Pope on Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Pope Underlines Importance of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. That’s nice. But the reality is the “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” means nothing for Catholics in North America. I ministered in three dioceses as a lay Catholic: Ogdensburg, Los Angeles, Galveston-Houston. In none of them was the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity…

Inauguration Day

HT Christina: “Suddenly another voice spoke, low and melodious, its very sound an enchantment. Those who listened unwarily to that voice could seldom report the words that they heard; and if they did, they wondered, for little power remained in them. Mostly they remembered only that it was a delight to hear the voice speaking,…

National Museum of Funeral History

For years it was a running joke in our family. When I was soliciting suggestions from wife and kids of what we might do on a day off, and they were having a hard time thinking of something, I would say, “We could go to the funeral museum.” Yesterday, we finally did. Yes, there is…

Also 10 Years Ago …

Back in 1999 the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation signed the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.” Some of us were excited at the time and imagined that it really signaled the end of 500 years of division on this important subject. But there were plenty of Lutherans and Catholics who were…

After Ten Years

Time flies when you’re having fun. Ten years ago it was 1999, and I was leading a small group that was thinking of what we would do as the first big event for young adults for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. We took a bit from “Holy Grounds” and a bit from “Theology on Tap” and…

Liberty or Subsidiarity?

Ed Cook looks at Catholic scoial teaching in the current Liberty, especially the principle of “subsidiarity.” After tracing the history of the idea, and some positive elements, he offers a critique. Although subsidiarity has much to offer, it has weaknesses in several areas. First, it endangers church-state relations. By definition, subsidiarity is designed to limit,…

A New Adventure

I’m stepping out on a new venture this semester–Alvin Community College, where I teach Introduction to World Religiosn, has asked me to teach it in prison, at the Central Unit in Sugar Land. This is one of Texas’ oldest prisons, once supplying labor for Imperial Sugar (which owned the town bearing it’s product’s name until…

Assumptions

Interesting post at Cross-Currents about mistaken assumptions and the trouble they can cause. Reminds me of my high school who broke up the word like this: ass | u | me; when we assume, we make an ass out of you and me.

“Catholic X-Files”

From James Swan (whence the title): OK, I know I poke fun at Rome’s apologists, but they are difficult to take seriously when they post things like this. The link goes to Patrick Madrid, who titles his post, “Strange Lights in the Sky”: This story is linked to prominently today on the Drudge Report, so…

Speaker for Hire

Well, I’m always available for hire, especially on the topics of ministry with young adults, college students, or men (and also on topics like Tolkien, The Da Vinci Code, or Acadian history). But I just finished detailed outlines for a series of five talks on the development of Seventh-day Adventist theology. This was the final…

“The Oldest Hatred”

Mark Steyn, “The Oldest Hatred,” National Review. In Toronto, anti-Israel demonstrators yell “You are the brothers of pigs!”, and a protester complains to his interviewer that “Hitler didn’t do a good job.” In Fort Lauderdale, Palestinian supporters sneer at Jews, “You need a big oven, that’s what you need!” In Amsterdam, the crowd shouts, “Hamas,…

How to Fight Like a Dominican

One could say Philip doesn’t really give a yes or no answer to the question of whether there is a right or wrong way to argue as a Dominican, but he makes some careful distinctions. On the other hand, one could say that perhaps he is being definitive, if one understands he is doing so…

Don’t Panic

James Carroll Franklin was in court on a druge charge. He heard the prosecutor’s final charge to the jury recommending that the be sentenced to life in prison, and he panicked. He fled before the jury returned their verdict. He went to bathroom, and then ran. He led cops on a high speed chase across…

Majority Rule

The ELCA will be voting again on sexuality matters at its 2009 “Churchwide Assembly.” Paull Spring reports that the ELCA Church Council has now voted that votes on the subject will require only a simple majority, not the 2/3rds that was required in previous votes. What this means is that the slow and steady chipping…

Paul McCain on RJN

Paul McCain has a great reflection on the passing of Richard John Neuhaus. Here’s a snippet: I always enjoyed my back-and-forths with Father Neuhaus. He opened several doors for me while I served The LCMS President, making it possible for LCMS leadership to make direct contact with the Vatican, when ELCA leaders were intent on…