Friday, July 26, 2013

Helmut Schüller

Fr. Helmut Schüller speaking on the calling of all the baptised to have co-responsibility, co-decision, and co-formation („Berufung aller Getauften zu Mitverantwortung, Mitentscheidung und Mitgestaltung“ ) in the life of the Church.

The Viennese born pastor, Helmut Schüller, is in the middle of a fifteen city speaking tour [click] across the United States and back again. Cleveland is city number seven. Thursday night he spoke to more than four hundred people at Independence Middle School, the next day he is to speak in downtown Cleveland. Ten different Catholic groups are sponsoring his tour. In Cleveland, the primary host is Future Church.

Father Schüller is a figure of prominence in his homeland. In 2006, he and Fr. Udo Fischer presented the Pfarrer-Initiative (Pastor Initiative) after concern over parish mergers and other matters. In 2011, a Call to Disobedience was made. The points of those two he elaborated in his local visit.

He compared the Councils of Vatican I and II. In the former an absolutist monarchy was described, in the latter (especially in the document, Lumen Gentium) the People of God were rediscovered by the hierarchy. The Communion of believers, the celebration of the Eucharist, and Solidarity with the People of God is central in the Church. Now we are in a period where much of Vatican II has been negated by absolutist bishops. Paul VI called for a Lex Ecclesiae Fundamentalis, Canonical Constitution of the Church. This was to come with the new Canon Law of 1983. It was not favored by John Paul II. This would have been akin to the United Nations Declaration of Rights in 1948, but for all citizens of the Church.

To-day we have two classes in the Church: one makes demands, and the other is to be obedient. On this Fr. Schüller is adamant, "obedience is misused and abused to keep people down", and "we as Germans know there has been more victims of obedience than disobedience". An accountability of  those that are in the hierarchy is needed, they need to be governed by laws, by a constitution. Abbots (who are equal in office to a bishop) are subject to a rule, and to election of members of the monastery, and can be removed.

The crowd was pleased with his belief (and that of the majority of German priests) that the priestly ministry should be opened up to married men, even more so when he made comments approving the justice of having women priests. Perhaps this was the favorite topic for this audience.

Fr. Schüller had many quotable sentences. He unnecessarily apologised for having an Austrian accented English, but Cleveland is an ethnic town of many accented people (if not the audience, then their parents and grandparents). It is not an Austrian accent that troubles us, it is a Boston accent.

He has found in the United States, the bishopry holding greater power than that which he was familiar with, and which would not be possible in Austria. Most American bishops control the incomes and welfare of their priests. Also, he was to have had a meeting with local Cleveland priests in a parish. Bishop Lennon's secretary told the hosting pastor, "No". So in America, new opportunities for ecumenism are made. That meeting took place on a Protestant property instead, as have several of the public speaking sites on the tour.
Sr. Christine Schenk, Fr. Helmut Schüller holding knotted red ribbons (in the spirit of Pentecost) to be given to the Abp. of  New York City, Timothy Dolan (Pres. Amer. Bishops' Conf.) for the inclusion of the laity in the administration of the Church.  Independence (Cleveland) Ohio.  25 July 2013.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Harlem River Blues

I like music, tune, lyrics, melody and harmony, a capella and orchestral. I am really comfortable with folk music, the kind that is sometimes called 'americana'. Several times [and] i have remarked on such lines that echo to me. A couple of years ago, Justin Townes Earle recorded his song Harlem River Blues. It is a readily singable song, it has the flavor of folk. He plays an adept guitar, and whether by solo or accompanied performance, it is a pleasing number.

In literature, dreary thought is not uncommon. Hamlet is suicidal, and considers it in depth in the famous soliloquy. Poe's Raven is a flight towards death. In lyrical music, there are very few songs (Ode to Billie Joe) that touch on suicide, but none advocate for it (falsely claimed for Don't Fear the Reaper). Earle here does something i think singular, he has an upbeat song planning suicide. Perhaps, it is to note that both, he and his musician father, have had drug and alcohol problems. 
Lord, I'm goin' uptown to the Harlem River to drown
Dirty water's gonna cover me over and I'm not gonna make a sound
Suicide by drowning is rather rare, historically, outside of Japan. There is a reflex to expel breathed in water. Panic sets in. It is not an easy, tranquil way to go. When supposed 'controlled drowning' is inflicted as a torture (a 'third degree' interrogation method), the victim has to be held down. The body will not allow stillness. What the bush-cheney régime called 'water boarding' is what the world calls 'water torture'. 

