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Mulism feminists

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A quite interesting essay on Eureka Street (the Australian version of America magazine) by Ellena Savage, called Boobs, booze and Muslim feminists. The teaser reads:

She'd rather be wearing jeans, but is compelled to dress like a Christmas tree for the Spring Racing Carnival. Her desire to be desired for the depth of her cleavage is nominated by the designs of men in her society. No wonder some Muslim women feel the hijab subverts patriarchy.

The 'Green' Patriarch

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The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is visiting the United States. This Greek Orthodox prelate is often called the “Green” Patriarch. And his visit resurrects pleasant memories for me.

tLast year, I met him when I visited Turkey on an interfaith tour. Now, being a feminist, I am not usually impressed by patriarchs of any stripe. But I must confess, I was pleasantly surprised by Bartholomew.

The Bishop of Brooklyn Gets Political

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The fracas in Brooklyn over the recording by Bishop DiMarzio on behalf of a candidate is telling in many ways, but none more so than the way the Church’s culture tends to lag behind the mainstream culture. DiMarzio is old enough to remember a time when dealings between the Church and the State were conducted personally, and when the laity were not inclined to question their religious leaders, and religious leaders were not inclined to become publicly involved in political storms. Those days are gone.

We saw another leftover of the old days earlier this year when a Connecticut legislator questioned the way Catholic parishes were incorporated in that state. Those laws were put on the books in the 1950s and, without any particular historical research, I can guarantee nonetheless that what happened in the 1950s was the Governor of Connecticut called the Archbishop of Hartford and asked, “How do you want us to do this?”

All Souls Day

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Today is All Souls Day.

The latest teachings on Purgatory from Pope Benedict XVI:

From III:47: "Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Saviour. The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgement. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. All that we build during our lives can prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet in the pain of this encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives become evident to us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation 'as through fire'."

Hallows for Today, Oct. 31

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A front-page article in The New York Times yesterday, Drop the Halloween Mask! You Might Scare Somebody, lists the various costumes and props forbidden at school Halloween parties.

When I was in parochial school in the late 1940s and early '50s, I always dressed as a gypsy with big hoop earrings and lots of make-up, but today that would be considered an ethnic stereotype. The boys in my class dressed as hobos with dirty faces and bindles, but today that would be regarded as demeaning the homeless.

(There was quite a battle on the "Mad Men" message board about the symbolism of Don and Betty's children going trick-or-treating as a gypsy and a hobo, but I think it was just another touch of period realism by Matthew Weiner.)

The New York Times article said nothing about parochial schools. I wonder if kids who dress as saints for the Eve of All Hallows parties are allowed to carry the traditional symbols and instruments of martyrdom associated with them.

Lucky me!

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Last Saturday I traveled from Chiang Mai, Thailand, home to Los Angeles. I was feeling content and energized after participating in a week-long world congress of SIGNIS, the world association for communication. The theme of the gathering was “Children’s Rights Tomorrow’s Promise.” Everything on this trip had gone well.

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October 10-23, 2014

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