Reading The Wall Street Journal (of 28 June 2010): The Catholic Raids in Belgium

The article excerpted below, by Stacy Meichtry, appeared on P. A12 of The Wall Street Journal’s 28 June 2010 issue, dateline Rome:

Pope Benedict VI escalated the Vatican’s criticism of Belgian authorities investigating allegations of sexual abuse by priests, calling on civil investigators to respect the “autonomy” of church officials.

“I want to express my closeness and solidarity to you for the surprising and deplorable way the searches were conducted,” the pope wrote in a letter issued Sunday to Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of the Mechelen-Brussels archdiocese.

Pope Benedict was reacting to a series of raids Thursday morning by the Belgian police in Mechelen, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium. Police broke up a monthly meeting of bishops at the palace of Archbishop Léonard, confiscated their cellphones and held the top clerics for nine hours of questioning.

Police also seized the records of a church commission in charge of reviewing sex-abuse cases and searched the tombs of two Brussels archbishops buried at the Cathedral of Mechelen — an act the Vatican on Friday criticized as a “violation” of the burial site.

Here’s self’s take on the proceedings:

Bishops have no right to be in a “palace,” even if it is the “palace of the Archbishop.” Not when millions of people all over the world live just at or below the poverty line.

And the pope needs to show his support for the victims of abuse, not excoriating the police for doing their jobs. So what about “church autonomy”? That same church autonomy sheltered abusers for so many years!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Biggest Understatement of the Year

Failure to stem the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico spells trouble for BP.

    — Headline in The Economist of 5 June 2010

Thoughts on Getting to See “Twilight: Eclipse” (7th Screening of Opening Day)

Self caught the 1:30 screening in Theater # 2 at the Century 20 in downtown Redwood City.

Amazingly, THERE WAS NO LINE!  At least, not for the theater self was seeing it in (There was a line for the 2 pm screening, across the lobby.  Go figure!)

There was a group of about 60 kids swarming in around the same time as self, and self asked one of the accompanying chaperones which movie she was taking the kids to see.  “Toy Story 3,” she responded.  Thank God!  If it had been one of the movies self was angling to see, she would have turned around and gone home!

So, anyhoo, there was plenty of space in the 1:30 screening of “Twilight:  Eclipse”  (After reading IMDB Sean Maher boards yesterday, about the “hot-ness” of vampires, did you really think self was going to see something like “The Karate Kid” today, dear blog readers ???)

Well, this one was waaay better than the second one!  Here are some discoveries self made while watching the movie:

  • Victoria is a new Victoria.  Self thinks it was Bryce Dallas Howard playing Victoria in this version.  Her face is much too sweet for a Vampire, but luckily you can’t really tell it’s Bryce Dallas Howard until pretty late in the movie (Before then, she’s mainly just a mass of gorgeous red curly hair darting around!)
  • Everyone in the audience was female with the exception of one little dude, about 10, who was walking out directly in front of self after the movie ended.  (He came with his mom, a woman who seemed to be in her 30s.  What a nice boy!)
  • Jasper is hot!  Self never noticed him before!
  • Ashley Greene just keeps getting more and more beautiful (She plays Alice)
  • Peter Facinelli is also hot (Likewise, self never noticed his hot-ness before)
  • Taylor Lautner is still hot (His first shirt-less scene produced quite an audible sigh in the audience)
  • Robert Pattinson’s Edward has turned into a controlling wuss.
  • Kristen Stewart is developing quite a nice butt (Self never noticed before)
  • Dakota Fanning’s acting chops are pretty much wasted.  All she does is glare!
  • All the humans/werewolves look like Filipinos Read the rest of this entry »

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