Thursday, June 30, 2011

the 59th Parish closed

On Cleveland's West 22nd street, people came to mark the exact year anniversary (30 June) of the closing of the 58th parish in the five years of the episcopal reign of Richard Lennon. Each parish's name was read out, and an old fire alarm bell was tolled for each. They prayed several prayers, including a prayer for the Divine Mercy. They sang several songs, including Faith of Our Fathers.

They told of the news elsewhere too. Mater Dolorosa parish in Holyoke, Massachusetts just started a sit-in vigil in their parish. Yesterday, a church was dedicated in Westerville, Ohio that bought a statue from the still appealing St. Peter, Cleveland.

They spoke of the hurt they felt, and the deceptions that occurred because of Lennonism. They had warm anecdotes of their parishes. A story of a man in his 90s pulling the plug on Lennon at St. Casimir's was applauded. They spoke of the mismanagement, and misrule in the American Church.Fr. Sandor Siklodi came back from Chicago to talk to his parish and friends. People spoke on the steps of the Hungarian parish of St. Emeric (Imre).
A crowd of 250 maintained for approaching three hours. Some left early, some came late, so that some more than that came in total.
Michael Polensek, the councilman from Collinwood, spoke of the importance to the neighborhood each church is. When a church goes away, the city around it decays.
Many speakers, from several parishes, and the officers of Endangered Catholics spoke. Some spoke very well, some spoke too long. Each held passion for their closed parish, and the fate of others.
The crowd was very attentive throughout, and occasionally responded enthusiastically.
Dr. Kenneth Chalker, Senior Pastor, University Circle United Methodist Church, perhaps stole the show. He spoke of the 59th parish that closed — the spirit and feeling of ecumenism. He spoke of the welcome and fellowship, he felt for the previous ordinary, Anthony Pilla. The new bishop, Richard Lennon, who except for one early appearance, when advised that it was a good political move, had no interest in ecumenism, or anything that approached it.
Some cameramen came, including one, believed to be, from the diocese. He left early. There was no police presence at all. It was a very peaceful demonstration.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Classic negative example

For all but one closed parish, in the Cleveland Diocese, it has been a year since eviction. Some still are awaiting appeal from Rome. It has always been the last recourse for a Catholic to appeal to the Pope and his governance. This past Sunday marked one year since St. James, Lakewood, and St. Mary, Akron Ohio were dislodged. This Sunday was also Corpus Christi, it has been traditional for over seven hundred years to have an Eucharistic procession. The pastor at St. Bernard’s (the parish that St. Mary's was merged into) officiated at an outdoor Mass and procession at St. Mary’s. St. James had their weekly prayer vigil, and took note of the year that has passed. More than fifty came, and near two hundred at St. Mary's.
The author of their troubles is Richard Lennon, who did the same for Boston, previously. Boston will have a second round of reconfiguration, and the archdiocese publicly realises how bad things were the first time. Now 17% of The archdiocesan’s Catholics attend Mass. The chancery says it is “absolutely clear that the archdiocese is not going to be closing churches from above”. They learned from Lennon’s mistakes, they will just not call it that.

The Torinese newspaper, La Stampa,* writes that the Congregation for the Clergy and others has a document to be released “dedicated to the reorganization of American dioceses”. The cause of which was the settlement payments of the sex scandals.
“A ‘classic’ negative example of the reorganisation linked to the economic problems is that of Cleveland, where the Holy See has decided to send an apostolic visit, or rather, an investigation to look into whether the decisions taken by the Bishop Ordinary Gerard Lennon were adequate. He announced that 29 parishes will close and another 41 will be merged. The restructuring plan which will cut 52 parishes out of 224 is already in effect. Other cities in which word about closure has been heard are Camden, New Jersey, Allentown, Pennsylvania and New York City. The reasons that prompted the decision to close parishes in Cleveland have been the flow of population to outlying areas, the financial difficulties that have seen 42% of parish budgets finish in the red and the shortage of priests. Now this last point is questioned by the Vatican and the apostolic visit will serve to ascertain the facts. The Vatican has asked Lennon to stop his policy of savage cuts. In Boston, amongst many other controversies, he closed 60 parishes. So far the Vatican has not had any luck.”
The United States has nearly 200 dioceses. There is more than 180 countries in the world. There then are a lot of examples to point out. Lennon is the example of what not to do.

On the 18th of June, the Holy Office’s Promoter of Justice, Monsignor Charles Scicluna talked to the press about the abuse crisis. The following question was asked:
Q: And when the bishops are not good shepherds, what can be done?
Scicluna said, in response, “each faithful has the right to express his concern about the diocese directly to the Holy See, through the nuncio.” This principle is not about just this grave, horrible sexual abuse scandal. It is an absolute principle.

The highest echelons of the Church knows things are bad. They are slow to respond. They know people have the right to complain. Things may be addressed, but parishioners need to carefully and repeatedly state their concerns. There is much inertia that has to be overcome. Past problems may not be repaired, but something can be done.
*La Stampa has the third largest circulation in Italy. It is from Turin (Torino), owned by the Agnelli family, who also own Fiat.

