Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Without a Legislative and Regulatory Reform Agenda, Police Reform Related to Deadly Force and the Suppression of Evidence Will Fail

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

So far, activists protesting the killing of Laquan McDonald by Chicago Police have naively generated no viable legislative or regulatory change agenda.

Without such an agenda, in the end all their public demonstrations will be for naught, and some day, there will be another such killing, and another such suppression of evidence by rogue police. So far, hucksters and anarcho-tourists without any real legislative or regulatory agenda have dominated the activist response, which means that, in the end, all the activism is about them, and not about lasting, effective change.

Much more formality needs to be added to the process for police to acquire security video from the proximity of crime scenes, so that such acquisitions are a matter of public record and that the data are protected. Police hiding and/or alteration / destruction of video and phone records related to any crime should be subject to stringent federal penalties, both to the perpetrators and to the offending police department.

Police internal regulations can also be changed, as can the law governing the use of deadly force, in order to limit deadly force and in order to protect evidence. Now is the time to obtain commitments from mayors, governors, legislators, and regulators, for real legislative and regulatory change. The activists instead are focusing on replacing officials without demanding a legislative and regulatory change agenda.

But as is often the case in political action, identity maintenance supporting the egos of the activists or supporting their favored candidates and not supporting real legislative or regulatory change is dominating the scene.

Until the activists go back to school on how to change laws and to change regulations, they will remain glorious failures, and in the end will have accomplished nothing of substance. What a lost opportunity!

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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Garry Wills Erred on St. Edith Stein

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

The purpose of this blog post is to put into the public record that noted author Garry Wills erred significantly in his statement about the martyrdom of St. Edith Stein, on page 55 of his 2000 book Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit, when he wrote:

There are no reported indicators to say, “These we are killing as Jews but those as Catholics.”

On page 103-4 of Edith Stein: A biography, by Waltraud Herbstrith,1985, Herbstrith wrote:

“At Amersfoort, the retaliatory nature of the arrests became apparent. Protestant Jews and those of partly Jewish descent were quickly released, but the Catholic Jews remained under arrest, together with approximately a thousand other Jewish prisoners.”

For more background on this controversy, please see my 2009 post, and my second 2010 post on St. Edith Stein. For all of my posts on St. Edith Stein, please see the following link.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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Evacuate Christians and Other Minorities from Iraq and Syria Now to Avoid Complete Genocide

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Given that no world power is willing to step in to effectively defend the Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria facing genocide and slavery by ISIS, the only realistic alternative to genocide is to evacuate the minorities — NOW. The minorities must be sheltered by all countries of good will.

The lack of effective defense of these minorities will be seen by a future age as a great crime of neglect and cowardice. Personally, I am ashamed at the lack of action by our government.

As long as the Iran nuclear deal is the predominant Western concern with the Middle East, no Western power would arm or significantly aid any but Shiite factions in Iraq or Syria, lest the talks be disrupted. This geopolitical realpolitik has sadly made the Christian and other non-Shiite minorities in Iraq and Syria expendable and subject to the attacks of ISIS. The Western powers therefore have a moral obligation to evacuate the Christians if they are not going to defend them.

One charity that “supports the rescue, restoration, and return of Middle Eastern Christians and other ethno/religious people to a home where they can live and practice their faith free from fear” is the Cradle Fund. Please support the Cradle Fund.

#WeAreN

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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Cardinal Francis George on Evangelization, Mission, Communion, and the Ecclesiology of Faith and Culture vs. Church and State

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Here’s another one of my favorite talks by the late Cardinal Francis George, OMI, on the Ecclesiology of Communion, given at Leeds Trinity University in 2012 —

–in which he made a critical distinction between the ecclesiology of of Faith and Culture versus that of Church and State, and he emphasized the Vatican II teaching on the Church as the sacrament of the unity of the human race (Lumen Gentium, Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1). These distinctions have profound implications for pastoral and educational practice.

This talk requires several separate hearings to capture some of the prescient points the late Cardinal shared.

I’m assuming that some of this talk will be included in Cardinal George’s forthcoming book, A Godly Humanism: Clarifying the Hope that Lies Within, which is due from Catholic University of America Press in June, 2015.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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Iraqi Dominican Sister Diana Momeka, OP, barred by State Department from Entering US to Testify on ISIS; Then Visa Granted; Testifies on 5/13/15

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Iraqi Catholic nun Diana Momeka, OP, D. Min., a member of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena of Mosul, which has ancient roots in her country,

_Sister_Diana_Momeka_OP

has reportedly been recently denied a temporary visa by the US State Department preventing her testimony in the US about persecution of Christians by ISIS. Sr. Momeka earned a doctorate in ministry at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union in 2012, where she gave the commencement address, as described by the Adrian Dominican sisters’ website.

