Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Brief Hiatus

Dear Friends,

I apologize to you for being slow to acknowledge your many valuable comments on postings here of late. I've fallen considerably behind, and have taken a brief break — which will probably put me even more behind in replying to your comments. I'm not sure if I will be posting much here in the next few days, and that may be just as well, since I have begun to feel considerable staly, and, as my mother might have said, worn to a frazzle. All of which may well mean you will welcome having a little break from me, too! Wishing all of you a very good week . . . .

The graphic: a landscape sketch for Thomas Eakins's famous painting "The Swimming Hole," from Wikimedia Commons (scanned from Doreen Bolger and Sarah Cash, Thomas Eakins and the Swimming Picture; original in Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas).

Monday, July 28, 2014

Richard Rodriguez, Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography: "It Is Because the Church Needs Women That I Depend Upon Women to Protect the Church from Its Impulse to Cleanse Itself of Me"

Last week, I noted that in his new book Darling: A Spiritual Autibiography (NY: Viking, 2013), Richard Rodriguez continues a theme that appears in his previous work: this is the insistence that it will be women who call/force/cajole/threaten/whatever the all-male hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church to cease with and desist from their attacks on their gay brothers and sisters. Rodriguez remarks on the strange and unhealthy fixation of the all-male Roman Catholic hierarchy (a fixation borrowed from the desert roots of Christianity and Judaism) on male seed.

In the News: Sixth Mass Extinction of Species Now Underway

In her review of Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction (NY: Henry Holt, 2014), Louise Rubacky notes that Kolbert's thesis — that humankind has precipitated the sixth planet-wide mass extinction of species, and this has already begun — warns of dire consequences when we "break evolutionary chains." Every species now disappearing had its niche in the complex, interwoven, delicate ecology that sustains the whole planet. And the loss of even a single species threatens to unbalance a web of relationships necessary to sustain life as we have come to know it on this planet.

Now the Star Tribune: Top Minneapolis Paper Calls on Nienstedt to Resign

Friday, July 25, 2014

Members of Theology Faculty of St. Thomas University, St. Paul: We Need "New Leadership at the Archdiocesan Level, Leadership That Includes Individuals Who Are Neither Perpetrators Nor Enablers of Abuse"

Brian Roewe reports today that five members of the theology faculty of St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota — Cara Anthony, Corrine Carvalho, Sherry Jordon, Sue Myers and Kimberly Vrudny — have issued a call for "new leadership at the archdiocesan level, leadership that includes individuals who are neither perpetrators nor enablers of abuse." The letter does not name specific persons in its call for new leadership, but obviously addresses the crisis of leadership in the archdiocese under its current archbishop, John Nienstedt.

Tom Reese on Catholic Bishops' Opposition to Executive Order Forbidding Anti-Gay Discrimination: "It Is Time for the Bishops to Sideline Their Lawyers and Consult with Moral Theologians"

Father Thomas Reese, SJ, on the U.S. Catholic bishops' bitter and mean-spirited (my words, not his) opposition to President Obama's executive order forbidding discrimination against LGBTI employees in federally contracted programs:

In the News at Week's End: Pastoral (?) Leadership (?) in Catholic Church, Faith-Based Anti-Gay Discrimination, Gaza, Immigrant Children, Healthcare, and Theocracies and Women

Michael Bayly, The Wild Reed: