Dr Rowan Williams inflamed the row over homosexuality which is tearing apart the Anglican Church when it was reported that he had agreed to hold a eucharist for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender clergy.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Dr Rowan Williams inflamed the row over homosexuality which is tearing apart the Anglican Church when it was reported that he had agreed to hold a eucharist for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender clergy.
By Jeff Robinson
RIDGECREST - Does God unconditionally choose every person who will ever be saved or does He look deep into the future and choose those whom He foresees will trust in Him? At a national Building Bridges conference, Greg Welty, associate professor of philosophy at Southwestern Seminary, unpacked the Calvinist view of unconditional election - the belief that God has chosen before the creation of the world every individual who will ever be saved apart from foreseen faith or good works. Ken Keathley, professor of theology at Southeastern Seminary, proposed a solution to the Calvinistic (unconditional election) and Arminian (God chooses those whom He foreknows will trust in Him) disagreement on election through a theological system known as "Molinism." Welty argued in favor of unconditional election, pointing to a number of biblical texts, including Ephesians 1:3-11. This passage, he said, demonstrates that election is God's choosing of individual persons; election is eternal, having taken place before the foundation of the world; and election is grounded in the will of God and not the will of man. "God's will is to love us and show us mercy," Welty said. "This text tells us that He predestined us in love. It is not a cold and analytical doctrine. The will of man is not mentioned here as the basis of God's choice. It is clear to (the Apostle) Paul that election is grounded in the will of God." Elsewhere, in Romans 9, Paul clearly asserts God's choosing of a people irrespective of foreseen faith or works, Welty said. In the latter portion of the chapter, Welty pointed out that Paul even anticipated human objections and answered them. While humans charge God with injustice for choosing some and not others for salvation, Paul does not flinch in asserting the justice of a sovereign God in carrying out His holy will. Welty also dealt with a number of objections to unconditional election such as the Arminian assertion that election is based on God's foreknow-ledge of all who will believe in Him. Interpreting texts such as Romans 8:29 and 1 Peter 1:1-2 to uphold this view is neither necessary nor plausible, he said. "Foreknowledge" in these two texts does not mean that God merely foresees the actions of individuals, but shows that He has foreknown them relationally, Welty said. Neither text speaks of foreseen faith, he added. "God foreloves individuals and marks them out," Welty said. "That is what foreknowledge in these texts means. ... God is a God who chooses throughout the Bible. Most Christians will not deny that. God chose Israel in the Old Testament, for example. Paul's doctrine of election reflects on how God has chosen in the past." Because of the logical problems inherent in both Calvinism and Arminianism, Keathley said he views Molinism as "a more biblical and logically coherent" alternative.
Molinism is named after 16th-century Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina and attempts to reconcile the sovereignty of God with human free will by looking at God's work of redemption through His foreknowledge. Foundational to Molinism is the belief that God knows everything, including all the possible actions of human beings given every possible circumstance. Contemporary adherents to Molinism include apologist William Lane Craig and philosopher Alvin Plantinga.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Of the many things in my life I regret doing or not doing, one thing I regret very much is not having met the deadline to contribute to the festschrift in honor of Miguel A. Bernad SJ, now published by Xavier University as a special issue of Kinaadman (Wisdom): A Journal of the Southern Philippines (volume 29, 2007).I regret this act of omission for two main reasons.First, I would have loved to bask in the reflected glory of such writers as Gemino H. Abad, Patricio N. Abinales, Gregorio C. Brillantes, Linda Ty Casper, Leonard R. Casper, Edna Zapanta Manlapaz, Christine Godinez Ortega, Azucena G. Uranza, and the other contributors to the volume, all of whom took the time to write essays in honor of the country’s pioneer in the field of literary criticism. Second, I owe a lot to Fr. Bernad. While I was with the Society of Jesus, he was my regular bridge partner. He played (maybe still plays) bridge the way he writes – looking not at the most efficient or coldblooded way of winning tricks or points at the table, but at the most elegant. I learned a lot from him about how to survive the brickbats that inevitably come across a writer’s way. He simply labels people of lesser intelligence and breeding as “obnoxious.” Being obnoxious, such critics or crabs are not allowed to enter his select universe and, therefore, do not matter and cannot affect his writing. He has always been one of my models for good teaching. He does not come into the classroom with a book or textbook that he then merely paraphrases or elaborates on. He teaches from books implanted in his mind. He infuses literary texts with wisdom gained from years of study and experience. He quotes from Shakespeare and Dante (and, of course, the Bible) from memory. I have a terrible memory, but during the few times that I recite lines of poetry from memory in my classes, I always see the eyes of my students light up. Nothing can inspire students to read more than a teacher quoting a book from memory. As a colleague in the Manila Critics Circle, he has always been very supportive of our efforts to establish a reading culture in the country. Several times in the recent past, he has tried to resign from the group, citing his difficulty reading with his failing eyesight, but at all those times, I have simply ignored his letters of resignation. I think he understands what I am trying to do with the Circle. I want not just to capitalize on his name, but to have him around to exploit his wisdom. He contributes to the group what none of us have – personal experience of having lived and worked during those earlier times when our literature was still inchoate, because writers were just starting to learn how to write in English after having learned how to write in Spanish. In the Circle, he is our sense of history. On the rare occasions when he disagreed with the views of the majority of the members of the Circle, he would lay down his arguments in pure classical fashion, with a logic that even those of us already in the postmodern mode could appreciate. I am sorry I could not attend the joint academic convocation last Dec. 18 of Xavier University, Ateneo de Davao University, and Ateneo de Zamboanga University conferring on Fr. Bernad an honorary doctorate. (It was the first time the three universities conferred a common degree on anyone.) I hope my absence will not qualify me for inclusion in his list of obnoxious people.Thank you, Fr. Bernad, not only for the kind words you said about me in the Festschrift, but for the kind deeds you have been doing all these forty years I have known you. (The Philippine Star, 27 December 2007)
Daijiworld Media Network
Mangalore, Dec 28:
Saturday, December 29, 2007
I emerge from my Christmas blogging hiatus to post about this upcoming local event:
Attached is a flyer with information on the annual Day of Remembrance in honor of Fr. John Hardon, the saintly Jesuit whose influence still reverberates throughout America, particularly in the archdioceses of Detroit and Chicago.
