CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - June 26, 2013
Note from the Managing Editor:
Compared to "the passion of Spinoza, the wit of Voltaire, the world-shattering profundity of Nietzsche" the new atheists seem awfully anaemic. But much more importantly, the new atheist creed of individualism and relativism has no chance of turning back the new barbarians that are now among us. As Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has it "Atheism has failed. Only religion can defeat the new barbarians."
While there may be more, there are at least "Ten Greek Words Every Catholic Should Know."
And if you don't understand what Pope Francis is talking about when he talks about poverty, you don't understand Pope Francis. See "Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty."
And then there's this:
That excerpt is from Thomas Lickona's article "Educating for Character in the Sexual Domain" which was published this year in the Peabody Journal of Education. Tom granted me permission to include a version of that published article which is based on the original manuscript he submitted to Peabody.
This issue is so important — and so thoughtfully and carefully addressed here — that I'm really pleased to add Tom's article to our resource library. The negative consequences of adolescent sexual activity are well-documented. So are the benefits of sexual abstinence. Importantly, there are programs and specfic things that educators can do to help young men and women practice sexual restraint.
Then Ryan T. Anderson tells us the "5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court's Marriage Cases" which they are hearing this week.
And Barbara Nicolosi contributes a devastating critique of parish catechesis programs, but with some very sound practical recommendations in "Repenting of the Failure of Parish-Based Catechesis." - J. Fraser Field
Quote of the Week:"Tell me, when you give alms do you look into the eyes of the man or woman to whom you give alms? . . . And when you give alms, do you touch the hand of the one to whom you give alms, or do you toss the coin?" - Pope Francis
• Pope warns against latter-day Pharisees, hypocrites - Vatican Radio
• Two Moms vs. Common Core - NRO
• Want to Graduate College? Better Luck at a Catholic School - Aleteia
• In Praise of Catholic Studies - First Thoughts
• Federal court rules in favor of free speech in Michigan - Spero
• Why We Have Mediocrity in our Public Schools - First Thoughts
• Many Studies Link Religious Education to Tolerance - First Thoughts
• Classical schools put Plato over iPad - CNN
• Obama Wants to Eliminate Catholic Education? - NCRegister
• Homeschooling Growing Seven Times Faster than Public School Enrollment - Breitbart
It is better for you to enter into life - Macarius of Egypt - Fifty Spiritual Homilies
When he sees your earnestness in seeking him, then he appears and manifests himself to you.
Atheism has failed. Only religion can defeat the new barbarians - Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks - The Spectator
The West is suffering for its loss of faith. Unless we rediscover religion, our civilization is in peril.
It's hard to imagine Christianity without Greek. It's the language of the New Testament and our earliest creeds and doctrines.
"How I long for a poor Church for the poor!"
Before the sexual revolution, the societal norm was to treat sex as a serious matter, requiring prudent moral boundaries that channel this powerful drive in ways that benefit, rather than hurt, the individual, family, and society. More recently, popular culture has made sex seem like a casual thing. But in truth, as growing evidence makes clear, sex is an act that is full of consequences. That is a good reason to save it for marriage, and a good reason for character educators to support that goal.
Next week the Supreme Court will decide two cases dealing with the definition of marriage.
It's long past time for the Catholic Church in the United States to acknowledge and address the fact that in many, possibly most, dioceses, parish-based catechesis has been an abject failure.
Shakespeare’s The Tempest - Mitchell Kalpakgian - Crisis
Prospero's white magic is art, the art of parenting, ruling, teaching, and creating — the art of releasing potential, eliciting the best and highest in human nature.
I wish to disappear - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
This is true of all Christians.
2013: 12th Sunday OT - mp3 - Father John Horgan - CERC
Who do you say that I am?
Pope warns against latter-day Pharisees, hypocrites - Vatican Radio
In a homily commenting on a confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees, Pope Francis said that there are always people within the Church who live by rules rather than by love.
"You cannot pray with enemies in your heart."
The cardinals Francis nominated as advisors in April are also looking into some unresolved issues in the Church.
Exorcisms, pickpockets, and the pope's mail.
