Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lennon takes possession of St. John the Baptist

6.41 p.m.
6.48 p.m.
6.50 p.m.
Hallowe'en 2009 we find out how long the patience of Bishop Lennon lasts...about an hour and a half. The mass of eviction finished at just about 5.30 p.m. EDT. A huddle of people attempt a sit down occupation, a vigil. The bishop has the testy Fr. Paul Rosing read a statement from chief magistrate for Summit County Common Pleas Court, John Shoemaker, dated yesterday, to leave St. John the Baptist in Akron. He retreats, and plain clothes Akron police, backed up by uniformed police evict the faithful.

Just previous to the send off, Bishop Lennon speaks to the "Endangered Catholics" for the first time. He says, he is not there to debate, that as of 15 May 2006 he is the tenth bishop of Cleveland, and the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1880 gave title of all church property of the diocese to the bishop. He was and is not interested in any other points.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hyacinth five weeks later

Five saturdays ago, the bishop of Cleveland, Richard Lennon took possession of St. Hyacinth. These two pictures are from this morning, Monday 26 October 2009. The site is still clean, but barren. The doors are gone, replaced by painted board, latches and padlocks. The welcoming sign of proclamation is gone, as is the interior stained glass. The people are gone. Very efficiently, very regimentally the parish was stripped.
Compare them to these two below and this one. The monument for the parishioners, whom did die in the service of the nation, during the second world war is gone too.
What once was memoralised, and what once was vibrant, open and welcoming, and was promised to continue, is now pilfered, destroyed and abandoned. A way of community life is gone.

The local briton Calgacus says this about the invading, conquering empire his people were visited with:
solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant
they make a desert, and call it peace recorded in Tacitus', De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae

This is the first station of the cross (Jesus is condemned to death and Pilate washes his hands of the affair) that had been in the church of St. Hyacinth. A similar photograph, by a different camera, is at this site. The entire set of fourteen is available for $5,000. Yes, the diocese is now a market. The items that have adorned parish churches for generations are now disposable for cash. People, not mercantile bureaucrats in episcopal robes, donated time, money, labor, emotions, devotion and more to their spiritual communal homes; and now a rigid bureaucrat has taken up the rôle of corporate raider and determined liquidator. Yes, these are the activities that are applauded in the american marketplace. That is the ethos of capitalism. But the people, the poor, the immigrants created these parishes and furnished them. They were not capitalists, they were christians.

The reasons given, and accepted, to, and by the media and public are not even debated. Their flaws and inaccuracies are not discussed. Counter arguments, logic and alternatives are not given air or exposure. The reasons given are mendacious. In the article, written by Gabriel Baird, the bishop's spokesman, Robert Tayek, says, "It is very costly to close a parish.". The obvious, unwritten response, is: then just keep them open!

I have learned through life's experiences, that, when people say,"it isn't the money", it IS the money. American history has shown this too. In the scandal to cover up the crimes of Watergate, the reporter Bob Woodward's source, W. Mark Felt, tells him to "follow the money". While demographics explain the reduced number of parishioners, in part, it does not cover the reasons for the current wave of suppression. So many viable and fully functioning parishes are being suppressed for reasons not stated. Many of these parishes can survive, even without creative help. Of course, help would make their course more manageable. This ruthless despotism, in evidence, is not a pastoral approach. If one was acting in the way of Jesus, he might ask himself, "what parish would Jesus close?". But Jesus says, "For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Via Dolorosa (via Cleveland, Ohio)

Stations along Christ's Way of Suffering—Via Dolorosa (via Cleveland, Ohio)

Traditionally, the usual number of events on Good Friday, that are memoralised of Jesus' last mortal footsteps, has been fourteen. There is a devotion amongst the faithful of meditation, and participation, in that awful journey; for a christian is connected to Jesus, he is therefore, at least, aware of His suffering and grief, and many christians find an appreciation and understanding in this procession. Here, in the Cleveland diocese, Christ is being bled of His parishes and churches.
Ubi enim sunt duo vel tres congregáti in nómine meo, ibi sum in médio eórum.
For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.—Matthew xviii-20.
That is the constitutional requirement for the formation of a parish. And, further canon law says that a parish is meant to be perpetual.* There is an on-going reduction in parishes, and with this reductionthere is sorrow.
Station I Jesus is condemned to death
St. James (Lakewood)
Status:
to be suppressed 26 June 2010
Station II Jesus takes up His Cross
St. Ladislaus (Lorain)
Status: suppressed 27 Septe
mber 2009
Station III Jesus falls for the first time
Saint Ignatius of Antioch (Cleveland)

