Links for 04/20/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The Fr. Serra event is a must do, assuming you can get tickets. If you are of California stock, check with your Senators or members - although it may be easier to go with another state - who have fewer tickets but fewer requests.
Congratulations to the CRS employee on his or her marriage. Sadly, it cannot be blessed publicly by a priest. The real issue is whether priests will do so privately - its what the Trads really fear. I have no use for either of those other witch hunters and they are best ignored as fringe.
The same goes for Weigel, whose entire compass seems to be who he likes and who he dislikes. Such moral decision making belongs in the third grade, but I will not give that idiot the satisfaction of even clicking on the link.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Links for 04/20/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The Fr. Serra event is a must do, assuming you can get tickets. If you are of California stock, check with your Senators or members - although it may be easier to go with another state - who have fewer tickets but fewer requests.
Remembering Cardinal Francis George, OMI | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The death of Cardinal George is hardly a surprise. I suppose if anyone is a witness on why to avoid active euthanasia, its is Francis George - as his depression could have made it a realistic option - but that was not in him. An article by him on the topic would have been the capstone of his legacy, at least for conservative Catholics.
I never really met the Cardinal, but did hear him say Mass at both the Annual Gathering in Chicago and at the Centennial Mass for Catholic Charities at the National Bascillica of the Immaculate Conception (which is how you are supposed to say it, the official title is clunky, as is calling St. Pio by St. Padre Pio or fittling Pope in St. John Paul the Great's name. That he devoted so much to the movement for Catholic Charity says all you need to know about him as bishop. The doctrinal arguments are just recreation, which I will join in with the memory of Francis George one last time.
I actually like the new-old translation, if only for reasons of international Church unity. The prayers are somewhat clunky, but no one really listens to those anyway - they may has well be in Latin - and that was before the translation change. The Eucharistic Prayer options are not unlovely in most spots and it just takes some gettng used to. I call it the new-old translation because much of it could have been taken from the pre-Vatican II English follow-on pages. It is an accomplishment that the priest still faces the people and that English is actually used - however this reform will likely be as far as the counter-revolution goes.
As for the Evangelicals - they exist on the left as well as the right. It is odd that in places where they still think the Pope to really be the anti-Christ, they follow his lead on abortion and birth control - as if they had anywhere else to go. Of course, the bishops are not alone on opinons on reform. Catholic Health and Catholic Charities staked out a separate position and it carried that day enough for Catholic votes to push the reform over the top, Catholic legislators who know they were doing the right thing and it would cost them re-election. Pity that misnamed outfits like the Susan B. Anthony Fund made that happen and that some bishops took it upon themselves to get revenge over the nuns - a revenge that Pope Francis has ended.
The contraception and religious liberty flap was regrettable because the Bishops allowed themselves to be made sport of for what turned out to be an effort by Valerie Jarrett to make it an issue to mobilize women for the election. The election is over - Valerie's guy won and nothing will change that. Its time to stand down.
Now we come to the city on the hill imagery. Gary Wills and E.J. Dionne will likely have something to say about that too - but a Catholic bishop invoking it is almost comical. The whole idea behind the Massachusetts colony was to get away from English Catholicism, which was tainted by the Romanism of what they believed to be the anti-Christ. The irony is tragic. Luckily, all the little explosions of fervor tend to peter out quickly and I don't see right wing Protestant Evangelicals taking the stage again. If anything, the Disciples of Christ are the true heirs of that original movement (at least as far as my family history goes) and they are decidedly NOT conservative. They are still faithful - indeed, faith abounds on the left - with faith being reliance on God and not adherence to the social structure called the Church.
The nation is not known for its peculiar peculiar Chrisitianity - but for the peculiar freedom that it resides in, including the lovely debate just engaged on whether contraception should be ressurected as an issue fifty years after Griswold v. Connecticut (and the answer is still no). Still, a debate on the conscience of an employer and of each employee is wonderful to have, not because the employer has any say but because it opens the door to talking about the evils of capitalism - and I will debate that any day, any hour. Those who disagree had better bring a first aid kit because it could get messy.
