Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Westminster Abbey says ix-nay to filming Da Vinci Code on its premises

And when a pennydreadful is too theologically outré even for Anglicans, you really know it's crap.

However, Lincoln Cathedral has stepped in to fill the gap. Now, Lincoln... Lincoln... There's a clue there somewhere....

Feast of the Visitation

Sunday, May 29, 2005
Big Brother Brussels makes mistake of asking the people -- and the French say no!

The Washington Post, for one, doesn't know what to do. A united Europe was supposed to be the colossus of girly-man, military-free diplomacy as the paradigm of world affairs, and the French were supposed to be the ultimate, the radicals, of that kind of Europe. And now the French have said no! So the Post spins it as "French vent their spleen" (a learned reference there for Baudelaire fans), just like Peter Jennings describing the November 1994 U.S. electorate as "a bunch of two-year-olds."

Too much fun, too much fun! Happy Memorial Day!


Pope Benedict's first papal journey: Eucharistic Congress in Bari

The Scotsman (out in front with Church coverage, as so often recently) reports:

Pope Benedict vows to heal old wounds


POPE Benedict XVI made his first papal trip yesterday, visiting the Italian city of Bari, where he pledged to work to end Roman Catholicism's 1,000-year-old rift with the Orthodox Church.

The Pope flew by helicopter to the Adriatic port, considered to be a religious bridge between East and West, and home to the relics of St Nicholas of Myra, a 4th-century saint who is one of the most popular in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches....

Friday, May 27, 2005
New Coin Honors Marine Corps

Something new to honor the Marine Corps, and it's a first. Take a look at a new commemorative silver dollar coin, marking the Marine Corps' 230th anniversary. It's the first time the US Mint's honored a branch of the military.

Naval Academy graduation: Bush gives the commencement address

Marine Eric Brye celebrates after receiving his diploma

N.B. Much of the President's speech was about emerging military technology, and I'm much mistaken if I didn't hear an endorsement of seabasing.

Thursday, May 26, 2005
A chorus part in the Opera Dei

The American bishops are having us celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi this coming Sunday, but in real life it's today. Our local Tridentine indult parish had an evening Mass, so I went. It was a High Mass, with a Gregorian choir -- not expert, but on pitch.

Mass was followed by a three-point procession: two outdoor shrines on the parish grounds, then back to the chapel itself. There were three 4th Degree Knights of Columbus in regalia, providing an honor guard for Our Lord. (I happen to be a 4° K of C myself, but I don't own regalia.)

At each of the three points there was Benediction ("Panem de caelo praestitisti eis..."). We sang Pange Lingua, Tantum Ergo, and Adoro Te Devote, as many times as necessary. It was lovely, though as always when we sing Tantum Ergo, I found myself wondering who Jenny Torre is. You know: "Jenny Torre, genitoque...."

At the last point in the procession, we were singing Adoro Te, and the Blessed Sacrament passed my pew at exactly my favorite verse:

In cruce latebat sola Deitas,
at hic latet simul et humanitas;
ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
peto quod petivit latro paenitens.

God only on the Cross lay hid from view;
But here lies hid at once the Manhood too;
And I, in both professing my belief,
Make the same prayer as the repentant thief.

Or you may prefer the translation by the Jesuit and master word-wizard Gerard Manley Hopkins:

On the cross Thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here Thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

So why did I go? The best reason is that Our Lord makes Himself very vulnerable in the Blessed Sacrament, and suffers a lot of insult. He gets ignored while priests and servers sweep past Him and bow instead to the altar (He's off in a corner, you see), or when old ladies get caught up on family gossip in the pews after Mass. He gets consumed sacrilegiously, or sold on EBay (until EBay changed its policy, bless it).

And some of the insults come from me, as when I'm more angry at the miserable choir (at our regular parish) than I am thankful that He's there, or when I pop in for three minutes at the Adoration Chapel and promise to "finish the time of prayer" later, knowing I won't do so, and in fact not doing so. So there's a lot of reparation to do.

The other reason is that I'm partly lying in the previous paragraph, but I aim to fix that. I don't play a Eucharistically devoted person on TV, but I do play one in real life. My hope is that the more I play the role, the more real it will become. I used to worry that play-acting before God is bogus, until a holy priest told me that God loves such plays just as the most loving and patient father loves it when his kids do skits or amateur theatricals. "Not a bad public, that," St. Thomas More said, when you're acting for God Himself.

Here is a homily by St. Josemaria Escriva for the Feast of Corpus Christi, preached in May 28, 1964.

More on the judges "deal"

Peggy Noonan:
Lindsey Graham defied the biases of his constituency to do what was right, not what was easy. Robert Byrd put aside personal gain to save our Republic. David Pryor ignored the counsels of hate to stand firm for our hopes and dreams. Mike DeWine protected our way of life. These men are uniters, not dividers.

How do I know?

Because they told me. Again and again, and at great length, as they announced The Deal. And I believed them, because I am an idiot.

...I know they're centrists, but there is nothing moderate about their self-regard. And why should there be? I personally was dazzled by their refusal to bow to the counsels of common sense and proportion, and stirred that they had no fear of justified insult ("blowhard," "puffed up popinjay") as they moved forward in the halls of the United States Senate to bravely proclaim their excellence.
Hugh Hewitt:
[According to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the deal] "took the nuclear option off the table. The nuclear option is gone for our lifetime. We don't have to talk about it anymore. I'm disappointed that there's still these threats of the nuclear option."

Reid and his colleagues cannot be blamed for trying to load up the poorly drafted memorandum with their spin. If they can sell a waiting-to-be sold media on the idea that the GOP gave up the Byrd/Constitutional/Nuclear Option, then the coming summer clashes over one or more Supreme Court vacancies will be tilted from the start towards Democratic talking points.

A deeply compromised compromiser, Lindsey Graham, spent most of Tuesday proclaiming his understanding of the "deal," with all the persuasiveness of every grifter victim in history. If Graham's political future traded like a stock, it would have been de-listed yesterday.
I'm guessin' Hugh's right. South Carolina newssite reports:
“The calls won’t quit, and they’re almost all against Lindsey,” state Republican Party chairman Katon Dawson said.
Conservative bloggers open some cans on Graham here and here.

