CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - May 1, 2013
Note from the Managing Editor:
Thomas Nagel is a heretic.
A convinced atheist and probably the most famous philosopher in the United States, Nagel doesn't believe that the neo-Darwinian conception of nature — and the materialism that seems naturally to flow from it in the minds of many scientists — are at all convincing. Our feature article this week, "The Heretic," explains Nagel's reasoning and why the knives are out for him in some prominent scientific circles.
Next we learn that music is a "character-forming force" as Peter Kwasniewski explains.
The storyline that secular thinkers tell us about how and why people stop believing in God simply doesn't hold up to scrutiny. It's a scrutiny that Mary Eberstadt provides in "The Family is the Key to the Future of Faith."
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens is an important defense and articulation of real life, as Paul Joseph Prezzia tell us.
Then Robert R. Reilly gives the U.S. President a badly needed history lesson.
Something that hasn't received much commentary in the horror that was the Boston bombings is the troubling absence of clerics at the bomb site. See "Faith at the Finish Line in Boston" below.
And what those bombings should point us to is addressed by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in "The Boston bombings and their aftermath." - J. Fraser Field
Quote of the Week:"It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason." - Blaise Pascal
• The Spell of Pope Francis - Chiesa
• Hiding Behind the Screen - New Atlantis
• Therapy for iPad-addicted toddlers - Family Edge
• Great Lines: "April is the cruellest month" - On the Square
• God or Atheism - Which Is More Rational? - Peter Kreeft - Prager University
• Reach your city for Christ - FOCUS
• Diocese affirms need for Catholic fidelity after teacher fired - CNA
• Franciscan University of Steubenville Announces "Defending the Faith" Conference Speakers - Catholic Education Daily
• Prepare for Last Judgment by serving the poor, pope says at audience - Catholic Review
• Georgetown Students Celebrate Life Week - Catholic Education Daily
The Will of the Father - Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C. - from Anima Christi: Soul of Christ
We tend to be static, obstinate, obdurate — all the things that separate us from Jesus, who is always on the move.
Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him?
Nobody who understands the experiences of melody, harmony, and rhythm will doubt their value.
No institution can be counted upon to provide such operatic drama as the Catholic Church.
It is a true truism that art imitates life.
The President's fulsome praise of Planned Parenthood ignores shamefully ignores history.
Faith at the Finish Line in Boston - Jennifer Graham - Wall Street Journal
Conspicuously absent from photographs of the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings are any clerical collars or images of pastoral care.
We shouldn’t waste time being shocked or baffled by the evil in the world. It has familiar roots. It begins in the little crevices of each human heart — especially our own.
The Grammar of Heaven - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
Liturgical readings in the Easter season often couple the Book of the Acts of the Apostles with the Book of Revelation.
5th Sunday of Easter - Father John Horgan - CERC
Love one another because now you know what it is to be loved.
The Spell of Pope Francis - Chiesa
His popularity is to a large extent due to the artfulness with which he speaks. Everything is forgiven him, even when he says things that if said by others would be hammered with criticism. But the first protests are beginning to appear.
Jesuit Father Juan Carlos Scannone was teaching Greek and literature in 1957, when a young Jorge Bergoglio was among his students.
The Times' assessment of Francis is correct.
The courage to swim against the tide - L'Osservatore Romano
Participating in his first event of the Year of Faith, Pope Bergoglio offered those present “three short and simple thoughts” for reflection.
Soccer star recounts audience with Pope - Vatican.va
In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Argentine soccer star Javier Zanetti discussed an hour-long meeting that Pope Francis had with him, his wife, and his three children on April 25.
The Council of Europe has passed a resolution that will make it easier to uphold Christians’ rights to education of children, freedom of expression, and conscientious objection.
Pope Francis Film Is in the Works -NCRegister
A German filmmaker is already deep into a project with the working title Friend of the Poor: The Pope Francis Story.
How to See the New Pope in Rome - New York Times
So you're off to Rome and in addition to seeing the Colosseum, you want to see the new pope. But how?
Richard Dawkins has lost: meet the new new atheists - Catholic Herald
The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure, shaking his fist at sky fairies. He's the Mary Whitehouse of our day.
