Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Notes on Teilhard de Chardin: metaphysics of evolution

Reflecting on the conversion of the word, Teilhard envisioned it in three steps: philosophical, dogmatic and moral:
A first step would consist in developing (along the lines of "perennial philosophy": primacy of being, act, and potency:) a correct physics and metaphysics of evolution. I am convinced that an honest interpretation of the new achievements of scientific thought justifiably leads not to a materialistic but to a spiritualistic interpretation of evolution:  -- the world we know is not developing by chance, but it is structurally controlled bya personal Center of universal convergence.
A very interesting quote. Once again his Aquinas like approach "primacy of being, act, and potency", from which everything else would follow.  From reading his work I got a very clear impression of his vision of a final cause in evolution, a point of convergence that would become easier to be seen as science develops. I tend to agree more and more with him.

For the scientist out there, as I see it, his comment of the world being developed not by chance does not contradict darwinistic evolution. Random mutations are one part of the evolution paradigm, and act as the pre-condition for natural selection, a step in which there is transfer of information between the system to the species. Whatever Teilhard thought in these terms I don't yet know, but it is clear that he sees emergence of interiority (concience etc) as point toward which evolution leads (which is where his Omega point enters into the equation).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Notes on Teilhard the Chardin: Initial Postulate

Reading an introduction to Teilhard the Cardin. Some bits are very worth remembering. 

 "No reflective construction would be possible without the initial choice which make us incline heart and mind for existence rather than non-existence." That is the Initial Postulate that Teilhard habitually ask to be granted at the beginning. He explains it in Letters from a Traveler:
  Last night I had a long talk with the Doctor and another passanger on questions of moral philosophy. We finally had to admit that we differ in such fundamentals as: "Is it better to be or not?".
  I believe, in fact, that this is a fundamental option of all thought, a postulate that cannot be proved, but from which everything is deduced. Once it is admitted that being is better than its opposite, it is difficult to stop short of God; if it is not admitted, discussion ceases to be possible.
I found this very in the line of Aquinas. First discuss being and non-being, then everything else follows.
----
[1] L'energie Humaine (1937)
[2] Henri de Luback, Teilhard Explained, New York Paulist Press, 1968

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Kerigma, my version.

God's infinite wisdom
and his sacrificial and unconditional love
has been shown to us this way,
that the He comes to us
in the form of the forgiving victim
taking the place of shame for us,
so that we can relax in His Love
while Jesus is slowly untying the knots
of our murderous rivalry
in which we are all caught,
freeing us into a new creation,
where the living water flows
by the power of the Spirit
into the joy and peace
that the world cannot give.
All glory and praise be to God
for ever and ever. Amen.

(Marc Manera Dec 2013) 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cambell's summary of the Christian movement

I learned theology from my father's table grace as he said the same words three times a day no matter how meager the fare. The words I heard from the day I was born until I left his table at seventeen summed up his theology, his philosophy, his very life. And after eight years of what we call higher education I never found a more succinct summary of the Christian movement. For his simple words acknowledged the existence of the Deity, they spoke of mercy, of thanksgiving, sin, forgiveness, restoration, and always concluded with the benedictory AMEN. What else is there to our faith? Hear his words and see if anything essential is missing:
O Lord, look down on us with mercy, Pardon and forgive us our sins, Make us thankful for these and all other blessings, We ask for Christ's sake. Amen. 
Campbell in his address to the Christian Society.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Do you want to know Pope Francis Theology: read this.

Lacking a first encyclical from pope Francis (see note below), if you want to know the pope I strongly recommend to read the interview he gave to to the editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica. It is all over the web, but for once I think it is worth a lot reading it.

Note: Lumen Fidei even if formally the first encyclical Francis, has been regarded after an analysis of the content and style as written almost completely by Benedict XVI, with only minor additions from Francis. Because of this almost nothing of Francis "program" as a pope can be deduced from that. In contrast the interview tells us a lot more of who Francis is. Enjoy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Playing awesome philosophy game online: the nature of morality, plus Euthyprho dilemma

Socrates Jones: pro philosopher is a graphic adventure online that I have been playing. It is awesome and I recommend all of you to go there. Socrates Jones dies and has to debate a bunch of great philosophers. You need find win them by asking questions and bringing counter-arguments to point to their mistakes and then pass to the next level.

I disagree with some of the counter-arguments, for which I have another counter-arguments but this is because I am quite opinionated. The adventures is a lot of fun (for geeks like me) and you can save your status after every chapter. Go play here, and enjoy.

I can not finish though by adding a short video of Bill Craig responding to Euthyphro dilemma.


Comments are very welcomed.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A version of heaven

from xkcd.com

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The power of the erotic: joy and fulfilment.

My own summary from reading Audre Lorde:

The erotic as an internal sense of satisfaction that comes from being in touch with the depth of our feelings, which opens and realises our capacity for joy.

The erotic as power, because knowing that we can aspire to this yes, to this fulfilment within ourselves, we are less inclined to accept resignation and powerlessness.

Finally, the erotic as a power and satisfaction that can be shared from the mutual recognition of the feelings that come from participating in the same experience, instead of using one another though our feelings.

So nice that I will give you a quote to enjoy
The erotic functions in me in several ways, and the first is in providing the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person. The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, form a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.
        Another important way in which the erotic connections functions is the open and fearless underlining of my capacity for joy. In the way my body stretches to music and opens into response, hearkening to its deepest rhythms, so every level upon which I sense also opens to the erotically satisfying experience, whether it is dancing, building a bookcase, writing a poem, examining an idea.
        That self-connection shared is a measure of the joy which I know myself to be capable of feeling, a reminder of my capacity for feeling. And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called
marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife.
        This is one reason why the erotic is so feared, and so often relegated to the bedroom alone, when it is recognised at all. For once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of. Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsability, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.
        During World War II, we bought sealed plastic packets of white, uncolored margarine, with a tiny, intense pellet of yellow coloring perched like a topaz just inside the clear skin of the bag. We would leave the margarine out for a while to soften, and then we would knead it gently back and forth, over and over, until the color had spread throughout the whole pound bag of margarine, thoroughly coloring it.
        I find the erotic such a kernel within myself. When released from its intense and constrained pellet, it flows through and colors my life with a kind of energy that heightens and sensitizes and strenghtens all my experience.

