Saturday, March 26, 2005
CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS TRULY RISEN!
O Christians, to the Paschal Victim bring:
Of praise the sacrificial Offering.
For the sheep the Lamb His Blood did shed:
The sinless Christ in the sinners' stead:
With God the guilty reconciling.
The Life with Death did fiercely strive:
Through dying the Leader now reigns alive.
O Mary, what did your wond'ring eyes adore?
"I saw the tomb of One Who dies no more!
The glorious risen Lord was shown to me:
The napkin, linen cloths there lying:
I heard the angels testifying.
Yes, Christ is ris'n and you shall see
Your Hope and mine in Galilee!"
Friday, March 25, 2005
WHAT HAS MICHAEL SCHIAVO DONE ?
Check out the documents on this website. Just read the titles of each of them and the short caption beneath the title. This is what the website says about them:
The following documents have been collected from case evidence, testimony and other sources in the public record.
These items give significant illustration that the circumstances surrounding Terri's collapse may be suspect and that the following actions by the guardian should be investigated.
Blogger credit to Fr. Sibley.
Today Jesus crucified wears Terri Schiavo's face.
When mercy fails, justice prevails. What justice are we drawing to ourselves with this act of murder? The wrath of God is to be feared and not to be courted.
Spare us, Lord, from Your wrath which we so justly deserve.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
A PLEA FOR TERRI
Since our bishops have failed to plead for her, I'm posting the words of an Orthodox priest whose wisdom is far superior to anything I've heard from the Catholic clergy that I received in email. Keep in mind that the Eastern Orthodox follow a different liturgical calendar than ours.
From: "Father Demetrios"
Subject: "I have set before you life and death ..."
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 16:03:34 -0500
"I call both heaven and earth to witness this day against you. I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: choose life, that thou and thy seed may live."
Eve of the Annunciation 2005
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Holy Prophet and 'God-seer', Moses, spoke these words to the people of Israel shortly before they entered - without him - the 'promised land.' How appropriate are those words today for all citizens of the United States --- especially the ones that are Orthodox Christians. Unless a miracle occurs in a very short time, our nation will allow a human being - created in the image and likeness of God - to die of starvation and dehydration. Our nation will choose death ---its own death; for when the final breath of Terri Schiavo occurs, it will mark the death of our nation's soul!
How long-suffering beyond words is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! On January 22, 1972 the soul of America should have died. When 6 fallible and sinful judges determined that life in the womb was a piece of property, they rebuked the infallible and sinless God Who created us; and yet, even after we have slaughtered over 45 MILLION living ikons of Him in the past generation, our Lord has continued to allow His mercy to triumph over His justice. We are still the most blessed nation in the world, even though our actions deserve tsunamis, famines, plagues, and catastrophic earthquakes, as other nations are experiencing.
In my sinful and limited mind, I truly believe that what happens with the physical life of Terri is an opportunity for us to begin our return to the God Who has blessed us --- even when we curse Him. Once again the courts of man have shown contempt for God. Once again judges are handing down satanic decisions against God's innocent ones. If we allow her to starve to death, then - in a very short time - tens (perhaps hundreds ) of thousands of innocent souls - mostly elderly, but also young and middle-aged - will be allowed to starve to death. I am not talking about people on life support machines such as respirators, but people whose only crime is that they cannot feed themselves, or hold conversations. Are we so arrogant and cold hearted that we believe God will continue to be long-suffering?
In the final two or three paragraphs of the NRO article (sent to you right after I e-mailed this note), it is indicated that the only action left to save Terri is for Governor Jeb Bush to use his authority to take her under protective custody --- an action which could destroy his future in politics, but which would erase many of his sins on that fearful Day. While I am praying that Governor Bush will act so boldly, I have another prayer that is far more important: to the Mother of our Life --- the one who gave flesh to God the Word, our Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Beloved brothers and Sisters in the Lord Jesus, recall how - at the wedding of Cana - our "Panaghia" simply told her son "they have no wine"; and our Lord performed his very 1st miracle by changing water into wine. Surely she will intercede for us before her Son in the 11th hour of this most crucial circumstance regarding the future of our nation! Surely, He Who changed water into wine so speedily will provide us with an "escape" from the "death sentence" for our nation's soul!
What better time to appeal to our Panaghia then on the feast of her Annunciation (new calendar)? Let us attend Great Vespers this evening and the Divine Liturgy tomorrow, and cry out to her for her protection and assistance. Tomorrow, during the Holy Liturgy, I humbly suggest to my brother priests that will be serving to do the following --- an action which a holy Abbess told me is one of the most powerful means of entreating God's help: When we lift up the Holy Gifts and offer them to our Lord, let us all lift up the soul of our nation; and beg our Most sweet Lord and Saviour - through the intercessions of His Holy Mother - to prevent the murder of this innocent women. If it pleases Him, may he do this in a manner that NO ONE would have expected.
