March 09, 2007

EUGRAPHY versus PORNOGRAPHY

BEAUTIFUL IMAGERY versus PORNIC IMAGERY

Although the following speaks of the education of children, it proposes things that I believe would be good for adults to cultivate in their own lives to counteract and displace the effects of "pornic" aspects of our culture.
Media education should be positive. Children exposed to what is aesthetically and morally excellent are helped to develop appreciation, prudence and the skills of discernment. Here it is important to recognize the fundamental value of parents’ example and the benefits of introducing young people to children's classics in literature, to the fine arts and to uplifting music. While popular literature will always have its place in culture, the temptation to sensationalize should not be passively accepted in places of learning. Beauty, a kind of mirror of the divine, inspires and vivifies young hearts and minds, while ugliness and coarseness have a depressing impact on attitudes and behaviour.
Pope Benedict XVI wrote that as part of his message for the upcoming 41st World Communications Day, May 20, 2007.

The theme for that day is "Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education".

The complete text of the Holy Father's message is online.
Click HERE for it.

March 08, 2007

Misleading headline, misleading article

The San Diego Union-Tribune and other news sources have published an item today with the following headline.
Judge rejects San Diego diocese request to seal abuse records

The headline would seem to confirm the false rumors that the diocese wants to keep everything secret.

However, information in the actual text of the article adds confusion by seemingly both affirming AND contradicting the notion present in the headline.

Here is one passage where the article seems to contradict the headline.
In court filings, the diocese said it was trying to prevent the release of accusers' names, which it said could be defamatory.
"Claimants should not be forced to make their identities public in order to participate in this reorganization," the diocese argued.

Normally, when a victim (a "claimant" or "accuser") initiates a lawsuit, the due process of law makes the victim's name a matter of public record.

However, since the diocese filed for bankruptcy reorganization status, the presiding judge has now directed that the diocese and the attorneys for the victims are to prepare a method to conceal the names of victims who wish to be anonymous.

Read the headline and article online.
Click HERE for it.

March 07, 2007

BANKRUPTCY: It's Best for the Church and the Victims

By Scott B. Ehrlich
March 7, 2007
San Diego Union-Tribune Newspaper


[The following is from the second half of the article.]


. . . . Is bankruptcy reorganization in the best interests of the victims, the church and its membership, as well as the San Diego community? The answer is unequivocally yes. There are about 150 sexual-abuse lawsuits pending against the church. These lawsuits may languish in the courts for years while the church and the victims stagger along, weighed down by the costs of litigating these lawsuits and the emotional trauma associated with sexual-abuse issues. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy is beneficial in several ways.

First, victims get to participate in the Chapter 11 reorganization process and vote on the plan. A committee of victims will be appointed to represent their interests in the bankruptcy process. Once the plan and a disclosure statement are prepared (under the supervision of the court and creditors' committees), victims will have an opportunity to vote on the plan. If the plan is less speedy or less compensatory than state court tort litigation, the victims can simply vote no.

Second, the bankruptcy process is going to be far less costly for both the church and the victims. The cost of processing all of the claims in one bankruptcy proceeding is going to be far less than the legal costs of 150 individual lawsuits. Both the church and the victims will save stunning amounts of money that would have been paid to lawyers if the cases had remained in the court system.

Third, it is so important that the healing and mending process begin for the victims as soon as possible. Healing can't begin while the economic compensation issues are still pending. By using the bankruptcy system, the process of valuing the claims is shortened and the victims receive their monetary compensation faster. When that part of the process is completed, the victims can move on with the healing process.

Fourth, the church remains a source of sustenance and support to its members and the community. Bankruptcy allows the church to deal with its economic obligations quickly and fully, while continuing to serve its members and the communities of San Diego. By using Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the church can deal responsibly with its economic obligations to the victims while continuing to operate.

Of course, the moral obligations to the victims are not going to be resolved in bankruptcy court— but neither would they be resolved in the 150 lawsuits pending in state court.


[Ehrlich is a professor at California Western School of Law. He specializes in bankruptcy law.]

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The complete article . . . .
Click HERE for it.

March 06, 2007

"Amazing Grace" . . . amazing but misleading


The movie has its main character, William Wilberforce, singing words that his clergyman, John Newton, had written.

In the movie, Wilberforce sings the words to the melody we associate today with “Amazing Grace,” and that same melody occurs at other points in the movie.

However, the familiar words were not adapted to that particular melody until AFTER Wilberforce’s death.

Furthermore, while the entire history depicted in the movie took place in England, the later fitting of the original lyrics to the now-familiar melody took place in the United States.


March 05, 2007

The bankruptcy reorganization process of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego

We have all probably had dealings with stores, businesses, etc., that, without our knowledge, were operating under bankruptcy conditions, and we did not know the difference.

Click HERE to read Bishop Robert Brom’s February 27, 2007, message about the bankruptcy reorganization process of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

In his message, the bishop has publicly stated AGAIN:
THAT THE DIOCESE WILL BE REVEALING THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO HAVE CERTAINLY DONE WRONG;

AND THAT THE DIOCESE WILL REVEAL THE DETAILS OF WHAT THOSE PERSONS HAVE DONE.
Despite the bishop’s repeated statement, many persons continue to tell the news media that the bishop is using bankruptcy reorganization to cover up the wrongdoings.

That is NOT true.

As the Church strives to answer the call of charity and justice in this situation and all situations, let us not forget the Church’s fundamental and ongoing mission:
TO GLORIFY, HONOR, AND WORSHIP GOD IN CHRIST;

TO SERVE GOD IN THE AUTHENTIC TEMPORAL AND ETERNAL WELFARE OF ALL OUR NEIGHBORS;

TO WORK WITH GOD FOR CONVERSION, SALVATION, AND HOLINESS IN THE CHURCH.
We must always acknowledge our failures to fulfill that mission, and we must constantly renew our efforts and prayer to be faithful to that mission.


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Click HERE to read Bishop Robert Brom’s February 27, 2007, message about the bankruptcy reorganization process of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego.


A place for real questions and real answers about the Catholic Church

Click HERE for it.

THE GOSPEL AND THE SEXES: Male and Female He Made Them

That's the title of a talk I gave recently.

Gerald Augustinus Naus has provided bandwidth for hosting a recording of my talk on his blog, "The Cafeteria Is Closed," where you'll find links for listening to the talk, downloading it as an mp3 file, or accessing it on iTunes, as well as a link for the passages of Sacred Scripture I used.
Click HERE for it.