So I'm taking no chances, carrying over while I'm still good in His grace

If 'His' refers to God, then this is theologically interesting, and troublesome. Killing oneself  is considered a sin, although now many people recognise it as a symptom of madness, therefore the will is not free; and because of that, one's soul does not bear guilt (but it took a long time for our culture to see this). The singer consciously prepares throughout to off himself, yet believes himself to be in good graces. Now, on a further point, baptism by immersion is close to drowning; it is drowning when one can not hold his breath. Fatalities have occurred. Yet, in this one dies in Christ, and their old life, and is born again in a new life. If water makes it to the lungs, to survive the shock is like having life come back.

So, we have a great song that is an absurdity.

Monday, July 15, 2013

it has been a long, hard haul

The first of the parishes that had their Roman decrees enacted have been public for a year now. There has been various degrees of success in rebuilding the parishes. But the author of the troubles is unbowed. The people in the parishes do not see that they need to stand together against the common adversary. He resents their continued existence.

The two groups that publicly challenged Lennon are inactive. The first group, Endangered Catholics, disintegrated after the decrees came. Several members, including the president and the vice-president of the group, could not see the necessity of holding together and being resistant to the bishop's tyrannical behaviour. They were too narrowly focused on their own parishes. With a new bishop, this might not have been so bad; but with no change in the episcopacy, this was a foolhardy self inflicted wound. Richard Lennon is a mean, nasty prick, and always will be one. Overall, Lennon greatly benefited in the great reluctance his opposition showed towards him, and the deference they still had. The other group, Code Purple, shared significant overlap in its membership, and were more radical. They are a smaller group, but more willing to be confrontational. For those two reasons, they were far less mentioned by the press. Just too few Indians in the tribe, and to convenient to ignore them.

The parish is the Christian unit, not the diocese. The diocese was a Roman governmental administrative unit of subprovinces. The parish is a community of believers in God. The true founder of every parish is Jesus. We all know this...Jesus told us, “For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. * And what God has put together, man should not destroy. And we know this too, or at least some of us do. In the old country every peasant knew the faith did not allow the destruction of parishes; but in current America not so much.  St. Vincent of Lérins, †c.445, told us how to recognise what is Catholic, “quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est” (that which is believed everywhere, always, and by all). Later, this is what Bl. John Newman meant by 'sensus fidelium' (sense of the faithful). Those arguments have not been permitted to air in Cleveland's public square. Again, to the great benefit of the bishop.

In the fourth century, and some time thereafter, emperors and a majority of bishops were not trinitarian Catholics, but Arians. At the Council of Nicæa which wrote the Creed we recite at Mass, the Catholics prevailed over the Arians. St. Nicholas, depending on the translation of the verb, either hit, slapped, or punched Arius at Nicæa. After Nicæa it was not the bishops, Roman emperors, and Germanic kings that kept the faith, but the lay faithful. In liberated France, the people with Charles de Gaulle were so disgusted with non-representative bishops, whom were collaborators with the fascists that the French government had to negotiate with the Vatican to 'retire' several bishops. The two chief Vatican negotiators, both became popes.

De Gaulle was a solid, conservative Catholic, from a very Catholic family. After this he had no desire to go to a cathedral any longer, only his parish church in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises. Compare St. Louis, King of France, who is remembered for saying, I think more of the place where I was baptized than of Rheims Cathedral where I was crowned.. The parish is the Christian unit.

Cleveland's Catholics will suffer until, at least, Lennon's last day here.  At times there were glimmers of hope, the candle has long since been snuffed. An occasional skirmish may be won. Some defenses, and territory may hold; but it is going to be a long, slow trek in a dark tunnel.
* Matthew xviii. 20.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Martin Apts., Lakewood Ohio

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wellington Ohio

Wellington is proudest of Archibald Willard. Willard was a Union veteran, and painter. He painted subjects of war. His famous painting is The Spirit of '76 [originally, Yankee Doodle]. It was so popular at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, it toured the country thereafter. He painted it at least three times more. The image is visible about the village. The original was bought by the father of the drummer boy, which he presented to his hometown, Marblehead Massachusetts.
The date of this memorial is Armistice Day 1940. Notice, the 1917 war is not numbered. There was room for additional entries, for a time.
an addendum was needed
In the gilded age, after the War for Union, southern Lorain County made a lot of cheese. This building had the largest cheesemaker in the area.

