Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the other angel

Recently, i posted essays on Lake View Cemetery (a, b). It is a place that can be photographed repeatedly. It is the Who was Who in Cleveland; beyond that, it has had some serious landscaping. One can, rightfully, consider it a sculpture garden.
I have seen people outside the area (Cleve., O.), and outside the country interested in one particular piece: the Haserot bronze angel, created by Herman Matzen, and called by some, 'the Angel of Death Victorious' [i have not yet discovered the source]. Some just call it the 'seated angel', or the 'crying angel'. There is also a Haserot stone woman in the cemetery by Joseph Carabelli. This verdigris vision is right below the Hanna mausoleum. Hanna was the man who bought, and stole the 1896 presidential election for McKinley from Bryan. That mausoleum is marked by a worn rubber mat on the sidewalk leading to it.

The other angel that is popular was sculpted by James Earle Fraser. Fraser did many American historical statues (Franklin, Patton, Lincoln). The buffalo and Indian head nickel was his design. John Milton Hay died in 1905 as the Secretary of State. He had married a daughter of the railroad, and steel mill, magnate, and bridge architect, Amasa Stone of Cleveland. In 1916 Fraser carved a monument of soft, fossil bearing, limestone.

Hay created the 'Open Door Policy' in China. The beginnings of American imperialism, was seriously begun in the administrations of McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt. US troops joined in the quelling of the Boxer Rebellion in China. The US fought Spain for their remaining overseas empire. The Caribbean was becoming an American lake. Hay wrote to Theo. Roosevelt that the Spanish war was "a splendid little war".
It is an odd, martial angel with a stele quoting James iii. 18, “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” The stone is not strong enough to withstand the rain, and snow of Cleveland, and is being washed away. The original, sword shaft has been replaced by concrete cement, and is noticeably different in shade, and texture. The pedestal is of granite and is mostly covered by blue spruce, which greatly adds scenic ornament.

It is a naked, almost, burly Saint Michael. The wings are there, but not prominent when viewed directly. He is helmeted, and is gazing downwards with arms crossed, expressionless. He is more of a gladiatorial guard than Christian angel.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Running afoul of the enforcers

David Letterman is the subject of an 'on-line' jihadi's fatwa. Some typist wants Letterman butchered by scimitar strokes. Now, i have liked Letterman. He tries to get journalist guests to abandon false neutrality, and tell the truth. His friend, Brian Williams, always fends him off. Recently, he had on the actor replacing Charlie Sheen, he says to him [i am not certain about the wording], “I'm always with labor, I don't give a s### about management.”.

Letterman sees truth, not everyone likes that, e.g. gwbushjr, sarah the half term governor. Well, the jihadi was angered and wanted vengeance. His view, i don't know, how much was a mixture of politics and religion. Religion, say with a belief in God, is held by many; but, not all are the same, and some conflate/confuse/represent their view with the only view.

Now, i have not treated the ordinary of Cleveland with great adulation. Dickie-boy is a wretched pastor. Anyone who objects, in any manner, of Lennon or any other clerical figure is not an 'atheist' de jure, and de facto. I have noticed, that, his defenders do not acknowledge the possibility of his error. This is intellectual dishonesty. Some demand complete, servile obeisance to be shown. That is absurd, and probably blasphemous.

As per the disclaimer, i will choose not to broadcast some responses. Well, i have been told Hell is waiting for me, more than once. I have been described as a liar, and persecutor of Lennon. No, when one describes actuality, he is not a liar, nor a persecutor.
And Peter opening his mouth, said: In very deed I perceive, that God is not a respecter of persons. — Acts x. 34.

For there is no respect of persons with God. — Romans ii. 11.

For he that doth wrong, shall receive for that which he hath done wrongfully: and there is no respect of persons with God. — Colossians iii. 25.

But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, being reproved by the law as transgressors. — James ii. 9.
To-day, i was tsked over the Cathedral of Tomorrow. “Clearly the person who wrote this article does not think there is a God and certainly would not accept a Bible truth preacher.”. No, it is not clear at all. Atheists do not approvingly quote Augustine, and Mary Flannery O'Connor on 'grace'. What may be clear, is the writer does not have a respect for certain zealous, or flamboyant protestants. The writer was rather pleased with his verbal cleverness, in that essay [he also doubts the level of knowledge his critic has on catholic writers and catholicism]. The term 'Bible truth preacher' was unfamiliar, and furthermore, the writer [me] will continue to mock those who predict the end of the world. When Jesus says, He doesn't know the hour*, i will not give credence to Bubba Rockhopper, and damn sure not to Hal Lindsey.

