Benedict at Westminster

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

The text of Benedict’s keynote speech on his trip to the UK is here; video of the speech can be found here.

Obviously, you read or watch the speech in its entirety, but I will present a few highlights for readers:

And yet the fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More’s trial continue to present themselves in ever-changing terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident – herein lies the real challenge for democracy.

Continue reading...

One Response to Benedict at Westminster

Burleigh Defends the Pope

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

My second favorite living historian, Michael Burleigh, who has written stunningly original works on subjects as diverse as Nazi Germany, religion and politics in the last two centuries,  terrorism, and morality and World War II,  has taken up the cudgels against the despicable attitude of many Brits of the chattering classes regarding the visit of the Pope to the Island next to Ireland.

Under normal circumstances, one might say “welcome” rather than “receive”. But the multiple sexual scandals that have afflicted parts of the Catholic Church have created a window of opportunity for sundry chasers of limelight – including human rights militants, crusading gays, Islamist fanatics, and celebrity God-botherers – to band together to “arrest” the Pope under laws so obscure that few knew they existed. Because child abuse is involved, rather than the more widespread phenomenon of homosexual predation on young men, these manifestations will receive much media attention, especially from the BBC, to the guaranteed perplexity of a less involved general public in a nominally Protestant country. It will require some effort of mind to tune out this noise to hear what the Pope will be saying.

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Burleigh Defends the Pope

Are you ready for Pope Benedict's next gig?

Monday, September 13, AD 2010

Preparing for Pope Benedict’s journey to England and Scotland later this week, Catholic bishops have likened the Pope to the headline act at a series of gigs in a ‘cringe-worthy’ guide, exposing the Church to new heights of ridicule.

The Daily Mail reports (September 12, 2010):

In a list of ‘useful terms’ in the official booklet, the three open-air Papal masses – the most solemn occasions of the historic trip – are referred to as ‘shows’ or ‘gigs’, terms normally associated with rock concerts.The document also compares the clergy who organise services – known as liturgists – to ‘performers’ or ‘artists’ …

The unusual glossary raises fresh questions over the handling of Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day visit, which starts on Thursday and has already been mired in controversy.

The Church is distributing thousands of copies of the glossy, eight-page booklet produced by the Papal Visit Team, overseen by Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols. Its cover carries the official slogan of the visit – the first to Britain since 1982 – Heart Speaks Unto Heart.

Insiders said the pamphlet is aimed at workers from companies arranging events, police officers, broadcasters and journalists who may not be Catholics and are unsure about the Church’s rituals and beliefs.

Thomas Peters (The American Papist) puts the Bishop’s phrasing in the most charitable light:

Continue reading...

8 Responses to Are you ready for Pope Benedict's next gig?

  • I see it as condescending to the press

    And? The press has thought that the pope wore green to show his support for environmental causes. People attacking the papal visit team forget the endless bounds of stupidity and ignorance shown by the press. While “gig” & “headline act” might be a stretch, it’s not unthinkable and the rest of the terms I believe I’ve seen used before in previous coverage of catholic events.

  • Michael,

    The press has displayed abominable ignorance at times. There’s no denying it. But this should be seen as an opportunity to lift up and educate. Instead of providing a brief-but-substantial dictionary of Catholic terminology, the Bishops’ take the opposite approach by ‘dumbing down’ the language.

    Treating the readership as if they were in elementary school only encourages this ignorance. An elementary paper like USA Today could have done a better job.

  • Yeah, this is tough. Probably better off having said nothing. The real scandal in my mind is that too many Catholics seem to think of the sacred items in the list like the “similar terms”.

  • I hope he is “taken care of”….so to speak.

  • And by taken care of, I mean given great accomodations!!!

  • “it’s hard to see how this type of glossary can be received as anything other than an insult to the reader”.

    I don’t find it hard at all: this is an insult to the Eucharist and to the Mass. This is not an “explaining” of anything to anyone, this is a willed banalisation of the sacred for the sake of appearing “hip” and “connected”.

