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Bulletins from the Human Side

Vatican implosions really first-order Space & Information Age effects

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That noise you hear coming from the Vatican, according to Robert Mickens, one of the most experienced and trustworthy observers of the church, arises not from the clang of cell doors on papal butlers taking one for the system, but from the “implosion” of the system itself. Mickens, former editor of the London-based Tablet, tells us that, we are witnessing “the collapse of an entire system, structure, ethos, and culture.” 

Prelates hope reform of the reform will fix flirtation with secularity

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The party line for the great synod of 2012, the one Pope Benedict XVI convened to initiate the year of evangelization, repeats a favorite theme of what is known as his reform of the reform.

The problem is, as the good pope has emphasized ever since and as former London Tablet editor Robert Wilkin has pointed out, he identified the adjustment period following the final session of Vatican II in 1965 with the student uprisings that swept across Europe in the spring of 1968.

The sorrows of our September

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At Verdun in France, furrowing farmers still unearth the relics of World War I in the bone slivers of long-dead soldiers clinging to their plow blades as doomed passengers did to the uplifted hull of the sinking Titanic.

There are spaces, such as above the battlefields of Verdun or the sealed-over sea above the Titanic, where air has never been cleared of sorrow despite the thousand and more storms that have brooded and broken over them during the last century.

Cardinals Martini and Burke: Can you tell which one is dead?

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Two distinguished cardinals made news at August's end. The first, Carlo Maria Martini, a distinguished scripture scholar and champion of Vatican II who served as archbishop of Milan, died on the last day of August.

While illness ruled him out as a candidate for the papacy in 2005, it really might have been his reputation as a forward-looking prelate that threatened the backward-looking electors who chose the comforting (to them, anyway) Benedict XVI.

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In This Issue

September 26-October 9, 2014

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