And McCain? Either he's politically tin-eared, or he thinks he can win the 2008 GOP nomination by competing for the party's center-left along with Giuliani, Romney, and maybe others. Yup, those "moderate activists" -- they love licking envelopes, manning phone banks, knocking on doors; that's why John Anderson won the Republican nomination in 1980, you know. (Sarc 1.)

And Frist? He's not tainted by the deal, but it's up to him to make sure Reid's bluster -- about how the judicial filibuster has been preserved for "our lifetime" -- does not come true. If he can't do that, he's toast. He's probably toast anyway, but if Reid succesfully uses Dr. Filibuster's All-Heat No-Vote Fireworks against a Supreme Court nomination, you can bring out the butter and marmalade at that point.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A former Wall Street trader who rejoined the Marines after the Sept. 11 attacks will not be tried on murder charges for killing two suspected Iraqi insurgents, a Marine general decided Thursday.

The decision by Maj. Gen. Richard Huck, commander of the 2nd Marine Division based at Camp Lejeune, ends the prosecution of 2nd Lt. Ilario Pantano, whom prosecutors accused of killing the men without justification....

The two Iraqis were killed during an April 2004 search outside a suspected terrorist hideout in Mahmudiyah, Iraq. Pantano contended he shot them in self-defense after the men disobeyed his instructions and made a menacing move toward him.

Prosecutors alleged Pantano intended to make an example of the men by shooting them 60 times and hanging a sign over their bodies — "No better friend, no worse enemy," a Marine slogan. While citing self-defense as his motive, Pantano did not deny hanging the sign or shooting the men repeatedly.

While finding some problems with Pantano's behavior, [Article 32 hearing officer Lt.Col. Mark] Winn concluded that one witness' accusation that Pantano shot the detainees while they were kneeling with their backs to him was not supported by other testimony or evidence.

Witnesses testified the sergeant who was Pantano's main accuser was a weak Marine who was bitter about Pantano removing him from a leadership role within the platoon. More than a half-dozen Marines who served with Pantano in Iraq praised him in testimony, saying he was an able leader who remained cool in combat and was amiable with Iraqis....
Full story. Insert Dilbert Victory Jig here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Book Meme

1. Total Number of Books I've Owned. Uh, library shelves only? Library and office shelves together? Include shelves upstairs? Include boxes in library? Boxes in garage? Boxes upstairs? Boxes at office?....

2. Last Book I Bought. Ken I. Kersch, Constructing Civil Liberties: Discontinuities in the Development of American Constitutional Law. His thesis appears to be that the Court has expanded individual liberties as a sort of bread-and-circuses to disguise its simultaneous authorization of a potentially totalitarian megastate. Kersch teaches in the Government Department at Princeton along with Robby George.

Two other recent purchases:
* Mark S. Massa, SJ, Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice. Comes recommended by some profs writing in Historically Speaking, the oustanding magazine of The Historical Society. Seems to go into greater depth than your basic Karl Keating of Philip Jenkins works, valuable as those are.

* Trollope, Barchester Towers

3. Last Book I Read. James Webb, Fields of Fire. Tom Wolfe calls it "the finest of the Vietnam novels." Webb is an overachiever in several fields: Naval Academy grad, Marine decorated for Vietnam service, lawyer, novelist and social critic, and Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan; largely responsible for appointment of Gen. Al Gray as Marine Commandant. Want to get down in the "bush" of Vietnam with the regular dudes who end up in the Marine infantry, in futile combat, while "the World" teaches itself to hate you? This is one of those "no matter what you think, it's more complicated than you think" books.

4. Five Books That Mean A Lot to Me: Like Eve, I will resist turning this into "five books that led me to Catholicism," though one or two slots will probably go that way.

* The Divine Comedy and the Vita Nuova. (Great new Anthony Esolen translations here.) I start by cheating, counting four books as one. I've called the Divina Commedia "the book about everything," and every dip back into it confirms this. Dante pulled together Thomist theology, Scripture, classical myth and history, and the raging political and aesthetic debates of his time into an achievement of (sorry, my metaphors turn musical here) Brucknerian grandeur and Haydnite clockwork.

La Vita Nuova
, the prologue to the Commedia (and written decades before it -- what sublime confidence!) is not about everything, but about the one thing that, properly disciplined, points to everything: love, completely chaste, yet erotically charged. I'd use the word "romantic" if it weren't so hackneyed, and anachronistic by six centuries. A girl's face is beautiful; therefore, the world has order, and virtue and salvation are possible.

N.B. I'd try to squeeze the Summa into this list, but I really feel the Divine Comedy takes care of it, at least for purposes of a list of five.

* Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh. (Good unabridged audio version here, read by actor who played Charles Ryder in the classic BBC miniseries version.) Came into my life at just the time I was coming into the Church. Waugh said "this book is about God." To superficial readers it seems like a book about high-net-worth Oxonians in the roaring twenties, getting drunk and occasionally faggin' off. To those who pay any attention, it's a book about Our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist reaching inexorably into the lives of an array of errant characters, "far from home, farther, in heart, than Acre or Jerusalem." Purely as a bonus, it's also a powerful polemic for aristocracy as such, but you can ignore that if you prefer. The Christ part, you can't.

* The Power and the Glory, by Graham Greene. The priesthood as holocaust, with redemptive ramifications that the victim can never know. Contender for the same slot: Dialogues of the Carmelites, by Georges Bernanos: introspective chronicle of the martyrdom of the Carmelites of Compiegne during the French Revolution. "Question your strength. Who enters Gethsemane does not come out again. Do you feel in you the courage to remain to the end the prisoner of the Most Holy Agony?"

* The Republic. Not any one thing about it; it's more of a stand-in for the Socratic project, especially that of linking regime character to personal character. Also, it sets the endless outpourings of tenure-seeking legal theorists and poli sci profs in perspective to realize that they have no worthwhile ideas that didn't occur to Plato.

* Disraeli, by Andre Maurois. Literary and impressionistic biography; showed me, when I was 15, that a statesman can be a conservative, a friend of the common man, and a man of letters.

