Do Your Job – Part IV

Part 4 of a 4-Part Series

In his World Peace Day Message for 2017 Pope Francis states, “To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.” This is a fine example of a bishop being what a bishop is commissioned to be by Jesus (Mt 28:19). He is teaching the disciples of Jesus “to obey all that I have commanded you.”

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Practical pointers for interfaith dialogue – the United Kingdom experience

This handy interfaith toolkit is full of useful resources and provides a bird’s eye view of interfaith activity in the United Kingdom. Themes touched on include why dialogue?, dialogue practicalities, dialogue on difficult issues, dialogue over food, limits to dialogue and bi-lateral, tri-lateral & multi-lateral dialogue.

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About “Markingsmass: A Liturgy for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation”

Dag Hammarskjold was Secretary General of the United Nations when he died in a plane crash in Africa in 1961 while on a peace-keeping mission. Widely admired for his performance in that role, he was rewarded posthumously with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Distinguished as his diplomatic career was, it has been equaled remarkably in public interest in a very different sphere—that of Christian spirituality–by the publication of Markings, a sort of diary or journal published after his death. It has remained in print since the 1960’s and is generally considered one of the great Christian devotional classics of the twentieth century, frequently compared with the works of St. Augustine, Pascal, Merton and other important Christian writers.

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3 Reasons Catholic Bishops are Holding their Tongues on GOP Health Care Debacle

By Patricia Miller for Patheos

When President Obama proposed requiring health plans to cover common contraceptives without charge, the Catholic bishops howled like the world was coming to an end. Dire warnings about the future of religious liberty were issued on a regular basis by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, then-head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who personally went to the White House to complain to Obama. A special committee was formed. Legislators were lobbied. Lay Catholics were called on to protest. A scorching letter was read aloud by bishops at masses across the country. And threats were made about the Catholic vote in 2012.

But now, even as the clearly deceptive and immoral Trump administration plunges further into chaos and the Republican Party uses it as a distraction as it plots to take health care away from millions, the nation’s Catholic bishops have remained largely silent.

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It’s Time to Quit Blaming Smartphones

Hardly a day goes by when I do not encounter at least one article bemoaning the “tragedy” brought upon us by smart phones and social media. If you believe the hype, today’s youth are going to hell in a hand basket, lured by the incessant clicking and swiping of their ever-evolving digital devices. We are losing our very ability to interact with the people around us, these doomsday prophets warn.

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Question: Why Can’t—or Won’t—the Church Change? Answer: THEISM

I don’t think it’s any secret that the institutional church, especially in developed countries, is dying. The worst part: the leaders don’t seem to know how to revitalize it. What are your feelings?

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DignityUSA is moving toward radical inclusion

With the Catholic Church being the largest Christian denomination in the world, the fight for the dignity and inclusion of its LGBTQI parishioners is a fight for the church’s soul and moral integrity.

DignityUSA, since its inception, has asserted that God loves the LGBTQI community equally.

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Carne y Arena: “Flesh and Sand”

Alejandro Inarritu drops a depth-charge into the souls of all who experience Carne y Arena. And he cuts a new trail in the desert of Hollywood toward a promised land of kindness and justice. Let us walk it through political action for protecting the undocumented in our midst, and let us follow him in employing this entertainment technology for social and spiritual progress.

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Do Your Job – Part III

Part 3 of a 4-Part Series

An institution is a humanly created means to achieve an end. All the activities within it are designed by human beings to reach that end. An institution is like a hammer. It is a tool devised by humans to do a job. But, the hammer in order to do the job for which it was developed, e.g. put a nail in a piece of wood, must be employed according to its own intrinsic logic. The handle is held and the head of the hammer hits the top of the nail. To use a hammer contrary to its own logic, for example, to hold the head of the hammer and hit the side of the nail with the handle, is to misuse the tool and render it ineffective to achieve the end for which it was created. Once the tool is chosen its intrinsic logic must be obeyed. 

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The Prodigal Pig

You can call me Wilbur. No, you are not hallucinating: I can talk. And yes, as you can see if you look carefully, I have been circumcised. And no, I do not recommend having it done unless you are an infant who won’t be able to remember.

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We Need More Iftars

I can hear many of you asking, “What in the world is an iftar?” This Arabic word means “a meal that breaks the fast” that occurs after sunset each day during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. Ramadan occurs in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. Here you can see how Ramadan’s dates move from year to year, since the Muslim calendar is based on the moon and the Western (Julian) calendar is based on the sun.

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AMERICAN CIVIL RELIGION IS DEAD, LONG LIVE AMERICAN CIVIL RELIGION

The Founding Fathers were explicit in calling for their politicians to set aside “faction” in favor of the American project. But the singularity of that project was always bullshit, most notably in its equally explicit rejection of a role in the political body for African Americans. […] Now that the fraud has been exposed and there is little, if any, agreement on what the American project is or should be, there is correspondingly less agreement on who ought to lead the nation.

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Communities of Hope

Practices to build hope include dialogues, just getting out there, prayer, and imagining a house of hope. We do what we can, and there is plenty to do.

On November 9, 2016, the United States concluded a blisteringly polarized, vicious political campaign cycle. The results — especially the surprise upset of Hillary Clinton by Donald J. Trump in the presidential election — stunned people as devastating or miraculous, depending on different standpoints.

Concerned about civil rights, immigration, international relations, civility, multiculturalism, and a host of other issues, many people found hope in short supply after the election results came in.

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Do Your Job – Part II

Part 2 of a 4-Part Series

Contrary to the reigning mythology about Catholic popes and bishops, they are not doing their job and have not been for a long time. To understand the truth and tragedy of this sentence, it first must be stated what the job of bishops is, for without this information it cannot be determined whether bishops are doing their job or not. In fact as opposed to the myths and PR that have arisen around bishops, bishops have a particularized job description, which was given to them by Jesus Himself. It is precisely set forth in Jesus’ Great Apostolic Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 to the Apostles, who are the predecessors of the College of Bishops and of hence all legitimate bishops.

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Faith in the Fog: Making Peace With the Messiness of the Bible

I’ve often wondered if my growing skepticism would eventually lead me to abandon faith altogether.
As it turns out, diving all the way in to my deepest doubts and fears hasn’t led me away from Christianity, but instead has revealed a richness and beauty to the Christian faith I had never known. It now resonates on a much deeper level, and seems to speak more profound truth than it ever did before.

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Is Healthcare a Right or Privilege? Wrong Question.

When people ask whether healthcare is a right or privilege, they are basically asking whether healthcare is either an act of charity or a luxury. And then if it is an act of charity, they ask whether others are entitled to that charity or not. Furthermore, this question implies that the benefits of healthcare go directly to individuals and not to society as a whole.

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Will Supreme Court allow businesses to not serve the LGBTQ community?

This week the U. S. Supreme Court announced that in the fall it will hear the case “Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.” The case – which will have many of us LGBTQ Americans on pins and needles – will argue the parameters of one’s right to practice their religion and their right to express themselves freely that’s enshrined in the First Amendment.

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Do Your Job – Part 1

In the U.S. the most successful profession football coach by far is a man named Bill Belichick. He is an intelligent man. Over the thousands of football pre-game and post-game press conference he has had across the decades, he has talked about nothing except his team and the recent or up-coming game of his team. This has not made him a darling of the press. In fact it is quite the opposite. Even when there has been another one of those daily “breaking news” social scandals in the nation or in the National Football League—social scandals being the meat and potatoes of what is passed off as journalism today in North America, Belichick will not speak to the press about them, even if the people involved are on his team. He just says, “My job is to be a football coach. All that other stuff will be handled by the League Administration.”

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