The center of the village sits on the crossroad of SR18 and 58. Amongst the businesses, there are eateries, more than one pizzeria. This one had painted in the doorway this caricature.
A local credit union disguised an ATM machine as a one horse coach. The business end is on the other side. They camouflaged an ugly machine into a very large lawn decoration.

An ash tree on the edge of Wellington's St. Patrick's church's parking lot died. The pastor, Fr. James Reymann (then 88) had Bud Emerson carve a statue of the parish's patron out of the trunk last summer. Emerson carves with a chain saw. Emerson dated the work 10-17-12.

For a small parish, the grounds are meticulous. They have the modern church, and the original church on the property.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

San Diego Chalker

When first i went to school, the very first lesson i learned was:  there are different rules for different people. There is a lot of repetition and review in school. That one lesson was repeatedly demonstrated, and re-inforced.  Schooling is preparation for the outside world. That lesson is continually instructive.

We are innately aware of right and wrong. Back in school, children (pupils) often cry, "that's not fair"; not only when something does not benefit themselves. A good child recognises, and will defend his classmates, for a time. He eventually learns his plea not only can fall on deaf ears, but often on angry wills. He puts himself in jeopardy in speaking out. He learns to be silent, and look the other way. This becomes helpful when he leaves school. There is a power structure in school. Administrators are markedly above teachers, whilst there are teachers that are classroom tyrants (some use the familiar line "I am tough, but fair"), when something (in the eyes of children, at least) is remarkably capriciously onerous, it is the work of administration. Those who gravitate to power, even in a small pond, are wont to overextend and abuse power.
 criminal tools
In San Diego California such an absurd thing has occurred. This time, a jury of his peers saved a man from, possibly years, in prison. A trial began on 26 June, and ended in acquittal on the thirteen charges on the First of July. The supposed crime was chalking messages on public sidewalks, and one private, in front of three Bank of America branches. It should be noted that no banksters were ever charged in the near financial catastrophe that broke in 2008 and led to the largest economic Depression since 1929.

We should know some of the actors in this story: 
  • the defendant, Jeffrey David Olson
  • elected prosecuting attorney, possible mayoral candidate, Jan Goldsmith (do i have to mark R?)
  • presiding judge, Howard Shore (do i have to mark R?)
  • bank security chief, and former San Diego policeman, Darell Freeman
  • Mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner (Democrat)
Some of the alleged 'malicious vandalism' included: "No thanks, big banks", "Shame on Bank of America".

In response to this coming to trial, the mayor's statement was:
This young man is being persecuted for thirteen counts of vandalism stemming from an expression of political protest that involved washable children's chalk on a City sidewalk. It is alleged that he has no previous criminal record. If these assertions are correct, I believe this is a misuse and waste of taxpayer money. It could also be characterized as an abuse of power that infringes on First Amendment particularly when it is arbitrarily applied to some, but not all, similar speech.
This upset the judge. He imposed a gag order on the accused, and the mayor. The prosecutors made a motion to forbid the defense to use such language as: First Amendment, free speech, free expression. The judge agreed.

The bank demanded prosecution. The bank, certainly, had the option to sue in a civil case for damages. Amongst other things, the bank claims it cost $6000 for clean up. I suppose some of my readership may have had bank charges they thought excessive. But in a civil case things about the bank may have been open to discovery, but by using the full power of the state to punish a critic, the bank has the power to deter and crush individuals they find bothersome.

[We are living in an age which used the excuse of Osama bin Laden, and a 'war on terror' to enact measures against civil freedoms. Previous to that there were trade agreements that gave economic entities the power to abrogate laws, including those that protected the public, and the worker. We see government and corporations in league; Mussolini defined that as 'fascism'. Corporations are defining criticism as 'terrorism'. The Supreme Court defined campaign money as free speech. Romney defined corporations as people.]

So the bank had their security officer lobby and press his former comrades in the police department, and had a compliant politician as the prosecutor, and a business 'friendly' judge. So this party coalition of power was arrayed against one private citizen, and malcontent.

The jury decided 'malicious' defacement was not proven. This is good, not only is Mr. Olson free to express his opinions in society, it is further a precedent allowing other people to chalk sidewalks and pavement. If you walk about, you will see a common chalking is done for squares of hopscotch. The children of San Diego, and perhaps all of America, may feel no temerity in the pursuit of this sporting activity. There will not be 'chalk control' against the possession, and the criminalisation of the use, of chalk. We will be able to bear chalk.