Matzen’s Haserot angel

the angel seems to be rooting for God's own team
Herman N. Matzen *1861 †1938, was a Danish immigrant to Detroit. He then studied sculpture in Paris and Berlin. From 1885 to 1926 he taught at Cleveland School of Art. He won many commissions to sculpt monuments for local governments. He had done statues of Schiller (Detroit) and Wagner. American germans had great enthusiasm for cultural heroes. The war ended those commissions from the germans. He was especially busy in Cleveland in the years before America’s entrance to the Great European War (WWI).

He did two religious lawgivers (Moses, Gregory) for the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, and Cain and Abel for the Lake County one, and two allegorical figures (Law, Justice) for Summit County. The bronze seated Mayor Tom Johnson on Public Square, Cleveland is his work. He was the best in his craft in the area.

The 1908 bronze relief for the victims of the Collinwood school fire in Lakewood was his work. He did a number of funereal monuments for the wealthy at Lake View. Recently, whether it is the goth fascination, or the ease of digital photography, the most shared photo of his work on the internet is a bronze angel he sculpted for Haserot in 1923.

This seated angel leans on an overturned torch as on a cane. There is many stone angels in this graveyard, most stand on top of massive pediments. Matzen’s angel is on a slight red granite one, on which you can easily step upon. It is a statue one can go face to face with. The massive wings are fully opened, and further suggests, that, the angel is enthroned. The torch’s flame is out, and the angel is contemplating judgment, or somberly reflecting upon the deceased.

I like the work. Many are fascinated with it. At what time did it
s popularity begin?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Memento mori

notice the dime above the center 8; not pictured -- 70' white granite obelisk from Barre, Vermont

Lake View Cemetery is one of the largest graveyards in Ohio. It sits in Cleveland, East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. It was created for the millionaires (the Republicans and the robber barons, the political and economic victors of the failed War of Secession) on Millionaires’ Row (Euclid Avenue), near Rockefellers summer home. The main gate is on Euclid Avenue. In 1869 this was out in the country, beyond the city limits.

Rockefeller was once the world’s richest man, richer than Gates or Slim are to-day. For Orthodox Easter Monday 1914, the Colorado National Guard murdered women and children of strikers, and striking coal miners, in Ludlow. The owner of the largest mine was old John D, and his son, John D. Junior.

The massacre was not well received by the public. Rockefeller hired an early public relations man, ‘Poison’ Ivy Ledbetter Lee (he would later work for nazi businessmen) to create better press. Lee said the burning of the tent village began with an overturned stove. It was the state troops setting the tents afire. Other than raw lies, he had some clever ideas. He had Rockefeller pose for pictures as a kindly old man. Rockefeller became famous for giving children dimes.

Now, the cemetery, and others, like to say, that, people leave dimes and pennies in a superstitious offering. Giving a dime back to John, may have money coming to you. Could not, one coin be there to mock him? What good did the first collecting of the first billion do for John at his death?

Well, Lake View is kept as a park. Italian stone cutters were brought in to carve monuments, and they and gardeners were kept busy. It is a favorite for amateur photographers, and the shutterbugs find the same things to photograph, because the same things appeal to people’s eyes. Jeptha Wade of Western Union Telegraph was the founder. His grandson contracted Louis Comfort Tiffany to furnish a chapel on site. There is a monument, and museum for President Garfield.
Different tours are conducted through the grounds. Some are of the buried, some are of the 19th century statues, some are of the flora. Some consider it an open air art museum, some an arboretum.

Over an hundred thousand are buried there. It was meant for Cleveland’s better citizens. It was non-sectarian, which then meant all protestants. They eased that.

On Ash Wednesday 1908, the Collinwood (or Lake View)* school fire, had 172 children and three adults perish. Many were immigrants. Bishop Ignatius Horstmann had a heart attack during the burials, and died two months later. He is not buried there. In his episcopate 30 parishes were created, 22 of them nationality parishes. He saw people go over to the Polish National Catholic Church, and to an independent parish. He had five thousand slovenes from one parish (N. Y. Times misidentified them as poles) protest outside his home. Many catholics then protested bishop’s actions when they saw it fit. What would they have done to a bishop whom closed parishes, and sold the properties? Well, that was not done then. Horstmann had troubles with the americanists also. He fought Rome for four years to have Fr. Joseph Koudelka made an auxiliary bishop, and vicar general of the Slavs. When this was allowed in January, none of the irish priests attended the consecration. Priests were more unruly then. Now, Cleveland has a tyrant for a bishop, and little opposition to his tyrannies from all but a few parishioners and less priests.