Status: conditional reprieve
Station IV Jesus meets His Mother
St. Colman (Cleveland)

Status: conditional reprieve
Station V Jesus is helped by Simon the Cyrene
St. Stanislaus (Lorain)
Status: suppressed 27 Septe
mber 2009 Station VI Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
St. Hyacinth (Cleveland)

Status: suppressed 19 September 2009
Station VII Jesus falls for the second time
Our Lady of Mercy (Cleveland)

Status:
to be suppressed 09 May 2010 [and was so] Station VIII Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
St. Hedwig (Lakewood)

Status: to be suppressed 17 January 2010 [and was so]
Station IX Jesus falls for the third time
Sacred Heart of Jesus (Akron)

Status:
to be suppressed 24 January 2010 [and was so]
Station X Jesus is stripped of His garments
St. Margaret of Hungary (Orange)
Status: to be suppressed All Saints 2009 [and was so]
Station XI Jesus is nailed to the Cross
St. George (Cleveland)
Status: suppressed 18 October 2009
Station XII Jesus dies on the Cross
Saint John the Baptist (Akron)
Status: to be suppressed 31 October 2009 [and was so]
Station XIII Deposition of Jesus from the Cross
Sacred Heart of Jesus (Cleveland)

Status:
to be suppressed 02 May 2010 [and was so] Station XIV Jesus is entombed
Saint Procop (Cleveland)

Status:
suppressed 30 August 2009
Now, I have said fourteen is the usual number. Saint Louis (Cleveland Heights) has fifteen small white marble tiles, cut with lines. The fifteenth is of the Resurrection, the victory of Jesus over death, suffering, the way of the world, and the devil. Some written versions of the Stations have a prayer and meditation for it, few churches have it marked on the wall. Unfortunately, the number of dolorous closings of parishes, and their churches, in this diocese alone, is far greater than fifteen. Perhaps, the first reader of this essay will come to it after the fifteenth suppression from March 2009 is tallied
Station XV Jesus conquers death by Resurrection
Saint Louis (Cleveland Hts)

Status:
to be suppressed 24 January 2010 [and was so]
____________
* Can. 115 §1. Juridic persons in the Church are either aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or aggregates of things (universitates rerum). §2. An aggregate of persons (universitas personarum), which can be constituted only with at least three persons, is collegial if the members determine its action through participation in rendering decisions, whether by equal right or not, according to the norm of law and the statutes; otherwise it is non-collegial.
Can. 120 §1. A juridic person is perpetual by its nature; nevertheless...

Postscriptum: several of the complete set of stations are available for purchase at Trader Richie's website:
http://www.church-inventory.com/index.php

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday afternoon at the Cathedral

For several months, between 4 and 6 p.m., every Wednesday there has gathered a group of the church militant before the cathedral. Their cause is to save their parishes from extinction. On occasion, the news media shows up for a few minutes, especially, on a slow news day, or if they think they may have new development, or "an angle"on some story. The most recent "religious story" is the creation of a path of entry for some anglicans. One local television channel wanted a visual background, and a place to meet catholics to speak on married priests concerning this.
This was not the reason for the gathering of the faithful. This aged christian has her placard stating her rationale. Another local channel focused on her.

These 'endangered catholics' wish for the chancery and the public to affirm their rightful and earnest cause. They have regularly and punctually gathered to express their fervent desire. They wish the public, their co-religionists and others to be aware of their dilemma; but ultimately they wish for the bishop, Richard Lennon to rescind his decision for the suppression and extinction of their, and others' parish homes; for a catholic, the religious community and the location of the assembly within the sacred space of the physical locale of that assembly has an emotional and spiritual attachment, that is more significant than the average person realises.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tally of suppression -- 56, 57, 58 closures

Now, in middle March, Bishop Richard Lennon announced a list (amended since, but apparently not made public) of parishes to be suppressed. Just recently, Wednesday, six months later, he reports on the progress of the 'reconfiguration'. He says twelve have been shuttered. I knew of ten. The dust of St. Andrew was settling before the first announcement.

