue of their apostolic succession rules. Note- Not the LOVE of neighbor is the highest form of Jesus in the world, but food-bread, manna, Jesus in the form of a round wafer that they maintain only Priests disseminate, hence their primordial celestial sacredness that is supposed to give them license to do whatever they think they need to or feel like. Sometimes the biggest defenders of the priesthood know that they are the biggest offenders-and some of the nastiest people you never want to meet.

Whenever the specter that something really foul is at play goes on there is a clerical circling of the wagons effect and anyone who takes these allegations with the seriousness that they require are mocked, demeaned, marginalized, and persecuted in some cases from church life. Worse, some are made to feel like they deserved it, it was their fault somehow and guilt is compounded by their inability to forgive jeopardizing their very salvation. Because Priests offer "absolution" in confession, failure to forgive blocks the absolution and thus jeopardizes very salvation- and all this is in the Priest's control under Catholic Doctrine-which does not believe in the ability of any believer to obtain God's forgiveness directly from God and requires the Priestly mediator who is believed (church doctrine has it) to be standing in Christ's place on earth. Can you imagine the head games.

This has prompted parish groups of survivors to organize. Look-people have committed suicide because of the head games molesting priests have played on them. Families have been destroyed. Children's lives lost.

Remember the guy who stood on the street corner for years across from the Vice President's Mansion on Massachusetts Ave. in Washington with a sign saying something like "The Vatican harbors pedophiles?" Everyone was told he is a nut, deranged, out of his mind. A mental case. This was the official line. When in fact it was actually a true statement. He likely was told to get over it and forgive Father whoever. Everything goes officially out the window when a priest is accused- truth, honesty, fair mindedness and accountability- in the name of Jesus. Jesus, let me tell you, is barfing in Heaven.

The flock's trust in the church has been seriously undermined by the manner in which these things are dismissed flippantly and usually with a condescending -this happened years ago! what's your problem? what's the big deal now again? Again, Jesus is puking.

The big deal now again is that the Institution does not have the requisite self-cleaning mechanisms and all institutional impulses run in the opposite direction-to self-justify, hide, obfuscate and protect the "dignity" of criminal priests-by defaming and demeaning the accusers. Modern ovens have a button called the "self-cleaning" button- These are self-cleaning ovens. The church needs to upgrade it's model of reform, amend the Canon Laws appropriately, and get a "self-cleaning" button mechanism in the church. No one makes claims like this frivolously- who in their right mind would subject themselves to the hideous Zurich insurance dogs insulting and harassing them and demeaning their credibility if they were not telling the truth.

The reason that the arguments that this Pope should resign are not frivolous are, inter alia, (a) this Pope was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, []
the body that reviewed these complaints, and hid them, obfuscated them, denied their criminality and instead persecuted people making claims and accusations for decades (b) trust would be restored if someone with clearer moral thinking on how off the rails the institutional policies have been with regard to all of this abuse on all dimensions should be dealt with (c) we are in a new age of moral responsibility and accountability and the Pope is frankly of the old school and old age - of a time where women were taking their lives because Priests told them that their salvation hinged on whether they could forgive their abusing husbands and live with it.

The sensitivity to Rank Evil is missing. The Spiritual Discernment to identify what is the devil and how he works is missing. This is why this Pope, for the good of all his church, should seriously consider whether he might not die in office, but take some position of Emeritus Advisor and pass the reigns to someone who has a record of being more "tough on crime" who insists that all accessories to crimes, all persons who knew about and facilitated by their silence the molestation of children be asked to submit their Canon Law rule 402 resignations. Accomplices and Accessories to crimes make for conspiracies. Criminal Conspiracies have no place operating in the name of Jesus anywhere in his Church.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Write Your Own Title For This One

Isn't there some statute that says you are not allowed to profit off your crimes? So as to not, perhaps, encourage idiot insane people from committing crimes to write books about them?

Happy Holy Week and Easter

This is a really beautiful CD- the Basillica is a great spot to drop in over Holy Week.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened

On the Way to the Ecumenical Dialogue Meeting

Dr. Douglas Pratt, An Episcopalian Priest who refers to himself as a "Franciscan" because he teaches and partially lives for periods of a time in a Franciscan monastery setting in New Zealand (Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Waikato, New Zealand) gave a talk today at the Rumi Forum for Inter-Faith Dialogue and Intercultural Understanding. ( . He has that particular Franciscan peacemaking charism in which he seeks through dialogue and cross-faith engagement to bring peace to fields and hearts alike. While waiting on his talk I glanced at Sunday's Washington Post that was lying on the coffee table and noted that the singer famous for ripping a picture of the Pope up Sinead O'Connor had a full length article published in the Post titled "Time to hear Pope Benedict's confession."

