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Confessions of a Catholic Seminarian
Notes from the Journey

Friday, April 11, 2003

Here are some interesting tidbits from An Article at National Review

Saddam’s Iraqis slammed rockets into American installations, blew up two journalists, and the world was silent. In contrast, our troops on the ground fired back at shooters in a hotel where Baathist functionaries were embedded among reporters, tragically killed three journalists, and the globe was afire in indignation. American teenagers inside tanks (no doubt glued to CNN video consuls) who were targets were apparently supposed to die rather than dare to endanger a crowd of elite journalists at Ground Zero of a war, with full knowledge that they were being housed and used by fascists — as if Patton’s tankers would have not fired back at shooters in a hotel in Vichy France because Nazis had allowed a UPI or AP correspondent on the verandah.

Further supporting those of us who supported the troops and the effort: Evidence of Bio-Terror and AlQuedah Links

I'm actually not a super-conservative person, but these are compelling encounters with the reality of what's going about the world today.

We had classes today, a Rector's Conference, Mass, then were dismissed for the coming week. I had planned on taking a nice long walk, preparing for the coming Crescent City Classic, but fell soundly asleep after lunch. Surely due to this recent sleeplessness. Actually I've been meaning to photograph the work on Canal and Carrollton, the streetcar lines being put back in. It's really fascinting to watch it being done week in and week out, though irritating being an anti-traffic person. I did manage to walk 5 miles and get some work done on two papers also, though.

Tommorow looms before me bright and free. Yet I have 28 days left in which to manage it all, plus write several rather large and comprehensive papers. That's not a lot of time. Then of course my Peruvian friends are coming in the week afetr nex, so I'd like to mke sure that all goes well. Which it can assuming I don't have an ounce of schoolwork to do during that time, so... now does seem to tbe the window of opportunity. . .
posted by David Greenleaf at Friday, April 11, 2003

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Today I woke up around 2:30 and immediately decided to go back to sleep. This is an occurence which happens fairly often actually. I turn over and medidate in a sleepful rest, then awaken again, off and on throughout the night. Perhaps it's not the ideal , but it evidently works. It's juxtaposed against those times when I sleep for days on end and nothing can rouse me, for better or for worse. What can I say, I'm project oriented and cyclical.

The point of this being, I decided to actually get out of bed around 5 and get some exercise. So of course I immediately sat down at my desk and typed up about ten pages of notes on the Pentateuch that I've been researching. I've always enjoyed the Pentateuch, but being 42 it's embarassing to realize how little I've known about it all these years.

So I finally head out to the gym, since we have a workshop today and it doesn't really get going until 8:30, and the air is positively frigid. Yesterday was warm as could be, around 83F, then this morning is about 48F with a strong, damp, chill wind blowing from over the lake. I struggled heroically onward though, and managed a workout and a full day of activity.

posted by David Greenleaf at Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

OK, my efforts at HTML are evidently paying off. The last four entries were actually just attempts to test to see if this is working. Now I can see that it is. This pastiche of a website is an interesting process. Writing in public, I will probably not actually write anything truly interesting in the least for quite some time! Still, I have been working on getting something together given that many of my friends have moved away over the years, and often wonder what'sup.

posted by David Greenleaf at Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

I really liked this, from this website here:

...The Dallas convention totally ignored the camel that paraded through the hall when Scott Appleby, the Notre Dame sociologist said that the bad faith of American bishops began in 1968. For it was in 1968 that Pope Paul VI announced his long-awaited decision about Catholic teaching on contraception, and surprised many by giving many reasons against the popular practice.

Immediately, a host of theologians, clergy, and lay people publicly dissented. Then, more afraid of being called "conservative" than of being faithful to Catholic teaching, the bishops looked the other way. They refused to exercise their teaching authority. They allowed dissent (more exactly, rebellion) to grow unchecked. ...

Everything the bishops did in Dallas showed how fearful they still are of being thought conservative. That is why they refused even to touch the one issue that John Paul II had told them is central: fidelity to the whole of Catholic teaching on married love and sexuality. That would have meant antagonizing the secular, liberal press. That would have meant preaching Catholic doctrine straight. The bishops didn't want to touch that task.

They refused by voice vote a motion to study the role of dissent in the present scandalous developments. They were afraid to probe that deep, neuralgic nerve.

Even the choice of two liberals to speak for Catholic laywomen and men displayed the bishops' remarkable fear of being thought conservative. In that respect, the bishops still don't get it.

The bishops need to understand that what we Catholics love and respect is the Catholic faith, not them. If they lack courage to speak up for the faith, what are they good for except to be thrown out and trodden upon, salt without savor?

I don't know about you, but I hear more and more people saying that they should throw out the whole bench, and get a new team. A few exceptions aside, this one doesn't seem to be completely serious.

But my advice is, give them a little more time. And pray that the one or two clear leaders among them will step forward, for the good of the Church. Enough of Avignon. It's time to take the Church back to Rome.

