Category Archives: Religion

Religion in church, temple, mosque, public life

The Pope: Do not remain prisoners of ideas, open yourselves to new things

Consider your bicycle.

In Santa Marta [his Vatican City house], Francis warns against the risk of “rigidity”, “There are those who ‘distill’ the law and transform it into ideology”. “The Church is like a bike in equilibrium, if it stops it falls down”

It’s his pitch for an ever-changing church. All is flux to Francis? Like Heraclitus, who was active around 500 B.C. and is . . . 

. . . best known for his doctrines that things are constantly changing (universal flux), that opposites coincide (unity of opposites), and that fire is the basic material of the world.

The exact interpretation of these doctrines is controversial, as is the inference often drawn from this theory that in the world as Heraclitus conceives it contradictory propositions must be true.

We sincerely hope not, though Francis has an oracular way about him and as quick a draw of a metaphor as we have seen for a long time, in or out of papal office. But what of this?

. . . the Pontiff warns against the risk of “rigidity”, which leads to placing oneself at the center and thus remain untouched before the works of the Holy Spirit and insensitive to new things.

Well, it’s a generic enough statement. And who wants to be rigid? But can it be that he’s gone oracular again, using a phrase familar to him:

The doctors of the law [not found in John 8: 51-59, his text for the day], [he said]. . .  were incapable of “discerning the signs of the times”.

Oh.

They were slaves of words and ideas, Bergoglio [in an Italian publication, where familiarity breeds if not contempt, then a shorthand usage which we Americans eschew] observes in his homily reported by Vatican News.

“Slaves of words and ideas.” Red lights flashing. Slaves. What’s worse?

“They keep going back to the same questions [we’re dying to know some of these, but he’s holding back about it], they are incapable of leaving that closed world, they are prisoners of ideas.

We get it. And we will figure out what those ideas are, don’t worry.

They received a law that was life but they “distilled” it, they transformed it into ideology and thus they toss and turn it and are unable to move beyond. Anything new for them is a threat.”

These are people in a bad way. Let us not be deceived by them. But tell us, Francis, who they are. Please.

Now as a matter of fact, someone has ventured in that very direction. He is the noted “Fr. Z,” Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, regarding a March, 2015 homily. in which he offered a comment, “a snip from an off-the-cuff, non-Magisterial remark,” in which Francis spoke “disparaging words about ‘doctors of the law.’”

Someting was missing, he thought. The very thing I am wondering:

. . . it seems to me that he has set up a straw man: who the heck are these “doctors of the law” whom he has been disparaging with some frequency?

I think he means those who argue that people who are divorced and civilly remarried should not be admitted to Holy Communion because they are objectively living in a state that is inconsistent with our understanding of the Eucharist.

But he won’t come out and say so. It’s not what you want in a homily anyhow, hearing about someone the homilist resents. But Francis does it a lot. He did it in 2015, he did it just the other day.

It’s unseemly. His objectors have registered “dubia,” roughly doubts, about Francis’ read on the state of things as regards marriage the sacrament. He feels put upon but does not answer these “doubts,” these requests for clarification. Why the heck not?

Who knows?

via The Pope: not to remain prisoners of ideas, let’s open ourselves to new things – La Stampa

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Who is Francis to judge, anyhow?

At 27% of Dictator Pope, I find this about the gay lobby, its main agenda, and The Pope Who Can:

The wider significance of this infiltration is that the homosexual lobby is working to change the Church’s moral teaching in its own interest, and it has come into its own with the liberalising tendency introduced by Pope Francis.

For example, Archbishop Bruno Forte wrote for the Synod on the Family in 2014 the text which attempted to relax Catholic teaching on homosexuality. His text was rejected by the Synod, but not for any lack of effort on Pope Francis’s part to advance the liberalising cause.

Perhaps an even more scandalous case is that of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who, incredibly, is President of the Pontifical Council for the Family and whom Pope Francis has recently made President of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, the body which John Paul intended as the watchdog of the Church’s teaching.

Colonna, Marcantonio. The Dictator Pope (Kindle Locations 905-911). Kindle Edition.

Hit job? That would be to dismiss the book’s connecting dots on dozens of published sources. If it’s a case for the prosecution, it’s a strong one.

Increasing Vocations isn’t Rocket Science

What’s happening in Lincoln NE, Wichita KS, and Charlotte NC dioceses? A lot.

Post-Vatican Two liturgical reform slammed by then-future Benedict XVI

It’s a loser, said the cardinal.