5. Tag 5 people and have them do this on their blog: the Paladin of Faith and Reason; Elinor; Zorak the Mantis; Fr. Jim; & Yurodivi. EDITED TO ADD: Since Fr. Jim has already done his, why not -- the Catholic Girl-Talkers, who have just blogged about summer reading anyway?

Yurodivi has posted his conversion story!


Monday, May 23, 2005
I'm glad someone has finally tackled this problem:
Sith Lords! Has this ever happened to YOU?

You're wearing your evil black Sith robes, directing your dark minions, when suddenly—oh NO! The Senate's been called back into session! And you're wearing the WRONG CLOTHES! What are you going to do?

Introducing the latest in Sith fashion, it's the "Palpatine" Line of completely reversible Sith robes!...

I always keep a spare tie with me, but it's not the same.

"Honeychile, aftuh dis puhfomance, dis opera gon' be called AMNERIS!"

-- mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry, trashtalking soprano Martina Arroyo before a performance of AIDA. Source: legend. (There were giants on the earth in those days.)

(Sorry, AIDA was one of several operas I've been listening to while grading exams.)

Saturday, May 21, 2005
Coming soon: the Book Meme. Sorry, it's tough grading exams and imposing tyranny on the galaxy at the same time. But everything is proceeding as I had foreseen.

If you go here and click on "Listen to my daughter...," you can hear my goddaughter practice her talking, something she has been working on almost since the day she was born back in January.

Just saw Episode III, and it's sitherrific!

Trailer here.

Even the Wall St. Journal's rather jaundiced review noted that "Mr. McDiarmid, returning as Palpatine, bestows dimensions of Shakespearean grandeur on the all-important role of the malign statesman who plays mercilessly on Anakin's morbid fears."

And this is a Sith Master who doesn't let his apprentice(s) do all his fighting for him: in addition to Sith lightning, he also whips out a lightsaber and goes all Jedi on the butts of Mace Windu, whom he dispatches, and Yoda, who fights the new Emperor to a draw before going into exile.

"Can these powers be learned?"
"Not from a Jedi."

Friday, May 20, 2005
In case we want to prosecute Newsweek

I haven't commented yet on Newsweek and the Afghanistan riots. Ann Coulter might as well be speaking for me here. The whole piece is good, but it's beyond nature not to quote this part:
Somehow Newsweek missed the story a few weeks ago about Saudi Arabia arresting 40 Christians for "trying to spread their poisonous religious beliefs." But give the American media a story about American interrogators defacing the Quran, and journalists are so appalled there's no time for fact-checking -- before they dash off to see the latest exhibition of "Piss Christ."
What I can usefully add, for the benefit of Newsweek editors, is a brief statement of the elements of the crime of negligent homicide. This should be of interest to these editors, considering 16 or 17 people are dead as a foreseeable result of their gross negligence.

Based on Prof. LaFave's Hornbook on Criminal Law, the elements of negligent homicide may be stated as: an unlawful killing in the commission of a lawful act without due caution or circumspection. LaFave § 15.4.

The editors' defense would lie in causation, LaFave § 15.4(c); i.e. the riots were a supervening cause of the deaths because they were unforeseeable. Hey, everyone's entitled to a defense.

Thursday, May 19, 2005
Do you want to know why I love my students? (My law students, I mean -- not my CCD students, who are ignorant as dirt and dumber than houseplants.) OK, I'll tell you why I love my law students.

On this semester's Criminal Procedure exam, I included the term "assault weapons," without defining it, because there was no need to define it to raise the issue I wanted to raise. (The issue concerned a search warrant to search for "assault weapons"; cops search a desk drawer and find cocaine; legal issue: did the warrant to search for assault weapons authorize the searching of a desk drawer? If so, the cocaine is admissible under the "plain view" doctrine; if not, not. The answer will turn, in part, on whether an "assault weapon" could have been found in a desk drawer. I don't care what the factual answer to that is, as long as the student draws the right legal conclusion from whatever factual answer he gives.)

In the resulting exam papers, students are inundating me with firearms information! One example:
Also, certain handguns can be considered assault weapons, depending on their features. For example, one pistol sold by the well-known Austrian gun maker GLOCK, the GLOCK 18, fearures a switch on the frame allowing fully automatic fire. This feature would, by any definition, classify the GLOCK 18 as an assault weapon. (Note: this particular model is sold only to law enforcement and military markets.)
The student then provides me with two relevant websites: here and here.

You would not find this in an exam paper at Yale. I love my students!

Scotland the Roman

Either the Pope is better than some give him credit for in staffing his old agency, or the Blancmange wants to challenge the Vatican at Wimbledon, or both. Fr. Patrick Burke, parish priest and magazine editor in Stirlingshire, is to be a high-ranking official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Commenters at Papa Ratzi Post have encouraging things to say about Fr. Burke. E.g., his dissertation, written while residing at the Teutonic College in Rome along with Cardinal Ratzinger, was a critique of Karl Rahner.

Hit it again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005
DC Re-See

Business took me to Washington today, to certain haunts of the Conservative Movement. I was delighted that some of the oldtime staffers recognized me and asked me where I've been.

I also went to Mass at St. Patrick's, 10th and G St. NW, where I'd been to daily Mass in the old days many's-the-time. New clergy there -- and buttkicking too. The priest talked about how today's saint, Pope St. John I, was martyred by an Arian Ostrogothic king in Italy (fancy that -- an Arian Aryan!). He then went on to remark that there's a lot of Arianism around today.

Monday, May 16, 2005
On second thought, who cares what your "living will" says?

A terminally ill man who fears he will be condemned to die of thirst - fully conscious but unable to swallow - heard doctors' leaders argue in court yesterday that allowing patients to decide on their own treatment was not in their best interests.
In Terri Schiavo's case, those seeking to kill her at least went through the motions of arguing -- and convinced a judge -- that this was what she would have wanted. In case you suspected that the victim's wishes would ultimately not really matter in the face of the on-charging culture of death, the case of Leslie Burke, the patient in the quoted article, suggests you were right.
Yesterday, Philip Havers, QC, for the doctors' governing body, said the judge's ruling had effectively "extended the reach of patient autonomy" and redefined the test as to what treatment was in a patient's best interests....