Sitting next to me was a rather intellectual looking fashionable woman who advised that she is teaching Theology at Georgetown and getting her PHD at Catholic University after getting some other degree or licence from some Pontifical University in Rome. Thinking that rather special and unique for a woman, I asked how she got to go there and she readily offered that it must have been in her blood. Her father, she explained, is a Priest. What? Was she adopted by some kind-hearted priest who found her in the woods behind the priory? In the reeds in a basket floating down the river? No, her real father was and is really a Roman Catholic Priest-who served in that function for 30 years-then was foisted into a situation where a woman he believed God called him to be with found the love of her life and it was mutual. Once a priest always a priest- no one defrocked him, she exclaimed. They just ran him out of the parish. Some parishes don't let the family take communion, she said rather shyly- this PHD Candidate from Catholic University who teaches at the finest Jesuit school in the area.

We talked briefly about the inherent sexism and what her poor mother probably went through- the notion that she stole him from the priesthood, or seduced him somehow and the automatic snarky debunking of the notion that God actually might have ordained the union in spite of the priestly celibacy vows-because what one pledges in a 'discipline' to a human authority is trumped by what God wills. God doesn't like people breaking vows, but in some cases it is permitted which is why divorce is legal in some biblical cases and marriages subject to annulment by the church itself. I discussed what I viewed as the inherent persecution of women and inherently insulting demeaning of women in these situations and she said "Don't get me started." This lovely woman would not even exist on planet earth had her parents not heard correctly the call of God on their lives.

The sort of persecution against women in this context can only be viewed as abusive, as much as that word is despised these days in ecclesiastical circles. The more the church refuses to hear this argument or even speak to these women, the more the world is going to expose, publicize and dramatize all the recent abuse scandals- because the church needs to cleanse itself- this is something that God is allowing for purification purposes-and to protect innocent hearts.

After the talk the lovely Anglican Priest Professor spoke of a time when he was in Northern Italy and he not only got to con-celebrate a Mass, but he was allowed to partake of the Eucharist under the little known doctrine of "Eucharistic Hospitality." There wasn't any Anglican Church anywhere in the region, so he had no alternative and was given holy communion.

I wondered why the term "Eucharistic Hospitality" has never made its way into our common lexicon in America when instead we practice Eucharistic Political Weaponization with threats of withholding from politicians with public policy views we don't understand after hearing crazy talking heads talk about bills we never read in full. We kick out of parishes and churches people who have a different reading of scripture. It is not hard to see that all the insane persecution that this Georgetown faculty member's family likely faced while she grew up propelled her to understand under what theological theory God forced this suffering on her and her family. I am sure it was great comfort when she finally realized it wasn't God, it was just really stupid people covering themselves under his authority.

This lovely Anglican Priest Professor "Franciscan" noted that he believes that the Catholic church has survived as long as it has, in spite of schisms and defections and protestant revolts because of its adaptation occasioned by the Spirit inspired creation of various orders with various charisms and apostolates. Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines, etc. He noted it would be an easy solution in keeping with its tradition in effect if it had an "order" of married priests. This would do light years to calm the fears inspired by the perception that because Priests don't have their own children and families they are oblivious to the damage done to children by robbing them of innocence, and further ignorant of the basic emotional construction of women.

Not everyone is comfortable in the Dominican House of Studies. Not everyone is comfortable with the institutional arrogance demonstrated in some corners by an ecclesiastic body that is intrinsically opposed to equality of women on many levels and dimensions- especially women. This Pontifically educated female theology professor at Georgetown affirmed that there is absolutely nothing Theologically validly supporting a universal all-time celibate clergy. It is not a theologically sound proposition and many things argue strongly against it. It could be viewed as a historic aberration in fact, a deviation of Rome from Orthodoxy and from its own roots, both Judaic and early Christian. Priests were freely married men for the first millenia of Catholicism.

The institutional demeaning of women was something that Sinead O'Connor railed against in her Washington Post article- which is not on the "Op Ed" page but in the Washington Outlook section (B). Women are good for more and deserve better. The same sort of sentiment that has people like Sinead ripping up the Pope's picture is what is surfacing in all the publicity of these scandals. The Pope, rather than risk the litigation liability by taking any responsibility is cornered into the wall just stating his mutual disgust of the whole filthy mess and trying to right it going forward.

Here is a suggestion for righting in the future: Permit an order of Married Clergy. Surely, we need more clergy to do things like give eucharist to people in hospitals, visit the sick, visit prisoners, heal the sick, raise the dead and feed, clothe and house the multitudes. Or are we all done and overstaffed there.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Nancy

turned 70 FRIDAY.
The Nation Thanks You.
Pilgrims Patriots and Prophets says

(how did such a nice catholic girl from baltimore end up in a place like this!)

The Importance of Being Earnest

About Your Faith.

In the heart of downtown DC, only minutes and blocks from the White House is a bookstore and Ikon Art shop, with the occasional religious statues, and other religious items (prayer cards, Easter cards, saints bracelets, etc). In most mysterious fashion when wandering inside, browsing at the widest selection of ecclesiastic book fare and pilgrimage spots, trip guides and monastery location sources, DVDs on the lives of Saints, etc. outside the Shrine or bookstores in seminaries one notices that the back wall has interesting stained glass features. One is struck by the power of the Ikons, beautiful gold gilded pictures of Christ that would make phenomenal Easter presents for yourself and loved ones, of all sizes.

If you get really curious you want to see what's behind the stained glass so you open the doors and find astonishingly, in the middle of K street a Chapel. Wild and cool. Every week day they have noon Mass and after that exposition of the blessed sacrament for hours. This is really quite something for downtown Washington, DC. Whodathunkit.

The Catholic Information Center, ( runs an amazing array of programs regularly- today for example Raymond Arroyo gave a talk in conjunction with the last of his trilogy on Mother Angelica, of EWTN fame which was both hysterically funny and enlightening about this great evangelist nun's life followed by a book signing. They regularly hold spiritual reflection evenings for men and women every month with receptions, they have hosted movies of saints, talks of lobbyists on timely issues (health care reform, etc.), and series of lay evangelists.

The CIC is run by Opus Dei, whose founder, Saint Jose Maria Escriva, (meaning literally something like Joseph Mary Scribe/Writer...) was originally a practicing Attorney in Spain before being a priest. His order is unique in that it believes, actually closer to the Protestant tradition, in the spiritual priesthood of the souls of all believers and the universal evangelical mandate (Great Commission) with a strong emphasis in understanding that the laity have a special role and position in evangelization. That is why it is an Information Center- with lots of books, and the goal is to educate people, engage them in serious discourse and discussion on even controversial topics, and seek together to find the light and truth. Whatever your faith tradition, this bookstore is a must-see. You must visit. It is a unique spot of light in downtown DC.
It hosts a more or less packed house for Mass daily- and people from all over Washington cherish the exposed blessed sacrament which they know they can visit in downtown DC any day of the week. This is the ONLY place in downtown DC that does this.
Recently a very generous donor/sponsor has given a pledge that if $100,000. is raised in a fundraising effort between now and the Founder Saint's birthday which is June 26th, that this donor will match it- giving the Center necessary operating capital in the highest rent district in DC.
If you can contribute to this great effort, it will be greatly appreciated by Fr. Arne (and his cute fundraising guy Ray) who are trying to meet the 100k goal. They would, I am sure, welcome any and all suggestions regarding what programs, movies, lectures, etc. you would like to see hosted at the CIC. It is one of the more intellectually refreshing beach-heads for exploration of the Faith- they take all questions seriously and work with the most stubborn of us.

Here is what Fr. Arne wrote recently in his letter to the faithful: "We live in a world of unprecedented confusion surrounding man's understanding of himself and God. Identifying this spiritual crisis in our civilization, Pope John Paul II called for a response 'new in ardor, methods and expression." The CIC exists to advance this new ardor of evangelization which has also been underlined by our current Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, by engaging this spiritual conflict head on here in American's center of political power. What appears to many as an unassuming Catholic bookstore and Chapel is actually a beachhead, a type of spiritual bunker or staging area for Catholics to be formed, outfitted and equipped for the battle for hearts and minds being waged daily in Washington and our culture at large."

