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dogemperor [userpic]
NY Times article re revival of Latin Mass

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]luxetumbra)

This might be OT, so feel free to delete. I thought it was germane to this community though (as well as being interesting), as it suggests that Pope Benedict's recent revival of the Latin mass might prompt a more overt split (and potential grounds for a schism depending on how things evolve) between liberal and conservative Catholics.

The Pope Reopens a Portal to Eternity, via the 1950s.

An extended excerpt below the cut )

dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]anita_margarita)

The Vatican just made a list of The Ten Commandments for Drivers:

1. You shall not kill.

2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.

4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.

5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.

6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.

7. Support the families of accident victims.

8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.

9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.

10. Feel responsible toward others.

These are all good advice for all drivers but I am wondering about a major church body getting involved in driving policy.

Edit: Perhaps I should have included the rest of the article, which prefaced the 10 Commandments.

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican on Tuesday issued a set of "Ten Commandments" for drivers, telling motorists not to kill, not to drink and drive, and to help fellow travelers in case of accidents.

An unusual document from the Vatican's office for migrants and itinerant people also warned that cars can be "an occasion of sin" — particularly when they are used for dangerous passing or for prostitution.

It warned about the effects of road rage, saying driving can bring out "primitive" behavior in motorists, including "impoliteness, rude gestures, cursing, blasphemy, loss of sense of responsibility or deliberate infringement of the highway code."

It urged motorists to obey traffic regulations, drive with a moral sense, and to pray when behind the wheel.

Cardinal Renato Martino, who heads the office, told a news conference that the Vatican felt it necessary to address the pastoral needs of motorists because driving had become such a big part of contemporary life.

He noted that the Bible was full of people on the move, including Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus — and that his office is tasked with dealing with all "itinerant" people — including refugees, prostitutes, truck drivers and the homeless.

"We know that as a consequence of transgressions and negligence, 1.2 million people die each year on the roads," Martino said. "That's a sad reality, and at the same time, a great challenge for society and the church."

The document, "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road," extols the benefits of driving — family outings, getting the sick to the hospital, allowing people to see other cultures.

But it laments a host of ills associated with automobiles: drivers use their cars to show off; driving "provides an easy opportunity to dominate others" by speeding; drivers can kill themselves and others if they don't get their cars regular tuneups, if they drink, use drugs or fall asleep at the wheel.

It also pointed the finger at traffic problems particular to Rome: "Danger also derives from city cars, which are driven by youngsters and adults who do not have (full) driving licenses, and the reckless use of motorbikes and motorcycles."

It called for drivers to obey speed limits and to exercise a host of Christian virtues: charity to fellow drivers, prudence on the roads, hope of arriving safely and justice in the event of crashes.

And it suggested prayer might come in handy — making the sign of the cross before starting off and saying the rosary along the way. The rosary was particularly well suited to recitation by all in the car since its "rhythm and gentle repetition does not distract the driver's attention."

The document is intended for bishops conferences around the world, and as such offered recommendations for their pastoral workers, including setting up chapels along motorways and having "periodic celebration of liturgies" at major road hubs, truck stops and restaurants.

dogemperor [userpic]
Did Justices' Catholicism Play Part in Abortion Ruling?


From WaPo
By Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 30, 2007; Page A13 <- note how far back in the paper this was

Is it significant that the five Supreme Court justices who voted to uphold the federal ban on a controversial abortion procedure also happen to be the court's Roman Catholics?

It is to Tony Auth, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He drew Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. wearing bishop's miters, and labeled his cartoon "Church and State."

Rosie O'Donnell and Barbara Walters hashed out the issue on "The View," with O'Donnell noting that a majority of the court is Catholic and wondering about "separation of church and state." Walters counseled that "we cannot assume that they did it because they're Catholic."

And the chatter continues, on talk radio and in the blogosphere... )

Current Mood: cynical
dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]bodylotion)

Anyone know anything about the Thomas More Law center? I found this http://www.thomasmore.org/resources.html at their site. It includes free book covers with the 10 commandments, and a book marker with questions to ask biology teachers about evolution.

dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]luxetumbra)

(Apologies if this has been posted before - scanned the comm, but didn't see it.)

THE CHRISTIANIZING OF AMERICA A review of Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth by Richard John Neuhaus (Use Bugmenot to read it if you can't see the whole thing.)

An extended quote )

A long article, but worth the read. Here's another good article about Neuhaus and his history, if you're curious. (He was also a domestic policy adviser to Bush on stem-cell policy and gay rights).

