CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - July 11, 2012
Note from the Managing Editor:
Hearing from a physicist who has "the common touch" is helpful when esoteric matters like the recent Higgs boson discovery are making headlines. I think you'll find Stephen M. Barr's "God Vibrations from Physics" particularly illuminating, as it explains just what the Higgs boson discovery means and what it clearly does not mean, especially as it relates to the God question.
Father Christopher Smith's "Why Praise and Worship Music is Praise, But Not Worship" is our feature article this week.
If you're in a wonderful parish like mine you probably count yourself blessed that the Church's teaching on faith and morals is faithfully proclaimed in your place of worship. And yet you may be distracted and distressed by the fact that choirs in your parish largely ignore the guidelines the Church has set up to safeguard the liturgy.
What can happen, as Father Smith explains, is that "The opinion of individuals, small groups and committees, often uninformed by a wider theological, liturgical and musical education, is preferred to the Church's theological, liturgical and musical heritage which is found in the Church's documents and the Missal and Gradual."
Father Smith's article is a clear and important reflection. - J. Fraser Field
Quote of the Week:"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful." - Pope Benedict XVI
• Pope backs his deputy Bertone at centre of VatiLeaks furore - Reuters
• Do Crosses at Catholic University violate "Human Rights" of Muslims? - Fox News
• Managing the Cost of a College Education - Education News
• Grim job prospects for today's college graduates - NRO
• Getting Religion Back into Our Economic Lives - NRO
• Mathematics Education: Being Outwitted by Stupidity - Education News
• Surprise - parenthood is associated with more joy than misery - Family Edge
• Catholic parents group wants to defy Ontario's Gay-Straight Alliances law - The Observer
• HHS Mandate: Unjust (as well as Illegal) - Public Discourse
• The Lost Endings to The Great Gatsby - Slate
• Abuses surface at Legion school - AP
In need of infinite help - Heather King - excerpt from Redeemed: Stumbling Toward God, Marginal Sanity, and the Peace That Passes All Understanding
"The Christian religion is only for one who needs infinite help."
The first time I ever went to a Life Teen Mass I was sixteen years old.
God Vibrations from Physics - Stephen M. Barr - National Review Online
Is the discovery of the Higgs particle what Joe Biden would describe as a big . . . deal?
National closing Mass of the Fortnight for Freedom - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. - Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Paul Claudel, the French poet and diplomat of the last century, once described the Christian as "a man who knows what he is doing and where he is going in a world (that) no longer (knows) the difference between good and evil, yes and no.
Who's the greatest modern Catholic poet?
I have spent around thirty years researching and writing on assisted suicide/euthanasia and I believe there are a series of questions we must address and that in answering them many more people will come to the conclusion that legalizing assisted suicide/euthanasia is a very bad idea.
It's the problem that won't go away for professionally successful mothers: "work-life balance."
"I wonder your nervous system isn't completely wrecked," said Mrs. Cheyne.
Unhappy or depressed? - Theodore Dalrymple - Pajamas Media
The word "unhappy” has been virtually abolished from the English language. For every person who says "I'm unhappy" there must now be a thousand who say "I'm depressed."
The Vatican released a letter from the pope yesterday commending Cardinal Bertone for his loyalty and counsel amid the Vatileaks controversies.
“Smart move.” That's how many loyal Catholics reacted to the announcement that the Vatican had hired a veteran American newsman as a consultant to grapple with its communication problems.
China, Vatican spar - AP
Once again, the Chinese Communist government claims it has a right to a voice in choosing Catholic bishops. Rome does not agree.
A priest who quit China's state-sanctioned Catholic Church was taken away by officials and has not been heard from since.
Poland is still the land of Blessed John Paul II - Catholic Herald
The Polish people continue to have confidence in themselves and the mission of the Church.
The Holy See has announced that it ran an $18-million deficit for 2011, after a $14-million surplus in 2010.
God is Dead - Spoken Word -Youtube
This video is in response to the claims of the "New Atheism."
Toni Garrett - Youtube
"I didn't know anything about the Catholic Church, I didn't know anything about the Vatican, I just understood that where I was was good."