This doesn't mean that they take a knee-jerk posture with regard to political positions- it means that it challenges people to think through all angles considering spiritual implications and challenges people to learn and examine themselves.

Let's see if we can't get the CIC fully funded up to it's 100k goal by June. If you have not made an Easter Pledge yet to support the Faith, call up the CIC- and have a chat with Fr. Arne. They need it now more than ever.

and a bit about Fr. Arne:
A 1967 graduate of Harvard College, Fr. Panula subsequently earned a doctorate in Theology from the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain. After his ordination, he served as the chaplain of The Heights School in the mid-1970’s. Thereafter, for almost twenty years, he exercised his ministry in Northern California working with high-school students and later with university students. Beginning in 1988, he carried out administrative responsibilities for Opus Dei in California for a decade, and in 1998, the Prelate of Opus Dei appointed him Vicar of the Prelature of Opus Dei for the United States, in New York. For his last five years in New York, he has been the Spiritual Director of the Prelature of Opus Dei for the United States.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

World Health Leaders

Watch Sweden.

Stockholm is on my bucket list to visit. I am all the more determined after visiting the House of Sweden this evening and meeting the lovely Ambassador and Minister of Health. For the next ten weeks they are featuring a program on world class state of the art medical improvements and issues in conjunction with their Public Health Festival of sorts. Tonight they put on the Ritz, a cute play by college students, treated us to healthy fare of shredded carrots, haricots verts (green beans), varieties of cheeses, a cabbage beefy burritoish eggrollish thing, and pasta- in a buffet fit for a Fitness Fan. There were shot glasses of milk to top it off. Not for nunthin does Sweden boast the people in Europe with the longest life longeivity and healthiest population. They live long, strong and healthy with the median age of death for women at 83. Median means half live longer than that. They have free public health-everyone is covered and administered both in conjunction with local and national level medical oversight bodies. Forget the Canadian system- examine the Swedish one. This is really exciting.

The House of Sweden has a modern building on the edge of the Potomac sandwiched between and overlooking the Georgetown Harbor and the Kennedy Center. They served healthy smoothies on the roof tonight and packed the house with people examining the new technologies and reading exhibits introducing the town to all things Swede.

Most Mesmerizing was the Medical imaging machine being developed at the world class medical research University Karolinska Institutet (which by some measures ranks higher than Yale Med.) This Medical School has world class expertise in brain research and neurobiology. It has developed an imaging machine that allows one to visualize in 4D more or less the inside of a brain to the tiniest ganglia (marketed now as the virtual autopsy-where every part of a body can be viewed on the imaging screen and manipulated to see every angle with a touch of the screen). This is going to help I imagine in treating strokes, aneurysms and other brain malfunctions. This imagine technology is also going to be used in the cutting edge research into neonatal biomedical areas to help with fetal health and surgeries as well as to assist with fertilization. It has been doing cutting edge world class research in neonatology focusing on fetal brain and lung development.

The photo and Exhibit exhibition runs from March 25, 2010 through April 28 at the House of Sweden.
Many many thanks to the Ambassador and the Ministry of Health for putting on this exhibition, which I believe is a must see for everyone at the US Department of Health and Human Services - as well as anyone concerned with issues of our epidemic childhood obesity problem. Clearly we have a lot to learn from the Swedes.

The New "Are You People Out Of Your Minds??"

Fire Michael Steele.

Friends at the French Embassy Present.....