The truth does not respect persons. Peter and Paul spoke, and wrote, more than once on this. God does not hold in elevation, and give particular esteem, concern, preference, and deference to particular individuals by their birth, office, or status. WE are all equal in the eyes of God.

In a democracy, we are not obliged [forced] to respect certain individuals; within our religious lives we are not either. If I find Ernest Angley humorous, rather than authoritative—so what? If I find Richard Lennon deficient in truth, and sanctity, again—so what?
*But of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father. Mark xiii. 32.
*But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone. — Matthew xxiv. 36.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mass of Reparation

In 1773 the pope, Clement XIV, suppressed the Jesuit order. He bowed to the pressure of Catholic princes of the Borbóns/Bourbons (Spain, France, Two Sicilies, Parma), and the Portuguese and Austrians. In non-Catholic states (Prussia and Russia) the princes were free to ignore the pope and protect the Jesuits. The suppressed Jesuit, Luigi Felici, in 1797 wrote the Divine Praises (expanded by Pius VII). Pius VII in 1814, with the bull, Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum (The care of all Churches), re-established the Jesuits.
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.

May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.

The Divine Praises were to make reparations after public blasphemy. Recently, Wednesday, 17 August, the tabernacle, and its contents, including the Divine species (Jesus) in the visible form of sanctified communion wafers, were forcibly removed from the parish church of Holy Name in Cleveland, Ohio. Shortly thereafter a scrap dealer notified the police about the thief, Eddie Davis. He was also involved in the theft of a dozen items from the Anglican Cathedral, Trinity, a few days earlier. All those items, several jewel encrusted chalices amongst them, were found with two pawnbrokers. The door of the tabernacle has been found. Two luna (gilded glass or crystal case that holds a large Eucharistic Host) are missing. A ciborium (chalice with a cover mounted by a cross), which had been a gift of a Salvadoran archbishop to the current pastor, Msgr. Richard Antall, has been found, but not the cover. It contained the Eucharist, which is unaccounted for, and that is the public blasphemy. To-day, there was a Mass of Reparation concelebrated by Bp. Roger Gries, Msgr. Antall, and retired pastor, Fr. Thomas O'Donnell at Holy Name.

Mass began with a silent procession, five Knights of Columbus attending. The altar was bare. An asperges (sprinkling) took place, first the altar, then the people, then the walls. Mass continued. At the offertory, an incensing was made in that order, then the altar table was prepared for Liturgy of the Eucharist. Mass continued, an Eucharistic procession (inside) took place with an Exposition of the Eucharist and Benediction. Benediction was followed by a recitation of the Divine Praises.

The diocese needs dozens of such Masses. The first Mass reading had been the voiced exasperation of Jeremias to God.

Thou hast deceived me, O Lord, and I am deceived: thou hast been stronger than I, and thou hast prevailed. I am become a laughing-stock all the day, all scoff at me. For I am speaking now this long time, crying out against iniquity, and I often proclaim devastation: and the word of the Lord is made a reproach to me, and a derision all the day. Then I said: I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name: and there came in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was wearied, not being able to bear it. — Jeremias xx.7-9.DRC

Bishop Gries, noted, “It is practically in the job description for a prophet to be martyred.” Jeremias was not a happy man, and not a silent one. He performed his mission, and suffered in it. Jeremias was not a volunteer, he was compelled to do what he did.

Holy Name was in the process of rehabbing several stained glass panes.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

They are looking for the great white hope

They ain't got one.

In the press we read for the desire of a new candidate to rise for the Republicans. The Republicans have many candidates announced for the presidency: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Jr., Gary Johnson, Fred Karger, Andy Martin, Thaddeus McCotter, Jimmy McMillan, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Jonathon Sharkey, (Tim Pawlenty-quit). They know some of them are losers. The barrel of crazy for Republicans comes in hogshead size, several of the candidates have made it overflow. So they call for more.

