Stories I’ve Found, 1/3/2014

Interesting Stories I’ve Found:

Here’s the text of Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message Fraternity: the Foundation and Pathway to Peace. Wake Up the World! is a conversation on religious life published today in La Civiltà Cattolica and this summary presents some quick quotes.

Grant Kaplan of Saint Louis University gives us Celibacy as Political Resistance. It’s an extremely long article, although a very good history lesson of an early 19th century German debate on clerical celibacy. In short, celibacy was advocated at that time and place as independence from state and local cultures which sought to subordinate the Church to its own ends.  Pastors with families were seen as vulnerable to social pressures to restrain their activities. The Papacy provided a focal point for this resistance, presenting the wold vision of Christianity as opposed to Christianities that were being developed to serve the goals and purposes of the state. As we renew the conversation about celibacy, it’s important to take all the cultural pressures on churches and people into account, and whether celibacy can still provide freedom to serve the Gospel.

Sifting through the chaff: Agreeing With The Pope by Misinterpreting Him pulls out some important misrepresentations in commentaries about Evangelii Gaudium.  Michael Sean Winters presents some of the economic issues being debated.

Elizabeth Scalia wonders Is the World Making an Idol of Pope Francis?  Like the piece from Millennial Journal a few weeks ago, and this is a great observation: “Just as the Gospel narrative loses depth of meaning when Jesus’ words are cut, the chopping of Francis’ words to self-actualizing soundbites serve only to haul his more complex and profound messages into the shallow water, a place suitable for wading but not for deep submersion.”

Jim Wallis gives us his take on Pope Francis’ popularity.  Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie gives us his perspective on the Pope from an outsider’s view, looking especially at what our Pontiff surfaces about us and our expectations and longings.

From A Lost World shows us two young men who were victims of the Great War: a French novelist and an English composer.  We must always remember the cost of war; a quote from Robert E. Lee is very appropriate: “What a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has grated us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world!. . .My heart bleeds at the death of every one of our gallant men.” (letter to his wife on Christmas day, 1862–two weeks after the Battle of Fredricksburg.)

A trial of anti-nuclear activists in an Kansas City, MO courtroom ended with a twist.  Check this story out and reflect on the questions at the end; they are very thought provoking.

Millennial Journal has chosen their Millennial of the Year 2013: Malala Yousafzai, the young woman shot in the head by the Taliban for her commitment to education.  A great quote from a beautiful person: “I don’t want revenge on the Taliban. I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban.”

The title was enough to hook me Punk Rock Catholicism.  This article reflects on the career of Lou Reed and the power of music to challenge us by presenting unseen realities.

Pope Francis recently raised the issue of public breast feeding, and this article from Religion News Service gives us the current picture in the churches of this country.

5 Movies That Will Make 2014 ‘The Year of the Bible’   I have mixed feelings about these films: I’m glad they’re coming out, but given how well Hollywood tells stories these days, I’m skeptical about the misconceptions they may put out there, particularly since the Burnett/Downey team is doing a film about Jesus.

From the “Why Is This Happening?” category Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden, NJ has just purchased a new residence that was previous owned by a university president for half a million dollars.  The details of this pad aren’t quite up to the Bishop of Bling’s standards, but they are ample, so say the least.

For my old friend Kay: Jewrotica provides a list of the Sexiest Rabbis of 2013.  It’s better than the excerpts of the Vatican young priest pictorial I saw last month, but I’m not converting.


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