Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Author unknown

The "Nuns of the Battlefield" memorial was dedicated on September 20, 1924 in honor of the members of religious orders who had been employed by the Union Army to care for sick and wounded military men during the US Civil War.

The monument, located at the corner of Rhode Island and M Streets, consists of a granite shaft with a large bronze panel portraying twelve nuns representing various religious orders who served in Army hospitals.

The monument was sponsored by the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians in America. Still available through used book outlets is the book "Nuns of the Battlefield" (1927) that was written by Ellen Ryan Jolly, who was National President of the LAOH. The book was written in order to provide documentation for the construction of the monument and details all the orders that participated as nurses and their members who served.

Pictures of the monument on the web indicate that it may not be in the best shape. Maybe someone could pick up the idea of a restoration project? Since the memorial was originally designed to be located at Arlington National Cemetary, a relcoation and restoration might also be in order as it certainly deserves recognition with the chaplain's memorials.


Author unknown

Arlington, Virginia. Eighty-three Catholic military chaplains who gave their lives during World War II, the Korean Conflict and in the Vietnam War are honored on a special monument at Arlington National Cemetery. The monument was erected on May 21, 1989, on Chaplains' Hill by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, Silver Spring, Md.

The dedication ceremony, which began with a concelebrated Mass in the Amphitheater of the Cemetery, was presided over by Archbishop Joseph T. Ryan, Archbishop of the Military Archdiocese. Other guests included Brigadier General Patrick H. Brady, chief of public affairs, and the secretary of the Army, who was the speaker for the dedication ceremony.

General Brady, a Roman Catholic, earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam. Monuments honoring chaplains from all denomination who died in World War I and the Protestant chaplains who died during World War II stand alongside the Catholic Chaplains' monument.

Seventy priests lost their lives in World War II, six in Korea, and seven in Vietnam. Many of their relatives attended the dedication ceremony, along with 83 priests from 43 dioceses and religious orders. Many diocesan bishops and religious superiors also attended the ceremonies.

The monument is an unpolished granite stone with a bronze plaque. The stone stands six feet 10 inches tall and is 42 inches wide and 10 inches thick. The plaque is 50 inches by 30 inches. It lists the names of the chaplains alphabetically for World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The cost was approximately $8,000 and was paid for out of the general operating funds of the Archdiocese. The monument was constructed by the Raymond G. Merkle Cemetery Monument Company of Baltimore, Md.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Even though there’s a picture of a very sexy model on the cover, my bride refuses to believe that I snitched the magazine for an article inside. I wouldn’t have taken it from Cleveland Attorney Michael Smith’s office but, after all, it was dated October, 2005. Who would miss it? I never imagined it would raise such a huge anger inside me.

“Catholic Priests and Their Wives” was printed on the cover of Esquire magazine. That’s why I stuffed it into my briefcase. Seeing as I am a practicing Roman Catholic, and personally know a few married priests and know of many others, I had a natural interest in reading it. Back home in the comfort of my family room easy chair, I turned on the reading light and opened the magazine, thinking I was about to read about American Catholic priests who have left the priesthood for married life. Omigod...the article is about Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist and priests of other faith expressions who have “converted” to Roman Catholicism, and are now embraced as priests of the Roman Catholic Church.

The article focuses on five men and their families. Yes, I said their families. All have slipped in as priests of the Roman Catholic Church because of the 1980 papal decision to dispense Episcopal priests, and others, from the laws of celibacy. According to Esquire, at the time there were seventy-nine such priests in America.

Cleveland’s Father Don Cozzens is visiting associate professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He is an in-demand speaker worldwide regarding celibacy in the Catholic Church. His newest work is titled “Freeing Celibacy.” He wants an end to mandatory celibacy, calling its impact on the priesthood “an unhealthy burden that has shrunk their souls and drained the last drops of passion from their lives.” It’s not Father Don’s first publication addressing the subject. An earlier work, “The Changing Face of the Priesthood, A Reflection on the Priest’s Crisis of Soul, is a book that reflects both concern and hope for the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church.