The slaughter of God's innocents must stop. O Most Holy Theotokos please come to our aid! Please help us to "choose life that we and our children may live!"
Thursday, March 24, 2005
ECUMENISM AND EASTERN ORTHODOXY
From email sent in by a reader:
*"The time has come for all faithful Orthodox
Christians to speak out and promptly put an end to
this spurious form of Orthodoxy known as 'ecumenistic
Orthodoxy'. It is a betrayal of the Holy Orthodox
Church, a negation of its essence. It is time to take
her divine dogmas 'out of the storeroom,' where
[several ecumenistic clergy have] ... relegated them,
bring them to the open light, and proclaim them by
every means, and in every land... Let us not offer to
the world the pseudo-Orthodoxy of 'Orthodox
ecumenism,' which puts error on the same level as
truth... This offering will be an act of true
Christian love, a fulfilling of Christ's commandment
of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. Christ
says, 'What man is there of you whom if his son asks
for bread would give him a stone?' (St. Matt. 7:9)
'Orthodox ecumenism' does precisely the latter...
People today are searching for the truth that saves;
yet these ecumenists have put the bread of truth in
the storeroom and have been offering instead the stone
of untruth, of error, and of heresy that leads to
perdition. The commandment of love demands that we
take the bread of the teaching of the Orthodox Church
out in the open and offer it lovingly to all who
hunger for the truth that frees and saves." *
*/(From a lecture by Dr. Constantine Cavarnos at the
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, Atlanta,
GA, on March
AMERICA IS GOING MAD
Police take Child away in handcuffs for attempting to take a glass of water to Terri.
Blogger credit to Fr. Sibley.
GREER DENIES FOOD AND WATER BY MOUTH
Recently I asked how a hospice could deny giving water by mouth to a conscious patient. Now I have the answer. Judge Greer forbid it. From the Order:
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Respondents' Emergency Expedited Motion for Permission to Provide Theresa Schiavo with Food and Water by Natural Means is DENIED
Apparently in the great nation of America it is now possible for a circuit court to declare that someone in a healthcare facility can be denied food and water by normal means. What is Schiavo afraid of? That Terri will live? Apparently so.
A judge who denies food and water by mouth to a conscious incapacitated woman in a nursing facility is a monster. This is no different from a Soviet gulag. How can the courts be permitted to do this? And since apparently they have been permitted to do it, what will stop them from doing it again? Food and water by mouth is not an extraordinary means to sustain life, yet apparently there is fear that Terri will be able to take in food and water by mouth. What has Michael Schiavo got to lose if Terri lives? Consider the question in light of the Affidavit I've linked below.
If Terri dies, there should be a demand for an autopsy, because someone has an ulterior motive here. To deny someone food and water by mouth is criminal.
NOT DEAD YET
The following is an excerpt from an article at the Terri's Fight website(click the link "Disability Advocates Call for Moratorium on Removing Assisted Nutrition":
"Given the current research regarding brain activity and misdiagnosis, it's a virtual certainty that countless people have been helpless to prevent their own deaths through starvation and dehydration," says Stephen Drake, research analyst for Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights group opposed to legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. "There's an analogy to DNA evidence and the death penalty. Here in Illinois, the staggering numbers of innocent and wrongly convicted people on Death Row resulted in a moratorium on the death penalty. Whether you agreed with the death penalty or not, everyone was forced to find ways to make sure no innocent person ended up on Death Row again. The same amount of concern should apply to medically induced deaths, in which the numbers far exceed the number of convicted people executed each year."
"CAN'T YOU DO ANYTHING TO ACCELERATE HER DEATH - WON'T SHE EVER DIE ?"
Those words, attributed to Michael Schiavo, were taken from an Affidavit in Pinellas County, Florida, given by one of Terri's nurses of 10 years ago. The affidavit was included in the "Inside the Vatican" Newsflash. I have not gotten a response to my request to blog the entire email. Since it's a matter of public record, the entire affidavit follows:
STATE OF FLORIDA )
COUNTY OF PINELLAS )
BEFORE ME the undersigned authority personally appeared CARLA SAUER IYER, R.N., who being first duly sworn, deposes and says:
1. My name is Carla Sauer Iyer. I am over the age of eighteen and make this statement of my own personal knowledge.
2. I am a registered nurse in the State of Florida, having been licensed continuously in Florida from 1997 to the present. Prior to that I was a Licensed Practical Nurse for about four years.