The catholic convert, and ball player, Raymond Chapman is buried there. He was struck in the head by a pitch in 1920. There was an organised protest in allowing a catholic funeral for the ball player. There is no opposition, now, for a catholic to be buried in Lake View. The catholic cemeteries of the diocese are a big till, with several dippers, and a good hiding place. His wife and posthumous daughter are buried in Clevelands Calvary, as is his double play partner William Wambsganss. To-day, baseball equipment is left by Chappys stone. Years before [1909], a minor league ball player, who also died from a pitched ball was buried in Lake View. For an hundred years he had no stone. Charles Pinkney Jr. last of Collinwood, and the Dayton Veterans. His stone came last year.
*the name of the school was Lake View, in Collinwood

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sometimes piety is not enough

foto taken in hallway of Trinity (Anglican) Cathedral, Cleveland.
“In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.” — Dag Hammarskjöld

Jesus taught the Beatitudes. It is a programme of action. Jesus was not crucified for personal piety. He was crucified because of his radical, and revolutionary teachings. The powers that were then, and are now, are threatened by justice, mercy, love and equity.

We have divisions in Christ's Church. It is apparent in Catholic Christianity. Some people are only interested in personal piety. If Jesus limited himself to this, there would have been no christianity.

Calling for (and, hopefully, practising) personal piety is efficacious. Calling only for personal piety, and not christian practice is hypocritical and, possibly, duplicitous. One can see christian practice, and its fruits; personal piety — not so much. A charlatan, a scoundrel, or worse can elicit this campaign. To allow evil, or just the practice, to continue, and do nothing to remedy it can be a part of this programme. One may have no belief, and feign, or speak of great faith. He may advise this in others, while preventing good to be done, so that evil can be done.

What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? —James ii. 14-20.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

When they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.

Some years ago, i worked with a fellow that was a legend in the local. He was physically strong, he enjoyed fighting, and wrestling. A lot of bosses look at us as beasts. The strong, athletic men are presumed to be work producers and are favored. Well, Jack was near retirement. He was strong still, he also was mean, clever, and quite bright. He was often emotionally vicious. He would ride men till they snapped. He made some cry. He liked revenge. Most of all, Jack liked Jack.

Now, Jack would do good for some, and sometimes without their realising or knowledge. He knew the difference between right and wrong, he just chose not to abide by it from time to time. If one tried to prevent him, scold him, shame him in refraining from bad behaviour, he would do what he wanted. He would show remorse, from time to time, and admit mistakes. He knew when to lie, and enjoyed it; but fundamentally he was honest, and he would unnecessarily be brutally frank and crude. Jack maintained he was a christian, some calvinist inspired Baptist. He did talk about ethics, and theology. He disagreed with catholicism, but he did not have venom for it.

He would also play up to his bosses. He would also, sometimes, act against his best interest when he enjoyed the action. He was very entertaining, when one was a spectator, and not a target. Jack was quite verbal. I have heard him speak with daggers. His tongue was like a blade thrust between the long and short rib. The authority figure would wince and fume, and silently vow for revenge, and wait for the moment.

Jack also liked money. In the morning, on company time, when he could, he would look at the stock listings and underline his holdings: past, present and future. Once there was down time at work, and he talked of retirement investments; and all these management tourists came by. They were pissed; work was at a stand still (conditions, reasons and circumstances explained why; they dont care why), and labor was talking finance.

On another occasion, before my acquaintance, I forget the tales intro. Jack and someone had an argument. Jack said, “It’s not about the money”. He thought about it. The next day he came in, and he said, “It is about the money”. When they say its not about the money, its about the money.
It’s not about the money, Steve!” yelled Bishop Lennon, slamming his hand on the table.*
That was said in Lennons last job. In Cleveland, other than the joy of power, it has been all about the money.

Now, there were financial problems in Cleveland diocese five years ago. They were not Boston size, they were smaller. The sex scandals cost money. There was much theft and embezzlement of monies—far more than the press cared to know about.

The church suppressions were decided on the basis of how to accumulate the most cash now. This overlapped, very well, in the ethnic cleansing of parishes. Many of these parishes had financial resources, property and goods, and no debt.

We are approaching the end of the fiscal year, and the exact anniversary of the last closure. Lennon announced to the press, at Holy Name and Saint Vincent, on 15 June a capital campaign for $125,000,000. Now, what the press did not tell you: is this campaign had been delayed in implementation. Lennon wanted this earlier, overlapping the suppressions. He had brought this up to to all his priests summoned for conference. Several priests advised against it, people were upset it would not fly. This was repeated.

The figure has been pared down, greatly. A kickback apparatus was devised. The kickback was increased. The kickback is 30% of the parish goal, and 70% of the amount over the goal. Also, all new parish fundraising [say for building projects] separate to this is prohibited. A bishop can do this canonically, though it is high-handed, at best.
‘Rooted in Faith Capital Campaign’ is a title used in some dioceses already. A $75 million ‘Rooted in Faith — Forward in Hope’ Capital Campaign was announced in Arlington, Virginia in May 2002. Peoria had one beginning in 2004. San Jose, California had a $100 million campaign in 2005 called, ‘Rooted in Faith Embracing our Future’. Some of these campaigns were designed, at least in part, by Guidance In Giving, Inc. There can be variations and combinations. The diocese has an annual charities campaign. There are other funds.