Fr. Hardon was the spiritual director of Mother Teresa, and was the only priest at the altar at her public funeral Mass. He developed a catechetical curriculum for her order, and for 26 years traveled worldwide giving retreats at Missionaries of Charity convents. Fr. Hardon has been declared a “Servant of God” by the Vatican, and efforts are well underway for his eventual canonization.
This day-long event, slated for Saturday, Dec. 29, at Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit, has been held every year since Fr. Hardon died in 2000. The event is always a great time to not only learn more about Fr. Hardon, but to spent time with and meet with many people who knew and worked with him during his 10 years in Detroit.
Three speakers will talk about their personal experiences with Fr. Hardon.
Marlene Elwell, long-time pro-life political activist/strategist and most recently founder of Catholics in the Public Square. Marlene is one of the giants of the pro-life movement in the United States, and she is responsible for the brilliant strategic success of getting a pro-life plank in the Republican platform in 1980, when the GOP’s convention was in Detroit.
Carole Breslin, who assisted Fr. Hardon in many ways. Including helping to prepare his manuscripts for publication. Particularly noteworthy was her help in the writing of his last project, his remarkable Catholic Prayer Book.
Jay McNally, journalist and biographer of Fr. Hardon. Jay has done investigative reporting for the Wanderer, the National Catholic Register, New Oxford Review and Catholic World Report, and was executive director for six years of Call to Holiness, one of the last of many apostolates founded by Fr. Hardon.
A great highlight of the event will be the 4 p.m. Vigil Mass at Assumption Grotto.The PDF flyer is available here: HardonDayofReflectionDec29.Blogging will be sporadic for the remaining Twelve Days of Christmas.
Pope Benedict’s Library
Alleluia Press - This publisher prints books about Eastern Catholicism. The owner is 93 and handwrites his correspondence.
Ascension Press - They publish the Great Adventure Bible Study program and the Theology of the Body program for teens as well as the T3 Bible Study program and a bunch of other great titles.
Aunt Dee’s Attic -A small press with some gift books for Sacramental prep.
Baronius Press - A publisher from Britain that prints Tridentine Missals, the Douay Rheims Bible and some Catholic classics.
Bread of Life Publishing - publishes a couple of cute, faithful catechism activity books for children and teens.
Bridegroom Press - a small press that focuses on apologetics.
Catholic Answers - the premier apologetics organization in the US. Run by Karl Keating.
C.D. Stampley - Producer of very nice Catholic family Bibles.
Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei - publishes booklets and videos for the Old Latin Mass.
Confraternity of the Precious Blood - Prints some old titles including My Daily Bread.
Couple to Couple League - the main NFP publisher in the country.
Emmaus Road Publishing - the publishing division of Catholics United for the Faith.
Family Life Center - Steve Ray’s St. Joseph Covenant Keepers official press. Great stuff on raising holy families.
God With Us - A small publisher of books on Eastern Catholicism.
Grotto Press - Very small but solid press.
Hillside Education - a small publisher of Catholic homeschooling resources.
Ignatius Press - one of the largest Catholic publishers in the US. Official publisher of Pope Benedict’s books as well as the best religious education programs - Faith and Life and Image of God - in the country.
Institute of Carmelite Studies - producer of the definitive works of many Carmelite saints.
Madonna House Publications - Founded by Catherine Doherty to promote Eastern Catholic spirituality.
Marian Press - Publish all kinds of titles about the Divine Mercy and St. Faustina.
Midwest Theological Forum - If you want Canon Law, this is the place. They also produce several books about Opus Dei and have the best high school religion books available - the Didache Series.
Montfort Publications - Books about St. Louis de Montfort’s spirituality.
Mother of Divine Grace - Homeschooling sylibi from Laura Berquist.
Mother’s House Publishing - A small local press that publishes a variety of titles including the best student and teacher study guides for homeschoolers reading the Classics. (My mom did not pay me to say that)
National Center for Padre Pio - a small publisher of books about Padre Pio.
Neumann Press - A family company that reprints old Catholic titles in nice hardbound versions. Has a lot of old Catholic school books.
Preserving Christian Publications - Focus on reprinting old Catholic titles with an emphasis on the Old Latin Mass.
Requiem Press - A small family press.
Roman Catholic Books - A press that focuses on reprinting old Catholic titles, primarily reprinting in hardback.
San Juan Catholic Seminars - Prints a series of apologetics workbooks that are great for parish or homeschooling.
Scepter Publishers - The official publisher for Opus Dei. The Navarre Bible comes from here.
Sophia Institute Press - A wide ranging publisher with everything from Catholic classics to new books on Catholic culture.
St. Bonaventure Publications -The source for the old Liber Usualis as well as a few other old Catholic titles.
Zaccheus Press - A small press with about eight titles.
Maybe, according to the Italian religious news website Petrus
...Benedict XVI ... would intend to providentially deal [with the problem of diabolic forces] with an instruction, which could be published in the first months of the next year, that would determine that Diocesan Bishops... all over the world confer the mandate to perform exorcisms on a stable number of their priests. There have not been official confimations by the Vatican, being just a rumor for the moment.
