Sunday, September 18, 2005

Edit the Instrumentum

I wrote the other day about the death of Matty Molnar, a seminarian for the archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and a blogger, in a car wreck on the grounds of Mundelein Seminary near Chicago. More feed here. A second seminarian was also killed, the other two charged -- one with reckless homicide and DUI, the other with impersonating an officer and weapons charges.

Having spoken with a veteran of the place, it seems that a time-honored tradition in the "Enchanted Forest," as the campus' 900 wooded acres are known, is for seminarians to run "time trials" of the property in the hopes of clocking a record on the circuit of dark, narrow roads which wend around the place.

This is the kind of formation the Visitation needs to look into. In all seriousness, it'd be outrageous to claim that sexual orientation has ever wrapped a carload of seminarians around a tree, killing two.

The archdiocese of Chicago has retained Windy City uber-lawyer Thomas Breen to serve as defense counsel, which indicates a strenuous defense to come.... Stay tuned.



Blogger patrick said...

I fail to see why the Archdiocese should be held legally liable for the reckless stupidity of the seminarians.

18/9/05 18:46  
Blogger Fungulo said...

if that was the case, no diocese would ever have had to pay out millions for the 'reckless stupidity' of its predator priests!

18/9/05 19:37  
Blogger patrick said...

Not so because the theory behind the predator priest lawsuits - among others - is negligent entrustment. It's not clear to me how the Archdiocese did anything that was legally "negligent" other than allowing seminarians to take a ride in a car late at night. And, if that is "negligent" then every college and university in the United States is in deep doo-doo.

18/9/05 19:45  
Blogger Fungulo said...

well, if it's true that the archdiocese has retained the legal team, I would imagine they have their reasons, and they probably know more about it that me, and possibly you.

18/9/05 19:52  
Blogger Jason Cardona said...

Sexual disorders have killed plenty.

Visit an AIDS ward sometime.

Or, if you prefer. wait until the day of judgement.

18/9/05 19:58  
Blogger Fungulo said...

Jason, none of us get to choose on that one: we ALL have to 'wait until the day of judgement' whether we prefer it or not.

But I disagree that 'Sexual disorders have killed plenty' ... it's what people do with their 'disorder' that ends up killing, not the 'disorder' itself.

18/9/05 20:09  
Blogger R. Thornton said...

Patrick, if it is indeed "a time-honored tradition" to run "time-trials" on the seminary grounds, then it follows that the seminary authorities would know of the practice, and knowing that a dangerous practice is taking place on grounds for which they are responsible the authorities would have an obligation to make a good-faith effort to suppress such dangerous practices. I think this is not entirely unlike the situation with known abusive priests. The difference is that in the case of abusive priests one is dealing with religious authorities having to answer to the state and justify their religious personnel decisions, which I think is unacceptable from both a Catholic and a constitutional point of view.

18/9/05 20:26  
Blogger Jason Cardona said...


Ok. And sharp roads and cars don't kill people, people kill people.

A distinction without much relevance.

But, anyway, my point was that the comparison between daredevil college students and the deep seated homosexual sub-culture in seminaries is ludicrous.

18/9/05 20:35  
Blogger R. Thornton said...

And yes, that does unfortunately mean that I think the bishops should go scot-free in the secular courts for the act of transferring molesting priests about, unless they made such transfers with the intention of facilitating the molestation, which would make them accessories, I believe. But it does not mean that they should be exempt from the obligation to report molesters, unless they come to know of it under color of the Sacrament of Penance. Which is why, among other reasons, superiors should not as a rule hear their subjects confessions—it really puts them between Scylla and Charybdis.

18/9/05 20:36  
Blogger patrick said...

Sounds like a variant of the "attractive nusiance" doctrine, except that applies to children, not -err - seminarians.

Assuming that the roads aren't reasonably unsafe, it seems to me that it would be difficult to stop seminarians from doing these things if they intended to do so. If the practice was known and forbidden, yet the seminarians horsed around anyway, it is, in my view, the fault of the seminarians not the seminary. Unless, of course, there is something else going on that we do not know.

