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What Makes The Saintly?

What Makes The Saintly?

Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr…..
What makes a saint a saint? This may seem like an odd question with an obvious answer, but really it is not. It’s no easier to capture the saintliness of the saint than it is to capture the secret magic of the magician, the inspiring musical power of the muse, or the prophetic power of the prophet. But it’s worth the attempt. The question bears extra weight just now, as Pope Benedict XVI has initiated the process whereby his immediate predecessor, Pope John Paul II, will be recognized one day as a saint. The previous Pope’s beatification on May 1st was celebrated with great pomp and circumstance, reminiscent of the more somber ritual attached to his death in 2004.

It’s Elemental

It’s Elemental

Louis A. Ruprecht Jr…..
An important set of referenda was offered to the consideration of the Italian people on June 12th; the results were fascinating, and potentially instructive. The referendum invited the populaJune ce to reflect on three seemingly unrelated matters: 1) whether to pursue nuclear power as a new energy source; 2) whether to privatize the water management in the country; and 3) whether to undo the several legislative protections that Silvio Berlasconi had set in place to protect himself from what he deemed punitive and politically motivated legal proceedings directed at an administration that seems now merely to limp helplessly along from scandal to scandal.

For Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived

For Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived

By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
Exorcism is as old as Christianity itself. The New Testament has accounts of Jesus casting out demons, and it is cited in the Catholic Church’s catechism. But it is now far more popular in Europe, Africa and Latin America than in the United States. Most exorcisms are not as dramatic as the bloody scenes in films. The ritual is based on a prayer in which the priest invokes the name of Jesus. The priest also uses holy water and a cross, and can alter the prayer depending on the reaction he gets from the possessed person, said Matt Baglio, a journalist in Rome who wrote the book “The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist” (Doubleday, 2009).

Holy Men: Encounters with Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama

Holy Men: Encounters with Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama

By Suzanne Degnats
On September 22, 2010, I attended a blessing service given by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in Rome. One month later, I attended two sessions with the Dalai Lama in Atlanta, Georgia during his visit to Emory University. Being an outsider both to the Catholic religion and to Buddhism, I found many similarities at the events surrounding these two political and religious leaders.

Conservative Belgian Archbishop in Eye of Storm

Conservative Belgian Archbishop in Eye of Storm

By Robert Wielaard, Associated Press via USA Today
BRUSSELS — He calls AIDS a form of “justice” for homosexuals and wants retired pedophile priests to go unpunished. He says women who have an abortion will be greeted in the afterlife by their unborn child crying “Momma!” Archbishop Andre Leonard, 70, was plucked from a sleepy Belgian citadel-town by Pope Benedict XVI in January to energize the country’s Roman Catholic faithful and reverse 30 years of liberalism. The appointment was in line with Benedict’s policy of putting tradition-minded and conservative bishops in important dioceses.

Church Attack Seen as Strike at Iraq’s Core

Church Attack Seen as Strike at Iraq’s Core

By ANTHONY SHADID, New York Times
Blood still smeared the walls of Our Lady of Salvation Church on Monday. Scraps of flesh remained between the pews. It was the worst massacre of Iraqi Christians since the war began here in 2003.
An Iraqi man mourned the death of his wife, who was among the victims of an attack at Our Lady of Salvation Church. But for survivors, the tragedy went deeper than the toll of the human wreckage: A fusillade of grenades, bullets and suicide vests had unraveled yet another thread of the country’s once eclectic fabric.

Vatican Smokescreen Maneuver: The Dreaded Delicta Graviora

Vatican Smokescreen Maneuver: The Dreaded Delicta Graviora

What is surprising to many, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, is the Vatican’s renewed and intensified condemnation of the ordination of women. The new norms will declare any attempted ordination of women to be comparable to sexual abuse of children or delicta graviora. This decision is more than a little suspicious given its timing and the fact that excommunication is already automatic for any woman who attempts ordination and any priest who may assist in said ordination. Could the Vatican be that removed from reality? Is it possible that the “good old boys” from Vatican City actually believe that an attempted ordination of a woman is on par with the raping of a child?