Interesting stories I’ve found lately:
There’s no dearth of information out there about the new Pope, and his biography is widely available on almost every news service and Wikipedia. There are two posts in Whispers in the Loggia I’d recommended dated March 14: “On Day One, Pope Rides the Bus and Pays the Bills” and “Francis’ Agenda: To Walk, To Build, To Profess Christ Crucified.” Whispers won’t let me link individual posts as some blogs do, so take the time to page down and read these two (particularly if you don’t look at this the day I post it), which includes his Thursday homily to the Cardinals. For you geeks out there, there’s a clip of the white smoke if you scroll down far enough.
So much for secrecy: a rundown of what happened behind closed doors, without numbers. Of course, we don’t know who disclosed all this.
The Church can offer Congress a way to solve problems: make them do a Conclave until they get the budget settled. The idea of isolating them from all input and forcing them to stay there until they work it out is a good one, but I think they’d have to resort to tearing the roof off the capital before they’d agree. Which isn’t such a bad idea, now that I think of it.
10 Things Church Can Learn from Geeks is a title I couldn’t resist, since I am one. Mark Sandlin’s offering is thought provoking, although I’m not sure he understands entirely how Church works. However, I think these are points to consider as we try to bridge not only the new Generation Gap, but the Pulpit/Pew gap.
What is Amillennialism? is an explantion by Steve McCaskell of this theological stance, in opposition to Premillenialism and Postmillenialism. This is the one I signed up for.
Leah Libresco shares some great insights in Staring Doubt in the Face. I will have to meditate on my personal “Ugh Fields” and find ways to work on my “Rubber Duck Debugging”.
The Mindful Catholic by Dr. Gregory Popcak is a reflection on how the technique of mindfulness can be used in a Christian context. It’s good, and challenging.
GetReligion offers an excellent reflection on the nature of hypocrisy as it analyzes the coverage of Cardinal Keith O’Brien scandal. Some folks might call distinguishing between hypocrisy and a moral failing an exercise in splitting hairs, but I think it’s an important distinction. As Christians, we are all Whiskey Priests (indulge in things we know are wrong) when we talk about sin, but we aren’t necessarily hypocrites for professing a perfect Christ as imperfect followers, or promoting virtues we have a hard time using.
Rabbi Moshe Waldoks gives us some interesting reflections on the ancient Jewish practice of korbanot, usually translated as sacrifice. Reflecting on this ancient way of coming closer to God is illuminating.
Papal vetos are still out there: an Austrian Cardinal’s mother didn’t want her son elected Pope. Maybe when the full, detailed story of this conclave leaks out, we’ll see if it worked or whether they had Francis in mind all along. An American Cardinal’s mother thought her son should have been elected, but was glad he wasn’t for much the same reason.
Here’s one winner of a Papal Poll: the victor in Religion News Service’s Sweet Sistene March Madness. At least they got the right hemisphere.