People are making a big deal about the apparent contrast between Pope Francis’ comment back in July of 2013 where he said in reference gay persons: “If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, well who am I to judge them?” and the priest who revealed that he has same-sex attraction and has a male partner and was subsequently fired.
Is there really a conflict here? There may be conflicts elsewhere, but certainly not between what just happened and what Pope Francis said.
In July of 2013 Pope Francis was answering a question with reference to a supposed “gay lobby” in the Vatican: “I think that when you encounter a person like this, you must make a distinction between the fact of a person being gay from the fact of being a lobby, because lobbies are not good.” By definition, lobbies are trying to push an agenda. In the case with a gay lobby, an agenda toward changing the Church’s teaching. Pope Francis was saying that as long as such a gay person “seeks the Lord and has good will,” then there’s no problem.
I’ve published a new electronic article on Kindle dealing with the influence of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, “J.R.R. Tolkien and the Blessed Virgin Mary.” At the moment, Amazon is having a special on this article, as well as my e-book on the historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. Both are FREE for a limited time only. The Tolkien article is FREE through this upcoming Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 (I think), and my e-book on the historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus’ Resurrection: A Jewish Convert Examines the Evidence, is FREE through this upcoming Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 (I think). One of the neat things about the Kindle version of my Tolkien article is that most of the Tolkien sources I examine have links so that if you click on the link and have internet access on your Kindle, it takes you to free online versions of Tolkien’s writings like the Lord of the Rings and some of his lesser known works. After this temporary sale, the Tolkien article will be available for 99 cents, at least for a few months, and the resurrection book will be available for $5.29 (again, at least for a few months).
So, I’ve started a new initiative. I’ve been publishing a few pieces on Kindle from Amazon.com, and I thought I’d share them here on this blog. The first piece, pictured above, is a book about the historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, entitled, Jesus’ Resurrection: A Jewish Convert Examines the Evidence, which is available to purchase from Amazon for your Kindle. In this volume I go through some of the important lines of evidence which helped me in my own conversion.
The next publication which is also available from Amazon on Kindle, I have entitled, “Scott Hahn and Benedict XVI on Scripture and Liturgy.” This is a short essay dealing with the issue of liturgical biblical interpretation, relying primarily upon the work of Scott Hahn and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. It contains a good overview of the role the liturgy has played in biblical interpretation throughout the Church’s history, and why the liturgy is a privileged setting for Scriptural interpretation, and for encountering Scripture in general.
The only way we can be saved from succumbing to the inflation of words is if we have the courage to face silence and in it learn to listen afresh to the Word. Otherwise we shall be overwhelmed by “mere words” at the very point where we should be encountering the Word, the Logos, the Word of love, crucified and risen, who brings us life and joy.
If you watched Pope Francis celebrate Midday Prayer today you might have thought there was something wrong with your feed. At one point I thought my connection was buffering…
But no, there were actually periods of silence. At a certain point it seemed like the silence went on for one or two minutes!
Why? Where does all this silence come from?
As surprising as it might be to some, sacred silence is “part of the celebration” and is indeed demanded by the nature of the “dialogue between God and his people taking place through the Holy Spirit” (SC 30; GIL 28).
In the introductory chapter to his, The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom, the late Orthodox priest, Fr. Alexander Schmemann (+1983) lays out the rudiments of a Eucharistic ecclesiology very similar to that articulated by Joseph Ratzinger. Schmemann’s key assertion as he sketches this vision is that there is in the liturgy an
“undoubted triunity of the assembly, the eucharist, and the Church, to which the whole early tradition of the Church…unanimously testifies” (11).
That said, this unity has been broken apart, not fundamentally, but in the everyday understanding of clergy and laity alike. For Schmemann, such a reunification is the task of liturgical theology as it uncovers “the meaning and essence of this unity” between “the assembly, the eucharist and the Church” (12). The “assembly” or σύναξις is the first move in the liturgy, as it were. This assembling is the action of Christ gathering His people together for communion/κοινονια. So often, Schmemann notes, we look at the Eucharist through individualistic eyes, not seeing that the entire form/ordo of the Eucharist is a dialogical movement between priest and people. In particular, the anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer takes the form of a dialogical synergy or a working together of priest and people whereby they form “one organic whole.” Christ calls out the people from the world and forms them into an assembly to be united to Himself, to be the Church. When gathered together the assembly does not act on its own, but is united with Christ in the person of the priest. This unified working together (synergy) makes new what the Church is by renewing Christ’s unbloody sacrifice in the Eucharist and offering that synergistically to the Father. In the exchange of the offering the Holy Spirit operates in such a way that He both transforms the offerings into Christ’s body and blood and then works a similar transformative action (again, synergistically) on the assembly as they receive the Divine Gifts of Christ’s Body and Blood.
I read with enthusiasm R.R. Reno’s First Things essay “The Return of Catholic Anti-Modernism” and, as always, appreciated his many insights. He helpfully pointed out some ways in which Pope Francis’s recent papal encyclical Laudato Si embodies a bold critique of Modernity. ….Read More
Did Reno Get It Right? Laudato Si In Its Centuries-Long Context—-Homiletic & Pastoral Review
We don’t have to go very far to recognize that there are abundant crises in our world today. We find crises of various proportions in every corner of the globe and in virtually all sectors of society. Check the news online, read the various blogs, twitter feeds, social media, or turn on the radio or TV, and you are guaranteed to be inundated with crises of every sort: crises in the world, crises in the Church, crises in the culture. We don’t even have to turn to news outlets to discover contemporary crises, we find them in the families around us, and in our own families……..
Source: The Crises of Saints–Crisis Magazine
On March 22, 2013, Pope Francis addressed the Diplomatic Corps with a warning against the “tyranny of relativism.” He then explained his selection of the name Francis as in part stemming from St. Francis’ battle for peace, a peace which Pope Francis underscored was impossible without Truth. The necessary struggle for truth not only remains …
Source: The Ongoing Dictatorship of Relativism – Crisis Magazine