Friday, December 28, 2007
By Jay Tokasz -
The president of Canisius College will be among the 225 Jesuit delegates from around the world meeting in Rome next month to elect a new leader of the international Society of Jesus, an order of Catholic priests that dates back 450 years. The Rev. Vincent M. Cooke is scheduled to depart for Rome on Jan. 4 for the 35th General Congregation, which will include the election of a new superior general for the worldwide order. The congregation meeting begins Jan. 7. Cooke could be gone for more than a month. John J. Hurley, executive vice president of the college, will serve as acting president during that time. It will be Cooke’s second stint as an electing delegate in a process that mirrors a papal election. In 1983, Cooke was part of the 33rd General Congregation, which elected the current superior general, the Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. Like the pope, the superior general of the Jesuits is elected for life. Kolvenbach asked Pope Benedict XVI if he could retire, and the pope has agreed. Cooke, president of Canisius since 1993, was selected by colleague priests from the New York Province of Jesuits along with the Rev. Thomas H. Feely, who is based in New York City. They are two of 34 delegates from the United States who will participate in the paper balloting inside the Jesuit curia, located just outside the walls of the Vatican. Balloting continues until a majority of the voting delegates agrees on a candidate. An American has never been elected superior general, and that trend is likely to continue, Cooke said. “There’s an outside chance, but a very outside chance,” he said.
Most Americans don’t have the language skills necessary for the post, Cooke said, because the superior general must be fluent, at a minimum, in English, Spanish and Italian. “It’s always been a European,” Cooke said, but the new leader may, for the first time, hail from a continent other than Europe. An Asian, Indian or Latin American could emerge this time, Cooke said. “It’s probably a 50-50 chance — more of a chance than ever before,” he said. The election is preceded by four days of information-gathering, known as the “murmuratio,” during which the delegates are allowed to ask any other member of the congregation about any member of the Society of Jesus who might be an apt superior general. “People will tell you quite frankly what they think,” said Cooke, the lone American who participated in the last election. There is a caveat, though: No campaigning allowed, either for oneself or for anyone else. After the election, members of the General Congregation will stay in Rome to discuss topics such as the promotion of new vocations, how protecting the environment plays into the mission of the society, Jesuit community life and the Jesuit vow of obedience to the pope. Picture is the facade of an old Jesuit novitiate (here) Link to the the Buffulo News article (here)
By James Janega
December 27, 2007
The family wasn't comfortable there in the public gaze, not after all the kicking around they'd gotten for being related to Mrs. O'Leary, she of the infamous cow.But they came to Holy Family Catholic Church on Thursday, smiling awkwardly at attention avoided for generations, out of devotion to the parish of their ancestors. On Sunday, Holy Family will celebrate its 150th anniversary, having survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and other assorted calamities. Church leaders have spent the year renewing connections to the past it shares with Chicago. Among those links is the O'Leary family, the Irish immigrants and onetime parishioners whose cow, the story goes, started the Chicago Fire by kicking over a lantern a few blocks from Holy Family."It's come a long way," said John Lester Neeson, 82, looking at the church. A great-grandson of Catherine O'Leary, the retired South Side carpenter was invited to Holy Family on Thursday with his family as a way of linking the church's long and turbulent past with its hopeful present.Chicagoans love their history, and parish leaders have sought for years to tie Holy Family's survival to the city's primal identity of disaster and rebirth, of immigration, of showmanship and clout.Holy Family survived the 1871 fire thanks to prayer and a strong west wind, fought neglect in 1990 with six-figure donations from the city's biggest institutions and $20 bills from poor families, and bounced back from a basement blaze in 2003.Its parishioners have represented the changing face of Chicago, encompassing waves of Irish, Italians and African-Americans. It has ridden the crest of Roman Catholic participation in city life and weathered declines that have shuttered other urban parishes.The church survived on a mixture of "determination, faith and prayer—and connections," said Rev. Jeremiah J. Boland, administrator of the church.More than once, it has fallen back on publicity stunts. When asked about the importance of showmanship—such as producing long-silent descendants of the O'Learys—Rev. George Lane, one of the church's most successful fundraisers, smiled."It does help focus attention," Lane said.Neeson and his sister Rosemary Kopfman, 80, are the great-grandchildren of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary, Irish immigrants from County Kerry. The Holy Family registry shows that Neeson's grandfather, James, was baptized at the church in 1863 and attended the parish school. A great-uncle Cornelius was baptized there in 1860, one of the first in the parish, which was founded in 1857. Neeson and his wife, Doris, brought a family album brimming with old newspaper headlines blaming relatives for burning down the city—a story the family has lived with for more than a century."Legends never die. They have a spurious immortality," begins a page snipped from Stephen Longstreet's history "Chicago." Though the cow has been exonerated, the family name has been tarnished anyway."Unfairly and unjustly," Boland said.
Holy Family was founded by Rev. Arnold Damen, a Dutch Jesuit priest who built the structure where one of America's fastest-growing cities met the muddy edge of a prairie. His plan to save his young church from the Chicago Fire involved fervent prayers to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and a promise to light candles in her honor if she interceded. The candles still burn in the east transept.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
This is an overview of grounds for scepsis about Q. These ten points are intended to function not as self-contained, knock-down objections but rather, when taken together, to encourage some critical questioning of the Q hypothesis.
1. No-one has ever seen Q
Current literature on Q abounds with editions of Q, investigations into its strata, studies of the communities that were behind it and analyses of their theology. In such circumstances, it is worth allowing ourselves the sober reminder that there is no manuscript of Q in existence. No-one has yet found even a fragment of Q.
2. No-one had ever heard of Q
No ancient author appears to have been aware of the existence of Q. One will search in vain for a single reference to it in ancient literature. For a while it was thought that 'the logia' to which Papias referred might be Q. Indeed, this was one of the planks on which the Q hypothesis rested in the nineteenth century. But no reputable scholar now believes this.
