Potpourri of Popery, St. Moses Edition


The USCCB site lists today as the commemoration of Moses the lawgiver. Interesting. I've never heard of the Western Church observing the Patriarchs' feast days. I can dig it, though. I almost wrote, "Nomination of Sarah Palin," edition, but she's neither Catholic nor a saint, is she? Just very much on the brain. Anyway, forcing myself to think about something other than politics:

The Pope's going to Sardinia this weekend. The schedule's here, with transcripts to be added as the events take place.
B16 on his brother, on the occasion of Georg Ratzinger being made an honorary citizen of Gastel Gandolfo:

From the beginning of my life my brother has always been for me not only a companion, but also a trustworthy guide. For me he has been a point of orientation and of reference with the clarity and determination of his decisions. He has always shown me the path to take, even in difficult situations. [snip] We have arrived at the last stage of our lives, at old age. The days left to live progressively diminish. But also in this stage my brother helps me to accept with serenity, with humility and with courage the weight of each day. I thank him.


I wish I could appreciate what he says about Schubert here. Music moves me...but not this much, I'm afraid.

The annual schulerkreis with Fr. Fessio, et. al, concluded in August. They talked about themes related to vol. II of Jesus of Nazareth: the historicity of the Bible, etc. The "student's circle" also started a foundation dedicated to the works of Joseph Ratzinger.

We get to take a seminar in St. Paul from the world's greatest teacher this year: The cycle of audiences on St. Paul has begun in earnest. Installments 2 (biography) and 3 (on conversion) here and here. (The introduction was back in July.) I liked this on conversion.
He [Paul] never spoke in detail about this event; I think he assumed that everyone knew the essentials of his story. All knew that from being a persecutor, he was transformed into a fervent apostle of Christ. And this did not happen at the end of his own reflection but of an intense event, of an encounter with the Risen One.
[big snip]
What does this mean for us? It means that also for us, Christianity is not a new philosophy or new morality. We are Christians only if we encounter Christ. Of course he does not show himself to us in that irresistible, luminous way, as he did with Paul to make him Apostle of the Gentiles. However, we can also encounter Christ in the reading of sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's heart and feel him touch ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we really become Christians. And in this way, our reason opens, the whole of Christ's wisdom opens and all the richness of the truth.

Sunday's Angelus reflected on the contrast between St. Peter 2 weeks ago, when we admired him, and St. Peter last week, when Christ says, "Get behind me, Satan."
Evil exists and resists in every generation, as we know, in our day too. What are the horrors of war, violence to the innocent, the wretchedness and injustice unleashed against the weak other than the opposition of evil to the Kingdom of God? And how is it possible to respond to so much wickedness except with the unarmed and disarming power of love that conquers hatred and of life that has no fear of death? It is the same mysterious power that Jesus used, at the cost of being misunderstood and abandoned by many of his own.
After the Angelus the pope added this about immigration. He is just so...what is the opposite of ideological?.
In recent weeks the news has recorded an increase in episodes of illegal immigration from Africa. Crossing the Mediterranean to the continent of Europe, seen as a landing place of hope in order to escape adverse and frequently unbearable situations, often becomes a tragedy; the tragedy that occurred a few days ago seems to have been worse than the previous ones because of the large number of victims.
Notice the Pope doesn't say "undocumented migration"?
Migration is a phenomenon that has existed since the dawn of human history and has, therefore, always characterized relations between peoples and nations. The emergency which it has become in our day, however, challenges us and while it calls for our solidarity at the same time demands effective political responses.
In other words, he knows there's a lot to juggle --and he enumerates them: gratitude to relief agencies, of course. But then:
The countries of origin must also show a sense of responsibility, not only because it is their citizens who are concerned but also to remove the causes of illegal migration, as well as to eliminate at the root all the forms of crime connected with it.
The recipent countries have no choice but to find some sort of humanitarian accomodation, and I thought this was interesting:
[illegal immigrants] should also be made aware of the value of their own life, which is a unique good, always precious, and must be protected from the grave risks to which they are exposed in the search to improve their condition. They should also be made aware of the duty of legality which is obligatory for everyone. [emphasis mine] As as Father, I feel a profound duty to call everyone's attention to the problem and to ask for the generous collaboration of individuals and institutions in order to face it and find ways to solve it. May the Lord accompany us and make our efforts fruitful!

  • Bosnia: Fr. Vlasic, promoter of Medjugorje, under interdict latae sententiae. I know nothing about the case and am left uncomfortable with speculation being made in the blogosphere. Perhaps he will rehabilitate himself at the end of the process. And while I am personally skeptical of Medjugorje, I don't think this has direct bearing on the truth or falsity of the apparitions. Fr. Vlasic apparently broke with the seers some time ago. I only call this to your attention. When the Vatican wants to put a stop to something, it urges the faithful be made aware in language of this sort:
    Since Fr. Vlasic has fallen into a censure of interdict latae sententiae reserved to this Dicastery, I kindly ask Your Excellency, for the good of the faithful, to inform the community of the canonical status of Fr. Vlasic and at the same time to report on the situation in question…”.
  • Great Britain: slandering Newman.
  • India: Shame on India. Fr. Edward, survivor.
  • Libya: religious freedom for Christians? (Seems pretty thin gruel, but I'll take it)
  • U.S. : USCCB puts out anti-Pelosi fact sheet. Happy 90th birthday, Cardinal Dulles!
  • Vatican: ongoing discussion of what brain death is.
  • Vietnam: government reneging on promises to Church.
And finally: beware the encroaching Amish!