The result would be that a patient could require a doctor to provide a form of treatment that the doctor considered of no clinical benefit if not harmful.

"Such a conclusion is not in the best interests of patients," said Mr Havers - both as a matter of principle and because it would gravely undermine the "therapeutic partnership based on joint decision-making between doctors and patients".

"Therapeutic partnership" -- brought to you by the Ministry of Love.

Told you so: MSNBC says The Emperor grabs the spotlight in Sith: Ian McDiarmid finds himself front and center in this Star Wars prequel

McDiarmid is now 60; this photo is recent. But notice the hooded eyes and "sad smile" that marked him even at age 38, when Return of the Jedi (1983) was filmed, as ideal for the octagenarian (at least) Emperor Palpatine.

The articles shows a difference between the American and British approaches to acting. For an American actor, his face and voice are what he sells (whether as hero or villain). For a Brit actor (and that includes died-in-the-wool Scots like McDiarmid -- cue Scotland the Brave yet again!), what he sells is his ability to adopt the best face and voice for a part. It's a tradition grounded in "rep," or day-in-day-out stage acting, whereas the American tradition is grounded in film and television. (No value judgments implied here; just the facts, ma'am.)

So McDiarmid reminisces about his first go at the Emperor, when the disparity between his own age and the character's was at its greatest:
Along with chronicling Anakin’s transformation, “Revenge of the Sith” explains how Palpatine took on the emperor’s gnarly face and froggy voice, which McDiarmid developed while rehearsing for “Return of the Jedi.”

“He did look like a terrible little toad, and he needed a voice to match the face,” McDiarmid said. “So I thought it should be somewhere half in the glottal, like toads, but deeper as well. I thought of Japanese acting. As it happens, they produce quite a lot of their words from the stomach, and I thought, that’s pretty good. It should come from somewhere deep down inside him. And before I knew it, I was doing it, George liked it, and so we were off.”

Ultimately, though, the stage comes first -- the play's the thing!
A veteran of many Royal Shakespeare Company productions, McDiarmid’s honors include a London’s Critics’ Circle award for “Faith Healer” in 2001. He spent 11 years as joint artistic director of London’s Almeida Theater, stepping down in 2002. He works under the principle that guides the careers of many actors in Britain, where stage work takes precedence over film: Movies are something you do in between plays....

If the Emperor is a patron of the arts [referring to the opera scene in Sith!!], McDiarmid is not above a little “Star Wars” manipulation himself if it will help interest people in live theater.

“The best thing about it is when I’m doing a play and people are at the stage door with photographs of me in ‘Star Wars,’ and I say, ‘I won’t sign it unless you’ve seen the play. So prove you’ve seen the play by showing me a ticket stub, or come tomorrow night and bring the program, and then I’ll sign it,”’ McDiarmid said.

“So I’ve been using ‘Star Wars’ mercilessly to sell tickets for the theater, and I’ll continue to do so.”

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Bases and basses

Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base, a Marine as well as regular Navy center, and Jonathan Lee's current duty station, is a "winner" in the base-closing game. Oceana Naval Air Station is listed as a "loser," but will stay open.

Besides its Navy and Marine facilities, Little Creek also has an Army Music School. You think I'm joking?

My friend Charles Robert Austin, a bass-baritone who is going to be the great Wotan of the next decade (he's been in Virginia lately singing journeyman Wagnerian roles such as Hunding and King Marke), was a Marine pilot. He says he chose the Corps precisely because it does not have any musicial opportunities for singers. He wanted to keep his military and musical careers separate.

Flambeaux reports on a papal missive to the Archbishop of Nidaros, Norway, in 1241. Call it a problem of acculturation, perhaps the "Viking Rites Controversy." N.B. Is Undset is to be believed, this custom had faded by Kristin's time, about a century later. But:

If the baptism is in the subarctic winter, and someone calls for a light, does he then have to say "Bud Light"?

What's the one beer to have when you're baptizing more than one?

(Cue the Michelob jingle) "Baptize people, serve Michelob."

Will Pope Benedict revisit this issue?

Go west, young men, then come back: Marines Conclude Western Campaign
AL QAIM, Iraq -- The U.S. Marines concluded their offensive into insurgent strongholds in western Iraq on Saturday, saying they had pushed guerrillas out of villages and towns where they had become entrenched but acknowledging that many of the fighters had escaped.

Marine officials asserted that Operation Matador, among the largest military deployments since last year's battle in the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah, disrupted the guerrillas' capacity to coordinate attacks elsewhere in Iraq.
EDITED TO ADD: Chester the Marine reports from the scene.

Friday, May 13, 2005
Pope Benedict waives waiting period for beatification of JPII!

He has also appointed San Francisco Archbishop William Levada to succeed him at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This will upset some of "us," but keep in mind:

* Levada worked at CDF from 1976 to 1982, and Cardinal Ratzinger got to know him during their year of overlap there. Pope Benedict knows what he's getting; we should have some confidence in his judgment.

* Not every decision Levada has made in San Francisco has been the perfect one, but how many of us can even imagine the types of pressures an Archbishop faces in that town? As the above-linked article notes, he has spoken out against gay "marriage."

* This choice signals that the Church in the U.S. is very much on Benedict's radar.

* CDF statements and staff work will continue to exhibit the Ratzinger touch (b/c otherwise Benedict won' t approve them); only now, it will be much harder to argue that these statements and actions come from people who "don't understand the United States." When the next CDF statement comes down condemning gay "marriage" or gay sex, or some theologian who supports these, what are folks going to say -- that the Prefect of the CDF doesn't know the pastoral situation he's talking about? That he doesn't know any gay people?

So now, who will be the next Archbishop of San Francisco? Bishop Weigand, of Sacramento?

Clarification on "Caesar's Bath"

The "Religious Right" referred to in the HP section infra is the Protestant one. I thought that was clear, but on re-reading I see that it was not.