3. Narrative Sequence in Q
Q apparently has a narrative sequence in which the progress of Jesus' ministry is carefully plotted. In outline this is: John the Baptist's appearance in the Jordan, his preaching, Jesus' baptism, temptations in the wilderness, Nazara, a great Sermon, Capernaum where the Centurion's Boy is healed, messengers from John the Baptist. This narrative is problematic for the Q theory in two ways. First, it contradicts the assertion that Q is a "Sayings Gospel" that parallels Thomas. Second, this sequence makes sense when one notices that it corresponds precisely to the places at which Matthew departs from Mark's basic order (in Matt. 3-11) and where Luke, in parallel, departs from that order. In other words, it makes good sense on the assumption that Luke is following Matthew as well as Mark.
4. Occam's Razor
The British medieval philosopher Occam suggested a fine working principle: that entities should not be multiplied beyond what is necessary. How then has Q escaped Occam's razor? Luke's independence of Matthew, the thesis that necessitates Q, is thought to be confirmed by Luke's apparent ignorance of Matthew in the passages they both share with Mark (triple tradition passages). But the existence of agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark in these very passages suggests otherwise.
You must remain loyal to the papacy in theology and in practice, because that is part of your heritage to a special degree, but because the actual form of the papacy remains subject, in the future too, to an historical process of change, your theology and ecclesiastical law has above all to serve the papacy as it will be in the future.”Jesuit Paul Shaughnessy comments:
“Jesuits are all loyal to the papacy, but to the future papacy-that of Pope Chelsea XII, perhaps-and their support for contraception, gay sex, and divorce proceeds from humble obedience to this conveniently protean pontiff.”Shaughnessy goes too far, of course. There are still some admirably loyal Jesuits. But you see the move. As with the above-mentioned bishop, all things are permitted when one is a “forerunner of the Church of tomorrow.” Being a faithful Catholic is becoming now what Catholic will mean when faithfulness is redefined. Liberated by “the spirit of Vatican II” from past and present, discontinuants of the left hold themselves rigorously accountable to a future of their own desiring.
They interpreted Vatican II as a kind of “palace revolution” in which the bishops put limits on the papacy, decentralized the Church, and transferred to the laity many powers formerly reserved to priests.The Council, some believe, renounced the high claims previously made for the Church and put Catholic Christianity on a plane of equality with other churches and religions. It also ostensibly embraced the modern world and the process of secularization. Armed with their “progressive” reading of Vatican II, American Jesuits of this transitional generation became more committed to the struggle for social reform than to the propagation of Christian faith.
They saw little but evil in pre-conciliar Catholicism.Drifting from historical consciousness into historical relativism, some of this generation questioned the current validity of the accepted creeds and dogmas of the Church. At the present moment members of this intermediate age group hold positions of greatest power and influence in the Society, but they no longer represent the cutting edge. A younger group is arising, much more committed to the Church and its traditions.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
By ELLEN GEDALIUS,
The Tampa Tribune
Downtown Tampa is on the cusp of a building boom, with high-rise condos coming out of the ground, retail shops in the planning stages and museums on the drawing board. Yet in a city often criticized for neglecting its historic structures, Sacred Heart Catholic Church stands as tall today as it did more than 100 years ago. It's a building known for its stunning architecture and awe-inspiring stained-glass windows. And it's a church known for offering a sanctuary of refuge from a hectic world. "When things happen, from a policeman being shot to the end of World War II to the Kennedy assassination to 9/11, people are drawn here," said Elaine Carbonneau, church historian. "It's because of its size and magnificence, as well as its location. "It's a magnet." Sacred Heart Catholic Church is the oldest Catholic church in Tampa. More than 90 weddings are held there annually, with brides posing for pictures on the front steps of the church as their limos wait on Florida Avenue. Funerals, too, are particularly emotional in a church so tied to Tampa. "It's an important place," said Rodney Kite-Powell, history curator for the Tampa Bay History Center. "It's one of the most significant landmarks we still have in downtown Tampa." The Jesuits ran the church until a couple of years ago, when the transition was made to the Franciscan order. As the church looks to its future, including the celebration of the sesquicentennial of Sacred Heart Parish, its past is always in mind. In the early 1850s, Hillsborough County commissioners deeded property at Ashley Drive and Twiggs Street for a Catholic church. The property later was exchanged for land at Florida Avenue and Twiggs. A church was built there and dedicated in 1859.
The parish was established a year later. It was called Saint Louis Church, in honor of French King Louis IX and in honor of the Rev. Luis Cancer, a Dominican priest who came to Florida's west coast to convert the Indians.By the 1890s, Henry Plant had brought the railroad to Tampa and the area was booming. The Rev. William Tyrrell decided Saint Louis Church was too small to adequately serve the growing city. In 1897, he announced plans to build a new church. A groundbreaking was held Feb. 16, 1898, the day after the battleship Maine was blown up, starting the Spanish-American War.
The Jesuits built the church - at a cost of $300,000 - and named it Sacred Heart. Today the building looks strikingly similar to the original, which opened in 1905. The Romanesque architecture remains. The exterior is a combination of granite and white marble. Inside, most of the design is just as it was a century ago.The stained-glass windows were designed for the church and manufactured by a German company. They depict scenes from the life of Christ and some saints: Jesus saving Peter from drowning, the death of St. Joseph, St. Patrick preaching in Ireland, Jesus giving Peter the keys to the kingdom. Over the years, the church has had about 30 pastors and spawned new institutions. What is now Jesuit High School (here) on Himes Avenue started at Sacred Heart. So did the Academy of the Holy Names, now on Bayshore Boulevard. Sacred Heart Academy was established as the parish school in 1931 and is a few miles north of the church, on Florida Avenue.
