Some people call him a saint of American journalism -- a man who walks, talks and breaks bread with the homeless and the afflicted, a man who doesn't hesitate to take on city hall or march into a riot. \nOthers call Jimmy Breslin a bully, a braggart and a misquoter, the sort of fellow who'll yell at anyone regardless of race, creed or national origin. \nA colleague once combined both ideas: Breslin, he said, talks like Archie Bunker, the loudmouth bigot of TV's All in the Family, but writes like Charles Dickens. \nNow the columnist for New York's Newsday newspaper, who has had TV series built around his life and is credited with revolutionizing journalism with his unique in-your-face writing style, says enough with all that "saint/sinner" stuff. \nIn The Church that Christ Forgot, his 14th book, 75-year-old Breslin says he has finally learned that he is in the wrong business and now it is time for him to do nothing less than save the scandal-plagued Roman Catholic Church, of which he claims to be a devout and loyal member. \nSo he says please now call him "Bishop Breslin," and he jokes that it is time to change jobs, to make a career move. No more books with titles like Can't Anybody Here Play This Game and The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, Breslin has a church to save. \nBut to talk to him about why he should become a bishop is to be reminded of Groucho Marx's dictum that here is a man who would never join a club that would have him as a member. \nBreslin, a Pulitzer Prize winner whose stories consistently champion the little man, and the church are not in the same pew, let alone the same cathedral. \nHe says that he has found himself at the intersection "of two faiths, the Roman Catholic Church and the Catholic religion" and adds, "They are separate and not nearly equal." \nOutraged at the sex abuse that has engulfed the church, Breslin says, "I qualify for the rank of bishop because I am not a pedophile." \nAlthough he says he seldom misses a Sunday mass, Breslin has long been at odds with his church, opposing its stands on abortion, homosexuality and women in the priesthood, as well as being outraged by its failure to crack down on the priest sex scandal. \n"The present Pope has four subjects on his mind: abortion, abortion, abortion and Poland," Breslin says in his book before launching into an imaginary conversation with the pontiff. \n"For me the sex scandal highlighted what was wrong. You can't have a church without women and married priests. The church has been in office too long. It needs an infusion," Breslin said in a telephone interview. \nWhile some critics declare themselves delighted by Breslin's stand and his stream-of-consciousness manner of presenting his conclusions, not all are happy with his approach. \nFormer New York governor Mario Cuomo, a long-time Breslin friend, calls the book "an anguished and stunningly real cri de coeur by a forever Christian, badly wounded by the religion he clings to. Brilliantly written as only Jimmy Breslin could." \nBut veteran religion writer Kenneth Woodward, writing in the Washington Post, says, "Breslin has produced an incoherent rant that tells us nothing new about the abuse crisis, much that is demonstrably false and more than anyone would want to know about his loss of a very literal and childish faith. In chapters that read like a string of his newspaper columns, his rage erupts in spasms of paralysing bathos." \nWould Woodward have said that if he knew he was dealing with a bishop and not a mere journalist.?
Otto von Bismarck once famously remarked that the “great European war will come out of some damn foolish thing in the Balkans.” We may have inched closer to that damn foolish thing in recent weeks. On Feb. 1, a new law came into effect in China, which codified Beijing’s claim that its well-armed Coast Guard could remove vessels in its waters “illegally” and use force against them if necessary. This is no more or less a “law” than any other law administrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), since Beijing could use its Coast Guard to attack vessels from other
Whether or not the Formosan clouded leopard still exists in some hidden mountain fastness somewhere in Taiwan is a question that has fascinated the scientific community for many years. Taiwanese researchers attempted to put the question to rest a decade ago by scouring the Dawushan Nature Reserve (大武山) in Taitung County, but came back empty-handed. The survey ran from 1997-2012 and used over a thousand camera traps, but did not turn up a single cat, and the species was declared extinct in 2013. Renowned Taiwanese conservationists Chiang Po-jen (姜博仁) and Kurtis Pei (裴家騏) conducted the field work and published a
March 01 to March 07 There was only one Taiwanese department head in Taiwan’s first post-World War II provincial government: Sung Fei-ju (宋斐如), who served as deputy director of the department of education. Sung, who lived in China for over two decades, had close ties with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and was also allowed to start his own newspaper, the People’s News-Leader (人民導報). Aside from Sung, only a handful of Taiwanese held significant positions in the government, almost all of them banshan (半山, half mountain) like him. The term refers to those who moved
Taiwan’s oldest surviving Christian house of worship stands in a village at the base of the Central Mountain Range. Upgraded to a basilica minore by Pope John Paul II in 1984, Wanjin Basilica (萬金聖母聖殿) was established in what’s now Pingtung County’s Wanluan Township (萬巒) in 1863. The church’s founder, Dominican priest Father Fernando Sainz (郭德剛), was one of the first missionaries to enter Taiwan after the signing in mid-1858 of treaties between Qing China (which ruled the island between 1684 and 1895), France, Great Britain, Russia and the US. These agreements, collectively known as the Treaty of Tianjin (天津條約), compelled