The hostile representation of Pius XII's needs more revamping - Catholic Herald
A better approach to Pius XII is emerging even at the Yad Vashem holocaust museum in Israel, but the many self-interested distortions of his record — not least by liberal Catholics — still require some major reworking.
Jizya — Prompts Attacks on Christians - Front Page
Behind violence against Copts and Catholics in Egypt is the demand by some Muslims that they pay a tax, known as jizya, simply for being Christian.
Further those “Christian” Tomatoes - PJ Media
Ever noticed how if you cut a tomato crosswise a cross appears? No? Muslim extremists have.
A letter to the hotel industry - Mirror of Justice
Last week, I joined Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, one of our nation's most brilliant public intellectuals and a leading scholar and teacher of the Islamic tradition, in a letter to the chief executive officers of America's largest hotel chains asking them to stop offering pornography in their hotel rooms.
Fertility Decline in the Muslim World - Policy Review
Fertility rates of Muslim populations around the world have almost literally fallen off a cliff, so steep has been their decline. Policy makers at the UN and elsewhere have barely noticed this.
The Europeans' skewed view of circumcision - Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks
That's his message to Chancellor Angela Merkel, about a German court's decision to ban circumcision.
Faith + commitment = happiness - New York Times
Scholars on both the left and right have studied this question extensively, and have reached a consensus that it is conservatives who possess the happiness edge.
Atheists: lowest "retention" rate - Archdiocese of Washington
The Church loses many every year, but it says something that atheists have the lowest retention rate of any “religious” group.
Vanishing Languages - National Geographic
One language dies every 14 days. What is lost when a language goes silent?
The eternal meaning of Independence Day - Powerline
Lincoln's speech of July 10, 1858, is one of his many great speeches, but in one respect it is uniquely great. It concludes with an explanation of the meaning of this day to Americans with matchless eloquence and insight in words that remain as relevant now as then.
A motion to push the British Medical Association to take a “natural” stance on euthanasia and assisted suicide was voted down at the doctors' union annual meeting in Bournemouth on Wednesday. The motion was put forward by activists as part of a larger effort to loosen the assisted suicide law in Parliament.
California bill would let children have more than two parents - Sacramento Bee
A proposed bill in California is aimed at allowing more than two people to be listed as a child's parents – in order to keep up with the times.
Episcopal bishops approved an official prayer service for blessing same-sex couples Monday at a national convention that also cleared the way for transgender ordination.
God Is Not Dead. He Isn't Even Tired. - Catholic Culture
When President O'Donnell asked me to give this address, I expressed one concern: "Will there be a protest? And will you prosecute the protestors? Or at least 88 of them?" He made no commitment. I accepted anyway.
Catholic University struggles with Muslim claims that the presence of Christian symbols on campus undermines their rights.
Managing the Cost of a College Education - Education News
To save money and to incur less debt as a college student, collegians and their families should follow these tips.
A recent piece in USA Today titled “Grim job prospects could scar today’s college graduates,” tells the truly sad story of just how difficult it is for too many of today’s college graduates to find employment suited to their level of education - if they can find employment at all.
Freedom depends on it.
Mathematics Education: Being Outwitted by Stupidity - Education News
The way we used to teach math mirrors our effective interventions for those students struggling as low achieving/learning disabled, writes Barry Garelick.
The notion that parenthood brings happiness and fulfilment is self-evident to those of us who have partaken of healthy family life, but it's still gratifying to receive validation from academia.
The director of Parents as First Educators said Thursday they won't stand for the province bullying them into creating gay-straight alliance clubs in Catholic schools.
HHS Mandate: Unjust (as well as Illegal) - Public Discourse
To recap two major problems with the HHS mandate: it restricts the natural right of religious freedom and imposes a false view of religion.
For his masterpiece, Hemingway wrote 47 endings. Fitzgerald wrote 48!
A group of 77 former students at a school run by the Legion of Christ in Rhode Island have signed a letter complaining of psychological abuse, and urging the Vatican to shut down the troubled religious order.