CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - November 14, 2012

NEW RESOURCES    EDITORIALS OF INTEREST    EDUCATION MATTERS

Note from the Managing Editor:

"Life in the 'Kingdom of Whatever'" by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., looks at where we are as a culture and how we got here. His Grace explains:

In the United States, our political tensions flow from our cultural problems.  Exceptions clearly exist, but today our culture routinely places rights over duties, individual fulfillment over community, and doubt over belief.  In effect, the glue that now holds us together is our right to go mall-crawling and buy more junk.  It's hard to live a life of virtue when all around us, in the mass media and even in the lives of colleagues and neighbors, discipline, restraint, and self-sacrifice seem irrelevant.

But Chaput's article is not another lament.  He quickly veers off productively, digging back to the historical sources of our cultural and spiritual malaise in order to arrive at a fresh vision.  Summarizing a book by Notre Dame historian Brad Gregory, Chaput explains:

...today's relativism and cult of the consumer — what he (Brad Gregory) ironically calls 'the goods life' — have roots that run centuries deep.  He wastes no time on nostalgia for a golden age that never existed.  But he does show with riveting clarity that in the sixteenth century, Protestant Reformers unintentionally set in motion certain ideas that eventually enabled today's radical self-centeredness.

It's a radically important understanding which examines causes; not in order to point fingers and place blame, but rather to provide a firm jumping off point from which to move forward.  I think you'll find the article illuminating.  See "Life in the "'Kingdom of Whatever'" below.

Nietzsche believed that Christianity was in steady decline in the West, that it had lost a considerable amount of its appeal and cultural impact because it had become overly feminized. 

Thank God we are witnessing countervailing trends in our day.  There are more than a few individuals and organizations stepping forward which embody an attractive masculine Christianity and those masculine virtues we long to see.  Archbishop Chaput is among their number.

In our third article this week, Robert Royal discusses several of the distorted understandings that must be corrected if that masculine Christianity — so perfectly realized in the person of Jesus — is to flourish among us.  See "Quo Vadis — O, Bishops?"  - J. Fraser Field

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Quote of the Week:

"The whole course of Christianity from the first ... is but one series of troubles and disorders.  Every century is like every other, and to those who live in it seems worse than all times before it.  The Church is ever ailing ... Religion seems ever expiring, schisms dominant, the light of truth dim, its adherents scattered.  The cause of Christ is ever in its last agony." - Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman



New Resources:

"Render unto Caesar" - Pope Benedict XVI - from Letter of the Holy father Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests, Consecrated Persons, and Lay Faithful of the Catholic Church in the People's Republic of China
Life in the 'Kingdom of Whatever' - The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. - Public Discourse
Quo Vadis — O, Bishops? - Robert Royal - The Catholic Thing
Same old same old in the U.S. - Father Raymond J. de Souza -National Post
Hope in God - Father Brian Mullady, OP - National Catholic Register
Austen's Pride and Prejudice - Mitchell A. Kalpakgian - Crisis Magazine
The Key That Fits the Lock, Part Eight - Anthony Esolen - The Catholic Thing
Desiccated Christianity - Father Robert A. Sirico - from Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy
Choosing the light - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
Five Key Features of the Theology of the Body - Edward P. Sri - Lay Witness

Editorials of Interest:

Day Two - Whispers
Religious liberty defense must be long-term - CNA
Moses and the Gipper and the End of America - On the Square
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced - NCRegister
Democracy Ushers in the Reign of Civic Ignorance - Crisis
A Post Mortem on the Maryland Same Sex "Marriage" Referendum - Msgr. Charles Pope
Stop Over-Interpreting the Election - First Thoughts
Justin Welby set to become new Archbishop of Canterbury - BBC
Boston cardinal lauds rejection of assisted suicide bill - CNA
Bishops to Obama: In Second Term, "We Will Continue to Stand In Defense" - Whispers
To fix the American political system, first fix the American culture - Catholic Culture
Catholic teaching: The new zeitgeist for Britain - BBC
Light and Shadows of the Council. The Gap That John Paul II Wanted to Fill - Chiesa
We’re All Rousseauians Now - First Thoughts
Sacred Music Contributes to New Evangelization - VIS
NY Times new president is a practicing Catholic who believes in “objective truths” - Patheos
You've got to hear this - Patheos
"First Things First!" – From the President, A Call for Penance - Whispers
Priest asks people to go to confession instead of giving him things for Christmas. - Fr. Z's Blog
South Carolina’s Surprising Treasure of Catholic Masterpieces - NCRegister
Advice for losers - Catholic Culture
Lesbian Mothers’ Children - NRO

