Sunday, March 21, 2004

Poll: 'Passion' may be reducing anti-Semitism

A new poll suggests fears that "The Passion of the Christ" would trigger anti-Semitism were unwarranted.

A nationwide survey conducted for the Institute for Jewish and Community Research finds that 83 percent of Americans familiar with the film say it's made them neither more nor less likely to blame today's Jews for Jesus' crucifixion.

Nine percent said Mel Gibson's film actually has made them less likely to blame today's Jews, while less than 2 percent said they're more likely to fault modern Jews or Jewish institutions.

The Institute's president, Gary Tobin, adds that discussion of the issue has probably been good for Christian-Jewish relations.

A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions About The Passion of The Christ

Now #9 on Amazon!

It's cheap. Buy several and give to friends and family.
Your Catholic Diocese May Soon be Welcoming the Author of "Prayers to Sophia"

But of course, she first will be in the Diocese of Cleveland.

This morning's parish bulletin informed me that New Age radical feminist, Joyce Rupp, "will present 'The Liberated Heart, An Inner Journey, Day of Retreat' on April 3 at St. Joseph Center, 3430 Rocky River Drive...Sponsored by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph, Sprituality Committee. For more information and/or to register, call Sister Joan Keating, CSJ, at (216) 252-0440."

And so, heretics continue to be welcomed into the Diocese of Cleveland, Home of FutureChurch. The pro-abortion Guerrilla Girls speak at John Carroll University just days after JCU students were "enetertained" by the Vagina Monolouges. Now we have an order of Nuns bringing in a Sophia-worshiping heretic.

And what do we get from our leader, Bishop Pilla, warnings about the dangers of "The Passion of the Christ." Be sure to read Kevin Miller's great blog on this point.

Lord, send us a St. Francis!!!


Tuesday, March 16, 2004


"SAVE OUR CHURCH" calls for removal of Bishop Pilla!!!

Read more, click here!

While the heretical FUTURECHURCH backs Bishop Pilla despite ongoing scandals:

"Were Bishop Pilla to be forced out, we would be leaving ourselves open to a new bishop who would most likely be much more conservative and legalistic"


(A letter from Chris Schenk, Executive Director of FutureChurch. Thanks, Chris.)

I spoke with Kathy Burke [Editor's note: Kathy heads up St. Malachi's Task Force on Sexual Abuse.] about FutureChurch's positions re: the Bishops' scandal and said I would send along our thinking so far. But first let me say that I am glad to see the Community (as usual) is monitoring this important issue in the life of our Church

Here is a copy of our media release [Editor's note: It follows this letter.] that went out right before the Bishops' meeting. It pretty much delineates our position. ...

Of course the closed clerical system remains just that, but that is another aspect of our mission...for now, we must try to work with the system we have while sowing seeds for a broader systemic change which will serve the 21st century church...


She thought some people felt the Community should call for Bishop Pilla's resignation. May I say that FutureChurch would not support this...


Kathy mentioned that she thought some people felt the Community should call for Bishop Pilla's resignation. May I say that FutureChurch would not support this for the reasons I list below:

* * *

4. The last reason is admittedly self serving: Were Bishop Pilla to be forced out, we would be leaving ourselves open to a new bishop who would most likely be much more conservative and legalistic given the Bishop appointments that have been made in this papacy. The well-known litmus test for being appointed a bishop under John Paul II is that the person must be opposed to birth control, optional celibacy and women priests. I have this information directly from several bishops who are in positions to know. Bishop Pilla is one of the few remaining "pastoral" bishops who were appointed under Archbishop Jean Jadot. If he doesn't outlast the Pope we can expect to have our next Bishop be less open to lay participation in decision making than Bishop Pilla. It will be a given...and something we need to prepare for, IMHO. In any case, why rush things, I say?

Please know we stand ready to work together around both the monitoring and financial disclosure issue as seems appropriate.

With best regards,


Full letter here:


Saturday, March 13, 2004

Diocese of Cleveland Steps Up Its Losing War Against "The Passion of the Christ"

A few weeks back the Cleveland Plain Dealer featured a front page story, 'Passion' movie raises religious fervor, fears. The article informed readers that "The Diocese of Cleveland sent a February memo to all its parishes asking Catholics to be aware of the potential for anti-Semitism."

