Saturday, March 30, 2013

Where Was Jesus When He Was Dead ( Ancient Holy Saturday Homily )

This is a wonderful ancient Holy Saturday Homily that is still read in the Liturgy of the Hours on this date.

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all”. Christ answered him: “And with your spirit”. He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light”. 

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden. 

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree. 

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you. 

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What's The Connection Between Steubenville Catholic Youth Conferences and The Steubenville Rape Case ?

Not much  I have to think even after reading  My Steubenville - It was a base for the teen evangelical movement, where I saw fundamentalist Christianity's power, and its danger 

The article is by  Molly McCluskey and as you can see is in Salon.

Now there is a lot to say about this article including the lead in (  I am never sure if it is an editor or the author that writes that ) that I suspect is a tad too free with the word "fundamentalist"  right off the bat.

Also there could be a lot to say about the pros and cons of the Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church  which is quite strong at the Franciscan University in Steubenville Ohio.

But what really sort of worries me is the too casual link and it seems guilt by association with the Steubenville rape case that got the nation's attention and the Franciscan University at Steubenville.

Now some of this perhaps is just because of the ignorance of the author that might not realize how Franciscan Univ at Steubenville is sort of an island to itself as to the larger area  community.

Still I am not sure how apt it is to compare her weekends there to a rape case.  Further I think the  indirect association of the Steubenville teen conference movement with this rape case was done in a careless fashion. That might be done by simple ignorance but it seems regrettable .The casual reader might jump to a ton of conclusions.

That being said I am a general fan of these youth conferences and I hear much more good than bad. I also think as to "recollections" of youth we can be a tad dramatic as to both the good and bad. At least I know I can be.

But I do do think the author's experience is a good caveat. The Steubenville youth conferences are good at showing Catholic youth that Catholicism is at it's core a RELATIONSHIP with Christ. They God smack you with that real truth in a big  dramatic way but they only have teens attention for a couple of days. For many these events are really life changing.

However not everyone is going to have the same emotional spiritual experience as others might at the same conference.   That is not a bad thing and Catholicism is a pretty big tent in different ways that relationship can be had. I have a feeling this is a little bit of what is going on.

Note I see Catholic Vote has an article up on this at Huh? Salon Learns Anti-Catholic Lesson From Steubenville Rape

Update- An Alumni and writer at Patheos has a post up on this at An Open Letter to ‘Salon’ and Molly McCluskey

Can Business Corporations Practice Religion ? Religious Liberty Holy Week Reading

Two articles that answer in the affirmative that for profit business can practice religion and thus have standing in court as to exercise those rights and claims  in American Courts.

First Josh Blackman has an article from Public Discourse. See Should For-Profit Businesses have Religious Liberty?

Second from Scott Gaylord (Elon University School of Law) we have  paper available for viewing . See Gaylord on Free Exercise and the HHS Mandate

Full Text of Pope Francis 2013 Chrism Mass ( Holy Week )

As soon as I find a good photo gallery of the Mass I will try to update this entry with that link.  In the mean time here is the full text of a very good homily.

Piers Morgan Treatment of Ryan T. Anderson In Same Sex Marriage Debate Still Causing Waves

Piers Morgan caused a lot of controversy in his treatment of Ryan Anderson on a show dealing with Same Sex Marriage. It was duly noted by a good many blogs and sites I visited

Get Religion looks at this as a larger trend and what it might mean.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Will The New Big East Have A Visible Catholic Influence

That is what  Our Sunday Visitor looks at in this article New Big East conference has distinctive Catholic feel

A New Orleans Catholic Tradition - The Nine Church Good Friday Walk

This is a wonderful New Orleans Good Friday Tradition that is talked about here. See Share in His Journey: 9 Churches Walk

More Studies Show Shroud of Turin Is From First Century

Its kinda of interesting how the science has gone as to this in my lifetime. From some studies saying it was from a much later time period to studies now showing it very likely it came from the first Century.

Vatican Insider has New experiments on Shroud show it’s not medieval

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Today's "D'oh Journalist Moment - Anglican Ordinariate Just A a Catholic Scheme to Get More Priests

Get Religion takes on a face palm of an article from the Huff Post. See Invincible ignorance on the Anglican Ordinariate

Louisiana Filmed Movie " The Pardon " - True Story About Murder , Execution , Child Trafficking , & Religious Conversion

The Pardon

A very important movie filmed is coming out this week . That is The Pardon.

