Archive for the ‘Society Of Professional Journalists’ Category
Tree of Life stories.
Nomads and their survival in the inhospitable desert, with air as hard to breathe as the sand.
When you inherit the desert and its emptiness. Or, if you were in your 53rd week of detainment, involuntarily, amidst the emptiness. In Iran. Without any bubble bath.
Heredity and environment for the descendants of nomads. And so in the vastness of the desert comes the nomads. The Wasteland, T. S. Elliott called it. Devoid of inhabitants. Particularly nomads who had taken barren wives. The stories of barren women of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, dealing with their anguished loneliness. The conflict of the interior and the exterior worlds, amidst a fragile economic recovery. Awakening in that darkest part of a desert night with fears which bring me to the state of being desolate. Desolation, with fears about my own future; with fear of anguished loneliness living without the ones whom I love; with fear something important is due and is unfinished; and the one big surrounding fear of the human condition without borders–the fear in the silence and emptiness of a barren land of not having done enough, of being incomplete.
Formed in God’s image. The God of these nomads whose environment, in all of the time before the creation of the universe, was nothing but vast emptiness. His vast emptiness. And so out from the vastness of the desert comes stories of identity and purpose.
Barren women and the unanswered question of the timing. And all of the expectation for suffering. Looking for evidence. That God is love. In birth. In death. In desert desolation, devoid of inhabitants. With an emptiness so vast, the desert and its barrenness becomes you. Nomads and their fears in the barren desert, where the desolate imagination is given body. Anguished nomads at night, in the frigid and inhospitable desert. In the prison of desert desolation, where the only thing left for the nomad is to meet God, and find herself. Or himself. “Amid the anguished loneliness,” writes an author named Saldaña.
The choices of Chosen People. The stories about the children of prophets. The parents who always thought and worried over their children and the choices of their children. On issues of birth, death, and fertility by the descendants of nomads. Or on issues of hiking.
The compelling stories of life’s ongoing intersection with the Tree of Life, and coming to know a Living God. Filling the emptiness. Coming to know God, in the desert. Where the desolate imagination in anguished loneliness is given body. Discovering that the only things left to meet here in isolation and silence are the self and God.
Trying to fill the emptiness. In the Wasteland. Looking for evidence. Devoid of inhabitants. With all of the missing visible goodness. And so little evidence of life.
Desert desolation. With an emptiness so vast, the desert becomes a prison. To nomads.
Belief in a lover. Belief in fidelity. In any land. Promises fulfilled. Belonging. To each other. Tree of Life stories about a Promised Land. With ritual and ways of life based upon belonging to one place and to one God. In any nation. To somehow find yourself in the Tree of Life story. With knowledge of God, some knowledge of God, in those Tree of Life stories about nomads and their barren wives. In the Book of Genesis. Overcoming their own barrenness. with some knowledge of God. To come somehow to know God, in both the interior and the exterior worlds, from the Tree of Life stories in the desert, devoid of life, in the Book of Genesis.
Knowledge and belief. In any land. Even when you were only 28-years old. Belief in the Supreme Leader’s Advisor for International Affairs, because you always ordered the supreme pizza when you were at home. Yeah, but you still were not home. But in your 53rd week of detainment. In an anti-semitic republic. But you were not Jewish, and you just dreamed of getting home for a pizza. And the Islamic provisional Friday Prayers Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, seemed about as holy as Father Guido Sarducci, but not as funny. And you hoped someone still was at the front desk of this prison. With the keys. Because this place had long ago run out of bubble bath.