One of the difficulties of this meme is that we all belong to multiple, non-overlapping "circles." Evangelical conservatives constitute one of mine, though only one. I wanted to choose at least one "Caesar's Bath" item applicable to each of various "circles" that I feel I belong to, and I still haven't succeeded, b/c most of the ones I chose apply to Yalie-under-30-conservative "circle." The inclusion of the HP entry was a last-minute corrective, to prevent the "circle" in which I spend the vast majority of my professional time from being completely ignored.

And still there are wheels within wheels. Last semester a hard-core Evangelical Protestant scholar from the Midwest was a visiting prof at our school. His paper on the Free Exercise of Religion clause was cast in terms of the "transfiguration" supposedly wrought in this field by Employment Division v. Smith, and it contained as many references to Prof. McGonagall as to Justice Scalia. Further, as the comments to the post below illustrate, plenty of Catholics are willing, quite rightly, to skewer certain aspects of these books. But in general, "bashing Harry Potter" is an Evangelical-Protestant enthusiasm, and it was these friends of mine that I did not wish to, so to speak, leave behind.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

"Caesar's Bath"

Here it is, from Eve :
CAESAR'S BATH MEME: Mansfield Fox throws me this thing, which I'd seen at various fine blog locales: "List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), 'Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.'"
Here's my list:

* Country music: I've defended American Scots-Irish against attacks like this one (in which Thomas Sowell blames the American Scots-Irish -- oh excuse me, "southern whites," "rednecks" and "crackers" -- for the cultural dysfunctions afflicting blacks), and I like "Celtic" music, but that doesn't extend to the music the Celts made when they came to America and lost touch with their ancient heartlands, or for that matter, with the Atlantic coast. Nothing will convince me that a banjo is just an American harp. Maybe the problem is commercialization: as soon as the authentic folk music of hard-working, hard-suffering people became big business, it also became big hair, big cleavages, and a big earsore. Btw, check out Carlisle Floyd's opera SUSANNAH. On a lighter note, anyone remember Dogbert calling a squaredance?

* South Park: I'm glad there are South Park Conservatives; I may even be one; but actually watching the show seems a steep membership fee.

* Computer games: I've become convinced that one can spend a lot of time on these and actually not emerge as a neurasthenic sociopath. For me, that's a considerable shift of opinion. I still say that if misguided samaritans wouldn't keep putting snacks near gamers, they would either get their hobby into perspective, or die off.

* Bashing Harry Potter: I run with a lot of Religious Righters (sounds like a Lockhart title!), because we believe in many of the same things and have the same hopes and fears about the drift of society. But I daresay that if some of my RR allies were to accompany me on my cultural itinerary, their bourgeoisie would be épaté-d every once in a while. And that is their problem. As it happens I frequently pepper my classroom discussions with Potter references: most of the kids don't get them; the smarter ones do -- they're just as fervent Christians as the dumber ones, btw, often more so -- and they grin ear to ear! All that said, I do think (a) that art moves us in ways that are not morally trivial, and (b) the occult (in which I do not include HP -- but please feel free not to re-initiate that debate here: just go here for one side, and here for the other) is to be feared, and should be approached in art only via works that plainly show it to be evil (in which group I would place most of the embodiments of the Faust legend, definitely including Boito's MEFISTOFELE and Gounod's FAUST; but Busoni's DOKTOR FAUST is dodgy).

* "Greatness": I'm for it -- but do you have any idea how tiresome 19-year-olds can make themselves about it?

I now pass this meme to: Zorak, The Curt Jester, and The Paladin of Faith and Reason!

Benedict does a MacArthur
Last week, he traveled outside Rome for the first time as pope to formally take possession of the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo — and promised to return.
Source. Hat-tip: The Pope Blog.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Monday, May 09, 2005
More on Kingdom of Heaven

Robert Spencer writes in Human Events: New Crusades Flick: More PC History. The money-line is when he quotes from Prof. Jonathan Riley-Smith, of Cambridge (the old one), the world's leading authority on the Crusades:
Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, author of A Short History of the Crusades and one of the world's leading historians of the period, called the movie "rubbish," explaining that "it's not historically accurate at all" as it "depicts the Muslims as sophisticated and civilised, and the Crusaders are all brutes and barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality." Oh, and "there was never a confraternity of Muslims, Jews and Christians. That is utter nonsense."
Also, click here for a post on a talk by Prof. Riley-Smith deflating the overblown reputation of saracen warlord Saladin. Oh, excuse me -- "Sala-kha-DEEN."

The Paladin of Faith and Reason posts his review here.

Revenge of the Sith

(Lots of spoilers -- if anything can be called a spoiler when the novelization has been on the bestseller list for a month before the movie opens)

Haven't seen any previews, but reviews are starting to pour in. As I hoped and expected, despite the CGI gee-whizzery, the show belongs to Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, and to Ian McDiarmid, the Scottish Shakespearean actor whom Lucas plucked from the London stage in 1982 to play the same character, a.k.a. The Emperor, in Return of the Jedi. He was 38 years old when that movie was filmed.

McDiarmid as Henry V

as Prospero

as Chancellor Palpatine

as Emperor Palpatine in Jedi (1983)

Time Magazine writes:
To Yoda, Anakin reveals his unease, though not its cause [i.e. his fear that his wife, Padme-Amidala, will die in childbirth]. "The fear of loss is a path to the dark side," the tiny savant observes. "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose." Translation: Loved ones die; get over it. That is counsel Anakin can't accept. He needs a different guru, so he turns, fatefully, to Palpatine, who has poison to pour into the young man's ear. To Anakin, it feels like honey, sounds like sagacity—because it is just what he wants to hear. The truth is that he can recite the Jedi catechism but can't feel it. He knows "the Sith rely on their passion for their strength. They think inward, only about themselves." Yet that is why Anakin is a natural Sith—and why he would make an ideal apprentice to Palpatine and the Chancellor's alter ego, Darth Sidious.