3. I was employed at Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center in Largo, Florida from April of 1995 to July 1996, while Terri Schiavo was a patient there.
4. It was clear to me at Palm Gardens that all decisions regarding Terri Schiavo were made by Michael Schiavo, with no allowance made for any discussion, debate or normal professional judgment. My initial training there consisted solely of the instruction "Do what Michael Schiavo tells you or you will be terminated." This struck me as extremely odd.
5. I was very disturbed by the decision making protocol, as no allowance whatsoever was made for professional responsibility. The atmosphere throughout the facility was dominated by Mr. Schiavo's intimidation. Everyone there, with the exception of several people who seemed to be close to Michael, was intimidated by him. Michael Schiavo always had an overbearing attitude, yelling numerous times such things as "This is my order and you're going to follow it." He is very large and uses menacing body language, such as standing too close to you, getting right in your face and practically shouting.
6. To the best of my recollection, rehabilitation had been ordered for Terri, but I never saw any being done or had any reason at all to believe that there was ever any rehab of Terri done at Palm Gardens while I was there. I became concerned because nothing was being done for Terri at all, no antibiotics, no tests, no range of motion therapy, no stimulation, no nothing. Michael said again and again that Terri should NOT get any rehab, that there should be no range of motion whatsoever, or anything else. I and a CNA named Roxy would give Terri range of motion anyway. One time I put a wash cloth in Terri's hand to keep her fingers from curling together, and Michael saw it and made me take it out, saying that was therapy.
7. Terri's medical condition was systematically distorted and misrepresented. When I worked with her, she was alert and oriented. Terri spoke on a regular basis while in my presence, saying such things as "mommy," and "help me." "Help me" was, in fact, one of her most frequent utterances. I heard her say it hundreds of times. Terri would try to say the word "pain" when she was in discomfort, but it came out more like "pay." She didn't say the "n" sound very well. During her menses she would indicate her discomfort by saying "pay" and moving her arms toward her lower abdominal area. Other ways that she would indicate that she was in pain included pursing her lips, grimacing, thrashing in bed, curling her toes or moving her legs around. She would let you know when she had a bowel movement by flipping up the covers and pulling on her diaper.
8. When I came into her room and said "Hi, Terri", she would always recognize my voice and her name, and would turn her head all the way toward me, saying "Haaaiiiii" sort of, as she did. I recognized this as a "hi", which is very close to what it sounded like, the whole sound being only a second or two long. When I told her humorous stories about my life or something I read in the paper, Terri would chuckle, sometimes more a giggle or laugh. She would move her whole body, upper and lower. Her legs would sometimes be off the bed, and need to be repositioned. I made numerous entries into the nursing notes in her chart, stating verbatim what she said and her various behaviors, but by my next on-duty shift, the notes would be deleted from her chart. Every time I made a positive entry about any responsiveness of Terri's, someone would remove it after my shift ended. Michael always demanded to see her chart as soon as he arrived, and would take it in her room with him. I documented Terri's rehab potential well, writing whole pages about Terri's responsiveness, but they would always be deleted by the next time I saw her chart. The reason I wrote so much was that everybody else seemed to be afraid to make positive entries for fear of their jobs, but I felt very strongly that a nurses job was to accurately record everything we see and hear that bears on a patients condition and their family. I upheld the Nurses Practice Act, and if it cost me my job, I was willing to accept that.
9. Throughout my time at Palm Gardens, Michael Schiavo was focused on Terri's death. Michael would say "When is she going to die?," "Has she died yet?" and "When is that bitch gonna die?" These statements were common knowledge at Palm Gardens, as he would make them casually in passing, without regard even for who he was talking to, as long as it was a staff member. Other statements which I recall him making include "Can't you do anything to accelerate her death - won't she ever die?" When she wouldn't die, Michael would be furious. Michael was also adamant that the family should not be given information. He made numerous statements such as "Make sure the parents aren't contacted." I recorded Michael's statements word for word in Terri's chart, but these entries were also deleted after the end of my shift. Standing orders were that the family wasn't to be contacted, in fact, there was a large sign in the front of her chart that said under no circumstances was her family to be called, call Michael immediately, but I would call them, anyway, because I thought they should know about their daughter.
10. Any time Terri would be sick, like with a UTI or fluid buildup in her lungs, colds, pneumonia, Michael would be visibly excited, thrilled even, hoping that she would die. He would call me, as I was the nurse supervisor on the floor, and ask for every little detail about her temperature, blood pressure, etc., and would call back frequently asking if she was dead yet. He would blurt out "I'm going to be rich!," and would talk about all the things he would buy when Terri died, which included a new car, a new boat, and going to Europe, among other things.
