On this week's "Interfaith Voices," I interviewed two Jesuits (one brother, one priest) who work at the Vatican's Observatory: Br. Guy Consolmagno (who has won the Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by a planetary scientist with the general public) and Fr. Paul Mueller, a physicist.
This week, I was on a panel about solitary confinement at the "Architecture for Social Justice" national conference. The conference was for Academy of Architecture for Justice, the subgroup of the American Institute of Architects that designs courthouses, jails, prisons, police headquarters, etc.
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The big Catholic story in October was the synod on the family, but October also saw a plenary session of the Congregation for Clergy, which met to examine the "ratio" (program) for priestly studies.
One thing we learned in October is that a synod of bishops, typically a staid talking shop that verges on the boring, can turn into to a robust round of discussions when the synod fathers follow Pope Francis’ instructions to "speak with parrhesia” -- meaning to speak candidly or boldly, and without fear -- “and listen with humility."
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NCR Today: Post election analysis; (a ridiculous) Ebola scare in Catholic school; Who as authority to write theology? Norway and Steubenville use rap to reach young -- mixed results.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is confused about the recently completed family synod in Rome. He notes that "confusion is of the devil."
Chaput wants to clearly restate church teaching on homosexuals and marriage. I wonder how many times we need to restate the obvious. Is that our only function? Is it simply to keep repeating the same words over and over that everybody already knows and has heard many times?
Bishop William Murphy of the diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., has written a letter to Catholics on Long Island advising them that a proposed bill in the New York State Assembly, called The Child Victims Act, "seeks to penalize only the Catholic Church for past crimes of child sex abuse must also be recognized for what it is."
That didn't take long.
Over at America magazine, Jesuit Fr. John W. O'Malley, a university professor in the theology department at Georgetown University and author of What Happened at Vatican II, quickly dismissed Ross Douthat's New York Times Sunday column, "The Pope and the Precipice."