Donald Trump floats to the top (a balloon of hot air will do that). He insists the legally elected sitting president was born in Kenya (when we all know he is from the fourth planet of Rigel 5). Barack Obama has them show the long form birth certificate, he cracks jokes about 'the Donald' in front of a pissed off Donald (quick someone make angry mallard calls), and oh yeah, almost simultaneously Osama bin Hydin is found. Remember him, the fellow gwbjr started two wars over (that haven't ended) wasn't interested in. Donald suffers deflation. This is the great businessman, who knows everything, that had a casino go bankrupt.

Some want Christie of New Jersey. He of heavy girth and bad temper, and asthma. Some want Ryan of Wisconsin, the Ayn Rand acolyte that wants to eliminate medicare and social security. Remember Giuliani? Remember Gingrich? There is always the half a term governor of Alaska who is trying to be a television star. Did it work for that tall actor from Tennessee that was on some Law and Order episodes for 38 seconds?, and is now advertising reverse mortgages?

Rick Perry, one of the good hair governors of the most obnoxious of these United States, well not that united, he wanted to secede. Didn't Lincoln, 1865†, end that question? Remember, Lincoln the Republican who got no southern votes, and enfranchised [officially XVth amendment 1870] a race of people that the Republicans have been trying to disenfranchise for the last forty years [and abandoned in 1876]? It is a strange country, when a texican president (LBJ) who extended civil and voting rights for negroes, he began an exodus of white southerners to the new promised land of the white zion of the g.o.p. That exodus is virtually complete. Lyndon Johnson, the last liberal president we had, was a real texan. He was actually born there, and was a Democrat his entire life (claims the bushes could never make). Perry was a Democrat once, but he saw the situation that anglo-wasps were gonna be a minority in that party. His act may play in Lubbock, it won't nationwide. I have to correct myself, [with him] it is not hogshead barrels, it's tin barrels of texas crude.

“...if by a 'Liberal' they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the peopletheir health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil libertiessomeone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'Liberal', then I'm proud to say I'm a 'Liberal.'” — President John F. Kennedy. 14 September 1960.

“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.”—President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 26 October 1939.
Some years ago [1967] a play, and then a movie [1970] were made called, “The Great White Hope”. It was a fictionalisation of Jack Johnson from Texas. He was the first negro heavyweight champion of the world (1908–1915). The anger this arose in white racists was great. Jack London called for a 'Great White Hope' to arise. Boxing promoters found a series of great white hopes, and they lost. They had the great middleweight champion Stanley Ketchel (Stanislaw Kiecał) fight. In the twelfth round he knocked Johnson down, Johnson slowly recovered and made a punch that knocked Ketchel out, and separated Ketchel from several teeth. Johnson then fought former light-heavyweight champion Philadelphia Jack O'Brien (Joseph Francis Hagen) to a draw.

James J. Jeffries had been an unbeaten heavyweight champion when he retired in 1905.
Jeffries had been a truly athletic man. He could also bear great punishment. The 'Fight of the Century', as it was billed, took place in Reno on the 4th of July 1910. The 15th round ended with a TKO victory for Johnson. Celebrations, riots, and counter-riots took place across the country. The fight was filmed and made a bundle. Immediately, it was protested against. In 1912 Congress made it illegal to have such films cross state lines, the law lasted till 1940.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guelph Treasure

Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony in the north, and Bavaria in the south (which included modern Austria and border marches south) was only second, as a german prince, to the emperor Barbarossa (Frederick II). When Henry fell afoul of Frederick II, his lands, power, and wealth were diminished, he went to Normandy. Henry's second wife was sister to Richard, Couer de Lion.

Henry was enfeoffed with Saxony in 1142, and Bavaria 1156. In 1157-8 he founded München (Munich), in 1159 Lübeck in '59. In 1172-3 he travels to Byzantium, and Palestine. Emperor Manuel I Komnenos gave him several items to add to what became known as the Welfenschatz (Guelph Treasure). In 1173 cathedrals are begun in Braunschweig (Brunswick)[it had been a church since 1030 and Countess Gertrude had the first four outstanding objects, three are now in Cleveland], and Lübeck. Henry dies in 1195, and is buried in the cathedral (as are his descendants). The cathedral and collegiate church is consecrated December 29, 1226, and named after Saints Blaise, John the Baptist, and Thomas Becket. The Welf family added items for three centuries. In 1543 the city, and church join the protestant heresy, and has remained lutheran.