BTW, anyone know when Damon Linker became a liberal? (or more liberal-ish - just like Kevin Phillips, I'm not sure how to describe him now.) He used to be the assistant editor of the more-Catholic-than-thou First Things, but I haven't seen any articles about there being a falling out between him and Neuhaus, the chief editor of that magazine. Linker has a book coming out in September with more about Neuhaus and Co., Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. I think I'll be picking it up.

Current Mood: thoughtful
dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]jehovahsfitness)

A new documentary claims that Catholic images have subliminal messages that have led to the abuse of children by priests. More here.

Berlin parishioners are trying to save Nazi church as a reminder of how the Christian establishment was so closely linked with the Nazi Party. I think it would serve as a great reminder to not only future generations, but the present ones of the dangers of mixing nationalism with religion, and how it is hurtful to religion.

Finally, Scientology is using it's starpower to convince the Arizona legislature to restrict psychiatric meds.
Which begs the question... Scientology is not a Christian group by any stretch of the imagination, but they are well-known to have a history of coercion and tactics similar to Dominionism. I wonder if we should not also cover the CoS's activities as well. Thoughts?

dogemperor [userpic]
Quebec Priests Oppose Vatican on Gay Issues

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]jargon_john)

In a rare public dissent, 19 Catholic priests have denounced the Vatican's opposition to gay marriage and allowing homosexuals into the priesthood.

The clerics signed an open letter that ran Sunday in Montreal's La Presse newspaper, criticizing the church's positions on the issues.

The priests said the church was invoking "natural law" to make its case against homosexuality, arguing that slavery was also once considered "natural."

Current Mood: content
dogemperor [userpic]
Liberal theologian makes peace with science

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]vanar_en_daeor)

Rehabilitated by Vatican, Hans Küng reflects on laws of nature and God

Hans Küng is not a man afraid of challenging authority. The liberal Swiss priest has confronted the Vatican so often that he was barred from teaching Catholic theology in 1979 and was long a “persona non grata” in Rome.

He also has clear ideas about where theologians should not tread. The row about evolution and intelligent design, a major issue in the United States, is a case where he says believers should not claim to know more science than the scientists.

As a man of faith, Küng sees God reflected in creation, but says this does not mean the Almighty tinkers with the laws of nature or creates life forms so complex they could not have evolved.

Read more... )

Current Mood: curious
dogemperor [userpic]
One more... scientists turning to clergy for help in fight against ID

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]exotic_princess)

"We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests," they wrote.

Catholic experts have also joined the movement.

"The intelligent design movement belittles God. It makes God a designer, an engineer," said Vatican Observatory Director George Coyne, an astrophysicist who is also ordained. "The God of religious faith is a god of love. He did not design me."

Current Mood: intrigued
dogemperor [userpic]


I read this article posted by [info]tharain and I thought it should be posted here. It'a long and detailed article about Kansas Senator Brownback; worth the read, and I think it's a good sign that Rolling Stone, a very mainstream magazine,put this article out.


Brownback's leanings seem very dominist to me, but how does that square with him being a Catholic? The movement nearly always seems to me to be associated with Pentacostal and other evangelical protestant religions.

Current Mood: cynical
dogemperor [userpic]
Did Jesus exist? Italian court to decide


ROME (Reuters) - Forget the U.S. debate over intelligent design versus evolution.

An Italian court is tackling Jesus -- and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago. Maybe we should try this here? )

dogemperor [userpic]
Catholics Successful in Censoring South Park?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]britzkrieg)

I don't know if this is technically "dominionist" activity, but it certainly shows how conservative Catholics are flexing their muscles.

Following the Dec. 7 season finale of South Park, titled "Bloody Mary," the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights slammed the network for its irreverent portrayal of church icons and sought to block the episode from being rebroadcast.

It appears the group may have met with success. A repeat of the finale was scheduled to air Wednesday night, but was seemingly pulled from the Comedy Central lineup without explanation.

In the episode, [really gross and offensive stuff transpires]. Somewhat predictably, the Catholic League was incensed by the satirical portrayal of the Virgin Mary and the pope and by the fact that the episode aired on the day before the Catholic Church celebrated its Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The conservative group demanded an apology from Viacom, Comedy Central's parent company, to Roman Catholics everywhere and "a pledge that this episode be permanently retired and not be made available on DVD." The Catholic League also sought a personal condemnation from Viacom board member Joseph A. Califano Jr., who the group noted is a "practicing Catholic."