That bundle of rights and adherence to good government under the separation of powers defined by John Adams and Montesque is what distinguishes Ameria, as well as our instinct to jump into every fight, even when it is not a good idea. Iraq is case in point and Afghanistan is gettng that way, but only because we have not sent Wes Clark to negotiate our way out. Still, much of that culture is derived from the kind of univeral brotherhood practiced not by the Church, but by the Masons. Before touting our American ideology, lets make sure we know where we get it. Its not the Church but a group where, even though they now allow Catholics in, the Church has not returned the favor.
On the Neo-con thing - neoconservatives are former liberals who believe in a strong defense, especially where it regards support for the state of Israel. Any Catholic is advised not to support what has become the blood bath of our time. There is no other acceptable use of the term and I am sure it did not apply to the Cardinal and I am sure it applies to one Michael Sean Winters. Nothing more and nothing less. The Cardinal was simply a Traditionalist, or maybe a Neo-Trad to deliniate him as one like St. John Paul the Great (their leader), who is not publicly rejecting Vatican II, but not shy about tinkering with it.
There, one last set of arguments in memory of Frank George. Rest In Peace.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Links for 04/17/15 | National Catholic Reporter MSW. MGB: I agree with those parents. The younger bomber has lost his dangerousness - though exile of some sort, like prison, is necessary of the public well-being - unless of course we found it was his idea. The needed execution in this case happened when they got his brother in the street. Sadly, that is how BPD rolls - indeed, they were trying to save the people a trial for the younger one too, but the cameras stopped them.
David's remarks are very interesting regarding the questions of law v. conscience and the law written in hour hearts. Of course, that is a bit more real - or could be - than a conference on polarizations is likely to get. Too bad - because it essentialy is a question not of conscience but of who decides what the natural law is, the Curia and Ordinaries or the people themselves - and why not the latter?
There is likely no military solution to Israel and unless the United States attacks it - and Obama won't do that - not with the number of Jews who are or were on his staff. It won't come until even American Zionists agree that rounding up all Palesntinians in Gaza and the West Bank to more easily kill them is wrong. I am familiar with the proposition, as the Parajmos happened concurrently with the Holocaust - except the former was more successful among my fellow Sinti. Until you know what I just said, don't talk to me about genocide. The only solution is probably when remnant of our peoples decide they want to test whether the right of return applies to the other ten tribes (that was a big hint).
Polarization in the U.S. Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: This apporach to humility is very Ignatian and you can find it duplicated in the Seventh Step of Alcoholic Anonymous' 12 Steps. No surprise a Jesuit Pope would cite it. It is interesting that MSW would cite the clergy sex abuse as an example of pubic humiliation leading to humility in the hierarchy. If only that were true. Sadly, there was no existential angst in the episcopacy - only Public Relations problem and a full court press to protect Vatican assets from being attached. The Archbishop of San Francisco and his continuation of the culture wars after they are basically lost is another example that does not get to public humiliation bringing humility. Humility would be to realize he needs to start celebrating gay weddings - it would be changing the doctrine on homosexuality and realizing the only reason some think it immoral is that they find it icky. Not even Francis has gotten to that level of humility - not even enough to realize putting a culture warrior in the Fire Island of the west was a dumb idea.
I am glad Notre Dame is putting on a conference on polarization. Sadly, the bishops learned from the Obama speech affair - only that they don't get to say anything (and should not) about universities they don't own. Indeed, we need to officially junk the idea of the imperial bishop controlling all things Catholic in their benefice. Oh, love the shameless plug. I disagree on the polarization of thecommentariat and the leadership of the Church not being reflected in the faithful - one only see my Facebook pages to see it both causes and is caused by such polarization among people in the pews - and thoses who stay away from the pews but are Catholic nonetheless. I hope the conference has a wide variation of views, but I doubt we will be seeing Courdeleone, Chaput, Burke (who would just denounce it anyway) or Lori. It would be fund to see the Pope order them to be there. Not likely - he is one who buys into the collegiality of bishops mythos. Pity.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Links for 04/16/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: It used to be that, albeit conservative, Heritage was a decent place that everyone respected and at least took the time to argue with. The current incarnation is a joke and is no longer conservative - its reactionary. Ryan Anderson is the kind of creep you would expect at a meeting of the John Birch Society. Now the Birchers are no longer a valuable part of the GOP, they are the GOP. Sad.
