Media Watch

Hasta La Vista, Henry VIII

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Dec. 29 — The recent decision by the Episcopal Church USA to flout the official teachings of the Anglican Church — not to mention the millennia of tradition and scriptures underlying them — by ordaining a man in a homosexual relationship as a bishop has helped clarify the loyalties of many Christians, according to The New York Times.

The paper reported that members of Episcopalian parishes around the country have begun an exodus to Rome — noting one Dallas parish that lost 25% of its members, almost all to Catholic parishes.

One recent convert, Fort Wayne, Ind., neurologist Shari de Silva, said, “It breaks my heart. I think the Episcopal Church is headed down the path to secular humanism. … The advantage of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches is that there is a central authority that tends to hold the Church together, and unfortunately the Anglican experiment… lacked that.”

Priest Dies at Christmas Mass

THE NEW YORK POST, Dec. 27 — Franciscan Father Anthony Fedell, 63, who served at St. Leo's Church in Elmwood Park, N.J., collapsed while saying Mass on Christmas Eve, The New York Post reported. The priest suffered a heart attack, never regained consciousness and died two days later.

Father Fedell was a talented organist and pianist whose love of music and good humor had earned him the title “the Franciscan Victor Borge,” after the late musical humorist.

“Music was his whole life, and to suddenly come into the arms of the Lord at that particular moment would have made him very happy,” said Father Cassian Miles of the Franciscan province to which Father Fedell belonged.

Some 300 parishioners had been present when Father Fedell collapsed just after announcing a Christmas carol. A doctor and a nurse who sang in the choir rushed to attend the priest, the paper reported, as parishioners offered prayers for him.

Lieberman on Abortion

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Dec. 27 — Even as his own viability as a contender for the Democratic nomination comes under question with the surge of Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., has started worrying about the viability of unborn fetuses — but only in order to reaffirm his support for legal abortion.

The Manchester Union Leader had run an interview quoting Lieberman saying science has pushed back the time when a fetus may be considered “viable” and therefore potentially worthy of some legal protection.

“To me, Roe v. Wade said that in the stages up to viability [of the fetus], the state basically cannot intervene in a decision a woman makes to go forward with a pregnancy or not,” The Union Leader quoted Lieberman as saying. “But after viability, the state can regulate that choice because the interest of the fetus goes up.”

Perhaps to avoid a feminist backlash, Lieberman was quick to clarify his position, commenting on the story afterward: “I did not say nor do I believe that Roe should be looked at again, revisited or reconsidered.”