This is part of a chapter of Sister outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde, 1984. I hope you liked it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Debunking the myth of the old catholic church persecuting science and thus creating the terrible dark middle ages

Armarium Magnum is a blog by an atheist that knows about middle ages. He debunks the following:
The myth goes that the Greeks and Romans were wise and rational types who loved science and were on the brink of doing all kinds of marvellous things (inventing full-scale steam engines is one example that is usually, rather fancifully, invoked) until Christianity came along, banned all learning and rational thought and ushered in the Dark Ages. Then an iron-fisted theocracy, backed by a Gestapo-style Inquisition, prevented any science or questioning inquiry from happening until Leonardo da Vinci invented intelligence and the wondrous Renaissance saved us all from Medieval darkness.
Later he goes on saying
It's not hard to kick this nonsense to pieces, especially since the people presenting it know next to nothing about history and have simply picked this bullshit up from other websites and popular books and collapse as soon as you hit them with some hard evidence. I love to totally stump them by asking them to present me with the name of one - just one - scientist burned, persecuted or oppressed for their science in the Middle Ages. They always fail to come up with any. They usually try to crowbar Galileo back into the Middle Ages, which is amusing considering he was a contemporary of Descartes. When asked why they have failed to produce any such scientists given the Church was apparently so busily oppressing them, they often resort to claiming that the Evil Old Church did such a good job of oppression that everyone was too scared to practice science. By the time I produce a laundry list of Medieval scientists - like Albertus Magnus, Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, John Peckham, Duns Scotus, Thomas Bradwardine, Walter Burley, William Heytesbury, Richard Swineshead, John Dumbleton, Richard of Wallingford, Nicholas Oresme, Jean Buridan and Nicholas of Cusa - and ask why these men were happily pursuing science in the Middle Ages without molestation from the Church, my opponents have usually run away to hide and scratch their heads in puzzlement at what just went wrong.
To read the argument in full detail instead of this advertisement that I am pasting here you should go to the actual post here, and maybe even read the book James Hannan Book: God's Philosphers: How the Medieval World laid the Foundations of Modern Science. (only 7 dollars in Amazon's Kindle) 
 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Leah Libresco and Hemant Mehta.

Leah Libresco, a blogger that I have followed for years, had converted from atheist to Catholic more than one year ago. The main path to her conversion is the moral argument. Here you can see an interview to Leah and Hemant Mehta, a prominent atheist blogger.

Here you can hear the interview. Unfortunately Hemant doesn't appear to understand the moral argument. The question is what is the grounds for morality? Not that the interview goes in depth in the interview but many interesting are said by Leah and if you want more you can always go to her unequally-yoked blog.

Monday, July 29, 2013





From Cartoon Church, with permission.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Islam and Christian aplogetics.

Creed 2:6 and Acts 17 are two closely related ministries of Christian apologetics to muslims and interested Christians. In their web pages you can find links to good and respectful debates between Christian and Muslim apologists. If you don't know about Islam, you can go to the 101 very good introduction by Qureshi in Creed 2:6 or follow some of the links of Acts17 to the Muslim side.

I have come to learn some things though:

1) I didn't realise that the standard defense of the Quran was so falsifiable. Islamic standard apologetics says that Quran has predictions of science that was unkonwn at that time, which proves that the Quran was revealed. I have leaflets given to me by muslims in Portsmouth that stress this particular point a lot.
However I found that unsound. I am linking here (where you can find a pdf) to a refutation of the embriology science from the Quran. See a debate here where the Quran is (allegedly) shown to have proof of last astronomical discoveries.
 
2) I also didn't realise that compared to the New Testament the Quran is a a violent book, from which it is possible that that Islam should be imposed to the unbelievers (not that all muslims agree, of course, see for instance the debate below for the two views).



 

Another debate. Who was Jesus? I like the debate below where this is discussed. I like a lot both speakers, even if I disagree with the penal substution soteriology of Qureshi, and with the Islamic view of Hashim. This debate may be used as an example of a good and respecful discussion of both Christianity and Islam.  This is the 2nd of 3rd parts, you should watch all the debate though.



Finally a link to intereligeous dialogue for mutual understanding and harmony here, and to a youtube channel on Christian and Muslim debates here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Letters to my friend: It is hard to welcome the light

This post belong to the series  --- Letters to my friend---  in which I write about being a Christian to a friend of mine. Today's title:  "It is hard to welcome the light"


My dear friend K,

As soon as Jesus began his mission, he said "The kingdom of God has become near, change your mind and believe in the good news."(Mc 1,15)

My friend, this is great! There are good news for everyone to hear! They are the good news of the kingdom of God, of this new world that God dreams and intends for us; a new reality that is already breaking into our mist.

But, atention!, there is also a price to pay; more often than not, as he says, welcoming these good news requires a change of mind and heart. A change of how we live in the world. And, my friend, in many cases, changing is hard.

Making space for a new mind and a new heart requires a process of dying to ourselves, in some way, so a new self can be created. If we try to keep our life, we will lose the true life that is now ready for us, but if instead we are not afraid of changing and therefore of losing our selves, then we will find the treasure of the kingdom od God. By welcoming the good news we will become a new creation.

"Follow me" says Jesus "For whoever would keep his life save will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the good news of the kingdom will save it."(Mc 8,35) We need to be brave to lose our life, which is to die to ourselves. However, quite often, we are too attached to our evil ways that we don't even realise. And if we do we don't fancy to change. We try to resist it. We prefer to live in darkness than to see that we need to change. As John the evangelist wrote "The light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil."(Jn 3,19) 

When the light comes into the world it exposes the sinful structures and ideologies that are build into our society and into our sense of identity. We face a decision about ourselves, about who are we going to become.

See for instance the situation in which some pharisees found themselves in when they came close to Jesus to figure out who was the man and what were his intentions. What they discovered is that Jesus, while being a Jew, was eating with prostitutes and tax-collectors, the sort of people that they didn't want to hang out with. In fact, what decent man eats with prostitutes? what decent person eats with the anti-jewish roman-collaborationists, or the anti-put-your-own-nation-here people? Jesus did.