Ironically, the news of this denial spread on the 4/29 feast of St. Catherine of Siena, patroness of Sr. Momeka’s order. Please see this Reuters story for more.

Here’s a 5/3/15 update on the State Department’s response from religious freedom advocate Nina Shea.

The public witness for peace, justice, and holiness in Christ’s name is a particular charism of Dominican sisters in the tradition of St. Catherine of Siena.

Perhaps the US Congress can hear Sr. Momeka’s testimony via Skype!

Update: on 5/9/15, foxnews.com reported that the temporary visa was granted.

On 5/13/15, Sr. Momeka testified at the US Congress.

Here’s the video of Sr. Momeka’s testimony on 5/13/15 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee–

Here’s the full text of Sr. Momeka’s testimony National Catholic Register.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The views posted at sanityandsocialjustice.net are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.

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Child Abuse and Sinn Fein: The Courageous Witness of Mairia Cahill

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

The sexual abuse of children is akin to and inseparable from slavery, and thus sadly has molested human civilization for millennia. The past forty years have witnessed a cascade of revelations that have shaken religious, media, business, higher education, and now political organizations worldwide. As painful as have been these revelations, they can be among the most positive advances in human history if in the end they reduce the scourge of abuse. The abused ones who come forward are the heroes whom history should honor and remember.

For the past five years in Ireland, and especially the past few months, the child sex abuse accusations brought forth by the courageous and determined Mairia Cahill (born in 1981 in West Belfast), the grandniece of the former chief of staff of the IRA and herself the former National Secretary of Ogra Shinn Féin, have rocked the Sinn Fein party with greater intensity. Ms. Cahill (pronounced, caa’-hill, with emphasis on the first syllable) claimed to have been abused as a teen by an IRA member at a safe house, and to have been subjected to continual mistreatment by the IRA when she came forward with her accusations. In addition, Ms. Cahill claimed that the IRA simply “exiled” this alleged abuser south to the Republic of Ireland after forcing her to confront her alleged abuser in an IRA-staged extra-legal trial. Ms. Cahill furthermore has claimed that on numerous occasions the IRA secretly exiled sexual abusers to the south of Ireland, and perhaps executed some, and that Sinn Fein has systematically covered up these extra-legal actions for years.

Ms. Cahill has taken a growing, public role in the political arena with her accusations (you can skip to minute 4:05 for her own remarks) —

Sinn Fein for its part began first to respond, like religious and other leaders facing similar accusations, with outright denial, then an appeal for people to come forward with information, then apology, and most recently, their call for an all-Ireland “sex abuse initiative.”

Contrast the decisive statements of Sinn Fein politician Mary Lou McDonald against clergy sex abuse in 2009 —

with Ms. McDonald’s own positively “episcopal” statements about accusations of abuse late in 2014 —

In the past week, another victim claiming similar IRA abuse and coverup, Paudie McGahon, 40, came forward–

–causing a second shoe to drop for Sinn Fein.

There are numerous videos online of interviews and statements by Ms. Cahill, perhaps the longest and most dramatic being from the BBC Spotlight NI program late in 2014 —

I pray for Ms. Cahill’s safety, and for healing and even joy for her and other victims. She continues to put herself at great risk on behalf of others. Her presence of mind and spirit are indeed admirable, and are an example of the grand and good gifts that the Irish people give to the world.

Professor Liam Kennedy of Queen’s University Belfast has called for a wider inquiry into the abuse, both physical and sexual, of children by paramilitary groups, estimating five hundred such cases —

Such inquiries can contribute to what St. John Paul II called the “healing of memories.”

I offer only a theory in reflection: My theory is that the culture of abuse is historically paired with the culture of slavery. Dublin was used as a slave-trade center centuries ago by the Norse. I wonder if patterns of sexual abuse might be traced across millennia from similar ancient, slave-trading ports, which may have established patterns of sick behavior that hid within the more advanced culture that grew over such ancient ills. Abuse and organizations tending toward secrecy made and do make a deadly pair, and can perpetuate the abuse. Happily, the extraordinary witness of Ms. Cahill gives us hope that abuse is foreign to civilization, and not intrinsic to it.