11. When Michael visited Terri, he always came alone and always had the door closed and locked while he was with Terri. He would typically be there about twenty minutes or so. When he left Terri would be trembling, crying hysterically, and would be very pale and have cold sweats. It looked to me like Terri was having a hypoglycemic reaction, so I'd check her blood sugar. The glucometer reading would be so low it was below the range where it would register an actual number reading. I would put dextrose in Terri's mouth to counteract it. This happened about five times on my shift as I recall. Normally Terri's blood sugar levels were very stable due to the uniformity of her diet through tube feeding. It is my belief that Michael injected Terri with Regular insulin, which is very fast acting.
12. The longer I was employed at Palm Gardens the more concerned I became about patient care, both relating to Terri Schiavo, for the reasons I've said, and other patients, too. There was an LPN named Carolyn Adams, known as "Andy" Adams who was a particular concern. An unusual number of patients seemed to die on her shift, but she was completely unconcerned, making statements such as "They are old - let them die." I couldn't believe her attitude or the fact that it didn't seem to attract any attention. She made many comments about Terri being a waste of money, that she should die. She said it was costing Michael a lot of money to keep her alive, and that he complained about it constantly (I heard him complain about it all the time, too.) Both Michael and Adams said that she would be worth more to him if she were dead. I ultimately called the police relative to this situation, and was terminated the next day. Other reasons were cited, but I was convinced it was because of my "rocking the boat."
13. Ms. Adams was one of the people who did not seem to be intimidated by Michael. In fact, they seemed to be very close, and Adams would do whatever Michael told her. Michael sometimes called Adams at night and spoke at length. I was not able to hear the content of these phone calls, but I knew it was him talking to her because she would tell me afterward and relay orders from him.
14. While at Palm Gardens, I became fearful for my personal safety. This was due to Michael's constant intimidation, including his menacing body language, vocal tone and mannerisms.
15. I have contacted the Schindler family because I just couldn't stand by and let Terri die without the truth being known.
FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT.
CARLA SAUER IYER, R.N.
The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of September, 2003, by CARLA SAUER IYER, R.N., who produced her Florida driver's license as identification, and who did/did not take an oath.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
CROSSING THE RUBICON
An "Inside the Vatican" Newsflash:
An Innocent Woman Is Dying
The Terri Schiavo case prompts Vatican outrage. Can anything be done to save the dying woman? Also, the text of a little-known, and shocking, affidavit...
By Robert Moynihan, Editor, "Inside the Vatican" magazine
VATICAN CITY -- The case of a dying woman in Florida would not normally be a focus of attention for "Inside the Vatican."
But the case of Terri Schiavo, 41, severely brain damaged 15 years ago, and now deprived, since Friday, by court order, of food and water, has prompted outrage in the Vatican, where it is being seen as a kind of "Rubicon" being crossed during this Holy Week 2005 in the ongoing battle between what Pope John Paul II (himself in precarious physical condition) calls the "culture of life" and the "culture of death."
In this case, the "culture of death" is making a major, and possibly decisive, advance, paving the way for widespread acceptance of "euthanasia," or "mercy-killing" in western society, and indeed throughout the world, a number of Vatican officials are saying.
A tube that provides water and nourishment to Terri has been removed; this will lead, inevitably and soon, to her death. Otherwise, she would not die, at least for a considerable time, doctors agree.
No one in Rome seems ready yet to call for "pre-emptive intervention" to save Terri's life -- the type of intervention Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's Secretary of State, approved of in the Balkans in the 1990s, at the time of Serbia's "ethnic cleansing" of Kosovo.
But it is apparent that, unless something dramatic is done immediately, this woman will be starved to death.
If the legal institutions of a society fail to protect innocent human life, can those institutions continue to be the accepted arbiters of our social life?
Where are the US bishops? Where are the US Cardinals? Where are the men and women of good will, who normally would defend an innocent against those who would murder her?
There is much more to the Newsflash. I've emailed them for permission to blog the rest of it, and will do so when I get it.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
WHAT TERRI IS TEACHING ME
I sit here at this computer screen and become increasingly more outraged and incredulous as attempt after attempt to save a disabled woman from execution fails in the courts. My comfortable assumption that America is a land where freedom and safety are a given becomes more questionable at each failure.
What does life mean in 2005? What purpose will the world allow the living to give it? What is its worth?
The criteria that seem to be emerging here are beauty, intelligence, wealth and fame, or more specifically the lack of it. If Terri were a raving beauty, her pictures on the web would generate public sympathy. If Terri had the intelligence of a Stephen Hawking, her inability to speak clearly would be dismissed. If Terri had the fame of a Christopher Reeve her wheelchair would be a badge of courage. If Terri had the wealth of a Franklin Roosevelt, her disabilities would never be exposed to the public eye.