In 1930, the deposed and last duke put the remaining items up for sale. Two frankfurters, and a new yorker bought the Welfenschatz for eight million reichsmarks (about five million dollars). Public exhibitions were held in Frankfort, and Berlin. Catholics on trains arrived to view the reliquaries, and saints' relics. Then the show hit New York City. The dealers sold the first six pieces to the Cleveland Art Museum (it has nine? now). Eight pieces were sold to Art Institute of Chicago. Most of the remaining pieces are in the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) -- Staatlichen Museum Berlin, through the involvement of the Prussian Prime Minister, Hermann Göring.

In early 1931 the Welfenschatz was in Cleveland. The three dealers made a gift to the Cleveland Museum of this reliquary for a bone of St. Sebastian. A braunschweiger goldsmith made this final reliquary in 1484. For years it, and some other pieces of the Guelf's, were the first items one saw when entering the Museum. After going through the original entrance there it was, it has lost that pride of place. The museum was closed for nearly three years (2005-8), and it went on tour.
When the museum re-opened it was put in mediæval sculpture on a lower floor. In a large plexiglass cage. The lower floors are beset with new false ceilings, and many inadequate, low lumen lights, or too glaring spot lights. I did not know gray light was possible.The art of western civilisation prior to 1500 is in bad light. The workmen install what they are told to.

Reliquaries are mere containers. They house bits of material that were part of the bodies of saints, or items they touched. One of the relics of the Guelfs had a piece of the true cross. The spiritual value of these relics, were of such great sentimental, and sacramental value, that, extravagance of material to house them was not extravagance. People were awed to be in proximity of a relic, often a bone, of St. Sebastian, or Lawrence, or John the Baptist. Their souls abide in heaven with God, but this portion of them is still here. With the protestant heresies this was challenged, often with complete destruction of the relics, and pillaging, and trafficking in the base materials. One no longer felt devotion to the person, but gold, silver, and minerals were wealth.

I remember going on a grade school outing to the Cleveland Museum. All the children got a kick out of the armour court [which was immediately in the room to the right (east)], and the horse mounted with a fully outfitted knight. I did too, i also was amazed that there was a bone of Saint Sebastian* there. My father told me of such objects, this was supposed to be on, or in the altar of a church. Years later, this thought came to my mind, and i thought people should come on pilgrimage. Some art tourists do act in that sort of manner for certain pieces. This relic of Sebastian, is more important than the gilt silver, and rock crystal around it; and of course the work of the smitty Werner Korff is more important than the drip painting of Pollock, and the schlock and con that is of 'contemporary modern art' that the museum is proud of having, and some people flock to. I was in the museum for the first time in several years, and got there after two o'clock. When we were told they were closing in five minutes, i had just made it to the El Greco Crucifixion. It is one of several he did. Read, or listen to Sr. Wendy Beckett of why it is so marvelous. I had to ask one of the usher/guards how to get back to the garage. He gave me wonderful, detailed instructions; i was confused, he was accurate, “turn left at the ball”. Behind a glass door, there it was: something between a gourd, and a christmas tree ornament, made of wood, and the size of a large easy chair. That had not been there the last time i was. The museum's description of the thing is likewise jargon, and nonsense:
“Organic in form and media, the free-standing sculpture Alien Huddle consists of three inter-connected spheres. Puryear’s craftsmanship employs both the media in service of the form and elevates the properties of the media itself. The arrangement of planks enveloping each sphere heightens the volumetric nature of the sculpture. Trained as a furniture maker, Puryear attached the red cedar planks to the pine core without metal fixtures that would obscure the lush, unfinished wood surface.”
As i had said, it has been sometime since i visited. I would soon like to go again and see what i didn't get to, and review some favorites. I should have the opportunity, unlike that with the many churches closed by Richard Lennon. I can go to Westerville and see the loot and booty of several parish treasures he sold off.
*there is a parish in Akron of Saint Sebastian, but what of i know of it (certainly not then) now, it is better it stays at the museum

Of Republican bullies (cowards)

Ohio in the 2010 repuke wave cast John Kasich as governor. It did not take long for serious buyer's remorse to set in. Kasich shot off his mouth as if he was a dictator. He wanted to be a general in the war against labor. He shoved S.B. 5 into law. An extremely successful recall petition drive has put the repeal on the ballot. Only now (and here) does he want to talk. As Laura Clawson sarcastically writes, “he's a 'believer in talking,' not because he's a bully who's afraid he's going to lose”.

