This is a good piece in Crisis about the theological failure of modernist altar ensembles inserted into Baroque churches – using the Gesu in Rome as a particularly sad example. And it’s also quite recent! Thinks are not improving all over.
A great story of Robert Schuller, the Crystal Cathedral, and it’s current state – as a Roman Catholic cathedral. Cults of personality never last – one of the most important reasons I’m a Roman Catholic today.
Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s book Spiritual Passages, which reduces (self-admittedly) convert motivation to the One, the Good, the True, or the Beautiful spoke to me. Despite what you might think (I’m an art historian – don’t I love the Beautiful?), I am closer to those called to the One. Schism offends me. All that reciting of “the holy catholic church” as a child, partly because of all the footnotes and explanations that “catholic” mean “universal, world wide” rather than Roman Catholic, sank in. I mean, was the Southern Presbyterian Church either universal or world wide in any serious way? I had acquaintances who were children of missionaries in Zaire – but that was about it.
Presbyterianism is a beautiful system: local deacons and elders, near-regionally elected representatives (presbyteries), regional synods, and a national general assembly. But one of the things a man like me learns during his graduate course work is that, pace Jean Calvin, this is not what the evidence shows us about what we can discern about the Church in the brief apostolic period, let alone by 100 A.D. So don’t go claiming that this is Jesus’s preferred model.
There’s lots of room for argument, but I gave it all a lot of thought and submitted to Holy Mother the Roman Catholic Church. All the rest has been clear enough for the last 25 years, if not always easy to live up to. I mean, I’m a big ol’ sinner – but then, I reassure myself, so are those parents of one child headed up to receive.
George Herbert + Ralph Vaughan Williams + the Order of Preachers = this!
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a way as gives us breath;
Such a truth as ends all strife,
Such a life as killeth death.
Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a light as shows a feast,
Such a feast as mends in length,
Such a strength as makes his guest.
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a joy as none can move,
Such a love as none can part,
Such a heart as joys in love.
from Herbert’s “The Call,” published in The Temple. Set by Vaughan Williams in 1911.
Father Benedict (pictured) is a Sewanee graduate – what did they expect? Teasing aside, craft beer seems like the perfect Benedictine product.
“People come to the monastery for the beer,” he said, but they leave realizing God brought them to Norcia to meet him.
Making beer “perhaps dissipates any fear that we might be judgmental or overly critical of them,” he said. People assume beer-making monks will accept them.
Brother Anthony Zemenick, a native of Arlington, Texas, who has been at the monastery for seven years, said the beer “is really good stuff.”
“I’m not the world’s most experienced beer connoisseur, but I’ve tried several different types and I’d say ours is the best … not just because it’s ours, but because of the flavor, too,” he said.
I hope the sell it at la Vecchia Birreria in Rome!!
The Law of Schism – breaking away leads to more schims. I’d missed the latest break-up in the Lefebvrite SSPX. Now (well, right now) there’s a Society of St Pius X of the Strict Observance. And Bishop Williamson is their sponsor. I became a Roman Catholic because of the ONE in the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” Church. Nothing invisible there.
I guess you have to start your hermeneutic exercise with the idea that Saint Paul was a misogynist who is responsible for all that is narrow and exclusive about Christianity to get here – but here she got!
Paul is annoyed at the slave girl who keeps pursuing him, telling the world that he and his companions are slaves of God. She is quite right. She’s telling the same truth Paul and others claim for themselves. But Paul is annoyed, perhaps for being put in his place, and he responds by depriving her of her gift of spiritual awareness. Paul can’t abide something he won’t see as beautiful or holy, so he tries to destroy it. It gets him thrown in prison. That’s pretty much where he’s put himself by his own refusal to recognize that she, too, shares in God’s nature, just as much as he does – maybe more so!
The preacher who sees the gift of spiritual awareness in demon possession is the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. Here’s the whole sermon. It’s mainly about failing to see beauty – in the skin color of others, in nature, in demon possessed teenagers.
I read this at Simcha Fisher’s blog at the National Catholic Register – you can check out her response here. I got there via New Advent.
Please go look at Amy Welborn’s photo essay on the whole new pope business. Unless, like my father, you won’t get any of the pop culture jokes because you don’t watch those shows. And even he will get the point about “Did you NEVER read a freakin’ GOSPEL before March 13?” without knowing the setting.
Here you go. One of the most interesting parts is Weigel on why Bergoglio was the runner up in 2005 – and who was using him against Ratzinger. And why they didn’t vote for him this time.
I’ve had a chance to read some things now, including a few articles and blog posts written before the LAST conclave, where Bergoglio was also a strong candidate. According to some unconfirmed (I believe) stories he was the final candidate beside Ratzinger before Benedict XVI’s election – so there was some coverage about him then.
A piece by Sandro Magister about then Archbishop Bergoglio on baptism is the most interesting thing I’ve come across: Go forth and baptize, the wager of the Argentinian church.
In some parts of Europe, baptizing a child has already become the exception, requiring an unconventional decision. But now, the number of unbaptized infants, children, young people, adults is also rising in Argentina.
This decline in the practice of baptism is the result of a weakening of family ties and a withdrawal from the Church. Some of the clergy have drawn this conclusion: where they see the signs of faith being extinguished, they maintain that it is right to decline to administer the sacraments.
But in Argentina today, the Church authorities are moving in the opposite direction.
Already in 2002, the archdiocese of Buenos Aires and the diocese in the surrounding area had published an instruction urgently recommending the baptism of both children and adults, and explaining how to overcome resistance to the celebration of the rite.
But now the bishops of the area have returned to the task with a booklet entitled “El bautismo en clave misionera,” which reproduces the 2002 instruction and supplements it with other guidelines for parish pastors.
So beginning this year, the most conscientious pastors are regularly holding “baptism days,” on which they administer the sacrament to children and adults in situations of poverty or with broken families, who have been helped to overcome their own uncertainties and those of the people around them.
His approach speaks to the need of missionizing and evangelizing -and the need to think hard before rigidly putting formal barriers like a 3 month sequence of classes (not to mention the expectation of parties and receptions) between people and sacraments.
This is probably an interesting symptom for understanding what kind of pope Francis will be.
via Father Zuhlsdorf, who has a reflection of his own.
Here’s John Allen’s profile. Useful.
Wow – three firsts – first Pope to take the name Francis, first Jesuit, first pope from the Southern Hemisphere (or the Global South to use the current term). Of course, he’s of Italian parents. I don’t know what’s more interesting. Maybe the idea that the first Jesuit pope took the name Francis instead of Ignatius?
This certainly seems like the easiest way to open to the Global South – choose someone who might even be a native speaker of Italian! That will assuage some national pride there – and if the agenda for the next papacy includes tangling with the bureaucracy (and everyone seems to think it does) one must be able to speak the language of the back stairs.
Check out the Paddy Power odds on the next pope! I have no idea – but they currently have Richard Dawkins at 666/1.
And I think his statement to the consistory (Father Zuhlsdorf has it here) calls for a younger successor.
Archbishop Jose Gomez said retired Cardinal Roger Mahony will “no longer have any administrative or public duties,” while Mahony’s former top adviser on sex-abuse issues, Thomas Curry, has stepped down as a regional bishop.