Journal 03/31/2013 (a.m.)

    • “Carnival time is over,” the newly-elected Pope Francis is reported to have said when he was offered an ermine-trimmed mozzetta such as most of his predecessors had worn round their shoulders during the winter season.
    • Cardinal Jaime Ortega says then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio called for the Vatican to emerge from self-absorption and what he called “theological narcissism.”

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      He urged the church to refocus its energy on the “peripheries,” not only geographical but existential: sin, suffering, injustice and ignorance.

      Bergoglio’s comments were made to the College of Cardinals as it met in a conclave to choose a new pope.

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Journal 03/30/2013 (p.m.)

  • tags: catholocism blogs

    • Pope Francis has won over many hearts and minds with his simple style and focus on serving the world’s poorest, but he has devastated traditionalist Catholics who adored his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for restoring much of the traditional pomp to the papacy.
    • Francis’ decision to disregard church law and wash the feet of two girls — a Serbian Muslim and an Italian Catholic — during a Holy Thursday ritual has become something of the final straw, evidence that Francis has little or no interest in one of the key priorities of Benedict’s papacy: reviving the pre-Vatican II traditions of the Catholic Church.


      One of the most-read traditionalist blogs, “Rorate Caeli,” reacted to the foot-washing ceremony by declaring the death of Benedict’s eight-year project to correct what he considered the botched interpretations of the Second Vatican Council’s modernizing reforms.

    • A like-minded commentator in Francis’ native Argentina, Marcelo Gonzalez at International Catholic Panorama, reacted to Francis’ election with this phrase: “The Horror.” Gonzalez’s beef? While serving as the archbishop of Buenos Aires, the then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s efforts to revive the old Latin Mass so dear to Benedict and traditionalists were “non-existent.”
    • Francis also raised traditional eyebrows when he refused the golden pectoral cross offered to him right after his election by Monsignor Guido Marini, the Vatican’s liturgy guru who under Benedict became the symbol of Benedict’s effort to restore the Gregorian chant and heavy silk brocaded vestments of the pre-Vatican II liturgy to papal Masses.
    • There were certainly none of those trappings on display Thursday at the Casal del Marmo juvenile detention facility in Rome, where the 76-year-old Francis got down on his knees to wash and kiss the feet of 12 inmates, two of them women. The rite re-enacts Jesus’ washing of the feet of his 12 apostles during the Last Supper before his crucifixion, a sign of his love and service to them.


      The church’s liturgical law holds that only men can participate in the rite, given that Jesus’ apostles were all male. Priests and bishops have routinely petitioned for exemptions to include women, but the law is clear.


      Francis, however, is the church’s chief lawmaker, so in theory he can do whatever he wants.

    • “Before liberals and traditionalists both have a spittle-flecked nutty, each for their own reasons, try to figure out what he is trying to do,” Zuhlsdorf wrote in a conciliatory piece.


      But, in characteristic form, he added: “What liberals forget in their present crowing is that even as Francis makes himself — and the church — more popular by projecting (a) compassionate image, he will simultaneously make it harder for them to criticize him when he reaffirms the doctrinal points they want him to overturn.”


      One of the key barometers of how traditionalists view Francis concerns his take on the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass. The Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that brought the church into the modern world, allowed the celebration of the Mass in the vernacular rather than Latin. In the decades that followed, the so-called Tridentine Rite fell out of use almost entirely.


      Traditionalist Catholics who were attached to the old rite blame many of the ills afflicting the Catholic Church today — a drop in priestly vocations, empty pews in Europe and beyond — on the liturgical abuses that they say have proliferated with the celebration of the new form of Mass.


      In a bid to reach out to them, Benedict in 2007 relaxed restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass. The move was aimed also at reconciling with a group of schismatic traditionalists, the Society of St. Pius X, who split from Rome precisely over the Vatican II reforms, in particular its call for Mass in the vernacular and outreach to other religions, especially Judaism and Islam.

    • “He cultivates a militant humility, but can prove humiliating for the church,” Bouchacourt said in a recent article, criticizing the “dilapidated” state of the clergy in Buenos Aires and the “disaster” of its seminary. “With him, we risk to see once again the Masses of Paul VI’s pontificate, a far cry from Benedict XVI’s efforts to restore to their honor the worthy liturgical ceremonies.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Journal 03/28/2013 (a.m.)

  • tags: homosexuality

    • But it would leave the constitutionality of DOMA undecided, just as it may well leave the constitutionality of Proposition 8 undecided.

      Ultimately, that might not amount to a huge setback for the cause of gay rights. The political environment is shifting rapidly in favor of equality. But it would be a tremendous blow to the prestige of the court if, presented with the central civil rights issue of the day, it decides to take a pass not once but twice.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Journal 03/20/2013 (p.m.)

  • Building a Burger King across from McDonalds. An example of how the gay rights movement is aggressively attacking those holding differing opinions, particularly religious institutions.

    tags: gay issues churches

    • The Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., might have finally met its match.

      The church, which is known for its extreme ideologies and anti-gay views, now has a neighbor swathed in the rainbow colors of the gay pride flag.

      Non-profit Planting Peace bought a house across from the church – notorious for its “God hates Fags” and “God hates America” slogans – and decided to turn it into a gay rights center, according to

      The house – which has been named “Equality House” – even has a pride flag flying from a 30-foot pole.

      This Twitter video gives a good idea of the proximity of the house to the church.

      Planting Peace has been documenting the painting on its Facebook page, and uploaded pictures of the house after the painting was completed Tuesday to show off the finished product.

      Judging from the responses they have received so far, most people like the bright colors.

      According to messages posted on Facebook by Planting Peace, Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps’ daughter, Shirley, also likes the colors.

      “Shirley Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church just waved & said she loved the colors… So we all blew her kisses,” wrote Planting Peace.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.