Author Archives: Jim Bowman

Jim Bowman covered religion 1968-78 for the Chicago Daily News, since then has written books, articles, etc., mostly on corporate history but also on religion (Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968), and more recently on politics (Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters, —, Kindle). Longtime Oak Park, Illinois, resident, he lives now on Chicago’s North Side, where four of his and Winnie’s six children live close by.

Trump’s big foreign policy week to start with embarrassing Pompeo rebuke

But a rebuke is not a defeat . . .

It could be a week focused on global challenges, and it’s starting out with what looks to be an embarrassing rebuke of President Trump’sforeign policy.Barring a last-minute change of votes, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected Monday to reject secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo, Tracy Wilkinson reports.

It would be the first time in years that a nomination for such a high-level Cabinet position did not receive backing at the committee level. Despite the snub, the full Senate is expected to approve CIA Director Pompeo’s nomination later this week thanks to a handful of Democratic votes.[Italics added]

. . . Much less a snub.

An odd way to report a story.

Later: From the quite a bit more reliable in its no-nonsense news reporting, Murdoch-owned Wall St. Journal:

WASHINGTON—Two more Senate Democrats said Monday they would support Mike Pompeo for secretary of state, giving him some breathing room in the full Senate despite his likely rejection by the Senate panel considering his nomination.

Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia—both representing red-leaning states that President Donald Trump won in the 2016 election—said Monday they would back Mr. Pompeo’s nomination. On Friday, another senator, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, said she would support Mr. Pompeo.

Straight reporting, with eye to main point, not to stick a finger in POTUS’s eye, per LA Times.



Why Greek Orthodox and Catholic Easter Will Never Coincide After 2700

​News you can use.

More on the case of Fr. Phillips, accused of “improper relations with adult men” by someone and removed by Cardinal Cupich as pastor of Latin Mass parish

Pointed comment from:

Emily Nielsen · Winnetka, Illinois

This is a disgraceful way to treat a man who has had a long and successful career in the priesthood.

The Archdiocese of Chicago should be celebrating and supporting priests who have turned parishes around and filled churches, as Fr. Phillips has most certainly done. [He revived a parish on its last legs and along the way started a religious congregation of Latin Mass priests.]
The lack of courtesy and respect being shown to him, his order and his parish does not speak well for the current Archdiocesan administration.

Ms. Nielsen is known for her Save the Shrine efforts as regards Woodlawn’s Shrine of Christ the King, which like St. John Cantius housed a Latin Mass parish existing under a pronounced anti-Latin-Mass archbishop.

This is Cardinal Blase Cupich, who in 2002 in his first bishopric, Rapid City, South Dakota, took a drastic step to prevent such a mass:

  • While bishop of Rapid City, he physically locked members of the Latin Mass community out of their chapel during the Easter Triduum . . .   describing [the] measure as “an opportunity on an annual basis for us to all worship together, for one moment of unity as a Catholic church,” and accusing them of finding it “so difficult, on the day of the Lord’s death, to celebrate with their bishop, who is the sign of the Lord’s unity”.

This is speaking softly and carrying a big stick, church-style, a quite unusual my-way-or-highway approach to his role as shepherd of a flock. I can’t picture him doing this in Chicago. Indeed, by now he may know better, no matter where he is.

I must admit, however, that then and now, he shows a tendency to draw on an eternal accepted Christian formulation to justify steps taken in a tactical manner. That is to say, his governance philosophy seems to jump too quickly to the grand-statement reasoning, skipping over the hard parts — what to do when and how to do it.

He did this in a recent column in the archdiocesan newspaper, Chicago Catholic, in which he alarmingly and unconvincingly argues Francis’ and Benedict XVI’s similarities, citing high-spiritual phraseology used by both as cases in point.

In so doing he ignored both Benedict, who in 2007 expanded Latin Mass privileges beyond anyone else since post-Vatican 2 exclusions, and John Paul II, who paved the way for such liturgical libertarianism beginning at least in 1984.

It’s interesting also to note that the aggrieved Rapid City layman who spoke for the other 220 members of the locked-out congregation planned to bring his case to then Pope John Paul II, sensing that he had an ally in Rome if not in Rapid City.

It must be noted that at that time,  the Latin Mass had to be approved by the bishop in charge. So the law was on Cupich’s side. Five years later, under Benedict, it wouldn’t have been.

via Rev. C. Frank Phillips, Founder of Religious Order of Men, Removed for Improper Conduct With Men

Chicago’s St. John Cantius Priest has strong parishioners’ support

Among articulate defenders of Fr. Frank Phillips is Parishioner Nick Chapello, a policeman of 20 years, who told Church Militant,

“I think that I am a better father to my family after watching [Fr. Phillips’] paternity as priest and pastor.”

