The newly-elected Pope Francis is, of course, the pope being Catholic, pro-life. To the point of having a good answer for those who believe in abortion in the case of rape–he calls that the death penalty for the unborn (practiced in countries that won’t give the death penalty for the rapists)–and agreeing that politicians who support abortion should be denied Holy Communion. [Read more…]
A new pope has been elected: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires in Argentina. He is the first non-European elected to that office in over 1000 years. He will be the 266th person to hold that office. He is taking the name of Francis (the proper form being Francis, not Francis I, as I posted earlier, since the first of that name is not given a number until there are others that need to be distinguished from each other).
I can’t believe that there has been no other pope named Francis, St. Francis being such a notable saint. (See this for the possible significance of the name.) At any rate, the election of this first South American pontiff is surely something of a surprise. The top prospect lists of prospective popes that I saw earlier didn’t mention him. I did find one that did, which I’ll quote after the jump, along with a video of Pope Francis. [Read more…]
Most legislative bodies in this country begin with a prayer, whether by an official chaplain as in the United States Congress or by visiting clergy, who are allowed to pray according to their traditions. But in Maryland, the House of Representatives has the politicians themselves saying the prayers, according to strict guidelines that require the prayers to be inclusive and not addressed to any particular deity. In the word of one representative, they are “secular prayers.” [Read more…]
They aren’t a youth group, but what the cardinals meeting to elect a new pope are having is a lock-in. So explains the BBC, with other little-known facts about what is going on in the Sistine Chapel:
1. It’s a lock-in. Conclave comes from the Latin “cum-clave” meaning literally “with key” – the cardinal-electors will be locked in the Sistine Chapel each day until Benedict XVI’s successor is chosen. The tradition dates back to 1268, when after nearly three years of deliberation the cardinals had still not agreed on a new pope, prompting the people of Rome to hurry things up by locking them up and cutting their rations. Duly elected, the new pope, Gregory X, ruled that in future cardinals should be sequestered from the start of the conclave.
2. Spying is tricky. During the conclave they are allowed no contact with the outside the world – no papers, no TV, no phones, no Twitter. And the world is allowed no contact with them. The threat of excommunication hangs over any cardinal who breaks the rules. [Read more…]
G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries, about a mild-mannered priest who solves crimes because he understands man’s sinful nature, is being televised on BBC. It’s been so popular that it has been renewed for a second season. Unfortunately, the series isn’t being shown here, not even on BBC America, and it isn’t available on Netflix. Someday, we can hope, since BBC typically does a terrific job with material like that. (Have you seen the BBC adaption of the Kurt Wallander mysteries by Henning Mankell, starring Kenneth Branagh?) If anyone has seen the Father Brown stories, let us know how they are. I know we have readers from across the pond. (Details about the series after the jump.) [Read more…]
Last week we were on Spring Break, visiting our daughter, son-in-law, and three grand-daughters in Oklahoma. Here we were privileged to witness one of their family milestones: getting their first dog. A bouncing, excited, affectionate Labrador retriever.
It made me recall that Luther was a dog-lover. He had a dog named Tölpel (which was apparently a synonym for “Dummkopf”). I love this quotation:
“The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.”
Think about that! God’s greatest gifts are the commonest. But because they are so common, we take them for granted. Yes, dogs. But what else? (Having children. One’s spouse. Food and drink. Colors. Reading. Baptism. The Lord’s Supper, and on and on and on.)
More quotes from Luther about dogs after the jump. [Read more…]