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...
9 things you need to know about the "Chair of St. Peter" - "Yes, there is a physical object known as 'the Chair of St. Peter.' It is housed at the Vatican, at the back of St. Peter's basilica. February 22 is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. And there is more to the story. Here are 9 things you need to know..."
The Dynamic Continuity of Benedict XVI and John Paul II - "Papal biographer George Weigel discusses how this pair of Popes has shepherded the Church into a new era of ‘Evangelical Catholicism.’"
Benedict and the Second Vatican Council: Calming the Storm - "Many of us were born post-Vatican II, but we all continue to live the Vatican II challenge in one way or another. In no way is the work of the Council complete, and much of the work up to now has been simply clarifying which Council is our source — the Council of the Fathers or the council of the media."
Benedict XVI: Reason’s Revolutionary - "...if there is one single thing that stands out in Benedict’s papacy, it’s this: his laser-like focus on the root-cause of the intellectual crisis that explains not only Western culture’s present wallowing in facile relativism ...but also the trauma that explains the violence and rage that continues to shake the Islamic world and which Islam seems incapable of resolving on its own terms. And that problem is one of reason."
How Changeable Is the Face of the Papacy? - "The ability of the papacy (and the Catholic Church) to adapt to the needs of every age, and yet maintain the unchanging faith revealed by Jesus Christ to the apostles is the Catholic Church's greatest strength, and this adaptability combined with permanence has only been possible because of the papacy."
An Unchanging Church - "The Catholic Church is a rock in a desert of shifting sands, an unchanging diamond in a sea of shattered glass. Her constancy is Her power; Her fidelity to Christ her strength. Let the Church be as She is, or cease to be."
Msgr. Ratzinger: My Brother’s Decision Was for the Good of the Church - "'He no longer has strength,' Msgr. Ratzinger observed. 'He is going through the natural process of aging, like I am as well.'"
Will Benedict Still Be ‘Pope’? - [I understand that he will revert back to being called Cardinal Ratzinger...but this piece does make a valid argument.]
Vatican says no to conspiracy theories over Papal resignation - "The Church has always been plagued with accusations of scandal throughout its history. Sadly, some of the scandals have been quite real, but many of them have simply been vicious stories concocted by enemies of the faith."
Catholic Left Braces for New Pope - "The Catholic Left will again be in a state of shock once the new pope is named. Having lost on virtually every issue that excites them—and nothing excites them more than sex—they are now bracing for more bad news."
What Popes Are For - [Ordinarily I shy away from posting anything from Huffington Post, but this guy is a solid Catholic writer from Catholic Vote.]
Has Benedict already chosen his successor? - "Speculation is rife as analysts predict who the next pope will be while analyzing changes both made and proposed by Benedict and their impact on who will be our next holy father." [Includes video]
Dolan.? The times and his contributions suggest it. - [An American Pope...Hmmmm. Maybe.] See also this piece: Cardinal Dolan…Pope?
Dear Media: Meet the First African Pope! - "With the imminent election of a new pope, we are sure to hear a lot of talk from liberal media personalities that the Catholic Church should elect 'the first African pope.' Well, good news! We already did."
How to Become Pope -
"While most Catholics are likely to already be familiar with the
process, my fellow Protestants will likely find this video on how the
pope is selected to be helpful and informative."
10 things you need to know about Jesus' Transfiguration - "The Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Lent commemorates the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration. This event is hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean?"
The Scientific Basis for Defending Life, Opposing Abortion - "We pro-lifers have no excuse to fail to understand or be able to explain exactly how and when human life begins from a scientific standpoint. If you believe that every human is worthy of protection, here’s your scientific basis for arguing that a new human life begins at the moment of fertilization and ought to be protected from that point."
Medical Examiner Confirms 33-Week Abortion Killed Young Woman - [This is just sad. She certainly needs our prayers.]
Legislators Behind Religious-Freedom Law Back Hobby Lobby - "Nearly a dozen U.S. lawmakers who supported a 1993 law protecting religious liberty have formally defended Hobby Lobby in its recent religious-freedom lawsuit."
G. K. Chesterton: It’s Not Gay, and It’s Not Marriage - "...Chesterton’s prophecy remains: We will not be able to destroy the family. We will merely destroy ourselves by disregarding the family."
Obama Administartion may ask the Supreme Court to overturn definition of marriage in California - "Some have interpreted Obama's call for gay rights during his Jan. 21 inaugural address as a signal that he now sees a federal role in redefining marriage."
On Two Compelling Legal Briefs that Challenge Same-Sex Marriage - "A mountain of friend-of-the-court briefs has landed in the hands of the Supreme Court, some of them utterly fascinating. Two of the briefs are notably interesting, one from Professor Robert George of Princeton and his talented young collaborators Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation and Sherif Girgis who is toiling on a law degree at Yale and a Ph.D in Philosophy at Princeton."
Controversial Priest’s Lawsuit Against LifeSiteNews Advances - [It makes me sad that men like this wear the collar.]
What Uncle Sam could learn from the Catholic Church - "Society does not necessarily mean government, although it doesn't exclude it either. It certainly didn't mean 'government' in Aquinas' time. The Christian church pioneered hospitals, outreach to the poor, and education for the masses long before governments decided to enter into those industries, even after they became industries."
“Hurry Up and Die:” Why No Babies Means No Future for Japan - "The economic consequences of declining fertility rates are no secret. Yet, telling people they should have more children these days is only slightly less popular than urging the elderly to 'hurry up and die.'"
6 Reasons Not to Say You're "Done" - "Just as the newlywed who feels sure that she wants 12 kids would be wise to scale back her family size discernment timeframe and take it year by year, so should those of us who feel ready for a break from childbearing think of ourselves as being done for now as opposed to being done, period. Here's why..."
Divorced Catholics and the Eucharist - "It is important to note that at issue here is not only a Catholic’s own personal, internal spiritual state, which might very well be known to him alone; but also his external, visible status in the Church, that may be known by other members of the faithful as well."
NBC declares war on Christians - [Yeah, no kidding. They aren't the only ones.]
Fr. Barron Comments on the Vampire Craze - [As usual, a great video commentary from a great priest.]