Here's a recipe for overinterpretation: Start with intense public fascination with a new pope and add a basic lack of substantive movement on matters of policy and personnel.
Natural Lawyer - New York Times Magazine
A profile of Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton, pro-life fighter in hostile environments.
Anemic Response - EWTN
An American member of Congress says the Obama Administration is doing nothing to help persecuted Christians worldwide.
A More Secular Europe, Divided by the Cross - New York Times
Stanislav Zvolensky, the Roman Catholic archbishop of the Slovak capital here, was thrilled when he was invited to Brussels three years ago to discuss the fight against poverty with the insistently secular bureaucracy of the European Union.
'No Religion, Please. We're European.' - Acton Power Blog
Signs of the times: A Slovak court bans a coin commemorating the nation's Christian heritage.
This past weekend, I was channel-surfing and stopped on Fox News when a video clip of Pope Francis caught my eye.
In Defense of the Church's Challenging Language on Homosexuality - On the Square
When considering the pastoral language the Church should use in speaking about homosexuality, the guiding principle must be what then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote about the subject in 1986, writing as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral."
Pastors Are Not Interchangeable Parts - On the Square
It's hard to imagine anything farther removed from the New Evangelization than our current priest assignment policies.
Flooding Damages Lourdes, French Holy Site - New York Times
The waters of the Christian holy site of Lourdes, reputed for their powers of healing, have been cruel this week.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed bill to dramatically expand legal abortion in the state died in the state senate following months of Catholic and pro-life opposition.
Requiem for a dream - Pew Forum
The so-called Arab Spring was met with hope for increased freedom and tolerance. Sad to say, that's not what's happening.
As I write, YouTube reports almost 50 million views of the music video for "Same Love" by the hip hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
The evolution of the swim suit - YouTube
The history of the swim suit explains so much.
Exodus International dissolves, apologizes to gay community - Catholic Culture
Exodus International, an Evangelical group that counseled men and women attempting to overcome homosexual impulses, has announced that it is closing.
Close friend seeks to allay fears over Benedict XVI’s health - Catholic Herald
Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI is alert and happy, a friend and former student reports. "His memory is fresh and his eyes are very bright and joyous."
"Our national debate about immigration is a great struggle for the American spirit and the American soul," Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles said in an address to the Catholic Media Conference in Denver.
The Coptic Orthodox Church has issued a statement of thanks to the Egyptian military for the "great role carried out by our armed forces" in preserving order in the country.
As the Supreme Court prepares to rule this week on the legality of federal and state bans on same-sex "marriage," Justice Antonin Scalia has said there is no "right to homosexual conduct" granted by the United States Constitution.
The idea of a single, national standard for K-12 curricula has its proponents, but should there be any among Catholics?
Two Moms vs. Common Core - NRO
How an eight-year-old's homework assignment led to a political upheaval.
A new study shows that Catholic schools have higher graduation rates on average than any other type of school, public or private.
In Praise of Catholic Studies - First Thoughts
Seven hundred classmates and I recently graduated from a Catholic college — the oldest Catholic college in New England and the only liberal arts, strictly undergraduate, and Jesuit institution in the country.
A Michigan judge rules in favor of a student tossed from class for opposing his teacher's homosexual advocacy.
Why We Have Mediocrity in our Public Schools - First Thoughts
Until we create a system in which our best and brightest teachers can thrive, we’ll have mediocrity. But mediocrity will do for now. Mediocrity can babysit.
Many Studies Link Religious Education to Tolerance - First Thoughts
Matthew, that 2008 Campbell study is only one in a long line of empirical studies looking at how religious education (and also secular private education) affect tolerance for the rights of others, as well as other democratic values and practices such as voter participation and volunteer work.
In Maryland, a group of students ponder which depiction of the Nativity shows true beauty: A 14th-century Giotto, a 16th-century Barocci or a 20th-century William Congdon. The students are in seventh grade.
Obama Wants to Eliminate Catholic Education? - NCRegister
You may have seen the headlines: "U.S. President Undermines Catholic Schools After Vatican Prefect Praised Them." Or "Obama Offends Catholics in U.K.: Says Religious Schools Divisive."
As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling.