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Bulletins from the Human Side

New liturgy makes us more and less than human

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Denver Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley seems as pleased with himself as the boy chosen to be class monitor in his recent explanation of the liturgical changes that come into effect in Advent of this year.

“Let me say this,” he confesses, “I’m very excited about the changes that are coming and the opportunities we have for liturgical renewal.”

Can the pope legislate 'reverence'?

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COLUMN

Folklore grinds out the grains of truth that are found in such notions like: “If an Irishman is given a choice of water or whisky, the water will go untouched.”

With Pope Benedict XVI’s latest plans for time traveling the church back to another era, we recall another claim: “If a German is offered a choice between justice and good order, he’ll take the good order any day.”

'Civility' is political tool, mask for church cover-ups

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As Norman Mailer once suggested that ego was the word of the 20th century, so civility is fast becoming the word of at least this year of the 21st century.

That we all want to be civil should not make us less suspicious of any substance used in excess, and any word that politicians suddenly start using as if they practice it or believed in it. We have many reasons to be cautious about civility as the style of -- as well as the accustomed mask for -- cover-ups.

Christmas journey into the human

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During this week of Christmas, we stand with the Wise Men under a sign in the night sky.

It celebrates an aspect of the feast that, much as for the Kings bearing their gifts, commits us to a journey to “the end of the way of the wandering star” -- as Chesterton sings of it -- “to the things that cannot be and that are, to the place where God was homeless and all men are at home.”

The eternal, hidden in plain sight

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A preacher to the papal household will not get in trouble by telling its residents that the world needs “a renewed faith in eternity.”

Although this cannot be news to Vatican insiders, it is the answer, according to a report on the Catholic Culture Web site, to the questions that secularization has raised as it has metastasized across a Europe once confident of its Catholic identity.

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In This Issue

November 21-December 5, 2014

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