Secret Religious Documents

I just found Wikileaks, a good source for all sorts of secret documents, including in the area of religion. The following are interesting: Legion of Christ documents, including details on Legionary table manners Mormon Handbook of Instructions Scientology

Wedding Marches (and Dances)

You’ve no doubt seen “Jill and Kevin’s Big Day”–the current YouTube hit–in which a wedding party dances down the aisle of Christ Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN, to Chris Brown’s, “Forever.” If by some chance you haven’t, take a look. Now, I don’t really want to rain on their parade (or dance), but I…

Today at the Gym

I never thought I’d walk into a gym and have people gushing on my appearance. I’ve been working out about two months now, and have dropped from 220 to 196. I hadn’t seen the personal trainer who had set me up on my program for about ten days, or one of the desk workers, and…

Food, Inc.

My daughter and I went to see “Food, Inc.,” this afternoon–it’s playing at the Angelika in downtown Houston. If you are interested in food, where it comes from, and the politics of food production and safety, this is a must see. Have we come far since “The Jungle”? Yes–but in the wrong direction!

Eucharistic Exposition in Boston

The Boston Pilot has a story about the return of perpetual exposition of the Eucharist to the Archdiocese of Boston.  The article has some strange claims. Tim Van Damm, coordinator of the effort, said the grace at the already vibrant St. Clement community will be multiplied. “Anytime the Lord is present 24-hours a day, seven…

The Medjugorje Hoax Begins to Unravel

Pope Benedict XVI has laicized a priest at the center of the alleged apparitions of Mary at Medjugorje. More at Commonweal. Here are some links I once had on my webpage (via Web Archive) about Medjugorje, many of which demonstrate that the alleged visions were part of the hysteria of nationalism and religious fanaticism that…

Chaplain Shortage–Who’s to Blame?

A recent AP story notes that there is a severe shortage of chaplains in the National Guard. The shortage is most severe for Catholics (reflective of the shortage of priests generally) and mainline Protestant groups. Minority faiths are also drastically underrepresented: The Army National Guard has just six rabbis and no imams for its 362,000…

A Taste of Christian Zionism

A neighboring church hosted a pastors’ brunch this morning with John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. The purpose was to introduce Hagee’s organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Most of those attending were Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Baptist. I went mainly to get acquainted with my neighbors–I knew going in that my theology goes…

Democrats Wax Apocalyptic

From the Boston Globe: WASHINGTON — Massive crop devastation, melting glaciers, water shortages, millions of displaced people — all of these will drag the US military into conflict if global climate change goes unchecked, a Senate panel was warned today. … “Addressing the consequences of changes in the Earth’s climate is not simply about saving…

Changes in Phoenix Catholic Campus Ministry

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix is assuming control of the All Saints’ Newman Center at Arizona State in Tempe, replacing the Dominicans with diocesan clergy. There are a number of links to stories and blogposts on Google (link). Some say the center was “gay friendly,” and that this was the primary issue; others say the…

Catholic Church Accused of Backpedaling on Relations with Jews

Back in 2002, the USCCB Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs issued “Reflections on Covenant and Mission,” which looked at the current state of Jewish-Catholic dialogue. Some controversy ensued, and the document was yanked from the USCCB webpage. Now, that USCCB committee (with new members and staff) and the Committee on Doctrine, have issued “A…

Robert Sungenis and the Jews–Again

Back in 2002 I demonstrated on this blog that Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis had plagiarized from many notorious antisemitic sources in a diatribe against a Catholic statement of dialogues with Jewish leaders. I combined those blog posts for this article. I have just been sent a link demonstrating that Sungenis is still at it.

Greeks: “The Heresy of Ecumenism”

Touchstone‘s “Mere Comments” posts an ENI story on hostility to ecumenism recently manifested by some clergy within the Greek Orthodox communion. “The only way our communion with heretics can be restored is if they renounce their fallacy and repent,” the group said in a “Confession of Faith against Ecumenism” that they circulated recently. “The Orthodox…

Ecumenism in Action

Report of some ecumenical relations between United Methodists and the ELCA. One bottom line seems to be that doctrine doesn’t matter. Another consistent element is that pastors of one denomination do their own thing even if called to serve a church of another denomination.

Hawaii Bans Corpse Shows

Hawaii has become the first state to ban the macabre spectacles of showing plastinated corpses for profit. ABC reports. Score one for morality and decency; may other states follow Hawaii’s lead.

LC Visitation Begins

The Vatican’s “apostolic visitation” of the Legion of Christ, founded by Fr. Marcial Maciel (now discredited in many ways), begins this week. Fr. Thomas Berg, a longtime priest of the movement, who recently left, has some insightful comments in an interview with Sandro Magister.

Communion Thoughts

It’s said actions speak louder than words. And yet actions can sometimes be ambiguous without some words of explanation. That was true when Jesus started to wash the feet of his disciples (John 13)—they didn’t know how to take it. And so he explained what he was doing. Pay attention to what the text says…

The Vatican, the US Bishops, and the President

The New York Times looks at the different approaches toward President Obama of the Vatican and the U. S. Catholic Bishops. Good analysis from Fr. Drew Christensen (who has much experience working in the Middle East): “The pope is trying to engage America’s capacity for good in the world at a time when it’s really…

Bible Censored in Virginia Jail

The ACLU is going after a Virginia jail that censors Bible verses from inmate mail: STAFFORD, Va., July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia today demanded that officials at the Rappahannock Regional Jail immediately end their illegal practice of censoring religious material sent to detainees. In a letter…

The Calvin Quincentenary

Tomorrow is the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. Geneva is hosting a quincentenary conference which has completed it’s fourth day. Some samples (the blogger was clearly typing fast): “Piety in godliness is the result of attendance at public worship, preaching and the sacraments. It is meaningless to speak of righteousness without religion…

The Vatican, the SSPX, and the Press

The AP says, “Pope orders reform after Holocaust denial flap.” Reuters says, “Pope shakes up office blamed for Holocaust denier.” Even John Allen’s headline says, “Pope removes officials seen as responsible for Holocaust-denying bishop row.” But the discussion at Commonweal suggests that this interpretation is wrong. David Gibson notes, “This was all in the works…

“Caritas in Veritate”–With Teeth

Pope Benedict XVI has issued a new encyclical, Caritas in veritate. Catholics are divided on whether he is leaning left or right (See the discussion being carried on at Acton, Commonweal, America, NCR, National Review, and GetReligion); the proper perspective is to see that Catholic social teaching incorporates principles of both the left and the…