A Catholic Blog for Lovers

A celebration of beauty, truth, and goodness, and, of course, love...and perhaps a little nastiness

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Saturday, June 26, 2004
Wrong again

"On Sunday, The Dallas Morning News will begin publishing the results of a major yearlong investigation into a largely uncovered aspect of the Catholic sex abuse scandal. The series of stories are international in scope, and will make headlines nationally and overseas....

I expect these stories to dominate conversation among concerned American Catholics next week, and into the early summer (because there will be much more to come; next week’s series only reveals part of what our reporters have uncovered and documented)." (Rod Dreher, reporter for The Dallas Morning News).

I haven't noticed those national or overseas headlines. Nor have I overheard any of those conversations.

But this may be par for the course.

Remember this from Rod before the last World Youth Day celebrations in Toronto:

"If the glory days of this papacy have faded into a troubled twilight, so, it seems, has World Youth Day." (Rod Dehrer, National Review)

And then the reality:

Anniversary of the death of "the Mount Everest" of theologians

June 26, 1988: Hans Urs von Balthasar, prominent spiritual director and founder, prolific writer and publisher, renowned theologian, dies - 2 days before he was to receive the "red hat" of a cardinal. It is impossible to sum up this great soul whom de Lubac called "the most cultured man of our times." His theological venture - so far-reaching and vast - is a theology on the knees: praying, adoring, listening, obedient. While his writings are sometimes difficult to follow, his use of language is musical and poetic, especially in his native German. His was a truly Catholic soul and vision; lyrical and doxological.

A good way to learn more about this great theologian is to read the series of essays in a compendium, edited by David Schindler, entited Hans Urs von Balthasar: His Life and Work. There are outstanding essays on various aspects of von Bathasar's life and works and a good discussion of his remarkable relationship with the convert, mystic, Adrienne von Speyr. These essays will open up much of the essence of von Balthasar's vision, culminating in a magnificent essay by Henri de Lubac, SJ. I highly recommend this as a good introduction to Hans Urs von Balthasar.

When Faith and Duty Collide

As someone who believes Jesus Christ can be seen even in the grimy faces of those living in the city's shadows and crawl spaces, Police Officer Eduardo Delacruz says he obeyed a higher authority when he refused to arrest a homeless man in November 2002..."


Good trip. Relaxing and refreshing.

But came home to a weakened ONION with some new problems. I am saddened deeply but still happy to be here with him again.

Came home to a curious and critical comment in one of my posts (I edited it since to take out the most vile part). Someone, who is a well known reporter, attacked me for "asking for donations" in this piece, Jekyll Island.


Where did this person come up with this fabrication anyway? Especially since I explicitly say "I have more than I can need." In fact, Rod Dreher totally distorts not only my words but the clear meaning of my thought as well. Very very unprofessional and very very sloppy. Read it yourself and see what I mean.

And to take my joking comment about the rich divesting themselves and giving to one who is poor serioulsy, is a total obvious distortion of the meaning of my entire post (in which I even share the guilt of the "rich" and say I live by Mercy)!

I can only believe it is due to an obsession on the part of the commenter; and perhaps an expression of frustration that a much tauted series of more "exposés" in his own newspaper seems to have been something of a major dud. I thought that would be the case.

But, regardless, it is good to be home again. I have to make a big decision about ONION.

I hope to share a few photos of my latest trip: Jekyll Island, Georgia and St Augustine, Florida. It was sunny and HOT!!!

Monday, June 21, 2004
Jekyll Island

Leaving early this morning to catch our flight to Jacksonsville, Florida, and from there we drive to Jekyll Island, Georgia, one of the barrier islands. I hope the weather is good (as it has been for every trip we've taken so far). I am hoping for a few relaxing and renewing days. I bring 2 little books this time (though I may never get to them): Thomas Kelly's "A Testament of Devotion" and a little book by Jacques Maritain, "Prayer and Intelligence", which gives something of the rule of life followed by the circle around Jacques and Raissa. Both emphasize living in the presence of God in the here and now.

I am hoping, too, to have a visit with one of my favorite Redemptorist priests, who is stationed in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. We hope to meet in the great old town of St. Augustine (our last day and we don't leave Jacksonville until 8PM or so).

Please remember me in your prayers. I worry about my beloved ONION - he fails more and more, though still he amazes me and others. But I leave him in good hands, thanks be to God. I beg God's blessings on my trip and on you and your own lives and joys and sorrows.

