Four views on the Catholic Anglican embrace from The Wall Street Journal letters page.
Oct. 29 is the feast of the Martyrs of Douai, Englishmen who went abroad to study for the priesthood and then returned to England to minister in secret to their fellow Catholics.
"Between 1577, the date of the martyrdom of St Cuthbert Mayne, the college's protomartyr, and 1680, the date of the execution of Thomas Thwing, the college's last martyr, 158 college members, priests and laymen, secular and religious, met with a martyr's death."
To read their names, click here.
For details about the individual martyrs, Edmund Campion, Ralph Sherwin, John Sandys, Southwell the poet, Luke Kirby, Alexander Briant, etc., where they were born, where they studied before going to Douai, what crimes led to their arrest, imprisonment, torture, and execution, where they were hanged, drawn and quartered, etc., click here.
As has become the custom, the two bishops from the cities competing in the World Series have entered a friendly wager on the games.
If the Phillies win, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York will ship a dozen bagels to the City of Brotherly Love; if the Yankees prevail, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia will send a case of Tastykakes to the Big Apple, according to a press release from the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
If you don't know what Tastykakes are, you're not missing much. Kind of like Twinkies or Ho Hos. Still, I root for the Phillies, being married to a native Philadelphian and all.
Trying not to be cynical, but wondering if these little human interest stories are specifically designed to make the hierarchy seem, well, more human.
The day the Vatican opened talks with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (a.k.a. the Lefebvrites) and scheduled twice-a-month meetings over the coming months, a German court fined one of the society's bishops for his denial of the Holocaust. Reuters reports:
The Bavarian court had Monday approved a request from state prosecutors in Regensburg for the fine but British-born Williamson has two weeks to contest the ruling.
"If he decides not to accept it, there will be a hearing," said the court spokesman, adding there was as yet no indication of Williamson's intentions.
Denying the Holocaust is classified as a hate crime in Germany.
Stephen Colbert gave his take on the pope's invitation to Anglicans last night. Lots of funny one-liners: calling the Archbishop of Canterbury "the diet pope" and Fox news analyst Father Jonathan Morris "Father Cute Priest."
Morris called the pope's controversial offer a sign of Christian unity. To which Colbert responded, "Nothing brings Christians together like excluding gays and women."
Guest Episcopalian Rev. Randall Balmer publicly declined the invitation to join the Catholic Church, saying, "Holy water's fine. Let's not drink the Kool-Aid."
Watch the clip (commercial first) to see why Colbert compares the Catholic Church to the National League and the Anglicans to the American League.
You can always count on James Carroll to offer an insightful perspective. His latest column in the Boston Globe begins with these words:
I am distressed at the way many Catholics are responding to the Vatican’s initiative regarding Anglicans seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. The latest is in these pages, below, where my colleague Ken Briggs assertion that the proposed apostolic constitution is a “slap in the face” to the churches of the Reformation and decidedly not an instance of ecumenism.
Also critical was James Carroll, who writes in the Globe, “Last week’s anti-Anglican salvo from Rome shows how far the Catholic leadership has fallen from the heights of Vatican II.” Actually, the Pope who approved the apostolic constitution, who in fact puts the “apostle” in “apostolic” was also at Vatican II. Now, it is not unknown in the history of our civilization that some people rise with their years and others diminish, but where is the evidence for this fall Carroll sees?
Some analyses of the "welcome home" party being thrown for dissident Anglicans refer to the pope's invitation as the culmination of ecumenism.
That sounds to me like calling the invasion of Iraq a product of the peace movement.
Ecumenism implies good will and mutual respect. The gallery of historic Protestant churches (silly me thinks they're actually churches) have trooped to reconciliation talks with Catholics for decades. They come up with wonderful agreements and lasting friendships. When these accomplishments get to Rome, however, they have been either called deficient or reduced in importance.
The green light to angry Anglicans is, therefore, indicative of a general disrespect Rome shows toward the rest of Christianity. The price of dialogue is capitulation to the Roman Catholic Church, pure and simple.
The Reformation churches have reason to be furious at this slap in the face. They've played the part of fools in thinking ecumenical talks meant something other than surrender.
Christians have always played one-upsmanship, of course. One group lords it over another, regions square off and disputes go on, as we know, for hundreds, even thousands of years.
Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect of the Congregation for the Religious, and the person charged by Pope Benedict to conduct the Apostolic Investigation of U.S. women religious congregations, last March ordained six new deacons for Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest at the institutes mother house in Gricigliano, Italy, near Florence, Italy.
Looking at these photos, one is reminded of the cultural, ecclesial, and socio-psychological diversity that make up our church. Living, as we do, in the early 21st century, we should recognize we are products of a mix of complex and unprecedented pre-modern, modern, and post-modern influences and temperaments.