June 20, 2006


I left the Episcopal Convention so grateful to be Catholic. I have a profound sense of sadness as I reflect on the day. I am still digesting all I saw and heard. Make no mistake about it. The folks at the Episcopal Convention, are on the whole, very liberal. As a matter of fact, a part of the convention is even more liberal than Bishop Robinson. The majority of those at the convention would make the National Catholic Reporter’s views seem like that of Spirit Daily in comparison...I only wish those Catholics who disagree with our church could spend some at the Episcopal Convention. I think they would appreciate our Catholic faith, history, diversity, tradition and orthodoxy so much more. I will be praying for our Episcopal friends. They will certainly need many prayers. - David Hartline of "Catholic Report"

We can’t get anywhere with unity unless we figure out the Eucharist. When we come to an agreement on the Eucharist, we will have unity. - Anglican Father Victor King of Liberia, interviewed by David Harline

I feel like one sleepwalking, lost in the cosmos (to steal from my most interesting of recent reads, Walker Percy's book of that title), beset by demons of epistemology in the garden of ontology, wondering whether I really have the will to be a saint, sullen and withdrawn like the child I once was (who preferred the company of his own imagination to that of any other people, and ran around the deserted parts of the playground by himself playing the dinosaur hero). So I haven't exactly been up to writing anything of substance. Trust me, though, I'll be back. All it takes is my next epiphany. - Patrick of Orthonormal Basis

I think one thing that bothers me about ex-gay theology is that it doesn't just say "God CAN do this," but "God WILL do this"--God WILL change your life in this very specific way, removing a temptation, if you want it badly enough. And there's so little help on how to live before that change occurs, too. It just seems like such a setup for failure. - Eve Tushnet

The philosophy department at Notre Dame has about 60 faculty members. In 90 percent of the courses, friends at Notre Dame say, eminently pertinent documents such as the encyclicals Veritatis Splendor and Fides et Ratio are not read and, probably, not even referred to. In the world of academic certification, the philosophy department ranks 13th in the nation. The question persistently asked is not, “How do we create an authentically Catholic philosophy department?” but, “How do we get to a single digit?” - Fr. Neuhaus of "First Things"

Michael told me the other night of a news story he'd read indicating that the more plugged in a young person is, the more anxious and depressed they are. Now, there could be an inverse relationship as well - that the more depressed a kid is, the more they plug in. But as we were talking about it, we decided that the reason might be this - because of computers, text-messaging, cel-phones and God knows what else, young people are never, ever disconnected from their peers. Peers are the center of most kids' lives - they give them the most joy and fitting into that group is the cause of the most anxiety. Before the day of constant communication, there was space to be free of that. Oh, it might still be in your head as you worried about it, but you couldn't constantly be IM'ing or texting about who went where with who and who wasn't included, or worrying about the image that you're presenting. For a lot of young people, that space - the space to really be free and consider yourself apart from anyone else's eyes or ears - has disappeared. No wonder they're tense. - Amy Welborn

We shouldn't be too quick to separate this life from eternal life, since through Baptism our eternal life has already begun. Jesus does promise us comfort and security, not as a reward after we die, but as a gift right now, right here. It's not the material comfort and security we might want, but it is no less real, no less present in our fallen world, for being spiritual. In fact, to the extent comfort and security are subjective measurements of how we perceive ourselves, it doesn't make much difference whether they are based on material or spiritual reasons.The question, then, is to what extent material comfort and security can be sought without interfering with spiritual comfort and security. And the answer, I suppose, was given by Jesus: "Seek first the kingdom of God...." - Tom of Disputations

In 28 years of priesthood, I've been able to celebrate Mass in several other European languages. German has rhythm, Italian has poetry and Spanish is very strong when it's used in the liturgy. Catalan is intimate and French is elegant, but the English we use is impoverished and often trite. Sometimes, the translation is inaccurate and occasionally it's bewildering, such as the Arianism that was slipped unawares into the fixed Preface for the Fourth Eucharist Prayer: "You alone are God, living and true" addressed to the Father. I've been told that there's also quite a bit of Pelagianism in the translations, with the presumption that we get there by our own efforts. We need to sort out this mess and should express our regrets to the Protestant churches which have followed us too closely in altering their own words of worship. - Fr. Ferguson commenting on "Open Book"

If I had grown up heterosexual, I don't know if I would be Catholic today....Throughout my childhood I had a strong sense that something had gone wrong--that I was not only different but broken. I connected this feeling to my sexual orientation, and developed intense shame. This despite being raised in an extraordinarily gay-positive household--I could be misremembering, but I'm not sure I even encountered stigma against homosexuality until I was in junior high. The doctrine of original sin offered a startling and hopeful possibility: Suddenly the thing that made me different, my sexual orientation, was not the focus; my alienation was a distilled version of what every person experiences after the Fall. My orientation was a source of insight, not solely a burden or a political cause. - Eve Tushnet

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