In Loose Canon's mind this boils down to saying that a church can have invalidly ordained priests but it has to debate again before deciding to have invalidly ordained bishops.

If Anglicanism hasn't managed to be confused on its own, now Sister Joan Chittister (dubbed "Batty Old Chittister" by my favorite Anglican site) wades in to help them with a piece in the National Catholic Reporter.

Pontifications has a witty piece on Sister Joan's pontifications:

"Ever since John Paul II slammed the door shut on women's ordination with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (1994), Chittister has been holding the candle for it even higher before many audiences--ones sprinkled, I notice in the pictures, with the same generous proportions of gray hair as she and most of the Catholic progressive wing. Her latest salvo has been launched into the current C of E flap about the looming prospect of women bishops, over which many traditionalist Anglican clergy are threatening, rather to her bemusement, to bolt to Rome. Freshly written for the National Catholic Reporter (known among non-cafeteria Catholics as 'The Distorter'), Chittister's piece is an object lesson in theological fatuity."

Blooming Church

The nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court has put a media spotlight on Little Flower Catholic Church in Bethesda, Md., where the judge and his family are communicants.

The Washington Post has an excellent piece on the altar boys and girls at the parish--they are numerous and well-trained. Interestingly, it didn't have any glaring errors (the author doesn't quite get the meaning of the word acolyte--it's still used and is an exact synonym for altar boy or, alas, girl).

Here's a snippet:

"Initially, says [Father] Stuart, 'the geography of the sanctuary, the significance of the symbols -- they didn't understand any of that.' Now, knowledge of traditions, such as the keeping of martyrs' relics, helps draw them in. 'They think it's cool that there are bones in the altar,' he says."

Quiz: Did Osama bin Laden Sign the Geneva Convention?

Loose Canon believes we should observe the Geneva Convention--with those who have signed the convention. But you don't observe agreements with those who have not entered into them.

Sounds like LC is belaboring the obvious, doesn't it? But by the time opponents of Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts finish muddying the discussion of his verdict in the Hamdan case, you'll need to be reminded of that very simple fact.

But, as an excellent piece on Tech Central Station by Michael Rosen points out, the Hamdan case is important for understanding what kind of justice Roberts will be. Salim Ahmed Hamdan was Osama bin Laden's personal driver and factotum. He was captured and sent to Guantanamo.

The U.S. was on the verge of trying Hamdan as an enemy combatant before a military commission when he filed a habeas corpus petition in federal court. This court said that Hamdan couldn't be tried with a conclusion that he was not a prisoner of war in accord with the Geneva convention.

But the Court of Appeals (on which Roberts sat) reversed the pro-Hamdan verdict on a number of points. It ruled that the Bush administration had the power to hold tribunals. The D.C. Circuit Court also held that the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorist groups. They are not signatories and they do not operate in accord with the rules of war.

Tech Central notes:

"On the whole, the decision is eminently reasonable, although it will almost certainly be appealed to the Supreme Court (where a Justice Roberts would presumably have to recuse himself). It places all necessary power in the hands of the Executive Branch to carry out the war on terror. It refuses to reward terrorist groups the benefits of the international treaties and human rights they abjure. And it declines to interfere significantly with the military's establishment of tribunals designed to thwart and punish enemy combatants. At the same time, it continues to leave open the potential for relief in American civilian courts, reflecting the lengths to which our system travels to ensure justice for the accused, even if such justice would never be reciprocated by our enemies.