One morning, in late September, two parishes were closed in Lorain. That morning the bishop was greeted by organised protesters; many (Endangered Catholics), of the same, had been keeping a late Wednesday afternoon vigil in front of the cathedral. Mid-week, later, an announcement was made that another [SS. Cyril & Methodius] would close four and a half months earlier than previously announced.
Saint Stanislaus, Lorain 27 September 2009
To-morrow will end St. George (Lithuanian) Cleveland. It will fold into another Lithuanian parish, outside its stated cluster, and the new parish will take the name of a parish that is being suppressed November 8th, Saint Casimir. Saint Ladislaus, Lorain 27 September 2009

04 26 09 -- Holy Cross (Polish) Elyria
05 24 09 -- Epiphany (African-American) Cleveland
06 14 09 -- SS. Cyril & Methodius (Slovak) Barberton
06 21 09 --
Christ the King, East Cleveland
06 28 09 -- Sacred Heart of Jesus (Hungarian) Elyria
08 30 09 -- St. Procop (Czech) Cleveland
09 19 09 -- St. Hyacinth (Polish) Cleveland
09 26 09 -- St. Hedwig (Polish) Akron
09 27 09 -- St. Stanislaus (Polish) Lorain
09 27 09 -- St. Ladislaus (Hungarian) Lorain
 
10 04 09 -- St. Francis (German) Cleveland
10 04 09 -- SS. Cyril & Methodius (Slovene) Lorain [date expedited]

During this time Saint Ignatius of Antioch, and Saint Colman (Irish) have had reprieves, and St. Stephen is added conditionally. A few parishes have received letters from Rome, and I believe, the bishop has just returned from Rome. Certainly Rome had questions.

At one time the figure 52*** was made, and some were to be determined. A few parishes were shuttered leading up to the announcement. The final count is not known, while individual parishes may have closing dates, the public is not aware of them as a whole, nor can anyone be certain if the dates are truly fixed. Why did Cyril & Methodius, Lorain receive such short shrift immediately after the closings of Stanislaus, and Ladislaus? It was a bit of a scandal that the sale of the campus of St. Stanislaus was advertised before the closing, and that the asking price was less than the remodel cost of the church eight years prior. Some of the portable sacred art had already been sold.

The Cleveland media has occasionally flared in interest, but has not kept a tally or list. The Akron, Lorain and Elyria papers have been more consistently thorough, though they have less to canvass.

The diocese of Cleveland consists of eight counties. Three have been affected. On the most part, the ethnic and more urban rustbelt has been targeted. Some parishioners are still upset about the initial discussion process. Pointless meetings were attended to discuss clustering and sharing resources, and a point was made that geography would not be a limiting parameter. It turned out geography was, and clustering meant reduction and extinction. The homogenised parishes of the suburban sprawl were safe. One size fits all was good, particularity, tradition and character--not so much. And the negotiating to reduce was often political and unpleasant, akin to the rubbish of "reality tv" tactics. Some people have made their peace with the grief, others have decidedly not.

Which parishes were sacrificed and why? Finances mattered, but strangely. Small, solvent, parishes were not free from closure, 'closed' parishes would revert their accounts to the diocese. Fund raising campaigns were encouraged after reprieves, especially for the diocesan treasury. Some details were more consequential. Parishes without full time pastors were endangered. Parishes with aged pastors were endangered. Smaller parishes were endangered, but not absolutely. The press and the public accepted american business rationale, while ignoring christian sentiment and catholic canon law. Demographics mattered, sentiment was absent.
____________________
I spoke with a friend, this morning (10-17), he tells me Christ the King, East Cleveland is closed. I looked at this page to confirm. St. Francis is probably the twelfth
.

Also the following parishes were extinguished during the current ordinary's episcopate :

10 28 06 Assumption of Mary (Polish) Grafton, chapel use to 2010
11 12 06 St. Jude, Warrensville Hts.
09 02 07 Holy Trinity (Hungarian) Barberton
10 28 07 St. Wenceslas (Czech) Maple Hts.
12 30 07 St. Henry, Cleveland (
African-American)
12 30 07 St. Catherine, Cleveland (
African-American)
05 27 08 St. Philip Neri, Cleveland