I have in the past presented on these pages sidewalk chalkings as art [click, and here, here too]. There are a few comediannes on youtube. One of them did some travel to  Londra, Roma, Parigi, San Pietroburgo. She showed a series of images, and would describe them, "art, art, art, ____ art, art, art, ___ art".


Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Now, i have luddite and antiquarian tendencies. I have an aversion to being sold. I was not an early adopter of technologies, nor do i cheerlead. My essays and photographs are hosted by "blogger", which has its templates, settings, and glitches. I was not particularly familiar with them all. I quickly set up 'blog' sites, and did not pay much attention.

There is a section listed as 'posts and comments':

When i set this up, i did not want to be 'spammed'. People, or computer programmes, would put on advertisements or gobbledygook; so i ticked 'yes' for word verification. Some people are frustrated by that. Their settings allow for anonymous comments, i cannot object to that, after all i am anonymous. They have other categories, which i am not too familiar with.

I also did not want to argue with idjits, or give them an audience. Those who fell in that category, included lennonists, who if i remember right, were most active during parish evictions. Their bullshit was the 'party line', and the editorialists of the Plain Dealer were happy to write and publish that sort of thing. Also, the diocese had no shortage of access to present their propaganda (much of it false). There was maybe three such individuals who wrote to me. At least one was upset, that i would not publish his commentary. A couple of comments i had on for a bit, and then realised they were of that ilkage. One person basically told me i was persecuting the sainted bishop, and i was in danger of losing my soul [if not already]. Of course, these people were anonymous, as were pissed off Republicans. boo hoo

Well last night, i looked over the setting selections, for one journal it was incomplete. So i allow for anonymous comments, but now without word verification [time being], and always with moderation.

Well, within an half hour this comment was in my inbox:

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[deleted, sic]

I have not done this with that one, but i would wager if you were to put that sentence in a search engine, it would have appeared in several comment sections. Cheap, shitty trick. They thought they were slick. Why would i advertise their schlock and dreck gratis?

Early this morning, i got this:

Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.
Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

Feel free to surf to my web page
[deleted, sic]

For personal gain, there is no shortage of individuals to accost you. Have you analysed television (or other media) commercials and advertisements?  Mercenary mercantilism has neither dignity, nor consideration; but plenty of energy.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tim Willis

Just recently i saw a foto on a photographer's page, and Friday past, Leon Bibb from WEWS 5 broadcast a goodly piece on Tim Willis, monster car mechanic, builder, and racer. The story was almost five minutes, about triple the length of most local news stories. I have known, Mr. Willis does vehicular work. I did not know, until then, about the robot. 

He is next door to a bus turnaround (now barricaded by plastic orange fencing), and on the other side of Central is Saint Adalbert. I had passed his property a few times. The Fairfax neighborhood bridges East 55 with University Circle, and the two medical behemoths. East 55th is often torn up, and Carnegie has a passel of cameras, and both have too much traffic.

The television story spurred me to see if he had the robot out and about. He did. He was entertaining children, brought by their mothers. They were climbing and investigating the rides. He told them, repeatedly, there is a casket in the one van, "Don't open it". He the adults told, there is a mannequin inside, and they will open it. In a few moments, children screamed and bolted from the van. People, who know him, are respectfully proud that he stays in the neighborhood he grew up in.

His humour (and talent) is joyous, and it brings good feelings to people. He truly enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences. He talks and talks. Someone should schedule him on Letterman, or other national programmes.
In January the work began on this unnamed robot. It took five and a half months to complete, with many nights of work and redesign. The fingers move, by joint. Each finger has three pneumatic cylinders. Robot is made from a quality Pennsylvanian carbon alloy steel. The original feet were too insufficient for support. Straight feet causes one to topple, to walk properly the feet need to be splayed. Robot is six feet wide, wider than the sidewalk. The sword weighs 150 pounds, and officialdom was worried of its sharpness being perilous. [Permits and permission of barely comprehending private and civil bureaucrats were constant obstacles.] Other objects were made for the other hand, and upper arms. Robot also spews fire.

Timothy thinks the robot is lonesome and needs a missus, and perhaps a dog. The mechanical dog would be more complicated.
operating the controls for the robot
As visitors and passing neighbors came and went, Tim greeted, chatted, and gleefully explained, and demonstrated. He tells people, he is 54 and now retired from racing. His energy is almost that of a child. He radiates happiness, and his work pleases and amazes many.

