Documents provide inside look at archdiocesan decision-making

It may be time for the archbishop to hold a press conference … The latest from MPR’s Madeleine Baran says: “Archbishop John Nienstedt was in the middle of a heated political fight over same-sex marriage in February of last year when he learned of a disturbing secret, hidden in the basement of the chancery — pornography from a priest’s computer, some of which appeared to depict children. … What followed was a contentious, yearlong debate among top leaders inside the chancery about whether the images met the legal definition of child pornography, according to internal church documents that Haselberger provided to police earlier this year and were obtained by MPR News. The documents shed new light on the Shelley case and provide a closer look at decisions that Nienstedt and former Archbishop Harry Flynn made to keep the matter quiet and continue Shelley in ministry. … Among the documents is a letter drafted by Nienstedt to the Vatican, dated May 29, 2012, in which he worries that ‘the images in [Shelley’s] personnel file could expose the Archdiocese, as well as myself, to criminal prosecution.’ “

Despite the “Free Jim Carlson” banners flying on Superior Street … The AP says: “A Minnesota head shop owner was convicted Monday of almost all counts against him in a closely watched federal case involving the sale of synthetic drugs. Jim Carlson, who defiantly operated the Last Place on Earth shop in Duluth through multiple federal raids, was convicted on 51 of 55 counts. The complex indictment included multiple charges of receiving and selling misbranded drugs. Carlson’s girlfriend, Lava Haugen, was convicted on all four counts she faced. His son, Joseph Gellerman, was convicted on two of four counts.”

Now really, who doesn’t love a warehouse sale? John Ewoldt of the Strib says: “There is a boatload of bargains at five warehouse sales, all happening this week. What gives? October is the lull between back-to-school and the start of holiday shopping, said George John at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. ‘It’s a good time for manufacturers and retailers to be heard,’ he said. “There’s so much noise out there after Halloween.” For manufacturers such as Thymes, which is bringing back its soaps and scents warehouse sale after scaling back last year, it’s because the company is doing a lot of packaging changes. Like many manufacturers, the company has a sale in October because it’s a less hectic time, said Cindy Andersen, vice-president of operations at Thymes.” When is the Maserati sale … ?

Why we love insurance companies … Alejandra Matos of the Strib writes: “For 40 years, Helen Moosmann has saved $2,000 at US Federal Credit Union to help pay for her casket and other funeral expenses. Her late husband, Ralph, told her to ‘never, ever’ touch that money because of a special life insurance policy that would pay double that amount when she died. ‘He wanted to make sure I was taken care of,’ said Moosmann, who’s 92, healthy and living at home in north Minneapolis. Last week Moosmann received a phone call informing her that the Burnsville-based credit union and CUNA Mutual Group, which administers the policy, were no longer going to honor it after Dec. 31. The terms of CUNA’s policy allows it to cancel at any time. But that hasn’t sat well with Moosmann, one of nearly 1,500 affected members at US Federal Credit Union and untold others at the 1,250 other credit unions nationwide.”

MPR’s Lorna Benson reports that area hospitals are cutting back on the number of blood transfusions: “Doctors now say they get better results by using donor blood less often in patients who are medically stable. There’s growing consensus that transfusions can increase the risk of infection and do more harm than good. It’s a big change in how some physicians practice medicine and it’s led to some Minnesota hospitals tightening their transfusion guidelines. … Allina tightened its transfusion guidelines in 2012. The average number of blood units transfused to patients in the health system has dropped by 38 percent.”    

And if the insurance company doesn’t get you … Susan Feyder of the Strib says: “A Canadian citizen accused of swindling elderly Minnesotans by calling them, posing as their grandson and asking them to wire him money has pleaded guilty in Dakota County District Court. Robert Attias, 35, Monday pleaded guilty to one count of theft by swindle in connection with the phone scams, which took place in January and February 2010. Attias, whose last known address was in Miami, was accused in 2011 of stealing $15,525 from senior citizens in Hastings, Glencoe, St. Paul, Olmsted County and Steele County. According to a criminal complaint filed in 2011, Attias would call the elderly Minnesotans claiming to be their grandson in need of money for bail following an arrest.”

The GleanWhat do they do there but spend taxpayer money … ? Says Jennifer Brooks in the Strib: “Unless the federal government gets back to work, more than 100 state health department employees will be out of work by the end of the month. Layoff notices have gone out to 104 employees at the Minnesota Department of Health, including an estimated 71 nurses. These state workers are paid with federal funds and that money is rapidly running out. … Most of the employees work in either the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program or in the compliance monitoring department that inspects hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient medical facilities for potential health code violations. The nurses will be laid off effective Oct. 18, unless the shutdown ends. The other affected health department employees would be laid off on Oct. 25.”

Stribber D.J. Tice sinks his teeth into Gov. Dayton and all those ineffectually railing against personal seat licenses: “If there is injustice involved in the People’s Stadium deal, it has been inflicted upon non-fan Minnesotans who are being dragooned into paying for a form of entertainment they care nothing about, or even actively dislike. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the “faithful” being asked to contribute every last farthing their Sunday worship services are worth to them. If Dayton was so eager to lock horns with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, he should have driven a harder bargain on behalf of taxpayers. He’s done plenty, thank you — with taxpayers’ money — for Vikings devotees. Fact is, the illogic and economic illiteracy on display in this whole discussion has reached such breathtaking heights that Zygi’s actions are almost being portrayed too harshly — which in theory is impossible.” Tice sounds like another guy who doesn’t care if we’re “major league” anymore.

