Tag Archives: Religious dialogue

Saintly heights and wretched depths: Catholicism’s triumph and despair

May 20, 2011


Don’t stop me. I’m doing it. I’m throwing every stitch of clothing into a pack, including those wool socks for polar weather and the straw hat to fend off Amazon bugs. I’m on a world-wide quest, an expedition, a voyage, a mission. I will find the great reset button in the sky and I will press it. Brace yourself for a sudden jolt and then bathe in Wonderland’s warmth: Closeted skeletons will vanish and doors will creak open and formerly crazy aunts will roam free. Best of all, cardinals and bishops won’t listen to attorneys any more. They’ll remember the Church is strongest when it embraces weakness and they’ll follow their Lord to the cross, not their lawyers to the negotiating table.

I must find the button because things are now askew. On the one hand, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops rang eloquent in a May 5th letter in which they called budget-debating senators to remember the poor; on the other, fallout in the wake of recent indictments involving the Philadelphia archdiocese suggest magisterium still doesn’t get it. They’ve stalled. They’ve withheld information from its own sexual-abuse review board. They’ve tarnished the church’s reputation while skating the legal ice, naïve of their own harm and supplying fodder for their many opponents. Just to confuse things even more, a

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Warped thinking and a double-dare

April 2, 2011

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You finally did it. You realized your dream and leaped the “brave” leap. Your fellowship sneaked in the Qur’an burning while we weren’t looking and word spread to the Muslim world. Riots erupted in Afghanistan and several now lay dead. Dozens are injured. But please, don’t forget to make that next, crucially “brave” step. Do it for us and for you. I dare you. The world is watching.

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If only I had the guts to say what needs to be said …

March 30, 2011


My problem: I’m all mush, an absolute coward. I’d stand my ground if I were really courageous. I’d emphasize how all sides push us over the intellectual cliff when they type-cast each other.

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Loving Muslims and saying no to book burnings

August 25, 2010


It’ll be a nation-wide movement … No-no. That’s too small. Make it hemispheric … better yet, outright global: a pan-cultural, pan-continental, pan-societal, pan-everything human wave sweeping through North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, Greenland, and Antarctica.

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