06 02 08 St. Andrew Svorad (Slovak) Cleveland
10 25 08 St. George, Clinton

Updates: These are the next targeted (list is not confirmed for totality, and is subject to change, and has been changed; an attempt for scrupulous accuracy has been made, but total accuracy is not possible without information from the chancery):
  • 10 18 09 St. George (Lithuanian) Cleveland [suppressed‡]
  • 10 31 09 St. John the Baptist (Slovak) Akron [suppressed§ after attempted vigil] Vatican appeal pending
  • 11 01 09 St. Margaret of Hungary (Hungarian) Orange [suppressed after attempted vigil]
  • 11 0? 09 Community of St. Malachi [suppressed]
  • 11 08 09 St. Casimir (Polish) Cleveland [suppressed after congregation's display of contempt] Vatican appeal pending
  • 11 14 09 Holy Trinity, Bedford Hts. [suppressed]
  • 11 15 09 St. Mary, Bedford [suppressed after congregation's display of contempt] Vatican appeal pending
  • 11 21 09 St. Paul, Euclid [suppressed]
  • 11 28 09 Christ the King (Croat) Akron [suppressed]
  • 12 13 09 Holy Trinity (Slovak) Lorain [suppressed, again many left, to applause, at beginning of homily]
  • 12 20 09 [recently expedited] St. Vitus (Croat) Lorain [suppressed]
  • 12 27 09 St. Robert Bellarmine, Euclid [suppressed]
__________________________________
In the new year to come these churches and parishes:
01 09 10 St. Louis, Cleveland Heights
01 17 10 St. Hedwig (Polish) Lakewood
01 24 10 Sacred Heart of Jesus (Hungarian) Akron
02 13 10 St. Christine, Euclid
03 07 10 St. Joseph (German) Lorain
03 14 10 St. Rose, Cleveland
04 10 10 Blessed Sacrament, Cleveland
04 11 10 St. Peter (German) Cleveland Vatican appeal pending
04 17 10 Corpus Christi (Polish) Cleveland
04 25 10 St. Cecilia (African-American) Cleveland
05 02 10 Sacred Heart of Jesus (Polish) Cleveland
05 03 10 SS. Philip & James, Cleveland
05 09 10 St. Barbara (Polish) Cleveland Vatican appeal pending
05 09 10 Our Lady of Mercy (Slovak) Cleveland
05 16 10 Assumption of Mary, Brook Park
05 23 10 St. Wendelin (Slovak) Cleveland Vatican appeal pending
05 30 10 Annunciation, Cleveland
05 30 10 St. Patrick, Cleveland Vatican appeal pending
06 06 10 St. Adalbert (Czech, African-American) Cleveland Vatican appeal pending
06 12 10 St. Margaret Mary, South Euclid Vatican appeal pending
06 20 10 St. Lawrence (Slovene) Cleveland
06 20 10 Our Lady of Mount Carmel -- East, (Italian) Cleveland||
06 26 10 St. James, Lakewood Vatican appeal pending
06 27 10 St. Mary, Akron Vatican appeal pending
06 30 10 St. Emeric (Hungarian) Cleveland Vatican appeal pending
____________________________________
*As of 11 22 09, it seems that in the first 5 year plan in Lennongrad will see 55 churches extinguished.
*As of document confirmation on 4 23 10 56 churches to be extinguished.
*Postscriptum 13 July 2010: There has been an attempt to be complete, but from the outside all is not known. Certainly, people involved with certain parishes will know more. A curious situation regards Grafton. Assumption of Mary (Polish) was merged with Immaculate Conception in October 2006, and Masses were continued to be said at both. The new church building began March 2009 and opened in April 2010. This was early in Lennon's reign, this may well have been planned before his arrival. The new church opened in the spring of 2010 57 churches to be extinguished.
†Since dates have been found, the initial lists contain the missing Francis and Christ the King.
‡Suppression is an extinction of a parish. Its records, and property, and money revert to the diocese. Some of these listed are technically 'mergers', where the parishes join into a new identity and share their resources, but in reality the one parish survives with some new paperwork and the other(s) are practically suppressed (extinguished). In this regard, this list will count parishes, that no longer have the Sacraments available, as suppressed.
§ Now technically, it was to have been a 'merger'. I contend a
'merger' is a disguised 'suppression'. Bishop Lennon has brought suit in Summit County court against those whom attempted a 'vigil' (sit down occupation). In those papers the term his attorneys used was "suppression". Update: There was a counter suit. Those suits have been mutually dismissed, and the Attorney General of Ohio's office is looking at the case.
CODA: It is apparent that many of the suppressed are ethnic parishes. An honest and sentient individual must say that they were expendable because of episcopal disfavor and distaste for ethnic parishes, and of course this was not publicly admitted. Nor was it admitted, that, the stated rationale and criteria corresponded only vaguely with the parishes selected. The large elephant in the diocese is that money was wanted to pay for the cost of previous scandals, and some of these parishes are resource rich.
|| Nota Bene: When this would ever
be publicly announced is mysterious.
Postscriptum II:
As of 13 July 2010, it seems that fourteen parishes are having their appeals extended to (at least) 30 November 2010. It is still possible some of Lennon's damage maybe corrected.
Postscriptum III 3August 2010: It should also be noted that the Community of Saint Malachi had been an independent parish since 1975. In November 2009 it was merged into Saint Malachi. To count that, we have 58 closures. I did not previously allude to it, since it was an uniquity, and though real and existing in its members, it shared the same space with the Parish of St. Malachi. Also the Conversion of St. Paul has changed status from parish to shrine. It is also to be noted that the base figure for parishes has changed from 231 to 224, in the last two years, without acknowledgment, but that was when 45 parishes were to be closed. So as one number is increased, another is decreased. Here there has been a scrupulous attempt to name and list the parishes affected. In the diocesan August memorandum incomplete lists were given.
****Postscriptum IV 8 January 2012: A diocesan document dump, to-day, admits to 14 parishes appealing. In reading several different pages, 13 were ascertained. In addition to those noted above, St. Martha's Akron is under appeal, it is currently open as part of one of the two mergers Lennon has named 'Blessed Trinity'. Also confirmed were St. Margaret Mary South Euclid, and St. John the Baptist Akron [both have been listed, briefly at times here, and removed when confirmation was not had]. The 14th is St. Mary's Lorain (which is also open).****Postscriptum V 13 May 2012: On April 17 Lennon released 12 parishes. see

