Although comprehensive immigration reform seems unlikely in the lame-duck Congress or for that matter in the foreseeable future, one still possibility, as I have previously noted, is an effort by the Democrats, hopefully with some Republican support, to propose the DREAM Act.
In another case of "you can't make this up," The Los Angeles Times writes about the former bishop of Orldano, Fla., Tom Wenski, now archbishop of Miami, who is prominently placed in a stain glass image of the Crucifixion:
Wenski, dressed in his bishop's red robes and gold miter headgear, is depicted kneeling at the foot of the Crucifix, opposite Roman soldiers and in front of Mary, his hands clasped in prayer and his head tilted upward toward Christ. The Wenski window measures about 4 feet wide and 8 feet, 8 inches tall.
The inclusion of Wenski, who was bishop of the Diocese of Orlando during the downtown cathedral's $10-million renovation and expansion, keeps with the Roman Catholic tradition of incorporating images of the clergy responsible for a church's construction or remodeling, diocese spokeswoman Carol Brinati said.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan, newly elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein in a recent interview that one of his top priorities will be to reach out to the tens of millions of disaffected Catholics in the U.S. population.
I was particularly interested to hear that because when I recently wrote about the phenomenon in a piece headlined "The 'had it' Catholics" -- former Catholics, if considered as a group, would make up the second largest denomination in the country -- I called the USCCB to ask if anyone was tracking or investigating the development. The answer: No one was looking into it.
In the recent interview, Dolan cited recent studies showing that only half of young Catholics marry in the church and that weekly Mass attendance has dropped from a high of 78 percent during the 1960s to 35 percent today.
He expressed urgency in finding out what he can do to help people return to the church.
I’m a few weeks behind, but I was both startled and saddened to see the Gallup poll that showed that Catholics and Mormons, among religious groups, were most likely to support the idea of moving the Park51 mosque to another location. Interestingly, the survey also indicated that Catholics and Jews, even more than Muslims and Protestants, were well aware of the controversy. Jews, however, were far less likely to believe that the solution is for the mosque organizers to move to a separate location.
Catholics were inundated with messages about the Park51 controversy, including a piece by William McGunn in the Wall Street Journal referencing Pope John Paul II’s asking Carmelite nuns to move a convent they had proposed to build on the edge of the Auschwitz concentration camp site. Many used this example to justify their belief that the more “prudent” action would be for the mosque organizers to move to a different location.
A not-so-small chunk of Catholic theology finds its way into The New York Times yesterday, courtesy David Brook's column on the national debt.
Brooks writes that no real political solution to the debt appears on the horizon, even-though the leadership classes in many other countries -- like Britiain and Germany -- are working hard together to set things right where they live.
Why not here? Brooks argues that more than our national checkbook is out of balance; our sense of national morality is off-kilter as well.
Our system of government, an equilibrium of checks and balances, was established because the founders recognized that human nature -- left unbridled -- won't always allows us to do the right thing.
The “interior” or inner life has always been an important element in Catholic spirituality. One classic text, The Three Ages of the Interior Life, by Dominican Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, lays out in great detail the geography and dynamics of our interior spiritual life. The author presents the interior life as “the one thing necessary” referred to by Jesus when speaking with Martha and Mary. The author defines it as the life of the soul with God, the intimate conversation one has within oneself all through life. He describes the stages of the interior life devised by St. John of the Cross and elaborated upon by Teresa of Avila: the purgative, the illuminative, and unitive states.
The Aquinas Institute of Theology said Monday that it would begin construction and renovation next week on the former Loretto Academy building in St. Louis as a new priory for its priest candidates.
Media release from Vatican Information Service:
According to a communique published today the commission will study three important themes: the principles of theology, its meaning and its methods; the question of the one God in relation to the three monotheistic religions; and the integration of Church social doctrine into the broader context of Christian doctrine.
At the end of their deliberations the members of the International Theological Commission will be received in audience by the Holy Father.
Saint Clair, Pa.: Book chronicles histories of two local Catholic parishes
Palm Beach County, Fla.: Multi-Faith Delegation Answering The Call of the Haitian Cholera Crisis