Education Matters:

Rev. James V. Schall: 'A Final Gladness' - Acton Blog
Curtis Marting's Remarks at the Synod for the New Evangelization - Focus
In the Spotlight: Andrew Hoyt - ACE
What I Wish College Students Knew About Leadership - Focus
The Best Teachers in the World - Defining Ideas
Sending the Wrong Students to College - Minding the Campus
Gay-Straight Clubs Fail to Uphold Catholic Teaching - The Irish Rover
Want Your Kids To Attend College? Go To Church, Study Finds - Gleanings
Rise of the Tiger Nation - Wall Street Journal
The surprising mental health effects of gender equality parenting - Family Edge
Pontificia Academia Latinitatis - Chant Cafe


NEW RESOURCES:

"Render unto Caesar" - Pope Benedict XVI - from Letter of the Holy father Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests, Consecrated Persons, and Lay Faithful of the Catholic Church in the People's Republic of China

Regarding the delicate issue of the relations to be maintained with the agencies of the State, particular enlightenment can be found in the invitation of the Second Vatican Council to follow the words and modus operandi of Jesus Christ. 

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Life in the 'Kingdom of Whatever' - The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. - Public Discourse

The Reformation unintentionally undid the medieval synthesis of faith and reason. Now we romantically seek a spiritual life free from authority and tradition, or rationalistically seek truth as if human beings were autonomous and self-sufficient.

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Quo Vadis — O, Bishops? - Robert Royal - The Catholic Thing

This is an exciting moment in Catholic history that offers opportunities for all the imagination, intelligence, and daring that you can bring to the many challenges at hand.

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Same old same old in the U.S.
- Father Raymond J. de Souza - National Post

For a nation facing an array of serious questions, it was an unserious campaign.

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Hope in God
- Father Brian Mullady, OP - National Catholic Register

There are those who despair and have no hope when things do not go their way in the political order. This cannot be a Christian attitude.

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Austen's Pride and Prejudice
- Mitchell A. Kalpakgian - Crisis Magazine

Jane Austen's genius comprehends the subject of marriage and the book of love in all its intricacy, practicality, goodness, and mystery.

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The Key That Fits the Lock, Part Eight - Anthony Esolen - The Catholic Thing

Any discussion of Abraham must turn upon faith, that new virtue brought to the world's sight by the ancient Hebrews.

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Desiccated Christianity - Father Robert A. Sirico - from Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy

Mother Teresa was once asked how she could go on, day after day, year after year, caring for the sick and dying and poor and offering them so much comfort.

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Choosing the light - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor

During the days following Hurricane Sandy, we had no electric light in our church for five days, and as I am writing this in time for the printer, we still have no heat, and my fingers are pretty cold as they type on a cold keyboard.

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Five Key Features of the Theology of the Body
- Edward P. Sri - Lay Witness

There is much excitement today, especially among the young, about John Paul II's "theology of the body."

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EDITORIALS OF INTEREST:
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Day Two - Whispers

Live from the Floor, here's your video.

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Religious liberty defense must be long-term - CNA

The strong protection of Americans’ religious freedom requires a long-term commitment to formation and education, particularly of young people, the U.S. bishops' leader on religious liberty issues said.

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Moses and the Gipper and the End of America - On the Square

I am relieved at the outcome of the election. This is not to say I am pleased.

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Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced - NCRegister

Pope Benedict XVI’s fourth encyclical will be released in the first half of 2013, timed to coincide with the Year of Faith.

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Democracy Ushers in the Reign of Civic Ignorance - Crisis

The many analyses of the 2012 election results are not saying much about what may have been the central and fundamental problem: democracy.

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A Post Mortem on the Maryland Same Sex "Marriage" Referendum - Msgr. Charles Pope

Among the unsurprising but very disappointing results from yesterday’s elections was the approval of Same Sex “Marriage” by Maryland residents 52 to 48%.

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Stop Over-Interpreting the Election - First Thoughts

I am a scientist and not a political expert, but science has something to teach us that may be of relevance here: don’t over-interpret the data.

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Justin Welby set to become new Archbishop of Canterbury - BBC

Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, a former oil industry worker, is set to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Boston cardinal lauds rejection of assisted suicide bill - CNA

Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston applauded the defeat of a Massachusetts ballot measure to legalize physician-assisted suicide, calling for more compassionate care of those who are seriously ill.

