Tag Archives: religion

Catholic Bishops Lack Bark

I think the Catholic bishops are wrong to complain about Notre Dame University inviting President Obama to speak at its commencement ceremonies and honoring him for his achievements. Unlike a church, a university is intended to be an open environment that is tolerant of many different viewpoints. Notre Dame and the dozens of other Catholic universities in the U.S. have built well earned reputations as just such open environments.

Refusing to invite a diverse set of speakers based on a singular issue is clueless, as one bishop characterized Notre Dame’s decision. Do the bishops intend to expel all faculty, students, and staff who disagree with their position on abortion? Will they insist Notre Dame hold back degrees of students who voted for Obama, have had an abortion, supported a friend who had an abortion, or are supportive of a woman’s right to choose? Until they are ready to do either or both, then the bishops should let Catholic universities remain open academic environments, confer honorary degrees based on objective standards, and invite any speakers chosen by the school. God forbid the bishops should take any affirmative steps toward either action because we might just see an outright revolt by university trustees in addition to students choosing other universities. I, for one, would then not qualify to earn a law degree from Santa Clara Law School as I hold similar views to Mr. Obama with regard to a woman’s right to choose and stem cell research.

Need I even go so far as to point out that the bishops are not speaking from a very good spiritual position and the church is already struggling for relevance. This is, after all, the same set of bishops who played active roles in the still-fresh sexual abuse scandals.

AP, Y! News: Notre Dame’s Obama invite riles Catholic bishops.

This coming week, Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando, Fla., will take the unusual step of celebrating a Mass of Reparation, to make amends for sins against God.

The motivation: to provide an outlet for Catholics upset with what Wenski calls the University of Notre Dame’s “clueless” decision to invite President Barack Obama to speak at its commencement and receive an honorary doctorate May 17.

The nation’s flagship Catholic university’s honoring of a politician whose abortion rights record clashes with a fundamental church teaching has triggered a reaction among the nation’s Catholic bishops that is remarkable in scope and tone, church observers say.

At least 55 bishops have publicly denounced or questioned Notre Dame in recent weeks, employing an arsenal of terms ranging from “travesty” and “debacle” to “extreme embarrassment.”

The bishops’ response is part of a decades-long march to make abortion the paramount issue for their activism, a marker of the kind of bishops Rome has sent to the U.S. and the latest front in a struggle over Catholic identity that has exposed rifts between hierarchy and flock.

Bishops who have spoken out so far account for 20 percent of the roughly 265 active U.S. bishops â?? a minority, but more than double the number who suggested five years ago that then-Democratic presidential hopeful and Catholic John Kerry should either be refused Communion or refrain from it because of his abortion stance.

SC priest: No communion for Obama supporters – Yahoo News

SC priest: No communion for Obama supporters – Yahoo News
A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil.”

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.

Churches are becoming too involved in politics. It is this sort of coersion that should see a church lose its non-profit status. Non-profits are not supposed to get involved in politics in this way. As such, this church should lose its status as a non-profit.

It is fine for the priest to say “this politician is wrong to espouse pro-choice with regard to abortion – abortion is wrong.” But this priest has crossed the line saying a parishioner is going to hell for voting for that person and should not receive the sacraments of the church. He might as well said, vote for John McCain or don’t bother coming to this church any longer. That is the effect of his position.

In addition, it is small-minded and ignores all of the other reasons someone may vote for a candidate. Abortion is just one issue in a haystack of issues. What about all of the other social causes that the Catholic Church and Catholics care about? It would seem to me that Obama aligns himself with a greater number of those causes.

Furthermore, at a time the Catholic church is losing relevance and parishioners (except in immigrant communities), this does nothing to help its cause.

Fight erupts in Jerusalem church

WTF is with this? Priests fighting? And at Easter, too! What morons!

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Fight erupts in Jerusalem church

Israeli police had to break up a fist fight that erupted between Greek and Armenian Orthodox clergymen at one of Christianity’s holiest sites.

The scuffles broke out at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Orthodox Palm Sunday.

Two serious comments about this behavior:

1. How can anyone take seriously any of these priests when they teach about morals? They do not set a very good example for others to live by. This is not what Jesus preached.

2. This provides a very good time for Christians to reflect regarding recent attacks against Islam as a violent religion. If Christian clergymen are not able to deal with issues without resorting to violence, what does that say about the followers of that religion.

Note: Although this fight was between two Eastern Orthodox Christian groups, I think it reflects on other Christians, just as Sunni Islam and Shi’a Islam reflect upon each other.

“The history of the Devil is all screwed up”

The UCLA alumni magazine this month features an interview with English Professor Henry Ansgar Kelly regarding his latest book, Satan: A Biography. Based on the interview, the book sounds fascinating. I’d like to at least skim it if I ever can find the time.

The Devil You Don’t Know – Departments – UCLA Magazine Online

Q. So there is no Original Sin?

A. Jesus never talks about Original Sin. He talks about the sinfulness of the world, which is pretty evident. But the Fathers [of the Church] came up with the whole business that people are damned to begin with unless they get baptized. The Church is pushing itself into a corner now by saying that every fertilized egg has an immortal soul tainted with Original Sin, and all these miscarried embryos and fetuses, they’re not going to get to Heaven, the most they can get to is Limbo. And once they get rid of Limboâ?Š

He then notes that the church is about to get rid of limbo.