Now, Wisconsin has recalled and replaced two Republican state senators with Democratic senators. All sorts of shenanigans were employed by the Republicans before this. Walker is more stupid, but otherwise the exact same sort of governor as Kasich. Walker went on national cable television to say, that voters “told us not just in Tuesday's results but I think they told us in the months leading up to it, they want us to do more to work together and so that's exactly what we're going to do”. Walker can also be recalled next year, he wants no one to talk about recalls now. Yes, when he can try anything (and get away with it), he doesn't want to negotiate, or relent. When he fears for his job, it is let us talk, and don't go extreme in action.

This is why repukes should not be given power. They think they are Henry VIII, until it falls apart, and then they are sniveling shits.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Republican speak: job creator = profit taker

Franklin Roosevelt was a job creator. He had the federal government hire people to work. The term 'job creator' used now, wants to suggest something like that, but certainly does not. Those who use the term do not want what Roosevelt did, perversely they argue the government should not hire people to do work. 'Job creator' is a bullshit term that camouflages 'profit taker'.

'Job creator' bills are sometimes 'free trade' bills, which kill jobs in this country, and are job destroyers. They also are anti-environmental, pro-pollution, and anti-worker rights. 'Job creator' bills are sometimes anti-regulation bills, which destroys environment, and creates illness, kills wildlife, kills workers, kills consumers.

But this is the Republican use of language. So very often, it is the exact opposite in meaning as in presentation. Where is the journalist that points this out? Very often, they use the same lying language the Republicans do. The Republicans are remarkably successful in winning the terms of debate.

The individuals who are called 'job creators' are not interested in creating jobs, even when they do. They want profit, and if profit means lay-offs, or moving jobs overseas, it serves them well; if people are hired here, well that's fine too, especially if they take less pay than they would have years ago. These 'job creators' are just capitalists looking for an easy buck, and if government can give to them, they are pleased.

Right now, there is a heavy propaganda campaign by the petroleum industry. They are filling television with very densely wordy actors, who are physically diverse in bodily appearance and are wearing modest clothing. They wish them portray the average person on the street. The only thing on their mind is that the oil companies MUST NOT BE TAXED. The oil companies are 'job creators'. We all know what a fine citizen British Petroleum is. What causes the price of gasoline to rise? Anything, including a belching, farting camel in the Sahara.

A few days ago [August 11], the presumptive Republican candidate, Romney, said at the Iowa State Fair, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Romney when he ran Bain [how à propos, bane: death, poison, harm,
killer, woe, destruction; the cause of any of the previous] Capital, he made millions in corporate takeovers that created unemployment. Remember, amongst the shitload of Republicans, he is almost the only sane one, and not an employee of Fox.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

St. Lawrence at St. Mary's

The vigil Mass, Saturday at St. Mary of the Assumption in Collinwood [Cleveland] also celebrated the patron saint of St. Lawrence Parish, which met for the Mass. The pastor of St. Mary's, Fr. John Kumse, after the homily on the Gospel told the story of the martyred deacon of Rome. At the end of Mass, he made a public appreciation of the Laurentian émigré diaspora coming to St. Mary's.

August 10th is Saint Lawrence's Day. That fell on a weekday, so the commemoration was done to-day, so as to get a bigger gathering. Saint Lawrence's choir sang in the loft, more in slovene than in english. Several sacramentals from St. Lawrence's parish had been redeemed by St. Mary's after Lennon had the diocese ransom the goods. There are several windows, statues and paintings from St. Lawrence's church in place at St. Mary's. Some of the members of St. Lawrence raised a collection to offset the bounty paid.

