Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Nice Summing Up

of the "The Pope Should Resign" party and it's malcontents:

Murphy Case: NYT Never Talked to Judge:

In a remarkable piece, we get a sense of confirmation, that the New York Times and the mainstream press are doing their best -during Holy Week, as usual- to (at the very least) foment disgust at the Pontiff and the Catholic Church and/or (at worst) create a climate that "demands" a papal abdication. But curiously...

Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh Good

Another reason to doubt Global Warming:

Settled Science Based on Unsettled Data:

Science requires the collection and interpretation of data. Consensus, therefore, requires that there be no significant dispute on either the data (e.g., its relevance) or it interpretation. The debate over whether there is a “consensus” about anthropogenic climate change has tended to focus on the interpretation of the data.

But what if the data is fatally flawed?

Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Internal Politics

in the Church?

“using the victims of clerical child abuse to fight internal political battles”:

Some analysis from the UK by Damian Thompson with my emphases and comments:

Some liberal Catholics are thinking: It’s payback time, Ratzinger!

By Damian Thompson

There is still no good evidence that Pope Benedict XVI is seriously implicated in the atrocious child abuse scandals that are – rightly – blackening the reputation of the institutions of the Catholic Church. But still the attempts to join the dots continue. To put it bluntly, there is an increasingly frantic media campaign against the Pope in which headlines are being written first and then facts shaved to fit them[What’s on the masthead of Hell’s Bible again?  "All the news that fits"?]

Read the whole thing.

(Via What Does The Prayer Really Say?.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New York Times & Facts

Here's a link to a summary of the facts:

New York Times Smears:

From Father Raymond J. de Souza, a response to the New York Times.

The story is false. It is unsupported by its own documentation. Indeed, it gives every indication of being part of a coordinated campaign against Pope Benedict, rather than responsible journalism.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic Light.)

A Catholic Perspective

on the controversy:

The poisons that lurk in the mud:

In Robert Graves I, Claudius, the old emperor decides to let Nero be his heir knowing well that Nero will be so bad that people will cry for reform and the Republic to return.  In his cups, the old Claudius rumbles:

"It will be bad, exceedingly bad…worse even than Caligula but they have to have the whole terrible truth about just how bad it can be before they come to their senses.

Let all of the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out."

Read the whole thing.

(Via What Does The Prayer Really Say?.)

A Useful List

of links for those inclined to investigate the current media storm over the Vatican:

Wisconsin, Irish, German, and Other Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandals and Pope Benedict XVI: Collection of Factual, Non-Agenda-Driven Articles and Posts:

[ source ]

(Via Cor ad cor loquitur.)


Objectivity is difficult to attain. Catholicism and the Papacy in particular evince emotional responses that reflect our prior commitments, beliefs and life history. So the current news media assault on the papacy needs some distancing before reaching judgement.

There is no reason for a Catholic to assume that every decision made by a bishop who later becomes Pope is infallible. And given the history of the papacy, serious moral defects much be considered possible in the abstract. Criticism of Church leaders may be necessary for their own good as well as that of the Church as a whole.

But the Church is a Family which means that public humiliation of one's own family including parents and other family authority figures is only moral if there is no other way of achieving their salvation. So we must not refuse to consider the possibility of failure, even serious moral failure in the successors of the Apostles, even of Saint Peter himself. But neither must we engage in public speculation or condemnation unless as a very last resort.

So read the following and consider what merit, if any, these current news stories really have:

Keeping the record straight on Benedict and the crisis:

Intense scrutiny is being devoted these days to Pope Benedict XVI's history on the sex abuse crisis. Revelations from Germany have put his five years as a diocesan bishop under a spotlight, and a piece on Thursday in The New York Times, on the case of Fr. Lawrence Murphy of Milwaukee...

Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Justice as Therapy

Maybe what's needed for pædophile and pæderast priests is a trial:

Interview with the CDF’s “prosecutor” of priests who commit “graviora delicta”:

Q: What happens when a priest is accused of a "delictum gravius"?

A: If the accusation is well-founded the bishop has the obligation to investigate both the soundness and the subject of the accusation. If the outcome of this initial investigation is consistent, he no longer has any power to act in the matter and must refer the case to our Congregation where it is dealt with by the disciplinary office.

Read the whole thing.

(Via What Does The Prayer Really Say?.)


is the magic mantra of our age. We have therapies for everything. But if something can't be treated with a therapy, is it a disease? Is it a human failing that needs to be fixed?

Homosexuality, for example, was removed from the APA's list of mental disorders in 1973. So now the controversy is, is it possible or desirable to "treat" homosexuality?

In light of this it's interesting to observe that pædophilia may be going down the same road. First, the idea that it involves a mental disorder is being challenged. And it is certainly resistant to therapy:

A number of proposed treatment techniques for pedophilia have been developed. Many regard pedophilia as highly resistant to psychological interference and have dismissed as ineffective most "reparative strategies."[38] Others, such as Dr. Fred Berlin, believe pedophilia can "indeed be successfully treated," if only the medical community would give it more attention.[23] The reported success rate of modern "reparative" treatment on pedophiles is very low.[38]

So are these attempts to "treat" pædophile priests doomed to failure? Are the elite trying to prepare us for a future Pædophile rights campaign? Curious, first we vilify the Church for sheltering them, then we decide there's nothing wrong with them after all.

And since eighty percent or more of the sexual abuse done in the Church is, in fact, Pæderasty there is little chance of interest in therapy for that condition.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pope Bashing

is in high season now. I opened the paper while half-awake this morning to catch the lead "Pope helped house suspected pedophile" with a large colour picture of the current pope greeting the head of the German Bishops' Conference. The article is buried in Section B ('Canada & World'), page 8, with a header of "Religion".