It's smart for the Archdiocese to get their legal ducks in order no matter what happens. And, I also object to the sex abuse lawsuits on Constitutional grounds which do not seem to apply to this case.

18/9/05 20:39  
Blogger patrick said...

"And yes, that does unfortunately mean that I think the bishops should go scot-free in the secular courts for the act of transferring molesting priests about, unless they made such transfers with the intention of facilitating the molestation, which would make them accessories, I believe."

Agreed. Or, if the bishop in approving the transfer committed some sort of legal fraud. The 1st Amendment does not (or should not) protect fraud. Fraud would be very difficult to prove, though the Kos case in Dallas comes the closest.

18/9/05 20:43  
Blogger R. Thornton said...

Hmm, I visited Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas, or rather Irving, in 1977-78 when I was thinking of a priestly vocation. In spite of the outward signs of orthodoxy and even traditionalism, something put me off, something of a "Daughters of Trent" feeling, which, while it didn't characterize the entire seminary, certainly was more noticeable than I was comfortable with.

18/9/05 20:55  
Blogger Fungulo said...

'Daughters of Trent' ... with those three little words, I'd say you will brighten the day of EVERY reader (one way or another!).

I am not in the USA, but a friend of mine there tells me that in a diocese not far from him (he is in Metuchen NJ - a diocese whose name, after the Dallas fiasco, should have been changed, but I digress) you can drive past the motherhouse of the Mercy (or whatever they are, some big congregation) Sisters any afternoon, and you'll see the trainee sisters out front having a serious game of touch football ... then just down the road there is the local seminary, where all the boys will be out on the porch catching up with their petit point needlework before Vespers . . .

Here comes the twenty first century . . .

18/9/05 21:00  
Blogger R. Thornton said...

Well, I have to confess I lifted the expression from some web site I cannot remember. Apparently, though, it's become very popular.

18/9/05 21:26  
Blogger RC said...

Good G-d! With all the lawyers dioceses have now, you'd think one of 'em would tell the seminary to install some speed bumps and put an end to this idiot "tradition". If the sems want some thrills, let 'em go learn sky-diving.

18/9/05 21:36  
Blogger R. Thornton said...

Ah, I saw it here:

Good article, too.

18/9/05 21:37  
Blogger R. Thornton said...

No, not skydiving. The first funeral Mass at which I ever served was of a young man whose parachute had not opened. His family was very distraught. No, not skydiving.

18/9/05 21:40  
Blogger Jason Cardona said...

Father Trigilio uses the term DOT when he is quoted in "Goodbye, Goodmen". Hilarious quote.

"If you wore a cassock, you were a reactionary 'daughter of Trent.' If you wore women's underwear they'd make you seminarian of the year."

18/9/05 21:40  
Blogger Fungulo said...

Someone very unkindly just sent me an email which included this addition:

'and if you wore both cassock AND women's underwear, they made you grow a very questionable beard, gave you the middle name 'Mary' and sent you to the Little Brothers of Mother Bombastica in Alabama.'

Aren't people awful?!

19/9/05 09:28  
Blogger patrick said...

Interesting quote from Fr. Triglio, but he is somewhat of an intriguer and, IIRC, was forbidden by the Bishop of Erie (not my favorite) to function in his diocese as a result of certain statements that the Bishop maintained were libelous.

19/9/05 10:24  
Blogger patrick said...

And I don't see what the big deal about having Mary as a legitimate religious name for men, however much people may snort in derision at it in the American context. The beards, can be a little silly looking.

19/9/05 10:58  
Blogger Fungulo said...

'The beards, can be a little silly looking.'

A little?

You need a bigger screen!

19/9/05 11:27  
Blogger Jason Cardona said...

A a bearded Mary without the Mary part, I take offense to the rant against beards.

Look at all the icons of the Fathers and ancient monks; indeed, of Christ himself. Almost always bearded.

Take your shaven-fem-hangups elsewhere.

;) :P

19/9/05 13:41  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

Oh, boys and girls, "Mary" has had a time-honored use by the "intrinsically disordered" for years.

But, then, some of the Marys I have seen on EWTN definitely would feel at home using the term even when out of mufti.

But, of course, they are orthodox Marys, so that is OK.

19/9/05 15:20  

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