Is Football a Pro-Life Sport?

May 26, 2012 at 10:21 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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While the US Catholic bishops are investigating the Girl Scouts, former football players are suffering premature death and dementia in large numbers.  Why don’t the bishops investigate Catholic football for the lives it destroys?

Read my Religion Dispatches discussion here.

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$upport Our $ister$

May 18, 2012 at 9:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Last night I attended an event at a Catholic parish in Manhattan to support US Catholic sisters in response to the Vatican’s recent statement about them. First we viewed a new documentary about the sisters, Women and Spirit which tells the amazing story of Catholic sisters’ work in the U.S. since the first of them arrived here in 1727. It’s produced and marketed by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the primary target of Vatican criticism. Then we discussed the current situation facing the sisters and US Catholic women more broadly. A number of us had read in advance the assessment of the LCWR by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

I am often struck by how basically benign US Catholics are (except about clergy sex abuse)—especially those who still belong to parishes, as most of the attendees last night did. A few of them were angry, but for the most part they seemed more disappointed, or sardonic…

Continued on Religion Dispatches

Rome vs. the Sisters III: The Line in the Sand

May 12, 2012 at 9:02 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Back in April, I outlined four points demanding attention as a result of the Vatican “doctrinal assessment” of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the central organization of Catholic sisters in the US. Ten days ago I addressed the first three of them in an article on Religion Dispatches. Now, in a Religion Dispatches blog, I consider the fourth point, that the Vatican attack may well be the last straw for a significant number of US Catholics:

“When, in January, the Obama administration mandated free contraceptive coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) responded ferociously. In his rejection of the administration’s mandate, the president of the USCCB, now-Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, declared, “The Obama Administration has now drawn an unprecedented line in the sand.”

“I’ve been thinking lately about a Catholic line in the sand, but it’s not the one announced by Cardinal Dolan. For me, and, I suspect, for a lot of educated Catholics like me, the line in the sand is the “doctrinal assessment” issued in April by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella organization for 80% of US Catholic sisters. The assessment accuses the LCWR of grave doctrinal problems, radical feminism, and spending too much time on justice and peace. As a result, for the next five years, a conservative archbishop will control whatever the group does.  Continue

The Seven Deadly Sins

May 1, 2012 at 9:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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The “seven deadly sins” have a long history in the Jewish and Christian traditions. Rooted in the Book of Proverbs, they were consolidated in the 4th century by Evagrius Ponticus, a monk, and reconfigured in 590 CE by Pope Gregory I; Dante likewise included them in his Divine Comedy.

The seven deadly sins have had a very long run. In parochial school in Philadelphia in the 1950s I memorized the pre-Vatican II version and I still know it by heart:

Pride;

Covetousness;

Lust;

Anger;

Gluttony;

Envy;

Sloth.

But since Vatican II, as you perhaps know, very much has changed, including a shift from a broader notion of the Catholic Christian faith to a narrower and narrower fixation on sexual morality . Appropriately enough, the seven deadly sins have been reconfigured to reflect these changes. Now they are:

Abortion, even if mother and child will die without it;

Gay sex and marriage;

Failing to work actively against these first two sins;

Use of artificial contraceptives;

Women getting ordained, or even discussing the possibility;

Spending too much time on justice and peace;

Advocating for health insurance in a country where millions don’t have it.

I trust that those of my readers who are Catholic will take note of these changes and behave accordingly.

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