RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "Vatican"

Papal Retirement: A Matter of Conscience

Papal Retirement: A Matter of Conscience

The unexpected announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is a welcome breath of fresh air. A human being, even a pope, ought to have the option to say enough is enough, I have done what I can do, and now it is time for someone else to take over. I applaud his move and read it as a sign of hope in a dreary ecclesial scene….Conscience, Benedict reminds us today, is still primary for Catholics. Examination of conscience: that is just the formula millions of us use to explain why we use birth control, enjoy our sexuality in a variety of ways, and see enormous good in other religious traditions. Conscience is the ultimate arbiter, and the Pope relied on his. Good on him, and good on the rest of us.

Benedict to resign, first pontiff since Middle Ages to quit

Benedict to resign, first pontiff since Middle Ages to quit

Reuters) – Pope Benedict, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, said on Monday he will resign on Feb 28. because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step.
The 85-year-old German-born Pope, hailed as a hero by conservative Catholics and viewed with suspicion by liberals, said he had noticed that his strength had deteriorated over recent months.

Religion, Politics & Patronage: The Galileo Affair

Religion, Politics & Patronage: The Galileo Affair

By Alex Johnson ….
Galileo Galilei once said that, “There is no event in nature, not even the least that exists, such that it will ever be completely understood by theorists” (Drake 91). This is certainly true for natural phenomenon, even though they are constantly available to us for observation, but sadly, we find that this statement is often true of historical phenomenon as well, because they can only be observed through the surviving records. Despite this, or perhaps, in spite of this, we are in constant pursuit of an understanding of the past. The Galileo Affair is a prime example of this. Every facet of this event has fascinated historians and scholars of religion for almost 400 years. What happened? Why, and what does it all mean for us today?

What Should the Vatican Say to the (Last Generation of) Nuns?

What Should the Vatican Say to the (Last Generation of) Nuns?

By Peter Manseau, Religion Dispatches….
I grew up around nuns. My mother had left the convent five years before I was born, but all through my childhood our home was often visited by her “convent buddies,” a dozen or so women who had formed enduring friendships as novices or professed sisters of the Roman Catholic religious orders they had joined as teenagers. Daughters of immigrants from Irish and Italian enclaves, many of them had become sisters for reasons not just of faith, but of education and opportunity. The convent to them had been an unlikely part of the American dream.

By the time I met them, some of these women had left religious life, having shed their habits in the late 1960s, as my mother had, as if to feel more of the breeze blowing after Vatican II famously “opened the windows of the Church.”

We Are All Nuns

We Are All Nuns

By Mary E. Hunt, Religion Dispatches….
When it comes to the Vatican’s crackdown on women religious, I believe it’s time to declare that for the purpose of this struggle:we are all nuns. If you can spell Catholic, you are probably asking: how dare they go after 57,000 dedicated women whose median age is well over 70 and who work tirelessly for a more just world? How dare the very men who preside over a Church in utter disgrace due to sexual misconduct and cover-ups by bishops try to distract from their own problems by creating new ones for women religious? While this story is focused on nuns, it doesn’t stop there.

Wisconsin on the Map to Pray With Mary

Wisconsin on the Map to Pray With Mary

By Erik Eckholm, New York Times….
On Dec. 8, after a two-year investigation by theologians who found no evidence of fraud or heresy and a long history of shrine-related conversions, cures and other signs of divine intervention, Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay declared “with moral certainty” that Ms. Brise did indeed have encounters “of a supernatural character” that are “worthy of belief.”

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.

Do Space Aliens Need Baptism? The View From Gliese 581g

Do Space Aliens Need Baptism? The View From Gliese 581g

By Paul Wallace, Religion Dispatches
What is generally less known is that, at the same moment that the Pope was having his say with the UK’s radical non-believers, Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno, also in England, was busy talking about baptizing space aliens. Which, to me, sounded preposterous. But, after some contemplation, I’ve decided that it’s not preposterous after all.

Last week, a new planet—Gliese 581g—was

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?