"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Wednesday, February 19, 2003 Saddam's apologists in Communion & Liberation
A platitudinous statement defending the pope's anti-war position that recently was issued by one of JPII's favored ecclesial movements appears all the more disingenuous when viewed in light of the movement's prior support for Saddam Hussein.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, May 15, 1991:
A San Francisco priest who edits an ultraconservative religious magazine has parted ways with Italian Catholic rightists who founded the publication over issues including their support for Saddam Hussein during the Persian Gulf war.
The Rev. Joseph Fessio, who oversaw the English language edition of the 60,000-circulation magazine 30 Days, said he plans to quit and put out his own publication on Catholic affairs.
Fessio said he broke with the Italian Catholic group Communion and Liberation after the organization, which runs the magazine, sided with the Iraqi government in the gulf war. ""I came back from Rome convinced there was no way to keep the relationship going with the Italians," Fessio said. ""We're starting something new to replace the magazine."
30 Days began by stressing a highly orthodox line in religious affairs and militantly supported anti-abortion and other conservative Catholic groups. It fit well with Fessio's own educational program, run out of the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco, which emphasizes classical education and the traditional family.
However, in the past six months, the journal has taken an increasingly ""flaky" position, said Tony Ryan, Fessio's main assistant. Ryan said that there were allegations of an international Masonic conspiracy secretly controlling world events and that intimations of anti-Semitic sympathies gave way to a thinly disguised support for Iraq during the gulf war, with prominent statements by Christian supporters of Saddam and his regime.
""I felt they had come to pursue an ideological campaign in place of a journalistic service," said Fessio. ""I didn't object to criticism of the war, but there's such a thing as bad criticism."
From Reuters, Feb. 26, 1991
ROME, Feb 26, Reuter - An Italian Catholic magazine said on Tuesday that U.S. President George Bush should receive the "Nobel War Prize" for ordering a ground offensive instead of accepting a Soviet peace plan to end the Gulf War.
The editorial in the weekly Il Sabato, one of the most widely-read religious publications in Italy, came one day after the Vatican's own newspaper criticised the United States and its allies for choosing a ground offensive over the peace plan.
"George Bush is a gloomy master of the world. He had the very concrete possibility for a just peace and he chose war," the editorial said.
"He did not give a damn about anybody, about Mikhail Gorbachev's plan which had been approved by Iraq, about U.N. meetings and about the support the Soviet plan had won from around the world."
Il Sabato is the organ of the controversial "Communion and Liberation" Italian Catholic movement, which has more than 100,000 mostly young members. It has a powerful political wing associated with the Christian Democratic party.
On Monday, the editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano, blasted the U.S. and its anti-Iraq allies for starting the ground offensive, saying "plans for war have prevailed over projects for peace".
The Vatican last week gave its full backing to the Soviet peace plan, which Washington dismissed as falling short of its terms for Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait.