Leon J. Podles :: DIALOGUE

A Discussion on Faith and Culture

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Entries from January 2009

Benedict XVI on the Crimes of the Past

January 31st, 2009 · No Comments

The efforts of victims (and now of a U.S. attorney) to make bishops accountable is often derided as bringing up ancient history (i.e., 1970) or criticized as demonstrating a failure to carryout the great biblical principle of forgive and forget (I have never been able to locate that verse).
Of the Holocaust, Benedict said:
Das Vergangene ist [...]

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Tags: Anti-Semitism · Vatican · clergy sex abuse scandal

Cardinals and the Law

January 30th, 2009 · 1 Comment

U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brien is known for novel applications of law in going after outrageous behavior. He is trying to nail Cardinal Mahoney on grounds of fraud for failing to provide honest services. It will be a difficult case. Although actions of Mahoney reek of perjury, being an accessory before the act and [...]

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Tags: clergy sex abuse scandal

The Death of Children

January 28th, 2009 · No Comments

The Theotokos, Joy of All Who Sorrow
The son of a friend of mine died after a long struggle with childhood leukemia.
I awoke in the middle of the night, went to my bookcase, and found a book of Akathists. I read the Akathist for the Repose of the Departed.
It includes these prayers and reflections:

Enlightened by the [...]

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Tags: Uncategorized · death

Traditionalists Disown Holocaust-Denier Bishop

January 27th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Kathnet reports:
“The Society of Pius X on Tuesday for the first time clearly distanced itself from controversial Holocaust-denier Bishop Williamson, a member of the Society.”
Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the Society, said that he has become aware of the interview and “that it was obvious that a bishop speaks with religious authority only [...]

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Tags: Anti-Semitism

More Hazards of Florida Life

January 24th, 2009 · No Comments

Northeasterners whose main concern about wildlife is that deer are eating their azaleas are often unprepared for living in Florida. Our local newspaper’s articles often remind me of Huxley’s essay, “Wordsworth in the Tropics.”

Wildlife officials say two men putting up a fence in Martin County on Florida’s east coast fended off and killed a 30-pound [...]

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Tags: Uncategorized

Guilt and Responsibility

January 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

In Der Spiegel, Slavenka Draculic, a Croatian, writes of why she cannot visit Belgrade: 

Why had I not visited for all of these years?
Was it about “them”? About what “they” did to “us”? Or about what Serbs did to themselves? If I traveled there I would carry two decades of images and emotions with me, [...]

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Tags: Responsibility · Uncategorized · abortion · guilt

Double Standard for Roman Polanski

January 17th, 2009 · No Comments

One of the few legitimate complaints about the way the press has handled the clericals sex abuse accusations is that there is a double standard for clerical and non-clerical abusers.
Roman Polanski fled the United States after being accused of having intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. He admitted the act, but said he didn’t know she [...]

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Tags: Uncategorized · clergy sex abuse scandal · sexual abuse

Catholics and Anti-Semites Together

January 16th, 2009 · No Comments

Although Israel’s - and Hamas’s – actions are subject to moral scrutiny, the demonstrations that occurred when Hamas was firing thousands of rockets into Israel were invisible – because they didn’t occur.
Nor do critics of Hamas associate with racist ant-Arabs, mostly because there aren’t any.
But Catholics and others feel no taint in joining with anti-Semites [...]

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Tags: Anti-Semitism · Canada

Dhimmitude in Germany

January 13th, 2009 · No Comments

German police tore down an Israeli flag because it offended Moslem protestors. When will Germans start arresting Jews and ah, “disposing” of them so that Moslems won’t tear Germany apart? Der Spiegel reports: 

Police in the western German city of Duisburg have admitted they removed flags a student had hung in his apartment in support of [...]

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Tags: Anti-Semitism · Germany · Islam

Who Would Jesus Smack Down?

January 11th, 2009 · No Comments

The NYT article on the Calvinist and ultra-masculine Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church in Seattle is not too bad. Driscoll, by rejecting the prissiness of much of evangelical America, has some success in reaching rough young men with the gospel.
The theological analysis in the article uses stereotypes. Calvinists believe in total depravity – but [...]

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Tags: Masculinity · Women in Church

News: Cardinal Schönborn is Catholic

January 10th, 2009 · No Comments

Herbert Lackner writing in the Austrian newsmagazine Profil is shocked, shocked, to discover that Cardinal Schönborn is Catholic and supports the teachings of the papacy (whose current occupant happens to be his professor at Regensburg and I believe his dissertation director). 
In March 2008 he spoke to priests of the neocatechumate.  

His theme: the fall of the [...]

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Tags: Austria · Population · Uncategorized

An Aging World

January 4th, 2009 · No Comments

The facts of demographic decline are starting to sink in. The working age population is already declining in some countries, according to a column in the Washington Post: 

Aging is, well, old. But depopulation — the delayed result of falling birthrates — is new. The working-age population has already begun to decline in several large developed [...]

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Tags: Population

Disappearing Canadian Children

January 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

The National Post reports

Canada’s under-15 population fell by almost 146,000 or 2.5% between 2001 and 2006, the latest census figures show, and is now sitting at 5.6 million.

Just after the height of the baby boom in 1961, more than one-third of the Canadian population (34%) was under 15-years-old, but by 2006, declining birth rates [...]

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Tags: Canada · Population · Uncategorized

Quaint French Customs

January 1st, 2009 · 1 Comment

A French custom largely unreported in the U.S. press is auto burning. Every night the boisterous youths of the religion of peace burn autos in French cities. This December 31, they burned 1,147.
According to Le Figaro, Sarkozy is taking a hard law and order line on this phenomenon. He wants apprehended incendiaries to be denied [...]

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Tags: Uncategorized