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Man's fallen nature, and the national debt?


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.

Brooks writes:

This equilibrium is fragile because we are flawed and fallen creatures and can’t quite trust ourselves. So all of us, but especially members of the leadership class, should practice self-restraint. Moral anxiety restrained hubris (don’t think your side possesses the whole truth) and self-indulgence (debt corrupts character).

The interior life, Thomas Merton, and \"the good that wants to grow in the world\"


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.

International Theological Commission to meet


Media release from Vatican Information Service:

VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The International Theological Commission, which is presided by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is due to celebrate is annual plenary session from 29 November to 3 December in the Vatican's "Domus Sanctae Marthae". The meeting will be chaired by Fr. Charles Morerod O.P., secretary general of the commission.

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.

Emerging religious issues as we move to 2012


Three religious issues are emerging as significant as we march toward the 2012 election: Obama’s “faith dilemma,” perceptions of Islam, and attitudes about American “exceptionalism.” These findings come from a new nationwide poll, conducted in both English and Spanish from November 3-7, 2010 by the Public Religion Research Institute.

People’s perception of Obama’s religious beliefs are strongly related to the way they rate them as President. More than half say that his religious beliefs are different from their own (somewhat different: 16%, or very different: 35%). Only 40% say he has beliefs similar to theirs.

Women religious group wanted more from U.S. bishops


A progressive group of U.S. women religious, the National Coalition of American Nuns, expressed their disappointment last week that the U.S. bishops, who met in Baltimore for three days, did not address the suffering of gay and lesbians, among them gay and lesbian Catholics.

NCAN issued the following statement:

On behalf of GLBT Catholics, their families and friends, and thoughtful Catholics across the United States, the National Coalition of American Nuns is appalled at the lack of sensitivity of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to lesbian and gay persons.

More than a month has gone by since the media broke the news about a series of gay suicides. During that time, the US Catholic Bishops failed to make a single statement regarding these tragic, preventable deaths. Not one bishop’s voice was raised to condemn a culture where youths are bullied for being who God created them to be and are sometimes pushed by society’s judgments to attempt suicide. Many people have accused certain segments of organized religion, including the Catholic hierarchy, of fueling these attacks and contributing to suicides.

Lefebvrites threaten to expel Holocaust denying bishop


Traditionalist society threatens to expel bishop for extremist ties

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Society of St. Pius X threatened to expel traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson if he retained an extremist lawyer with neo-Nazi ties to defend him in a German court.

The head of the traditionalist society, Bishop Bernard Fellay, "has formally ordered Bishop Williamson to abandon this decision and not allow himself to be manipulated by political ideas that are completely unrelated to his mission as a Catholic bishop serving the Society of St. Pius X," said a recent communique.

"To disobey this order would result in Bishop Williamson being excluded from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X," said the statement signed Nov. 20 by the society's secretary general, Father Christian Thouvenot.

The society expressed its concern that the British-born bishop had hired a lawyer "who is openly affiliated to the so-called neo-Nazi movement in Germany and other such groups."


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February 24-March 9, 2017