Longtime Sacred Heart parishioner Sandra Polo, a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, finds herself contemplating biblical stories while gazing at the windows during services. "Beauty opens you up to the love of God, and it's a beautiful place," Polo said. "The old Renaissance windows tell the story." Polo took her first communion at Sacred Heart when she was 6. Her family regularly attended Mass, a tradition she continues today.All four of her children were baptized at the church, and two of her children were married there. "It's like my second home," Polo said. "Both of the orders have given to us great spiritual guidance." Carbonneau, too, notes that some have been attending services for decades at Sacred Heart. "There are families that are now going back four or five generations that may not belong to the parish, but their roots are here," Carbonneau said. In the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, the church was affected by the exodus to the suburbs. Sacred Heart, once a focal point in a residential downtown, was no longer surrounded by many homes. As the church's population declined, the church cut the number of Masses each week. Today, as the residential market rebounds downtown, 30 new families join the parish a month, Father Andrew Reitz said. The church and its three pastors serve about 1,500 families. More Masses may soon be added.
"We keep growing," Reitz said. "As Tampa gets more families, a lot of them end up here." Parking is a growing problem. Northern Trust Bank and the Grandoff Building allow churchgoers to park free during weekend Masses. The church also rents a lot across the street on weekends. But more spaces are needed, and the church is hoping the Diocese of St. Petersburg can buy a parking lot for Sacred Heart. The cost is easily $4 million, Reitz said. The church serves a variety of people. Take a recent Tuesday afternoon, for example. During a lunchtime Mass, several dozen people sat in the pews: retirees, young professionals, a postal worker, downtown workers, city employees. The Mass starts at 12:10 p.m. and ends well before 1, giving downtown professionals a chance to grab a sandwich on the way back to the office. The downtown location also attracts plenty of conventioneers. "It's in the heart of downtown Tampa," Reitz said. "The name Sacred Heart is a fitting name for it. People can be nourished, find some time for solitude and celebrate Mass with us." Looking ahead, the church has its challenges. Officials are trying to figure out how to best help the homeless. About 18 months ago, about 10 homeless men started sleeping on the church's front steps. Church officials didn't mind: The men were well-behaved and cleaned up after themselves. But the crowd swelled to about 70 at times, and the cursing, trash and fights became too much. Several weeks ago, the church asked the homeless to leave. The church also continues to try to find ways to get more people involved in its outreach programs. In the past 15 years or so, the church has undergone a few renovations. The Moeller pipe organ was restored in 1991. The church completed a major, multimillion-dollar restoration project a few years ago. Church officials want to light the rose window in front of the church at night. Now, Reitz said, no one truly appreciates the beauty of that stained-glass window because no one can see it. The church also is planning a restoration program in 2009. The work is scheduled for completion in 2010, just in time for the church to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Sacred Heart Parish.
Information from "Reflections: Celebrating the Centennial of Sacred Heart Church" and Tribune archives was used in this report.
Monday, December 24, 2007
SANTIAGO. - The Jesuit priest Jose Luis Aleman died early today after a bout with cancer of several years. The prestigious intellectual was dean of Economy of the Pontifical Catholic University at the time of his death, at 2 a.m. Monday December 24, 2007 in the clinic Corominas. His remains will be brought to the PUCCM campus Santo Tomás de Aquino in the Dominican capital at 2 p.m. Monday, for a posthumous tribute. The Cuba-born Aleman came to the country in 1966 and became an active figure in the fight for civil rights.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Rev. Canon Bill Lewellis
December 22, 2007
The protagonist of a posthumously published book of Italian author (Co-founder of the Italian Communist Party) Ignazio Silone lay dying. A friend comes to her deathbed, takes her hand and says,''Severina, tell me you believe.'' ''No,'' Severina says, ''but I hope.'' I will soon have completed my 70th year of life. I, too, hope. I wonder. I trust. For 18 years, I was a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Allentown. For another 18 years, I worshipped as a lay person at Grace Episcopal Church in Allentown. In 1999, Bishop Paul Marshall of the Diocese of Bethlehem formally recognized my Roman Catholic ordination and received me as a priest of the Episcopal Church. Wonder has long been central in my prayer, in my thinking, in my life. Long ago, I discovered a few guides -- and their questions -- for my journey of hope and wonder and trust. Be attentive, one guide tells me. Be attentive to your experience, i.e., to your senses, feelings, intuition and imagination, to all the evidence that precedes a hunch. Be intelligent, says another. Have you interpreted the data correctly? Might there be crucial information you haven't considered? Are there other ways the data might be understood? Be reasonable, says a third. Evaluate. Choose your best interpretation of the data. Judge wisely. Be responsible, says the fourth. Decide what you will do about what you have judged to be accurate about how you have interpreted the data of your experience. What commitments will you make, what risks will you take, to act responsibly?
Bernard Lonergan, a Jesuit theologian, called these four guides transcendental imperatives. By asking interrelated questions over and over again, the guides suggest that the way to integrity transcends self, that integrity is attained, beyond reactivity and narrow horizons of self, through multiple experiences of intellectual and moral conversion.I don't have to be religious to achieve authenticity. I don't have to be liberal or conservative. I can take the Bible literally or I can take it as metaphor, rich holy writ given for my attentive, intelligent, reasonable and responsible conversion.I don't have to profess adherence to the teachings of any man or woman or institution. I don't have to be a Democrat or a Republican. I don't have to be Roman Catholic or Episcopalian. More on Lonergan (here) , (here) and (here)
Fr. Mitch Pacwa vs. Walter Martin Debates
Thanks to (hat tip) Phil Porvaznik, here are the Pacwa v. Martin debates.Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, S.J. received his B.A. in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Detroit, summa cum laude. He received his Master of Divinity and S.T.B. from the Jesuit School of Theology of Loyola University, magna cum laude. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1976 and then continued his studies, receiving a Ph.D. in Old Testament from Vanderbilt University in 1984. He has taught at the High School, University and Seminary levels. He has lectured at conferences and churches around the world and has appeared and hosted hundreds of international radio and television programs. His fluency in twelve languages and his extensive travels throughout the Middle East have afforded him a unique understanding of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East. In the year 2000, he established Ignatius Productions in order to further promote the Gospel through multi-media teaching presentations.Yeah -- you read that right. Fluent in twelve languages with proficiency in a couple of others (including Latin, Koine Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Ugaritic, German, Spanish, Polish, Hebrew, Arabic, French (reading only), Italian, and English)! You can also catch his program on EWTN on Wednesdays at 8pm or catch a podcast of the show here.