There a lot of themes in this movie. First of course is the fact that this case generated both state and national headlines back in the day as Toni Jo Henry was the only woman every put to death in Louisiana's electric chair. See  MURDER IN A LONELY RICE FIELD

There  is also the aspect of conversion. Father Wayne Richard a Lake Charles Catholic Priest because her spiritual adviser and friend. Before she was executed she he received her into the Catholic Church and Christian Faith by Baptism.

Last but not least there is the issue of human trafficking. Born near Shreveport she fled an abused family and later went to work in brothel as a prostitute at a very young age.

The element of human trafficking in this movie is touched on in this local news story and vid. which as an interview with the director among other things.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pope Francis Speaks of Two Kinds of Poverty & Did Not Speak French - Address to Diplomatic Corps

I got very early to see Pope Francis speak to the Diplomatic Corp this morning  since it was a key address. Vatican Radio got a the English translation pretty quick. See Pope Francis to Diplomatic Corps: Church fighting poverty, building bridges (full text) . One part that will likely get a lot of attention is this :

As you know, there are various reasons why I chose the name of Francis of Assisi, a familiar figure far beyond the borders of Italy and Europe, even among those who do not profess the Catholic faith. One of the first reasons was Francis’ love for the poor. How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure! After the example of Francis of Assisi, the Church in every corner of the globe has always tried to care for and look after those who suffer from want, and I think that in many of your countries you can attest to the generous activity of Christians who dedicate themselves to helping the sick, orphans, the homeless and all the marginalized, thus striving to make society more humane and more just.

But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the “tyranny of relativism”, which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples. And that brings me to a second reason for my name. Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.

John Allen very quickly had a post out about this address.  See Francis vows to press Benedict's fight vs. 'dictatorship of relativism' . On the twitter after this I had an interesting conversation with a journalist that observed so far the Pope has just been talking in Italian . Today was not exception which is very different for an event like this. Allen engages that too and gives some clarification.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The International Down Syndrome Coalition World Down Syndrome Day Video - March 21 2013

Related-The 2012 Video that gave support to parents and parents that have learned they will have a down's kids was one of the best I have seen.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Boomark This Page- Pope Francis Past Spanish Homiles & Writings Being Translated Into English ( Update )

One reason Cardinal Ratzinger was a popular choice for Pope was that many of his writings were read on an international basis and in different languages. These were read widely by those in the Catholic academy and by many of the laity.

Cardinal Francis I think it's safe to say at least in the United States has not had that sort of head start and his past writings , talks, homilies are largely a unknown.

Thankfully bilingual theology student has taken upon herself to do this work in progress at the papaltranslationproject. 

It's amazing what a little encouragement can do and saying this is appreciated will likely give her reasons to attack this task with some gusto as the months progress. She also twitters here.


Its just come to my attention that  Ad Majorem Dei Gloriamhas been doing some translations

Pope Francis - Not Shy In Talking About the Devil

Robert Royal has an interesting observation of what we have heard in the first Papal speeches and homilies. See the The Devil and Pope Francis

5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Rules For Economic Liberty & Casket Making Louisiana Monks

In a case that has got quite a bit of national attention the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the trial court's determination that Louisiana monks can make caskets. To be more specific a Louisiana regulation that appeared to protect the political powerful Louisiana funeral business had no " rational basis ".

Background on these monks and the issues involved here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Justice Scalia Questions Texan's Latin And How to Say Voir Dire In Texas

I still am getting chuckle out this today .See Texan-Latin at the U.S. Supreme Court

Reasons Why For Profit Business and Corporations Can Exercise Religion

One of the big issues with the HHS Contraception mandate cases that will have to be resolved is does business and in particular profit making business in some form of corporate form even have the ability to exercise First Amendment rights. In particular does a business in the corporate form have even standing to have their  dayin court on the matter !!

The Obama administration's position has been a pretty flat no as we have observed their arguments in various courts around the county.