In the subtly insinuating performance by McDiarmid (here playing, 22 years after Jedi, a character some 20 years younger), Palpatine is a creature of dulcet tones and the darkest treachery. The sadness of his smile suggests wisdom gained at a heavy price. His soothing voice sells a seductive line of reasoning: that the Jedi are spurred by power lust and limited by their code. Thus he sets about achieving what the actor describes as "the coldhearted seduction and corruption of young Anakin." Palpatine is never more persuasive than when his life is at the mercy of the powerful young Jedi. By appealing to Anakin's need and greed, he turns the lad into Darth Vader and secures his own "unlimited power!"
Courtly as ever, the Chancellor explains to Anakin how very clever some of those Sith guys throughout history have been, not like those namby-pamby Jedi. One such conversation, a crucial one, takes place as Palpatine and Anakin attend -- the opera!

It's probably Wagner tonight: aren't they always saying he's a fascist? Just hope it's not FRANCESCA DA RIMINI -- we wouldn't want anyone getting seduced or anything!

Once you've got (what looks like) footage of a Jedi Mace Windu trying to kill you, you can ride the resulting wave of sympathy to announce that henceforth, we are an empire!!

Yoda is not pleased:

But some of us will be. Remember the Neimoidians -- those cowardly, slugfaced greedballs in Episode I, who ally themselves with the Sith Master, and send droids to do anything more dangerous than adjust the air conditioning? Well, the newly Vaderized Anakin earns a book of free passes by giving us a galaxy with substantially fewer of them.

This is going to be not only the revenge of the Sith, but also the revenge of George Lucas, against all those critics who, in panning Episodes I and II, implied that of course they had loved the original trilogy just like everyone else. In fact they didn't. They dismissed them as brain-candy. "This movie is critic-proof," sneered one of them in opening his review of Return of the Jedi, "but let's try anyway." So he tried to tell everyone why they shouldn't see it, and he failed. Now the movie-critic caste is trying to rewrite its own history. Wipe them out. All of them.

Sunday, May 08, 2005
Mother's Day reflections by first-time mom Zorak. Non-clicking is futile.

Saturday, May 07, 2005
More links about Camp Lemonier, in Djibouti

Btw, since Djibouti was a French colony, I'm going to pronounce the name of this camp "le-MOAN-ee-ay," until some authoritative Marine source tells me it's "lemon-EAR."

Also, we're not sure that's where JL will be, but they are saying he'll be in Africa, and someone said "horn."

From, "South Mississippi's Home Page":
Posted on Sun, May. 01, 2005


Seabees build relations, schools
Horn of Africa is base for mission


The war on terror is not restricted to the United States or to the Middle East, nor is it just about thwarting terrorists or establishing new forms of government.

Sometimes, it's about building - trust, cooperation, global relations - and maybe even a school or two along the way.

That's why a detachment of 48 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 is spending its six-month deployment in the Horn of Africa as part of the Combined Joint Task Force for the U.S. Central Command.

The official mission in the Horn is to "detect, disrupt and defeat transnational terrorist groups operating in the region by denying safe havens, external support and material assistance for terrorist activity."

But the military in the region - which includes Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Yemen and Ethiopia - also are there to shore up stability.

NMCB 1 Seabees, part of the 1,400 U.S. forces stationed at Camp Lemonier near Djibouti City, have been working on projects such as the renovation of the Arta School in Djibouti and a planned renovation of the Jijiga School in Ethiopia....
From United States Army Special Operations Command News Service (N.B. All the services use Camp Lemonier):

96th Civil Affairs Battalion takes mission with medical exercise

By Marine Corps Cpl. Jeff Nagan
Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Public Affairs

DHAMAR, Yemen (USASOC News Service, April 13, 2005) — Rolling hills and steep mountains topped with hundreds of unfinished buildings and mosques set the backdrop of one of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa’s most challenging missions to date....Camp LeMonier is the location from which U.S. forces are operating from in the Horn of Africa. Demining, humanitarian, and counter-terrorism efforts are conducted here.

Friday, May 06, 2005
PFC Jonathan Lee Morris, USMCR, now with the 4th Assault Amphibious Battalion, will be going to Africa next month.

Possibly related stories:

Marines Online:
CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti(April 26, 2005) -- While passing through Djibouti April 26 Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) took the opportunity to hone their combat prowess on a firing range here.

The 26th MEU, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., set sail with the Kearsarge Strike Group, March 27. The MEU is a quick, compact, unit capable of accomplishing a variety of different missions nearly anywhere in the world deployed directly from the sea.
Defense Department Regular Briefing

MR. DI RITA: Good afternoon. I would like to first welcome General Conway to the briefing studio. I think many of you know General Conway; have maybe met with him when he was deployed overseas. He's, obviously, currently the Director of Operations on the Joint Staff. We're very pleased that he's available to do this today. We may see General Conway from time to time. We have some other officers who have returned from command assignments in Iraq who are on the Joint Staff who would be also terrific briefers, and we'll probably see them from time to time as well....

Q We have a story out of Somalia here quoting Somali officials as saying that a small number of U.S. Marines, apparently about 20, lightly armed, landed in Somaliland, which is apparently an enclave of Somalia on the coast, on Tuesday, showed some pictures of terrorists they were looking for, and then left. Is that true? Have any U.S. forces landed on the coast of Somalia for any reason -- looking for terrorists or otherwise?

GEN. CONWAY: I heard that report just shortly before stepping over here. I checked with my DDO and those people in our Regional Operations Directorate who are responsible for that portion of the world. The report is false. The Marines have not landed, but the situation is still well in hand.

Q The situation is still -- (laughter) -- well in hand?

GEN. CONWAY: (Chuckles.)

MR. DI RITA: Come on, Charlie. Work with us here.

Q So no U.S. troops have gone ashore --

GEN. CONWAY: That's correct, Charlie, that there's no indication that the people in the Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa have landed on the Somali coast. They're still in Djibouti and conducting operations.
Military Family Network:
Virginia-based unit provides armored asset to infantry in Iraq

Cpl. Ken Melton - 2nd Marine Division

Lance Cpl. Chimbuoyim Okoli Jr. and his fellow Marines with 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion recently conducted operations in a unique environment. Camp Ripper, Al Anbar, Iraq - 23-year-old Lance Cpl. Chimbuoyim Okoli a 4th AAV crewman attached to 3/25 ,pushes the new track on this vehiclesso it can be reay to carry out it's next mission. Photo by: Cpl. Ken Melton

The Virginia Beach, Va., based unit, attached to 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, is launching their armored vehicles from fortified bases, instead of ships in the ocean, to conduct operations on urban terrain here.