Free the hikers. One journalist who had moved to Damascus, Syria to convey personal stories which promoted justice and empathy for those of cultures different from his own, to improve relations with the Muslim world. One woman enrolled at the University of Damascus learning Arabic, writing articles which focused on the plight of women affected by the Iraqi war and upheaval in the region, as well as teaching Iraqi refugees English. One teaching fellow, part of a group of faculty and students with the International Honors Program in Boston, officially traveling to Asian and African countries.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Iranian Labor News Agency on September 10, 2010, quoted Abbas Jaafari Dowlatabadi, Tehran’s chief prosecutor, as saying the “legal procedure” to secure the release of 32-year-old Sarah Shourd as a gesture of goodwill to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan, at Eid-al-Fitr, was not yet complete and she would not
be released Saturday morning at what had been the Hilton Hotel in north Tehran that is now used as a protocol office by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The move suggests a kind of factional infighting within the political establishment under the jurisdiction of President Ahmadinejad that bedevils the Islamic Republic, with a judiciary under the control of Sadegh Larijani, whose brother Ali is speaker of parliament, opposing Ahmadinejad’s populist economic policies and locked in a political war with Ahmadinejad. Officials of Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Foreign Ministry had earlier announced the planned release of Ms. Shourd. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast had said that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intervened to secure Shourd’s release because of the “special viewpoint of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the dignity of women.” And currently, the internal struggle within Iran politically was over the volatile nuclear status of women in their society. When it might seem safe to conclude the Larijani family is not allied with the cause of the western concept of the rights of women, there is the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. In other news on September 8, 2010, an Iranian foreign ministry official confirmed that the sentence of stoning against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was suspended, though she still faced death by hanging. Reporters in Iran have been banned from reporting on the case. The conflict between performance versus ideology. In 2008, draft legislation was submitted by Iran’s judiciary to parliament for approval to scrap the punishment of stoning. In July 2010, the Iranian judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad was quoted as saying “Stoning has been dropped from the penal code for a long time, and in the Islamic republic.” Following the election of President Ahmadinejad, reports were of judges handing down stoning sentences in 2006 and 2007, and 2010. The Iranian judiciary has indicated that stoning will no longer be practiced in Iran. In Iran, the ancient form of execution punishment stoning did not exist until 1983, when the contemporary Islamic Penal Code was ratified.
The old paradigms were unraveling. The pre-recorded world was not working like it had been. The business model in the music industry, with the advent of MP3 and Napster, did not work. Even with the lawsuits. And now the local stations which carry the networks’ programming. After the ongoing collapse of the newspaper business. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox did not really understand the younger generation.
It was a matter of the relevant, in creating a culture. There was a battle over whether life was serious. In what had become the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry had taken over the news division.
The pursuit of happiness. Of iPods. Of reaching youth. Of the bytes of Apple. Within the music industry.
The old paradigms were unraveling. Over doubt. About the world of media. Over the truth. Over the definition of happiness and entertainment?
As presented by ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox?
The old paradigms were unraveling. Apple. It was the same thing that got Adam in trouble. With Eve.
I had not given enough thought to the graduation gift, but I gave a new college graduate an iPod as a gift. Whatever it symbolized. About the old paradigms unraveling? My world? And whether she had learned whatever it was that should be downloaded to replace it.
The Irish Times reported on December 8, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI had invited Cardinal Sean Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to a meeting on December 11th to discuss “the painful situation” in the Catholic Church in Ireland, per confirmation by a Vatican official. The papal nuncio to Ireland will attend along with senior Vatican Curia figures with specific competence in this area,” according to Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.
The Irish Times on December 4, 2009 reported that Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said it was discourteous that Papal Nuncio in Ireland did not respond to the two letters sent to him by the Murphy commission in February 2007 and earlier in 2009. The previous reluctance of the Papal Nuncio in Ireland to contribute to the report, and then the delay of one week before finally commenting upon findings of the Murphy commission have led to calls for expulsion of the Papal Nuncio in Ireland. Fine Gael leader in the House, Frances Fitzgerald, said the report of the Murphy commission should mark a defining moment in the relations between church and State. The Papal Nuncio in Ireland has denied ’showing contempt’ for the State institutions by refusing to respond to requests from the Murphy commission for information, according to Ivana Bacik (Labor).
The Vatican, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, responded to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, indicating that the communication was not made through the proper channel, he added. In making their requests, the Murphy commission undoubtedly established that it was the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under then prefect Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who took control of issues of sexual abuse by priests sometime around 2001. So the Irish political parties were now in a row over why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not reply.
Replying to Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, the Vatican’s view was, as the commission had been established under government authority through the Department of Justice, such communication should be routed through diplomatic channels and in accordance with international customs, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said. The Holy See’s approach was, according to Taoiseach Brian Cowen, consistent with international law where dealings between states should be conducted via the diplomatic channel unless other arrangements were made by mutual consent. He said that it was not “unreasonable to assume the Holy See was open to responding to a further approach through diplomatic channels” to the Murphy commission investigating clerical child sex abuse in Dublin, according to the Irish Times.
Labor leader Eamon Gilmore said that the reply to Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny by Taoiseach Brian Cowen confirmed that senior figures in the Catholic Church had failed to grasp the urgency of what was at stake, according to the Irish Times.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny asked how it was there was no response from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs to the response from the Vatican that contact had not been made through the correct channel.