Not so the pharisees. They didn't want to get associated with prostitutes and tax-collectors. They wanted to remain pure. Therefore they had to separate themselves from the impure, or  they would become un-clean themselves. What Jesus was doing was for them un-intuitive and surprising, why would he be so un-worried about becoming ritually un-clean?

So they ask the the disciples of Jesus:
- why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners? 
When Jesus heard this, he said
- those who are well do not need a doctor, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means "I desire mercy, not sacrifice". For I have come not to call the righteous but the sinners. (Mt 9,12-13)

The pharisees were not bad people. They were people that wanted to be good Jews, and follow the rules that keep them ritually clean. They wanted to keep the law given to Moses, so they could be in good standing before G*d and before the community. What Jesus is telling them is that if they enter into the dynamics of pure versus impure, and keep separating themselves from sinners, this exclusion will end up in sacrifice. You can not keep away from people and love them.

I wish that we can all take Jesus as and example. He didn't regard his equality with God as something to be grasped (Phil 2:6) but out of love emptied himself (2:7) and set his tent between us (Jn 1,14), becoming one of us. God loves us so much that he didn't kept himself away. The same we should do. Change our hearts into the mind of Jesus. Keep ourselves close to all people, since we cannot love people and keep away from them.

May God bless you with the understanding of his will, and with a heart that enjoys being with the people he loves.

Lots of hugs,

Marc




Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Opinions on (not) kneeling on Sundays

After my post on Cannon 20th of Nicea I, which states that on Sundays and during the days of Pentacost prayers at church should be said standing as opposed to sitting or kneeling, I have some comments.

1 - In the Roman Catholic Western rite it can be argued that this is the case since we stand up for the Our Father, and other prayers. This is the case with the big exception of the Eucharistic Prayer. The posture of the people during the Eucharistic Prayer is different in various countries and regions; in the United States and England, for instance, the people normally stand until the "Holy, Holy", and then kneel until after the "Great Amen."[1] I guess that one could argue that the Eucharistic prayer is not a prayer that the congregation pray but only instead only the priest prays it, therefore saving the Nicaea cannon. I wonder if that is the common explanation for it between liturgists. Does someone know?

2 -  After communion some people kneel and pray. Is this going against the letter of Nicaea cannon? Before, when I don't use to kneel, I didn't mind. Now that I got used to kneel, I got more curious and wonder what other people think of it.

3 -  Finally, in the Eastern Rites, it is usually the case that the congregation stands all the time, and that there are indeed not seats in the church (or only for the elderly people). This is the case, for instance, of the Roman Catholic of Byzantine Rite that I attended sometimes in New York. And they were proud of it, of not having pews. Seats in the church are in fact a late invention. Reverting to no seats would be -I think- and interesting experience. Maybe in the next post I will write on it.



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Church Unity

From, Cartoon Church, with permission

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

About (not) kneeling on Sundays

My translation of the 20th canon of the Nicea Council (325ac).


Canon 20th:
About the no necessity of kneeling on sundays or during the fifty days [ of Pentecost]

Because some kneel on Sundays or during the fifty days, and to the intent that all things may be done in the same way in every parish [ diocesis ], it seems good to the Holy Synod that glory [ prayer ] be made to God standing.



It is amazing! I didn't know about this cannon since not long ago. I even doubt that there are many christians (and specially catholics) aware of it. It would be interesting to have a discussion about the appropriateness of kneeling in worship. What to you think?

Bellow I add some comments I found on the cannon. 

HAMMOND.
Tertullian, in a passage in his treatise [ mentions that this observances] were universally practised upon the authority of tradition. "We consider it unlawful," he says, "to fast, or to pray kneeling, upon the Lord's day; we enjoy the same liberty from Easter-day to that of Pentecost." Many other of the Fathers notice the same practice, the reason of which, as given by Augustine; and others, was to commemorate the resurrection of our Lord, and to signify the rest and joy of our own resurrection, which that of our Lord assured. 

This canon, as Beveridge observes, is a proof of the importance formerly attached to an uniformity of sacred rites throughout the Church, which made the Nicene Fathers thus sanction and enforce by their authority a practice which in itself is indifferent, and not commanded directly or indirectly in Scripture, and assign this as their reason for doing so: "In order that all things may be observed in like manner in every parish" or diocese.

HEFELE
"All the churches did not, however, adopt this practice; for we see in the Acts of the Apostles(20. 36 and 21. 5) that St. Paul prayed kneeling during the time between Pentecost and Easter."

[HAMMOND and HEFFLE As cited by Henry R. Percival in here ]

As always your comments are very welcomed!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Moment of Resurrection

From Richard Beck at Experimental Theology
As a psychologist I often wonder what people mean by "resurrection." It's a word that gets thrown around a lot and I often don't know how it is being "cashed out," psychologically or experientially. What does it mean to experience a "moment of resurrection"?
For my part, the experience of resurrection is freedom from the fear of death in the giving our lives away to others. More succinctly, love is resurrection, the moment where we move from death to life: "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death." (1 John 3.14)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Do you want to be Pope?

Pope Francis decided that instead of reading his 5 page discourse to the audience of the Jesuits schools, he would give a summary of it (the let the people to read if afterwards if they want) and the rest of the time take questions from the boys and girls. A risky move as the questions were not prepared or agreed in advance. And what question did one of the girls ask? Do you wanted to be the Pope? Here is the recording of it, audio-translated also into English.  


Thursday, June 6, 2013

The onion and the wicked woman. Reading Dorothy Day

On one of his writings Dorothy Day recalls a story that Grushenka tells in the Brothers Kamarazov.  The story goes like this:

Once upon a time there was a peasant woman, and a very wicked woman she was. And she died and did not leave a single good deed behind. The devils caught her and plunger here into the lake of fire. So her guardian angel stood and wondered what good deed of hers he could remember to tell god. 'She once pulled up an onion in her garden,' said he, 'and gave it to a beggar woman.' And God answered: 'You take that onion then, hold it out to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out. And if you pull her out of the lake, let  her come to Paradise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is.' The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her. 'Come,' said he, 'cath hold, and I'll pull you out.' And he began cautiously pulling her out. He had just pulled her out when the other sinner sin the lake, seeing how she was being drawn out, began catching hold of her so as to be pulled out with her. But she was a very wicked woman and she began kicking them. 'I'm to be pulled out, not you. It's my onion, not yours'. As soon as she said that, the onion broke. And the woman fell into the lake and she is burning there to this day. So the angel wept and went away.  

