Bulletins from the Human Side

The liturgical season of autumn


Liturgical seasons, such as Lent and Advent, are meant to open us less to articles of the creed and more to the essential character of religion, the experience of Mystery.

That's not the Hercule Poirot small letter mystery with everybody grouped as if for a family photograph as the Belgian detective neatly answers the questions about and explains a death in which everyone is a suspect.

9/11 site, sacred in itself


New York's Mayor Bloomberg has proven himself the Cirque de Soleil gymnast of political correctness by banning, on grounds of vague and affected nobility, the presence of any members of the clergy on the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Towers. Has the Mayor asked New Yorkers whether they want members of the clergy present on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks?

Which man is the pope today?


It is hard not to believe that Pope Benedict XVI has either a richly cultivated sense of irony or a finely honed capacity, as the saying goes, “to put people on.” What else would explain his advice to Sicilians on his one day visit to that island last autumn? Catholic Culture reports that he urged Sicilians “to be saints” and then, in almost the same breath, offered a quick, sure passage to Heaven by telling them to “reject the Mafia.”

Throwback translation promoters confess without knowing it


The lack of a sense of humor in the self-designated Reformers of the Reform is matched only by their lack of a sense of irony. Otherwise, they would have noticed the squealing dissonance between their assertions for their new/old translation of liturgical texts and the words of Jesus in the Gospel reading for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Set-decorator Catholicism: The common traits of set-decorators


Part Two of Two

The first common characteristic of set-decorators is their affinity for surfaces. Professing commitment to the depths of the faith, they are obsessed with rustling cassocks, billowing capes, sounding bells and bows, the stuff, in short, with which they can redecorate the set of hierarchical Catholicism. If they build it, these clerics believe, the people will come.

Set-decorator Catholicism: clericalism thrives in a new phase of the sex abuse crisis


Part One of Two

Decoration: (2) That which decorates or adorns, an ornament, esp. an ornament temporarily put up on a special location; used ... of scenery on the stage.
-- Oxford English Dictionary

Set-decorator: The person responsible for dressing a motion picture set with appropriate decorative furnishings -- furniture, rugs, lamps, draperies, wall paintings, books, etc.
-- The Film Encyclopedia, Third Edition

New from Netflix: Inquisition II at Fordham


The currently ill-timed, ill-stated, and certainly ill-advised critique of Fordham theologian Elizabeth Johnson's book, Quest for the Living God, is a remake of a slasher movie that Catholics have seen many times. You know the one in which the monster, thought slain in the original film, rises and returns to his pursuit of the innocent. Note that "Inquisition II" contains violence and may not be suitable for younger viewers.


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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017