I have always find the reasoning that supports such a position that is being advocated by the government as rather flimsy. Some say corporations are not people so too bad. However that argument seems to make little sense in other claims. For instance under that a view a corporation does not have " race " and minority owners of corporations would have no standing to sue for discrimination as to say government contracts.

Mark L. Rienzi  who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law has an good article up at Public Discourse called God and the Profits: Religious Liberty for Money-Makers . He makes the case that yes indeed for profit business can and does exercise religion. Thus they should have standing to get their day in court.

This is condensed and very reader friendly version of the Law Review article he just wrote on the topic. A good read.

Images & Links From Today's New Orleans St Joseph Altars Day Tradition

Its the Feast of St Joseph which is a rather big day in the Catholic Church. See the special Litany of St. Joseph here.

 It is also a rather big deal for Italian Catholics and those world wide of Italian heritage. That includes here in Louisiana where New Orleans is the par excellence of the St Joseph Altar tradition. 

Just in the Archdiocese of New Orleans there are many many  St Joseph Altars all over the Archdiocese at churches, schools, and private homes. I even saw some today in a bar and a grocery store.

What exactly is a St Joseph Altar can be found here and it's place in Louisiana tradition can be found here . Below are just a few pics of just a few of the numerous St Joseph Altars around New Orleans. 

The below pics from Judy Walker the Food Editor at the New Orleans Times Picayune that does the St Joseph Altar crawl each year  

 Terri Troncale  also of the Picayune contributed via her twitter feed.

The New Orleans Catholic newspaper has a couple of related articles up . See Xavier’s St. Joseph altar is a cultural learning tool and Archdiocese will be teeming with St. Joseph altars .

The New Orleans Times Picayune has a wonderful photo gallery up here with some quality pics that is a must see as people send in their photos.

Beaucoup Links and Images From Pope Francis Inauguration Mass

Think I am going to use this pic for my new blog header pic

Lot of links and a photo gallery Via the The  Big Puplit .

In Today's Mass Reading Missing From Many Non Catholic Bibles - Anatomy of a Sin & Susannah

This is the Susanna story found in Daniel. Msgr Pope has a great post on this today The Anatomy of a Sin as set forth in a lesser known Biblical passage.

Pope Francis Experience Against Slavery AKA Human Trafficking & the USA Relationship

Regardless of the American administration or the current occupant of the Chair of St Peter one area of major cooperation between the USA and the Holy See is the fight against modern day slavery aka  human trafficking .

It appear Pope Francis has been very much a leader in this so I expect that to increase even more. See Pope Francis and Slavery from MOJ.


Today was the big day !!! Rocco Palmo has the homily from his inauguration of my Petrine ministry Mass.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Stay Calm Pope Francis Has Not Halted The Reform of the Reform Of the Liturgy ( New Liturgical Movement )

A Evangelical at Houston Baptist University wrote a nice article a few years ago called  The Threefold Witness of the Church - The Catholic Peter, the Orthodox John, and the Protestant Paul.

As to Catholics he said in part :

Throughout her long and bumpy history, the Roman Catholic Church has been the church that has most fully engaged the world around her. While Orthodoxy withdraws and Protestantism divides, The Catholic Church wrestles and grapples and gets her hands dirty. She makes mistakes (lots of them) but presses on nevertheless—ever struggling and yet ever maintaining her integrity and identity. Like Peter, she grows and learns without ever quite losing that rashness and impulsiveness that defines her. When God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (“he who wrestles with God”), he surely meant it as both a compliment and a criticism. The Israelites born out of Jacob’s loins proved (like Peter and the Catholic Church) to be wrestlers with God: now embracing his Word and with it setting the world on fire; now resisting that same Word and running after the world. When at her best, the Catholic Church (like Peter at Pentecost) stands boldly before the crowd proclaiming the message that is a stumbling block to the world. At her worst, she elicits the very rebuke that Jesus gave to Peter: “you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Yet still, ever and always, she persists and remains herself— a rock thrown in the river to trouble the waters .

I have to say as a convert to Catholicism I think he pegs it. This  wrestling with God by implication means a lot of wrestling with each other Catholics  a good bit especially in the Latin Rite part of the Catholic Church.

The election of Pope Francis has though in large part been greeted with much positive excitement by it seems the many that faction that wrestle with  each other in Catholicism.

