Aussie Public Stuck with $95,000,000+ Papal Bill

Protestant Aussies can’t be happy with the price their government is paying for the pope’s visit–$40 million of which is to pay off the gambling industry for disruption of horse races at a mass venue. NSW Greens say the church should pay its own way. Complained one trainer: “Nobody seems to understand the horses’ needs.”

þæt wæs god cyning!

Hwæt. We Gardena in geardagum, þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon. Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena/ þreatum, monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah, egsode eorlas. Syððan ærest wearð/ feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad, weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah, oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra ofer hronrade hyran scolde, gomban gyldan. þæt wæs god cyning. He was…

“Protecting Children and Imagining the Worst”

Patricia Snow of New Haven, CT, writes in First Things of the Catholic Church’s self-protection programs in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal. Instead of focusing on the reality of the problem–homosexual priests preying upon teenage boys, and the cover-ups by bishops–the Catholic Church has tried to say “everyone” is at risk and “anyone”…

Baltimore Priest Disciplined for Funeral

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore has disciplined Fr. Ray Martin. The family of a well known community activist asked him to celebrate a funeral mass, and they asked an Episcopal priest to read the Gospel. He was OK with that. The archdiocese wasn’t. Fr. Ray Martin has been removed from ministry for this, and was…

Saudi Arabia

Rape victim gets 200 lashes and six months in jail–for “her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.” In other words, she and her lawyer complained about the light sentences given to the attackers and the 90 lashes she was to get.

Catholic Bishops Instruct Catholic Voters

At their meeting this week in Baltimore, the US Catholic Bishops approved a statement of voter instructions, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Bulletin insert summary statement (10 pages instead of 44). Press Release. The USCCB bureaucracy (and before it, the USCC) has…

Overcommitted to the Bible?

The Evangelical Theological Society is meeting in San Diego, and J. P. Moreland is suggesting that evangelicals put too much emphasis on the Bible. Ted Olsen reports at Christianity Today. “In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and…

Joe Galloway on “Artful Dodging”

At E&P, Joseph L. Galloway, Memo to Media: I Witnessed ‘Waterboarding’ — And, Yes, It is Torture. Did Bill Clinton have sex with that woman? Is Elvis Presley really dead? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear do his ablutions in the woods? Is waterboarding torture? The answer to all of these questions, put simply,…