He brings his vehicles to many local neighborhood festivals. Upcoming is the Puerto Rican festival, and a week at the Cuyahoga County Fair.  His biggest local audience is the Patricio parade. The one year he painted some vehicles shades of green for that, for a time they remained so. They have returned to the older paint scheme.
 St. Patrick Cleveland parade 2011
 St. Patrick Cleveland parade 2013
21 October 2009 St. John on East Ninth Street
Tim brought a few of his many vehicles, a couple of times, to offer Richard Lennon travel out of Cleveland. The banner on this trailer reads:
 "Bishop your ride is here
You have got to go"
Cathedral security called the police department. Tim, and his vehicles were told to leave.
But before that, Timothy Willis spoke on the concerns of parishes, and parishioners.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cyril and Methodius

Vatican City issued these three stamps on 22 November 1963 to commemorate the eleven hundred years since Cyril (Constantine the Theologian) and his brother Methodius' arrival to Greater Moravia, and the beginning of the translation of the Holy Scriptures into (what is now called) Old Slavonic, and the creation of the Glagolithic precursor to the Cyrillic alphabet.
As i have mentioned before [click, here too ] these peripatetic brothers were apostles to many lands, and as they wandered to many lands, their feast day has wandered about calendars. Different nations have celebrated, and do still on different days. From 1887 to 1969 on the general Roman calendar their feast day was on the 7th of July. For the Czechs and Slovaks it is still a national holiday on the 5th of July.
In Russia, the feast day is 24 May. For that day, this year, Russia released this souvenir issue for the 1150th anniversary of the Slavonic evangelisation. Another stamp was issued the same day from Belarus.
A joint issue from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Vatican City. 
This is the Slovak one from June 12th 2013.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Good Pope John

Tornando a casa, troverete i bambini. Date una carezza ai vostri bambini e dite: Questa è la carezza del Papa

3 September 2000 Popes Pius IX, and John XXIII were beatified. Two days before, the Vatican issued this stamp. The English translation of John's handwriting is "When you get home, you will find the children, give them a hug and tell them: this is a hug from the Pope." This is from his "Speech to the Moon", Discorso alla Luna [click, or here] delivered on 11 October 1962. Earlier, that day he opened the Second Vatican Council. He spoke this to the people in St. Peter's Square and the world from his apartment extemporaneously, after they had a torchlight procession.

“Dear sons and daughters,

I feel your voices! Mine is just one lone voice, but it sums up the voice of the whole world.

And here, in fact, all the world is represented here tonight. It could even be said that even the moon hastens close tonight, that from above, it might watch this spectacle that not even St Peter's Basilica, over its four centuries of history, has ever been able to witness.

We ask for a great day of peace. Yes, of peace! 'Glory to God, and peace to men of goodwill.'' If I asked you, if I could ask of each one of you: where are you from? The children of Rome, especially represented here, would respond: ah, we are the closest of children, and you're our bishop. Well, then, sons and daughters of Rome, always remember that you represent 'Roma, caput mundi' ['Rome, the capital of the world'] which through the design of Providence it has been called to be across the centuries.

My own person counts for nothing -- it's a brother who speaks to you, become a father by the will of our Lord, but all together, fatherhood and brotherhood and God's grace, give honor to the impressions of this night, which are always our feelings, which now we express before heaven and earth: faith, hope, love, love of God, love of brother, all aided along the way in the Lord's holy peace for the work of the good. And so, let us continue to love each other, to look out for each other along the way: to welcome whoever comes close to us, and set aside whatever difficulty it might bring.

When you head home, find your children. Hug and kiss your children and tell them: 'This is the hug and kiss of the Pope.' And when you find them with tears to dry, give them a good word. Give anyone who suffers a word of comfort. Tell them 'The Pope is with us especially in our times of sadness and bitterness.' And then, all together, may we always come alive -- whether to sing, to breathe, or to cry, but always full of trust in Christ, who helps us and hears us, let us continue along our path.”

 stamp issue of 12 June 2013, on  a mini-sheet of nine with text from Discorso alla Luna

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ships parade into Cleveland

a topsail schooner, the Pride of Baltimore II in the haze beyond the breakwall

the brigantine Playfair was the first to enter  
  final 4 of the 8 that came in after 4 pm Wednesday
(left to right) Denis Sullivan, Lynx, Pride of Baltimore II,  Sørlandet
riggers handling sails on the full-rigged ship Sørlandet 
Pride of Baltimore II with the Ft. McHenry flag

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

East Ninth Street Pier Cleveland

 "selfie" in red and black
 juvenile ring-billed gull
  Appledore IV
  William G. Mather Cleveland Cliffs Museum