There has been one part of the Catholic world where there has been SOME reservations and perhaps fear by a few . That is those whose are in a more traditionalist liturgy camp and those who are in the " Reform of the Reform " liturgy camp in which I myself am a member. Again this is all very Western ( Latin Rite ) stuff to a certain extent .

There is no doubt that many of us were in an Liturgical reform of the reform of the Liturgy Disney World during the Benedict Pontificate. Benedict was not the only voice of the reform of the reform as to liturgy  .but  was liturgical wise someone that put a lot of it in practice on a grand stage.

A FEW  LOUD " Traditionalist" voice have raised concerns that the Pope Francis  Pontificate means a return to the bad ole days. Much of this is rooted in fear over real hurts where they were often shut of the Church in past decades.

I say a few because for the most part I am seeing very positive thoughts and words from most in these camps about the future Pope Francis.In fact many such as we see here are giving some needed fraternal correction to some voices of doom.

That being said very sane and good article written by Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement is out today that I hope calms some fears. See the link below

Some Liturgical Thoughts for the NLM Following the Election of Pope Francis
I think  that article is largely correct.
It's important to note that  John Paul II , Benedict , and now Pope Francis all come out of the school of Dynamic Orthodoxy. A movement that allows for more expressions of the Faith that it is not generally given credit for sadly.  
It needs to be recalled that among some Traditionalists Catholic movements like the  The Neocatechumenal  Way would give them a constant cases of the hives.There were and are no doubt certain concerns about the The Way even some shared by Pope Benedict. But on the whole Pope Benedict has been viewed as a Friend to the " THE WAY " . See Statement by Initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way on Pope Benedict's Retirement .  One can no doubt add other Charismatic and Pentecostal movements. Much to the chagrin of some Pope Benedict did not shut down the Life Teen Masses for instance.

As Twibe states in part :

...Benedict, while the "father of the new liturgical movement" (in my estimation at any rate), is not the new liturgical movement; as such the new liturgical movement does not die with the end of his papacy. No, the new liturgical movement is not based on a person or personality; the new liturgical movement set in motion by him is just that: it is a movement and one based on liturgical first principles. That movement continues to exist now and, as it always has been, is mainly operative at the grassroots level amongst laymen and women, amongst seminarians and amongst the clergy -- especially the younger clergy. While I wouldn't care to deny that it is certainly helpful when the pope is himself bearing the standard of this new liturgical movement, it is not a make or break point at the end of the day -- and for that reason, as interesting as it will be to see how the papal liturgies unfold over the next years, more crucial will be what is happening on the ground at the parish level for it is ultimately there where the new liturgical movement is based at this stage of its life; there and in the writings and researches put forward by the liturgical conferences we have spoken about, the books and periodicals that are put out, etc. As it was in the 20th century Liturgical Movement, so too again now.

In this regard I can only offer my encouragement that you forge on with the movement that was seeded and fathered by Pope Benedict XVI but which was always destined to have to outlive his own particular papacy, not to mention many others. Take courage in that reality and realize that we could never expect this to be simply handed to us from on high (a source of frustration for some even under the last pontificate). Tools were given as we still have those tools; now we need to utilize them and from them draw out further gains and progress. All of the tools and gains we have seen, from the new English translation of the modern Roman missal, to Summorum Pontificum and the Ordinariate, to all of the grassroots resources that have sprung up to help people learn to sing the propers again and so on, none of these things have ceased to exist; nor have they become redundant. Far from it. Our task is clear: like a gardener we must now tend to the garden, watering and fertilizing those those seeds and tending to the green shoots. Let's focus on the tasks at hand
I am in total agreement. Its my belief ( a well placed hope perhaps ) that people that wish to continue the " reform of the reform " of the liturgy " have little to fear from a Pope Francis Pontificate. 
In fact its seems with the directions that Francis seems to want to go it does not seem likely he wants to open up the  exhausting " Liturgy wars " again  Both the reforms of both Pope John Paul the II and especially Benedict has calmed this battle quite a good bit. It would be too much of a distraction I believe to where Francis wants this Papacy to go. The reform of the reform in to such things as Sacred architecture, Sacred music, sacred Art  and sacred Liturgy still has a positive future at the grassroots where the real work has always been done.