Mary, mother of perpetual help, pray for us.

Saint Thomas More

Part of the classic description of this great "man for all seasons" whose feast is today by Desiderius Erasmus:

"To begin then with what is least known to you, in stature he is not tall, though not remarkably short. His limbs are formed with such perfect symmetry as to leave nothing to be desired. His complexion is white, his face rather than pale and though by no means ruddy, a faint flush of pink appears beneath the whiteness of his skin. His hair is dark brown or brownish black.

The eyes are grayish blue, with some spots, a kind which betokens singular talent, and among the English is considered attractive, whereas Germans generally prefer black. It is said that none are so free of vice. His countenance is in harmony with his character, being always expressive of an amiable joyousness, and even an incipient laughter and, to speak condidly, it is better framed for gladness than for gravity or dignity, though without any approach to folly or buffoonery.

The right shoulder is a little higher than the left, especially when he walks. This is not a defect of birth, but the result of habit such as we often contract. In the rest of his person there is nothing to offend . . .He seems born and framed for friendship, and is a most faithful and enduring friend . . .When he finds any sincere and according to his heart, he so delights in their society and conversation as to place in it the principal charm of life . . .In a word, if you want a perfect model of friendship, you will find it in no one better than in More . . .

In human affairs there is nothing from which he does not extract enjoyment, even from things that are most serious. If he converses with the learned and judicious, he delights in their talent, if with the ignorant and foolish, he enjoys their stupidity. He is not even offended by professional jesters. With a wonderful dexterity he accommodates himself to every disposition. As a rule, in talking with women, even with his own wife, he is full of jokes and banter. No one is less led by the opinions of the crowd, yet no one departs less from common sense.."

Today in Christian history

June 22, 431: The Third Ecumenical Council opens in Ephesus to condemn "Nestorianism", the theory that Christ was two separate persons rather than one person with two natures.

June 22, 1559: In England, Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book was issued. During her 45-year reign, Elizabeth I rejected the Catholic faith, adopting instead the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church.

June 22, 1750: Colonial preacher Jonathan Edwards is dismissed from his Massachusetts pastorate for pursuing tests for church membership.

June 22, 1995: The renowned ecclesiologist and ecumenist, Yves Congar OP, died. Congar ran into some "troubles" but perservered faithfully and was finally honored with the red hat of the cardinal. (He is one of my own mentors in the faith).


But the name of Jesus is more than light, it is also food..... Every food of the mind is dry if it is not dipped in that oil; it is tasteless if not seasoned by that salt. Write what you will; I shall not relish it unless it tells of Jesus. Talk or argue about what you will, I will not relish it if it excludes the name of Jesus. Jesus is to me honey in the mouth, music in the ear, a song in the heart.

-St Bernard of Clairvaux

Today in Christian history

June 21, 1607: English settlers found the first Anglican (later Episcopalian) parish in America at Jamestown, Virginia.

June 21, 1892: Reinhold Niebuhr, American neo-orthodox theologian and ethicist, is born. He rejected some of the optimism of Christian liberalism, arguing for origional sin and for a prophetic, culture-challenging Christianity, but his liberal views on politics, the Bible, and the nature of Christ, distanced him from conservatives. My favorite Niebuhr quote, critiquing liberal Christianiy: "A God without wrath, sent Christ without a Cross, to redeem a world without sin, to bring them to a kingdom without justice."

Correction: the quote above comes from Reihold's brother, H. Richard Niebuhr. (Thanks, Fritz, for letting me know in your comment).

June 21, 1963: Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) was elected the 261st Pope.

Sunday, June 20, 2004
St. Joseph's Seminary Given Shorter-Term Accreditation

St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, the 108-year-old training ground for priests of the Archdiocese of New York, has effectively been put on probation, receiving accreditation for 5 years instead of the usual 10.

The difference in the certification, by the Association of Theological Schools, is a minor blemish for Cardinal Edward M. Egan. One of his first major administrative acts after becoming archbishop in 2000 was to clean house at the seminary, dismissing a number of prominent scholars, both lay and clerical, and other staff..."

I was surprised to read that one of the dismissed professors is Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete. He was Cardinal Hickey's theologian, I believe. He's written for the New York Times magazine and seems very articulate and always rather upbeat. So I was a bit surprised. And hope to learn a bit more (I do have a wonderful source for stuff like this!).

Archbishop 'may star in Simpsons'

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams would look "very seriously" at an invitation to appear on animated comedy The Simpsons

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