From Roland: the Cultural Attache of the French Embassy:
Attaché culturel Directeur de La Maison Française
"Sami Frey habite le texte de Beckett de façon si musicale, si organique, qu'il se grave en celui qui l'écoute, dans ses moindres plis. Dire qu'avec ce Premier Amour Sami Frey offre un moment rare est une litote." Le Monde
"La voix unique de Sami Frey, l'encre nocturne de Beckett, ce chant très doux, ces images qui toujours reviennent comme reviennent les mots. C'est très beau. Un charme profond agit."Le Figaro
"L'émotion immense - immensément contenue - s'exprime à la lisière des phrases, dans les points de suspension ou dans certains passages murmurés. (...) Sami Frey et Beckett ne font plus qu'un. La salle retient son souffle un lourd instant, avant de saluer en un tonnerre d'applaudissements l'artiste et son double." Les Echos.
WHAT: Sami Frey: Two works by Samuel Beckett -
WHEN: - “Premier Amour / First Love” -- April 14, 15, & 16 AT 7:30PM -
“Cap au Pire / Worstward Ho” -- April 17 AT 8PM
WHERE: La Maison Française, Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Rd, NW
ADMISSION: - General: $35 ($40 after April 5)- Students w/ID: $25 ($30 after April 5) - 2 performance COMBO: $60 (Any Premier Amour performance plus Cap au Pire ) TICKETS:
A wine reception will follow each performance.
Join us at La Maison Française and experience Samuel Beckett with one of France’s great masters of the stage!Warm regards,Roland CeletteCultural Attaché Director of La Maison Française
==========D E T A I L S==========
About Sami Frey Sami Frey began his career as a teen on stage and in feature French films. His screen profile increased with the rise of the French Nouvelle Vague (New Wave). He appeared in Agnes Varda's 1962 film ”Cleo de 5 a 7 / Cleo From 5 to 7" and Jean-Luc Godard's 1964 "Bande a Part / Band of Outsiders." Often cast as the eccentric, Frey has worked with filmmakers including Jean-Paul Rappeneau ("Les Marie de l'an II" 1971), Marguerite Duras ("Jaune le soleil" 1972), and Colinne Serreau ("Pourquoi Pas!" 1978). In 1984, Frey made his American film debut beside Diane Keaton in "The Little Drummer Girl." Other credits include "Black Widow" (1987) and the 1988 ABC miniseries "War and Remembrance.” Having appeared in over 50 films, Frey is a prolific actor. In addition to film, he is a master of the stage, earning critical praise throughout France. About Samuel Beckett A Nobel Prize recipient in Literature, the master playwright Samuel Beckett was an avant-garde Irish writer, dramatist and poet. His minimalist style illustrated a bleak outlook on the human culture. A student and friend of James Joyce, Beckett became one of the last modernists and is sometimes considered one of the first postmodernists. His most popular work, “Waiting for Godot,” was the first to be written entirely in French, and although he wrote in both English and in French, French became Beckett's preferred language for creating and manipulating his works.
“Premier Amour / First Love” – April 14, 15, & 16 @ 7:30PM Written in 1946, Premier Amour / First Love tells the story of a relationship between a man and a prostitute. This earthy, emotional tale delves into the cruel and sexual relationship that unfolds after the prostitute encounters the homeless and soulless narrator on a park bench. “Cap au Pire / Worstward Ho” – April 17 @ 8:00PM Written in 1982, Cap au Pire / Worstward Ho is saturated by astonishing distress. At his point in his career, Beckett’s stripped down writing is less about characters and dialogue and more about using images. In this piece, text scrolls across a suitcase as Sami Frey conveys extreme grief and sorrow throughout the silence.

Strategery Strategery

Jesuit Father Tom Reese

On what the official position should be now that the Bishops' official position was ignored by pro-life Catholics:

Bishops have, argues Reese, no "special charism" in divining various Court's interpretations of statutes. Humility might recognize that legislative interpretation of the Courts in various case by case scenarios might even be better intuited by lawyers who argue regularly before courts and are in the business of interpreting statutes. (Just a thought, Silly me.) Humility might further recognize that the Archdiocese might not be consulting the best attorneys around. Look at their record.

It was likely a shocker when the Catholic Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts did not stop the presses on the recent issue regarding the gay equal marriage rights issue- and instead the Archbishop of Washington just said- No Insurance For Any of You Spouses! Which of his legal minions thought that was a good idea? Either the brief or the result? Can you imagine a worse headline- Archbishop takes back ALL the spousal insurance- like the Seinfeld Soup Nazi- No Insurance For You!! Archbishop against covering health. For anyone.

It was also likely a shocker when the church didn't have in their back pocket Judge Holeman or any other DC Superior Court Judge, none of whom took the Archdiocese position that a referendum should be imposed on DC Citizens to vote against the Gay equal marriage rights law.

It was also probably a triple shocker when something so obviously right, like subsidized school assistance for low income kids was defeated and revoked and all church-state separation arguments in the church's (and kids') favor failed. This shows either the depth of the antipathy to what some perceive as the arrogance of the church or just some pretty awefully bad lawyering. Style counts. So does the US Constitution.