    I also suspect that those who have thought this genial initiative have no clear idea of what a Mass or what the Eucharist is. If they had had it, they would have never dared to make such comparisons.

    M

  • Apparently, we’re wrong. It’s not to the press, it’s the people producing the Papal Event-people for whom “gig” and “headline act” are common usages. This appears to be a hatchet job.

    See Thomas Peters who has a statement from the Papal Visit team and the document in full: http://catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=10241

  • I still can’t see your argument, Denton.

    The last page of the document is delirious even following the pages of the documents.

    No one in his right mind would ever dare to make any comparison whatever between a Mass and a “Gig”, and say that for a non-catholic the one may have the merest resemblance to the other.

    No one has ever tought or said that the last page is everything there is in the document, it is not about that.

    As for the affirmation that there is no intention of being patronising, this is more than risible. The explanations made in the previous pages make the last page even more offensive for a journalist, not less.

    The last page could have been cut out entirely, and no one would have missed it. But no, the “see, my Mass is a kind of gig” part had to be inserted.

    M

Awkward.

Sunday, July 25, AD 2010

A lookalike of the Protestant Reformation leader John Knox will welcome Pope Benedict to Scotland. Mike Merrit reports for the Daily Record (UK) July 25, 2010:

The actor has been hired by the Catholic Church to play the leader of Scotland’s Protestant Reformation in a pageant of the country’s historical figures. …

Knox’s surprise inclusion by Catholic Church leaders follows accusations that this year’s 450th anniversary of the Reformation is being ignored by the Scottish Government.

The Reformation of 1560 revoked the Pope’s authority in Scotland and banned Catholic Mass. …

A Church of Scotland spokesman said: “It is a sign of a healthy nation that diversity within the Christian community is something to be celebrated as opposed to a source of division and struggle.

“It is a gift to those of us of a Protestant persuasion that by including this figure, the Catholic Church is contributing to the celebrations of the Reformation.”

(Regular roundups of news relating to Pope Benedict’s September visit to the UK may be found here).

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Awkward.

  • Ah, John Knox. I agree with this passage on him from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    “As to Knox’s religion, it is sufficient to say, without questioning the sincerity of his convictions, that the reaction from the Catholicism of his youth seems to have landed him outside the pale of Christianity altogether. Permeated with the spirit of the Old Testament and with the gloomy austerity of the ancient prophets, he displays neither in his voluminous writings nor in the record of his public acts the slightest recognition of the teachings of the Gospel, or of the gentle, mild, and forgiving character of the Christian dispensation. Genial, amiable, and kind-hearted he may have been in private life, though it is difficult to see from what premises his panegyrists deduce his possession of those qualities; but the ferocity and unrestrained violence of his public utterances stand out, even in the rude and lawless age in which he lived, as surpassing almost everything recorded of his contemporaries, even those most closely in sympathy with his political and ecclesiastical views.”

  • God Bless the Highlanders who resisted him and his creed.

  • “It is a gift to those of us of a Protestant persuasion that by including this figure, the Catholic Church is contributing to the celebrations of the Reformation.”

    Isn’t ecumenism grand! 😉

  • My thoughts entirely Chris. 🙂

  • Gad – what a horrible person I must be, just looking at my “picture”.

    I am really much better looking than that – maybe a little older 😉

    Perhaps I should forward a photo……..?

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

Wednesday, March 18, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Cardinal George had a private unscheduled 30 minute meeting with President Barack Obama yesterday afternoon.  Outside of the normal platitudes issued between the USCCB and the White House, nothing substantive of note can be reported.  Although Cardinal George issued a YouTube video warning to President Obama concerning the United State’s moving towards despotism the day prior to his meeting.  President Obama seems to have responded positively to Cardinal George’s proposal of “an agenda for dialogue” which was issued early this year.