****Postscriptum VI 29 May 2013: Eleven appeals to return to public access were accepted by Rome, and those parishes are publicly operating. The decrees were dated 1 March 2012, and were made public a week thereafter. The appeal for St. Margaret Mary has not been made public. The diocese of Cleveland will not return an answer.

Friday, October 16, 2009

GOP vanguard of apocalyptic vandals

But when one side is completely hysterical, conspiratorial and is leveling baseless attacks, should it be taken seriously? — Max Blumenthal
It is quite obvious, to the world, that the vocal members of the Republican party and their teabagging brigades are mad, not angry but crazy, in a mentally disturbed fashion. They are paranoid and noisy. Two recent books have described this: Max Blumenthal's, Republican Gomorrah, and Frank Schaeffer Jr.'s, Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism).

They write well and detail accordingly. Much has been apparent publicly, they have gone further. Schaeffer's father was an influential 'evangelical' protestant and he was of the insanity of Hal Lindsey, and Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye fictions, and R. J. Rushdoony's, John Hagee's, and James Kennedy's theologies. Schaeffer points out the religious denominator in the madness — endless private, made public and political, interpretations of the Bible's last book, Revelation/Apocalypse. Schaeffer also points out the vileness of loud mouth atheists Hitchens and Dawkins. Schaeffer prefers sensible and sane religious people.

Blumenthal as a journalist followed the political, religious dissemination by revival meeting and radio broadcast. It was he, whom at Wasilla, Alaska viewed the incredible and bizarre church of Palin's. He covers some of the same ground, but is more interested in the purely political machinations of James Dobson, Tony Perkins (not the deceased actor of Psycho), Fox broadcasting, radio mouthfoamers, LaRouchists, gun nuts, survivalists, racists, "christian" dominionists and reconstuctionists.

The public without these cicerones can see this on television news, or in the lunch room. These people feed off of each other, and the pot of crazy becomes both, paradoxically, more cracked and fuller. I posit, personally, that the last good Republican was Lincoln and the last nearly sane one was Nixon (Ford if you insist). Many people thought Goldwater was dangerous and nuts. They, Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt would all be attacked as RINOs if they considered to remain in their party, and it is to be remembered that Teddy did leave. That which came and followed Reagan has been a detriment to the world. The Republican party of to-day is no place for a sane man [nor a moral one].