Pause here for a minute. Maybe some lessons can be learned by meditating on this short story.

             ---  ---  ---

As for Dorothy Day. She saw herself wondering if God's goodness to her was because she once gave away an onion. Dorothy loved the poor, and them taught her to know God.

I think that if she is to be compared to the woman it is because many poor people caught hold of her, and in this way God show them mercy.

---------------------------------------------
 * Dorothy Day selected writings p 6

Sunday, June 2, 2013

How practising hospitality looks like today

From the London Catholic Worker Newsletter. Reproduced with permission.

Hosting by Henrietta Cullinan 
People often ask me if they can come and stay sometimes I say yes and sometimes no, mostly no. Four grown up children, always coming and going, late night pre-loading sessions at the weekends and four tiny bedrooms. Up until now our daytime lives have always been communal. The bathing arrangements are not at all private, my husband and I having been born into a generation accustomed to wandering around their own home naked. We still have a communal sock pile, not so long ago we had a communal dressing room and before that we all six lived in one room. I am using the communal nature of our hours, I can only conclude, as an excuse not to have anyone to stay.  
It doesn't seem selfish to be looking after your own children, three meals, shopping, cooking, fetching, carrying, picking, riding through the teenager hood for four times. This month my eldest son got married. It's time for a new approach to home ownership. 
Playing music at New Year, my friend the viola player says, "and what does 2013 hold for you?" I say, "this year is going to be the year of Hospitality." He says, graciously, "I'm sure you're always hospitable." On Twitter I post, "hospitality in my house every single day" and get spammed by internet dating sites. I print out a colour copy of Andrei Rublev's icon, Trinity, Abraham with the three angels under the oak tree at Mare (Genesis 18,vv 1-15) and pin it up in my office. 
Shortly after this the opportunity arrives and KM, a Burmese man waiting for NASS support, moves out of Dorothy Day house and into my third son's empty bedroom. I had discussed the plan with my husband who at first just says "yes if that's what you want." "Should we undergo some discernment and preparation?" I ask. He says, "What is there to discern?" 
This experience has taught me more about marriage and notions of house and home that about offering hospitality. We don't need to be Mr and Mrs tucked up in our own house. Our house is not part of us; it's just concrete, aluminium and glass. Welcoming a guest makes us both nervous and nervous of admitting this to each other but then draws us closer. 
There are of course possible problems. Our gust is almost completely nocturnal and so I immediately start to worry about being woken up and the back door being left open when he goes out to smoke. KM tells me his own father is a very disciplined man who doesn't like any kind of noise. He himself is so quiet he never disturbs us. I discover that privacy is a shared endeavour, a shared sensitivity to each other needs. We settle into a rhythm of conversation every few days, each knowing when the other is likely to be in or out. I quickly develop the sense that our guest wants to be respected and that our son's bedroom is his room for the time being. Paradoxically at the same time I am asked to write a letter saying that KM couldn't stay any longer than two weeks, a date which shifts as bureaucratic delays appear and disappear.  
I am shocked that our living room that I always thought was a shared space seems like a private room to KM, who never comes to watch television with us for more than a few minutes, even Match of the Day. He often uses the kitchen after we've finished even after we've gone to bed. It turns out the 'communal' areas of our home are not that communal.   
My upbringing says hospitality is cooking a shared meal, clean towels, books and flowers in the bedrooms, polity conversation at meal times, but mainly a shared meal. But who is expecting this of me? At first I leave a small pan of rice for KM to eat late at night with dried hot chillies. 
Our guest arrives in winter during the snowy weeks when the temperature is below freezing each night. There is no heating in the bedrooms, and I worry how could it must be for a guest with nocturnal habits. I buy a thermometer for our kitchen, which struggles to stay above 15 degrees, sometimes making it to 18 degrees, warm and cosy for our home. I realise I needn't worry. My husband's grandmother used to say "a jumper is something a child has to wear when its mother feels cold." 
Dorothy Day tells us that every home needs a Christ room. The paradox is that the minute that empty room is filled with a guest it doesn't feel like a Christ room anymore. The Christ room is a promise for the future. It is a first practical step in the realisation of my responsibility to others. 
It makes me sad to realise how selfish we have become. Offering hospitality helps me remember the many, many people who are hovering on the fringes, not able to work, to support themselves, to be with their families. It makes me realise that for some ours is an oppressive society, where the burden of proof lies with the asylum seeker, where ther are different rules for different people. 
It is easy to have a guest but also hard. At first I feel uneasy and guilty. I regret losing my peace of mind. I am aware that my own taboos and customary compulsions were getting in the way. It doesn't come naturally to me, but when I turn away and set off for work, I have a deep gladness that KM is here sharing our house with us. It has led me to dream of inviting more guests, why not two or three, sitting round the table, keeping warm. 

 Thank you so much Henrietta for your example of hospitality. Your story tells me what a disciple of Jesus looks like today. Many blessings to you too, KM, and your family.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lauda Laude: a simple song -Bernstein-

If you want to see and listen


Even better, if you want to listen only.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Wedding ceremony in a mixed marriage (Catholic and baptised non-Catholic) and the baptism of children


This is my best assessment for your situation regarding to the marriage place and form, and the baptism of children of a man and a woman that are both baptised but only one is Catholic. 

Assuming you are not in danger of death and not in a place without access to priests for a more than a month, then for the marriage to be valid (this is, for the church to say that you have actually married) you would need a special permission from the Bishop (called dispensation). This is because Catholics are not expected prima face to marry non-Catholics. 