There's a holy grail for pedophile-abuse lawyers--the incredible wealth of the Vatican. This is an idea that will not leave the popular imagination, facts be damned:

To put it bluntly, the Vatican is not rich. It has an annual operating budget of $260 million, which would not place it on any top 500 list of social institutions. To draw a comparison to the nonprofit sector, Harvard University has an annual operating budget of a little over $1.3 billion, which means it could run the equivalent of five Vaticans. This is to say nothing of the corporate world. Microsoft in 2002 spent $4.7 billion on research and development alone and has annual sales of $293 billion. On the scale of the world's mammoth enterprises, the Vatican doesn't rate.

John Allen

Greed will not believe anything less than billions, if not trillions, of dollars of wealth hidden somewhere by the opulent Vatican. And the Pope is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of this incredible treasure-trove. So, tagging a current pope to alleged misconduct directly then becomes the all-important tool to gain access to this booty.

I get the need for journalists to have no special friends who are above suspicion. And I understand that allegations like this need to be fully aired. Imagine my confusion when I read the article and come away with 'the current pope, then archbishop, arranged for housing for an accuse priest while he sought counselling and therapy'.

Where's the beef? Did the pope do something that was improper, illegal even? Did he fail to do something that he should have, morally or legally? No answers to these questions are to be found in this article. Did the Vancouver Sun edit the submission to eliminate these issues? Or did the author (Gina Doggett) think these wouldn't be germane to her story? She threw in enough hot-button issues in the article, with only a slender thread of relevance to the lead story. Why weren't the key questions asked and answered?

There is, alas, a possible explanation for these omissions. Read this for more.

Monday, March 08, 2010


In my brief stint in RCIA, one of the stumbling blocks was my perception that the candidates (Christians seeking full communion with the Church) and catechumens (the unbaptized seeking that sacrament and full entry into the Christian Life) were self-selecting themselves. Given that they started the nine-month process with that intention and endured to the point of being asked what they thought, the answer was almost universally "Yes, I'm ready". No chance of a misjudgement there, right?

Yet it must be admitted that a certain amount of self-awareness and conscious choice must be involved for each person in the process. So consider this quote in that context:

Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself:

"Conscience formation comes first. A person with a well formed conscience is equipped to engage in fruitful discernment. But when someone whose conscience is not well formed tries it, the result is likely to be self-serving and not God's will."

Read the whole thing.

(Via Intentional Disciples.)

Which then lead naturally into my other major issue: catechesis...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Global Warming and Science

The following citation is an interesting breakdown of the issues surrounding global temperatures over the last sixty or so years. It identifies five different issues with the 2007 IPCC claim which attributes most of the rise of 0.7 ° C over that period to human GHG.

This article identifies five different issues with the Hadley ("Climategate") data which is the basis for the IPCC claim. These five issues break down into two different types: those which modify the original 0.7 ° C itself and those which attribute a different cause. Of those which suggest different causes, some are not anthropogenic, but one is (soot).

So let's correct the original number to 0.47 ° C by eliminating the sea surface temperature errors and the non-climatic signal change ("urbanization"). We then identify four possible causes contributing to this change. Two are anthropogenic and two are not. Those causes we are not responsible for are Stratospheric water vapour and the Sun. Stratospheric water vapour contributes about 0.06 ° C. The Sun's contribution is more problematic.

We don't actually know what, if anything, the sun contributes to our climate variations. The seasons themselves seems to indicate a large role--less sunlight equals colder temperatures. But what about longer-term changes in climate? The scientist cited comes up with different hypotheses that range from no contribution to 65% of the observed warming over the last sixty years. He then cited plumps for 33% for no reason cited. Yet the graph only drops 0.1 ° C. So something is being done with these successive graphs that I'm not understanding.

Of the two anthropogenic causes Black Carbon (soot) contributes 0.1 ° C or about twenty percent of the total. The remainder includes GHG and any other causes as yet unidentified. This apparently amounts to about 0.2 ° C or about 40% of the total. In other words, we seem to be contributing more than twenty percent to current warming, but possibly less than sixty percent. That still seems pretty serious to me, so I'm at a loss to explain the articles conclusion which reduces GHG's contribution to less than a third (which it may, in fact, be) by merging all the various issues indiscriminately.

Most of the Observed Warming since the Mid-20th Century Likely Not from Human GHG Emissions?:

A few weeks ago, over at the blog MasterResource.org, WCR’s Chip Knappenberger took a look at just how confident one should be regarding the amount of warming that anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have caused since the mid-20th century.
The IPCC claims that it is “very likely” that “most” of the warming since then has been [...]

Read the whole thing.

(Via World Climate Report.)


may be getting some uncomfortable exposure over the pond. I'm still agnostic. But the behaviour attributed to some of these scientists seems completely normal given Original Sin.

Opening Night Reviews in the UK Press:

Richard Drake sent in an interesting selection of opening night reviews for the Parliamentary Inquiry from UK parliamentary reporters, most of whom seem to be new to the climate wars and offering a relatively fresh perspective.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Climate Audit.)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Are We Being Manipulated

by the MSM when it comes to gender?

Down the Memory Hole

This Classical Values post, and the video below, raise some good points about the disparate treatment of men in post-modern Western culture.  Add to this disproportionate differences in homelessness and suicide, the disproportionately greater expenditures on women's medical issues, and you have a sense that if these factoids didn't favor women, they would be considered a

Read the whole thing.

(Via Lex Communis.)