Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I just discovered my friend Rae's blog -- Confessions of a Pauline Cooperator. I've known Rae for *ahem* quite a long time... Anyway, check it out. She's a thoughtful person with a lot to say.
Wow! A really cool LifeSite Special Report - Denying Holy Communion - A Case History. This is by Bishop Rene Gracida, the Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, TX. It's a very illuminating report on how the bishop placed a pro-abortion politician under interdict. Would that all bishops had that much concern for their flock!

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Greg Hansen has some good thoughts on the state of Wildcat football -- What a difference a year makes.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Fr. Rob Johansen reminds himself and us to throw off our complacency about abortion. Check it out.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Lest I forget, yesterday's Wildcat football game was an exciting game to watch -- unfortunately, the Star reports that Victory in hand slips out of grasp.

Arrgh! We should have won, but once again we grasped defeat from the jaws of victory. Oh well. Greg Hansen's column is, as usual, enlightening.
Another response to "Harold". My original post is in italics, plain type is Harold, and both my original post and Harold's comment are indented. Hopefully that's clear.

Bishop Moreno has said he made mistakes, and I think that's true.

Coming from you, that's some admission.
That's an amazingly offensive thing to say. No wonder you don't post your full name, an email or a webpage. Figures.

People seem to fall into two catagories:

1. "We have to trust in God, and I think God will pull us through any crisis like this, said parishioner Richard Hook.


2. Father Geral Boyer--he was our priest--held a weekday mass. He asked me to stay after and talk. He proceeded to undress me and to just rape me. He held my face down, and then (see the link if you care to read the rest...)

Perhaps one problem here is that people are using euphemisms like "abuse" as opposed to rape.

You don't think it's more than a little simplistic to lump everyone together? We're either one of the victims or we have some hope of getting through this? I don't know what point you are trying to make here. As for abuse being a euphemism, it's not. Abuse is a more inclusive term that includes rape, but also includes a number of other things that happened in many of these cases that, strictly speaking, isn't rape. For example, the behavior of some priests who got kids drunk. That's not rape (it often led to it), but it is abuse.

With regard to the perverted criminals and the administrators who enabled them, my friends who attend S.S. Peter and Paul have the attitude, "They're only human."

What's more astonishing is that the kid who experienced Fr. Boyer's "talk" was issued a gag order by his own parents, but then again, that seems to be the prevalent attitude forty years later.
I'm confused. You have friends who go to SSPP? What parish do you attend? And who claims that the abusers were "only human". I don't see anyone claiming that, as if it excuses their actions.

At the conclusion of Manly's deposition, Moreno once again exhibited repentance.

"As you sit here today," Manly asked Moreno, "is there anything with ... any of the other cases that you would do differently, if you could turn back the clock?"

Moreno stumbled a bit, then said, "Well, I wish we could have avoided them as much as possible. I wish they had been the holy priests they're supposed to be. Perhaps I could have been more strict in that. I don't know."

Moreno is not, was not a well man before these depositions. Obviously he feels he could have, should have done things differently. So are you criticizing him for feeling that way? I don't understand you other than that you are angry and lashing out.

What's odd is that we seem to be willing to give a pass to rapists when the offenders are associated with our spiritual and moral authority, but when it's some pervert off the street, it's time to throw the book at them.
Maybe you are giving a pass to rapists, but I am not. They should be in jail. All of them. Oddly enough, though, when these things happen in other groups (teachers, for example) no one gets so excited, and the lawsuits don't flow. Why is that? Are others giving a pass to rapists among teachers, or Protestant ministers? For that matter, statistics show that most abuse comes from fathers. Are we giving them a pass?

Do you think paying money to the victims and their lawyers will save their souls?

No but settlements can buy counseling that the Diocese has shown to be incompetent in adminstering. Furthermore, given the years of denial and arrogance which met claimants, for the church to lose their money seems to be the only consequence which gets some attention.

It is my understanding that the Church has offered counseling to victims. Are you disputing this, or do you just dislike or disagree with the way it's being done? Anyway, your crack about "the church [sic] to lose their money" is absurd, because that money isn't the Church's, it's mine and my fellow Catholics that we gave for any number of reasons which don't include lining the pockets of lawyers or allowing people seeking vengeance to feel vindicated. Vengeance doesn't solve anything, but you seem to be too bitter to see that.

Talk about unexpected sources -- columnist Melinda Henneberger on MSNBC explains the problem with the Kerry campaign -- It's About Abortion, Stupid.