Is The Holy See Really In An " Unholy Alliance " With Iran Against Women

Robert John Araujo, SJ has some experience this affairs has a response to a New York Times editorial. See The Grey Lady’s “Unholy Alliance”

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cdl. Bergoglio's Now Pope Francis Hard Hitting 2013 Lenten Letter to His Flock ( Translated )

This is a pretty good letter and pretty darn good writing. See Cdl. Bergoglio's Lenten Letter, 2013 

When Ratzinger was elected  those that read him had a pretty good idea of what we were getting. He had a  huge corpus of work going back decades  that was read widely in both the university and among Lay people. It's going to be interesting and fun delving into past  Pope Francis writings. 

Pope Francis Already On Front Cover of Next Time Magazine ( PIC )

That was pretty quick. Good timing I guess .

Pope Francis' First Address 'Urbi et Orbi'' With L' Osservatore Romano Front Page

Brothers and sisters, good evening!

You know that it was the duty of the Conclave to give Rome a Bishop. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to get one... but here we are... I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of Rome now has its Bishop. Thank you! And first of all, I would like to offer a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that
Our Lady may keep him.
(Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be... )

And now, we take up this journey: Bishop and People. This journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches. A journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world, that there may be a great spirit of fraternity. It is my hope for you that this journey of the Church, which we start today, and in which my Cardinal Vicar, here present, will assist me, will be fruitful for the evangelization of this most beautiful city.

And now I would like to give the blessing, but first – first I ask a favor of you: before the Bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me: the prayer of the people asking the blessing for their Bishop. Let us make, in silence, this prayer: your prayer over me.
Now I will give the Blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will. (Blessing)

Brothers and sisters, I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and until we meet again. We will see each other soon. Tomorrow I wish to go and pray to Our Lady, that she may watch over all of Rome. Good night and sleep well!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

There Is A Difference Between Hypocrisy and A Moral Failing ( Samuel Johnson Quote )

At the top of my pet peeves list is how people to easily throw out the word hypocrite. In a Christian context it seems in most cases the words is used to label people in ways I am not sure Christ intended.

Get Religion has a great quote from Samuel Johnson in this piece Hypocrisy, grace and a fallen cardinal that notes there is a critical difference between hypocrisy and  a moral failing.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Folly of Creating Faux Parks To Drive Out Paroled Sex Offenders Out of Town

In Louisiana if one has a "truck stop" that meets certain requirements one can have whole rooms of video poker machines. When video poker legislation was passed lots of people wanted to get into the truck stop business. There were regulations of course one being that a truck stop with video poker could not be in so many feet of a Church.

One person wanted to apply for a video poker license and the Louisiana State Police are the ones that handle that. However there was a problem. A Church came into existence !!  Now the State police started noticing this Church , which they called the Our Lady of Aces I think , was strange. No one every showed up at it. If memory serves me right it might have been a competing truck stop owner that  put this church up !! Anyway this was clearly absurd . This abused the intent of the law  and  thus the State Police gave the license.

A similar result needs to happen I think as to new ways cities make sure a registered sex offender is just driven out of your city. See Josh Blackburn post Construction of “Tiny Parks” Zones Sex-Offenders Further Into Non-Existence

As Josh Blackburn points out besides the legal and ethical problems we see here all this make it much more likely a sex offender will offend .

Gay Tea Party Activist On Why He Opposes Same Sex Marriage

Doug Mainwaring ,co-founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots,  has a interesting and very personal post up at  I'm Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage . It's an good post where he also tell his personal story and marriage that takes a few twists.

I actually have know quite a few gay or SSA folks like Mainwaring that support Same Sex Unions , but draw the line at marriage for the reasons he states. However in a bit of irony they have had to to go to some extent into the closet because some views them as " self-loathing, traitorous gays " .

Papal Estate Castel Gandolfo - Refuge For Popes and Also For World War II Refuges and Jews

A very good post at First Thoughts. See Castel Gandolfo: Home of Popes, Refuge for Jews

More Religious & Legal Reasons Why Corporations ( Money - Makers) Should Have Religious Liberty Legal Rights

The HHS Contraception mandate cases are going through the court system with the predictable mix of losses and wins in the various circuits. One major important legal question is developing aside from the contraception mandate issue. That is can a For Profit Corporation exercise First Amendment rights to have standing to even sue.