For my earlier blog posts on slavery, see here.

For my earlier posts on pedophilia, see here.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Free Talk: St. Katharine Drexel, Friend of the Oppressed

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

I’ll be presenting a free talk entitled St. Katharine Drexel, Friend of the Oppressed for the School of Catholic Thought at the St. John Paul II Newman Center at 6PM Tuesday, March 3, 2015, after evening Mass at the St. John Paul II Newman Center Library, 700 S. Morgan St. Chicago, info@schoolofcatholicthought.org, 312-226-1880. Here’s the announcement in PDF format.

Here’s a png version —
Announcement_StKatharineDrexelFriendoftheOppressed_030315

A podcast of the completed talk will be posted here. For more about St. Katharine Drexel, please visit the website of the order she founded, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

I chose the subtitle “Friend of the Oppressed,” because it recalls the book on St. Katharine Drexel by African American Catholic author Ellen Tarry, 1906-2008, one of the founding co-directors of Friendship House, Chicago in 1942.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Free Talk: Pius XI & Quadragesimo Anno: On Reconstruction of the Social Order

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

I’ll be presenting a free talk entitled “Pius XI & Quadragesimo Anno: On Reconstruction of the Social Order,” for the School of Catholic Thought at the St. John Paul II Newman Center at 6PM Tuesday, February 10, 2015, after evening Mass at the St. John Paul II Newman Center Library, 700 S. Morgan St. Chicago, info@schoolofcatholicthought.org, 312-226-1880. Here’s the announcement in PDF format.

Here’s a png version —
Announcement_PiusXI_QuadAnno_SocialReconstruction_021015

A podcast of the completed talk will be posted here. Here’s the link for Quadragesimo Anno, the great 1931 encyclical of Pius XI.

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Dietrich von Hildebrand’s 1930s Anti-Nazi Essays

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

The 20th century philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1977), best known in the English-speaking world for his writings on human intimacy and personality, aesthetics, ethics, and the liturgy, was also an active and determined opponent of the National Socialist or Nazi movement from its early days in the 1920s.

When Hitler took power in Germany in 1933, von Hildebrand, who had a decade earlier been condemned to death by the first Nazi thugs, left the country, and eventually settled in Vienna, where he led, through his journal Der Christliche Ständestaat (the Christian Corporative State, a concept that drew its inspiration from Pius XI’s 1931 encyclical, Quadragesimo Anno) and his partnership the soon-to-be-assassinated Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss, an intellectual resistance to Nazism and especially to anti-Semitism, until von Hildebrand was again forced to flee Austria as Hitler’s Anschluss absorbed that country in 1938.

The recent publication in English of selections from von Hildebrand’s handwritten memoir as My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich has brought von Hildebrand again into the intellectual and cultural mainstream.

While reviews of My Battle Against Hitler have focused on von Hildebrand’s adventurous fight with and narrow escapes from Nazism, I urge readers to study his 1930s essays collected as a group in this memoir. While it is fun to learn how von Hildebrand and his friends tricked the Nazis into allowing his furniture to be shipped from Munich to Vienna after his flight from Germany, and sobering to read how many were taken in by the Nazis, it is better to read the focused, insightful, and passionate words of von Hildebrand written at the time against the steady advance of anti-Semitism and Nazism.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), once the teenage student paramour of philosopher and later sometime Nazi Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), achieved fame in 1963 with her coining of the phrase “banality of evil” in her Eichmann in Jerusalem. Yet von Hildebrand’s November 10, 1935 Der Christliche Ständestaat essay, translated as “The Danger of Becoming Morally Blunted,” contemporaneously described this blunting process as it was happening decades before Arendt. This essay alone is worth the price of My Battle Against Hitler, since it describes how moral compromise can weaken us all. The power of anti-Semitism as a moral anesthetic that deadens resistance to violent extremism is very much still at work today, whether in the Middle East, in Russia, or in First World cultural elites.

My compliments to John Henry Crosby, Alice von Hildebrand, John F. Crosby, and all those from the Hildebrand Project who spent the decade necessary to bring this book to English-language readers.

I understand that the Hildebrand Project intends to eventually post all the writings of Dietrich von Hildebrand online. I especially look forward to more Der Christliche Ständestaat essays, and especially to an English translation of his Metaphysik der Gemeinschaft: Untersuchungen über Wesen und Wert der Gemeinschaft, or The Metaphysics of Community.

The Hildebrand Project is worthy of our support!

© Copyright 2015, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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