CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - March 5. 2014
Note from the Managing Editor:
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has been called the most gifted theologian ever to sit in the chair of St. Peter.
In his reflection on the anniversary of the Holy Father's abdication a year ago February 11, Father de Souza had this to say:
"He knew well that no one in the College of Cardinals could match his homilies, his writings, his understanding of the forces shaping the modern world. Yet he also knew that it is not enough for the shepherd to call the sheep; they have to hear his voice.But many Catholics are still eager to hear from that incomparable teacher of the faith our great Pope Benedict.
I've chosen a few short reflections by Pope Benedict, one for each of the updates you'll be receiving during Lent.
And please also have a look at Archbishop Chaput's contribution to the update this week, "Ten ways to deepen our relationship with God." - J. Fraser Field
• Pope asks for prayers for Ukraine - CNS
• British contraceptive service admits an uncomfortable truth - Mercatornet
• No (Gifted) Child Left Behind - Defining Ideas
• Why Catholic Religious Education is Doomed to Fail - patheos
• Why a Formation in Catholic Culture is Central to Catholic Education - The Way of Beauty
• Answering Pope Francis' Challenge to Higher Education - Gregorian Institute
• Appeals court denies Notre Dame injunction on HHS mandate - Catholic Philly
• Facebook’s Shift on Gender Draws Catholic Criticism - NCRegister
• How computer-generated fake papers are flooding academia - Guardian
• Zombie Studies Gain Ground on College Campuses - WSJ
Faith is Always a Path - Pope Benedict XVI - from God and the World
Faith in God is not a form of knowledge that can be learned like chemistry or mathematics, but remains a belief…
The Third Stage in the Transformation - Father Edward Leen, C.S.SP. - ch. 8 from Progress Through Mental Prayer
The soul has become much more childlike in its attitude towards the Lord, in its attitude of complete dependence on Him and perfect confidence in Him
Here are a few steps — in no particular order — that can help us draw closer to God.
I’m so used to being gay and Catholic, I forget how strange that sounds.
The evidence shows that most "unsure" adolescents become exclusively heterosexual.
From his earliest years as a poet Eliot revered Dante, considering him to be the great master.
In philosophy dogmatism is totally inappropriate.
The Myth of Religious Violence - Benjamin Wiker - to the source
One of the enduring myths of the secular state is that religion is so dangerous, so volatile, so likely to burst into conflagrations of violence, that the only protection we have from societal destruction is the erection of a wall that separates religion from the state.
Lent is a campaign against the aboriginal Evil One - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
Joseph Stalin was responsible for the deaths of around 20 million men, women and children by massacres, torture, starvation and execution.
As uncertainty reigns in Ukraine and Russian troops appear to control the Crimean peninsula, Pope Francis asks the world's Christians to pray for Ukraine and urged the parties involved in the conflict to engage in dialogue.
In another strongly worded message to the Catholic hierarchy, Pope Francis told the Vatican body that approves nominees for bishops that they need to find him better candidates to send to dioceses around the world.
At his Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father gave a brief catechesis on the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.
Pope to Christians: Practice what you preach - Vatican Radio
The incoherent Christian gives scandal, and scandal kills: those were the very strong words Pope Francis used today in his homily at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.
Why Ukraine Matters - WSJ
Editorial page editor Paul Gigot on the local and global implications of Russia's bid to seize Ukrainian territory.
Cardinal picks embody principles of 'Pope of the Poor' - Boston Globe
By tradition, the words are famously St. Francis of Assisi's: "Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words."
Memories of Archbishop Bergoglio - NCRegister
An exclusive Register interview with Buenos Aires journalist Jorge Rouillon.
Pope Benedict moves to quash anti-Francis backlash - Boston Globe
For a pope who vowed to remain "hidden from the world" after his resignation became official almost exactly one year ago, on Feb. 28, 2013, Benedict XVI certainly has been in the spotlight a fair bit lately.
Pope's new financial fixer has instincts of linebacker - Boston Globe
A new way of doing the Vatican's business, and other topics in church life: Elder care, a field hospital in Ukraine, and . . . the end of history?