Terri has none of these things, yet a Pope pleads for her survival. Terri, who has none of the attributes the world values, is known around the world today. Terri is riveting the attention of our world on euthanasia in a way that we could not have forseen, and therefore Terri is glorifying God in a stupendous way. If Terri is executed, the blinders will be off for all of us who have tried to change the execution order. Now we will know that freedom and right to life are a thing of the past, and it is only a matter of time until the next category of people are designated to join the fetus and disabled categories.
Only religion gives meaning to Terri’s life. Only by looking at Terri through God’s eyes does she have infinite worth. America has dismissed her as someone who doesn’t count, but God trumped the American courts and told the world that she matters. Who would have ever thought that a mentally disabled woman in a Florida hospice would become known in Japan? The ways of God are not the ways of men, but man has decided that the ways of God no longer matter.
There is something else that Terri has taught me. I have often wondered how the holocaust could have happened. How could Christians in Germany have witnessed the trains and the camps and done nothing. I no longer wonder. Terri has shown me in microcosm that I could be—would be—no different from the Germans. I would have believed in the system. At most I would have spoken my disapproval. But when words failed, I would have continued repeating them and done nothing else. If a government is able to keep its populace talking, it matters not that much what they say. So long as they take no action, the government can do whatever it likes, including internment in labor camps and execution of anyone who becomes defined as no longer of consequence--defined by whatever criteria that government chooses to assign.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
HARD CASES MAKE BAD LAW
When the permanent diaconate was introduced after Vatican II, many in the pews took it for granted that this was the backdoor into the married priesthood. Much effort was made by Catholic apologists to dispell that notion, and our permanent deacons have slowly been able to make a place for themselves within the Church hierarchy.
Now comes an Australian bishop who wants to ordain married men.
A Catholic bishop says the church will need to consider ordaining married men to overcome a shortage of priests.
Bishop Brian Heenan from the Rockhampton diocese in central Queensland says it is becoming more difficult to find priests to work in the bush.
A priest, Fr. Robert Hollow, will be leaving two Queensland parishes at the end of May, leaving only two priests to serve the region. According to Fr. Hollow:
"The way for the future for the church generally is to change its view of the way it gets priests," he said.
"The idea of a local priest...there might be someone, an upstanding member of the community here, may be a married man, may be put through some limited training...understanding that he has to train for life, continue in service and that kind of stuff, but be ordained for the local community here."
In other words, the new married priest will not have the benefit of years of seminary training. He will be called forth out of the community and will get his training as he serves. Presumably, theology will suffer further degradation under his supervision.
I would expect that if Father's suggestion is taken up, married clergy in the U.S. would be a mere eyeblink away, adding more changes to an already disturbed Church, and bringing with it all the problems associated that prompted the Church to require clergy to be celibate.
None of this would have been necessary if theology had been guarded in the first place. Prior to the last 40 years of destruction, we had full seminaries and associate priests in every parish. But the Pope did not guard theology. The Pope disregarded discipline and instead went on a worldwide tour grandstanding before cheering youth while youth in parish after parish were desecrated, and seminaries turned into dens of iniquity. And now we have no priests. And so the solution is to ordain untrained married men who will not be able to withstand the onslaught of the modernists for further corruption of theology. And the Church will degrade even more. The Bride of Christ is still floating around in the mud puddle.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
I HAVE QUESTIONS
1. Terri was conscious yesterday. Is she still conscious today? Has her feeding tube been replaced?
2. If Terri is no longer being given food and water through a feeding tube, is Terri being given water by mouth? If not, why not? She was conscious as of yesterday. She can swallow saliva. How can the withholding of water of an incapacitated conscious woman in a hospice be justified? What would be the worst medical consequence of attempting to give Terri water by mouth? How can a hospice maintain its license while refusing to give a conscious patient in its care the basic essential element of life...water? If the argument is that she would choke, what is the worst consequence of choking...death? Without food and water she is going to die. The legal people who hold her life in their hands want her to die. What would be worse about a sudden death by choking as opposed to a prolonged death by starvation?
3. Why did a doctor agree to remove her feeding tube? The doctor who did so must have seen that Terri is not comotose and is not a vegetable. Surely he had the option of refusing to remove the tube, yet he did not. Why?
4. Why has the staff of the hospice cooperated with the courts in killing an innocent woman?
IT BOGGLES THE MIND...
Shrine to Judas in the town of Linz, Austria
From the town that brought to the world Adolf Hitler now comes in the Ursuline Church an art installation for Lent, "Requiem for a friend Judas Iskarioth" ( Iscariot ).
