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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from June 2007

God only knows by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 1, 2007

When AP surveyed the leading US presidential candidates about their religious practices, the most interesting response came from Rudy Giuliani's campaign: "The mayor's personal relationship with God is private and between him and God." Let's see: personal... private... between him and God....

death delayed by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 2, 2007

The nauseating photo of CBS shill Mike Wallace giving Jack Kevorkian a welcome-home hug goaded me to dig up

When Fear and Anger Give Way to Laughter by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jun 2, 2007

I think, finally, one has to laugh. I refer to the 130 theologians from Germany and Austria who have signed a petition for reform of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This core group is now rumored to be seeking signatories from other countries. Thirty years ago this would have been...

emphasize the positive! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 3, 2007

Did you notice that Father was wearing white vestments this morning? It turns out today is Say Something Nice Sunday. If this isn't your Uncle Di's patronal feast, it certainly ought to be. Here's the deal: In Charleston, South Carolina a slow but potentially powerful movement is beginning...

oppressive images of god by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 3, 2007

Tim Radcliffe is moulting again. From his Ascension homily: But let's be honest. It does not always feel like home. Lots of people do not feel at ease in the Church. This may be because we feel that God does not want us here. If that is the case, then we are living with some image of God that...

a complete thunderbolt thing by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 3, 2007

Episcopal priest #1 admits that he really wasn't interested, at first, in dating Episcopal priest #2: “I was assuming he would be pious and narrow-minded.” Now that's an odd prejudice, isn't it? After all, #1, you're an Episcopal priest, and you're not overly pious, are you? As for...

seeing red by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 4, 2007

It appears that the heydey of Voice of the Faithful is behind us, and there are tough times ahead: According to an account of the meeting posted on the organization's Web site at www.votf.org, "Both Bill Casey and Mark Mullaney described the financial shortfall VOTF will face in the coming...

brain dead by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 4, 2007

Sydney's Cardinal George Pell plans to ask principals of Catholic schools to make a "religious submission of intellect and will" to the teachings of the Church. The squeals of protest are already audible as far as the Yukon. To require a man who receives a salary for promoting Catholic doctrine...

Using an Oath of Fidelity by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 4, 2007

George Cardinal Pell will require that all senior staff in the Catholic school system in Sydney, Australia take an oath of fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This is part of his pastoral plan to rejuvenate Catholicism in his diocese over the next four years. One part of the plan is...

The Other Side of the Fidelity Oath by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 4, 2007

In my previous entry, I commended George Cardinal Pell for employing an oath of fidelity in the Catholic school system in Sydney, Australia. In discussing the role of such an oath, I used terms such as “fully committed to the teachings of the Church”, “devoted to the Magisterium”, and “Catholic...

thinking catholic by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 6, 2007

You know the culture wars are getting serious when the opposition brings out the heavy artillery. From the Sydney Morning News: Supermodel Gisele Bundchen has stepped into the debate over birth control and sexual behaviour in Brazil, saying church opposition to condom use was ridiculous and...

Victims of Our Catholic Personalities by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 6, 2007

A great deal of what we expect from the Church is determined by our unique personalities. For example, some of us aren’t really comfortable with priests who don’t regularly take public stands on the life issues, while others are suspicious of those who lack warmth or fail to devote themselves to...

annex by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 7, 2007

Well, Fr Nick is history at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Severn, Maryland (Archdiocese of Baltimore) Bishop Rozanski's spokesman was uncharacteristically declarative (for a bishop or his spokesman): "Not only was the pastor being compensated unfairly -- neither was he present and...

M.P. signed; document being translated by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jun 7, 2007

The reliable Father Z, citing a "solid" informant, reports that the motu proprio is now in the translator's shop being prepared for publication. This report still does not tell us when the document will appear-- although presumably it won't be today. It does tell us that the document has been...

dream land by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 7, 2007

Your Uncle Di had a dream the other night that he was the proverbial fly on the wall in a rectory office, listening as one Fr. Mike shuffles into the room to dial up his voice-mail: Beep, beep, beep... beep, beep, beep, beep... (irksome female computer voice) "Please enter your...