Vatican Reform: Time for a New Inquisition - Catholic Culture
"Inquisition" is a bad word, but how about responsibility for personnel by prosecuting, trying, and convicting those who violate the rights of others.
Americans in the Eternal City have revived an old tradition: a pilgrimage to the station churches of Lent.
The Terms of Our Surrender - Ross Douthat - New York Times
It would appear that there's no stopping same-sex marriage from becoming the law of the land. But how will the victors treat the vanquished?
A Revolution on Marriage — in Rome? - Robert Royal The Catholic Thing
On Saturday, Il Foglio, the most important conservative newspaper in Italy, published the complete text of a long opening discourse given at the Vatican by Cardinal Walter Kasper to the Consistory on the Family, a preparatory meeting for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family that will take place October 5-19 in Rome.
Is secularism inevitable? - The Week
Many believe secularism goes hand in hand with modernity. But our capacity for religious enchantment is as strong as ever.
What's gone wrong with democracy - The Economist
Democracy was the most successful political idea of the 20th century. Why has it run into trouble, and what can be done to revive it?
A Decade of Change in Attitudes about Same-Sex Marriage - Public Religion Research Institute
Americans in all regions and religious groups are giving in more and more on acceptance of same-sex "marriages."
Germany's "Pay to Pray" Regime - The Catholic Thing
Most Americans would be a bit shocked to learn that German bishops make between $10,965 and $15,763 a month, depending upon their seniority. That comes to between $131,000 and $189,000 a year.
Ottawa Catholics are no longer able to give eulogies for lost loved ones during funeral masses, after the Archbishop for the region issued a decree ending the practice this month.
Catholic Enemies Make Strange Bedfellows - patheos
One of the things which convinced me to leave everything and become a Catholic was the list of enemies of the Catholic religion.
Assisted suicide — what could possibly go wrong? - Globe & Mail
On April 19, 2012, an attractive 64-year-old woman named Godelieva De Troyer checked herself into a hospital in Brussels, where she was killed, at her own request, by lethal injection.
Matthew McConaughey and American Manliness - First Things
Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar acceptance speech began, to the uncomfortable astonishment of the audience, with his looking heavenward to acknowledge God and his dad, a working-class southern guy who is still drinking Miller Lite in heaven.
Telling Vatican 'Secrets.' - Commonweal
Did you catch this week's episode of Frontline, "Secrets of the Vatican."
Pope Francis has a Secret: He's Jennifer Lawrence - First Things
As we absorb the news of Pope Francis's latest escapade — he accidentally cursed in front of an adoring audience — we are faced with a difficult but unavoidable truth. And that truth is: Pope Francis and Jennifer Lawrence are the same person.
Pope Francis and his wayward universities - Chicago Tribune
As Catholic institutions across America fight the Obama administration's contraception mandate, Pope Francis apparently wants the presidents of Catholic universities on the front line of that battle.
When I was in Sydney last May, a headline in the free MX newspaper handed out in the underground caught my eye, “Contraception education failing the young.”
No (Gifted) Child Left Behind - Defining Ideas
Though we’ve made enormous strides in K-12 education, we are neglecting our smartest and often poorest kids.
Over at Egregious Twaddle, my fellow Patheosi, Joanne McPortland, has a provocative post about What's Really Wrong with Catholic Religious Education? You should go read it.
Why a Formation in Catholic Culture is Central to Catholic Education - The Way of Beauty
I recently read a book by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI that I would recommend to all (h/t Stratford Caldecott for telling me about it). It is called A New Song for the Lord — Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today.
Answering Pope Francis' Challenge to Higher Education - Gregorian Institute
Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis' remarks to the 2014 Scholarship Ball.
Appeals court denies Notre Dame injunction on HHS mandate - Catholic Philly
Notre Dame must provide free coverage of contraceptives as required by the new health care law despite its moral objections to doing so.
Facebook’s Shift on Gender Draws Catholic Criticism - NCRegister
Critics say the website's decision to include more than 50 gender options beyond male and female is wrongheaded, but also reflective of how the culture currently understands sexuality.
More and more academic papers that are essentially gobbledegook are being written by computer programs — and accepted at conferences
Students, professors study culture of living dead.