Normally you would not need to talk to the Bishop, usually the priest has a form that once filled it means that that permission is granted. For the Bishop to grant permission at least three requirements are needed

A)  the Catholic party has to a) declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith, and b) make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church. (CIC 1125.1)

B) The non-catholic party does not need to promise anything regarding the upbringing of the children (as it had to do in the past), but has to declare that he or she is aware of the promise that the Catholic party is making. (CIC 1125.2) 

C) Finally all the parties have to be aware of the nature of marriage as a covenant of a man and a women for the purpose to establish a partnership for the whole life, with the purpose of the wellbeing of the partner and the procreation and upbringing of children. None of these can be excluded from each of the marrying parties. 

If A+B+C are fulfilled, normally by signing on a form at the parish days before the marriage, then the permission almost certainly granted to marry *under the same conditions of the rest of the Catholics (ex, you cannot marry a person who is already married). 

Now, the conditions that in normal circumstances two Catholics need to abide for a valid marriage include the place and the type of ceremony of the marriage, called a canonical form. The place should be a Catholic parish and the form a Nuptial Mass (with communion) or wedding service. Since the non-Catholic party cannot take communion in the Catholic Church usually the wedding is done without a mass in a wedding service inside the church. In this case, the assistant of the wedding (the person who ask for the consent of the parties and receives it in the name of the Church) needs to be a Catholic priest or a  deacon, two witnesses are required who don't need to be Catholic, and during the ceremony a non-Catholic person can speak to the parties and bless them.  

Now, if you want another form for the marriage, say a) a different place than a Catholic church, or a different kind of of ceremony (say Orthodox or Lutheran format) you would need to ask another permission (dispensation of the canonical form) from the Bishop. In most or maybe all dioceses this is not commonly granted and you would possible need to write the Bishop through the local priest to ask for a dispensation for pastoral reasons (maybe family tensions). It is possible that the place could be changed, and maybe even some sort of ceremony style, but it is far less likely and a very very rare exception (but still possible)  that someone not Catholic would be allowed to assist (ask for the vows). If you want to go to the latter line I would recommend to ask help from a pastoral advisor and a cannon lawyer, as well as to your local the priest, as these are complicated matters. 

Now, you have to know also that the Church forbids to have two wedding ceremonies or a ceremony with two wedding rituals. Since the Catholic party is not required to promise not to have another ceremony, you would still be in a valid marriage if you were to keep secret plans to marry afterwards in another denomination, and do it after your Catholic marriage. The marriage would be valid if the A+B+C conditions are fulfilled, yet at the same time the Catholic party could possibly be forfeiting the good standing with the Catholic Church by formally and publicly acting against her rules.

Now, about the baptism. For a baptism to be valid (this is, recognised by the Church, who would not do another one) the only conditions are a) that water is used b) that the trinitarian words "I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" are used c) 
that the baptism is made with the intention to baptise (as opposed to theatre etc). This conditions are fulfilled by almost all protestant denominations and this is why the Catholic Church does not re-baptise converts from the Luteran Church or Anglican Church for instance. 

Now for baptism to be licit (this is according to the rules) then more conditions have to be fulfilled. For infants, it is required that there is a Catholic sponsor, that at least one parent or people (or legal equivalent) intends the child to be brought up as Catholic. Baptisms are also to be performed in the Church, by a priest or deacon. Now, again, except in the case of near death when rules don't matter, one can ask the Bishop, through a priest, for a dispensation of the these rules. I know that inter-denominational families in England had managed to get the baptisms that are as being in accordance with Catholic and Church of England denominations. In this way the child gets registered in both churches documents. If, without asking for a dispensation, the rules are not followed, but the conditions a)+b)+c) are still fulfilled then the child does not get registered in the documents of the Catholic parish, but the Catholic church recognises that the child has been baptised and will not re-baptise it again. To get the first communion or confirmation in the Catholic Church, since it is required to be a Catholic, some sort of small ceremony would be needed. Usually this would consist in a welcome-into-our-parish announcement by the priest in a particular mass where the child is to be present. 

All in all. For the marriage, the easiest way to go is to get a marriage in the Catholic parish with a Catholic priest asking for the consent, but allowing (by negotiating in advance) for the speech and blessing to be done by someone from the other denomination. As for the Baptism, the easiest thing is to get the child baptised as all other catholics but there are two other options. The firs option is to ask the Bishop's permission for the baptism to be done somewhere else or by a non-catholic person. Some Bishops agree to this (I think) when they see a strong commitment that the child even if baptised somewhere else would be brought up Catholic. Notice that the catholic party in the marriage has promised to to all in his or her power to rise the children Catholic, but since God doesn't ask the impossible if the marriage is in danger this obligation is suppressed. There are reluctant bishops known to have changed their minds once the child kept being un-baptised for months because of family tensions, and agree better give a dispensation and get it baptised. The third would route to disregard church rules and baptise the child anyway, in which case if a)+b)+c) are followed the baptism is ilicit but still valid. I don't see a need for this. Usually one can convince the bishop, and if the family tensions are great, one can keep talking to the bishop until he agrees. 

Well, good luck. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Human Live and Moral Consequences



This



is



how



a human



being




looks like


during



the different stages














of their development.




Now, you can think about the moral consequences of the continuity of the human person.

--------
With thanks to The Crescat blog
credits: next to last picture courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cannon Law vs Common Law

Sometimes layers trained in Common Law do not gasp the differences between Common Law and Cannon Law. The main difference between the two systems is well explained by Edward Peters in his essay "Least Amateurs Argue about Cannon Law: a reply to Patric Gordon brief agains Bp Thomas Daily"
I have encountered this attitude among common lawyers [ "cannon law is riddled with exceptions"] before but, being trained in the common law system myself, I think I understand what leads some of them so wrongly to his conclusion. Canonical legislation does not read like common law legislation for some very important reasons and common lawyers who would venture into canonical waters need to understand this before setting out. It is certainly not my intention to defend the felicity of every expression used in the Code of Canon Law but, if one aspect of the difference between canon law and common law needs {128} to be clearly understood, it is this: Common law is a system of judicial supremacy; canon law is a system of legislative supremacy.Grasp that, and one has the essence of the thing. [Emphasis in the original]

The key point is thus the following

Common law is a system of judicial supremacy; canon law is a system of legislative supremacy

This answers the following question: who has the authority to interpret what is the meaning of a given law? 

