Morning Reads in Brief

Only 12 shopping days left before my birthday. Wishlist details will be posted in the comments.

We have a new appreciation series brewing… “A Little Bit is Better Than Nada” by the Texas Tornados.

Worry not, loyal fans. I’ll be back to full-length MRs next week.



  1. northside101 says:

    A little bit off the political topic (though there is still some politics involved), but in light of the national headlines about the mansion built for Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory on Habersham Road in Buckhead, can anyone tell me if that part of Buckhead has become a high-crime area? AJC reported this morning that the mansion has a “safe room”, protected by steel doors and a triple lock, in case of invasion. I didn’t know being a Catholic bishop was such a dangerous job…but we sure know now, it can be a lucrative one when it comes to lifestyle!!! Remember that old theme song from the TV sitcom the Jeffersons a generation or so ago—“Well, we’re movin’s on up!”

    • Ellynn says:

      It is not normally made public but many bishops and cardnals have had death treats made against them. Some travel with security. My cousin, who was shot as a priest in Central America, along with a few nuns… (they protest about the event at Ft Benning on the aniversary) travels in parts of Central America with minor security. So does Cardnal Dolan. As the former head of the US College of Bishops during the height of the priest scandle, I would be shocked if Archbishop Gregory did not recieve a few death theats in his time

      • Lea Thrace says:

        Your family is so fascinating. So many colorful and interesting people. You should write a book.

        • Ellynn says:

          The one time i mentioned outloud about writing a family memior the survivalistic Libertarian lumberjack and Holstein herder I call my sibling threaten to have me shot and used as bear bait. I take him at his word.

          This cousin (my mother’s second cousinon her mother side) is Bishop Paul Schmitz, who when he was shot has a ‘secret’ auxiliary bishop in Nicaragua. Intresting man.

  2. northside101 says:

    Thanks for some clarification from Ellynn and penguin on the Mansion (scandal). I forgot Gregory had headed the national bishops’ conference (though that position has fairly limited power, not like he was pope over the other American bishops, and that was some 10 years ago anyway). I think it points to lack of transparency in church government, the Catholics being the most hierarchal of the churches. A bishop is not a CEO in the sense that the congregations or clergy are the shareholders; he indeed is only answerable (in terms of his job) to the Vatican, thousands of miles away. It is more like he is the lord (small L of course), we are the serfs. One example of that is the diocesan annual appeal, a noteworthy cause to fund things such as education of seminarians, campus ministry and the like. Each parish is given a “goal” (8 percent of annual offertory) to raise each year for that, but it is about as much a “goal” as the robber has when he points the 9mm and wants your wallet—in other words, not a goal, but a demand. And if the parish doesn’t meet it, the bishop takes the money anyway from the parish’s offertory (from what I read, 30 percent of offertory income at parishes in this diocese go to the bishop’s office in some form or another—I guess 10 percent isn’t good enough like the old tithe.) And then in the last few years, two new auxiliary bishops were announced for the diocese, but there was never any advance notice from Gregory that we were in the process of getting one, much less candidates for the position, or opportunity for public/lay input. No, the Catholic model of governance is not congregational (like say Southern Baptist), nor should it be (denominations with congregational governance can have their own problems too), but perhaps a case could be made at least for more lay involvement in how our hard-earned tithes are spent.

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