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Beck,Liberation Theology and Values

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Some of my posts anger the right. Some needle the left. This is one of my favorites, where I get to make both camps upset!

Mr. Glenn Beck, in an interview on Fox News where he was busy backtracking from his charge that the President of the United States is a racist who hates white people, impugned the President for his theological influences, specifically liberation theology. My friend and colleague Father Jim Martin, SJ, came to the defense of liberation theology in a post at America magazine. Alas, the problem with liberation theology and the problem with Beck’s touting of “Judeo-Christian ethics” is the same problem. Both reduce our Christian faith to ethics.

Glenn Beck's Rally & the Banality of Goodness

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Watching the Glenn Beck rally on the Mall, Mr. Beck has proven true to his word. The rally is not political if by political one means partisan. Every moment, every speech, every song has a feel good, I Love America, quality to it. A phrase, slightly modified from the original, fills my mind: The Banality of Goodness.

Who doesn’t honor our troops? Who doesn’t admire Albert Pujols and his work with Down Syndrome children? Who doesn’t think honor is better than dishonor? Who doesn’t think family is important? Who is opposed to charity? The only thing missing as far as I can tell is the tribute to apple pie.

Q & A: Professor Michael Peppard

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We close out this week of hearing from young theologians with commentary from Michael Peppard, Assistant Professor of Theology at Fordham University and one of the founders of the Fordham Conversation Project.

The question: From your perspective as a young theologian teaching in a Catholic university, how do you view the divisions in the American Catholic Church? Do you see things differently than the previous generation? Are there any signs of hope for healing our divisions?

Professor Peppard: In my experience as an educator of Catholics at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate level, I can testify that I have hardly ever seen bitter, irreconcilable theological divisions among my students. For the most part, they are faithful, open-minded, and charitable in their disagreements. That’s the good news from where I stand. I’ll get to the bad news in a moment.

Leave Mehlman Alone

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Liberals need to leave Ken Mehlman alone. The former head of the Republican National Committee came out of the closet publicly the other day and liberals are howling that his oversight of the 2004 Bush re-election campaign was therefore hypocritical seeing as that campaign played the anti gay marriage card pretty heavily.

Blast From the Past: The Catholic Reformation

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More from my RCIA history notes:

The Catholic Reformation finally manifested itself, in part from the new movements such as the Jesuits and the Capuchins and the Barnabites and the Ursulines, and in part from the hierarchy which finally convoked the Council of Trent by Pope Paul III, elected in 1534 and one of the outstanding popes of all time. He gathered to himself all the different reforming elements from the Humanist Contarini to the conservative Carafa. The Council opened in 1545 and sat for two years. Pope Paul IV, the conservative Carafa, shut it down and went on a witch hunt. It was re-convoked in 1551-52 and the final session was 1562-1563. It changed virtually everything about the Church. It instituted seminaries for the training of clergy. It required that bishops live in their dioceses and conduct visitations. It defended the Church’s theology of the sacraments. It challenged Luther on his chosen ground, teaching about justification by faith. It reformed the curia. It called for a catechism which was the basis of the Baltimore Cathechism that we would be using if we were instructing you in the faith seventy years ago.

Prayers for Kmiec's Family!

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Of course, we all join in prayers for the repose of the soul of Sr. Mary Campbell who was killed in car crsh in Los Angeles that also resulted in serious injuries to Doug Kmiec, U.S. Ambassador to Malta and longtime Catholic scholar, and Msgr. John Sheridan, former pastor at Our Lady of Malibu where Sr. Campbell worked and Kmiec worshipped.

But, please keep Doug's family in your prayers too. Almost four years to the day, my parents were in a terrible car accident which almost killed them both that day and from which my mother never recovered. It is an intensely painful experience, waiting outside the operating room, then the ICU, not knowing whether you dare run home to shower and change lest your loved ones take a turn for the worse, looking at your loved ones and friends who have come to comfort you but not knowing what to say, listening to doctors explain complicated procedures that sound dreadful, praying. There are medications to alleviate the pain of those in the accident, but none for their loved ones who stand vigil. So, say a prayer for Doug's beloved wife Carolyn and his beautiful children.

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