Now, there is also the position that this anti-rational and anti-sanity movement holds with complete contempt science, history, logic, academia and all the liberal arts. They are a generation of vandal barbarians with legions of insipid, idiot, foot soldiers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

zero tolerance = zero thought

In the last generation, in the United States, there has developed a concept of draconian enforcement in law and managerial authority, now called, 'zero tolerance'. At the end of the 7th century before Christ, there appeared in Athens a law giver, Draco. Now, draco is greek for dragon.

Now, under Draco, the laws were written down and publicly displayed. One could be certain of what an offense was and its penalty. Uncertainty and ignorance were ended. Equality of enforcement was also achieved. So there was success, but not equity or justice, for monetary indebtedness to a social superior would become slavery, and many minor offenses were capital offenses. Degree and circumstance of offense and guilt were not to be considered. So, to-day, draconian is an adjective for ridiculously severe punishment; it is not tough but fair, it is stupid and cruel.

Now, at work, I have seen zero tolerance policies on not wearing hardhats. This is convenient for management. They create the situation where debate and justification for action is totally eliminated, and they posit it as just and fair on the lone premise—that it was made known to all. Yes, zero tolerance is zero thought. It is a tautology. And for a triviality, your job is gone; and you have no recourse. This gives management great power, and great intimidation.

Now, recently, it has come to the public awareness that a six year old boy, a very sweet looking child, Zachary Christie of Newark, Delaware, has become the subject of such a policy. He brought to school a swiss army combination knife, spoon, and fork to eat his meal. Children, especially boys, are fond of items, proud of their possession and proud of their use and display. The school system has labelled him an offender, for he brought a 'weapon' to school. There is a strict punishment for such willful behavior. Well, beyond a dickensian pathos, this story seems to be resolving with 'some' tolerance, because, and only because, the child's mother has brought the matter to the televised media, and authority looks really—petty and stupid; and management and authority never want this revealed to the world. If this story did not gain the public's eye, the boy might have gone the way of an unknown Oliver Twist.

Now, this does not occur in a vacuum. The police love to enforce zero tolerance for drunken driving and drug offenses and whatever they can get away with. They have been applauded, in some circles, for this. Schools and the workplace have done this. Where did this start? Though the term is only a few years old, we have had this building for more than a generation.

The 'moderate' Republican, Richard Nixon, ran on "law and order" against the bearded hippies and war protesters, and we got from him—crimes and misdemeanors, but I digress. Then under Reagan (the anti-Franklin Roosevelt) and his idolisers we get this, hardliner, no tolerance as a virtue. The authoritarians get to wield extreme vengeance unchecked, because draconian tyranny is 'good'.

So what defense do we have? The same the poor and the weak have always had—SOLIDARITYand the ability to mock with derision the idiocy and cruelty of power, because the devil does not tolerate being mocked. If we are not divided and silenced, then we have a chance for justice.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.Voltaire
—30

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Capitalism (Greed) is a (capital) sin

The central part of the Gospel read in last Sunday's mass (Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time-Year B):
And Jesus looking round about, saith to his disciples: How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus again answering, saith to them: Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God? It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. — Mark x. 23-5.
These words of Our God spoken to his disciples astonished them! There are some who try to equivocate this passage away by saying it does not mean what it says, but it does. Two weeks before the words of James v. 1-6 were read. The rich, who oppress the poor, were warned. They were accused of theft of workmen's wages, and this was akin to murder. It is one of the sins that cries out to Heaven.

In between these masses, Michael Moore's movie on capitalism was released. In the film, he speaks to four priests (two of them bishops). Their unanimous consensus was—capitalism is a sin.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Neil's Sugar Mountain

