Saturday, May 14, 2005

The New Archbishop of San Francisco

Who will it be now that Levada is going off to Rome? I'm hoping the Holy Father has a strong sense of poetic justice and names Fr. Joseph Fessio.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Rashomon Moment

Rashomon is the title of a classic Japanese language film whose story centers upon the rape of a woman and murder of her husband. The hook of the movie is that every witness who claims to have seen the crimes take place, tells a different story of what happened. To a large extent, the movie is an illustrative commentary on the imperfectness of human nature and the strong tendecy we all have to see and interpret things as we want, rather than as what they are.

The underlying theme of Rashomon seems to have reared its head at Southern Appeal over this recent article written by Pat Buchanan on President Bush's celebration of the 60th anniversary of VE day in Russia. Seems that SA, and several of its combox commentators, think that Buchanan's criticism of Bush is a thinly veiled condemnation of America's involvement in WWII, and a backhanded slight toward all those who fought and sacrificed their lives in that war. I think, however, a closer reading of the article shows something entirely different, and is not what some people are interpreting it to be.

As Buchanan rhetorically asks, "But were we and the Soviets ever fighting for the same things, as FDR believed?" The asking of this question essentially sets up the premise of Buchanan's main argument: that the Soviet Union's involvement in WWII was primarily about preserving its world expasionist goals, and not resisting Nazi aggression. In light of this, Buchanan is expressing befuddlement as to why an American President would go and celebrate VE Day at ground zero for historical world communism.

I can only speculate as to why the good folks at SA seem to be misinterpreting Buchanan's article. This is only a guess, but I suspect that their reading of the piece is colored by their frustration with Buchanan's occasional alignment with the Left on various issues like the war in Iraq, his borderline anti-Semitic blatherings, and his pejorative labeling of any conservative he disagrees with as a "neo-conservative." I certainly share in this frustration about Buchanan, but it shouldn't be a reason to start imputing a belief on him that he never expressed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Assuming she didn't give her consent, I suppose Jennifer Wilbanks is enough of a "newsworthy event" to where this company can try to make money directly off of her image.

It's still sad commentary on our culture, though.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What to Make of It

There seems to be some teeth to the rumor about San Francisco Archbishop William Levada going to CDF. (link via Amy Welborn) While I don't think this would be a great move by PBXVI, it may not be all that bad. First, I highly suspect that no matter who is made the new head of CDF, PBXVI will be keeping a pretty tight reign on it. Second, we can start wildly speculating about the possibility of Fr. Fessio being elevated and appointed as the new Archbishop of San Francisco.

Update: Do I know what I'm talking about, or do I know what talking about? (via Amy Welborn)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Blatant Dishonesty

Tom Berg at the Mirror of Justice Blog writes the following in response to an argument that St. Thomas University Law School's express disavowal over being labled a "conservative" school will lead people to think that the school is not very serious about its Catholic identity, and is, in fact, liberal:

Mr. Adkins doesn't actually claim that being inclusive is the same as softening the teachings; he backs off to saying that "that is the message folks are going to take away from the [St. Thomas] disclaimer." Sorry, folks, but that reminds me of CNN smuggling a scandalous story onto the air in the guise of reporting about how other media are reporting the story. If people interpret a law school's statement that it does not "ascrib[e] to any political agenda" as being "anti-conservative," this will likely be in part because they read commentators who describe the school that way (inaccurately in this case, as I've said in my comments on the Seventh Age blog).

Apparently, Mr. Berg, a self-identified Protestant, has forgotten the following comments by the dean of STU Law School that he (Berg) had posted on the MOJ blog just two days ago:

There is nothing politically “conservative” about our mission, and the people we have attracted prove this. The vast majority of our faculty and student body are left-of-center politically. Our faculty includes individuals who are openly gay, who support abortion rights, who oppose the death penalty, and who have worked on behalf of other “liberal” causes.
Translation: She's an "Uncle Tom"

How else to interpret this comment about D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Janice Rogers Brown by Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid: 'She is a woman who wants to take us back to the Civil War days.'