Califano was only too happy to oblige. After viewing the episode, he released a statement calling the episode an "appalling and disgusting portrayal of the Virgin Mary."

Full Story
I've seen the episode in question -- twice, in fact. Personally, I was more offended by the writers' characterization of alcoholism as a simple lack of discipline than I was by the sacrilege. Nonetheless, this is South Park, folks. It's supposed to be offensive, and long-time fans have seen how the writers constantly "push the envelope." I doubt conservative Catholics are in the target audience.

I don't really like this episode, but I'd hate to see this attempt at censorship succeed. I hope someone will somehow make this episode available for download, as Xenu.net did with the Scientology episode.

dogemperor [userpic]
awake! awake! fear! fire! foes! awake! awake!

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]darkhawke)

This is a preliminary post - I found this referenced on Wikipedia and am trying to find corroboration right now.

The Honorable Richard Fred Suhrheinrich is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit serving in Lansing, Michigan. He made national news on December 22, 2005, when he ruled that the US Constitution does not include "a wall of separation between church and state," denying a claim by the ACLU and approving the continued display of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky courthouse.

They base the story on Catholic World News.

One chilling quote )

A PDF of the judgement can be found at the 6th District Court here.

The ruling/opinion includes:

The ACLU’s argument contains three fundamental flaws. First, the ACLU makes repeated reference to “the separation of church and state.” This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.


Thus, state recognition of religion that falls short of endorsement is constitutionally permissible.

I'm at work in a call center where research on this decision is problematic in the extreme, so I'm tossing the ball to you folks to take it and run with it. This ruling is just what the Dominionists and their ilk have been waiting for, I'm afraid.

Current Mood: infuriated
dogemperor [userpic]
Dominionist Watch


~I was wondering if any one here had heard anything about this American nun getting killed in Brazil on any of the Dominionist news outlets?

dogemperor [userpic]
NYT: Megachurches closed on Christmas


When Christmas Falls on Sunday, Megachurches Take the Day Off

Some of the nation's most prominent megachurches have decided not to hold worship services on the Sunday that coincides with Christmas Day, a move that is generating controversy among evangelical Christians at a time when many conservative groups are battling to "put the Christ back in Christmas."

Megachurch leaders say that the decision is in keeping with their innovative and "family friendly" approach and that they are compensating in other ways. Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., always a pacesetter among megachurches, is handing out a DVD it produced for the occasion that features a heartwarming contemporary Christmas tale.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Sen. Gary Hart on Talk To Action


Senator Gary Hart talks about God and Caesar in America:

The revelation that a senior White House official "cleared" the since-failed nomination of Harriet Meyers to the Supreme Court with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson reminded me of the huge controversy caused by John Kennedy's campaign for president in 1960. Then it was the religious conservatives who were up in arms about the separation of church and state and about preventing "the Pope from taking over the White House."
Can you imagine their reaction if, in 1961 when President Kennedy nominated Byron White to the Supreme Court, Ted Sorenson had placed a call to the Pope to seek his approval of the White nomination?
Reflections such as this in the context of today's political rhetoric of "faith" and "values", and the high-jacking of the Republican party by the religious right, together with my own evangelical background and divinity school studies of theology, caused me to write God and Caesar in America: And Essay on Religion and Politics.

Here's a quote from his book:

The full agenda of religious right "values"--laissez-faire economics, antigovernment biases, neo-conservative foreign policies, and rightist orthodoxy--requires a judiciary compliant with it. It does no good to convert a Jeffersonian public school system into private parochial schools, to make churches the instruments of the state by transferring public funds from social programs to them, to pass laws restricting reproductive rights, to expand law enforcement's intrusive reach in the name of security, or to torture or indefinitely detain terror suspects if a judge or court from the pre-revivalist past overturns those actions on constitutional grounds. The full religious revolution cannot be realized without a federal judiciary, up to and including at least five members of the Supreme Court, that shares those ideals and goals.

