Thursday, April 17, 2014

Church bankruptcy plan to be put to vote

The Associated Press reported at the Wisconsin Law Journal on today's hearing on the disclosure statement for the plan of reorganization in our Archdiocese of Milwaukee's bankruptcy.
"Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley told the archdiocese’s lawyers during a Thursday hearing to explain why the plan would give money to one group of victims and not others instead of letting the victims decide among themselves how the money would be divided.

"That information will be included in documents sent to creditors who will vote on the plan. Kelley will consider the votes in deciding whether to approve the plan."

Court file document 2638 is a PDF with attached Audio File of the hearing, run time 04:54:17.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Keeper of Love’s Flame: Regine Olsen and Soren Kierkegaard

Morten Hoi Jensen reviews Regines gade: Historien om Kierkegaards forlovede og Schlegels hustru, by Joakim Garff, at the Los Angeles Review of Books. (via Arts & Letters Daily)

Beautiful Vintage Photos of Bygone Bookstores

Slideshow by Emily Temple at FlavorWire (via University Bookman Twitter feed)

How Dante Saved My Life

Rod Dreher on how, once again, 'A midlife crisis is cured by The Divine Comedy', at The American Conservative (via University Bookman Twitter feed)

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

James Bowman posts at Arma Virumque,
"I wonder how many of today’s advocates of women in combat roles share this mistaken belief that they can hold on to their utopian beliefs along with their rifles?"

In 'E.E. Cummings,' Susan Cheever offers a modest narrative of the poet

Steven Ratiner reviews E.E. Cummings: A Life, by Susan Cheever, at The Washington Post. (via Arts & Letters Daily Twitter feed)

In Defense of Edmund Burke

At Catholic Vote, Carson Holloway answers criticism of Burke by Craig Shirley at Breitbart. (via University Bookman Twitter feed)
There is a symphonic Finnish prog-rock concept album about Scrooge McDuck, by Jason Heller, A.V. Club. "Tuomas Holopainen, keyboardist of Finnish prog-metal band Nightwish, is releasing his solo debut, Music Inspired By The Life And Times Of Scrooge, on April 15, and it has nothing to do with Dickens. [or Carl Barks] Instead it’s a symphonic concept album based on Don Rosa’s graphic novel The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck, which traces the origin of the beloved Disney character."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

"Do you want to know the best way to ensure your child grows up to be a faithful, knowledgeable, and active Catholic?"

"It’s simple: 1) Raise them as a Protestant AND 2) Only let them date Catholics and promise to pay all their wedding and honeymoon expenses if they get married in the Catholic Church. That second step is key. ..."
Portrait of the American Catholic Convert: Strength in New Numbers, 1964 weblog, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)

Liturgical Translations and Two Instructions in Perspective

"Vague, imprecise, ideological and at times quirky translations that astonishingly moved away from biblical language have for almost two generations hindered effective catechesis in some important languages areas. Beautiful and ancient prayers that are a synthesis of the spiritual doctrine and teaching of the Fathers of the Church, with deep biblical roots, were lost to view, and this in the middle of an unprecedented religious crisis." --Cardinal George Pell, address delivered at the conference "Gratitude and commitment to a great movement of ecclesial communion", observing the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Liturgy.
(via Adoremus Bulletin)

Friday, April 11, 2014

WIAA to consider multiplicative inverse "Three-Fifths" rule

Michael Flaherty comments at WPRI.
"When the governing body of high school sports meets in Stevens Point on April 16, its members will vote on an odd, special rule to require the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association to treat private school sports teams as though their schools were much larger.
"Proponents argue that private schools have unique access to athletes through their prestige and tuition assistance. To level the playing field, so to speak, a number of small schools propose requiring private schools to count each student as 1.65 students for the purposes of placing them in competitive divisions."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fr. Cletus Healy, S.J., R.I.P.

The Eye-Witness posts
"At 6 a.m. this morning, Monday in Passion Week, the world and the Church lost a courageous and well-loved priest, Father Cletus Healy, SJ.

"It is one of those losses we can ill-afford. Please pray for the soul of this good, humble and kind man."

By email, I'm told
"Funeral arrangements are being made for THURSDAY, April 10th, at GESU CHURCH at Marquette at 7 p.m."
No word yet on a place and time for any visitation. Among his latest words, I'm told, were "Isn't it a comfort to know that God is taking care of everything? We are in such good hands."