A New Apologetics by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jun 11, 2007

Apologetics, or the defense of the Faith, generally takes one of two forms. Either it offers convincing arguments which show the truth of various doctrinal propositions, or it offers persuasive demonstrations that the Christian faith is the best way to fulfill legitimate human aspirations. Both...

Catholics Should Make the Best Stewards of Creation by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 12, 2007

The Vatican auditorium will soon boast solar panels on its roof to power not only that facility but other Vatican buildings, especially during summer electrical shortages in Rome. I don’t know what the payback period is in terms of energy savings, but the plan does show the Vatican’s commitment to...

The “Our Father” according to Benedict by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 13, 2007

I had promised to return to Pope Benedict’s book in my blog, but one scarcely knows where to begin. The book is just too rich. Perhaps the best thing I can do is provide a sampling, selected almost at random, in the hope that others really will read it for themselves. So let’s look at just five...

just another issue by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 14, 2007

Today the Massachusetts legislature will vote on a constitutional amendment define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In a legislature dominated by self-identified Catholics, it's nip-and-tuck whether the proposal will win approval from just one-fourth of the legislators: the minimum...

Nothing to see here, folks by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 14, 2007

That noise you just heard was a collective sigh of relief, heaved by the clergy and laity of the Boston archdiocese, who will no longer be expected to pretend that they care about how marriage is legally defined in Massachusetts. The weather's OK, the Sox are winning, and we haven't closed any...

How steep is that slippery slope? by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jun 14, 2007

We already know that things are going to hell in a handbasket in Massachusetts. How fast is that handbasket moving? In January of this year, there were 62 votes in the state legislature in favor of the Marriage Amendment.* If we could have held those 62 votes-- or even held the attrition to...

Mitt weighs in by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jun 14, 2007

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney-- who, as it turns out, was on the campaign trail in Illinois today, rather than staying in his home state to lobby the legislature on the Marriage Amendment-- issued a statement after the votes were counted: Today's vote by the State Legislature is a...

fresh rumor on the motu proprio by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jun 15, 2007

Actually this qualifies as something more than a rumor... The Rorate Caeli blog brings news from a solid Italian source, saying that the document and an accompanying letter from Pope Benedict have been completed and signed, and will be released before the Pope takes his vacation in early July....

U.S. Sex Education and the Counter-Culture by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 15, 2007

I’m lucky to live in a sort of Catholic counter-culture, with my own Catholic company employing a wonderful Catholic staff, sending my kids to outstanding independent Catholic schools, and even residing in one of the better dioceses in the United States (Arlington). So sometimes I forgot how hard...

feeling let down? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 16, 2007

The following is a public statement released today by Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher, Ireland. He made the statement at a vigil Mass in Roslea, the home of a missionary priest who's in the headlines this week: The statement by Bishop Duffy is presented here in its entirety. My comments are in...

Damnable Pro-Life Infighting by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jun 18, 2007

I was very sorry to see the falling-out between Colorado Right to Life and National Right to Life last week. I was even more disturbed to see the American Life League commend Colorado Right to Life for putting “personhood before politics” in the dispute. This is more of the same old pro-life...

inter-religious dialogue with a mirror by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 19, 2007

From the Seattle Times comes this edifying story about Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, an Episcopalian priestess who is a Muslim. Confused? You shouldn't be. Redding's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the...

bread, children, dogs by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 19, 2007

Every dog has his day, and downtown dogs of all faiths have theirs at Our Lady of the Angels Multi-Purpose Worship Space and Metropolitan Cathedral in Los Angeles. Current events in the Archdiocese have made it...

... and look both ways before crossing by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 19, 2007

Cardinal Renato Martino, the president of the Pontifical Council for Vapid Public Statements, has struck again. Commenting on the first part of the document, Cardinal Martino expressed the view that "Church and State, each in its own field, must work to create a generalized public awareness on...