Here's a man who gets it. Read the whole post on the site.

dogemperor [userpic]
Another "Christmas war" article


This one is from Salon.com (day pass or registration required.) An excerpt:

As the holidays approach, the right is making ever more fevered preparations to thwart this ostensible conspiracy. Last week, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights launched a short-lived boycott of Wal-Mart, charging the megastore with "insulting Christians by effectively banning Christmas." The American Family Association called for a Thanksgiving-weekend boycott of Target because of the chain's purported refusal to use the phrase "Merry Christmas" in its advertising (Target denies having such a policy). A few days later, Jerry Falwell announced he was joining with the Christian right legal group Liberty Counsel's "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign," which intends to sue officials who try to curb religious Christmas celebrations in schools or other public places. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "The 8,000 members of the Christian Educators Association International will be the campaign's 'eyes and ears' in the nation's public schools. They'll be reporting to 750 Liberty Counsel lawyers who are ready to pounce if, for example, a teacher is muzzled from leading the third-graders in 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.'" Meanwhile, the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian right legal outfit co-founded by James Dobson, has ramped up its three-year-old "Christmas project, " organizing over 800 lawyers to defend the sacred holiday. "It's a sad day in America when you have to retain a lawyer to wish someone a merry Christmas," says Mike Johnson, senior legal council for ADF.

Despite Johnson's lamentations, one can in fact offer Christmas greetings without legal counsel. Christmas trees are permitted in public schools. (They're considered secular symbols.) Nativity scenes are allowed on public property, although if the government erects one, it has to be part of a larger display that also includes other, secular signs of the holiday season, or displays referring to other religions. (The operative Supreme Court precedent is 1984's Lynch v. Donnelly, where the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a city-sponsored Christmas display including a crèche, reindeer, a Christmas tree, candy-striped polls and a banner that read "Seasons Greetings" was permissible. "The display is sponsored by the city to celebrate the Holiday and to depict the origins of that Holiday," the majority wrote. "These are legitimate secular purposes.) Students are allowed to distribute religious holiday cards and literature in school. If the administration tries to stop them, the ACLU will step in to defend the student's free-speech rights, as they did in 2003 when teenagers in Massachusetts were suspended for passing out candy canes with Christian messages.

In fact, there is no war on Christmas. What there is, rather, is a burgeoning myth of a war on Christmas, assembled out of old reactionary tropes, urban legends, exaggerated anecdotes and increasingly organized hostility to the American Civil Liberties Union. It's a myth that can be self-fulfilling, as school board members and local politicians believe the false conservative claim that they can't celebrate Christmas without getting sued by the ACLU and thus jettison beloved traditions, enraging citizens and perpetuating a potent culture-war meme. This in turn furthers the myth of an anti-Christmas conspiracy.

"You have a dynamic here, where you have the Christian right hysterically overrepresenting the problem, and then anecdotally you have some towns where lawyers restrict any kind of display or representation of religion, which is equally absurd," says Chip Berlet, a senior analyst at Political Research Associates and one of the foremost experts on the religious right. "It's a closed loop. In that dynamic, neither the secular humanists or the ACLU are playing a role."

It's a myth, folks! That must be our counter to the 'war on Christmas' fake hysteria.

dogemperor [userpic]
Catholics... to the rescue?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]nocturnalseraph)

The Vatican actually did something good for a change.


Current Mood: chipper
dogemperor [userpic]
What *is* The Mission's mission...?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]amethyst_hunter)

By accident tonight I happened to be sitting in front of the TV and caught the 10 pm news. For those of you in/near the Chicago area, this may be of interest.

Channel 5 had a report on a mission named Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission, which is based in Chicago and has ties - or did - to Catholicism. Supposedly it's a mission based on Catholic principles, but according to the report, it's definitely got some cult behavior going on. One woman tearfully talked about her daughter, who literally overnight opted out of a college education and joined the mission, and hasn't been heard from since...because one of their tenets is that ALL members *must* cut ties with all outside worlders - *including* family members. That right there is a red flag.

There is a small newsclip on NBC5 Chicago's website; the report is also going to be expanded upon this coming Sunday evening at 10:00 pm. I hope I can catch it.

dogemperor [userpic]
Not sure if anyone else has caught this yet...

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]sydneycat)

Evolution in the Bible, says Vatican
By Martin Penner
From: The Australian

THE Vatican has issued a stout defense of Charles Darwin, voicing strong criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution and interpret the biblical account of creation literally.
Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin's theory of evolution were "perfectly compatible" if the Bible were read correctly.

His statement was a clear attack on creationist campaigners in the US, who see evolution and the Genesis account as mutually exclusive.

"The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim," he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that "the universe didn't make itself and had a creator".

This idea was part of theology, Cardinal Poupard emphasized, while the precise details of how creation and the development of the species came about belonged to a different realm - science. Cardinal Poupard said that it was important for Catholic believers to know how science saw things so as to "understand things better".

His statements were interpreted in Italy as a rejection of the "intelligent design" view, which says the universe is so complex that some higher being must have designed every detail.

Current Mood: intrigued
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