The Governments position is NO !! This issue has never perhaps been fully resolved and may be the most important outcome of these cases.

My answer , and I hope the Court in the end sees it this way , is YES THEY CAN.

I have linked in the past a good article that gives some good religious and legal reasons why the answer should be in the affirmative . See  The Naked Private Square .

Another good Law review that gives more religious and legal reasons has just been published and I recommend it highly. See and read God and the Profits: Is There Religious Liberty for Money-Makers? 

From Rome Cardinal Dolan Blogs On A Few Major Misconceptions of the Papacy

See  A few “bloopers”

Saturday, March 9, 2013

An Increasing Frustration On How Murder of Gay Mississippi Politico Is Being Covered

Rod Dreher lends voice to that today at WaPo: Mississippi Is Always Burning .

Related is this Get Religion piece Can the press cover traditionalists with justice and decency? that touches on the subject from another angle.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Garry Willis Thinks Coptic , Eastern Orthodox, Anglican & Other Protestant Priests Are Balderdash Too

He makes that very clear here in an interview about his new book Garry Wills on Priests, Popes, Secrecy, and the Internet . 

That also means that he thinks a good many of the Sacraments are balderdash too. The coverage of this has been in a sort of oh looks its Garry against the bad ole Catholic Church but as we see this heresy affects a good many other folks.

I am not intending on supporting Willis by buying his book. However from what I can tell from sources that have read it one can buy perhaps better versions of this argument at the local Baptist Lifeway Book store. In other words no new ground seems to be broken here. In fact as the link below shows Mr Willis on the last page of his book perhaps goes one place no Low Church Protestant or Evangelical would go.

Father Barron , who has read the book, has a good 15 minute discussion of this book well he brings up the typical obvious problems of the argument that Willis brings up. See Fr. Robert Barron on Garry Wills’ Ridiculous “Why Priests?”

How Artificial Contraception Affected Views of the Celibate Priesthood

Excellent thoughts by Father Longenecker today . See his post Contraception and Celibacy which I have to say I have little to disagree with.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Baptist Faith Critical To Researcher That Might Have Cured Mississippi Child of HIV.

The Baptist Press has the Faith angle to a story that has got media exposure worldwide. See  Doctor in baby's HIV cure is rooted in faith & compassion  that profiles the University of Mississippi doctor /rresearcher involved.

She and her husband were in Africa when the virus was hitting hard. An interesting article that also includes this nugget.

......During Gay's time as a Baptist worker in the Horn of Africa, AIDS was becoming an epidemic there, her husband Paul told Baptist Press from the couple's home near Jackson, Miss.

"There [were] just huge numbers coming out of Uganda and some frightening numbers coming out of Kenya about HIV. There was great work going on in Uganda to try to get some kind of handle on the massive problem. A third of the adult population in Uganda was infected with HIV back at that time," Paul Gay said.

In Ethiopia, the government denied there was a problem, he said.

"Although we could not document it, the rumor was that [in Ethiopia] people who contracted HIV disappeared. None of the nongovernmental organizations, none of the international organizations that were there in the country, did testing because we were afraid that a diagnosis would be a death sentence, not from the disease but from whoever was responsible for these disappearances," Paul Gay said. "So it was a silent problem. It was only after the fall of the communist government to the coalition of Eritrean and Tegrean forces in 1991 that people in authority began to speak."

Even then, he said, the government realized faith would play a role in the control of the disease.

"Their leadership said ... there is a component in stopping HIV that the government is not equipped to handle. The NGOs, the religious organizations will have to provide that component," he said. "While they weren't saying it openly, they were saying it very clearly that they recognized that there was a faith component, a moral component in stemming the growth and the tide of this disease. So that was an amazing disclosure by the authorities."...............

Mother Teresa Supporters Respond To New Critics of Her Saintliness

In the midst of all the conclave talk one academic study from Canada has slightly gone under the radar. That is a study attacking the Saint's " 'saintliness' . There appears to be nothing new to these allegations  that have not been promoted by the now deceased Christopher Hitchens. Still a reaction was quite swift.

