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...
Holding Hands During the Our Father, and Other Liturgical (or Not So Liturgical) Calamities - "What I find out there sometimes sets my blood boiling, and at best leaves me scratching my head, and at its worst, leaves me poorly disposed to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist."
Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Altar of the Chair, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome - Mass in Latin said for the first time in decades at St. Peter's in Rome
Sola Scriptura and the Authorship of the Gospels - "...to the extent Evangelicals reject the Church Fathers, they're cutting of the branch on which they're sitting. Without the Fathers, you can't say who wrote the Gospels, or whether the Gospels were considered orthodox by the early Christians, or whether they were considered inspired Scripture."
Serfs of the State Welfare Plantation - "...in the hands of some Catholics, Catholic social thought has been reduced to another argument for what Blessed John Paul II criticized, in the 1991 social encyclical Centesimus Annus, as the Social Assistance State—what Americans more familiarly call the Nanny State."
Speaker of the House Delivers Address on Humility, Patience, Faith - "Commencement speeches should be about sharing a little wisdom. Here you have the most basic and essential. Delivered with not just talk of humility, but a demonstration of it — in speaking of the source of real power, in speaking of one of his own political falls."
An exchange of letters on the House budget between Paul Ryan and Archbishop Dolan - "Ryan is a Catholic, and the author of the House GOP budget. Dolan is the current president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the former Milwaukee archbishop."
Breaking Stained Glass Windows - "When the Church teaches that we must offer a “preferential option” for the poor, does she really mean that, in every case where a person wants something funded by someone else who has more money, the former should get it? That is what some Catholic writers seem to think."
Is Multiculturalism Just Another Form of Multiculturalism? - "...historically western culture has produced the highest standard of living, had the most stable economies, produced the most just and equitable forms of democratic government, has a rich deposit of learning, and brought forth a great expression of the dignity of the individual."
The Other Gay Marriage Debate - "I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the demand for gay marriage has followed closely on the heels of our culture’s widespread acceptance of contraception, and the radical re-thinking of the purpose of marriage and human sexuality that came with it."
What the Church Has Given the World - "Without the Roman Catholic Church there would be no Western Civilization."
The "experience of the heavenly liturgy has been lost since Vatican II." - "Our current translations treat the liturgy basically as a tool for doing catechesis. That’s why our prayers so often sound utilitarian and didactic; often they have a kind of lowest-common-denominator type of feel."Pope's 'reform of the reform' in liturgy to continue, cardinal says - "The pope's long-term aim is not simply to allow the old and new rites to coexist, but to move toward a "common rite" that is shaped by the mutual enrichment of the two Mass forms..."
Who Would Jesus Whip? - "Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans said that a local Catholic school must permanently ban corporal punishment for student misbehavior, even though many parents and alumni support the practice..."
Bishops of England and Wales Re-establish Fish of Fridays - "The decision will go into effect on September 16, the first anniversary of Pope Benedict’s visit to Scotland and England."
The restoration of the Friday fast is a historic day for English and Welsh Catholics - "The bishops might now turn their attention to building on their achievement: what about restoring our midweek Holydays of Obligation?"
As new round of Anglican-Catholic talks begin, some question the purpose - "William Oddie, a former Anglican vicar and journalist from England who converted to the Catholic Church, says the problem with ARCIC is that only the Catholic side of the table represents a clear, collective viewpoint."
The First Mass for Artists - Must see images of gorgeous church in New York. Surprisingly the breathtaking artwork is recent.
Inside story of Marian mosaic told on Bl. John Paul II's birthday - "After the assassination attempt on May 13, 1981, Vatican officials were evaluating the possibility of placing a plaque, or some visible sign, in St. Peter’s Square in the area where the Pope had been shot..."
Rome’s exorcist finding Bl. John Paul II effective against Satan - "I have asked the demon more than once, ‘Why are you so scared of John Paul II and I have had two different responses, both interesting."