In the Common Law this power of interpreting the meaning of the written law resides in the courts. As a consequence a) the legislator, when writing the law, tries to put as much details as possible, to prevent and interpretation contrary to its goals; and b) the lawyers, when preparing for a case, would consult a vast literature of pervious court ruling in that matter. 

In the Cannon Law the power of interpreting the meaning of the written law resides with the legislative power. This is stated as follows in the 1983 CIC 16 § 1 “The legislator authentically interprets laws as does the one to whom the same legislator has entrusted the power of authentically interpreting.” And the proof that the courts have not the power to generically interpret the law is also states in the 1983 CIC 16 § 3 as follows: “An interpretation [of law] in the form of a judicial sentence or of an administrative act in a particular matter, however, does not have the force of law and only binds the persons whom and affects the matters for which it was given.” As a consequence of the supremacy of the legislator in interpreting matters of law, the cannon law articles tend to be shorter than the common law as they don't seek to deal extensively with all imaginable cases, and the few cases that may not be clear can be left to be decided by the ordinary Bishop or other authority. Another consequence of the supremacy of the legislative power is that cannon lawyers, when dealing with a disputable issue of which they want to assess the outcome,  they turn on to cannon law commentaries, and more recently also to the study of development of the cannons. For cannon lawyers therefore Cannon Law commentaries and the study of its development play a similar role than the books of court rulings plays for a common law lawyer. 

You can go to Peters' essay if you need more clarifications.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A beautiful present for my birthday: St John's Bible fine print

As a present for my birthday I bought a small reproduction of the St John's Bible. Well, my budget didn't go all the way to buy the whole Bible, not even if in small format. I managed however to get the New Testament in two books. I have been waiting for it for a few months and I am quite happy that the day had come and I have the actual books home. Reading the gospels or the letters in my bed it became now a more complicated experienced, specially due to the size and weight, but still a rather enjoyable one. :-) See below for an explanation of St John's Bible.



Friday, May 3, 2013

7 Quick Takes on Friday (not on theology) 3 / May / 2013



                        Today 7 quick takes not on theology

--- 1 ---
Online color challenge: Do you know how to distinguish different hues? Have a test here

--- 2 ---
Diagrams! Diagrams! Here the Amazing 






--- 3 ---
 
From Unequally yoked, quoting a Koninsburg book for children. Interesting discussion on Language. 
“Why did you bother bringing [a compass]? You’re carrying enough weight around already.” “You need a compass to find your way in the woods. Out of the woods, too. Everyone uses a compass for that.” “What woods?” Claudia asked. “The woods we’ll be hiding out in,” Jaime answered. “Hiding out in? What kind of language is that?” “English language. That’s what kind.” “Who ever told you that we were going to hide out in the woods?” Claudia demanded. “There! You said it. You said it!” Jaime shrieked. “Said what? “Said what? I never said we’re going to hide out in the woods.” Now Claudia was yelling, too. “No! You said hide out in.” “I did not!” Jamie exploded. “You did, too. You said, ‘Who ever told you that we’re going to hide out in the woods?’ You said that.” “O.K. O.K.” Claudia replied. She was trying hard to remain calm, for she knew that a group leader must never lose control of herself, even if the group she leads consists of only herself and one brother brat. “O.K.,” she repeated. “I may have said hide out in, but I didn’t say the woods.” “Yes sir. You said, “Who ever told you that…” Claudia didn’t give him a chance to finish. “I know. I know. Now, let’s begin by my saying that we are going to hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.” Jamie said, “See! See! You said it again.” “I did not! I said, ‘The Metropolitan Museum of Art.’” “You said hide out in again.” “All right. Let’s forget the English language lessons. We are going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.” For the first time, the meaning instead of the grammar of what Claudia had said penetrated. “The Metropolitan Museum of Art! Boloney!” he exclaimed. “What kind of crazy idea is that?” [...] “Of all the sissy ways to run away and of all the sissy places to run away to…” Jaime mumbled. He didn’t mumble quite softly enough. Claudia turned on him. ”Run away to? How can you run away and to? What kind of language is that?” Claudia asked. “The American language,” Jamie answered. “American James Kincaidian language.”
--- 4 ---

Oh My God. This is a generic solution to any maze. It should be compulsory reading. Translated from “Le jeu des labyrinthes”,E. Lucas, Récréations mathématiques, vol. I (2nd edn, Paris, 1882), ch. 3, pp. 41–55.

M. TRÉMAUX’S SOLUTION.

Among the various solutions to this curious problem in the geometry of situation, the statement of which we have just given, we will choose, as the simplest and most elegant, the one that was kindly communicated to us by M. Trémaux, a former student of the École Polytechnique, now a telegraph engineer; but we have slightly modified the proof.
FIRST RULE. – On leaving the initial junction, follow any path, until you arrive at a dead end or a new junction: (1) if the path you have followed leads to a dead end, retrace your steps, after which you may consider the path just taken as removed, since it has been traversed twice; (2) if the path leads to a junction, take {48} any path,* at random, being careful to mark a cross-stroke on the entrance path in the direction of the arrow f, and on the exit path in the direction of the arrow g (fig. 9). In this figure and the three following, we have distinguished old marks from the new ones by adding to the latter a small cross.
Trémaux’s algorithm: first and second diagrams
Keep applying the first rule, each time you arrive at an unexplored junction; after a time you will necessarily arrive at a junction that has already been explored; but this situation can arise in two different ways, according as the path into that junction has been followed once before or is still unmarked. Then you apply one of the following two rules:
SECOND RULE. – On arriving at an already explored junction by a new path, you must turn back, adding two cross-strokes to mark your arrival at the junction and your departure, as shown in fig. 10.
THIRD RULE. – When you arrive at an already explored junction by a path that has already been followed, take as your first choice {49} a path that has not already been traversed, if there is one; failing that, a path which has been traversed only once; these two cases are shown in fig. 11 and 12.
Trémaux’s algorithm: third and fourth diagrams
PROOF. – By a strict application of the above rules, you will necessarily traverse twice all the lines of the network. First let us make the following remarks:
I. On leaving the junction A, only one initial mark is introduced there.
II. Passing through a junction, by using one of the three rules, adds two marks to the lines which end at that junction.
III. At any time during the exploration of the labyrinth, before arrival at a junction or after departure from a junction, the initial junction contains an odd number of marks, and any other junction contains an even number.
IV. At any time during the exploration, before or after passing through a junction, the initial junction can have {50} only one path with a single mark; any other explored junction can have only two paths with a single mark.
V. When the exploration is finished, all the junctions must be covered with two marks on each path; this is the condition imposed by the statement of the problem.
After these remarks, it is easy to see that, when the traveller arrives at a junction M different from the initial junction A, he cannot be stopped in his tracks by the difficulties of the problem. For this junction M can be reached only by a new path, or a path that has been traversed only once before. In the first case, one applies the first or the second rule; in the second case, arrival at the junction produces an oddnumber of marks; thus, in view of Remark III, there remains, in the absence of a new path, a line which has been traversed only once.
Thus, the only place where you can be stopped is on return to the initial junction A. Let ZA be the path that leads to a forced halt, coming from junction Z; this path has necessarily been traversed once already, since otherwise one could continue the journey. Since the path ZA has already been traversed, there is no path in the junction Z that has never been traversed at all, since otherwise you would have forgotten to apply the first case of the third rule; moreover, there was apart from ZA one path, and only one, YZ, traversed only once, in view of Remark IV. Consequently, at the time of the halt at A, all the paths of junction Z have been traversed twice; it can be shown, in the same way, that all paths of the preceding junction Y have been traversed twice, and so on for the other junctions. This is what had to be proved.
{51} REMARK. – One can replace the second rule by the following, when it is not a question of a closed junction. If you arrive, by a new path, at an already explored junction, you can take a new path, provided you label the two cross-strokes, that mark your passage through the junction, with matching indices a and a; then, if you return to the junction by one of these two paths, one you must take the other. This amounts, so to speak, to placing a bridge aa over the junction. This rule was pointed out to us by M. Maurice, former student of the École Polytechnique.