I hope that Bishop McElroy's sermon is the low water mark of his tenure as bishop. He seems like the real deal, but there may be a point where he stops on responding to the Spirit of Prophesy (and that is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit) and pulls up short on change. I hope we don't find that point - that he remains awake to the Spirit and helps those who are afraid get over their fears.
The Mess in San Francisco | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: I am not so sure the full page ad is a bad idea. If correspondence is stopped at the Chancellor and the Archbishop does not grant a meeting or takes their calls, the ad is essential. They could also nail them to the Cathedral door. What is more regretable is the need to have Francis remove the Archbishop - which essentially means that the Holy See, not the individual bishop, is liable for their conduct in covering up child sexual abuse. Not following the Dallas Charter is suspect, but if ignoring the Charter leads to more abuse, the Holy See should pay.
The way to solve this is to abandon our Medieval organizational structures. In the early Church, before it was coopted by Rome and then Constantinople, bishops were elected (and in some cases, were probably removed). Do that now and the ad would be for Catholics to assemble and consider the Archbishop's removal - although given the ancient ways, he would nevr have been permitted to serve in that Archdiocese. Bishop Finn would have been removed by now as well.
The other reform is to abandon the convention that the bishop holds all assets as personal property. This is worse than anachronistic. There was a place for it after the Great Terror in France - but such threats are gone. Elected and removal bishops might be just a bit of an incentive to follow the Dallas Charter (which seems more like a press release than a bindng regulation.
Finally, an arranagment such as this would change how doctrine is developed. Elected bishops gave us Calchedon and the Creed. Agreeing on the nature of God and Jesus by a democratically elected council was not a bad thing then and it would not be now. MSW needs to quit defending that kind of worn out tradition.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Pope Francis: Gender theory is the problem, not the solution | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Both nurturing and earning are necessary roles, but they are not nature - they are economic and social constructs. On farms, everyone can do everything and have, although usually the males hunt because they can run longer and survive turnabout by the prey - women are too important to put at risk in such society. Still, in this world of change, men can stay home and be perfectly fine, even for an infant (no so much for puberty of girls). Indeed, until women are fine with men never going back to work, they will never destroy the glass ceiling, which is there to take out competition. Women need to start taking out the competition by letting them nurture, be school parents and, gasp, golf.
Links for 04/15/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Borowtiz's piece is funny and a bit mocking at having a video rather than a rally - and that she is acting as if she is not well known - of course considering who she is known for being married to, may not be a bad thing. Still, its an interesting barometer to see who likes an dislikes her by how they react. Mocking the GOP for their reaction is priceless.
You can always walk in most neighborhoods as long as you have identification. Indeed, I am no sure who cold stop you from going to Beacon HIll. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, because I would rank Carmel, California at the top. Woodland-Normanstone in DC is a pack of mansions in a block. Did not make the list. Kings Point, Long Island is amazing and if you want off the wall, do Dubuque, Iowa in the heights and Anacostia, DC along MLK. I say that because the stone and architecture is the same and they look neat. And yes, I have walked down that stretch of MLK alone and with a campaign parade - and for MLK day (although when you are holding a Free DC Banner and trying not to drop it, you can't really see. Even more impressive is Sixteenth Street in early May. Nothing is more beautiful. Even Groves Point, Michigan or San Antonio, TX - especially Terrell HIlls, which has lots of pretty flowers, the postwar home style - which has never been changed McMansions not allowed, but in the summer in back yards, clothing is optional.