Responding to Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin’s expression of “deep disappointment” at the lack of a response by the pope to the Dublin diocesan report, sources inside the Vatican said until the Holy See received a formal complaint from the Government via its diplomatic mission in Rome, a Vatican response would be “inappropriate”.
The Irish Times reported on December 8, 2009 that Vatican insiders say Friday’s meeting is a direct intervention from the Holy See, called by Pope Benedict XVI. The sources reportedly state that the pope will argue the Irish clerical sex-abuse crisis has gone on far too long and will urge Irish church leaders to find a definitive exit from the crisis. Hmmmmmm.
In a related story, The Irish Times reported on December 8, 2009 that in 1991 Father Kevin Hegarty was appointed editor of the Irish Bishops’ Conference-sponsored magazine Intercom, published under the aegis of the Bishops’ Commission on Communications. In its December 1993 issue an article titled “Twenty Questions for the Bishops” challenged their handling of clerical child sex abuse. “Will they eschew silence as the preferred legal and moral strategy in the face of future allegations?” it asked.
In 1993, the Irish bishops criticized an Intercom article on women priests published in the magazine and written by the current Irish President Mary McAleese (then a university professor).
In 1994, Father Hegarty was removed as editor of Intercom after publishing an article challenging the bishops’ handling of clerical child sex abuse. In March 1994 auxiliary bishop of Dublin, Eamonn Walsh, who was investigated by the Murphy commission, was appointed to survey the Bishops’ Conference on their attitude to Intercom. In July 1994 Father Hegarty was appointed full-time curate at Shanaghy in west Mayo. “In the circumstances I felt I had no choice but to let go of Intercom,” he said.
In a January 1995 letter to the Irish Times, Mary McAleese (then a university professor) wrote that “what is truly depressing about this episode, though, is the contrast between the energy and determination which went into sorting out a perceived problem with the editorial tone of Intercom , and the sheer breathtaking ineptitude of church handling of matters relating to child abuse by clergy….It is truly ironic that Father Kevin Hegarty raised the issue openly inIntercom” long before the Father Brendan Smyth affair, and in so doing incurred the wrath of those so anxious now to reassure us of their clean hands and bona fides in this squalid business.”
The Irish Times on December 8, 2009 reports that Father Hegarty said the Murphy report “showed that church leaders placed most premium on loyalty, regardless of the truth.” He said. “We live in a dysfunctional church, which happens when deafness becomes deadly,” he said. The bishops named in the Murphy report include the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, the Bishop of Galway, two Dublin auxiliary bishops, and Bishop of Limerick. Monsignor Dolan, the vice chancellor in Dublin from 1980 to 1997, is also named; he became chancellor in 1997.
Before he became pope, Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect for Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is hard to fathom how the pope might whitewash this situation involving both church and state over which he had assumed personal control for at least the past 8 years. In a nation that understood the Curia was operating both as a sovereign state with diplomatic ties as well as in the spiritual domain. Would this pope actually address concerns that the Papal nuncio was ’showing contempt’ for the State institutions? In Ireland.
Under orders from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, American Jesuit Thomas Reese resigned on May 6, 2005 as editor of the Catholic magazine America because he had published articles critical of church positions, several Catholic officials in the United States told the New York Times. The order to dismiss the editor of America magazine was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in mid-March when the Vatican office of doctrinal enforcement was still headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Catholic officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter. (Some have suggested it was the American bishops who got Father Reese removed, a story much like Father Kevin Hegarty’s dismissal.) Soon after Father Reese’s dismissal, Pope John Paul II died and Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI. His new job duties included a job description of infallibility on both matters of faith and morals.
At one point it will be nice to see Pope Benedict’s own Transfiguration. Beyond the days of the ongoing cover up, when the immoral were involved in a great cover up. And too many people of faith lost their faith in bishops around the world, with the cover up of crimes. And too many Catholics had lost faith in the bishops around the world whose appointments had been solely based upon political litmus tests of who was conservative or liberal. Cardinal Ratzinger was on record, reported in America in the days of Rev. Thomas Reese, as saying that perhaps it was time to prune back this church. Maybe the pruning might finally start with a few Irish bishops. And then a progression to include a few other bishops involved in the cover up who had elected Cardinal Ratzinger pope. Bernard Cardinal Law for one. Of course in the culture of Germany since the days of Adolph Hitler, there had never been a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Life had just gone on.