Since I snitched the Esquire magazine, another related development has occurred. During the month of October, 2006, the Vatican confirmed its position on mandatory celibacy. While my spiritual faith is not jolted by decisions of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, I am developing a growing belief that it truly is a “good ole boy” network.

I’m not foolish enough to think that ALL Catholic priests fit into Father Don’s view of the current spiritual state of the Catholic priesthood. Nor am I about to question the spirituality of those men of other faiths who have become Catholic priests. However, there are enough of them to prompt a new thinking. But without input by our own faithful, both laity and clerical, we’ll not see any new realities in the Catholic Church.

If the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church is to keep the faithful in our ranks, we must fill them, something that’s not being done. I don’t call ordaining married men of other faith expressions the proper way to do it while, at the same time, the Vatican confirms mandatory celibacy as a policy. American Indians would call this “speaking with a forked tongue.”

We’re way past the time for a policy of optional celibacy for our own priesthood. For some it may not be important, and that’s OK. But for many it obviously is.

Sullivan (http://www.geocities.com/osuileabhain2000/Index.htm) is an Irish-American writer residing in northeast Ohio. His worldwide publishing credits are numerous, including Irish Echo Newspaper, Mayo News, Western People, Irish-America Magazine and Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine.


The song by the Shirelle’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” kind of sums it up. “Tonight you’re mine completely... but will you love me tomorrow?” Roe v Wade was born out of an era when men called the shots. Having an affair? Enjoy. What, you’re pregnant? Here’s the dough for an abortion and here’s who to call. Now, goodbye. Love ‘em and leave ‘em…. And now on to another playmate.

Men have nobody to blame but themselves for not having a leg to stand on when it comes to abortion rights. That not withstanding, it’s time for us to take back our rights as protectors of our children, born and unborn.

The question was recently asked of a pro-abortion female, “If it is recognized that if you are granted child support payments, does it not follow that a man has partial ownership of that child? Her answer was that once it’s in her womb, it belongs to her alone. Yet, when it comes to abortion, Roe v Wade, i.e. the state, says a father has no such ownership and no say in the matter.

The female of our species carry the egg. By itself, this egg is not human life. Potential life yes, but not human life. The male of our species carry the sperm. Some of us have probably seen film of them under a microscope. You can see them moving around. They’re alive, of course, but they’re not human life. Before fertilization, neither the egg or the sperm can be called human life.

Once the sperm of the male fertilizes the egg of the female, human life begins, not before. With this development there now comes into existence a mother and a father, and a human life that will physically enter our air space in approximately nine months. And as parents, is it not now our moral duty is to do everything in our power to protect the life and well-being of our newly-created generation of self?

Another factor to be considered in the abortion question is permission. If a woman is impregnated by a man, has she not contributed equally to the pregnancy? However, the Womens' Movement says a woman’s body is her own business. Roe v Wade supported that. But it never addressed who owns male sperm. However, upon conception a transformation takes place. The union of egg and sperm produces something new. Should not the “new” now have a voice of its own?

If the logic of the United States Supreme Court in the guise of Roe v Wade is to remain law, i.e., women own their womb, it must therefore be logical that men own their sperm, no matter where they deposit it. If not, we have no choice but to conclude that men cannot be responsible for child support and laws to that effect need to be revisited and overturned.


With the announcement by Bishop Richard Lennon of the proposed closing of a number of Catholic churches in the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, has come a grieving chorus of the faithful. They don’t understand why some churches are on the “Lennon’s List” and others have escaped. It brings to mind a period of Catholic history when laity and clergy went head to head over control of church finances and property.