Walter Martin vs. Fr. Mitch Pacwa on Peter and Papacy MP3
Friday, December 21, 2007
Downtown's St. Vincent's College Was the First Higher-Learning Institution in Los Angeles
by Jay Berman
They studied Latin, Greek and philosophy, played baseball against teams from USC and Cal, and swam in a pool that was considered the best of its time. The second location of St. Vincent's College was on Sixth Street between Hill and Broadway. The school was the first higher-learning institution in Los Angeles. One graduate became a Democratic Party stalwart who ran for the U.S. Senate, another was Los Angeles County's sheriff for 26 years, and a third was a beloved character actor and television pioneer. They were the boys and men of St. Vincent's College, long gone now but for half a century a major part of the educational picture of a young Los Angeles. It was the first high school and college in the city. Fifteen years before USC opened its doors in 1880, and about five miles north of what would become the Figueroa Street campus, a man named Thaddeus Amat had an idea. Early in 1865, Amat, the first Catholic bishop of Southern California, organized a meeting at his home of as many community leaders as you might expect to find in a town of 5,000. His goal was to determine the feasibility of establishing a campus in the area. There was no high school in Los Angeles, let alone a college, and Amat thought there was a need. The group decided to proceed, and Don Vicente Lugo donated his adobe at the southeast corner of Los Angeles and Alameda streets in the plaza to be used as the first campus. Bishop Amat was a member of the Vincentian Order, and the Vincentians sent some teachers to Los Angeles and opened St. Vincent's College - named for St. Vincent de Paul, the founder of the organization - in August 1865. The founding of the University of California system was still three years away, and the opening of Los Angeles' first public school was 22 years in the future. The definition of a college in those days was far different than today. Neil Bethke, archivist at Loyola Marymount University, said Bishop Amat's initial goal was to establish a seminary for the training of future priests, as well as a school for poor children. The first class at St. Vincent's - "probably no more than a dozen," according to Bethke - would have been boys of 13 or 14. As they reached college age, they would have taken classes appropriate for that educational level. St. Vincent's College became Loyola College - now Loyola Marymount University, with a main campus in Westchester - in 1918, but from 1865 until 1918, St. Vincent's students studied English grammar and composition, history, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, chemistry, Spanish, French and German. They played intercollegiate football and baseball and worked out in the campus gym.In its 53 years, St. Vincent's occupied four campuses, changed from Vincentian administration to Jesuit, and was briefly known as Los Angeles College when it was in transition between the two orders.
Its athletic teams regularly played USC, Whittier, Occidental and Cal. The baseball team, the school's most successful athletic program, even played the National League's New York Giants - today's San Francisco Giants - in three 1907 spring training games. At least five St. Vincent's grads went on to play in the major leagues. In those pre-Trojan days, USC athletic teams were usually called the Methodists in the city's newspapers, Occidental was known as the Presbyterians, and St. Vincent's athletes were frequently referred to in articles as the Catholic collegians, but also occasionally as the Saints. UCLA did not yet exist.School on the Move St. Vincent's stayed at the Lugo adobe for two years. It moved in 1867 to a two-story, seven-room building on Sixth Street between Hill Street and Broadway. The state issued a charter to the school in 1869, which Bethke described as the equivalent of today's accreditation process. Bishop Amat died in 1878, when the city's population had reached 10,000. When the college next moved, the initial report of the transaction was buried in a May 25, 1886, Los Angeles Times City Council story below coverage of a change in water rates and discussion of a new reservoir. The cost of the land and building was $100,000. The following year, St. Vincent's College moved to the northwest corner of Grand Avenue and Washington Boulevard. The Sixth Street property eventually became the site of the first Bullock's department store. The Times of Jan. 2, 1887, in the flowery style of that time, said the school's "stately walls and lofty towers" were rising and would soon be "an ornament to the city, with much attention being paid to ventilation and sanitary measures." Another Times article three years later called the site "centrally located in the residence portion of the city, within easy access by street cars from any point...." The halls and dormitories were described as "lofty and spacious" with "abundant space for games and outdoor recreation." The campus included a four-story classroom building, a chapel, a dormitory and a gymnasium. In 1901, when enrollment reached 120, a second dormitory was added as Rev. J.S. Glass, the new president, expected enrollment to rise to 200. Two years later, another article reported that St. Vincent's was "enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity," necessitating an addition to the main building. Why the success? A July 7, 1903, Times story had the answer: "St. Vincent's gives a truly liberal education - education of mind and heart - an education that makes manly men - men fitted to work out the great problems of life." For a while, St. Vincent's was an athletic power. Francis Haggerty was brought in as director of physical training (today he would be called athletic director) in 1904, when there was only a baseball team. Haggerty established football and track teams and was there for the construction of a gym and a swimming facility. The gym had a running track of crushed granite, rather than the more customary cinder. The indoor swimming pool was 50 feet long. At that time, the school had an enrollment of 225. The school's first football team, in 1904, defeated Occidental and lost to Pomona. The 1905 team played scoreless ties with USC and Pomona, lost to Cal and Stanford, but hammered the University of Arizona, 54-0. In May 1907, Haggerty left to practice law.