If one were to look at details, one would see that the implementation of the capital campaign, ‘Rooted in Faith - Forward in Hope’ has parish contributions, and ‘leadership gifts’. These latter, are from wealthy donors that have been cultivated. Now, part of this campaign was in effect before June 15th, ‘pilot parishes’ were engaged for the initial campaign; and campaign is the right word for it: a systematic course of aggressive activities for some specific purpose: a sales campaign.

Now that is mostly the how, what is the why? One must see that Lennon wanted to QUICKLY procure much money upon his arrival in town. He still does.
*Steve Josoma, pastor St. Susanna, Dedham Massachusetts.
p. 111 Jason Berry. Render Unto Rome. 2011.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lennon continues to peddle goods prematurely

supra: same subject, poor exposure, taller? photographer not affiliated with Lennon
This [left] is a photograph of a statue of Saint Paul. It was taken inside of Saint Peter's Catholic Church, on Superior Avenue, in Cleveland, Ohio. Saint Peter's is currently appealing its attempted suppression by Bishop Richard Lennon. This means the parish is not extinct. ‘Extinction’ is a particular term used in the Canon Law of the Church. Certainly no open, functioning parish is ‘extinct’. This distinction is important, for only after a parish becomes extinct can its patrimony of goods be distributed. Distribution would include the marketing and selling of items, and real estate properties.

This picture was uploaded from the website of St. Paul Catholic Church of Westerville, Ohio. It (donation amount $8,000.) was on the bottom of the third page of a pdf document.

A parish is a juridic person (similar in american law in which a corporation is a person). A parish consists of the people, and their associated goods and property. Upon extinction there is a distribution of goods. If there is an appeal pending, the parish is not extinct and, therefore, there can be no distribution. Hence, sale and marketing of goods are prohibited.

This is a pattern of Lennon, “the self-taught canonist ”.* Saint Stanislaus, Lorain campus was advertised days before its Mass of Eviction. Later when the appealing parish of St. Casimir discovered its property advertised, Lennon’s spokesman, Bob Tayek said a property is never advertised while the church is open. A church in Florida told its parishioners it would be getting Casimir’s windows and bells. Tayek was interviewed, and language was changed. Tayek also spoke to a writer from The Neighborhood News of Garfield Heights. He is quoted as saying, “but we will not market or sell during the appeal.”†

Canon 123 — Upon the extinction of a public juridic person, the allocation of its goods, patrimonial rights, and obligations is governed by law and its statutes; if these give no indication, they go to the juridic person immediately superior, always without prejudice to the intention of the founders and donors and acquired rights. Upon the extinction of a private juridic person, the allocation of its goods and obligations is governed by its own statutes.
Easter morning prior to the last Mass celebrated inside of St. Peter’s Church, Cleveland Ohio. Statue visible on column is that of St. Paul.
*Jason Berry. Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church. 2011. p.150, p.278.
Neighborhood News. 18 May 2011. p.3.
Postscriptum: 10 July 2011.
The picture of the statue from St. Peter's is not on the site any longer.
A change of language appears. Where the photograph had been, there is now the phrase "Being hand carved". Still on the website is a September newsletter stating the statue was bought.
Postscriptum: 23 October 2011. This was viewable to-day, and probably for sometime, at St. Paul the Apostle Westerville:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A diamond monstrance

Countess Ludmila of Kolovrat received as a wedding gift, from her third husband, 6,222 diamonds. She had these put into a monstrance for the Loreta shrine in Prague. In 1696-99, in the workshops of Vienna the gems were set in gold, the resultant object was made; it is called the Diamond Monstrance, or the Prague Sun.

In September 1935, the Seventh National Eucharistic Congress was held in Cleveland. The parish monstrance (pictured) belonged to Saint Procop's parish is a replica. The gold is gold, the gemstones are not diamonds. This monstrance was used in that Congress.

With Procop's suppressed this became the property of the diocese. In St. John the Baptist, Akron, on 31 October 2009, Richard Lennon declared that he was the owner of everything in the diocese. A state court decision declared bishops the owner of such in the 19th century, he insisted. What is the estimate of such an object? Several hundred thousand dollars? You will not see this on his internet trading site, perhaps if you have the password.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

SNAP Cathedral Paper

This was the paper being handed out in front of the cathedral on Monday, the 13th of June. There were few takers.

In to-day's Plain Dealer, a third article appeared. The current pastor of St. Charles has recognised the issue, and has spoken with parishioners. The bishop's spokesman, Robert Tayek, is speaking in his usual fashion: "There seems to be a preponderance of evidence that inappropriate behavior did take place. It may appear that way, according to the newspapers, but we haven't got it yet."
Postscriptum 15 Jun 2011: In a fourth article, by Michael O'Malley, it was announced the plaque will be removed, and the name taken off the parish hall.

Vermilion anchor

A grand anchor sits outside the Inland Seas Maritime Museum, Vermilion, Ohio. It is a beautiful object: historical, craftsmanship, aesthetic. It is art, most publicly displayed near the western end of the south shore of Lake Erie. Compare this with the FREE stamp some miles to the east. The latter is modern sculpture, but it is not real; it is realistic, it is many times larger model of a small piece of office supply. The anchor supra served real usage for its form. The Cleveland Monument was never meant to be used. It could be, if the letters were inked. It would have to be then lifted by crane to leave an impression, or one could press the paper against it; which would be far more easy and practical, but not the normal pattern of usage of the genuine object.

