Leon J. Podles :: DIALOGUE

A Discussion on Faith and Culture

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Entries from November 2010

Triumph of the Will

November 21st, 2010 · 5 Comments

In all the talk about Benedict’s comments on the use of condoms to avoid transmitting AIDS, the words use have been “ban.” “allow,” “permit,” etc, all referring to acts of the will. 
But the Pope was not making an act of the will, he is not making a law, but expressing a judgment. Moral discourse is [...]

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Tags: Vatican · Voluntarism

Dragons in Spain

November 20th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The memories of the Civil war are vivid in Spain, and a new movie, There Be Dragons explores them. Roland Joffe, an agnostic, (The Mission, The Killing Fields), directed it. He is aiming for a Palm Sunday, 2011 release. The movie is intense. 
The plot is that two friends who grow up and take different paths, one [...]

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Tags: Spain


November 20th, 2010 · No Comments

When tourists arrive in Santiago, they are somewhat surprised (and occasionally horrified) to discover that the city of full of the dulcet tones of the bagpipe (gaita). At the Santiago Parador, we heard one American ask why a bagpipe was being played in the square, and had to be informed it was the National Instrument. [...]

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Tags: Camino de Santiago

American Puritanism and the Vatican

November 20th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The Vatican is issuing new guidelines for handling accusations of sexual abuse. We shall see how stringent they are, how much they are followed, and whether there are any consequences for bishops who do not follow them. 
Sandro Magister at Chiesa has some comments on the canonical aspects of the procedures, and he is obviously unhappy [...]

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Tags: clergy sex abuse scandal

Traditionalist Mass in Paris

November 18th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Before I went on the Camino, I stayed in Paris a few days to go to the museums and to wait for my hiking poles to catch up with me (they never did). 
By coincidence, the hotel I stayed at (Henri IV, on the Left Bank) was a few meters from the church of St. Nicholas [...]

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Tags: Liturgy

Indians in Iceland

November 17th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Iceland, because of its small and homogenous population, was chosen to be the country to have its DNA mapped. There have been some surprises. 
According to the Vinland sagas, Icelanders discovered  North America and even established a settlement there in the middle ages, around the yaer 1000. The hostile Scraelings (American Iandians) forced the abandonment of [...]

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Tags: Iceland

Martin Sheen and The Way Home

November 13th, 2010 · No Comments

Several people, both on this blog, and elsewhere, have asked me how I can remain a Catholic after what I’ve discovered about the Church.  That question deserves a long and thoughtful answer, but it would be much along the lines on what Martin Sheen says in this interview about his life and his new film [...]

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Tags: Camino de Santiago

Mass on the Camino

November 12th, 2010 · 4 Comments

 I tried to go to mass every evening on the Camino. Most churches have evening masses for the pilgrims. Oddly enough, Sunday was the hard day – the sole village mass was in the morning and there was no mass in the evening. But 9 days out of 10 I was able to go to [...]

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Tags: Camino de Santiago · Liturgy

Benedict and Spanish Laicism

November 10th, 2010 · 5 Comments


I finished my Camino on October 31, met my wife, and we stayed in Santiago until November 4, just before the arrival of the Pope. We went to Madrid for a few days and observed, among other things, the controversy started by the remarks that Benedict made to reporters on his plane: 

“In Spain, a strong, [...]

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Tags: Pope Benedict · Spain