In the movie, Whoopie led the choir for St. John Paul II (or a dramatic facsimile). Of course, the anchor song of the piece is Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee sang by the students - with Lauren Hill in her break out performance. Very hep and very spiritual, like the characters meant it.
Oh Happy Day in San Diego | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Congratulations to the bishop, who seems to have been promoted out of a See where a culture warrior is tilting at windmills against gay rights. He is a churchman, who I hope like Bernardin looks to the sheep rather than Rome - and is willing to tell the Roman Curia and his fellow bishops where dogma is no longer passing the smell test of reality in the modern world - since there is no left or right, there is orthodoxy and modernism. Everything modern is not, but everything that is consdered orthodox must be saved. Oddly, orthodoxy was achieved by the democracy of the Council - not from anyone issuing a Bull from Rome. indeed, the contents of the faith regarding Christ were made orthodox, it was by a vote of elected bishops - and in some cases conflicts got bloody - even after the issue was settled. Blood need not be spilt anymore, but all need not be preserved.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Links for 04/14/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: While on the civil rights angle of so many sexual issues, the libertarian impulse must be honored, the case for moral liberatarianism takes a different tack. It must be a moral code that makes us the most free - as in lacking in moral habits that become compulsions - and not just in the sexual realm. A little moral libertarianism might be good for some of the princes of the Church, who revel in self-importance to such an extent that their ability to exercise moral freedom is suspect. This is another way of repeating what the Master said about his gentleness and humility of heart, his yoke is easy and his burden light. Moral libertarianism strives, or should strive, to make use of natural law - not the relativistic kind you find in the Curia and their Infallible Magisterium - but the kind we reason out for yourselves.
I am sure the Crossroads event will be bittersweet for those who loved the Monsignor. I am sure that remembering the good times will crowd out the self-pity that is such a danger in grief.
Jeb Bush as Mr. Catholic will cause some serious soul searching on whether the Capitalist impulse is inconsistent with Catholic teaching. Would that it also leads to an examination of the pro-life movement as to whether it is a political fiction or what it is advertised as. The Governor who kept a dead woman away from her reward may not be the person we want as President Catholic. Still, the debate will be wonderful if we are bold enough to ask the tough questions of both Bush and ourselves. Of course, this will likely lead to four more years of Democratic rule.
Clinton & Rubio Enter the Race | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: These candidates show what Faith Dane demonstrated with her bugle in Gypsey - everybody's got a gimmick. To be cynical, with two Cubans in the race it is hard to see Rubio and Cruz not splitting that vote in Florida - or winning any points with the Mexican and Central American communities given their stance on immigration. One wonders if the Republican world is looking for a second position Latino. If so, I don't think the Latino vote will fall for either of them - especially when you legitimately as Marco Who?
Hillary did speak of a vast right wing conspiracy - and then it showed itself in a link between the Paul Jones legal team and Ken Starr. This little cabal and those funding them now takes the form of the Tea Party - after being the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (how Orwellian is that title?). They don't like Hillary going back to her days in the Nixon impeachment, when she was already dating Bill - back when people were actually going after John Kerry because he came back and opposed the war publicly. Before all of that we had the John Birch Society, who seemingly thought there was a Communist behind every tree - and whose sugar daddy was Mr, Koch, Sr. When FoxNews stops taking press releases from the RNC as actual news, I will stop belieiving in a vast right wing conspiracy.
One of the right wing conspiracy rumors is about sex, namely that Mrs. Clinton goes both ways. While it seems to be true for Mrs. Roosevelt, it has no traction with Hillary - and even if true this would show society has changed some of its double standards. Machieavelian? Maybe - you kind of have to be when a vast right wing conspiracy is gunning for you. Still, there is some truth to the rumors that she is a bit harder than she looks. Funny how THAT would not come up if she were a man - and her time at state was no less remarkable than Papa Bush's time as director of the CIA (experience which seemingly helped him in the Iran-Contra affair - something he was never investigated for). And for every chant of Benghazi, the counter chant is bin Laden.