This anchor is a form of the traditional fisherman's or admiralty pattern. The cross arm, the stock, is a barrel. It is four staves bound by four iron hoops. Its fat center is bored to hold the shank. A shackle with chain is at one end, at the other is a rounded crown arm with a pair of flukes, and peas.

Vermilion is a small town that sits in two counties, Erie to the west, and Lorain to the east. The French translated the name of an indian river, that was dubbed for the red clay on its banks.

Now in the second half of the 17th century, the French had this are as part of Huronia. Huronia was the area about the Great Lakes where the French had indian missions. The Indians about this area included the Shawnee, Chippewas, Ottawas, Wyandottes, Huron, and of course, the Erie. The first Masses in Ohio were said here. Overall, this area was little visited by the French, and little recorded. Vermilion might have been, one day, a first provincial capital of an Erie province. This was lost on the Plains of Abraham.

During the American War for Independence, the generals Benedict Arnold, and William Tryon burned some eight towns in Connecticut in 1779 and '81. In 1792 the Connecticut Assembly granted a portion of its Western Reserve to these fire-sufferers. These lands were called the Fire Lands. Vermilion is on its eastern point. Most of the territory has become the Ohio counties of Huron and Erie.

Monday, June 13, 2011

SNAP Press Statement: Cleveland, 7 June 2011

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Victims blast Cleveland diocese

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,

We are saddened and appalled that Cleveland Catholic officials won’t remove a plaque honoring a credibly accused child molesting cleric.

Because the alleged predator is dead, the full truth about him will likely never be known. But this much is clear: the church hierarchy must choose between the feelings of two living women or the reputation of one dead priest. They are choosing to side with the alleged criminal over the alleged victims – the side that top church staffers have almost always taken for decades. The Cleveland diocese continues to do this now, even though the accused priest is deceased and can’t be hurt by whatever choices diocesan officials make.

Church officials will no doubt claim these two women are the “only accusers.” If that’s the case, it’s only because church officials refuse to actively reach out to others hurt by Fr. Monaghan. However, church officials refuse to do this. In fact, they told the Plain Dealer they won't "devote resources" to delving into this brave victim's abuse report. Have they not read in the Bible that "the truth shall set you free?"

Of course, they can take a clear and free step toward the truth with a two sentence notice in parish bulletins, saying "We have an allegation that Fr. Monaghan molested a girl. If you have any information that might prove or disprove the allegation, we beg you to come forward right away." This of course costs nothing and would show that the Catholic hierarchy welcomes victims and cares about victims and about the truth. However, Cleveland church officials apparently refuse to take this simple, non-controversial move.

A cowardly response would be for church officials to "split the difference," taking the accused priest's name off of only the building or only the plaque. But Cleveland Catholic hierarchy can't even bring itself to take this minimal step towards compassion.

Our hearts go out to Barbara Johnson and Karen Roman. We applaud them for their courage. We hope and believe their bravery will help bring them healing. We are confident that their speaking out will help and console and inspire others who suffer in shame, silence and self-blame.

We are not confident, however, that Cleveland church officials will ever live up to their promises to treat victims with compassion.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,, Peter Isely (414-429-7259,, Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell,

Postscriptum 15 Jun 2011: In a fourth article, by Michael O'Malley, it was announced the plaque will be removed, and the name taken off the parish hall.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What is scandal?

"The nun said to me, 'That would scandalize the parish,' "

Scandal is ... "something less rightly done or said, that occasions another's spiritual downfall." --Aquinas, Summa Theologiæ (II-II, xliii, 1)

Recently, there appeared in Cleveland's lone daily a story of a victim of sexual harassment, and advances, by the founding pastor of a suburban church*. She requested the removal of a plaque, and the name designation of a campus building honouring that man and priest. The sister† quoted is the diocesan 'victims' assistance co-ordinator'. "It would be wrong to do this to his name". The diocese has its priorities.

What is evil/sinful? The bad behaviour, or the public acknowledgment of that bad behaviour? If it is the latter, then one is mandated to lie; to call the malefactor good, or the malefactor's behaviour good, and to discredit any truth teller. Logic, and the Angelic Doctor‡ would never advocate that [additional sinning].

These two people are speaking of two different concepts. Scandal, for St. Thomas, induces bad behaviour in another. Scandal corrupts. Secrecy facilitates the further occasion and operation of scandal. For the other, and for too many (especially those in, or defending, institutions and/or powerful individuals), scandal is the discredit that bad behaviour brings. Scandal becomes merely adverse publicity, that may result in loss of authority, power, credibility or honour. The malefactor is valued above the person he wrongs. Loyalty to an organisation is greater than justice, and charity to individuals. This makes being a 'whistleblower' very risky, and necessitates courage.