The Archbishopric Archdiocese of Washington is a non-profit corporation that covers parishes in Maryland that go as south as Saint Mary's and as north as Frederick and includes Washington, DC. Suburban Maryland interests in a number of areas may or may not be the same as the interests of DC residents who are more diverse in origins, racially, and other ways. When the "Archdiocese of Washington, DC" takes a position, it is really the position in the interest of various towns, townships and counties in Maryland as well.
The Archdiocese of Washington is pretty much O for 3 on these issues in DC and nationally. Perhaps it's time to do a little soul searching. Should the Archdiocese of Washington, DC be just that? Just DC? The positions might fare better and the church look less irrelevant.

Perhaps a study should be convened wherein it is proposed that the Archdiocese of DC (a population around the size of Vermont and larger than Cheney's home state of Wyoming) should be separated from the Archdioce of Suburban Maryland South of Baltimore.

The Annunciation

What do Matthew 23:13 and Bart Stupak have in common?

They both blast Hypocrites-and you know who you are.

Congratulations Clint Curtis


Remember this name. Clint Curtis.

Now go to his website and click on the donations, ACTBLUE account and give him a donation.
What we learned from the last health care bill is that EVERY Congressional vote counted. Every one. Every penny helps get a congressperson elected.

Clint Curtis is a person of profound integrity and honesty. He blew the whistle on his party's corruption when he was a Republican and republicans were paying computer software programmers to devise ways to use software to flip electronic voting machinery.

He faced unbelievable persecution. Did he cower and turn tail? No, he testified before Congress, then RAN for Congress, then went to law school.
Now he is running in California's 4th Congressional District.

Help him. We need every Democrat in Congress we can get. He is unchallenged in the Primary. We can get him to Congress. Click on , donate, ACTBLUE.


U.S. Congress

CD 01 Mike Thompson*
CD 02 James Reed
CD 03 Ami Bera
CD 04 Clint Curtis
CD 06 Lynn Woolsey*
CD 07 George Miller*
CD 08 Nancy Pelosi*
CD 09 Barbara Lee*
CD 10 John Garamendi*
CD 11 Jerry McNerney *
CD 12 Jackie Speier*
CD 13 Fortney 'Pete' Stark*
CD 14 Anna Eshoo*
CD 15 Mike Honda*
CD 16 Zoe Lofgren*
CD 17 Sam Farr*
CD 18 Dennis Cardoza*
CD 19 Les Marsden
CD 20 Jim Costa*
CD 23 Lois Capps*
CD 24 Tim Allison
CD 25 Jackie Conaway
CD 26 Russ Warner
CD 27 Brad Sherman*
CD 28 Howard Berman*
CD 29 Adam Schiff*
CD 30 Henry Waxman*
CD 31 Xavier Becerra*
CD 32 Judy Chu*
CD 33 Karen Bass
CD 34 L. Roybal-Allard*
CD 35 Maxine Waters*
CD 36 Jane Harman*
CD 37 Laura Richardson*
CD 38 Grace Napolitano*
CD 39 Linda Sanchez*
CD 41 Patrick Meagher
CD 43 Joe Baca*
CD 44 Bill Hedrick
CD 45 Stephen Pougnet
CD 46 Ken Arnold
CD 47 Loretta Sanchez*
CD 48 Beth Krom
CD 49 Howard Katz
CD 50 Francine Busby
CD 51 Bob Filner*
CD 52 Ray Lutz
CD 53 Susan Davis*

* = Incumbent

Cafeteria Catholics on Life

And the Plight of the Pro-Life Democrat

No one trusts them in either direction-and yet they are emerging as a powerful force in the Democratic Party. Planned Parenthood, it is reported today in Politico is trying to run them out of town. They have launched a targeting attack and are fundraising for their collective defeat. Sara Palin puts on her website a map with gun cross-hairs on them for all democrats who voted for the health care legislation including pro-life ones, and now it is reported that some congresspeople actually are fearing for the safety of their families from vigilante tea-bagging nutjobs. Grossly Irresponsible and Just Gross.

A right-wing-nut Catholic Republican mob wants to declare them non-existent, yet they held the swing votes that put the legislation over the top. Some democrats are ticked off at them that they were such obstructionist hold-outs and excoriated them, particularly Bart Stupak prior to the switch.