More Impediments by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 19, 2007

Following my recent column outlining the impediments to Faith characteristic of the modern world, many have written to suggest other aspects of our current culture which impede our relationship with God. These fresh ideas fall into several categories. Electronic Media: The first category...

not morons by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 20, 2007

George Weigel gives us his take on "John & Mary Catholic" and argues they're not as dense as Bishop Trautman would have us believe. Bishop Trautman worries that the new translations are just, well, too darn much for "John and Mary Catholic," whose participation in Sunday Mass will, he suggests,...

Uncle Di nods by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jun 21, 2007

After I left my office last night, Uncle Di's evil twin logged onto the CWN account and posted a comment that contained a few mistakes. We have removed the offending comment, and subsequently are not posting the comments that several readers promptly sent, rightly taking us to task for the errors....

round the oak of thor by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 21, 2007

Great. Another pseudo-Celtic whack-fest featuring low-calorie designer paganism: An Anglican and a Roman Catholic bishop are to attend the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, which begins next week. The Bishop of Clifton, the Rt Revd Declan Lang, and the Bishop of Bath &...

the Trautperson translation by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 21, 2007

As you know, Bishop Trautperson has serious concerns about new liturgical translation that use big words which dumb laymen might not understand. So it could be a great service to the Catholic world that a reader of Father Z's blog has discovered what appears to be the preferred Trautperson...

a touch of class: the blaire witch project by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 21, 2007

A couple weeks ago Dom brought to our attention a homily by Stephen Blaire, the Bishop of Stockton, California, on the occasion of the ordination of two of his priests. It's an excellent specimen of what can be called the "olive branch in the eye" -- i.e., an act of aggression masquerading as a...

pro-choice losers by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Jun 22, 2007

Melinda Henneberger believes that... ...a pro-choice Republican nominee would be a gift to the Democrats, because the Republican Party wins over so many swing voters on abortion alone. You've heard that argument before, perhaps. But have you ever read it in a New York Times op-ed before? Not...

Pastoral Care of the Road: Martino’s Folly? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 22, 2007

It is difficult to know what to make of Guidelines for Pastoral Care of the Road, a document recently issued by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. It is like a lengthy and uninspiring sermon, systematically covering what we already know about basic...

Wonder Bread for the soul by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 23, 2007

At St. Agatha’s, the Rev. Peter Casey says families like the Welzes and Conways are keeping the faith for much the same reason: They found a parish with meaningful worship, where they can take an active part and are challenged to think about ‘‘why we do what we do.’’ Who is this Boston pastor,...

leading cultural indicators by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 24, 2007

Cardinal Sean O'Malley has begun a campaign to educate Catholics in Massachusetts about the value of marriage. This isn't just about legal recognition of same-sex marriage there,the Boston Globe reports; there are other disquieting issues: From 1986 to 2006, the number of Catholic marriages...

a lived-experience quiz by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 24, 2007

1. At a typical Catholic parish in North America you are most likely to be denied Communion if the pastor knows that you are: A- the legislative sponsor for legal abortion B- divorced, and remarried outside the Church C- wearing the Rainbow Sash to manifest your opposition to...

d'oh! by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 26, 2007

The Church of England has turned to Homer Simpson for help with recruiting teenagers. Clergy are to be advised to set up screens in churches to play extracts from the beer-swilling cartoon character's life. I am not making this up. I'm not that...

i've got sister sharon euart on line one by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 28, 2007

Today is the memorial of St. Irenaeus, who died around the year 203), and my thoughts were carried back to Pope Benedict's excellent catechesis on Irenaeus given last March. While it's worth re-reading in its entirety, the following summary points are particularly striking. The Pope is speaking...

a deity on a pension by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 29, 2007

"There's nothing I don't like about being a goddess," reported the 10-year-old Nepalese visitor to Washington. While I confess that I'm short on experience, I don't think I'd mind being a goddess, either. Not that it's all fun. "It was difficult when I was younger to get up at 4 to bathe for...

yet another motu proprio? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jun 29, 2007

Pope Benedict the XVI will soon release a moto proprio permitting the celebration of the Novus Ordo Mass without liturgical abuses, CWN has learned. The 1-page document, accompanied by a 50-page explanatory letter, will allow individual priests to celebrate the Mass of 1969 according to the...

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