The text accompanying the exhibition says that Judas should be made a saint and that he did not commit suicide but was done away with by the other apostles. It claims that the installation shows Judas with a halo. He is the intercessor for all suicides, for all those excluded, excommunicated, mocked, for all witches and apostates!
Go to the website to see a picture of this shrine.
What's wrong with the Austrians?
Then there is disco Mass at St. Jacobs Cathedral in Austria (according to Novus Ordo Watch who linked it). Be sure to scroll through the thumbnails on the right.
DID I READ THAT RIGHT ?
It's the sort of story that produces a double take for me anyway. I read it, stopped, thought for a minute, then read it again. Yes, it really did say what I thought it had said. The story comes from the Washington Times and was sent in by a reader:
Worshippers at Jerusalem's churches are braced for a violent Easter as relations between warring Christian clergy deteriorate to their most acrimonious level in decades.
Government officials called meetings with representatives from the churches and police last week after religious leaders warned of possible violence among priests during services.
The story goes on to tell of an incident last September:
The remarkable scenes took place just a few feet from the holiest shrine in Christendom, where believers say Jesus rose from the dead.
The procession was led by the Greek patriarch, Irineos I, elected four years ago and blamed by senior clergy from other churches for fomenting unrest. The fight was captured on video by a Palestinian photographer and a copy of the film, which never has been made public, has been obtained by the Sunday Telegraph.
Patriarch Irineos can be seen telling his monks to close the door of the Franciscan chapel by force. In the ensuing commotion, a Franciscan priest, Father Athanasius, who represents the Catholic Church's interests at the Holy Sepulcher, is dragged off by several monks, who appear to punch and kick him.
Frankly, it conjures up visions of the squabbles in the backyard sandbox. Not a pretty sight, and wholly unbecoming of a priest. Don't their vestments get in the way?
Must be something in the water over there, or have they spent too much time in the sun and fried their brains? Maybe they should think about discontinuing the processions during hot weather. This is surely not what Christ had in mind when he foretold that brother would rise against brother. Or is it?
Monday, March 21, 2005
I've been reading the news at CNN, trying to determine what Terri's current situation might be, and found this:
Bob Schindler said he visited his daughter Monday in the Pinellas Park, Florida, hospice where she is a patient.
"I asked her if she was ready to take a little ride, and I told her that we were going to take her for a little trip and take her outside and get her some breakfast, and that got a big smile out of her face, so help me God," Schindler said.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if it were true that she could go for a ride and get a little breakfast...as in eat a little food. Somehow, though, I doubt that is what happened. To the best of my knowledge she has had no food or water since Friday afternoon. And now the lawyers are going to argue about whether Congress had the right to make Terri's law.
Lord, we need a miracle. If only she could eat a few bites - drink a sip of water...
Dom has been able to confirm that she attempted to say "I want to live."
Here is an up to the moment report.
EMAIL FROM LEE PENN
An Iranian mass-murderer and child-rapist was executed by public hanging after receiving 100 lashes and being stabbed by one of the victims' relatives:
NEWS.com.au | Child killer gets public torture then hanging (18-03-2005)
The crimes were hideous, and the punishment was what you'd expect in Iran.
What I had not expected is for a neocon/libertarian American constitutional law professor and blogger, Eugene Volokh, to approve of this ... and to suggest that we could weaken the Bill of Rights' ban on cruel punishment so that we could do the same to mass killers here:
Go to his blog, and scroll down to read his March 16 post:
The Volokh Conspiracy -
He said ... with only some prudential back-tracking in more-recent posts:
Begin Volokh quote:
"I particularly like the involvement of the victims' relatives in the killing of the monster; I think that if he'd killed one of my relatives, I would have wanted to play a role in killing him. Also, though for many instances I would prefer less painful forms of execution, I am especially pleased that the killing -- and, yes, I am happy to call it a killing, a perfectly proper term for a perfectly proper act -- was a slow throttling, and was preceded by a flogging. The one thing that troubles me (besides the fact that the murderer could only be killed once) is that the accomplice was sentenced to only 15 years in prison, but perhaps there's a good explanation.
I am being perfectly serious, by the way. I like civilization, but some forms of savagery deserve to be met not just with cold, bloodless justice but with the deliberate infliction of pain, with cruel vengeance rather than with supposed humaneness or squeamishness. I think it slights the burning injustice of the murders, and the pain of the families, to react in any other way.
And, yes, I know this aligns me in this instance with the Iranian government â€” but even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and in this instance the Iranians are quite correct.