Beyond that, Lennon had received a final payment of $550,000 from the parish account of St. Lawrence after he evicted them. All in all, Lennon made a small fortune off of this suppressed parish, and there is still money to be made.
“Lawrence, the renowned Deacon of the Roman Church, confirmed his service of charity by martyrdom under Valerian (258), four days after the decapitation of Pope Sixtus II. According to a tradition widely diffused by the fourth century, he patiently sustained a terrible martyrdom on the grid-iron, having distributed the goods of the community to the poor whom he regarded as the true treasure of the Church.” — from the Roman missal

He[roman prefect] demands of the guileless guardian[Lawrence] of the sanctuary that the church wealth on which his greedy mind was set should be brought to him. But the holy deacon showed him where he had them stored, by pointing to the many troops of poor saints, in the feeding and clothing of whom he had a store of riches which he could not lose, and which were the more entirely safe that the money had been spent on so holy a cause. — from St. Leo the Great's sermon [85] on St. Lawrence

Explaining the dysfunction

A question was asked of Santiago 'Charlie' Feliciano Junior, after he gave his presentation at Shaker Hts. Main Library late Saturday morning, “How could he, or anyone, remain Catholic? ”. He answered that the Church was “theologically correct, but administratively buffoons...they are the pharisees and sanhedrin of our time”. Yes, those were his words, and he is fully correct.

The local press was invited to come, none did. A representative from Congressman Dennis Kucinich's office came. Most of the rest were members of Code Purple, and friends of Charlie Feliciano. There was just over a score of people in the room.

Feliciano had been the chief legal counsel for the Diocese of Cleveland from 1985 to 2000. He became acquainted with its problems. In February 2000, after being shunned by the chancery for being honest and honorable, he suffered a stroke. Since then he has been blacklisted. He is not silent. He spoke for an hour and a half relating local, and national, problems. He mentioned name after name, incident after incident.

Father Gilbert Gauthe, Lafayette Louisiana, was the first pedophile priest brought to trial in the United States. CBS's 60 Minutes told the story to the nation. The molesting pervert Gauthe was finally indicted in 1984. Well, the son-of-a-bitch was not the only miscreant. The Pope wanted to know. John Paul II sent an auxiliary bishop, with an ample legal education, from Cleveland, Alexander James Quinn to investigate. The Mighty Quinn lied by minimizing, and localizing the scandal. Lafayette had more than one pervert priest, and so did other dioceses. Cleveland certainly did.

The demands for settlement in Cleveland were not extravagant. Bishop Anthony Pilla did not like paying, he preferred cover up, on one occasion driving a pervert priest, F. James Mulica, to the aeroport so that he was away from the rape crime scene.

We are told there is a financial crisis in the parishes. No, as Feliciano maintains, “financial crisis is not in the parishes; financial crisis is in maladministration and larceny downtown”. The insurance fund is dissipated. This is the highest cost for parishes other than those with schools. What certain parishes were said to 'owe', were assessments. Assessments are 'revenue' [tax] paid to the bishop. Cleveland has the highest assessments in the country. Some assessments were forgiven, the new bishop, Richard Lennon, demands payment in full. The parishes closed are those with cash in the bank. This was brought out by research done by Gayle Hudak of Code Purple. The figures are not all available, but the portrait is already fully recognisable. The public mendacity of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Ohio is unending.

The parishes must pay highly inflated insurance, they must buy them from Republican party donor and appointee, Umberto Fedeli. There was, and is, a circle of corruption amongst Pilla, and other clerics, with businessmen who deal with the diocese and are connected with Republican politicians in Columbus, and Washington. They are all hogs on the same trough. Alex Machaskee, retired president and publisher of Cleveland's Plain Dealer, helped to squelch stories. Sam Miller, of Forest City Enterprises, has protected Pilla, and the diocesan real estate can go at a bargain to his property interests.

Feliciano likens the whole convoluted mess in the Church to a “dysfunctional family”. The membership has been told repeatedly, “cause no scandal to the church”. Anyone who speaks up “betrays the family”. The organisation becomes paramount, whatever the organisation is in this country — the military, the company, the family, the church, et cetera. Well, the scandal is not in the telling of the tale, it is in the enacting of the tale.

Friday, August 12, 2011

aphorism for the defense

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”
— Mary Flannery O'Connor in correspondence 1955

Which is a flare more lyrical than “it is true even though you don't want it so”. O'Connor wrote in seclusion from the family farm. She was not a public figure. This thought needs to be spoken in public. We have a portion of America that is delusional. We have others that are simply lying with relish, and the former are programmed in aggressive idiocy, “What's your source?”, “I don't like your facts”.