One of the reasons that the campaign against Obama in those quarters never got beyond the racist dities about Barck the Magic Negro is that everone thought Hillary would win the nomination and they werer ready for her. Oops. As for the nomination this time, the main lesson Hillary needs to have learned is that you must contest caucus states - because they will go to whomever courts them.
This announcement has pretty much sealed the deal. O'Malley of Baltimore probably won't get any money unless he suddenly gets pro-life religion and Jill Biden is likely going to Delaware on weekends to look at retirement options for the Vice President - although he might just surprise people in a race without, or even with, Hillary. The main point is that no one on the right wing has any kind of economic justice on their radars. None - well, except for justice for those who earned or otherwise got their money. The rest of us are ready for Hillary.
Links for 04/13/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Interesting focus on Mrs. Jesus in Archbishop DiNoia's Easter Homily, but it did not look too long, so that is good. As far as Wolf Hall, no desire and no cable access, so it does not matter. Ready for Hillary was slick campaign, perhaps too slick, like her announcement. Front runners need to balance a band wagon effect with the perception of inevitability - and not in a good way. When you are a consultant, its too much fun to latch on to those feelings. Probably not good for the candidate. Hopefully she will remember what I told her about dealing with the abortion issue - which is to lay out how much its about organizational preservation rather than actually ending abortion. It is simply not an issue in play outside of state capitals that don't know the meanding of the word no and federal courts that are very oblliged to say it. If abortion is your only objection, re read what I said and pronounce yourself ready for Hillary.
The papal bull: Misericordiae Vultus | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Interesting piece (or peace). You could see Francis' strong scriptural knowledge in weaving this together - what is essentially an invitation to pilgimage and confession (and as yet t be named indulgences). The start date is interesting as the anniversary of Vatican II's closing. I am sure there are those who still want the Council to be treated as just another part of the Church of St. Piux X, rather than a bit more of a break from the past. This will disappoint them. The continuity he especially wants, however, is with the Lord - who showed mercy and was mercy.
He also cites St. John Paul II's encyclical on mercy - which should have George Weigal's head spinning. Still, we must forgive George if we wish to be forgiven. There is no mercy without forgiveness of others. The sending out of Missionaries of Mercy is interesting - both as a spiritual activity and as doing an end run around the local ordinaries. The reference to the criminals and the corrupt to not just go to Confession but to get out of the life is interesting - and likely as much directed to his home as to Rome. This dovetails nicely into the long paragraphs on justice and mercy - and justice being not whatt we usually think. There is no comfort here for George Weigel either. Or for Cardinal Burke. He does reach out the Marian movement, however - although I suspect his vision of Mary is more like mine than it is Weigel's.
MSW calls this a counter-cultural teaching - which it is - but rejecting the culture of cruelty and embracing one of mercy. He makes comments about paragraph 15 counter-acting Libertarianism - which is funny because I did not see any mention of Ayn Rand, Freidrich Hayek or von Mises. It looked to me like Francis was talking about Capitalism. Of course, attacking Libertarianism is a lot easier than saying that the Pope has capitalism in his sights.
Francis is not only the world's parish priest (although I hope most parish priests are following the scriptures in their homilies like he does), he is its Sunday School teacher. I don't think he had staff do all those scripture quotes. He teaches the Bible like he wrote it himself, especially the beautiful psalm references.
As MSW points out, Francis is saying a lot about Confession and Confessors. It will be interesting if he can find some way to talk us all out of the nagging guilt that precedes most of us who approach the Confessional or Reconciliation Room. It probably comes from making innocent children start so early.
MSW also gets a little excited at the end, calling the Bull and Mercy un-modern. I disagree. This was not written for pre-industrial Catholicism. It is squarely on point - and sociologists of religion do talk about Mercy in the context of the Church and churches, as do 12 step programs - yet this is the most important thing we have seen lately - and the Jubilee is timed to occur after the Second Synod on the Family. Now that is interesting.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Sunday, I was on my way to St. Ann's Catholic Parish while putting together this column as I walked (so I got in during the first reading - should have walked faster). Then I heard the Homily - it did not change what I said, but it did add a new perspective, which I share below. We are a nice parish and you can find us online at www.stann.org.