“The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy. They have deserted a vital process of growth and becoming in order to substitute a fabrication. They did not want to continue the development, the organic maturing of something living through the centuries, and they replaced it, in the manner of technical production, by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment.”

(Ratzinger in Revue Theologisches, Vol. 20, Feb. 1990, pgs. 103-104)

The ineffable arrogance of the we-know-best school. Fixer-uppers interrupted the process. Didn’t even just speed it up. Nagging suspicion: They knew what they were doing.

Finding the way, the truth, the life

The lady makes a good case: 

This way of being – life permeated by religious practice is what I hunger for; frankly, what I think most of us ravenously, endlessly pursue.

We want liturgy and ritual that transform. We want routine and rhythm that fill our days with meaning. We want our relationships, jobs, conversations, activities, choices, emotions, and sense of self to be sacred.

We want our life to have significance – not just when looked back on in eulogy, but our day-in-day-out experience of it. This is religious.

Farther down in this essay, she gives a sort of road map:

Religious, then religion. Ritual, then faith. Words, then creeds. Writing, then Writ. Beauty, then belief. Maybe this is the way home, the way over, the way through.

more more more where this came from: Maybe we can do better than “I’m spiritual but not religious.” | Ronna Detrick, M.Div.

Chicago archbishop and U.S. EPA in this “fight” together: Take that, climate change!

The archbishop and the EPA administrator co-author Sun-Times op-ed.

The Most Reverend Blaise Cupich and the head woman of the nation’s whole damn Evironmental Protection Agency, also known as its Employment Prevention Agency, take us from clean air asthma-protection (who can object to it?) to this:

The fight against climate change isn’t a sprint — it’s a marathon. But with continued leadership and committed action from the archdiocese, from Chicago, and from congregations and communities across America, we can turn the challenge of climate change into an opportunity to build a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous future.

A month ago, Pope Francis asked, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”

We all know the answer, and that’s why we’re working together — faith leaders, public officials and private citizens — to make it a reality. [Italics added]

To make what a reality? Give me antecedents to match those pronouns.

And turning challenge of such and such into an opportunity? To build a cleaner, healthier, etc.? How about cleaning up the air for asthmatic children and letting it go at that?

This is such a play for national visibility as to unleash a flood of disbelief. What about flood-prevention while we’re at it?

The crafty Mundelein loved FDR and boosted the New Deal, however. There’s precedent for this, sad to say.

via Opinion: We have a moral obligation on climate change | Chicago.

Fr. Barron gone, Abp Cupich can further remake Chicago, says Crux writer

The seminary’s the thing, social justice to be king?

As rector of Mundelein, Barron reworked the curriculum to focus on the New Evangelization, an idea promulgated by Pope John Paul II and institutionalized at the Vatican in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI aimed at engaging contemporary culture with the Catholic faith.

Whether Cupich’s choice to replace Barron changes the focus of that curriculum — and in what direction — will be closely scrutinized by Church-watchers.

Bye-by New Evangelization, hello Social Gospel?

(BTW, the former is “in a nutshell . . . salesmanship,” wrote Crux’s John Allen from Rome in March of ’13, in his National Catholic Reporter days, which is linked above.)

Chicago-based Media Star Priest Off to Hollywood

From Midwest to Far West, into the belly of the media beast: (per Wall St. Journal via Google)

LOS ANGELES—A Catholic media star is coming to Hollywood.

On Tuesday, the Vatican announced that FatherRobert Barron,a popular Catholic commentator, author and television host with a significant social media following, would relocate to the Los Angeles Archdiocese from Chicago afterPope Francisnamed him an auxiliary bishop.

The move is expected to boost the Catholic church’s voice in a region that is the center of the entertainment industry and home to the nation’s largest Catholic diocese.

Father Barron will continue running a robust media operation that includes his “Word on Fire” media ministry, as well as posting video talks on his YouTube channel. His videos have been watched more than 13 million times

He’s happy as a clam:

At the announcement of his appointment in Los Angeles Tuesday, Father Barron said that he plans to carry on the mission of “evangelization of the culture, bringing Christ to the arenas of media, politics, law, education, the arts. I can’t think of a more exciting field for this sort of work than Los Angeles, which is certainly one of the great cultural centers of our time.”

. . . .

In an interview Tuesday, Father Barron said he’s eager to “meet some of the players out here, the screenwriters, actors and producers and directors.”

He has plans:

The priest’s videos and writings have a conversational tone, and often reference pop culture, history and politics. His slickly produced videos, usually about 10 minutes long—often show him sitting in a library or sanctuary. He’s tackled topics such as original sin and belief in God, but also the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on gay marriage, comedian Bill Maher and “The Hunger Games” movies.