Chapello, who has experience investigating sex crimes, continued, “I have been sued as a policeman five times, once as a  civilian. I have tried to forgive my accusers. I have tried to understand that they were desperate people. Many were motivated by vengeance and anger.”

“The only thing that I do know is Fr. Phillips is a man that I can trust with the care of my wife, my children and, yes, my very soul,” he added. “I don’t think that I can honestly say that about anyone else, kith or kin.

In a trial of any repute, ecclesiastical or not, one hopes that such testimony is taken into account.

Will Fr. P. meet his accuser or accusers? Or will the investigation and trial be shrouded in sacred secrecy? Faithful Catholics such as Chapello will want to know. The church itself is on trial in a sensational case like this.

via Chicago Priest Defends Himself Against Accusations

DNC: Fundraising woes tied to 2016 conspiracy

Desperate situations, in this case weak fund-raising due to weak message, calls for desperate measures, in this case their last resort, the courts.

Hoping for an Obama or Clinton appointee, are they?

Oak Park students confront Columbine

Actually, it’s a rally in support of gun control. Anyhow, a high-school board member comments wistfully:

“What’s interesting is that 18 years after that, it feels like so little progress has been made,” [Matt] Baron said. “It sounds trite, but these children are our future elected officials. . . . “

I agree with Matt. It does sound trite.

via Oak Park students confront Columbine | Articles | News |

Hillary Clinton stunned when Hamptons-tested ‘deplorables’ bombed, ‘Chasing Hillary’ author says – Washington Times

The Clinton people are not amused:

“The challenge on the campaign was that you had a reporter holding the Clintons to a higher standard through a lower standard of reporting,” the source told The Daily Beast. “Amy was not always an honest broker, and this book seems to be more of the same. It ridicules people with a smile, contributing little to the public discourse.”

By quoting them? Accuracy remains unchallenged.

via Washington Times

Effingham County a ‘sanctuary’ for Illinois gun owners; citizens ‘tired of being pushed around’

This is good.

An overwhelming majority of board members in Effingham County, Illinois, decided to “flip the script” this week and declare itself a “sanctuary” for gun owners.

Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler and board member David Campbell called a barrage of gun-control bills working their way through the Illinois House and Senate a clear signal that it’s time to “take a stand.

Here they stand.

via Effingham County a ‘sanctuary’ for Illinois gun owners; citizens ‘tired of being pushed around’ – Washington Times

Puzzlements in Pope Francis on being holy whoever you are

Not his early recommendations for living according to the duties of one’s state in life. I love that part. Not enough is said about it, in my opinion. It’s your vocation. Follow it.

I am reminded of a talk my father heard, almost certainly at a lunch-time meeting of the Downtown Chicago Serra Club, as long ago as the late 1940s. “Everybody’s got a vocation” was the message. He came home that night full of that idea. It was a day when vocation meant religious life, period. He was hearing something that warmed his heart.

And Francis’ reminder that none of us is perfect, which says nothing about fulfilling our vocation in life, is also something we might hear more of.

But then he gets to some needless, I would say harmful, negativity about religious life, as in this:

26.   It is not healthy to love silence while fleeing interaction with others, to want peace and quiet while avoiding activity, to seek prayer while disdaining service. Everything can be accepted and integrated into our life in this world, and become a part of our path to holiness. We are called to be contemplatives even in the midst of action, and to grow in holiness by responsibly and generously carrying out our proper mission. [Italics mine]

Contemplation in action is a worthy goal, “generously carrying out our proper mission.” But why the shot at contemplatives in monasteries and convents? What’s the point of that? “Not healthy,” he says. Who else says it? He comes out of left field with that one.

For one thing, there’s at least as much flight involved in poorly considered and badly motivated action as in the badly motivated contemplative, cloistered life.

Some need more, not less contemplation, largely as daily reminders of what we are about. “Disdaining service”? Hardly. Rather, keeping oneself on track.

— more more more on puzzlements in Gaudete et Exsultate. —

Worried you’re not politically correct? Here’s a Seinfeld test for you

The Seinfeld of old, that is. If you dare find any of these episodes funny, just reading about them, then you are a racist, insensitive scum and should be ashamed of yourself.

Viewers of “Seinfeld” reruns today — and those who watched each new episode as it came out — are in a unique position. The show, which premiered in 1989 and ran through 1998, contains some storylines that many people in 2018 would consider highly controversial and/or politically incorrect.

Go ahead, I dare you.

via Slideshow: 17 ‘Seinfeld’ Episodes That Could Never Air Today

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