Friday, April 10, 2015
Killing Christianity | National Catholic Reporter by PZ. MGB: I have written about this divorce issue extensively. More so since my wife left me. In some cases, a second marriage should not only be accommodated, but the first marriage ended officially the by the chruch.
Adultery, violence, drunkenness with no attempt at recovery (same for drug abuse) and responding to attempts by inlaws to end the first marriage (which, by the way, is what Jesus was talking about in the
Gospel - that this should not happen). Here is the catch, this should never free the offender to marry again - unless the wronged party gives both forgiveness and permission for them to marry again. The injured spouse should be allowed to insist the marriage stay intace or is freed to marry but binds the other not to - at least in the Church. That would be interesting in practice, both for forgiveness examples and for standing on ones right - but mostly how it affects the other offending party. Of course, let us hope they do not get homicidal.
Links for 04/10/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: ACE is a good way to have a public school also be private - but with public money. Sounds good to me, but I would still mandate continuation of the collective bargaining agreement - if only to see if that is what is wrong with the public schools or if its the interference of the central administrative and political structure. And I would never send my child to an Orlando public school - until now.
I would have no question about hiring the employee. The problem is the bishop - but its essentially his school under law, which is also a problem. Unless the teacher has multiple lovers and is modeling promiscuity - in which case he probably could not be hired - then he should be given the benefit of the doubt. Of course, there are those who polyamorous who would disagree - and maybe there are right - although most people cannot handle such a life style. Of course in Utah, polyamory should be legal (not just poligamy, because it is a religious tenent. So, if one religious tenant can be binding, it seems another can be freeing - but that is the case for poliamory, not monogamous homosexuality.
Market Watch is a hysterical tool of the capitalists. I predict nothing because the Encyclical is not yet out.
Indiana's RFRA: the fallout, Part II | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: MSW seems to find only two approaches among the bishops. I would rather think of it as at least two. The bishops that favor tolerance, including in Indiana and Georgia, have been a breath of fresh air - although I would prefer that they not suggest a time for more discernment and dialogue. My impresson is that civil rights law, or at least the princples behind it, were fairly clear - equal access to all if you have a store front business - and no one is saying that these bakers need to order from the Adam and Steve Cake Topper Company in San Francisco (don't look for it, I made it up).
Then there are the Lori and Chaput crowd. They do seem strident in the name of coalition politics and maybe that is it (which if so kind of colors how we need to seem them when they talk about abortion). The other possibility is that they are fully convinced that gays and lesbians who have sex are going to Hell and that they must stop them, have them repent and go through therapy to make them heterosexual (think the center operated by Michele Bachmann's husband - who seems to have been a client). Stopping gay marriage is their first step in reaching them and reminding them of their flawed behavior as part of an attraction disorder. Worse, if they lose on this issue - they feal the whole of Catholic moral teaching is lost, including female priests and abortion, et al.
The third undiscussed option is hopefully some very quiet bishops who are Lori and Chaput's worse nightmare - who reject that there is anything sinful about being gay or in being sexually active while gay - with marriage being the best hope for that occurring safely and morally. They were the ones who, as priests, were pushing the Wonderfully Made meme as well as the sex is a gift from God meme. By the way, both of those are correct. Forty years ago, we were sure we would find a genetic cause. Didn't happen. Epigenetics did, however - which found the biology connected to what we know - the homosexuality seems to arise during pregnancy, but before birth and is linked to genetic factors. Those of us who are spiritual - and hopefully that includes some bishops - see that not as disorder, but God's creative work - no more to be cured than white skin (which is risk factor for cancer). As far as the female priests thing - yeah, we hope they are willing partners on that to.
The problem is that dissent is never met with debate or respect, it is anathemized. Priests and even bishops are fired for telling the truth. It is why so many have hope in Francis - that he will let the truth be spoken without retribution from those like Burke, Chaput and Lori.