What is missing is an intelligent assessment of what "PRO LIFE" really means. What is comprehensively PRO LIFE. Can you be for torturing people to death and be PRO LIFE. Can you watch people who you know could have been medically helped if they had insurance wait too long to get diagnosed and die from cancer at age 40 and be PRO LIFE. Can you want to deny women the option of treating a deformed or diseased newborn because she can't afford the coverage so opts for abortion and be PRO LIFE. Can you be for killing hundreds of thousands or even millions of citizens of a foreign country in a war in the interest of favorable oil trade terms and misguided geopolitical strategy and call yourself PRO LIFE?

How Stupid Are We?
If you think the Abortion issue is the only Pro Life issue in the country, you are a Cafeteria Catholic playing political football on a hot button issue so you can yell like a loon the defamation "baby killer" to anyone who takes positions you think, rightly or wrongly are against your economic interest.

This Republican Game is Over. Tilt Tilt Tilt Tilt. Game Over.

The Biggest Prophylactic

Is the Mandatory Celibacy Doctrine.

Don't talk to me about condoms. Don't talk to me about your 'pro-life' views. Every time a priest falls really in love with a woman (which happens about every year in every Parish in the world) every period she has where they are not allowed to marry is like a condom on the relationship and is anti-life. It destroys life. Every month. Do the math. It's no different on a spiritual dimension than coercing someone into getting an abortion in your oppressive views of when life does or does not get started.

There are some Archbishops that go even further to maintain their 'holdings.' They will actually try to get attractive women arrested if they appear too much a threat to a priest's celibacy-because this threatens the income of the donations of the folks who think that the priest is their pet puppy. Insane. I am not kidding. Arrested. Just lock them up- for being too cute. Harass them with police action. Some will even try to pimp these priests old post-menopausal cougars (otherwise known as the Watergate Widows Club) so they are not a threat in terms of marriage demands or wanting any children.

The Misogyny in the Catholic world, where men, by far mostly white men over the age of
60 get to dictate policies for the rest of the Christian world using doctrines that evolved in a time the rest of the world calls the "dark" and 'middle ages' is crushingly ignorant. No other word for it. Not holier, not enlightened, just plain ignorant, rude, and unchristian.

And what has this years obsession of the Priesthood on itself by the Pope's "Year of the Priest" really done? Not much for Haitian hunger.

In Haiti women in slum tent cities who are now dealing with flooding bringing typhoid and malaria are bartering their bodies for food for their children. And the Pope-his Lenten- Easter pledge? He pledges monies to rebuild the Seminary. How about starting with a large soup kitchen? Bottled water maybe.

Another one bites the dust as Bishop M. is dumped by the Vatican-Canon Law 402 or something.

And from the official vatican press service:
CITE DU VATICAN, 25 MAR 2010 (VIS). Voici le texte intégral de la déclaration faite par le P.Federico Lombardi, SJ, Directeur de la Salle-de-Presse du Saint-Siège, en réponse au New York Times d'hier:

"Le cas tragique de l'Abbé Lawrence Murphy, prêtre de l'archidiocèse de Milwaukee, touchent des victimes particulièrement vulnérables qui ont terriblement souffert de ce qu'il a fait. Le père Murphy qui a abusé sexuellement d'enfants atteints de problèmes auditifs, a enfreint la loi et, plus important encore, la confiance sacrée que ses victimes avaient mis en lui.

Au milieu des années 1970, quelques victimes de l'Abbé Murphy ont informé de cet abus les autorités civiles, qui les ont ensuite soumises à des enquêtes. Toutefois, d'après ce qu'en dit la presse, ces enquêtes ont été abandonnées. La Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi ne fut informée de ce problème qu'une vingtaine d'année plus tard.

Il a été suggéré qu'il existerait, dans ce cas, une relation entre l'application de Crimen Sollicitationis et l'absence de dénonciations aux autorités civiles de ces abus sur enfants. En fait, il n'y en a pas. En effet, contrairement à certaines déclarations qui ont circulées dans la presse, ni le Crimen, ni le Code de droit canonique n'ont interdit la dénonciation de cas d'abus sur enfants aux autorités de police:

A la fin des années 1990, plus de deux décennies après la dénonciation de ces abus aux responsables du diocèse et de la police, la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi s'est trouvée, pour la première fois, à traiter canoniquement de la question du cas Murphy. La Congrégation a été informée de ces évènements car il s'agissait de sollicitations faites en confession et qui impliquaient une violation du sacrement de pénitence. Il est important de signaler que la question canonique présentée à la Congrégation n'a rien à voir avec les procédures possibles au civil ou pénal contre l'Abbé Murphy.