See from the Daily Mail  Mother Teresa's Indian followers lash out at study questioning her 'saintliness' .

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When Pundits Talk About Reform of the Church What They Leave Out

Father Robert John Araujo, SJ talks about what pundits mean when they talk reform of the CHurch and what they are leaving out at Reform—legal and ecclesiastical .

He says in part :

........I have been looking over many of the recent claims made by pundits who are asserting that now is the time to “reform” the Church given the papal conclave that is about to begin and given the qualities that are deemed by some as essential for the new pope. I find that while the word “reform” is often employed by these analysts, I doubt that the speakers mean the same thing. For example, I can see that some advocates for “reform” of the Church are interested in changing fundamental teachings of the Church, particularly in the realm of human sexuality. Related to this claim for reform but of a more general nature is the voice that argues that there is a pressing need for “reform” because the Church is less interested today in confessing sins than she is in liberating consciences, if I may borrow from the title of one recent book on the subject. Consequently, the Church’s teachings must reflect this shift. Still, another group sees Church “reform” as mandating dramatic changes to the Petrine Ministry, the office of bishops, and the office of the priesthood. In addition, there are “reformers” who argue that the “institutional Church” must acknowledge the equality of the magisterial office of theologians with the teaching authority of bishops. 

In looking over this list of reasons that are used to validate the call for ecclesiastical reform, I realize that each of these categories is not hermetically sealed from the others; in short, different “reformers” may well share some or all of these arguments for reform. However, these “reformers” tend to have one thing in common: they want to change the status of offices and/or amend Church teachings. None of them really acknowledge or discuss the reform of the human person as the one means of reforming the Church, and I think this is essential to any sincere and holy desire for “reform” of the Church. Why do I offer such an argument?
My explanation begins with the reason why Christ came into the world in the first place and founded the Church on the rock, Peter: to save us from our sins. In the world of the present age, we often hear phrases like “social sin” and “the evils of institutions” being identified as the sources of the problems which the world and its people face. This is wrong, because it is the sins of persons and the evils which persons introduce into the institutions they establish that are at the source of the grave difficulties which the Church and the world face. Until this element of intelligible reality is acknowledged as the essential source of any credible claim for reform of the Church, the clarion for transformation will be flawed. So I end today’s posting with a call for prayers that will be of assistance for authentic reform:

The first prayer is for the cardinals who will elect the new pope: may they put aside whatever individual flaws they have—and we all have them—so that they might elect a holy, humble, and wise man who understands well the nature of the Church and the great demands of the Petrine Ministry.

Second, let us pray for the many places in the world where the Church suffers persecution and other threats. In this latter regard of threats, we should pray for the Church in the United States.\

Finally, let us pray for our own reform as members of the People of God that we will heed Christ’s teachings that lead us away from sin and strive for the path of virtue and holiness. Surely this last petition will be heard by God who will strengthen us in this holy desire. And with this, true reform of the Church will follow.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Mormons " Tweaking " Their Scriptures Is Creating A Lot of Buzz

This is rather big and interesting news. From the Salt  Lake Newspaper see New Mormon scriptures tweak race, polygamy references -Scholars laud changes, say they bring a more accurate, fuller view of faith’s history.

Some of this seems a tad inside baseball which is ok since this is to a Utah audience. For instance I am still not sure what the doctrinal weight these new introductions have compared to the rest of the Mormon Scriptures and documents. Are they just sort of commentary or do they have weight of Church authority?

Also its seems all the scholars LOVES the new changes . Is there any dissent.

It is kind of interesting that with the importance of Mormons in the USA the first time I have heard there was was going to be some substantial revisions of the official text is after it's been done. Strange  since we have had a Mormon just run for President that the media outside large Mormon populations did not highlight this more.

Friday, March 1, 2013

100 University of Dallas Students Honor Pope Benedict In Unique Way As He Leaves Vatican

This is awesome. The Dallas newspaper has the story here.

Post Pope Benedict - Vatican Releases Four Sede Vacante Stamps ( PICS ) ( Updated )

Here are the four Sede Vacante stamps released by the Vatican today.  They become very valuable if they are postmarked on the first day the See of the Bishop of Rome becomes vacant.

 Here is a Vatican Postcard with the special date stamp I mentioned above