Interesting stories I’ve found lately:
John Allen, Jr. lays it all out for us about how the Conclave works. Turns out it’s not as exciting as in the movies. By the way, if you check out Allen’s page on National Catholic Reporter, he’s doing a piece each day on every major candidate for the Papacy.
Here’s the latest (Thursday) official take on possible changes to the papal election process. The Cardinals can also make changes after the resignation takes effect in the meetings they have before the Conclave.
Once again, GetReligion straightens out some warped thinking. The question: will Benedict still be infallible after he leaves the Papacy? A lot of folks are speculating about this, but the authentic answer is rather easy to anyone who understands how infallibility works in the Catholic Church: NO. GetReligion unpacks the truth and surveys the misunderstandings.
Rabbi Ebn Leader discusses the nature of reciprocity with God in Ask Not What God Can Do For You. It’s an interesting concept, that we have to respond to God’s gift to us by offering Him something so He may elevate us. It will take a lot of digestion, however, before I have much to say about this.
Joel J. Miller unpacks the dangers of DIY spirituality in two blog posts, here and here. He’s entirely right, and his mini history of the trend in the past few years is informative. An individual spiritual journey is of vital importance to everyone, but doing it completely on your own is a open door to serious self-deception. It might drive you crazy (or crazier). Look at the strange places people take Scripture on their own.
A government contemplates raising a barrier that will separate a monastery from the people they serve. Although I’m glad it’s not this country, this should be a outrage to everyone, everywhere.
You might remember the article on religion and science by Max Telemark I linked last Friday. This week he responds to some hostile negative feedback: not from Christian fundamentalists, but atheists!
Laurie Israel talks about the Upside of Infidelity, which is a crazy title for an article with some good sense about truthfulness in the totality of a relationship. Small things make a big difference in any relationship.
Andrew Sullivan makes an interesting point in How Capitalism Creates the Welfare State. One quote about how capitalism is affecting the world is: “I fear its power – given that it relies on emitting carbon in vast quantities – will soon make the world less habitable for large numbers of people. I fear it may kill so many species we will have become God on our own earth.” I would say that some people would like to take that role, and some folks already have practically speaking, from both government and business.
What was George Washington’s faith like? Darrin Grinder walks around the great man’s life to see the shape of his beliefs.
Was Pius XII Hitler’s Pope? This question is rebutted by a recent book The Pope’s Jews, which is reviewed by Elizabeth Scalia in this article. The entire question illustrates why it’s difficult to walk back through history and second guess policies and actions: hindsight is 20/20, after all. From what I’ve read, and from auditing a course in seminary on the history of the Churches during the Third Reich, I’d have to say the case against Pius XII is overdrawn, thanks to the Hitler’s Pope by John Cornwell. Anyway, I’ll have to get this book to read myself.
Of all the stories about the future of the Papacy in the wake of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, GetReligion finds some ludicrous journalism as they award the 2013 All England Pope Bashing Contest. Good grief, sometimes I think even I could pass as a journalist these days.
The Ten Most Wonderful and Strange Foods for Lent is an interesting and amusing list. I’m not planning to chow down on muskrat, barnacle goose, or skunk headed coot, but finding the Rauchbier sounds like a good Lenten goal.
It’s always good to find out what makes a conspiracy theory. I don’t pay attention to most of them, except the ones about unscrupulous powers calculating exactly how much to bleed us dry at places like the gas pump.
Fr. James Martin, S.J., lays out the reasons he should be the next Pope, and it’s a good case. However, I think the best candidate for Pope has emerged, and I think we can all agree on him. The problem would be getting him here from Dagobah.