2. The secular and liberal media, i.e., the mainstream media, have pretty much remained silent on Pope Benedict’s visit to Africa.  Is it because they don’t want to report the problem of condoms only exacerbating the issue of AIDS and not wanting to hear about the sanctity of life?  Is it beneath their elitism to do anything with Africa?  Or is it because the mainstream media could care less about Africa because of the pigment of their complexion?  Remember Rwanda and southern Sudan, the media remained silent.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf made similar comments, for the link click here.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

  • 1. “Agenda for dialogue:” never a good sign. Not sure what can come from such dialogue on the good Cardinal’s part. Amazing that the meeting even took place- probably due to their mutual place of residence.

    2. All questions regarding lack of MSM coverage of His Holiness’ visit satisfactory to ask. Also- Is the Church that humdrum? Is it JPII Fatigue? Or that this Pontiff doesn’t deliver slamming quotes? Just goes about his business? Hooray- San Diego Union Tribute found a buyer! Newspaper journalism is saved! Not.

    3. Welcome Jennifer and hubbo to Family of Faith. Nice to have ya around.

  • Rich Leonardi cites another example of a innovative bishop creating his own parallel magisterium in the creation of a ”Installation Mass” for female lay pastoral administrator.

    You go overboard when you criticize these “innovations” (these installation Masses are hardly new) as the creation of a “parallel Magisterium.”

  • Gerard E.,

    The story on the atheist turned Catholic is actually a year old, but I wanted to share it just the same because I like reading her blog.

    Michael I.,

    Mea culpa, but exaggerating the obvious does not take away from the fact that Bishop Matthew Clark is inventing rites that aren’t authorized by the CDW or CDF or listed in any GIRM.

    Just because this isn’t new, doesn’t make it right.

  • I’m not going to make judgments on it until it happens. But for what it’s worth, the Obama Administration is going to meet with pro-life groups.

    http://www.lifenews.com/nat4918.html

  • Tito – I’m puzzled. “Installation Mass” can mean a variety of things. There is nothing wrong with installation Masses per se. There are all kinds of Masses for various occasions, including the installation of various lay ministers. Not everything is listed in the GIRM. I believe I saw a published collection of such rites recently and it was approved either by the USCCB or the CCB (I can’t remember what context I saw the book). You may not recognize those bishops’ conferences, but if those conferences have any authority, they definitely have some limited authority when it comes to the liturgy. You would have to provide some evidence that this particular installation Mass violates some kind of universal liturgical guideline.

    Our diocese in WV had an inaugural Mass for our Catholic governor. Do you oppose that sort of thing as well?

  • Michael I.,

    I do recognize those conferences.

    Although I doubt there is a rite for this type of Mass, I will keep in mind those documents and conferences that you site and look into it at a later date.

    Like many Catholics, I have a pile of books next to my bed that intend to read but have difficulty attending to!

    :~)

  • Eric,

    That link sounds promising, but it may little more than lip service since mid-level functionaries and not President Obama himself will be meeting with those pro-life groups.

  • My comment above should read “USCCB or the CCCB” as in the Canadian Catholic Bishops.

  • Pingback: Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-20-2009 « The American Catholic

Pope Benedict XVI's papal visit to Africa

Tuesday, March 17, AD 2009

Pope Benedict has embarked on his papal visit to the African nations of Cameroon and Angola from March 17-23, 2009.

Forgive me for indulging in an act of ‘shameless self promotion’ — but the Benedict XVI Fan Club (of which I am the administrator) will be providing regular roundups of news, coverage and commentary on the Pope’s visit to Africa from religious and secular media, and will be linking to the Pope’s addresses as they become available.

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Pope Benedict XVI's papal visit to Africa

  • Needless to say, the roundups will be selective — while hardly ‘news’, the secular media considers it a source of headline-worthy controversy that the Pope believes that “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”, considering this the dominant story.

  • Historic. Necessary. A journey to where the Church is going. Godspeed to our dear Chief Shepherd on this most important apostolic mission.

  • Its quite historic and i am just excited about the development,As the treks through Africa,it means much for us all,and will surely bring bout stronger bonds of love and encouragement to the people.

    Lets all pray for our papa.