National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

Vietnamese Rep. Anh Cao discerns with Ignatian spirituality

 | 

A Vietnamese-born lawyer, the first Vietnamese-American to be elected to Congress, and a former Jesuit seminarian, Anh "Joseph" Cao was the lone Republican to vote for landmark health care reform on November 7, 2009.

Cao spoke with National Jesuit News about the process of discernment that he uses in reaching decisions as a U.S. congressman, how those decisions are grounded in his background in Ignatian spirituality and why he didn’t chose the party line in voting for health care reform.

Bishops, abortion and health-care reform

 | 

While the U.S. bishops are congratulating themselves for being a potent force in the health care reform debate (see: Health care victory give bishops confidence), tThe On Faith blog at the Washington Post posed this question to its bloggers:

Q: U.S. Catholic bishops are defending their direct involvement in congressional deliberations over health-care reform, saying that church leaders have a duty to raise moral concerns on any issue, including abortion rights and health care for the poor. Do you agree? What role should religious leaders have -- or not have -- in government policymaking?

Here are the answers:

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite: Bad Samaritans

All You Need Is ... Email?

 | 

I don't know what makes me more upset: my company-supplied Blackberry, or the insane commercials the smart-phone maker is now airing that tie their product to -- get this -- love and a classic Beatles song.

I despise my Blackberry. I hear it all the time: in my sleep, at church, on the beach -- when I am nowhere near it, I still hear it. It haunts me. That incessant buzz of my vibrating Blackberry, filled with email messages about something someone feels demands my immediate attention. Thanks to my Blackberry, I am never out of touch. Thanks to my Blackberry, vacations and weekends are not time off from work, merely a change in location.

Can you feel the unbridled happiness that is my life since Blackberry walked into it? Well, apparently the people who make this little slice of heaven actually do feel it, very very much.

Live simply, but don't be smug about it, says radical environmentalist

 | 

Let the water run. Throw those recyclable milk jugs in the trash. And drive that 15-year-old gas-guzzling truck all over town.

Not interested? That’s okay but just don’t go feeling superior about it.

A biting essay in Orion (July-Aug. 2009), written by Derrick Jensen, rails against “simple living as a political act.” The radical environmentalist argues that focusing on our personal choices as a salve for eco-destruction is not only misguided, but also ineffective.

“Would any sane person think Dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday . . . or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the voting rights act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal ‘solutions’?”

Has the Vatican usurped Vatican II liturgical norms?

 | 

Writes Jerry Filteau, NCR Washington Correspondent: "Another surprise element introduced on the opening day of the bishops’ Nov. 16-19 meeting came during initial informational presentation of several supposedly final segments of the new English translation of the Latin Roman Missal.

"As the first of the five final segments was introduced, Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., rose to ask what had ever happened to the translations of the antiphons – which the bishops had discussed in the first draft form a couple of years ago, he said, but which had never come back to them in final draft form for actual debate and vote.

"Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the USCCB Committee on the Liturgy, answered that the antiphons did not come back to the bishops for approval because in the meantime the Holy See has taken their translation to itself.

Senate moves on climate and energy legislation

 | 

This past week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed their version of a climate and energy bill, theirs called Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S.1733). The bill and the process took a great deal of flak and revealed how partisan this issue has become. In our estimation, this bill made some substantial progress in emission reductions of greenhouse gases and the inclusion of adaptation funding for poor people here at home and around the world. The poor and vulnerable will be hit first and worst by the negative impacts of climate change.

It is crucial to show that there is support for a final bill to come out of the Senate so that the momentum continues as negotiators head to Copenhagen for the upcoming international gathering on climate change. Learn more about Climate & Energy legislation and advocacy at the National Catholic Rural Life Conference website.

Enchantment

 | 

The late Fr. Thomas Berry, a leader in the eco-spirituality movement, styled himself a "geologian" rather than a theologian. This means Berry built his images of God and his spirituality from the ground up rather than from the top down.

When asked what was the one most important element of a practical, everyday spirituality of living, he answered with an intriguing word: "Enchantment."

In order to engage with an active spirituality that makes sense, that works and is effective for our times, Berry urges the awakening of an energetic sense of awe and wonder within us. Enchantment comes as we see the whole universe, and especially the Earth that gave us birth, as vast, sacred mysteries.

Ignatius of Antioch on bishops' authority

 | 

Of Chicago Cardinal Francis George's address to the bishops yesterday, David Gibson says, "George made it clear that after years of repeated questions about the bishops' credibility, it was time for the bishops to clarify just who can and cannot speak for the church."

He adds:

Setting the tone for his argument for episcopal control, Cardinal George prefaced his remarks by twice citing the 2nd century bishop, Ignatius of Antioch, who famously wrote to his flock "that you do nothing without your bishop."

"Your submission to your bishop, who is in the place of Jesus Christ, shows me that you are not living as men usually do but in the manner of Jesus himself," Antioch wrote in a citation noted by Cardinal George.

"That elevated view of the bishop's authority guided George's remarks. For example, he made it clear that even the recent years of crisis would not cow the bishops in their effort to reassert their authority and relevance.

Nov. 17, St. Hilda of Whitby

 | 

The feast of St. Hilda of Whitby is observed by the Greek Orthodox Church, the Anglican Church, and the Roman Catholic Church.

"Christ's servant Abbess Hilda, whom all her acquaintances called Mother because of her wonderful devotion and grace, was not only an example of holy life to members of her own community; for she also brought about the amendment and salvation of many living at a distance, who heard the inspiring story of her industry and goodness."

-- Venerable Bede


Hilda hosted the Synod of Whitby. Two of the major issues discussed at the synod were the setting of the date of Easter and the tonsure of monks.

Pages

Subscribe to NCR Today

Feature_ad_Family-synod3.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

September 26-October 9, 2014

09-26-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.