“We take the troops into the city so they can do their job,” said the AAV crewman and Virginia Beach native.
For the time being, PFC Morris is back at home, sleeping off his red-eye flight from 29 Palms.

Thursday, May 05, 2005
Brit election results
Blair majority 'slashed'
By George Jones, Political Editor
(Filed: 06/05/2005)

Tony Blair was heading back to No 10 today, his 52nd birthday, for a record third term but with his authority severely dented by the prospect of a substantially reduced majority.

On a night of unexpected setbacks for Labour, he suffered a serious backlash over the Iraq war, while the Conservatives showed the first signs of revival since 1992.

Blair's reduced majority means who will probably hand over to Gordon Brown sooner rather than later. Hence it is not surprising to read:
Gordon Brown, who held his seat of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, promised that Labour would "listen and learn" from the election result.
Theresa May, a Conservative Party sachem who once said that social conservatism made the party seem "nasty," was reelected despite a strong challenge from the Liberal Democrats:
Liberal Democrat attempts to "decapitate" senior Tories suffered a setback when Theresa May, the former Conservative Party chairman, held Maidenhead with an increased majority.
Hmmm. Rethinking her rejection of social conservatism? (Or insert in the comment boxes your own jokes about "holding Maidenhead with an increased majority." The Telegraph staff were probably rotfl. You know what British double-entendre humor is like.)

We pray in union with and keep the most holy day on which thy only-begotten Son our Lord set at the right hand of thy glory the substance of our frail human nature which he had taken to himself...

-- Third Prayer of the Canon, Ascension Thursday, from Callan and McHugh, eds., The Catholic Missal, New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, Publishers to the Apostolic See, 1943

Wednesday, May 04, 2005
British election

If anyone's wondered why I haven't been blogging about this, despite my interest in Brit politics and my reading the electronic edition of The Daily Telegraph every day, it's because my natural party over there hasn't been giving me much to get excited about. Michael Howard -- fixing to become the third Tory leader in a row not to attain No. 10, a party record -- has been talking mostly about immigration, one of the few things I'm "liberal" on (that is, if The Wall Street Journal editorial page can also be called "liberal" on it).

The Conservatives were for a long time the UK's "natural party of government," not, as its wet mandarins think, because it was always moderate, but because it integrated new ideas into a conservative framework. Mass enfranchisement was hardly the Duke of Wellington's agenda, but Disraeli announce that "the masses are conservative," and extended them the vote. The party is "older than capitalism," as pro-capitalist Sir Keith Joseph once put it, yet Margaret Thatcher (Sir Keith's intellectual disciple) took rootin'-tootin' American-style capitalism, made it "Tory," and made it work.

But since the Iron Lady's time, Tory leaders have not been of the caliber of Wellington, Disraeli, Churchill, or Thatcher.

For a while abortion seemed to flicker as an election issue, with Howard favoring a slightly earlier cut-off point for the right to abort, and Blair, well, not. But you'd never guess this from Howard's campaign speeches or the official bumf from Conservative Central Office.

And what of the Labour Party? It's not without reason that those "Thank Tony" buttons have been appearing on American right-wing foreign-policy-oriented blogs. But we won't have Tony for long in any event: he's going to hand off to anti-American leftie Gordon Brown, sooner if Labour's majority is badly cut in tomorrow's election, later if it isn't.

On the whole I endorse the Telegraph's editorial in its May 5 edition:
We cannot pretend that we have been altogether happy with the Conservatives' campaign. It started well, with its emphasis on the need to keep taxes down (although even the Tories plan to increase public spending by nearly as much as Labour). But the campaign has concentrated too much on side-issues. We wish that Michael Howard had said more about his well thought-out plans for cutting red tape and giving parents and patients greater choice in education and health. The best that can be said for Mr Howard is that his instincts are good - a great deal more than can be said for Mr Blair, Mr Brown or Mr Kennedy. Like us, he wants smaller government, greater personal choice and (eventually) lower taxes.
So, yeah, vote Tory, I guess. Labour will win anyway, until some new Thatcher comes along.

"Religious climate" kerfuffle at the Air Force Academy: the Ninomaniac writes it up.

Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker, engages with Pope Benedict's views on music, which are actually more interesting than Mr. Ross's.

Back on April 19, I not only watched an historic papal election -- I also took Cacciadelia to a mighty good performance of DIE WALKÜRE at the Met. Our Sieglinde was Katarina Dalayman, an up-and-coming soprano who made her Met debut in the mezzo role of Brangäne in TRISTAN a few years ago. Here is an interesting profile of her.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005
"Kingdom of Heaven"

Before I turn to this new meme from Angus via Eve, I want to let you know that I just saw an advance screening of Kingdom of Heaven, the new Crusade movie.

What you should like:

* Eye-filling historical epic. For a long time no one did these; Ridley "Gladiator" Scott does them well.

* The collapse of Saladin's siege towers. Whoa, man!

* Eva Green's face

* The kind and peaceful Christian king of Jerusalem. A leper, he wears a beautiful silver mask, with a graceful hood flowing from it. Though dying, he goes into battle to beat back evil elements on his own side. His eerie presence, presiding in council, is a haunting image. The actor, Edward Norton, gets to act only with his eyes, and he does it extremely well.

* A host of good actors familiar from other shows that we know and love, including Orlando "Legolas" Bloom, Jeremy "Charles Ryder" Irons, Brendan "Mad-Eye Moody" Gleeson (playing a Templar chieftain -- a cartoon villain), and David "Lupin" Thewlis.

* At the end, our hero, back home in France, though declining a personal offer from Richard Coeur de Lion to go with him on another Crusade, nonetheless gives him the same directions to Jerusalem that his father gave him: "Go that way until the people start speaking Italian, then keep going until they speak something else." This suggests that the experience was somehow worthwhile.

