The New Celibates

How ironic that in a year where religious, and especially priestly, celibacy has been put under a microscope, debated and often excoriated, the secular hipsters in New York City are discovering the power that comes with celibacy:“I had man whiplash,” [Julia Allison] says. “I needed to put my neck in a brace.”She issued a proclamation, writing on her Web site last week, “I decided to codify my unofficial gut reaction of ‘I really don’t feel like dating’ into an official ‘No Dating, No Sex’ sta … [Read more...]

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"No, we're fearless and edgy. Really." – UPDATES

This is both funny and a bit pathetic:Comedy Central might censor every image of the Prophet Muhammad on "South Park," yet the network is developing a whole animated series around Jesus Christ.As part of the network's upfront presentation to advertisers (full slate here), the network is set to announce "JC," a half-hour show about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father" and live a regular life in New York City.In the show, God is preoccupied with playing … [Read more...]

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"I forgive the man who raped me…"

Recently, writing about the terrible scandals of the church and the need for the hierarchy (and others) to do penance, I added:The fullness of healing, of course, can only come when the victims finally feel capable of saying “I forgive you…” That moment -which cannot be compelled and does not mean forgetting- is the moment when a victim takes his life back. When a victim says, “I forgive you,” she confers her own power over the entire situation, and controls it. It is transformative; it brings … [Read more...]

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Was Jones' Joke Anti-Semitic? UPDATE

President Obama's National Security Advisor, retired General James Jones, with an ice-breaker:Is it offensive?Why, yes. In our easily-offended society, you might say this joke wins the Triple Crown or the Insult Trifecta:Some feel Jones has used a denigrating stereotype of Jewish people "greedy merchants" for a cheap laugh, and has therefore insulted the Jews.Some free-market capitalists note that Jones describes the Taliban member as a "warrior" instead of a guerrilla, and seems to … [Read more...]

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Staring into the Empty Tomb

"There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach." — J.R.R. TolkienThe news is terrible, disheartening, troubling, horrific -choose your a … [Read more...]

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Why I Remain A Catholic

The question has come my way several times, in the past week: "how do you maintain your faith in light of news stories that bring light to the dark places that exist within your church?"When have darkness and light been anything but co-existent? How do we recognize either without the other?I remain within, and love, the Catholic church because it is a church that has lived and wrestled within the mystery of the shadow-lands ever since an innocent man was arrested, sentenced and crucified, … [Read more...]

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Meditating the Crucifix

Stumbled upon this while looking for something else. Seemed like a good read to kick off the Easter Triduum. Hope you don't mind the repost:WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, OUTSIDE OF TIMEI have been corresponding with a friend who is enduring the loss of a beloved family member - his grief is still very new. My grief for my brother S is a little older. It was just a bare week or so ago that I noted the passing of one year since he entered hospice. It is older, but not much … [Read more...]

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Cardinal Levada Responds to NY Times -UPDATE

H/TA week into the whirlwind sown by a NY Times article that traveled around the world before accuracy, fairness or balance could get their pants on, Cardinal William J. Levada, the pope's successor as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has written a long and rather stunning reply to the Times, in which he writes very personally.Rocco Palma, who reproduces the entire piece at his site, writes that in all the coverage and defense of the Pope you may have read, "you've … [Read more...]

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Randomness & Event Horizon – UPDATED

Getty ImagesRarely has the introduction of a work of art struck me as so exactly suited to its times as Antony Gormley's Event Horizon, whereby we find ourselves encountering a naked fiberglass-and-metal naked man at random spots in the city.From March 26 to August 15, New Yorkers will be encountering this form -made from body casts of the artist- amid their daily meanderings. As morning fog lifts, his eerie-but-beautiful silhouette will be visible. Those texting as they walk may bang into … [Read more...]

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Faith & Politics, Appetite & Desire

Today at Mass I was praying for all on my list, and also praying for the nation, the president, Speaker Pelosi and so forth. I thought to myself: "she strikes me as someone in whom everything has been burned away except political appetite."But then I considered that the same statement can be true about so many of us who are "political junkies." The old nag began within me again: when do our ideologies take over to the extent that they become our idols?It's a valid concern.And then … [Read more...]

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