Scandalising, for Thomas, would be the continuation, and further manufacture of sin. For the diocese scandalising is the loss of public stature, esteem and resultant reduction in moral authority admission would ensue. But the Cleveland Diocese is not alone in this attitude, this is the standard position for institutions (government, military, business, education, labor et cetera) in general.
*Cleveland Plain Dealer, Nicholas Francis Monaghan, St. Charles Borromeo, Parma
†Sr. Laura Bouhall
‡St. Thomas Aquinas
Postscriptum 12 June: There has been a follow up story published. Perhaps, those who were denying the story being possible will be less vocal. It seems if a pervert is exposed, more people will tell of their similar encounters. One of the former schoolgirls is quoted,
"He was a cigar-smelling, horrible old man. I don't want to rustle his bones in his grave, but having a plaque and a building named after him is an affront to all the young, innocent girls he abused."
Postscriptum 13 June: Barbara Blaine, the founder of SNAP (the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests), came to East 9th Street (outside the cathedral) before noon, to-day, to speak about the molestation of children by priests. A handful of Code Purple (local parishioners asking for accountability of the local church) members were there to support her, and those touched by the lust of Fr. Monaghan. They were ignored by virtually all, but for a cameraman (most probably) working for the diocese, cathedral security (that kept an eye on them from the top of the steps, and shooed away a young man [not with the protestors] whom sat down and typed away on his phone/computer), and a Cleveland Police cruiser that accepted a sheet of paper from a protestor, and then soon left.
Postscriptum 15 Jun 2011: In a fourth article, by Michael O'Malley, it was announced the plaque will be removed, and the name taken off the parish hall.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Roman vassals, and the money trail

Jason Berry's book, ‘Render unto Rome’, was released to the public 7 June. It deals with the Church and scandals, from Rome's Vatican hill to individual dioceses in the US. It is subtitled: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church. It is his third book on ecclesial matters.

Sexual scandal of perversion, predation, abuse and betrayal [often of children] has led to financial settlements. Money is needed to pay (but often other money is used badly, or stolen through embezzlement). Properties are sold to gather this money. Many times these properties are parishes. The parish community is destroyed, and the church is diminished. The whole time this is done as secretly as possible.

Who are the authors of these calamities? Bishops [or other high prelates], who act without supervision and are held unaccountable. Berry follows several stories. He concludes that Vatican justice is a ‘farce’ [as in the US business world, and government extolling business, incompetence by executives is rewarded]. Berry offers an independent Vatican court that does not ‘cater to bishops’. But still many parishioners believe Rome will right the situation, and rule for them as Gospel, canons and justice dictate.

Two American parishes [Boston and Cleveland] share the woe wreaked by the same self taught canonist’. The tenth chapter begins: For a second time, Richard Lennon assumed control of a diocese damaged by dishonest bishops, concealed sex offenders, and mismanaged money. Later in the book, he writes: Lennon repeated the destruction he wrought in Boston.

Now, sometimes Rome removes an incompetent bishop. The papal nuncio [ambassador] Pietro Sambi, and an apostolic visitor [papal investigator] have weighed the Cleveland problem. The problem will not go away. Bernard Cardinal Law is in Rome, but disgraced in America. He had promoted Lennon several times, and appointed him his interim successor [Apostolic Administrator]. He is protecting him now.

Some people say the church is mediæval. They liken a bishophric to a fief. But the suzerain, and monarch is the pope. The church is decentralised. What does the papacy do with a rogue vassal, that is protected by a higher vassal?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The joke is on citizens and parishioners

In a recent Columbus Dispatch article you see a large, elderly, laughing man wearing a cowboy hat. He is David Brennan. He has obtained the use of several former Catholic grade school buildings and made them into a chain of scab schools. He has further enriched himself, and weakened the teaching profession. He also is against unionism and workers’ rights. He makes sure he gets government money in this process.

St. Benedict, St. Timothy, Holy Redeemer, Annunciation, Our Lady of Mercy, Our Lady of Lourdes, Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Saint Rose [all in Cleveland], and John the Baptist in Akron had parish grade schools that are now part of his Hope Academies. Recently, he has purchased the Annunciation campus cheaply. What belonged, and was built by many parishioners, for that many to use, now belongs to one man. This is what privatisation is all about — the concentration of wealth in the hands of those with greater wealth, and the stripping of the community for the benefit of an individual. The fraud and hypocrisy comes when this is passed off as altruism, which is its true opposite. But before Brennan, and his outfit, replaced parochial schools, he was active in replacing public schools.

Under Voinovich, Taft, and the Republican held legislature, the corporations wrote the laws that covered their industry/business for sixteen years. Now after four terrible years things are back to normal. The party of private privilege is back in charge. Legislators come cheaply, and they are willing to accept written commands and enact them on the commonwealth.

Brennan was Voinovich
s choice to head the newly created Governor’s Commission on Educational Choice in 1992. Brennan was a financial contributor to Voinovich (both bushes, Taft, Blackwell and a slew of others in the Republican party). He has given several million dollars to Republican candidates.

