CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - October 31, 2012
Note from the Managing Editor:
Our prayers go out for those facing the devastation left in the wake of superstorm Sandy.
Yet meaning is there. As Walter Russell Mead explains Sandy is many things; one of which is a symbol. See "Nature and Nature's God".
I'm regularly taken with the way Father George Rutler weaves together often obscure but always fascinating cultural references and historical events to make a potent philosophical or theological point. Rutler's contribution this week, "New saints and the energy that builds noble societies", is worth your attention. In addition to the compelling poetry of the article, Father Rutler illustrates his composition with a copy of the first photo ever taken of two saints in the same frame.
If you've had trouble looking past the sentimentality of St. Thérèse of Lisieux's writing to the depth of her insight, Father Dwight Longenecker is here to help. Stripped of the style and focusing on the content, Father imagines a discussion between this Doctor of the Church and Frederich Nietzsche. It turns out they were contemporaries. It's a great conception and brings out precisely what you'd hope it would. See what Father Longnecker's imagining has produced below.
To the suggestion that the re-evangelization of Europe looks like a tough job, Mike Aquilina responds: "It's not a tough job. It's an impossible job." But if you look at the odds against Christianity succeeding in the first, second, and third centuries you have an even more impossible task in view. There was really no chance that the Church could even survive, yet it not only survived, but thrived, growing at the astonishing rate of 40 percent per decade. Mike Aquilina reflects on the parallels between the pagan world of the early Christian era and our own time in "Early Christianity: a tough gig".
That leads naturally on to our feature of the week, "Reasons for the Holy Father's Hope for a New Awakening of Christianity in Europe" by our amazing pope. - J. Fraser Field
Quote of the Week:"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• New Evangelization Applies to the Whole of Church Life - VIS
• Public and Religious Education - Public Discourse
• Tactics of Gay Lobby May Have Chilling Impact on Academic Freedom - Crisis Magazine
• Chesterton, Shaw, and the Effect of Laughter on Insult - Patheos
• A to Z with C.S. Lewis - The City Online
• Ten Myths About Premarital Sex - Conversant Life
• 10 Simple Ways to Teach Your Kids About Economics - Economics for Everybody
• 5 Rules for Spanking Your Child - Rhonda Robinson - PJ Media
• Five Heretics That Every Catholic Should Know and Why They Matter Today - Ascending Mount Carmel
• Xavier Keeps Contraception Benefit - Inside Higher Education
Marriage: Joy in Love - Father Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis - from Fire of Mercy: Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew Vol. 1
The freedom and joy of friendship is what we were made for.
Reasons for the Holy Father's Hope for a New Awakening of Christianity in Europe - Pope Benedict XVI - Vatican Information Service
Can you explain to us the reasons for your hope?
G.K. Chesterton observes that every age is saved by a saint most contrary to the spirit of the age.
For each one of us, the waters will someday rise, the winds spin out of control, the roof will come off the house and the power will go out for good.
A sentence in the French newspaper Le Monde recently caught my eye: Il y aura toujours des talibans de l'austérité, there will always be the Talibans of austerity.
How delightful it is to be Catholic, when so few things are forbidden — so few things are out of the question.
And the proud men in the valley of Shinar said, "Go to, let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth." (Gen. 11:4)
Jacques Barzun, RIP - David Warren - Essays in Idleness
One hundred and four is not a bad age for a human to attain, though it seemed to us that Jacques Barzun was much older.
New saints and the energy that builds noble societies - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
The canonization of Marianne Cope, along with Kateri Tekakwitha, on October 21, occasioned the publication of a stunning photograph showing Marianne standing beside the funeral bier of St. Damien in Kalaupapa, Molokai.
Early Christianity: a tough gig - Mike Aquilina - Mercatornet
To assess the challenges of re-Christianizing the West, MercatorNet interviewed Mike Aquilina about the challenges of its first three centuries.
This morning in the Vatican Basilica, Benedict XVI presided at a celebration of the Eucharist with Synod Fathers for the closure of the synod on "The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith".
Here is the final list of the propositions of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith released by the Holy See Press Office.
An analysis of Catholic teaching and the platforms of America’s two political parties.
"Let Us Put Away All Blindness To the Truth" - Whispers in the loggia
The new evangelization applies to the whole of the Church’s life.
Archbishop Chaput: 'We are Catholics before we are Americans' - Washington Post
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia urged the faithful to put their faith ahead of politics, according to an interview with Catholic News Service within two weeks of the presidential election.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia discusses the politics of abortion and its relevance to Catholic voters.