What you shouldn't like:

* Perpetuates the myth that Christians invented war crimes. (Caccia di Gregorio gave the 20th Century Fox rep an earful about this.)

* There are plenty of bad guys on the Christian side (including all the Templars), and virtually none on the Muslim side.

* The good guys on the Christian side have all explicitly distanced themselves from Christianity.

* The only two Christian clerical characters (one of them, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, is played by Jon Finch, familiar 34 years ago as Polanski's Macbeth) are both dodgy, if not outright wicked.

What's merely embarrassing:

* Major verbal anachronisms, such as referring to communities of belief as "religions" (in the Middle Ages, the word "religion" referred only and exclusively to Christian monastic orders). The funniest was when one character referred to communities of belief as "denominations" -- off by about 800 years and three or four major worldview shifts.

So I think you'll agree, the bad outweighs the good. I'd like to know what readers think of it, especially you, Paladin of Faith and Reason.

EDITED TO ADD: The Daily Torygraph has a good article about the movie, and about the Crusades, here.

Islaming banking grows. Seems the Saudis have discovered that financing terrorism is no obstacle to -- may even be the ticket to -- big deals with European governments, VISA, etc.

"Waaaa, waaaa, not all Moslems are terrorists, hic, not even all Saudis, hic, you, you, hic, mean person...."

That reminds me, I also meant to post this, about how the Saudi Crown Prince recently dumped his reformist Education Minister in favor of a Wahhabi hardliner with extensive Al Qaeda connections. No doubt Mr. al-Obaid's state madrassas will provide Bank Aljazira (really, that's what it's called -- go click on the link) with the sort of loan officers who understand the unique needs of tomorrow's growing terrorist enterprises. Currency exchange experts are useful, too, for when you're buying enriched uranium from infidel Russians....

Monday, May 02, 2005
From The Onion, for Human Resources fans: the tale of H-Dog, from Accounts Receivable.

Oh and by the way, What's Working in Human Resources? Benefits XVI! Tee hee hee!

Let's see, what's on the front page of the Wall St. Journal today?

First, this: "Newspapers could be at their worst circulation numbers in more than a decade...." Ah. As Doonesbury once said, it's the media reporting on themselves again: could be a story in it. No but really -- newspapers, losing circulation? Next we'll hear that horse-drawn buggies aren't selling like they used to. (Check this out. Hat-tip: Belmont Club.)

North Korea apparently fired a short-range missile into the sea after saying it expects no nuclear accord while Bush is president.
Being a little rickety on the whole succession thing themselves, they apparently think they can prevent Bush's reelection in 2008.
The apparent missile test and weekend jabs at Bush complicate efforts to persuade Pyongyang to abandon nuclear aspirations.
No, really? Maybe next year we'll read: "North Korea apparently fired a long-range missile at the western United States. The apparent disappearance of the greater Los Angeles area and weekend lobs at assorted Pacific islands complicate efforts to persuade Pyongyang to abandon nuclear aspirations." (See Rob Long's NR send-ups of the current Kim, here and here.)

Reminds me, I need to blog about Manchester's American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964. You know, it wasn't foreordained that they'd still be a North Korea, until Truman, Acheson and Marshall in effect guaranteed it....

Scottish cardinal -- a bit of an eyebrow-raiser when JPII gave him a red hat a few years ago -- is with the program:
The leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, has spoken of his affinity with the new Pope and belief that his election will lead to a resurgence of Christianity in Britain and across Europe....

"Following his election [said Cardinal O'Brien] he gave a very brief but pointed indication that his message was to be based around Christ and that he would be working in Europe to re-christianise the continent.

"It was almost a plan of action, very much in the same way that when I became cardinal, I said that I wanted to re-christianise Scotland.

Sunday, May 01, 2005
In the delirium of MOS graduation, Morristown has temporarily become Did You Shave This Morning, Devil?

Which reminds of one of my father's tales from Navy OCS at Newport, RI, back in the '50s:

D.I. (or whatever they call them in the regular Navy): Why didn't you shave this morning, sailor?

OFFICER CANDIDATE: It was my day to s__t, sir!

Next unfamiliar opera I'm likely to obsess on: Janacek's THE MAKROPULOS CASE. (This is the recording to get.)

Who is this great singer, Emilia Marty? How does she know so much about the background of an obscure inheritance suit between the Gregor and Prus families, and why does she want a certain sealed envelope from Prus's files? Who is Emilia Marty, and who is (or was) Ellian MacGregor, Eugenia Montez, Ekaterina Myshkin, and -- Elina Makropulos?

Writes The Economist:
The older Janacek [d. 1928] grew, the more he celebrated life, even in its most unlikely aspects. In his penultimate opera, “The Makropoulos Case”, the timeless heroine renounces her immortality because without death, the natural motion and emotion of existence cease. “In me life has stopped”, she cries, as Janacek's broad, wise and exultant music surges around her.
Actually, Strauss's DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN and Janacek's MAKROPULOS would make great bookends for a Religious Right Opera Festival. FRAU is about the generosity of family life and the malice of willed sterility; MAKROPULOS is about the horror of transgressing nature in the prolongation of life ("somatic immortality").

All your seminaries are belong to us

Vatican to Evaluate American Seminaries
The Associated Press

A Vatican evaluation of American seminaries planned three years ago in response to the clergy sex abuse crisis is expected to move forward under new Pope Benedict XVI and will likely tackle the polarizing issue of whether gays should become priests.

The appraisal will focus on conditions in the seminaries, including how instructors present church teaching on sexuality and celibacy, to look for anything that contributed to the scandal....

The Vatican agency overseeing the project - the Congregation for Catholic Education - has already been given a list of recommended bishops and priests to visit the seminaries. Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of the U.S. Military Archdiocese has been appointed to coordinate the review.

The Vatican education office has also been drafting new guidelines for accepting candidates for the priesthood that could address the question of whether gays should be admitted. The church considers gay relationships "intrinsically disordered."
Well, same-sex attraction, not "gay relationships," a phrase too vague to work with. Still, we appreciate the journalistic effort. And we await the ecclesiastical visitation.