Father Barron said his strategy is “not to scold the culture for what it’s doing wrong” but to find common points of interest.

For instance:

After criticism [by some] of the movie “Noah,” [for deviating from the Biblical original]  Father Barron brushed aside its critics.

“It’s remarkable to me how this movie preserves an awful lot of what I call the biblical logic of the story of Noah in a way, I must say, that’s rather remarkable for a major Hollywood movie,” he said. “God is clearly affirmed throughout the movie.

The ball is in Chi Archbishop Cupich’s court as to who should succeed Barron as rector of the Chicago and regional seminary, a very important post as to the quality and pastoral orientation of presumably many ordination classes of priests.

McCarthy: Pastors, staffers prepared to deal with Supreme Court marriage decision – Illinois Review

McCarthy: Pastors, staffers prepared to deal with Supreme Court marriage decision – Illinois Review.

Frequent commenter to this blog Margaret McCarthy covers  Daniel McConchie, Vice President of Government Affairs for Americans United for Life, in a Grayslake IL presentation, including threats to conscience, including:

Here in Illinois, [where] Holy Family Catholic Church in Inverness is faced with a lawsuit over employment discrimination by Colin Collette because he was fired when he married his male partner.

In Illinois, we have had The “Illinois Right of Conscience” [as] one of the strongest protections for religious objections . . . successfully used to protect a Catholic pharmacist from civil penalty when he refused to supply a customer with abortificient drugs.

Currently, SB 1564 . . . passed and . . . before the General Assembly, would weaken those protections.

Chicago Tribune columnist and blogger Dennis Byrne gave us a look at this book in April as applying to abortion.

As if we weren’t looking, pro-choice forces this week are pushing an anti-conscience abortion bill through the Illinois Legislature.

Illinois Senate Bill 1564, which rewrites theHealth Care Right of Conscience Act, is designed to cripple or shut down  pregnancy resource centers, such asAid for Womenand theWomen’s Center, that offer womenalternatives to abortion.  Ironically, the bill reduces choices for women and takes direct aim at health care providers whose conscience (whether religiously inspired or for logical reasons) does not allow them to participate in abortions.

That means that workers atpregnancy crisis centers would have to violate their conscience by describing the “benefits” of abortion and refer clients to abortion clinics.

The bill is presumed also to cover same-sex confrontations, McCarthy reports:

For several years, the homosexual lobby has been aggressively seeking out businesses whose owners refused on religious grounds to provide services for their prospective weddings. When refused, the couples sued, citing discrimination based on already existing laws permitting gay marriage. 

McConchie cited numerous cases across the country of florists, caterers, wedding chapels, bakers that were singled out for attack.  Some were defended successfully, others were fined and/or put out of business.

McConchie was blunt about it, warning his Christ Church “Crossroads” audience, “You may not be interested in politics, but if you don’t pay attention, politics will roll over you.”

Jihadists rock to jihadist poetry

The Rhyme and Reason of Jihad | Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The Rhyme and Reason of Jihad

The Rhyme and Reason of Jihad

Clifford D. May
10th June 2015 –The Washington Times

You probably didn’t know it but Osama bin Laden was a poet. In fact, according to Yale’s Robyn Creswell and Princeton’s Bernard Haykel, “of all jihadi poets, bin Laden was the most celebrated, and he prided himself on his knowledge of the art.”

They add (in the June 8 edition ofThe New Yorker): “A large part of bin Laden’s charisma as a leader was his mastery of classical eloquence.” Here, for example, he elegizes the mass-murderers of 9/11/01: “Embracing death, the knights of glory found their rest. / They gripped the towers with hands of rage and ripped through them like a torrent.”

Professors Creswell and Haykel further report that a wide range of Islamist groups are now producing “a huge amount of verse.” This art is an expression of the “the culture of jihad” which, they say, we should regard as a “culture of romance. It promises adventure and asserts that the codes of medieval heroism and chivalry are still relevant.”

– See more at: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/may-clifford-d-what-rhymes-with-decapitate/#sthash.OtrmyAOt.dpuf

This provides a vision,

Which leads us Christians and Jews to poeticize our tradition?

Which calls for an impassioned embrace of our doctrines.

Our Scripture is full of the poetic, the vision, the sheer otherworldiness. So much of it in undiluted form is nonsense to the man and woman, but especially the man, of today. We should do what we can, in schools, for instance, to encourage embrace of the poetic — a reasonable embrace of it. There I go, two sides of the issue.

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