You realise your childhood is gone, permanently gone. The exile is final; only wistful, plaintive remembrance remains. You metaphorise this portion of youth as a land of enchantment, a magic fair with candy floss, barkers and coloured balloons. Neil Young's song is practically perfect. It has gentle melodic melancholy. People scoff at youth being able to have depth of feeling and discernment. Neil composed this at the time of his sad departure of transit.
Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain
With the barkers and the coloured balloons,
You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain
Though you're thinking that you're leaving there too soon,
You're leaving there too soon
I was very touched with Neil's Sugar Mountain*. During my college years, I often sang the haunting lyrics along with the record on the turntable. The scenes of a joyful, enchanted carnival amusement of another easily joins one own's appreciation of youthful past visits to form a seamless scene. When away from the music, the lines melded in my mind as "the painted ponies and the coloured balloons". The painted ponies were Joni Mitchell's. They knew each other in Winnipeg. From his song, she was inspired to compose on the same theme, Circle Game. The scenes of a joyful, enchanted carnival amusement of another easily joins one own's appreciation of youthful past visits to form a seamless scene, but it is gone for you, and it will be gone for the others, there, when their time commences.
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We cant return we can only look behind
From where we came
There remains a poignant pang, where the tune and lyrics revolve in a sonic calliopic loop. There is a compelling beauty that draws one to enduring recollection. And further, it is not only 1960s North America that has done this. There is Heine's, Die Lorelei which has a siren singing (beckoning sailors to death), and the wistful rememberer whom can not forget. At the beginning, Heine expresses the same sure grasp of the embrace.
Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten,
Daß ich so traurig bin;
Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten,
Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.

I know not, what it should mean,
That I am so sad;
A fairy tale out of the olden times,
(Which) will not go from my mind.
________________
*There was a hobo song, that was greatly cleaned up, to become a children's song, Big Rock Candy Mountain. The idea of a marvelous land of joy and plenty was mediæval. It showed up in Carmina Burana and elsewhere as
the land of Cockaigne.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

the striving for, and the accolades of, Peace

Jim Lehrer, early on Friday evening, told me Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This surprised everyone. The norwegians, as representatives of the world, have been issuing a continuing and clarion call condemning the evil policies of bushjr/cheney's Amerika. This is the third stanza: Jimmy Carter, who has been the most formidable former president of the United States, was awarded the prize for his many endeavors, and for his point for point aquinian just war rebuke of bushjr/cheney's war upon Irak; Albert Gore, the man whose presidency was usurped by bushjr/cheney, was awarded the prize; and now the man who decisively secured the election and office of the presidency after bushjr/cheney. Yes, the norwegians have continuously roared against the bushevik régime, and now they are applauding and encouraging the successor to be as contraire to that failed régime as possible.

But, on the day the announcement came, the United States bombed the moon. The United States still has a military occupation in Irak, and is thirsting for an escalation of war in Afghanistan. Obama has made overtures to end nuclear armaments; it must be remembered that only the United States has used those weapons. Obama has talked peace in Palestine; the Israelis are intransigent.


In Gaza, which is a caged ghetto, the Marah Land Zoo has painted two burros with hair dye, so that children could have 'zebras'. Such an act calls to memory a scene from the Little Rascals films of the 30s. The former authentic asses died of starvation during the war. Israel will not allow the importation of such beasts. To smuggle them in would be very extravagantly, and prohibitively dear.

The two cities, which the United states atomically vaporised, Hiroshima and Nagasaki want to host the 2020 Olympics. The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki want to use the sporting events as a springboard for world peace.

Obama has promised the closing of Guantánamo prison; it is still opened. He has called for an end to the torture policies of the former régime; yet he has not prosecuted the criminals. The Department of War is that of the former régime's. Last week, Saturday Night Live made the point, that, Obama has done little to change that of the policies of the former régime. The Wall Street gang still runs the Treasury Department. The orwellian Patriot Act still lives, and so forth...
There are those on the right who are angry. They think that I'm turning this great country into something that resembles the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany, but that's just not the case. But when you look at my record it's very clear what I've done so far and that is nothing. Nada. Almost one year and nothing to show for it. — Fred Armisen as the President on Saturday Night Live
So it is incongruous, that the supporters of that former régime, are calling him such an extremist. And now:

This prize bestowed by the Nobel committee in Norway is given annually to individuals who have made significant contributions to world peace. Jimmy Carter won it for decades of trying to find solutions to international conflicts. Al Gore won it for his years of educating the US about climate change. And us? Well, I won it for not being George Bush. — Fred Armisen as the President on Saturday Night Live
Only the jesters and fools speak the truth, and they have hawk vision. But, some of the rabid supporters of the former régime and opponents to the president are still spiteful. A spokesman for the State Department parried their vitriol, and the world's collective opinion of Obama's predecessor, with this comparison:
Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. — PJ Crowley
The world wants a better America. It wants a repudiation of bushevism. The world wants Obama to integrate the United States peacefully with the world, and not to be a bellicose, and dangerous, and aggressive empire. It wishes to encourage him, and to tell him that the civilised, and responsible, and sane world is on his side.