Many alumni went on to success. Among them were Isidore Dockweiler, Eugene Biscailuz and Leo Carrillo. Dockweiler received the first bachelor of arts degree awarded by St. Vincent's, in 1887. Four of his sons would later attend the college. Dockweiler, who became a member of the school's board of directors, passed the bar in 1889 and represented the school when it purchased the Venice Boulevard property. He became active in politics, serving on the Democratic National Committee from 1916 until 1932 and running unsuccessfully for the Senate. After his death in 1947, a three-mile stretch of beach at Playa del Rey was named for him. Biscailuz, who was descended from the city's founders, was sheriff of Los Angeles County from 1932 until 1958, 11 years before his death. Carrillo and Biscailuz were close friends. Carrillo, probably best known for his portrayal of Pancho on the "Cisco Kid" television series in the 1950s, died in 1961 at the age of 80. He had been an early advocate of the preservation of Olvera Street, Pico House and what became the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. George Herriman, another St. Vincent's alumnus, was a comic strip pioneer. From 1913 until his death in 1944, his "Krazy Kat" appeared in newspapers throughout the country. Bill Watterson ("Calvin and Hobbes") and Charles Schulz ("Peanuts") listed him as an influence on their work. There were other prominent alumni. Ferde Grofé, a pianist and composer who worked as an arranger for other composers, including George Gershwin, wrote "Grand Canyon Suite" in 1931. Fred Snodgrass, who was catching for the St. Vincent's baseball team in 1907, impressed New York Giants manager John McGraw and played in the major leagues from 1908 through 1916. William "Dolly" Gray, another baseball player, was a star in the early years of the Pacific Coast League. He won 23 games for the Los Angeles Angels in 1903, the league's first year, and had 34 wins in 1907.
End of an Era
Bishop Thomas Conaty then invited the Jesuit Order to take over operation of St. Vincent's. Bethke, the Loyola Marymount archivist, believes financial considerations likely also figured in their decision. The final commencement under the Vincentians took place June 14, 1911. A Times story the following day said the 46th annual commencement carried "a perceptible undertone of sadness" because of "a realization that this was the last commencement... under the auspices of St. Vincent's Brotherhood." At the time of that commencement, 40 diplomas were awarded, and the faculty numbered 24. "So here they were in 1911," Bethke said, "with Jesuits beginning to take over, but Vincentians were still on the board because they held the charter." The Jesuits sent a handful of teachers down from their California headquarters in Santa Clara, and the transition from St. Vincent's to Loyola began,but not without a detour. The school was renamed Los Angeles College and was moved into several bungalows on Avenue 52 in Highland Park, but the site was inadequate from the start. There were no residence quarters, meaning students had to seek rooms in nearby houses. There was no auditorium, no laboratories for science classes, and the area was considered too far from Downtown Los Angeles. Until 1914, it was a college in name only, Bethke said, serving as a prep school.On Nov. 21, 1916, ground was broken for a campus on Venice Boulevard (then called 16th Street) between Vermont and Normandie avenues. News stories said the campus would house St. Vincent's College, but that would not be the case. The Jesuits now held the charter, and a Times story of March 22, 1918, led with this paragraph:"St. Vincent's College, the first educational institution of its rank in Los Angeles, and from which many prominent business and professional men of this city have graduated, is to become only a memory. In its place is to stand... Loyola College... The change of name is to be officially announced today."
The buildings at Washington and Grand were sold to the Los Angeles Athletic Club for $460,000 in 1922. That was the end of St. Vincent's College, although Bethke pointed out that, for many years, reunion invitations were sent to alumni of "Old St.Vincent's College and Loyola." Until 1929, the high school and college shared the Venice Boulevard campus. Loyola College was moved to its current Westchester site in 1929.Marymount College, a women's Catholic school, moved to the Westchester campus of Loyola University in 1968. Loyola and Marymount merged in 1973, forming Loyola Marymount. It was the first time women had attended class at Loyola. During its 53 years, Bethke said St. Vincent's College probably graduated no more than 500 alumni. "There were years," he said, "when the graduating class was two or three people." Today's undergraduate enrollment at Loyola Marymount is nearly 6,000.
Glendon, of course, is well-known to those of us in the Catholic press who have been following her as a newsmaker. In 1995, she was the first woman named to head a Vatican delegation to a major United Nations’ conference, the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing, and in 2004 she was named president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
by Steven Ertel
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A pro-life congressman has issued a letter to Senate Democratic leaders asking them to stop delaying a confirmation vote on a pro-life attorney President Bush nominated to be the ambassador to the Vatican. Rep. Vito Fossella wants the Senate to confirm the appointment before Pope Benedict XVI visits the U.S. next year. Fossella, a New York Republican, wrote to Senators Hillary Clinton, Charles Schumer, Joe Biden and Richard Luger on Wednesday. The nomination of Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon has been on hold due, in part, to blanket Democratic opposition to all of President Bush’s remaining nominees. In a statement LifeNews.com obtained, Fossella said it is imperative to have an Ambassador in place as quickly as possible to dignify the visit of the Catholic leader. The current Ambassador, Francis Rooney, recently resigned and is expected to leave office before the Pope’s visit in April 2008.
