As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...
Don't Rub Off Your Ashes - "Please try not to rub off your ashes as soon as you leave church, but take the sign of the cross to all those that you meet – in your school, office, factory, wherever you may be."
Apostolic Succession - "Catholicism holds that if a Church claims to be Christian it must be able to show that its leaders – its bishops and its presbyters (or priests) – are successors of the Apostles."
Saved By Faith or Works? - "...it’s neither. And it’s both. At the very same time."
Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. II - Three excerpts from Pope Benedict's newest book. Also, go here for some reviews.
Vatican Aide Affirms, Anglican Ordinariate Very Important to Pope - "The goal of the ecumenical movement is complete visible union with one Christ and with Peter in one Church. We must cooperate and grow together."
Render Unto Caesar - "...abortion is the foundational issue at this moment in our nation’s history. We can’t evade or ignore it. Cooperating in abortion or quietly tolerating it is a grave evil." [Speech by Archbishop Chaput of Denver, concerning Catholics in politics]
Catholic Teachings Pro-Union Bias - "Generally speaking, the long history of unions has been bound up with the right of free association. So far as I can tell, the current practice of public-sector union organizing has little or nothing to do with this principle, so it is right and proper that Catholic social teaching should also recognize this."
Public Unions Get Too 'Friendly' - "The single biggest impediment to better schools in our country is the teachers unions, which look to their own interests and not those of the kids."
On the Dying of Europe and the Questions We Cannot Fail to Ask - "Europe’s fate was sealed long ago when the faith was largely abandoned and Europeans, as most of the West, set on a path of contracepting and aborting themselves right out of existence."
The Basis of Civilization - "...we have committed demographic suicide. We are paying a high price not only for slaughtering our unborn children but for contracepting them."
A Tale of Two U's - "There are two stories out there right now that couldn't be more different. Our reaction to them as a culture though is interesting. "
Why the Battle Against Gay "Marriage" Was Lost More Than 50 Years Ago - "By accepting the divorce between marriage and authentic human sexuality more than 50 years ago, we have laid the foundations for today’s gay “marriage” push. For if procreation and male/female sexual union is irrelevant to marriage, why shouldn’t homosexuals be allowed to marry?"
Is Backing These Public Employees True Social Justice? - "These are not the 1890s when fat cat profitsqueezing robber barons exploited workers, nor the 1920s when fatcat owners hired strikebreakers to beat up on the dissidents. There are no moral questions remotely resembling the “ worker is worthy of his hire” pronouncements of Leo XIII inRerum Novarum in 1891 or Pius XI inQuadragesimo Anno in 1931. Or Benedict XVI inCaritas in Veritate."
Why Is Ralph Nader Surprised by President Obama's Uncharitableness? - "...as Arthur Brooks showed in his excellent research published in Who Really Cares, 'those who support the idea that government should redistribute income are among the least likely to dig into their own wallets to help others.'"
The Genesis Problem - "One of the most important principles of Catholic Biblical interpretation is that the reader of the Scriptural texts must be sensitive to the genre or literary type of the text with which he is dealing. ...[I]t is deeply problematic to read the opening chapters of Genesis as a scientific treatise."
Baptists, Lent, and the Reformation Rummage Sale - "...things have changed a lot in the past couple of decades and an growing number of Evangelical groups are embracing—in various ways and to differing degrees—aspects of the Catholic liturgical calendar."
Liturgical Vigilantes - "Ultimately it is the job of the local Bishop to ensure that the mass in each and every parish is valid and licit in all the particulars. When they don’t, for better or for worse, others will try." See also: Fr. Z's response
Mass Confusion Over Changes in the Roman Missal - "Many parishes around the country will be preparing their people for the new translation with classes that study and explain, not only the changes themselves, but the reasons behind them. I hope many Catholics will take advantage of the opportunity with hearts open to receive." Also: New Mass Translation Offers an Excellent Opportunity for Catechesis
Unpleasant Truths - [written by Archbishop Dolan of New York] The City of New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently released its vital statistics from a year ago which showed that 59.8% of African-American pregnancies in New York City ended in abortion."
The Canard the that Pro-life Movement "Isn't Really Pro-life" - "...there’s a simple reason the pro-life movement is not a movement for more government. If the pro-life movement would incorporate into its platform a decidedly pro-government stance, it would narrow itself. It would have mixed motives and would end up excluding more people. These are people who would support laws illegalizing abortion, but would not necessarily support the other policies of the movement."
ABC Pilot: "Good Christian B#tches" - "Sometimes I just feel that Hollywood really gets us, you know. Like really understands what makes Christians tick. It makes me feel all gooey inside like the time I ate the green stuff inside my Stretch Armstrong."
ABC Ignores Jane Russell's Pro-Life Views - "...ABC’s David Wright highlighted actress Jane Russell’s “botched back-alley abortion in high school,” which led her to push “hard to expand adoption,” but he failed to mention that she described herself as “vigorously pro-life,” and that she was a conservative activist." [I'm not surprised. It's only 'news' if they want it to be 'news.'] See also: Jane Russell Learned About Life the Hard Way
The End of the Cardinal Mahony Era - "His promotion of syncretism and modernism has gained him the infamy he so richly earned among his peers." [The accompanying video would be funny, if it wasn't so sad.]
Do I have to use ecclesiastical pronunciation of Latin? - [This piece was interesting to me since I do use Latin in personal prayer...]
Liberal Hollywood Elite Trash Natalie Portman Over Motherhood - "Hollywood is all about superficiality, and escape from reality that often leads to destroying lives and families. Natalie Portman brought a sense of reality to the Oscars, that children and family are a greater priority and provide deeper significance to life than Hollywood’s highest award." [I didn't watch the Oscars - and frankly don't care about who wins. But good for Natalie Portman, at least something of value was said on that stage.]