UPDATE: I should mention that such a punishment would probably violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause. I'm not an expert on the history of the clause, but my point is that the punishment is proper because it's cruel (i.e., because it involves the deliberate infliction of pain as part of the punishment), so it may well be unconstitutional. I would therefore endorse amending the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause to expressly exclude punishment for some sorts of mass murders.
Naturally, I don't expect this to happen any time soon; my point is about what should be the rule, not about what is the rule, or even what is the constitutionally permissible rule. I think the Bill of Rights is generally a great idea, but I don't think it's holy writ handed down from on high. Certain amendments to it may well be proper, though again I freely acknowledge that they'd be highly unlikely."
End of Volokh quote
My assessment .....
This is the usual procedure for making the unspeakable a matter of public discussion, and then to make what was unspeakable seem normal. Taboo-smashers have been doing this for a long, long time. I never imagined that I would hear a constitutional law professor suggest, even tentatively, that we should amend the ban on cruel and unusual punishment. (Of course, given what we are doing in Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and in secret prisons elsewhere, we already torture and kill our enemies ... we just move them into a category of people that have no rights under Constitutional or international law, and then do what we wish.)
And then there is the matter of torture and degradation as entertainment ...
NPR : 'Guantanamo Guidebook' Brings Torture to TV
"An upcoming British television special attempts to recreate alleged techniques used at the American prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In The Guantanamo Guidebook, former American Delta Force interrogators subjected seven volunteers to sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation and intense questioning over the course of 60 hours. NPR's Madeleine Brand talks with Chris Guelff, who volunteered for the show."
So what's next ... bringing back the Colosseum?
As a context, here is what I wrote in mid-April 2004 in "When the State Becomes God" ... a story that the Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal published just as the Abu Ghraib scandal was surfacing:
When the State Becomes God, By Lee Penn (All rights reserved, SCP)
I said then:
"The proponents of torture and hostage-taking say that these acts are necessary in wartime Â especially when dealing with terrorists who might be induced to reveal the location of a ticking bomb. It is the same taboo-smashing, utilitarian logic that liberals in the 1960s and 1970s used to overturn laws limiting abortion. Those who favored legalized abortion said that it was a necessary, tragic way to deal with pregnancies resulting from rape and incest, threats to the health of the mother, and severe deformity of the fetus. Thirty-five years later, there are 1.3 million abortions a year;91 for every 1,000 babies born alive, about 250 are slain in their mother's womb.92 Given the decay of the culture, and the way that taboos fall when they are broken for the "hard cases," I venture a prediction. If we start torturing terror suspects in 2004, then torture will be widespread for "routine" crimes by 2014, and will be on pay-per-view TV (or its future equivalent) by 2024.
George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984, written in 1948, prophesied current events: "Every new political theory, by whatever name it called itself, led back to hierarchy and regimentation. And in the general hardening of outlook that set in round about 1930, practices which had been long abandoned, in some cases for hundreds of years Â imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages, and the deportation of whole populations Â not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.93"
[ Note ... the numbers are footnotes. Go to the web site to read the whole article, and to see the sources. ]
My predictions are coming true, years early.
ORTHODOX OBSERVENCE OF LENT
The more I learn about the Orthodox, the more kinship I find with them. Since they have just begun their lenten observence, I've asked Justin to write a description of Orthodox services that I can blog. The first one appeared here last week and described the forgiveness ritual. The following is Justin's description of yesterday's observence:
Today on the first Sunday in Lent, the Orthodox Church commemorates the Seventh Ecumenical Council and the "Triumph of Orthodoxy" over the Iconoclasts. At the end of the Liturgy, we have what my friend likes to call our annual "Chrisitan Unity" ecumenical prayer service (I believe the Catholics celebrate such a Sunday at some point).
After a procession around the church in which everyone carries an icon followed by the priest carrying the cross, during which there are four stations (to represent the four corners of the world to which the Gospel has been preached), the following is read:
The passage from the Synodikon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council is read in unison by all.
As the Prophets beheld,
As the Apostles taught,
As the Church received,
As the Teachers dogmatized,
As the Universe agreed,
As Grace illumined,
As the Truth revealed,
As falsehood passed away,
As Wisdom presented,
As Christ awarded,
Thus we declare,
Thus we assert,
Thus we proclaim Christ our true God
and honor His saints,
In holy icons.
On the one hand, worshipping and reverencing Christ as God and Lord.
And on the other hand, honoring and venerating His Saints as true servants of the same Lord.
This is the Faith of the Apostles.
This is the Faith of the Fathers.
This is the Faith of the Orthodox.
This is the Faith which has established the Universe.
Priest: “Therefore, with brotherly love, we praise these preachers of piety, for the glory and honor of their own pious struggles for the Faith, and we say: “Eternal be the memory of the champions of Orthodoxy, pious Emperors, most-holy Patriarchs, Hierarchs, Teachers, Martyrs, and Confessors.”