Beyond Ohio, White Hat manages other private schools. With the Ohio schools, the total passes fifty. Of all such charter schools, about half meet state progress reports; public schools about two thirds; one White Hat run school does. Several of these schools are now unhappy. Several White Hat run schools in Ohio have sued to break their management contract with White Hat. The upcoming state budget bill, with White Hat written provisions, may dismiss the lawsuit.

Brennan gets public money. Public money becomes private money. He demands not to be accountable. He benefits from public largesse, but wishes to be free of public scrutiny.

We know that public schools have severe problems. They are accountable to the public, and are a public football. There are some charter schools that perform well. Brennan's hat is not on them. His is the largest chain in Ohio, and he does what he wants, and laughs all the way to the bank.
postscriptum: 21 June 2011. Brennan is buying Corpus Christi, Annunciation, Sacred Heart, St. Procop and St. Rose properties (all in Cleveland). He may be looking for more.
Also, in the Clevelands bishop, Richard Lennons, capital campaign, Brennan and his wife, Ann, are among the honorary co-chairs. Brennan's wife is also on the Campaign Cabinet, Leadership Gifts Committee, and the Oversight Committee. Another co-chair, Umberto Fedeli, has done extensive insurance business with the diocese. Both Brennan, and Fedeli have been appointed by the, then, governor Voinovich to state positions. Other co-chairs are the Dolans, their son was a State Representative, and the failed Republican candidate for Cuyahoga County Executive. Voinovich has children employed by the Dolans. The list of the laity is heavily weighted with those that do business with the diocese. The list is also weighted with large contributors to the state Republican party; a lot of dove tailing.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Robin on chimney

Chimney with robin

Signs of times past

Ohio Historical Marker
Following the national merger of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO)in 1955, more than 2,000 labor delegates representing one million union members convened at the Cleveland Public Auditorium for the founding convention of the Ohio AFL-CIO in 1958. This leading labor organization achieved significant advances in the quality of life and security for working Ohioans during the second half of the twentieth century in areas of civil rights, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance. Its notable legislative successes include the passage of a public employee collective bargaining bill in 1983 and a voter referendum that protected workers’ compensation in 1997.
Ohio Bicentennial Commission
The Ohio Historical Society
2003 78-18
On the 3rd of March, the Mayor of Cleveland, Frank Jackson gave a State of the City speech at Public Hall (Cleveland Public Auditorium). The new governor, John Kasich was in attendance. Protestors against his partys Senate Bill #5 which would kill public employee collective bargaining and further weaken unions. In front of Public Hall is this historical marker. Kasich has dedicated himself to the destruction of what the sign commemorates. It is a state marker. Get to the corner of East 6th and Lakeside Avenue before it succumbs to Kasich's reversing history, and relegating its achievements to the memory hole.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Republican speak: premium support = voucher

Politicians often know the truth is too obvious and would show them, their proposals, and actions as unpopular, wrong, or even, evil. Euphemisms and word substitutions are used.

Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman (R-naturally), wants to end, or at least change medicare. The repukes have always opposed social security, unemployment insurance, and other welfare programmes, including medicare. gwbjr who lied the US into war, and steamrolled opposition with the help of a compliant press, later tried to privatise social security, by giving it to Wall Street. That failed. His poster programme, for his second term of usurpment of the presidency, failed. It is to be remembered, that his father ran for his second term on reducing capital gains taxes. It is obvious which constituency they represent.

Paul Ryan wants vouchers introduced. Instead of government paying medicare bills, people will get a lesser amount to buy medical insurance. This will decrease medical coverage, lead to worse health and earlier death, while making insurance companies richer. That's all fine with his party (Republican congressmen enjoy their government health care fine), but it does not sell that well with the populace (even some elderly teabaggers may figure that it hits them ).

So what does a bold, camera and microphone loving demagogue-to-be do? Well, first accuse critics of demagoguery; second substitute a new term for voucher, ‘premium support’, and then shy away from defining it. Let us see how many others of his party, and enabling media critters will broadcast this term of orwellian newspeak.

Ugly Public Art, Fun Public Art

The Concrete Cows of Milton Keynes, England were done by Elizabeth Leyh in 1978. Milton Keynes is a new town of the 1960s built to move Londoners elsewhere. It is regularly regarded as the ugliest city of Britain. Le Corbusier was an architect who used béton brut (cement poured into wooden forms, and repeated), in english this was called brutalism, and brutal it is. One sees these dull, repetitive, concrete, block buildings everywhere. These brutal buildings are in Milton Keynes.

The cows are a public art installation. They were ridiculed by many critics upon introduction. They are vandalised and abused regularly. Sometimes it is humorous, and delightedly whimsical as when they had pajamas painted upon them; sometimes it is vicious (they have been decapitated). Overall, they are enjoyed by children. They are climbed upon.
left: Justice Center; back: old courthouse; foreground: minimalist sculpture[sic]
Just before this time (in 1976), Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County, Ohio had a new court house, the Justice Center. It was built in this brutalist style. Court rooms and jails are dreary enough, brutalism is an additional portion of dehumanisation. The old courthouse is a Beaux-Arts gem, built in the time of Tom Johnson, and part of several such public buildings downtown. It presents a sense of civic grandeur.