(via CUF Milwaukee)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Downtown Books turns the page after move

Alexandra Whittaker reports on Downtown Books Bought & Sold, "one of the few local independent bookstores still in business", in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Walter Benjamin Brigade

Walter Laqueur reviews Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jenning, at Mosaic. (via Arts & Letters Daily Twitter feed)

All in the family

Bruce Bawer reviews Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore, by Linda Leavell, at The New Criterion.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Self-servant leadership

"I know it sounds self-serving," is how Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki began a paragraph in this column from last summer in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald. The column was on our Archdiocese's release of files on child-molesting priests. What he said would sound self-serving was his going on to say
"but the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has historically established programs ahead of the national trend. It consulted experts. It initiated Project Benjamin, a commission that attempted to address the problem and offer advice on what the church could do to address the problem."
"Self-serving" is is defined as "serving one's own interests often in disregard of the truth or the interests of others". I'll assume that Archbishop Listecki is right and what he said does sound self-serving.

If so, then the Disclosure Statement our Archdiocese filed in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy sounds self-serving in the section The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Archdiocese’s Response (pp. 23-27).

And I'm not seeing a distinction between what Archbishop Listecki and our Archdiocese's court filings say and Pope Francis's saying

"The Catholic church is perhaps the lone public institution to have moved with transparency and responsibility. No one has done more... ."
A common way to avoid making a self-serving statement is to instead have someone else vouch for you, someone who could plausibly appear to be knowledgeable and objective. For a long time, our U.S. bishops attempted to use Paul McHugh in this role but instead turned his opinion into a talking point. (see my earlier post Without really trying) Regarding the Disclosure Statement, our Archdiocesan weekly was reduced to quoting an anonymous "legal observer".

Here on the secular side, reaching the point that "anything more I could say would sound self-serving" means one ought not say anything more. Why it has the opposite meaning for our bishops remains unclear.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

No Canossa, maybe cannoli

An email from our local chapter of Catholics United for the Faith I interpret to mean the quasi-interdict for criticism of the adoption of Common Core education standards by our Archdiocese of Milwaukee is personal, not group. That is, it keeps Dr. Duke Pesta from giving presentations at any parish in our Archdiocese. Instead, he will appear April 6th 1:00 pm at the Southwest Library in Kenosha, and April 30th 5:00 pm returns to Mama's Italian Cuisine in Milwaukee. (see my earlier post Pasta with Pesta?)

On the other hand, the CUF Milwaukee group's upcoming meeting is May 4th 1:45 pm in the parish hall at St. John the Evangelist Church in Greenfield.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nationwide search of route 30 bus line lands new Marquette president

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported UWM's Michael Lovell tapped to lead Marquette University.
"Lovell, who couldn't be reached, is a devout Catholic."
That phrase gets tossed around a lot. Here's what the reporter Karen Herzog cites.
"He and his wife of 20 years were college sweethearts at the University of Pittsburgh. Their first date was at the campus Catholic Newman Club.

In an interview before he was inaugurated at UWM, Amy Lovell described her husband as a man of faith and a proud Catholic.

"'He prays a lot for the university and for the wisdom to lead,' she said."

Ms. Herzog examines further in a follow-up article, Faith drives UWM's Michael Lovell to become Marquette's president.
"Lovell said he consulted his longtime spiritual adviser, who told him God was calling him to this decision.

"'It became clear to me I was called to Milwaukee six years ago to become Marquette's president,' he said."

It happens that during Mr. Lovell's time as chancellor, I've been taking some courses at UW-M. I will now know more about a Marquette president's faith life than I did about Fr. John Raynor's when I was an undergraduate at MU.

Update: Chancellor Lovell's March 26, 2014 email to the UW-M community included

"My decision to step down as Chancellor of UW-Milwaukee has been the most difficult one of my professional career. I know that many of you will be surprised by my decision. Those closest to me, however, know how important my Catholic faith is in my life, and having the ability to integrate my religious life with my professional life is something that I always wanted to do in my career.

"When I accepted the full-time position of Chancellor in 2011, I never anticipated leaving UWM for a position at another university in Wisconsin. Several months ago, when I was approached by Marquette about its presidency, I declined because I could not imagine leaving UWM at that time. But in recent weeks, as several people asked me to keep an open mind, I began to hear a calling to serve at an institution where I could more openly share my Catholic faith."