In addition to this memo, there was a letter sent out to area religious leaders by Father Joseph Hilinski, the Director of the Interfaith Commision, Diocese of Cleveland.

In this letter, Father Hilinski expresses "grave concern" over the movie and states that "to stimulate intolerance in order to promote a movie is reprehensible."

Catholic World News responded with the following commentary:


Ponder this

The Diocese of Cleveland issues a warning to Catholic parishes that seeing a movie which illustrates the events of the Gospels, may lead to the rise of anti-Semitism in churchgoing Catholics. Meanwhile, a local Catholic university allows the production of the "Vagina Monologues" on campus with proceeds going to a pro-abortion group. The diocese's response when told about this immoral play supporting the murder of babies? "No comment."

Evidently, according to the Diocese of Cleveland, the greater threat to society is a movie about the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, not a play that promotes sexual immorality and the funding of pro-abortion groups.

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe (in me) to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea." (Mark 9:42)


Now, the Diocese of Cleveland is at again.

The Diocese is bringing to town Sister Mary Boys perhaps the most hyperbolic and ridiculous critic of "The Passion of the Christ."

And if you don't believe me, the Catholic League has the quotes to prove it.

But first, brought to you by the Diocese of Cleveland website, here is the information on the upcoming diocesan sponsored appearance by Sister Mary Boys:


Catholic-Jewish Colloquium, Monday, April 19, 2004, 7:30 pm at Tifereth Israel

Sr. Mary Boys of Union Theological, as part of the Catholic-Jewish Colloquium, will speak on Monday, April 19, 2004 at 7:30 pm. The presentation will be at Tifereth Israel, 26000 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood. She will speak on the theme of the challenge of dealing with anti-Semitism in dramatizing the passion narratives of the Gospels on stage and screen. In part, this will be a Catholic response to the Jewish communities questions concerning Mel Gibson's movie, Passion. For more information, contact the Interfaith Commission at (216) 696-6525, Ext. 5110.


Cybercast News Service, November 7, 2003;
Sister Mary C. Boys:

"Boys noted that the movie is already 'dividing evangelicals and Catholics—Catholics and Catholics, and Christians and Jews.

"'I don't believe that [given the divisive] result that he [Mel Gibson] could claim that the Holy Spirit is behind this. ...

"'Our concern is what happens after people see the film? Will anti-Semitic actions happen or will attitudes against the Jews be exacerbated by this film?'"

The Jewish Week, September 19, 2003; Sister Mary C. Boys:

"'One of the problems is people are going to see this film and are going to conclude that's the way it is because they don't know anything different, it's part of the religious illiteracy in our country,' Sister Boys said. 'We really have to find ways to educate them about interpreting Scripture more thoughtfully.'"

The Times Union (NY), September 19, 2003;

Sister Mary C. Boys:

"'It's not understanding,' she said of Gibson's script. 'He wouldn't know a scholar if he ran into one.'"

The Evangelist (Diocese of Albany, NY), September 11, 2003;

Sister Mary C. Boys:

"The average Christian goes to see this film, which is going to be incredibly graphic, and [thinks] the people that do this to Jesus are the Jews. This does not do well for Christian-Jewish relations."

National Public Radio, "All Things Considered," September 3, 2003; Sister Mary C. Boys:

"Will this film exacerbate divisions between Christians and Jews? Will this film exacerbate differences between traditionalist Catholics and those who see themselves more in the mainstream? Will this film exacerbate divisions between, say, Catholics and evangelicals? And I think if it does any of those, then I find it difficult to believe that the Holy Spirit is at work."

Associated Press, August 9, 2003; Sister Mary C. Boys:

"For too many years, Christians have accused Jews of being Christ-killers and used that charge to rationalize violence.... This is our fear."

Kansas City Star, August 9, 2003; Sister Mary C. Boys:

"Our fear is that if the film is based on the script we read—which is possible but not necessarily the case—it could promote anti-Semitic sentiments."