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Fr. Rob Johansen has a statement from Terri Schiavo's parents about the recent court ruling. Please pray for Terri and her family!
I promised to reply to a comment from Tuesday. The comment is in italics, my comments are not.

Thanks for the reply, "Gordon". In several statements made such as, "...we came close to bankruptcy then too.", do you purport some formal capacity with the Diocese, other than just being a parishioner?

I had put "Harold" in quotes because you did not put an email or website, so I have no way of knowing if "Harold" is your real name or a pseudonym. It was not meant to be derogatory. Since I really am Gordon Zaft, you don't need to put quotes around my name.

To answer your question, I have no formal capacity with the diocese. I am a parishioner, I volunteer in several capacities, and I am a graduate of the Living Stones lay ministry formation program. Beyond that, as it happens, I happen to know the former chancellor, the moderator of the curia, the rector of the cathedral, and a vicar general. Not because I'm special, but because they all are or were assigned to my parish (Ss. Peter and Paul). Of course, these opinions are mine and not theirs, and I don't speak for them in any way.

Don't be too hard on the lawyers. They are also lining their pockets to help mitigate liability of the Diocese. This bankruptcy move is only one strategy. Additionally, it wouldn't be surprising to learn the recent formation of the DIOCESE OF TUCSON CHARITY & MINISTRY FUND has a mitigating effect.

I don't know whether you are a Tucsonan or not. The "Charity and Ministry Fund" is the corporation that was formed last year to take over what had been called the Bishop's Appeal (now called the Annual Catholic Appeal). This was a good move, since if they had not separated the Appeal, undoubtedly many, many people would have chosen not to give a cent to it, which would have hurt a lot of people who depend on the services provided through the fund.

Kicanas JUNE 16, 2004 : "I do not believe that a declaration of Chapter 11 by the Diocese will lead to any adverse financial impact on our parishes and schools."

That is the hope, but the truth remains to be seen, doesn't it? No one can say for sure.

The Bishop said it himself. This is merely a bump in the road for Diocese finances.

I think that's trivializing something that is far from trivial. Besides the impact that this will have on the Diocese as a whole, it's going to have a very bad (IMHO) effect on the relations between parishes and the Diocese, and it's also going to affect how parishes relate to each other.

For fun, review the annual reports and other Corporate documents of the Diocese. (I did a word search on 'Diocese Tucson', no quotes)

I've looked at the Diocesan financial report before, thanks.

Pretty interesting to see the Catholic cemetaries 2003 net profit of $570,000. Yet, this income probably won't be touched as well as the $56 Million in real estate in Pima County alone, as reported on the KOLD TV website.

You may not be aware that the cemeteries were sold to the Archdiocese of LA in the late 80s/early 90s in order to cover part of the debt from the TV station, and were only repurchased in the last few years (2000?). Personally I would expect that the cemeteries will be sold, only this time not to someone as friendly as LA. As for KOLD's claims of $56 million in real estate, I never saw a list. I'm sure there is some vacant land that was bought to support new parishes, and that will undoubtedly be sold. I have no idea where or what the rest is, and I rather doubt that the Diocese as such really owns $56 million in real estate. The Diocese doesn't even own the bishop's residence any more, as far as I know -- it was sold along with Regina Cleri. If you have other facts about this I'd love to hear them.

I like the leadership Bishop Kicanas demonstrates. However, some feel Bishop Moreno and others let the abuse happen. This is because after incidences of abuse were exposed, the result was some Priests were transferred to other parishes. Recall that some abuse cases go back twenty years.

Yes, most of these cases are pretty old. The only exception to that that I am aware of is the Yuma case. I am also aware that Bishop Green, and probably Bishop Moreno transferred priests who had accusations against them. Bishop Moreno has said he made mistakes, and I think that's true. It's quite a step to say that he did so with an intent to cause harm. But yes, he screwed up.

With the teams of professional management staff, (review membership of the officers of the CATHOLIC FOUNDATION FOR THE DIOCESE OF TUCSON) there is no doubt that the Diocese will overcome its difficulties.

I suppose it will, eventually. It will really hurt our efforts as a church for decades to come, though.

However, what about the victims difficulties? And more importantly, what about their faith? There are souls at stake.

Do you think paying money to the victims and their lawyers will save their souls?

Incidentally, you might want to read the Bishop's remarks to the employees of the Diocese.

