Thus saith The New York Times: Compassion is the opposite of Catholic doctrine  ✂︎

Terry Mattingly for GetReligion on the New York Times talk with Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller regarding Pope Francis, politics and Church doctrine:

So again: Pope Francis provided no clear wins for the doctrinal right but he also provided no clear wins – on doctrine – for those who want to change church teachings. The Times said so.

Instead, he continued to call for a more pastoral approach to the application of core moral doctrines. Clearly, that equals a lose [sic] for conservatives, because compassion and orthodoxy cannot be combined. Anything that includes an acknowledgement of sin and the need for repentance (followed by forgiveness) is cruel and [must] be changed, even though this pope talks, and talks and talks about the importance of Confession.

(via The Anchoress)

Even the iPhone 6S launch pauses for Pope Francis  ✂︎

UPS is already warning people in New York and Philly that the Papal visit may cause delays in certain deliveries of Apple’s latest flagship device.

The affected areas in New York City are all in Manhattan, including parts of Chelsea, Civic Center, East Harlem, Midtown, Tribeca and the Upper East Side and Upper West Side. Pope Francis will be making appearances in those areas at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, United Nations headquarters, 9/11 Museum, Central Park, Madison Square Garden and elsewhere next Thursday and Friday.

The affected areas in Philadelphia include parts of Bella Vista, Callowhill, Center City, Devil’s Pocket, Fairmount, Grays Ferry, Logan Square, Mantua, Northern Liberties, Passyunk Square, Pennsport, Point Breeze, Poplar, Powelton Village, Rittenhouse Square, Society Hill, Southwark, Spring Garden, Spruce Hill, University City, Washington Square West, West Philadelphia and West Powelton.

“If you at some time felt you could not go forward, I would do the same!”  ✂︎

America Magazine quoting Pope Francis on the “institution” of the emeritus pope:

I think that the emeritus pope is already an institution because our life gets longer and at a certain age there isn’t the capacity to govern well because the body gets tired, and maybe one’s health is good but there isn’t the capacity to carry forward all the problems of a government like that of the church. I think that Pope Benedict made this gesture of emeritus popes. May, as I said before, some theologian may say this is not right, but I think this way. The centuries will tell us if this so or not. Let’s see.

The message of Christmas leaves no room for New Year’s cynicism

Back in early December, I was visiting my parents in the midst of what was considered a major ice storm in Dallas.  Though it messed up most of our plans for that weekend, it gave me a rare opportunity to spend an extended amount of uninterrupted time with my parents.  During that time, my mom and I talked about a time in our family’s past that wasn’t all that pleasant.  It involved the church in which I grew up.  It was a church my grandpa literally helped build brick by brick and a place where my parents gave years in service and love.  It was a part of our family.

Without going into too many details, when I was in high school, the church turned on my parents.  Wildly false accusations were raised against them.  Long-time friends turned their backs on us.  It got ugly.  Eventually, my parents found another church, I went on to college, and we all tried to move on.

While we did indeed move on and dealt with much greater, more important challenges in life, that time for my family was a demarcation point in my own life.  It marked a time that I no longer felt comfortable in the town where I grew up.  After that incident, I began to view the world differently.  Hope and trust in others was replaced with skepticism and cynicism. Continue reading →

Perception, the Press, and the Pursuit of Truth

For those that don’t know me well, I am a huge sports fan.  Specifically, I am a big Oklahoma State University sports fan.  Rooting for my alma mater is something that has been a part of my life since long before my matriculation in Stillwater, OK.  Two weeks ago, while enjoying the OSU football team beating up on a well-undermanned University of Texas-San Antonio team, I began to hear and read rumors that a big scandal was about to break regarding the Cowboy football program.

Sure enough a few hours later, the school sent out a mass e-mail warning alumni and fans that Sports Illustrated was about to run a series of stories that would make allegations of disturbing behavior that ran the gamut of NCAA violations.  Anxiety of the unknown hammer that was about to drop consumed me and the rest of the fan base who love the school so much.

Continue reading →

Weekly Clippings: Divided We Fall Edition

It’s been about a month since Pope-emertius Benedict XVI’s resignation became official, and now we are a couple of weeks into Pope Francis’s pontificate.  While there was a fair amount of sadness as Benedict left the chair of St. Peter followed by a great deal of joy with the election of Francis, there has also been a divisive undertone among many Catholics and members of the media trying to pit the Pope against the Pope-emertitus.  Personally, I wish it would stop, and from my reading this week, I see that I am not the only one. Continue reading →