The Associated Press is running an article today, posted on the Star Tribune website, about how the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church comes to Italy. The writer must have been catching up of her news more than 7 months old. On January 22, 2009, the weekly news magazine L’Espresso published details of the exploitation and suffering in the city of Verona. Sixty-seven ex-pupils chronicled sexual abuse over a period of at least 30 years up to 1984 allegedly perpetrated by priests and brothers belonging to the Compagnia di Maria per l’Educazione dei Sordomuti. John Hooper first wrote about this in the Guaridan in February 2009. He wrote:
“For more than a century the Antonio Provolo Institute was regarded as a model of Catholic charity in action. It cared for the deaf mute children of families in a region, which, for most of that time, was among Italy’s poorest.” Giuseppe Zenti, the bishop of Verona, promised an exhaustive investigation, and said if the allegations proved to be true, they would represent a “lacerating wound” for all Christians.” At about this time the Minneapolis Star Tribune had objected to the fees imposed by the Associated Press, announcing their withdrawl which might be the explanation why this is now being presented as a news story.
The AP writer, Nicole Winfield, must have no clue about the meaning of numbers. She cites the 50,850 priests in Italy with its population of 60 million, comparing the abundant number to the 44,700 priests in the United States, referring to a nation of 300 million. She never cites the actual Catholic population in her story. She does not seem to make the important connection of priest count to the actual American Catholic population estimated at 60 million. The relationship of the Catholic population to the priest count issue also is never effectively drawn, though an astute writer might make that connection. I wonder how much of what she writes about that she does understand.
Religion was a lot like law enforcement. There was corruption in a police force on occasion. How did you maintain the law, in a world filled with evil? How did you maintain some semblance of order?
The news story focuses on goings on in a school over 30 years. Seventy-three cases over 30 years becomes “a culture of silence” which has surrounded priest abuse in Italy, according to the yearlong Associated Press tally. Seventy-three is now the AP standard for what constitutes “a culture.” It took more than 7 months to determine that 73 is what constitutes “a culture?” Among 50, 850 priests in Italy.
Most Christians who had heard the story of Judas were not real surprised any more by revelations that came out of Verona, Italy in January. But it was good to have a local newspaper back in the press community. Willing to throw its donation again in the collection basket. In the Associated Press.
A troubadour was out the window. Walking by my place. Energetically strumming a guitar. I could not hear the sound. But how could you not stare and wonder about the sounds? And who he was doing this for? Wondering about his direction in the neighborhood and what he was singing about.
My reactions to this scene was a feeling that this was 1969. When other youth his age had, with so much potential, so much to say. And the direction where they took the potential. In such a vastly changing world. But in a world that had little changed. Except there was now such little sound of protest by the young about the situation of the world. Of the wars. Of the injustice.
Little protest except by a “journalist” like Dawn Zuppelli. The hackers of the world that had replaced the honest protesters of 1968. Of 1969. Of 1970. The world of hackers. It was a week after my computer caught a virus. Dawn Zuppelli is a journalist, last August with Rochester IndyMedia. Long after the Republican National Convention has left St. Paul, after someone had read a posting here dated September 4, 2008, I read yesterday her Facebook page which lists her interests in the IndyMedia website as well as AK Press, which is currently promoting the 1st North American Anarchist Studies Network Conference.
Too many journalist were like baseball players. Like David Ortiz. You wondered what was inside. Who was to be trusted. Which ones were honest.
Troubadours energetically strumming guitars and singing . These guys seemed to have set out, unconditionally, not held down by conventional thinking. A work of art, a song, a response to the times. From an artist’s imagination comes original art, important precisely because it does not start out with clear knowledge.
It was why music and the arts were sacred. As was honest journalism, written at the start without clear knowledge, looking for the reasons, offering an explanation on why something happened.
Journalism called forth the same need for honesty that politics was supposed to. That troubadours used to bring. Artists, in search of a point to view. Learning to play an instrument. Until you could do your own version of a song. Until you gave voice to a new rendition. Learning a personal viewpoint from lives experiences. Presenting the new sounds of protest by the young about the situation of the world. Of health care. Of the wars. Of the injustice. A troubadour in search of his own identity, a clear sense of identity that work for him/her. In the search for meaning each day.