In “Catholics in the Old South”, Randall M. Miller wrote of the early 1800s, “Church leaders fixed their gaze on the institutional concerns of building churches and an ecclesiastical framework to support them, of recruiting and training priests and nuns , and of invigorating Catholic faith.” Faced with internal problems of their own in that regard, and being unable to do it all, Lay Trusteeism emerged in the developing Southern church. Even the first American Bishop, John Carroll, endorsed the concept, apparently not realizing, or ignoring, the inherent problems it would bring in the area of episcopal authority. Lay trustees, or Wardens as they were also called, held title to church property and had complete control over finances. When the hierarchy attempted to exert more effort to control, they ran into stiff resistance.

Besides holding church purse strings, Trustees assumed other powers, i.e., the appointing and dismissing of pastors and demanding Bishops follow their example. As can be imagined, Bishops fought back, reminding the faithful that Canon law vested that authority with them. Tensions developed and increased and ugly incidents erupted between them.

Trustees took to the streets, staging public rallies that denounced Episcopal and papal “usurpations”. Representatives of the Bishops were denied entry into churches. Schism was threatened and legal manifestations began. In New Orleans, the wardens of St. Louis Cathedral went to court and the state legislature in an attempt to draw civil authorities and the law into their corner.

In New Iberia, Louisiana, sermons were interrupted and the pastors were literally threatened. A priest was set upon with whips and sticks. In Monroe, Louisiana, young boys hurled rocks at a priest that was not very popular. At St. John’s, Lafayette, a priest was beat up by a “ruffian” while the chairman of the board of trustees reportedly looked on with amusement. His sin, amongst other complaints, was proposing catechisms for blacks.

Today, the faithful have empathy for those Catholics of another era. Those affected by today’s church closings have believed, perhaps rightly so, the church building belonged to the parishioners. After all, First Communions, Confirmations, weddings and funerals have all taken place there, events that are a major part of Catholic life. Many friendships from grade school last a lifetime.

Like the southern faithful of the 1800s, bitterness is strong among Catholics in northeast Ohio, and probably elsewhere. Further complicating their hurt feelings has been the ordination of gay men. It bothers many as the church doles out millions to those, actually and allegedly, sexually abused. When discovered, these same priests were simply transferred to other parishes where they continued their behavior, confident their actions would be again “swept under the rug.” Feelings are strong and the attitude has become “And now you want to close our church?”

Where we’ve abandoned the neighborhood, we have no argument. In our affluence, and in some cases concerned for our safety, we’ve moved away to other neighborhoods or cities, away from the churches previous generations built. Yet there are churches reportedly filled each Sunday. What’s the reason for closing them? The first answer that comes to many Catholic minds is the obvious – saving and/or raising cash.

In the business world, local management personally knows their co-workers. It’s a hard, emotional decision to cut people from the payroll or move company operations elsewhere. Many simply cannot make the necessary decisions that allow a company to survive and stay afloat. Someone usually has to be brought in from outside the company or locale to do it. Like that new corporate person brought in to do the job, Bishop Lennon is the Catholic charged with the responsibility.

It almost makes one think that perhaps it’s time to adopt the earlier attitude and separate church responsibilities between Catholic laity and Episcopal. And/or ordain married men. Or women.


April 27, 2009
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame

Dear Father Jenkins,

When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Yours Very Truly,

Mary Ann Glendon

Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A member of the editorial and advisory board of First Things , she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 2007 to 2009.
Posted by John C. Sullivan, Public Relations Officer, Department of Ohio at 4:22 AM 0 comments

The formerly Catholic University of Notre Dame

I find it unfathomable that a prestigious Catholic institution of higher learning would embroil themselves in controversy by inviting a pro-abortion US President to their commencement exercise. Furthermore, they have awarded him an honorary degree.

I will consider the university to be no longer Catholic until such a time that Fr. Jenkins and others involved in this horrible decision are removed from their association with the school.

The President has legitimized the propaganda line of pro-abortionists. My, my, world headlines will glorify him, as will our left-leaning American print and broadcast media.