Stories I’ve Found, 11/29/2013


Interesting stories I’ve found:

Pope Francis released his new Apostolic Exhortation on Tuesday: Evangelii Gaudium, (The Joy of the Gospel). It’s here on the Internet, and you can download the .pdf here, thanks to Whispers in the Loggia.  Catholic News Service has this summary,  and a collection of quotesLa Stampa summarizes the document’s instruction to preachers.  Michael Sean Winters has some interesting first, second and third impressions.  John Allen calls it the Pope’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and talks about how Francis seeks a church that “breathes with both lungs.”  Fr. Jim Martin sees it as a “ringing response to prophets of doom.

This is a document we may need to create study groups for.

This Is Why Poor People’s Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense is a first person account of poverty today by someone who is poor.  My generation sees poverty in light of the Great Depression, which our parents were raised in and our grandparents lived through. There are many things different in this account today and the nature of the poverty our ancestors lived through. Grasping that will help us understand it better, and find better strategies for minimizing it.

John Gehring puts the Catholic Campaign for Human Development into focus.

Another report on the trend of re-homing in America, the practice of informally re-assigning the custody of children outside adoption or foster care, detailing some of the realities and abuses in this practice.

“Getting” Pope Francis or Not.  Michael Sean Winters shares three themes from posts he’s found that process the ongoing effect of Pope Francis on the Church. The Pope is Forcing Us to Redefine Ugliness, a story giving a lot of background on our standards of beauty and the specific disease afflicting the man the Pope embraced.

The prosecutor of clerical abuse cases at the Vatican, Fr. Robert Oliver, gives John Allen an interview about the status of the Church’s response to sex abuse cases around the world at this time.

The Christian Intellectual is a post by R. R. Reno about this vocation. His observations and very common sense, as well as very charitable.

Tony Woodlief gives us a picture of how we believe facts in his post Scientific Privilege.  It’s a reminder that although scientific method and the research it produces is useful, it’s not everything, and there’s a lot we can know through other means.

Are Your Really Calling for a Schism, Tony Jones? Billy Kangas takes on Tony Jones about a call for a schism made to promote women’s equality. I would come down on Billy’s side: taking Tony up on his call would deepen divides, create new ghettoes, and do little to bring justice to any issue. Martin Luther King once said he wanted to convert the racist so they could celebrate God’s freedom together: this seems like the opposite of King’s approach.

Reconsidering Sacrificial Love in Harry Potter delves into an obscure piece of the story: the protection Harry’s Aunt’s home gives him.  Intriguing stuff.

Marcus Borg makes an excellent point in detailing how individualism is contaminating American Christianity.

Martin Marty makes in interesting point about the “stunt” in Springfield IL, where an exorcism was performed after that state legalized same-sex marriage.  He is right: stunts never seem to lead to changes of mind or heart.

This Brian Jones article unpacks the differences between Catholicism and Libertarianism. There are some great distinctions here, including the purpose of Law in the first place, and whether the need for Law is positive or negative.

Leah Libresco says that Football is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Beings. She’s right, and I couldn’t have put it better myself.

An old friend of C. S. Lewis shares memories of the great man in this interview 50 years after his passing.

How Catholic Was John F. Kennedy?  This CNN Belief Blog post fills in a lot of details about the President’s background, beliefs and practices, as far as it can be known. Mark Silk explores JFK’s Tattered Religious Legacy.

When was the Buddha born?  New excavations may change our perception of when that was: it may have been 3 centuries earlier than we thought.

Missionary Dating?  Dear Prudence gives advice to someone who’s been through this: a spouse who pretended to be agnostic through courtship, then revealed their aggressive faith commitment and expectations after marriage. I’ve never heard of this practice before, but I find it credible and I’m glad I never fell victim to it. This practice would break one of the Ten Commandments: Thou Shalt Not Lie.

In Black Friday: Craving Bargains and the Desire to be Whole, Omid Safi reflects on what the shopping urge is really about and what it truly seeks.


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