Dans de tels cas, le Code de droit canonique ne prévoit pas de sanctions automatiques mais recommande qu'un jugement soit prononcé sans exclure la plus grande peine ecclésiastique de l'expulsion de l'état clérical (Canon 1395,2). Prenant en compte le fait que l'Abbé Murphy était âgé et avait des problèmes de santé, qu'il vivait de façon isolée et que les dénonciations d'abus n'avaient pas été notifiées pendant plus de vingt ans, la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi a suggéré que l'Evêque de Milwaukee envisage le problème en restreignant, par exemple, le ministère public de l'Abbé Murphy, et en exigeant de lui qu'il accepte la pleine responsabilité de la gravité de ses actes. L'Abbé Murphy est mort quelque quatre mois plus tard, sans autres incidents".

De même, hier 24 mars, Mgr.John Magee, SPS, Evêque de Cloyne (Irlande) a émis un communiqué après l'acceptation par le Saint-Père de sa renonciation à la charge pastorale de ce diocèse:

"Le 9 mars 2010, j'ai présenté au Saint-Père ma renonciation comme évêque de Cloyne. J'ai été informé aujourd'hui qu'elle a été acceptée et, maintenant que je me retire, je veux présenter, une fois encore, mes plus sincères excuses à toute personne ayant souffert d'abus de la part de certains prêtres du diocèse de Cloyne alors que j'en étais l'évêque ou à d'autres périodes. Je demande pardon et miséricorde à ceux qui ont subi des dommages de quelque façon que ce soit ou qui ont souffert à cause de mon omission. Comme il a été dit le jour de Noël 2008, après la publication du rapport de l'Assemblée nationale pour la protection des enfants de l'Eglise catholique en Irlande, j'assume toue la responsabilité quant à notre gestion des questions qui figurent dans ce rapport.

Le 7 mars 2009, le Saint-Siège a nommé Mgr.Dermot Clifford, administrateur apostolique du diocèse de Cloyne en réponse à ma demande d'être relevé de cette charge afin de pouvoir me consacrer à la coopération avec la Commission d'enquête du gouvernement sur les procédures de protection des mineurs du diocèse, en tant qu'évêque de Cloyne. Je reste évidemment disponible pour la Commission d'enquête à tout moment.

J'espère aussi sincèrement que le travail et les conclusions de la Commission d'enquête contribueront d'une façon ou d'une autre à soulager la situation des personnes abusées.

J'accueille avec satisfaction le fait que ma démission ait été acceptée et je remercie les prêtres, religieux et fidèles du diocèse de leur soutien pendant le temps que j'ai exercé ma charge d'évêque de Cloyne, et les assure pour toujours de mes prières".

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Not So Magestic

That Magesterium

When it comes to the married priesthood option. No one over the age of 50 should get a vote.
If you are over the age of 50 you spent the first 3/4s of your life self-flagellating your wanker self in denial and hopefully not sodomizing anyone else. So you don't get to vote. You also probably long since crucified your libido, and we can't afford all the viagra.

Now, go take a vote of every Priest and Former Priest under the age of 50 and see whether they think that the Spirit thinks that there should be a marriage option in the priesthood or whether you all have to run for your lives from women for the rest of your lives.

Get a Life- Vote yes, for the Marriage Option. I am taking a Poll.

The Pope's emissaries continue their flailing and flogging of theologian Hans Kung who on this issue makes more biblical sense than the Pope.

We are ALL part of the mystical body of Christ. Women are more or less half the adult part of the mystical body of christ. Take a Vote of all the Women under 50. The FMBP-the Female Mystical Body Parts of Christ.
I venture to guess all the FMBP contingent are highly offended and learned long ago that Jesus never deemed the entire female species so defective, deficient or intrinsically unclean that it disqualified a priest from doing anything if they were also able to properly love the FMBPs. In fact, it's a biblical pre-requisite and many FMBPs long ago defected to the Anglican/Episcopalian world because they found the other doctrine a nonsensical mess.