--- 5 ---
The New Yorker Talks about the Piraha tribe and their language.
--- 6 ---
Catalan Music
--- 7 ---


Four Versions? Have som fun. 
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, April 22, 2013

What working for peace looks like today

MBlessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Here is a letter from Martin Newell, reproduced with permission.

Dear Sir / Madam 
I received your letter dated as above [2nd October 2012], which was in reference to the £445.00 fine that you have been instructed by the courts to try to enforce payment of. Your letter says that you will add £215 to my 'balance if I don't pay within 7 days'.  
Today is an appropriate day for me to write to you, as it is one year to the day since I went to Downing Street with some friends and poured out red paint in the street outside the gates there, to symbolise the blood of the innocent people of Afghanistan, which has been poured out on the streets of their country, at the behest of our UK government, along with the USA and others.  
That day was the 10th Anniversary of the war on Afghanistan, today is the 11th. Today I heard one of the women whose sons went to Afghanistan  with the British army, and came home in a body bag, call for the troops to come home immediately.  
It was for witnessing to my faith in the God of Jesus Christ who refused to be defended by the sword, a God of peace not war, that I was fined, and I will not co-operate with our war making state by paying this fine. I want to try to remain human and faithful, and do penance for my complicity in this war which continues to be waged 'in my name', whether I like it or not, which I don't.  
Although I am a Catholic priest and a member of the Passionist Religious Order, I work as a live-in volunteer, and I live in a shared house with other single people, provided by the London Catholic Worker, which is a voluntary group. Nearly all the property in the house - certainly all the furniture, all the household goods and nearly all the electronic equipment, are the property of the project or the landlord, and not mine. Anyway, leaving that aside, it is all old donated stuff anyway. My own personal property is all in my room, which comprises clothes that are generally old and often second hand and / or donated, or very cheap to start with. I have a few cassette tapes and a 20 year old radio cassette player and an old donated stereo. I have a few books, which are also old and I would think of very little value. The furniture in the room belongs to the project I work for.  
My personal possessions are very limited since I have been committed for many years to a life of voluntary poverty. So is my income. 
I'm willing to go to prison for my beliefs. Since there is nothing here for you to take that has any resale value, you would be waisting your time sending anyone here, and it would be worth your while to return this to the courts. I've been to prison before for similar reasons, so I'm not afraid of it. I am a conscientious objector - I encourage you to make moves in the same direction.  
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. 
Yours
Martin Newell 
 
Martin, I believe you are an example for many of what it means today to follow Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Lord. Lots of thanks to you for letting me publish it.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Edward Feser Lectures: Faith and Reason I

Edward Feser is a writer and philosopher living in Los Angeles and teaching philosophy at Pasadena University College, USA. He is an expert on Thomas Aquinas. Below you can find two lectures

Here is a lecture of Feser against new atheism.



Here is a lecture on the prof of God's existence from the Aquinas first way.



Here is a lecture on he defends that natural theology should be gounded on phylosophy of nature, not on natural science. See whether you agree.




Edward Feser blogs here. He has also a post on the Euthyphro dilemma that is very worth reading if you have some knowledge on Aristotelian-Thomstic philosophy of nature.



Monday, February 18, 2013

The role of the Spirit in the election of the Pope: B16 stated his opinion.

Joe Allen, at the National Catholic Reporter:
Before we begin, let me say a word about the traditional Catholic conviction that a conclave unfolds under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In 2005, this idea was summed up by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli of Florence, who said God already knew who the new pope was, so it was simply up to the cardinals to figure out what God had already decided. 
Some pious souls take that to mean that it's inappropriate, even borderline heretical, to suggest that politics are involved. Yet Catholic theology also holds that "grace builds on nature," meaning that the spiritual dimension of a papal election doesn't make it any less political. 
Anyway, one shouldn't exaggerate the role of divine inspiration. As one cardinal put it to me after the election of Benedict XVI, "I was never whapped on the head by the Holy Spirit. I had to make the best choice I could based on the information available." 
Perhaps the classic expression of this idea belongs to none other than the outgoing pope, Benedict XVI, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was asked on Bavarian television in 1997 if the Holy Spirit is responsible for who gets elected. This was his response:  
I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. ... I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit's role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined. 
Then the clincher: 
There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked

Read everything here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Miserere...




   Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your steadfast love;
   according to your abundant mercy
   blot out my transgressions.
   Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
   and cleanse me from my sin. 