"Ever since President Reagan formalized diplomatic relations with Pope John Paul II in 1984, the position of Ambassador to the Holy See has had the important role of strengthening the partnership with the Vatican on issues concerning the international community," Fosella said. "The Senate should not allow this important Ambassadorship to sit unfilled due to partisan bickering,"he added. However, according to the American Spectator, a Republican senator placed her nomination on hold because she has served as an advisor to Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential candidate has received significant criticism over his change of position on abortion. "[The nomination] is DOA as far as we are concerned," a senior Republican Senate aide told the magazine. "Glendon isn't going to get this without a fight from the White House and we don't think that is going to happen." One Republican leader the magazine interviewed said the nomination may move ahead but not until the Spring after the presidential primary battle has subsided. Bush's nomination follows the trend of keeping pro-life advocates in the key diplomatic position. Glendon has a long-standing pro-life position and her 1987 book, "Abortion and Divorce in Western Law" criticized the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed unlimited abortions. "What is clearly 'old-fashioned' today is the old feminism of the 1970s — with its negative attitudes toward men, marriage and motherhood, and its rigid party line on abortion," she has said. She has urged society to build “a culture that is respectful of women, supportive of child-raising families and protective of the weak and vulnerable.”
A UCF astronomy graduate will help update the observatory's telescopes.
Sentinel Staff Writer
December 21, 2007
Nate Lust is going to Rome to do what the Romans couldn't do. The recent University of Central Florida astronomy graduate has been hired to modernize old telescopes for the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, the pope's summer palace. Astronomers have been trying to do that for years without much success. Even though the observatory is outside of Rome, the Eternal City's bright lights make it hard for the Vatican's telescopes to see the stars, and that's hard on astronomers doing research, said Guy Consolmagno, the observatory's director. But Lust has found a way for UCF's telescope to electronically filter out Orlando's light pollution. His efforts are part of the reason the new 20-inch telescope at UCF's Robinson Observatory is one of the best in the state, scientists say. The Vatican hopes Lust can do the same for its optics. "They want to be able to have a Jesuit priest who doesn't know a lot about the technical side . . . to be able to sit down at a computer and say: 'OK. Let's look at this. Click. Go,' " Lust said. "I have no idea how much work it's going to take me to get to that point." The Vatican has several telescopes that could use Lust's touch, astronomers said. He'll primarily be working on a Zeiss refractor telescope built in 1935, but there may be others for Lust to upgrade before he leaves in late February, Consolmagno said."For us, the great advantage is having someone here with equipment that has already succeeded in this kind of program elsewhere," Consolmagno, who is in Rome, wrote in an e-mail. "We have every reason to hope that he will be able to help us set up a similar style of observatory here, rescuing some beautiful old telescopes with some cutting-edge technology to bring a program of regular observational astronomy back to Castel Gandolfo."
The Vatican Observatory, run by Jesuits, is one of the oldest in the world, scientists say. "We are the only scientific institution funded directly by the Vatican, but of course cutting-edge scientific research goes on at every Catholic university in the world; there's nothing new about that," Consolmagno wrote. "After all, it was in the Church-sponsored universities in the middle ages where astronomy was first studied as an academic subject."
By James Dempsey
The stained-glass window on the western side of the vestibule to the Dinand Library is a complex glow of blood red, sapphire, green and gold, showing the Virgin Mary enthroned in glory. At the bottom of the window is the legend, “In Memory of Michael Earls ’96, Priest of the Society of Jesus.” These days Fr. Earls’ name is known mostly to Holy Cross historians and a few literary scholars. Yet, in his time, and as the descendants of his many siblings know, he was a man of humble beginnings who rose to befriend the famous and who brought national attention to Holy Cross. Michael J. Earls was born Oct. 3, 1873, the oldest of 10 children born to Martin and Mary (Shaughnessy) Earls. Martin’s family was from County Clare, Mary’s from Limerick. The two married in 1872. Fr. Earls attended Southbridge (Mass.) schools and a college preparatory school in New Brunswick. In Southbridge, he briefly worked alongside his father in the Hamilton Mill and taught evening school. He entered Holy Cross in 1893, involving himself in sports and dramatics (his most famous turn was in Shakespeare’s Henry IV as “Master Quickly,” no doubt a masculinized version of Mistress Quickly), but his future was obviously in literature. He took on editorship of The Purple and began to write poetry. In 1896, Fr. Earls conducted postgraduate studies at Georgetown and traveled through Europe. He entered the Society of Jesus in September 1899 and taught for five years at Boston College, directing the college orchestra and chorus. When he left, his friends and colleagues established the Earls Scholarship for “deserving youths of Boston’s areas.” Fr. Earls returned to his first love, Holy Cross, for the 1914-15 school year. So began a career that was so closely bound to his beloved College that one tribute said his name was “almost synonymous with Holy Cross itself.”
His verse often commingled sentiments of religion and the natural world. “To an Oak in Winter” is a Petrarchan sonnet that views a winter tree as a symbol of faith enduring troubled times. In other poems, Fr. Earls faces the dilemma of belief and the battle between body and soul. “The Lifelong War” begins
“Still goes the strife; the anguish does not die,” and admits
… The spirit’s eye
Approves the better things; but senses spy
The passing sweets, spurning the present fears,
And take their moment’s prize.
He celebrated Linden Lane, the road that climbs the hill from the main entrance of the College, in at least two poems. The first, written in 1917, contrasts the beauty of spring on the campus with the ugly fact of a war that was emptying the College of its young men:
Birds are merry and the buds
Come along with May:
Lonely is the linden lane
For lads that went today.
The war and its effect on the College weighed heavily on Fr. Earls. An apparently later poem,
“The Towers of Holy Cross,” takes on a more somber tone:
And mine are gone, says Beaven Hall,
To camps by hill and plain,
And mine along by Newport Sea,
Says the high tower of O’Kane:
I follow mine, Alumni calls,
Across the watery main.
His second poem on Linden Lane was lighter, more in the spirit of a school song, which it eventually became:
There’s a hill that’s always jolly
In sunshine or rain,
And the winding road that climbs it
Is dear old Linden Lane.
The refrain is known to most alumni:
Then we’ll give another Hoya
As we go down Linden Lane,
And we’ll hear it in the echo
When we come home again.