Potpourri of Popery, St. John Bosco Edition

Actually, his feast was yesterday, when I intended to post this.

Papal teaching:
Sunday's Angelus, given on the feast of Thomas Aquinas, was--natch--about faith & reason. For those vaticanisti who wish to treat Regensberg as a PR disaster which must never again be mentioned, the Pope seems not to have learned his lesson --he keeps referring to Regensberg explicitly, as he does here. He also, winningly, I think, invokes Aquinas as a model of ecumenism (although the translation is a bit garbled):
St. Thomas Aquinas established a prolific confrontation with the Arabic and Jewish thought of his time, in such a way that he is considered as an always-present teacher of dialogue with other cultures and religious. He knew to introduce this Christian synthesis between reason and faith that represents a precious patrimony for Western civilization, to which recourse can be taken also today to dialogue effectively with the great cultural and religious traditions of the East and South of the world.
Fr. Schall riffs on B16's assertion in the same address that "faith implies reason" here. After the Angelus, the Pope prayed especially for peace in Lebanon & Gaza.
Speaking of ecumenism, here at last is the homily at Vespers for the close of Christian Unity week --more of a testimony, actually, on B16's own experiences in 40 years in the ecumenical movement, and a catalogue of last year's acheivements.
In yesterday's Audience he continued his catechesis on the early Church --continuing with Paul, but focusing this time on his collaborators --and their occasional disputes.
also among saints there are oppositions, discords and controversies. And this is very consoling for me, as we see that the saints have not "fallen from heaven." They are men like us, with complicated problems. Holiness does not consist in not making mistakes or never sinning. Holiness grows with the capacity for conversion, repentance, willingness to begin again, and above all with the capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness.
Amen to that!

Around the World:
Great Britain, over the vociferous objections of Card. Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, is closing Catholic adoption agencies in the name of equality. No, they didn't order them to close --but PM Blair won't allow a conscience exception to the Equality law forbidding discrimination against homosexuals, but allowing it against Catholics, as Lord Rees-Mogg points out:

Whose liberties will then have been taken away? Not the same-sex partners. …Their rights are therefore fully protected by existing laws, and will be reinforced when the Equality Act 2006 comes into complete effect. The people who will lose their liberty are, in the first place, the parents and families of children being placed for adoption.

Why do people go to Catholic agencies rather than to the more readily available Anglican or civil agencies? It will often be because they hope that children they can no longer care for will still get a Catholic upbringing in a Catholic family.

(Curtsy: ninme for the Rees-Mogg column)

  • Up North, a discussion of whether Catholicism is consistent with "Canadian values." (Curtsy: Insight Scoop.)
  • SoKo's poised to ban human egg donation. (Behold! A bioethics council that isn't merely a rubber stamp for whatever "Science" wishes to do.)
  • Ex-communicated ex-bishop Milingo is studying Unification theology in Seoul.
  • Not Catholic news precisely, but reported by a Catholic news agency: AsiaNews reports Kim Jong-Il's exiled son appears to have landed in Macao after circumnavigating for six years in search of a place to live.

At Home: Archbishop Wuerl (DC) has written his first encyclical letter for my Archdiocese: God's Mercy & The Sacrament of Penance (pdf). Its release coincides with an Archdiocesan-wide Lenten campaign to get people shriven by Easter. Every parish in the diocese will have Confession available every Wednesday evening of Lent.

And...Fr. Drinan, RIP. He's before my time, or at least before my time as a Catholic. Here's James Hitchcock's summation of Drinan's career from 1996.

Finally: it's Catholic Schools Week. Which I hope we're going to celebrate with a snow-day tomorrow.