I hope you didn’t miss the latest from Our Favorite Congresswoman. From The Huffington Post, we have this recap of the story: “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) believes that we’re living in the End Times — and she claims to have proof. In an interview Saturday with Jan Markell on the Christian radio program ‘Understanding the Times,’ Bachmann accused President Barack Obama of giving aid to terrorists. This, she says, is solid evidence that we have entered the Last Days. ‘President Obama waived a ban on arming terrorists in order to allow weapons to go to the Syrian opposition,’ Bachmann said. ‘Your listeners, U.S. taxpayers, are now paying to give arms to terrorists including al Qaeda.’ She continued:

‘This happened, and as of today, the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists, now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end time history.’

Put another way, “So why worry about credit default?”

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 10/08/2013 - 07:54 am.

    “says to me, I am a believer in”…who?

    Funny thing how Bachmann claims she is a believer in who-or is it whom?

    Sounds like a caricature of J.C. as M.B’s vision looks more like a creature with a horns and a red tail?

    Her powers of prophesy are weak indeed . Best I can say…at least she’s consistent.

    Now, back to raking those dead fig leaves off the boulevard,eh?

  2. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 10/08/2013 - 08:31 am.

    So much for bad habits

    …and then too:

    I have this god-awful image of intent, intense figures in a cobwebbed basement of a St Paul chancery wrapped in their robes… viewing a porno or quasi-porno video in order to establish its criminal applications, whatever?

    It took a year and how many showings for how many priestly figures to define the issue?

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/08/2013 - 08:51 am.

    A word to the Archbishop:

    It is not the place of the Church to determine whether man’s laws have been violated, but to report what may be a criminal act committed by one of its agents to those qualified to investigate and determine whether a crime may have been committed and, if so, whether and what charges should be brought. That is the way man’s laws work, sir.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/08/2013 - 09:13 am.

    TANSTAAFL:
    There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

    Insurance is written when there are enough people who desire a particular form of coverage, who are willing to pay a specified sum for that coverage, and are likely to be succeeded by others desiring that coverage.

    As this article makes clear, the number of credit unions offering the policy has dwindled, as have the number of people who qualify for the coverage. The net result is that, at some point if not now, future premiums won’t pay for future benefits. (Sound familiar?)

    What’s been paid for in the past was term insurance, a specified coverage for a specified period of time. Both the credit unions and their customers have received exactly what was paid for. If either has wanted a different form of insurance coverage (e.g. “whole life” or a fully paid policy) then that is what they should have purchased.

    While I can empathize with those affected by this decision, as I did with my father when his term life insurance was canceled when the pool became to small to support continued operations, this is ultimately a story about unrealistic expectations, not an evil insurance company or the credit unions which ultimately own it. One might even say that those who lived to see this day are the winners here, unlike those whose families already have collected this benefit.

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/08/2013 - 09:20 am.

    You missed the best(?) part:

    “Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand,” Bachmann added. “When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; these days would be as the days of Noah.”

    If the end is ordained, what’s the point in getting all worked up, eh, Shelly?

  6. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/08/2013 - 09:46 am.

    Faith in Whom?

    Is is far too often the case in every form of Christianity (and other faiths), that each expression of the faith, failing to point believers beyond that faith expression directly to God so that the believer’s faith is NOT in that faith expression, its leaders, its institutions, its ideas, and ideals, nor its edifices,…

    all of which, though sanctified, are inevitably at least as human as they are holy,…

    comes to believe that any admission of fault or flaw in that faith expression, its practices, its policies, or its leaders would so damage the faith of its believers that such faults and flaws can never be allowed to surface.

    More often that not, such faith expressions fail to realize that, in choosing to maintain the illusion of perfection, they reveal that they have substituted faith in themselves for faith in God, and revealed that their own faith in God is sorely lacking.

    Sadly, as we now see with the Catholic Church in Minnesota, when those faults and flaws are exposed (as they inevitably will be) they tend to deeply damage the faith of those who have been encourage, perhaps even required to blindly place their faith in that particular institution rather than encouraged to use that institution to discover how to accomplish deeper, more all-encompassing levels of faith in God and more faithful living according to God’s inspiring guidance.

    For far too many of those most faithful, their sense of betrayal and disappointment damages their sense of the presence of a tender, loving, ever-present, inspiring God in their daily lives, that true God having been replaced with the “god” of the church whose flaws have now been revealed and whom they find disappointing and by whom they feel they have now been betrayed.

    All those of us who bear faith in a supreme being would be well advised to remember that any institutional expression of faith is, first and foremost a HUMAN, and therefore flawed and imperfect institution, and our faith must, first and foremost, be in God. Indeed, any human institution or leader claiming to be the one, true path to “god,” has already substituted itself for the “god’ it claims to worship.

    Regarding Ms. Bachmann’s “end time” comments: I can only assume Ms. Bachmann is expressing a deeply suppressed death wish, projecting it onto “god,” and gleefully hoping for a sense of retribution when her “god” wipes out all humanity for not granting her the fame, fortune, and political power she deeply believes she deserves.

    Luckily God is ignoring and will continue to completely ignore Michelle Bachmann’s wishes in and hopes that the world should be destroyed because SHE feels disrespected, except, perhaps, for shaking God’s head, and quietly saying, “Oh, Michelle.”

  7. Submitted by jody rooney on 10/08/2013 - 01:14 pm.

    I think part of the justification for the stadium

    is the state’s ability to tax a portion of the income earned by players from all teams when they play here.

    I had thought that bill had passed several years ago, although I could be wrong, and the department of revenue should have data on it.

    It might be interesting to see if that’s true and if the amount over the projected life of the new stadium is in comparison to the cost.

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