— Michael Novak, the George F. Jewett scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Novak is the author, most recently, of On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding.

Well, a dear friend of the family passed away unexpectedly the other day, at the ripe old age of 44. God bless her, and keep her safe.

I'll sign back on soon.
posted by David Greenleaf at Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Sunday, October 20, 2002

I broke down yesterday and rented American Psycho, the movie based on the incredibly bizarre tale of Patrick Bateman, a yuppie mass murderer slowly going bonkers in New York City during the Eighties.

Watching the 'Featurette' provides an interesting insight, as director Mary Harron shares her insights into the tale as being a "savage portrait of male behavior at it's worst.' That's interesting because it causes me to wonder if she is interpreting Easton's ouvre through a feminist hermeneutic he is not necessarily intending. Perhaps he did intend that, but having read the book (shamelessly, several times,) I've never imagined that Easton sat down thinking, "Yes! I am going to portray male behavior at it's most shocking, denigrating worst! That's it! That's what I'll do!"

Not that she's necessarilly wrong. But that does kind of gloss over the female behavior in the book. I mean hello? Courtney and Evelyn are more than just victims of Patrick's shallowness when it comes to relational abilities. Thier own vapidity more than supports the entire structure of his ultimate lack of personhood.

The movie has it's good points; they did a good job with it. The book did it better. One thing I was left with at the end of the book, was that Patrick got away with it, and was just going to keep getting away with it. No one seemed to have the remotest interest in putting two and two together, and his world had bounced back beacuse everyone was just as shallow as he was. The movie gave me the feeling that his end was near. But again, I could be entirely wrong here. I'd read it again, but I loaned my copy out and have never seen it again. (It's not carried in the seminary library.)

It all reminds of of JPII's observations in Fides et Ratio.

[Against the background of the nihilistic, modernist trends of the last century] "... it remains true that a certain positivist cast of mind continues to nurture the illusion that, thanks to scientific and technical progress, man and woman my live as a demiurge, singlehandedly and completely taking charge of their destiny. Hello Patrick, hello Evelyn.

Anyway, enough blogging on this wonderful World Mission Sunday. The beautiful outdoors beckons, and I am away.
posted by David Greenleaf at Sunday, October 20, 2002

Friday, October 18, 2002

I was glad today that the Vatican spoke on the policies of the Bishop's Summer Summit [my own name, which will of course fade into immediate disuse]. Basically they said we need to think about it.

And who can blame them? For those of us in formation, the policies say, OK, we don't trust any of you, you are all a bunch of child molesting freaks and we're just gonna CYA here. So incredibly affirming.

On the other hand, the child molesting freaks need to come clean. [note: I originally said "get the hell out of the priesthood." But once you are a priest, in the new convenant of Love, you are a priest forever.] We all need to be clean and conformed to Christ.

But the way it is set up now, is that at the mere mention of abuse, the preist is dumped into the hog pile, and the accuser walks away with a new Mercedes. That does not seem the wisest setup.

There needs to be some hard ground, not the vague ground upon which we currently stand.

And there needs to be the firmness of commitment to Christ.

This is an interesting excerpt from Zenit's daily Vatican newsfeed, re: the priesthood.............

The document begins by publishing John Paul II's address to the participants in the Nov. 23, 2001, plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Clergy, which focused on the sacramental figure of the parish priest.

The first part of the instruction addresses the subject of the royal priesthood and the ordained priesthood; the key elements of the ministry; and the life of priests.

According to Cardinal Castrillón, this part of the instruction, which is doctrinal, emphasizes that the parish priest is "the man of communion, with the particular Church and the universal Church. Hence, he must be a model of adherence to the magisterium of the Church and truly feel himself father of the community and of each one of its members. He is an authentic leader of souls."

"He does not 'practice' being a priest; he 'is' a priest!" the cardinal said, explaining that over the past 50 years a distorted image of the priest has emerged, which "ranges from the sociologist to the therapist, from the politician to the manager. It has even led to the idea of the 'retired' priest."

The second part of the document touches upon the positive challenges of parish pastoral care, and states that the "widespread secularized" culture "tends to classify the priest with its own categories of thought, stripping him of his fundamental mystery-sacramental dimension."

The document ends with a "Prayer of the Parish Priest to Mary Most Holy."

Way Cool.
posted by David Greenleaf at Friday, October 18, 2002

Thursday, October 17, 2002

(Editor's Note - Due to overly sentimental claptrap, this post has been heavily edited.)

I remember it well, yes I do. In fact, I remember it like it was just last night. Ahhh. Yes, I remember it well.

In fact, it was just last night when, in between studying for a midterm and saying Night Prayer, I wrote this post intending a fond and thought provoking reflection upon the Papacy of John Paul II. Ahhh, thank God for the edit features of blogspot. (That name again. What kind of a name is blogspot?)

Yes, I remember it well. Oh yes, I remember.

(There. Much, much better.)
posted by David Greenleaf at Thursday, October 17, 2002
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