Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cali AG Says Constitutional Amendment Is Unconstitutional

I promise lots of Christmas-y stuff, sacred, solemn, festive, cheerful and everything between, in short order. For now, this absurd tidbit:

Here's the wire story from the AP:

The California attorney general has changed his position on the state's new same-sex marriage
ban and is now urging the state Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.

Jerry Brown filed a brief Friday saying the measure that amended the California Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman is unconstitutional. He says it deprives
gay couples of a fundamental right.

After California voters passed Proposition 8 on Nov. 4, Brown said he would fight to uphold the initiative in his role as attorney general, even though he personally voted
against it.

He submitted his brief in one of the three legal challenges to Proposition 8 brought by same-sex marriage supporters.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The American Papist had this item last week, regarding the L.A. Catholic Bishops' pastoral letter to homosexuals. AmP calls it a case of "unteaching" and files it under the category "stupidity". I frankly do not see how it is either. I am no fan of Cardinal Mahoney, and I think the LA bishops' letter is problematic: its use, e.g., of the UN Declaration on Human Rights is unnecessary and distracting, at best.

Below is the excerpt the AmP gives of the CNA story:

The bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, led by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, issued a letter to homosexual Catholics on Friday seeking to ensure them that the Church’s support for Proposition 8 was not meant to diminish their dignity or their membership in the Church. The true aim of the Church’s support, the bishops write, was to “preserve the ordered relationship between man and woman created by God.”

The pastoral letter, which was printed in the archdiocesan paper The Tidings, is written to all homosexual members of the Church as well as the rest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. According to the bishops, its purpose is to offer reassurance to gays amidst the fallout surrounding Prop. 8’s success that they are “cherished members of the Catholic Church, and that we value you as equal and active members of the Body of Christ.” (CNA)

Peters' further labeling of this blog post under "Mahoney" and "homosexual lobby" is an exercise in poor judgment. The bishops successfully supported Prop 8 in California, and moved to rebuild bridges with the Catholics who belong to the group arguably most interested in seeing 8 defeated. This is laudable.

I do not think Mr. Peters hates homosexuals, and I am certain he would not see the poor souls who suffer serious perversions of their sexual inclination expelled from the Church. I do think he acted hastily, and failed to operate a basic and practically crucial distinction, namely, the distinction between a homosexual inclination and a gay lifestyle. The LA bishops' attempt to reach out to Catholics in the former does not suggest, let alone imply or otherwise provide grounds for inference that they approve or applaud of the latter.

Any effort to help people struggle with the Church against their perversions - whatever they are - is a good thing. In fact, failure to do so often drives people to struggle with their perversions against the Church.

Further laudable in the LA Bishops' letter is their avoidance of the silly semantics of "values" (except in its unexceptionable acception under which it is a synonym of "worth"), in favor of a semantics of order. In their letter, the LA bishops also clarify that their support for 8 was rooted in their concern that, "[T]he ordered relationship between man and woman created by God," to quote the letter, be protected in law. Law expresses and preserves order in society - the wisdom of many laws is proved by the disorder that attends their repeal or reversal.

In sum, the American Papist is a good blogger (I voted for him in the recent scholarship contest) who exercised poor judgment in the present case.

High Water in the Early Morning

Here is another, courtesy of S Leszczynski. It shows Castel Sant'Angelo and a bit of the bridge in the wee hours of Friday AM (S. was up early, not late!):

The Tiber is High

The Tiber is high. As high as I've seen it, ever. My friend, Stefano Leszczynski, took photos:

Here is a battello incarcerated and distressing the ponte sant'angelo:

Here is the same bridge, earlier in the morning...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

True Spirit of Christmas

I know I said I'd be away from the blog for a few days, but when this passed my desk, I had to put it up: an 11 year-old boy with terminal leukemia inspires and leads a massive food drive. Money quote: "I just thought, 'I'll get 'em something.'"

Monday, December 01, 2008

Blogging hiatus

I'll be off the radar for a few days this week, as I catch up on some work.