Rotten to the Core: Obama's "First Time" Video and the Democratic Party - Crisis Magazine
By now everyone paying attention to the presidential race has heard of the tasteless double-entendre ad the Obama campaign has put out, comparing voting for the President to losing your virginity.
Sin and the Synod - Robert Royal - The Catholic Thing
Robert Royal argues that the synod of bishops on the new evangelisation failed to show "what the Rev Martin Luther King Jr once called 'the fierce urgency of now'".
Catholic couple rescues 1,400 Chinese orphans - Catholic World Report
An American couple living in China for 15 years says their success in rescuing over 1,000 medically-fragile orphans is due to totally relying on God, especially during trying times.
Why name new cardinals now? The Pope's mysterious announcement - Catholic Culture
A veteran Catholic journalist offers some noteworthy reasons why the pope may have made the unexpected announcement that he will create six more new cardinals this year.
The Russian Orthodox Church is worried about the persecution of Christians in Syria and other Arab countries where regimes changed rapidly, a top Church official said.
How Catholic women vote will be significant in this year's elections, but predicting where they will turn is complicated.
Dueling decisions on Planned Parenthood - Wall Street Journal
A federal appeals court blocked an Indiana law aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood, contradicting an earlier case in Texas, and potentially setting up a Supreme Court decision.
A university administrator is placed on leave for signing a petition for a marriage referendum in Maryland.
An increasing majority of people in France believe Islam plays too influential a role in their society and almost half see Muslims as a threat to their national identity.
Faith-based Catholic radio's popularity surges in bad economy - Washington Times
The sluggish U.S. economy hasn't been kind to the radio industry since the last presidential election. The Pew Research Center reports that revenues from traditional spot advertising shrank by 1 percentage point in 2011, to $14.1 billion, following 6 percent growth in 2010.
Vatican cardinal opens door to Lutheran ordinariates - Catholic Culture
The president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said in an interview that the Vatican would entertain a hypothetical proposal by Lutherans to establish ecclesial structures modeled on the ordinariates developed for Anglican communities that wish to enter into full communion with the Holy See.
Evangelist and Southern Baptist minister Billy Graham welcomed the Second Vatican Council's 1964 document on ecumenism which opened the door of the Catholic Church to dialogue with Protestants.
The March to Mecca - Foreign Policy
Millions of Muslims from around the world begin the hajj — a journey to the holy city of Mecca.
Wanted: a different ecumenism - Catholic Herald
Much of the ecumenism of the post-conciliar years, utterly relativist if anything ever was, was precisely what Catholics should never have become so deeply involved in, and — it should be added - would never have been involved in if they had been guided by Lumen Gentium.
The Art of Speaking Catholic Nonsense - Catholic Online
As Alice replies to Humpty Dumpty, 'The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty's account of Georgetown University's failings was published in the Georgetown campus newspaper, The Hoya.
Public and Religious Education - Public Discourse
There is no good reason to be suspicious of people of faith. There is every reason to encourage them and to be grateful for them, because even by worldly standards they make good citizens. But the State does not want to keep separate from the churches. It wants to absorb them.
Tactics of Gay Lobby May Have Chilling Impact on Academic Freedom - Crisis Magazine
"Dr Regnerus," says Oppenheimer, "was a proud Christian witness, once upon a time. But these days he won't discuss his faith, even with a Christian magazine."
The Internet hath done wondrous deeds, but raising the intellectual bar cannot counted among them.
A to Z with C.S. Lewis - The City Online
Lou Markos of Houston Baptist University is going through the works of C.S. Lewis using a nice A-Z conceit.
Ten Myths About Premarital Sex - Conversant Life
I recently picked up a copy of Premarital Sex in America by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker and was pleasantly surprised at some of the insights.
10 Simple Ways to Teach Your Kids About Economics - Economics for Everybody
Basic economics is actually pretty easy to understand if you put it in the right perspective.
5 Rules for Spanking Your Child - Rhonda Robinson - PJ Media
Before she could walk on her own or speak a complete sentence, her tenacious personality glistened through her dark blue eyes.
Five Heretics That Every Catholic Should Know and Why They Matter Today - Ascending Mount Carmel
Oftentimes, what appears to be a newfangled spiritual movement within Christianity is often simply a regurgitated (and usually very watered-down) heresy from many centuries ago.
Xavier Keeps Contraception Benefit - Inside Higher Education
A Jesuit university in Ohio has announced that it will obey the Obama administration’s contraception mandate months after it said it would oppose it.