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel background article is headlined Michael Lovell's spirituality played role in choice to lead Marquette, though it goes on to report
"Lovell said Wednesday that he is still learning about the Jesuits and their Ignatian spirituality."
This is immediately followed by
"But Lovell's Catholic faith is central to who he is, says Summers [Father Bryan Summers who met the Lovells while chaplain at Pitt], who described Lovell's views as 'in sync with (dogma and doctrine of) the church.' Lovell has voiced admiration for the late Pope John Paul II, who is widely seen as moving the church to the right during his 27-year papacy."
That characterization of John Paul presumably being the reporter's, not Chancellor Lovell's. Other possible pigeonholing material includes
"The Lovells, who have four children, are active at Holy Family Catholic Church in Whitefish Bay. Both take part in the Eucharistic adoration, an ancient devotional practice in which the faithful venerate the consecrated host seen by Catholics as the body of Christ."
Update 2: For you out-of-towners, here's a map of the route 30 bus line. MU is at the bottom [4], UW-M at the upper right [7]. It's about a 21 minute ride.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Five Best

J.D. McClatchy's selections of collections of American poetry in The Wall Street Journal are of the works of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and Elizabeth Bishop. (via Wallace Stevens Society)

Tolkien translation of Beowulf to be published for first time

Anita Singh reports at The Telegraph. (via Random House Twitter feed)

Getting inside Hamlet’s head

Brian Dillon reviews The Hamlet Doctrine, by Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster ["A brisk, witty argument for a philosophical, politicised and perverse version" of William Shakespeare's play] at The Irish Times. (via Arts & Letters Daily Twitter feed)

Walter Benjamin’s Afterlife

Eric Banks reviews Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, at The Chronicle of Higher Education. (via Arts & Letters Daily Twitter feed)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thomas Jefferson and the Faithless

This essay by Russell Kirk was originally published in the South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 40, 1941, and has now been posted at The Imaginative Conservative.

What kind of God did Shakespeare believe in?

Andrew Hadfield reviews A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion, by David Scott Kastan, at The Irish Times. (via Arts & Letters Daily Twitter feed)

Marquette worriers

Today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Marc Marotta called the departure of Marquette's basketball coach "idiotic", but Buzz Williams has plenty of company.
"Father Robert Wild is serving as president in an interim capacity, replacing Father Scott Pilarz who resigned. And former athletic director Larry Williams stepped down after clashes with Williams, and was replaced on an interim basis by Bill Cords, a former Marquette athletic director. ...

"The top academic leader, John Pauly, stepped down last year, and the position continues to be filled on an interim basis by Margaret Callahan. And last month, Marquette announced it was reducing staffing by 105 positions, which included laying off 25 people immediately."

Update: "and the university announced Thursday that its admissions director was taking a job at Regis University in Denver" the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported a day later.

Invisible Monastery

The phrase "invisible monastery" is the title of a brochure that caught my eye while visiting an area church. The brochure included a link to the Think Priest website of our Archdiocese of Milwaukee's Vocations Office. That's site included a link to the national Invisible Monastery program.

The phrase comes from Pastoral Guidelines for Fostering Vocations to Priestly Ministry, which suggested

"it would be good for the Diocesan Office for Vocations to propose and organize an 'invisible monastery' in which many persons, day and night, are committed to continuous prayer for priestly vocations." (17)
The brochure and website include some suggested prayers. They also permit you to sign up as a participant, though you can also stay more literally invisible and anonymous.

P.S. Despite the phrase "invisible monastery", these suggestions do not appear to include anything from the Liturgy of the Hours, (see Sacrosanctum Concilium 100). You can, of course, choose that on your own.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The ghost at the atheist feast: was Nietzsche right about religion?

John Gray reviews The Age of Nothing, by Peter Watson, and Culture and the Death of God, by Terry Eagleton, at New Statesman. (via Arts & Letters Daily Twitter feed)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

T.S. Eliot: Culture and Anarchy

James Matthew Wilson lecture at Imaginative Conservative, originally published at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute

The Voice of This Calling: The Enduring Legacy of T.S. Eliot

Intercollegiate Review posted this essay by Clinton A. Brand, originally published in Modern Age.