Addendum: Check out this editorial in the Arizona Daily Star.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

A little late, I know, but I just posted the music for Mass from June 13th (Corpus Christi) and June 26th (Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul). I still have to post Assumption and last week's music.
The ruling is in -- Fla. Court Nixes Law Keeping Woman Alive. Apparently if the judicial branch wants you dead, dead you will be no matter what the exec and legislative branches want.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

After Elf Girl posted a while back about wanting iTunes on her new laptop, whether it's an Apple or a Dell, I wound up downloading it myself. Man, this thing is dangerous. The ability to buy just one song that you want, immediately, without having to buy a whole album... wow, that's dangerous. It's like crack. I've bought probably 10 songs now. Right now I'm obsessively listening to Josh Groban's "Oceano". Good stuff.

Just to give you a sample of the weird taste I have, here's what I've bought:
  • Josh Groban -- Oceano
  • Good Charlotte -- Boys and Girls
  • Bowling for Soup -- Punk Rock 101
  • Daniel Bedingfield -- If You're Not The One
  • Britney Spears -- Lucky (yes, I admit it)
  • Chris Isaak -- Wicked Game
  • BBMak -- Back Here
  • Sixpence None the Richer -- There She Goes
  • Maroon 5 -- She Will Be Loved
  • Fountains of Wayne -- Stacy's Mom
  • Liz Phair -- Why Can't I
If anyone has any hints on how I can get this stuff on my Samsung Yepp-55 MP3 player I'm all ears.
Here's an update with more info on the Diocese's bankruptcy proceedings -- Diocese set to split with its parishes.

I'll respond to yesterday's comment in a separate entry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's always good to go to primary sources -- here's the Transcript of Bush's U.N. address.

I ... urge all governments to affirm a basic ethical principle: No human life should ever be produced or destroyed for the benefit of another.

I just wish Kerry would do the same.
Here's local coverage of the Diocese's bankruptcy decision -- Diocese files bankruptcy. Also a related story on victims of abuse.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Diocese of Tucson declares bankruptcy. It's official, the Diocsee has filed for bankruptcy. The diocese set up a web page with Diocese of Tucson Chaper 11 information. Here's the letter from Bishop Kicanas.

Update: Here's an AP story on the bankruptcy.

Addendum: Commenter "Harold" asked what my thoughts are on the bankruptcy. Well, I'm not thrilled. The diocese has been in a very fragile position for the last 16-18 years due to a failed "experiment" in running a TV station; we came close to bankruptcy then too. We were able to sell off some assets and borrow money and get support from other dioceses, most notably the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Thanks, Cdl. Mahony!). We had just gotten back on more-or-less a stable basis about 2000. The Diocese has about 350,000 Catholics spread over 43,000 square miles. It's never been "rich." Now with our current circumstances, I have to agree that bankruptcy seems like the only real option. I'm worried about what may happen to the parishes. I think Bishop Kicanas is right that it would not be right to settle the current cases for some exhorbitant amount and have nothing left to pay future cases which could be filed. With the changes in the statute of limitations that were made, there's no way to know how many cases might be out there.

It's not a good situation. I feel sorry for Bishop Kicanas, who inherited this mess. I feel sorry for Bishop Moreno, too; I think he genuinely did what he thought was right and best. I feel sorry for those who were abused. I do not feel the slightest bit of sympathy or good feeling for the lawyers who have pushed this to this point, though -- they have shown themselves, in my opinion, more interested in lining their own pockets than in justice, or truth, or healing.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Wisconsin 9, Arizona 7. I attended the UA - Wisconsin football game today. It was one of the most enjoyable games I've ever seen Arizona play.

The game started just after 1 p.m., with hot weather. As the game wore on it turned into a defensive battle, with Arizona's defense playing brilliantly and our offense struggling. With 6:13 left in the second quarter, the powers that be evidently decided they could no longer ignore the booming thunder and flashes of lightning approaching the stadium, so they suspended the game and asked everyone to take shelter. The rain came down in buckets! After almost an hour and a half, play resumed under a steady, driving rain, and the Wildcats scored a touchdown. Alas, that was to be our only score of the game.

Both teams had agreed to skip halftime and just keep playing. Early in the 4th quarter Wisconsin scored a touchdown but missed the extra point. Finally, a few series later they drove very close to the goal line but were unable to get a touchdown, and they scored a field goal. With just under 4 minutes left to play the Wildcats began a drive toward the Wisconsin goal, getting to the 25 yard line. A false start penalty drove them to the 30, and from there they attempted a 47 yard field goal as time expired. It was wide right and the game ended.