In front of the new is an Isamu Noguchi sculpture, The Portal. It is a pipe with five 90° angles, not all in the same plane. An union electrician, if he were to bend such a thing, would have it in the scrap pile. For a lark, he could bend a better looking paperclip out of a length of
½'' pipe in a minute or two. It was not well met, at least public money did not pay for it. Extreme minimalist in form, some think it is a masterpiece; far more think it is a piece of s***. The city and county are short of cash, sell it. Noguchi got $100,000, perhaps that can be recouped many times over. It can be replaced by a fiberglass cop.
Free Stamp, Silly Hall to the left
A few years later, 1982, Sohio (Standard Oil of Ohio) ordered a modernist sculpture from Claes Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje Van Bruggen. They wanted to make a giant rubber stamp out of metal. British Petroleum bought Sohio. They did not want it, especially not one with the word ‘free’. It went to Whiting, Indiana (a Chicago suburb with an oil refinery) for storage. The artists wanted the new location at Willard Park, next to Cleveland’s City (Silly) Hall. George Forbes, City Council President, did not want it. He finally ran for mayor, 1989, and lost. The thing was reoriented (vertical to horizontal) in the1991 installation. Children enjoy it, and no one is upset now.

Oldenburg did a clothespin for bicentennial Philadelphia; in 1999 a typewriter eraser for the District of Columbia. He was a pop artist with a sense of humour, not everybody appreciated it.

In 1986, Zürich painted lions about the city. In 1998, Zürich had painted cows deposited around town. Chicago did the fiberglass cows in 1999, then the avalanche. Multiple fiberglass models of cows have shown up in cities about the world. They are variously decorated, and it is not just restricted to cow models.

Early in Genesis, we read: And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and cattle, and every thing that creepeth on the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was good. And people have enjoyed these painted fiberglass animals. Cleveland is in the sixth (rabbits, which is the 4th in the zodiac) of fiberglass models of the chinese zodiac. The manufacturer of the bare models is in Chicago, and they have done animals, and other subjects for cities about the country.
The installations are partly boosterism, and sometimes fundraisers.
11/16 '' wrenches are not used that much, put it in the tiger's mouth
presently there are 24 such rabbits about Cleveland, Ralphie supra

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our not so shared ‘Jerusalem’

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In Englands green and pleasant land.

Jerusalem by William Blake 1804, music: Hubert Parry 1916

English is spoken, and sung, on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. Britain and America have many christian denominations in common (though not the same proportions). Some protestant songs are sung in catholic churches, and anglicans, and some others, sing english versions of latin hymns. Many in the pews do not know that a song has crossed over. Sometimes there has been lyric changes, and some have reverted back (‘saved and set me free’, or ‘saved a one like me’ to ‘saved a wretch like me’); and then there are gender language issues, that have not largely reverted back.

Many songs are international (Ave Maria, How Great Thou Art). The one song that is at the tippy top in England is, Jerusaslem. In England this crosses denominations. It is familiar in chapel, on campus, and in uniform. It is sung during sports engagements, and as a team song. In the US, many were introduced to it through the film, Chariots of Fire*. Its inclusion in an american service is probably a rarity.

The terms ‘anthem’, and ‘hymn’ are used interchangeably in many languages. Put ‘national’ in front of either in England and Jerusalem wins. Many, especially republicans (which on the eastern side of the Atlantic is a far more favorable term than on the western shores), would prefer this over the the royalist anthem.

Blake's poem was not so beloved, or known, until the Great War (WWI), when it became a highly patriotic, and nationalistic anthem, newly set to orchestration. The ‘bows, arrows, spears and sword’ are military instruments. The song refers to them as building, when they are destroying. It is a martial anthem.

The last sentence speaks of England as heaven on earth by the sweet phrase ‘green and pleasant land’. The poem starts with a legend of the missing years of Jesus, being spent in part in the tin country of the southwest, near Glastonbury (Camelot). Of course, that was celtic Britain and not the England that replaced it. This sweetness is easily remembered, and lingered upon.

The sharpest line is, ‘And was Jerusalem builded here among those dark satanic mills?’ Not everyone realises what they are listening, or singing to (an english glenn beck, or limbaugh type radio mouthfoamer would have a pompous hissy fit when it is pointed out to them). The very leftist Billy Bragg sings the song in concert. Those ‘dark satanic mills’ built the capitalist economy, and paid for the imperialist state that was England. Those mills were the engines of capitalism, and ‘satanic’ they certainly were, but which pious capitalist would vocally admit them to be? Blake was a revolutionary poet, and protestant, not at all happy with the C of E. Blakes feelings about the satanic mills would be enthusiastically echoed by luddites.

The british Labour Party sings it regularly. Some years ago, a programme of rude (and sometimes hilariously accurate) puppets, Spitting Image, had a Tory (Conservative) version, And did those feet in ancient time walk upon Englands lower class?...
*And as they went on, walking and talking together, behold a fiery chariot, and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven. — IV Kings ii.11.