The New York Times, August 2, 2003; Sister Mary C. Boys:

"When we read the screenplay, our sense was this wasn't really something you could fix. All the way through, the Jews are portrayed as bloodthirsty. We're really concerned that this could be one of the great crises in Christian-Jewish relations."

Dramatizing the Death of Jesus: Issues that Have Surfaced in Media Reports about the Upcoming Film, The Passion; by Mary C. Boys, Philip A. Cunningham, Lawrence E. Frizzell, John T. Pawlikowski, June 17, 2003:

"We understood from the outset of our review of the script that our report did not represent an official statement of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops….

"Anyone who composes a script for a dramatic presentation of the death of Jesus must draw upon four distinct passion narratives in the four gospels in the New Testament. One cannot assume that by simply conforming to the New Testament

The Jewish Week, March 28, 2003; Sister Mary Boys:

"As a member of the Catholic Church, I regard his thinking as bizarre and dangerous, and suggest that Jews judge them similarly. ...

"We seem to have at best fringe Catholics if not heretical with ... a tragically twisted understanding of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. It is compounded by the arrogance great wealth makes possible in producing a film that will reopen wounds of history."
that antisemitism [sic] will not be promoted."


Sunday, March 07, 2004


Friday, March 05, 2004


[What follows is an open letter to Bishop Pilla concerning homosexual abuse in the Diocese of Cleveland. Be sure to forward it on to other Catholics who might be interested. You may also want to share your thoughts with the diocese by e-mailing Bishop Pilla at bishop@dioceseofcleveland.org and with a cc to his staff at rtayek@dioceseofcleveland.org and ljurcak@dioceseofcleveland.org . ]

An Open Letter to Bishop Pilla

Dear Bishop Pilla,

The March 1, 2004 Washington Times reports:

Eighty-one percent of sex crimes committed against children by Roman Catholic priests during the past 52 years were homosexual men preying on boys, according to a comprehensive study released yesterday on the church's sex abuse crisis.

A chart reflecting this fact was strangely missing from your recent letter to the Diocese of Cleveland. A good one is available here from Catholic World News.

Not long ago, a Cleveland Detective recorded the following conversation at a “gay bar” with Father McBride, a homosexual priest who recently plead guilty to abusing a minor:


"Back in the 1960s, would you have ever come to a place like this?" Burkhart asked. "I mean, in this town, where you were working?"

"Probably not, no," McBride said. "Realistically, in 1960, no."

"And in certain places it looks like the seminary on Saturday night now," Burkhart joked.

"Yeah, that really is how it is," McBride said.

They compared notes on seeing clergy in gay bars. Then Burkhart stammered as he asked McBride a personal question: "So, whenever you had sex . . . were you bound to go to confession and confess it before you said Mass, or . . .?"

"Well, you were supposed to, yes," McBride said.

"Do you think all these priests do?"

"No," McBride said. "I think they changed their minds and decided it's not a sin."

(Read the complete story of Father McBride here. )


Clearly, the abuse crisis does not stem from any teaching of the Church; but rather, the crisis is a direct result of dissenting priests deciding that sins are no longer sins.

As you know, The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states:

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

As you also know, in addition to homosexual acts being a grave depravity, Pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

So why is there a Rainbow Gay Pride Banner flying on the Diocese of Cleveland website?


How could a Catholic Diocese possibly be PROUD of a “grave depravity”? The Rainbow Gay Pride Banner on your website is an abomination, particularly in light of the hundreds of innocent boys who have been homosexually molested by gay priests in your diocese.

And by the way, what the heck is this thing and why is it on your website?

. http://www.dioceseofcleveland.org/gayandlesbianfamilyministry/images/glfmlogo.gif

Married men and women are sometimes tempted to covet thy neighbor's wife. Can we expect an Adulterer Pride symbol next on your website for those who are tempted to cheat on their spouse?

The continued presence of the Gay Flag on the Diocese of Cleveland website sends a clear message to everyone that you still are not serious about addressing the problems that caused hundreds of boys to be homosexually molested by diocesan priests.



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