Of course, it was disappointing to sit through a game in the rain and see our team fight so hard but still lose. Nevertheless, I was really impressed with their play and their heart, and I think it bodes well for the season. I had to laugh at some of the Wisconsin fans, celebrating as if they'd won a great victory. The truth is we nearly won, and their team is not nearly as good as they thought. Our team fought like Wildcats! They made us proud.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Archbishop Myers hits the nail on the head in discussing pro-choice candidates and Catholic voters. He gets to the heart of what "proportionate reasons" really means.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

A re-review of The Passion of the Christ -- The Passion of the Michael. It's interesting to see how someone who didn't "get it" now "gets it". I never understood how someone could not see (Gibson makes it so plain) how the Eucharist and Christ's sacrifice are related because -- duh! -- they are the very same sacrifice; but then I'm a Catholic and I knew that already. I suppose non-Catholics would wonder as Coren did why those intercuts were there.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Another example of how "pro-choice" advocates aren't really pro-choice -- 'Conscience clause' grows in health care. Planned Parenthood et al are such hypocrites to claim to support "choice", yet when a doctor or pharmacist exercises their choice to not perform or support abortion or contraception, suddenly they don't have a choice? How absurd!
Scientific difficulties for the Latter Day Saints -- LDS and DNA. Apparently DNA testing does not suport the Book of Mormon's claim that the ancestors of the American Indians came from the Middle East.

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Yet another lawsuit.... Another lawsuit has been filed against the Diocese of Tucson. Bankruptcy here we come...

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Here's the transcript of President Bush's remarks on the anniversary of September 11th.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

For my September 11th remembrance, I played my recording of the Mozart Requiem that was made from the Rolling Requiem concert of September 11, 2002. I spent some time praying for the repose of the soul of John Badagliacca, and for his family. The passage of time has resulted in some healing, for there were no tears; just a dull ache.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I had the following letter published in today's Arizona Daily Star:

Sacraments' status remains the same
I was saddened to read about Audrey Dunham's problems receiving Holy Communion because of her celiac disease ("Tucsonan can't eat wafer in holy rite," Sept. 7). The saddest part, though, is that she wants the church to change what cannot be changed, rather than adapting herself. This is pride.

Dunham is quoted as saying she did not want to receive from a separate chalice because "I was just too shy. You walk up there and you feel singled out."

As a sufferer from celiac disease, surely she has felt "singled out" every single time she dines. Even if it were possible for her to receive a gluten-free host at Communion, would she not still feel "singled out" since she would be the only one doing so?

I hope Dunham avails herself of the opportunity to meet with Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas and pray that he may be able to help her understand why the church is not at liberty to change the sacraments.

Gordon Zaft

Thursday, September 09, 2004

A rather eye-opening article on W's military service: Before you fall for Dems' spin, here are the facts. I didn't realize this stuff.

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Apparently Barbara Nicolosi inadvertently "outed" the (in?)famous Nihil Obstat -- Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!.
Audrey Dunham shows that New Jersey isn't the only place for people who don't understand the Eucharist -- they're in Tucson too. Check out the Star story -- Tucsonan can't eat wafer in holy rite.

We have a man in my parish who has this disease; he has a separate small chalice that is consecrated just for him. I think it's a wonderful example of the Church reaching out to people.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Fellow Sinfonian Sam Rabourn is going to bike around the US. Coming soon to a community near you!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

The University of Arizona® Wildcats whupped NAU last night, 21-3, in the first game of the Mike Stoops era. It was a fun game in spite of some bad weather just before the game. Check out Hansen's column on why Wildcat fans should be encourage.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Grrr! I am still sick. It's been a week now. It's moved down to my chest but it's still hanging on, making me just miserable enough to be uncomfortable but not so miserable that I cancel all my other plans. Grr.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Here's the text of Fr. Rutler's homily from yesterday at an ecumenical service where President Bush and a bunch of high mucky-mucks were present. Fr. Rutler is an amazing speaker and writer.
I finally found the transcript of President Bush's speech last night. I didn't get to see it but it seems like a pretty good speech.
I was watching a bit of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last night, mostly because the luminous Julie Delpy was on to plug her new movie, Before Sunset. Of course, Ms. Delpy was beautiful and charming. Kimmel had not even seen the movie! What a twit. He was totally unprepared for Delpy and came off like stereotypical Dumb American. *sigh*
Last night we started our 2004-2005 RCIA program at my parish. We have 6 or 7 people in the class this year. We had a good discussion. The opening night is always just introductions and an overview of the process. Next week the meat of the class begins.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

If you haven't yet, you should go check out the St. Blog's Parish Hall. It's a pretty cool forum for discussion.