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Bishops to Obama: In Second Term, "We Will Continue to Stand In Defense" - Whispers

The following congratulatory letter to President Obama on his re-election was released by the USCCB president, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

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To fix the American political system, first fix the American culture - Catholic Culture

Let's face facts squarely. We have lost an election. We are in grave danger of losing a nation.

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Catholic teaching: The new zeitgeist for Britain - BBC

A new zeitgeist is capturing business people, academics and political players from both the Left and Right, looking for an ethical alternative for our time. Their inspiration? Catholic teaching.

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Light and Shadows of the Council. The Gap That John Paul II Wanted to Fill - Chiesa

Until Vatican II, missionary activity was extraordinary; since then, the picture is not all bad, but much more mixed.

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We're All Rousseauians Now - First Thoughts

Many American Catholics aren't really followers of Jesus, they follow Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

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Sacred Music Contributes to New Evangelization - VIS

Sacred music is not something something added onto the Catholic liturgy, Pope Benedict XVI said on November 10; music "is itself liturgy."

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NY Times new president is a practicing Catholic who believes in “objective truths” - Patheos

Today, Mark Thompson takes over as the new President and CEO of The New York Times.

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You've got to hear this - Patheos

A group of cloistered nuns has recorded an album of chant, and and the preview (see the video below) is just gorgeous.

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"First Things First!" – From the President, A Call for Penance - Whispers

Here below, fulltext of the Presidential Address given at this morning's opening session of the USCCB Plenary in Baltimore by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

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Priest asks people to go to confession instead of giving him things for Christmas. - Fr. Z's Blog

Here’s a Year of Faith approach… here’s a New Evangelization project.

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South Carolina’s Surprising Treasure of Catholic Masterpieces - NCRegister

When I first planned to visit the Bob Jones’ Museum & Gallery (BJUMG.org) in Greenville, S.C., with a friend, I only had a vague notion of what to expect.

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Advice for losers - Catholic Culture

Father Tom Reese considers himself a lot closer to infallibility than the American bishops, to whom he offers a great deal of advice.

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Lesbian Mothers’ Children - NRO

This month yielded yet another published study — which received positive media attention — based on the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study.

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EDUCATION MATTERS:

Rev. James V. Schall: 'A Final Gladness' - Acton Blog

On Dec. 7, Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., will deliver his last lecture at Georgetown University in Washington as he prepares for retirement.

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Curtis Marting's Remarks at the Synod for the New Evangelization - Focus

In my work with university students we have used a simple three-step process to form disciples: Win, Build, Send.

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In the Spotlight: Andrew Hoyt - ACE

This week, Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School teacher Andrew Hoyt answers our questions about his experience as a teacher, a Melody Teaching Fellow, and a witness to the difference Catholic schools make.

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What I Wish College Students Knew About Leadership - Focus

Leadership is one of those words that is used so often, and so often without thought, that it has lost much of its impact. This is true among college students as much as anyone else.

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The Best Teachers in the World - Defining Ideas

The U.S. currently does not have the best teachers in the world, but we could get them. Here's how.

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Sending the Wrong Students to College - Minding the Campus

As a professor of sociology at Rutgers University, I taught large lecture courses for years, basing grades on multiple-choice tests.

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Gay-Straight Clubs Fail to Uphold Catholic Teaching - The Irish Rover

The Catholic newspaper at the University of Notre Dame recently took a look at homosexual activism at Boston College and Georgetown University. The Irish Rover found that LGBTQ clubs at Boston College and Georgetown University campuses have violated Catholic teaching despite obligations to uphold it.

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Want Your Kids To Attend College? Go To Church, Study Finds - Gleanings

Churchgoing youth are 70 percent more likely to enroll in college than unaffiliated peers, research finds.

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Rise of the Tiger Nation - Wall Street Journal

Asian-Americans are now the country's best-educated, highest-earning and fastest-growing racial group. They share with American Jews both the distinction and the occasional burden of immigrant success.

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The surprising mental health effects of gender equality parenting - Family Edge

Empirical science has just delivered a rude shock to the progressive dreamers, as public-health officials in left-leaning Sweden established that gender-equality between parents fosters mental pathology in adolescent children.

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Pontificia Academia Latinitatis - Chant Cafe

Latina lingua, Pope Benedict XVI's recent motu proprio establishing the Pontifical Latin Academy, is a great gift to the entire Church.

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