Schoolmaster to the World

Christopher Caldwell reviews Wilson, by A. Scott Berg, Claremont Review of Books.
"Woodrow Wilson was ahead of his time. ... Where many 20th-century revolutionaries took the bourgeois order for an obstacle to their aims, Wilson saw in it possibilities for power that were hidden in plain sight."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pope Francis, year Juan

In its review of Pope Francis's first year, The Economist includes this it its analysis of his political views.
" '[Francis] only knows one style of politics,' says a diplomat accredited to the Holy See. 'And that is Peronism.'

"The creed bequeathed by Argentina’s former dictator, General Juan Peron, with its 'three flags' of social justice, economic independence and political sovereignty, has been endlessly reinterpreted since. Conservatives and revolutionaries alike have been proud to call themselves Peronist. But at its heart it is corporatist, assigning to the state the job of resolving conflicts between interest groups, including workers and employers. In that respect it resembles fascism and Nazism—and also Catholic social doctrine.

The pope’s Peronist side shows in his use of a classic populist technique: going over the heads of the elite to the people with headline-grabbing gestures and comments. And it is visible in his view of political economy, which also has much in common with post-Marxist protest movements such as Occupy Wall Street, the Spanish indignados and Italy’s Five Star Movement."

Desperate Catholic Church Now Offering Sainthood To Anyone Who Regularly Attends Weekly Mass

The Onion reported on Fr. Federico Lombardi's announcement of a document issued by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints and distributed to all dioceses worldwide.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hark the Heralds' circulation

Comments to this Cream City Catholic post were claiming Madison's Catholic Herald diocesan weekly newspaper superior to Milwaukee's, as well as having a larger circulation.

On the latter point, the Madison diocesan paper tells potential advertisers

"The print circulation is approximately 26,000 -- higher than most paid local daily and weekly newspapers in Wisconsin."
Our Archdiocese of Milwaukee's Clergy Sexual Abuse Mediation System Print Advertisement and Publicity Plan listed newspapers within its territory, including
"Catholic Herald (26,000 circulation)"
So the raw numbers are equal, and Madison's looks to be substantially higher relative to population.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

CUF Milwaukee March 2014 Newsletter

Milwaukee's chapter of Catholics United for the Faith has posted its latest monthly newsletter.

Upcoming events noted include "Fr. James Kubicki, S.J., to present an Afternoon of Recollection' on Mar. 9", "the 2014 'Men of Christ Conference' at the Milwaukee Theatre Mar. 15", and "Bishop Hying to say 8:00 p.m. 'All-Night Vigil' Mass at St. Charles Borromeo April 4".

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pasta with Pesta?

Dr. Duke Pesta cannot speak his criticisms of the Common Core education standards on the grounds of any parish of our Archdiocese of Milwaukee, but I hear he will be speaking instead at Mama's Italian Cuisine, 7718 West Burleigh Street, in Milwaukee on Thursday, February 27th at 6:00 pm.

I'm still having trouble seeing why his critique got a faster, more decisive response from our Archdiocese than a priest's so-called "boundary issues", inappropriate contact with child regarded as short of "sexual abuse", did last year (see my April 20, 2013 post It depends on what the meaning of the word 'safe' is.) It's as if our Archdiocese regards figuratively stepping on the toes of its bureaucrats as worse than literally fondling our schoolchildren.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Host, bread, and waffle

Deacon Sandy Sites, Parish Director of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, explains the intransitive form of the verb "to minister" in this now-viral video, starting at 3:55.
"You're going to notice that the form of Eucharist, which is as valid as the other, if physically and literally bread. Why do we do that? Why don't we use the wafers or hosts? Not that either one is more valid or better or worse than the other."

"We do it because we find that the ministers themselves, who bake the bread, have shared with us over the years that they're more able to enter more fully, because their hands have been part of what is happening in terms of the Consecration. There's the bread they've prepared."

So the bread baking ministry is not primarily about service to the community, it's primarily for the benefit of the bakers themselves.

In addition, you recall the Symmetric Property of Equality, "If a = b then b = a." Deacon Sandy apparently does not, since he says both that hosts would be no worse, and that the "bread" is better. He does this again when he goes on to say,

"We also feel that it is more symbolic and representative of what actually happened with Christ during the Last Supper itself."
Or more likely he referred to hosts in a Seinfeldian "Not that there's anything wrong with that" sense.

Update (7:45PM): More, including more from Deacon Sites, at Creative Minority Report.