Stories I’ve Found, 6/21/2013

Interesting stories I’ve found lately:

John Gehring gives us an opinion post from the CNN Belief Blog: How the ‘Francis Effect’ Could Rescue the Church. Pope Francis has announced new criteria for the appointment of bishops: they should be “meek, patient and merciful.” Alessandro Speciale of Religion News Service points out some key similarities between Pope Francis and his predecessor as well as the differences.

John Allen reports on the situation and struggles of Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land. Minority rights and protection are problematic on both sides of the political divide there.

Omid Safi makes a plea to President Obama in Beyond the Berlin Wall: “Mr. Obama, Tear Down These Walls”. At a commemoration of President Kennedy’s Ich bin ein Berliner speech, President Obama said: “No wall can stand against the yearning of justice.” In the name of justice, there are walls that need to be torn down today, two in particular this administration has tacitly approved.

John Dear, S.J. gives us this essay Studying Moral Ramification in ‘Ten Reflections on Drones’.  The question of the moral use of any weapon is a necessary discussion, and in considering whether the use a particular weapon, we need to strip away the myths that come any strategy or device. It’s only when we can see something in the clear light of day, without illusions, that we can really decide whether a course of action is moral.

The Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity has given us this report: From Conflict to Communion, Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017. This article from Religion News Service gives us an excellent overview, and the links will lead you to the original document if you’re so inclined.

Michael O’Loughlin tells some current stories about Being Gay at a Catholic University. The author follows up with an interview with Fr. Paul Crowley, S. J. of Santa Clara University.

Marc Barnes explores the difference between being a tourist and a pilgrim.  His points are well made and solid. May we all realize we are pilgrims in this life, and forsake tourism.

Loretto Sr. Maureen Fiedler gives us an overview of how the traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience have been redefined in our time. These reflections aren’t about doing away with the vows, but expanding them.

Jonathan Merritt asks if Hollywood is using religion to make money from the new Superman movie. I’ve just seen Man of Steel and my opinion is: Yes, absolutely. It’s definitely not a religious movie by any stretch, and I’d only recommend it if you enjoy seeing people and vehicles being thrown through buildings and flying debris; a festival of every kind of shrapnel. There’s also plot holes here you could fly a Kryptonian spaceship through, if not Krypton itself.

Once again, an overview of the philosophy of Ayn Rand, its connection its author and to reality, and its effects on society. This is a good short summary of her life and thought.  Oh pardon me, Ayn said there was no such thing as society, so I guess she wouldn’t have an effect on it, would she?

Leah Libresco shares a great response to Steven Colbert’s eulogy of his mother.  The clip of his testimonial is there as well.

A feel good story: a barber wins the right to keep giving shaves and haircuts to the homeless. It seems rather petty that people would want to stop anyone from providing any kind of service to the homeless.

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