And to counter a different sort of idjit, the truth is an absolute defense against slander and libel. We are not in jolly olde England, where the titled can sue people for speaking unpleasant truths. Also, concerning liars being upset and miffed when called for lying, well if you stop lying, then people would not call you liars.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Art Deco meets the New Deal

note: this has been on another site, and after two days it did not register in a search engine; i am cross posting it here. The other website is having trouble registering, i was planning to end this one, and use that one.
After World War I, the US suffered twelve years of Republican rule everywhere, and Klan rule some places.
The roaring '20s was alive with Prohibition, and the associated criminal activity to provide the public with contraband, and that business network branched into other unlawful, and often seedy enterprises. The racket that was banking, 'lawful' industry, and Wall Street led into the Great Depression that began in the autumn of 1929.

November 1932 saw Franklin Delano Roosevelt win the general election, to the dismay of the bankers and other millionaires. They planned a coup d'état that was made public by Major General Smedley Butler USMC, who refused to overthrow a Democratic government in his own country.

Roosevelt saved America by the creation of the New Deal, the Republicans have never forgiven him. Many programmes were created for relief, recovery, and reform. Republican obstructionism was everywhere, especially in the Supreme Court. Most of the press was Republican, and propagandised against Roosevelt in the editorial pages. After recovery was succeeding, the Republicans hindered and rolled back recovery. A parallel to to-day is quite easy, unfortunately Barack Obama is not as brave or as tenacious as Mr. Roosevelt, and the Republicans are even more stupid, and just as greedy, vicious, and dishonest.

On the near west side of Cleveland, we can still see some of the still bearing fruit of Mr. Roosevelt's New Deal. The Kentucky School (Paul Dunbar temporary) is still up. Its cornerstone reads, '1939'; a product of the Public Works Administration, one of the many new government agencies that saved the US from becoming a third world country.
All over the United States, one can find similar edifices. Toledo, Ohio is proud of their zoo, and there are buildings with such stones there. Such stones can be found on bridges in Lorain, and Hocking counties in Ohio. Ohio has 88 counties, it would be interesting to see how many benefited: hospitals, schools, libraries, water and sewage plants, bridges, post offices, town halls. Ohio was a populous state then, what of thinly populated Republican Utah? 233 buildings by Roosevelt and crew. In some library (perhaps even a library so built) there must be a very large catalog, or listing, of these projects for the entire land. Many are still in use, and the country's population was far less than half of what it is now. Franklin Roosevelt's domestic and economic policies are a highpoint of American history. It is beyond shameful what the anti-Roosevelt party has done to this country in recent years.

John Carmody was an able administrator, who was given a series of top jobs (unlike the promotions of failures that was standard by the unelected president we suffered through in the last decade). Carmody was chief engineer of the Civil Works Administration in 1933. In 1935 he was on the National Labor Relations Board. In 1936 he was deputy administrator of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), administrator of REA in 1937. In June 1939, he headed the Federal Works Agency, which covered the Works Progress Administration, Public Works Administration, Public Roads Administration, and the United States Public Buildings Administration. In 1941 he was given war time positions. Republicans would call him, and all New Dealers, 'communists'.

That was the social, economic, political and practical value of those New Deal expenditures. There was also an artistic one. On the other corner of the Kentucky School alongside West 38th is an allegorical female figure with flowing hair, kneeling amongst plants, holding a tablet, with a river crossing her lap, and the sphere of the earth, and a star behind her. It is a bas-relief on several blocks in a late deco style.
Art deco was not just in grand figures, it was also in little embellishments, sometimes of functional elements. The school that shares the same parking lot, used to be called William Dean Howells, now it is Garret A. Morgan. It too was part of the same New Deal. Here a stylized metal grate is book ended by simple decorating stone.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What’s the difference?

Saint Lawrence has held four advertised Masses at the nearby Slovenian Home. St. Peter has held weekly Mass at the Baker Building. I have been asked twice by a reporter, “What’s the difference?”

Both parishes were suppressed by the ordinary, Richard Lennon. Lennon has peddled their property, even though Peter’s is still extant [according to Rome]. Both parish communities like their parish, and the company of their members; that is why they still meet.

Saint Lawrence’s community has known each other longer. Saint Lawrence’s parishioners are older: a higher average age, and a higher proportion of inter-generational membership, id est, they have pensioners whom grandparents were members. Saint Lawrence’s community is more homogenous in ethnicity [slovene]. They have not had a pastor for many years, their priest (that was the administrator) had been, and is, in a nursing home.

