Thursday, May 19, 2005

Well, I'm Just Gonna Take My Ball And Go Home! Nah!

With a toss of his head and a cluck of his tongue, former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent resigned from the boards of several Catholic institutions.

This display of mature Christian behavior was his response to Fr. Reese's resignation from America magazine.

Hat Tip to Amy.

Editorial Judgment?

In her column today, Ann Coulter skewers Newsweek Magazine and the rest of the MSM, for the "curious" editorial judgment which led to rioting and deaths in the Islamosphere last weekend.

She points out that Michael Isikoff, the reporter responsible for the now-repudiated article which claimed that US soldiers flushed copies of the Koran down the toilet, has had many stories spiked by Newsweek in the past, stories which were much better sourced and authenticated than the "Korangate" piece:
When ace reporter Michael Isikoff had the scoop of the decade, a thoroughly sourced story about the president of the United States having an affair with an intern and then pressuring her to lie about it under oath, Newsweek decided not to run the story. Matt Drudge scooped Newsweek, followed by The Washington Post...

When Isikoff was the first with detailed reporting on Paula Jones' accusations against a sitting president, Isikoff's then-employer The Washington Post — which owns Newsweek — decided not to run it. The American Spectator got the story, followed by the Los Angeles Times.

The meme now circulating amongst MSM pundits, in a pathetic effort to justify Newsweek's decision to run the story, is "similar stories have been reported before" by released detainees. Of course, the sources for these stories haven't exactly been bulletproof, as Coulter points out:
Is there an adult on the editorial board of Newsweek? Al-Jazeera also broadcast a TV miniseries last year based on the "Protocols of the Elders Of Zion." (I didn't see it, but I hear James Brolin was great!) Al-Jazeera has run programs on the intriguing question, "Is Zionism worse than Nazism?" (Take a wild guess where the consensus was on this one.) It runs viewer comments about Jews being descended from pigs and apes. How about that for a Newsweek cover story, Evan? You're covered — al-Jazeera has already run similar reports!

How to explain the MSM's reluctance to run well-sourced stories like those above, and eagerness to jump on stories like "Korangate", which have their foundation in little more than rumor? Well, when people say things (a) without checking the facts , (b) that have destructive consequences, and (c) that will make them look stupid when they have to recant, you can be relatively sure that ideology is at work. Ideology blinds one to the perception of reality just as surely as sin does.

So what is the ideology at work here? The left's visceral loathing for all things Western, Christian, and American. The MSM, being composed largely of leftists, deeply believes that the West is eeevviiilll, and therefore that all things non-Western are innocent, good, and beautiful. Call it an updated version of Rousseau's myth of the "noble savage".

The problem with this ideology is that, like most others, if it is allowed to run its course it has deadly consequences. As the families of the 16 dead Muslims now know too well.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Schindlers In Rome, Meet with Cardinal Martino

The Schindler family is in Rome this week. They were invited to accompany Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, as part of a pilgrimage affiliated with that organization.

Yesterday, they met with Cardinal Renato Martino, the Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Cardinal Martino had denounced the removal of Terri's feeding tube in the strongest possible terms, calling it "tantamount to murder", and "a violation of the principles of Christianity and civilization." In their meeting yesterday, Cardinal Martino said that Terri's death was "an insult to human dignity."

The Schindlers With Cardinal Martino

Today, the Schindlers attended the general audience of Pope Benedict XVI, and were able to greet him:

Hat tip to Amy Welborn

Cardinal Martino told the Schindlers yesterday, "We can expect from Benedict a very great and convinced defense of life".

For The Real Traditionalists

A reader directed me to the Society of St. Pius I, which was formed to promote the real Roman tradition, as exemplified by their Patron of happy memory, Saint Pius I.

From their website:
Unlike other wimpy neotraditionalist groups who attach themselves to various other Piuses, we at the SSPI make absolutely ZERO compromises with modernism. We reject not just one, but BOTH “Novus Ordos”—the Novus Ordo of 1970 promulgated by Paul VI, and the Latin Vulgate Mass of 400 A.D. promulgated by Innocent I and Pope Gregory I, which we call the “Vulgar Mass”...

Fact: Latin is NOT the original language of the Church!

It’s a VERNACULAR language that was foisted on the Roman church by Pope Victor I (A.D. 190-202), who was an AFRICAN priest--NOT a Roman!!!

The earliest liturgies at Rome as described by St. Justin Martyr were in GREEK. But once Victor made the change in language, that OPENED THE DOOR a century later to a barrage of changes in the rite of Mass itself, from which the Roman Rite has NEVER recovered.

They are currently looking for Greek-speaking priests "who may have said the liturgy of St. Justin Martyr in their youth."

The Society of St. Pius I - “To be any more Trad, you’d have to be Jewish!"

Monday, May 16, 2005

Does This Bother Anyone Else?

From today's Chicago Tribune (LRR):
Mohammed Ahmed and Abrar Anwar draw curtains to cover the wooden altar, the pulpit and stained-glass images of St. Benedict and Jesus carrying the cross. Faruk Rahmanovic helps them move plastic chairs to the sides of the room and unroll colorful prayer rugs stashed in a cabinet. Minutes later, about 50 young men and women drop their backpacks near the bookcase full of hymnals, slip off their sneakers and flip-flops and kneel on the rugs...

At most Catholic universities, this would be an unusual sight, but it's an everyday occurrence in the student center chapel at Benedictine University in west suburban Lisle. The school's location, science-heavy curriculum and moral foundation have attracted one of the largest Muslim student bodies of any Catholic university in the nation.

The article then goes on to explain that 13.5 percent of this year's freshman class (33 out of 250 students) are muslim, and quotes several of the muslim students expressing their gratitude for how the university has accomodated them.

What bothers me about the above is that the muslim students are meeting to pray in the student center chapel. I have no problem with the university admitting muslim students. I have no problem with the university providing them with a place to meet to pray. But does that place really have to be in the chapel?

I have a problem with the sacred furnishings of the chapel being covered for the sake of a non-christian observance. I do not know if the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in this chapel (I would imagine so), but if it is, I would have a really big problem with a non-christian religious observance being conducted in the presence of the Sacrament.

Again, I reiterate that my difficulty is not that the muslim students are there, nor that they are being afforded a place to pray. When I was in grad school at The Catholic University of America, there were a substantial number of muslim students there. I learned that many muslim families, both here and abroad, feel more comfortable sending their children to Catholic colleges and universities than to secular ones. Catholic University gave official recognition to a Muslim Students Association, and allowed the muslim students to use a room in the student center for their daily prayers. But that room was not one of the chapels.

I know the Benedictine community that sponsors Benedictine University, St. Procopius Abbey, quite well. I have a great respect and affection for them. I considered becoming a monk there, and spent a great deal of time there during and after college. One of the monks there was my spiritual director during and for a while following college. I consider my own spirituality to be essentially Benedictine - it was from the monks that I really started to learn how to pray. I know the Abbot of St. Procopius, Abbot Hugh Anderson, and consider him a wise and holy man. I have nothing but good associations with the place, so it concerns me all the more that the university should have made the decision they did.

I'm glad that Abbot Hugh is aware of the need to preserve the school's Catholic identity. But I think that allowing muslim students to take over a college chapel for their prayers is a step in the wrong direction.