People: May their memory be eternal. (3)
Priest: “Let us entreat God, that we may be instructed and strengthened by the trials and struggles of these Saints, which they endured for the faith, even unto death, and by their teachings, entreating them that we may imitate their godly life unto the end. May we be deemed worthy of obtaining our requests through the mercy and grace of the Great and First Archpriest, Christ our God, through the intercessions of our glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, of the divine Angels, and of all the Saints.”
Priest: Who is so great a god as our God? You are the God alone who works wonders.
Cantor: (Verse): You have revealed Your power among the people.
Who is so great a god as our God? You are the God alone who works wonders.
Cantor: (Verse): I remembered the deeds of the Lord.
Who is so great a god as our God? You are the God alone who works wonders.
In the Cathedrals, this is followed by the solemn intoning of the Anathemas by the Archdeacon with the Bishop's authority, to which everyone responds thrice "Anathema!" The Russians in this country have added to this list the Anathema against Ecumenism. Pretty cool.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
THIS IS WHAT CONGRESS PASSED FOR TERRI
Amy has this linked over at Open Book, and I'm sure some discussion will be posted there. Justin, if you check in here, could you put this in layman's language?
ALMIGHTY AND EVERLASTING GOD,
the eternal salvation of those who believe, hear me on behalf of Your servant Terri who is being executed as I write this prayer, for whom I humbly ask the help of Your mercy, that, her being restored to life, we may render thanks to You in Your Church. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
EMAIL FROM DR. BOND
It was reported yesterday both in the Scranton Times and in the New Jersey Star Ledger that yet another Scranton diocesan priest, Fr. Gabriel Tetherow, has been arrested and arraigned. According to the accounts linked below, Fr. Tetherow has been accused of downloading child pornography.
As many of you already know, Fr. Tetherow, prior to his ordination, was living and working at St. Gregory's Academy at the same time that the Society of St. John was abusing boys there. Fr. Tetherow, who initially considered some sort of association with the SSJ, eventually asked Bishop James Timlin for permission to form his own group, the Servants Minor of St. Francis. Bishop Timlin gave him permission to do so, but Fr. Tetherow's group was later suppressed by the new bishop of Scranton, Joseph Martino.
Fr. Tetherow's recent arrest comes as a shock to those who believed him to be a holy priest, but there were others who recognized problems with Fr. Tetherow. My own suspicions about Fr. Tetherow stemmed from my telephone conversation with him about the problems with the Society of St. John. Although Fr. Tetherow was forthright in telling me about the improper relations he had personally witnessed between the boys at St. Gregory's Academy and the SSJ priests, nevertheless Fr. Tetherow was unwilling to come forward to expose the SSJ. Nor would Fr. Tetherow give me permission to publish what he had related to me in our conversation. To his credit, Fr. Tetherow did tell the truth about the SSJ when he was deposed in the federal sex abuse lawsuit against the SSJ and the Diocese of Scranton. But Fr. Tetherow's unwillingness to go public earlier, when people needed to be warned about the SSJ, contributed to the confusion many experienced when seeking to learn the truth about this perverse group. We are not shocked, then, to learn that Fr. Tetherow has a grave problem of his own. There is, however, a significant difference between Fr. Tetherow and the SSJ, for Fr. Tetherow has turned himself in to the police and admitted what he has done, whereas the SSJ continues to lie and deceive in an effort to protect their sodomite cult.
There is, of course, much more to this whole story than has been reported in the press. Fr. Michael Kloton, the pastor at St. Ann's in Tobyhanna where Fr. Tetherow downloaded the child pornography, was previously accused by one of his employees of downloading homosexual pornography, not to mention sexual harassment. Over a year and a half ago, in July 2003, we published an affidavit about Fr. Kloton's immoral activities:
Typically, Bishop Timlin did nothing to investigate or discipline this wayward priest. We understand, however, that Fr. Kloton is now being investigated by Bishop Martino, and that Fr. Kloton has just announced to his parish that he, under the advice of the Diocese, has decided to take a "temporary leave of absence." Gee, I wonder why.
There are more dirty diocesan priests involved in this scandal, for the Diocese of Scranton is rife with rot. Indeed, we continue to witness the malignant fruit of Bishop Timlin's long reign in the Diocese of Scranton. Remember, this is the same bishop who, in his capacity as administrator, two months before Bishop Martino took office, loaned the Society of St. John 2.6 million dollars in August 2003, long after we had clearly demonstrated that SSJ priests were homosexually abusing boys.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
I received a solicitation for funds in the mail from the SSJ again the other day.