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The Lion of Saint Mark and This Most Serene Republic

The Lion of Saint Mark and This Most Serene Republic

By Louis A. Ruprecht Jr., Georgia State University….
You don’t have to be a Marxist to notice the often astonishing overlap between big money and big religion. Nor to be somewhat shocked by the bigness of the whole affair. Consider the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, one of the most popular and most-densely populated tourist destinations in Italy, nearly rivaling its much larger cousin in Rome. It is a striking monument in every way, not least for the bizarre mish-mash of architectural elements and artistic styles that define this most funky profile.

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.

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.

The Pope's Astronomer:  In Conversation With Brother Guy Consolmagno

The Pope’s Astronomer: In Conversation With Brother Guy Consolmagno

The idea of a “split” between science and religion is a fairly modern one, mostly dating from the 19th century and the rise of professional scientists who were making a living independent of the Church. That’s why the Church specifically started funding an observatory, in 1891, to show the world that it supported science. Our duties at the observatory today are simply to “do good science” — we’re left to decide for ourselves what science to do — as a way of continuing to demonstrate that support.

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?