The Kermit Gosnell case has made it clear: abortion is the killing of a human life. And with that realization the underpinning of the pro-choice position crumbles.
'See No Evil — The Kermit Gosnell Murders' on Fox News - LifeSiteNews
On May 5, Fox News will air an hour-long documentary about the house of horrors run by abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
Ronald Davis is homeless and living on the streets of Chicago. In this video clip he shares how he feels about the way other people treat him.
The Post-Welfare State Family - The Weekly Standard
Among various unwanted truths that grown-ups of the Western world have to contend with these days, here's one that doesn't get nearly the traction it deserves: The days of the modern welfare state look to be numbered.
Belgian Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard was participating in a debate on blasphemy at the Free University of Brussels on April 23rd when he became the target of a blasphemy.
The President needs a history lesson - Mercatornet
The president’s recent and fulsome praise of Planned Parenthood ignores its shameful origin in racist eugenics.
Syrian Christians Told Convert, Leave, or Die - Religious Freedom Coalition
That’s the message to Syrian Christians from the American-backed rebels fighting the Assad regime.
Pope Francis says that the Sacrament of Confession does not work like a dry cleaner but is a moment in which Jesus imparts his peace.
American Team Reigns in This Devout Soccer League - Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal ran a nice feature this weekend on the Clericus Cup, ”a [soccer] tournament that pits squads from 16 seminaries against each other in a battle for [Rome's] Catholic sports bragging rights — with the utmost humility, of course.”
Here is an excerpt from the Foreword to Russell Shaw's book, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America, written by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap., of Philadelphia:
Newly released videos from Live Action, a pro-life advocacy group, show that doctor Kermit Gosnell’s practice of murdering infants who survive abortions is not isolated to his facility.
Protestant Perseverance and Catholic Decline? - First Thoughts
Protestants with a strong religious identity continue to increase as Catholics with a strong religious identity continue to decline, according to a March study by the Pew Research Center.
"Of course I am happy. You have seen how many children and grandchildren I have. It is just a big happy family."
The Tempest of the Times - The Centre for Faith & Culture in Oxford
The Tempest of the Times: the Dilemma of Catholic England from the Reformation to the Modern Age will run from August 12 to 26 in Oxford.
Hiding Behind the Screen - New Atlantis
Are social media depriving us of human contact? Possibly. For some it's retreat from the process of self-realization
Therapy for iPad-addicted toddlers - Family Edge
According to a recent article, kids as young as four are starting "digital detox" therapies to overcome their technological addictions.
Great Lines: "April is the cruellest month" - On the Square
In observance of National Poetry Month, every Friday of April Micah Mattix will be examining one great line of verse.
God or Atheism - Which Is More Rational? - Peter Kreeft - Prager University
Belief in God is far more rational than atheism.
Reach your city for Christ - FOCUS
REACH is an opportunity for local community members to gather in prayer and fellowship, to encounter Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, to hear the words of inspirational speakers, and to learn more about how they can live out the evangelical mission of the Church in their families, parishes, workplaces, and communities.
After the firing of a Catholic school gym teacher who was in a homosexual relationship, the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio has said that educators must respect Catholic teaching and morals.
Franciscan University of Steubenville Announces "Defending the Faith" Conference Speakers - Catholic Education Daily
Franciscan University of Steubenville has announced its line-up for its "Defending the Faith" summer conference. In keeping with the Church's "Year of Faith," the University's popular conference's theme is "Faith Transforming Culture." The conference will bring 13 renowned evangelists and speakers to campus.
Prepare for Last Judgment by serving the poor, pope says at audience - Catholic Review
Christians believe they are saved by God's grace, but they also know they will be judged at the end of time on how they used the talents God gave them and how they served others, especially the poor, Pope Francis said.
Georgetown Students Celebrate Life Week - Catholic Education Daily
Each of the 3,300 pink and blue flags decorating Georgetown University's Copley Lawn yesterday represented lives – the lives ended by abortion every day in the U.S. Georgetown University's Right to Life student group put up the display as part of its annual Life Week.