Month: February 2013

Adopt a Cardinal

So the Pope Emeritus will still wear white, but he doesn’t keep the red shoes. These are just two of the gradually emerging details relating to the life of Benedict XVI, post-resignation. I can understand why some Catholics find such details arcane and maybe even embarrassing. Why is this news? Won’t people think we Catholics obsess over minutiae? But I can also understand why other Catholics, and also some non-Catholics, find this stuff interesting. I find it interesting myself. As Dr Peters observes, this is history in the making. The Vatican is making it up as it goes along, because precedents are scarce....

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Call no man ‘father’ —
On the scandal in the Curia

Only last week, a friend and I were wrestling with the saying which appears in today’s Gospel: “You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven.” (Mt 23:10) You’ve got to admit, when you combine this saying of Jesus with the Catholic custom of addressing priests as Father, we have left ourselves open to attack from Biblical Fundamentalists. Nonetheless, I have no problem concluding that on this occasion, our Lord was engaging in hyperbole (in contrast to, say, John, chapter 6.) After all, this saying by our Lord...

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+Coleridge’s Lenten Message

Canon Law requires the men chosen to be bishops to have a doctorate. Can. 378 § 5 says that the candidate should “hold a doctorate or at least a licentiate in sacred Scripture, theology or canon law, from an institute of higher studies approved by the Apostolic See, or at least be well versed in these disciplines.” Richard Chonak has an interesting post on the spread of doctorates in the College of Cardinals. He limits his survey to cardinal electors between the ages of 60 and 75 (the most papabile). Of the 67 cardinals surveyed, only three possess a doctorate in Sacred Scripture. That’s not surprising. The SSD is one of the most demanding of all doctorates.  Doctors of Sacred Scripture must first earn a Licentiate of Sacred Scripture, and only the Pontifical Biblical Institute the Pontifical Biblical Commission grant them (in course and by examination respectively). Candidates typically live in the Holy Land for several years, becoming conversant in biblical archaeology, Ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek. The Archbishop of Brisbane is a Doctor of Sacred Scripture, and it shows in his Lenten message. This is great viewing (or reading). The fourteen minutes it takes to watch this is, I think, a good investment of...

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Prayers please

The smell of smoke and an eery red hue have lingered since lunch time. Reports from the CFA aren’t great. The nearby fires in the Grampians doubled in size overnight, and it seems only rain can bring them under control now. But it won’t rain before Monday, and in the meantime, a change from the north will raise temperatures and redirect the fires toward population centres. It’s going to be a long weekend, in the worst possible sense. Many parishioners are already adversely impacted, and many more have dropped everything and joined in the effort to fight the fires, and care for the fire fighters. Keep them in your...

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The value of introverts in a
world that won’t shut up

Every now and then, a good review comes along which not only compels me to buy the book under review (getting around to reading it is a separate proposition), but which also stands out as a good essay in and of itself. Sam Rocha’s review of Quiet, by Susan Cain, is an example of this. Quiet presents Cain’s case that contemporary culture undervalues silence, and misunderstands introverts. It’s an interesting idea, but without Rocha’s review, I don’t think I’d commit to reading a whole book on the subject. But Rocha’s review opens up two related subjects – one explicitly, and the...

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