In the last year they held the church, at least six Benedictines said the only Sunday Mass. A missionary, who was a son of the parish, said Mass. A retired bishop, who had been a priest there, said Mass. The pastor of Immaculate Heart said Mass there. In short, the parish remained vital, ‘vibrant’ [a word Lennon has admitted he cannot define], financially prosperous, and no drain on the diocese.

Saint Peter’s has a younger community, with few inter-generational memberships, diverse in nationality and a resident pastor. Saint Peter’s is a more ‘progressive’ parish with even more resources.

Now, Saint Peter’s has continued just as before, but at a new address. Saint Lawrence has met as a congregation four times since eviction, but in a more social gathering. The Mass is a meal, but after Mass, Saint Lawrence has had a sit down meal, and sometimes music and dancing. A rump of Saint Lawrence has also met for Mass at the 10 a.m. slovene language Mass at St. Mary in Collinwood. It is quite evident they enjoy each other’s companionship.

What’s the difference? The Laurentians meet ad hoc, while the Petrines meet pro forma.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

another shared import

I hesitate to put this here. i have started a new journal site, and two of its essays are here already. This is a third. Apparently, there is a number [small] who come here about news of the Cleveland church crisis. This is a religious story, mostly, outside of that. There are monks at Gethsemani cogniscent of the situation here.

Proto-Abbey of the New World

Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, Trappist, Kentucky

In 1848 forty-three monks arrived in central Kentucky from the Abbey of Melleray, France; forty-four had left, one was lost at sea. Some trappist monks had been in the area from 1805-09. To-day, there are forty-five monks.

They arrived on 21 December 1848. They state themselves: the next day they prayed seven times, and every day they pray seven times, unto the end.

This praying, and singing is the reciting of the 'Office', the 'Hours'. This is the job of the monks. The canonical requirement of seven is found in the longest of the psalms. In two weeks they sing all the psalms, in addition to other hymns, there are readings, Benediction on Sunday evening, and of course daily Mass.
Seven times a day I praise you for your just decrees.—Psalm cxviii. 164. (Grail edition)

Perhaps, the best known resident was the spiritual writer, Thomas Merton†1968, Father Louie. The success of his auto-biography, The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), was a Godsend to the monastery, in both financial support, and increase in numbers to more than 300. Merton was also a poet, and an artist. He wrote on inter-faith dialogue, social and racial justice, and peace issues. Not every one was happy with this, including the government. To-day, there are few monks there who wish to discuss Merton, “he’s just another monk”.

Merton had a difficult relationship with the new abbot, Dom Fox (1948-68). Merton had just made his final vows.
grave of Fr. Louis Merton (center), his abbot (left) R.D. James Fox; people brought chairs while praying/meditating

The current abbot is Fr. Elias Dietz. The last 'hour' [they last from about 15 to 50 minutes] is compline. At its end the abbot gives a night blessing of water to all the monks, and guests. Then begins 'the great silence', which ends at the beginning of the next prayer hour. I find this moment, the most endearing of the monk’s day.
night blessing, after compline, sunday evening 31 July 2011; the great silence has begun

I remember, being hauled out of the hall by the principal, my junior year in high school, and being scolded, with the words, “ should be a trappist”. The Cistercians of the Strict Observance, O.C.S.O. — the Trappists are not that severe, at least in Kentucky. They talk to the guests. They encourage, but do not enforce silence. [I have been at work, and elsewhere, where the enforcement was much more severe, and mean-spirited—as well.] It is a pleasure not to hear mindless chatter. Some people, reflexively say polite terms in greeting and thanks; even this could be replaced with a smile and a gesture. The silence is supposed to increase the opportunity to hear God.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Priest leads prayer for the Casimiri

Saint Casimir-in-exile has been assembling in front of their closed church since 15 November 2009. They usually have two prayer leaders, and from time to time, other people fill in when either Wojciech (Wojtek), or Joseph is absent. From time to time, new people come. Recently, a young woman, considering the religious life, led the rosary. This Sunday (31 July), the prayer leader was a retired Roman-rite priest. He had heard about the Casimiri and came to see them. He became the prayer leader of the day.