Stories I’ve Found, 1/31/2014

Interesting Stories I’ve Found:

Men of God literally putting their lives on the line for peace: Orthodox priests stand between riot police and protesters in the Ukraine.  A quick look at the state of the Catholic Church in China, which is bad, very bad.

This rundown by John Allen of Catholic life in Rome and how the complex forces of ecclesial life play out is a good primer in how the Catholic Church holds different operating priorities in balance, as well as updating us on various long term developments on various causes.  John Allen’s last All Things Catholic column keeps up the great standard that’s been present from the beginning: he reports on significant action from Pope Francis on the role of women, the Rolling Stone‘s Benedict bad/Francis good chariacture and the Papal graffiti artist.  Will have to subscribe to the column when it moves to the Boston Globe.

Has Pope Francis made his first mistake? Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J. says he has.  The action criticized is making 4 Archbishops from the Curia Cardinals next month; Fr. Reese thinks there should be a moratorium on creating new Cardinals so the Curia can be transformed into a real civil service. Interesting point although I’m not sure how much I agree with it: I think it’s a question of how much they should be represented and agree they’ve been over-represented to date.

Is the Catholic Internet a hotbed of Donatism? This post from the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy explains what Donatism is, how it’s present in Catholic discourse on and off the Internet today, and prescribes the remedy.  The observation’s on target, and the remedy proposed is the correct medicine, if only we can all understand the full meaning of Eucharist.

Pope Francis has kind words for Notre Dame University, and talks about the nature of Catholic universities.  Michael Sean Winters expands the story in with some important reflections..

‘Jesus Wants Followers, Not Admirers’ Michael Sean Winters offers some excellent insights based on a passing remark by Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas.

A participant in Vatican II is remembered, Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, and quoted in this article in Millennial Journal: How To Create A Church of the Poor.  Visionary stuff.

Omid Safi explores a famous quote from the prophet: “Die before you die.”  This post is particularly valuable for his story about how his classes respond to the question “What would you do if you only had __ amount of time to live?” and how the answer change when different time periods are inserted.  In A Courage to Love, he shares with us some poetic images on love as a spiritual path from Rumi.

Jonathan Merritt interviews Skye Jethani, who’s just written a book that says the view of the future most Christians hold is un-Christian.  I agree with the author’s contention that our view of the future shapes much of our thinking in the present, and this exploration seems to be very worthwhile.

A rabbi who serves a Jewish community that does not believe in God.  This interview is interesting because it walks a margin almost no one else is doing publicly. It’s also an interesting reflection on the meaning of identity, and brings up principles for all of us as we reflect on our identities.

Can Atheists be spiritual?  Chris Stedman gives an overview of the question from the inside, and it has implications for all of us.

Does demonic possession happen? This story from Gary IN isn’t made up, and it is thought provoking. It’s also reasonable. This story about exorcism may not be: can you really be exorcised via Skype?  I wouldn’t try it.

When do children start hating outsiders, people who aren’t part of their group?  This German study indicates the bias starts around age 8, which is close to the range of “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught” by Rogers and Hammerstein, although it appears to happen spontaneously.

What issue are Conservatives and Liberals agreeing on? Prison reform.  It’s about time.

The many faces of Jesus: a slideshow of an exhibit in a Kansas City church.  It’s always interesting to see how people picture Christ.

An amazing story of misinformation, to say the least. A Virginia State Senator calls Dorothy Day a “loathsome person” and wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI opposing her canonization.  I try to avoid it, but horror even fascinates me at times.

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