   For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is ever before me.
   Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
   and done what is evil in your sight,
   so that you are justified in your sentence
   and blameless when you pass judgement. 

   Indeed, I was born guilty,
   a sinner when my mother conceived me. 

   You desire truth in the inward being;
   therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
   Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
   Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
   Hide your face from my sins,
   and blot out all my iniquities. 

    Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and put a new and right spirit within me. 
    Do not cast me away from your presence,
   and do not take your holy spirit from me. 
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
   and sustain in me a willing spirit. 

    Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
   and sinners will return to you. 
    Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
   O God of my salvation,
   and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. 

    O Lord, open my lips,
   and my mouth will declare your praise. 
    For you have no delight in sacrifice;
   if I were to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased. 
   The sacrifice acceptable to God* is a broken spirit;
   a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 

    Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
   rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, 
    then you will delight in right sacrifices,
   in burnt-offerings and whole burnt-offerings;
   then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whence Moral Law?


From Iota in a discussion of Humanism in Leah's blog:
1. Moral Law exists whether or not there is a god to tell us, thus no god is necessary to discover Moral Law.
Yes AND no.
The ultimate moral laws (emphasis on ultimate) are, in this theory, an emanation of God, of sorts. To say that they could exist without God is absurd, because they are OF God. It’s like saying my thoughts could exists without me.
But it’s true my thoughts can be accessed without you knowing me in person (say, via this comment, a book, a piece f software, etc.) In some circumstances you can even know next to nothing about me and still interact with something I created. Although the more you’ll want to understand how and why I created something, the more likely you are to find out something about me.
Similarly, moral laws can, in principle, according to this theory, be discovered to a significant extent without an accurate knowledge of God, so that a person is convinced they laws exist of themselves. That does not mean the laws exist without God but that the person perceives them as such
.
So yes, an atheists doesn’t, in principle, need to know God to follow at least a significant number of the right laws and, if they are sincere, be counted as righteous (Catholic concept of invincible and inculpable ignorance). But the laws are still from God.
There were, of course, and actually still are, cultures who think that it makes sense to say moral law is above and beyond the gods. But that depends on having a definition of god that Catholicism does not share: a kind of upgraded human. For an ancient example, see the Greeks (Fate was more powerful than all the Olympians). And, of course, it doesn’t explain how things could work that way (i.e. “Whence moral law?”)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Was it a good liturgy?

Musing with some theologians friends about liturgy. What could be the non-trivial answer to the question: how do you distinguish a good liturgy from a bad one?

Interesting answers:
- It makes you want to stay, remain praying.
- It awakens you a desire to serve.
- Its like being in heaven on earth (but what does it mean? maybe that you are drawn to where Beauty, Truth, Love, Peace dwells)
- You realise that God had worked on you.  

Well you opinions are very welcomed!
M

Friday, January 11, 2013

7 Quick Takes on Friday






Here my 7 quick takes of this week. 

--- 1 Radical Forgiveness ---

There has been a story all around the blog sphere on radical forgiveness, as the family of Ann forgave Connor, the killer of their daughter, and used restorative justice to shorten the time he will serve in prison.

The story from NY Times here. Leah Libresco who blogs at Unequally Yoked, and 
Deacon Greg Kandra who blogs at The Decon's Bench both have commented about this.


--- Nakeness and Manliness ---

Bad Catholic blogs about naked men and how puritanism and hedonism together makes it difficult to be comfortable in front of naked bodies and how it goes agains the good understanding of sexuality and of beauty of the created world. 
--- LGBT Ministry in London is going to change ---
Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, have sent a letter and put a stop to the Soho "gay" masses in London, described The Guardian. Even if the news have been received with joy by the anti-gay lobby in UK. 

Terence Weldon, in Queering the Church explains how this could be a good opportunity to rethink and develop the LGBT ministry for catholics. The Pastoral care will be expanded and will be organised by the same pastoral team, which released an official statement

God works in strange ways. Be careful of what you wish for. 


--- The truth about the vatican money ---
Paul Collins from What's life for has written a quite interesting peace about the finances of the Vatican. If, like me, you have lately encountered too many people uneducated in this respect, this may be a good article to point to. Also you can have a look at this and this.
--- cannon 915 and 916 ---

Those cannons regulate the reception and administration of the consecrated host. 
It is important not to conflate the too actions as so often happens in the debate of denying communion to gay and lesbian people and pro-abortion or politicians.  

Dr Edward Peters have a web page on cannon law and also writes blogs. His expert take on the issue can be inferred from this post, or read an extended version here(pdf). 

--- Inquisition, how many deaths? ---
Quemados vivos: 31914
Quemados en efigie: 17659
Penitentes publicos: 291450 
total quemados(?) vivos: 341021 

(Emilio Ruiz Barranchina. "Brujos, Reyes e Inquisidores" Página 183, Belacqva de Ediciones y Publicaciones S. L. Barcelona (2003) o Juan Antonio Llorente "La Inquisición"  Página 190 Editorial Alba  Madrid.1998.)

From a forum, I get from Elvira:

El documento resultante " simposio internacional sobre la Inquisición" se celebróen el Vaticano en 1998. Para conseguir mas detalles, puedes investigar, si no lo haz hecho, en la página del Vaticano.

Las actas fueron presentadas en el Vaticano por los cardenales Etchegaray, Jean ous Tauran (archivero y bibliotecario de la Santa Iglesia Romana) y Georges Cottier (teólogo de la Casa Pontificia) y el experto en Inquisición Agostino Borromeo,que ha preparado el libro. 

El experto contó que en España entre 1540 y 1700 se celebraron 44 mil 674 juicios por tribunales inquisidores. Fueron matadas el 1.8 por ciento de las personas juzgadas. Otro 1.7 por ciento de condenados lo fueron en contumacia, es decir que no fueron ajusticiados y en su lugar fueron quemados o ahorcados fantoches. 

Sobre el tema de la brujería, Borromeo contó que en España fueron quemadas 59 brujas en aquellos años. En Portugal lo fueron 36 y en Alemania 25 mil. En este último país las condenas no fueron sólo de los tribunales de la Inquisición. 

Con esas cifras, Borromeo precisó que las quemas y ajusticiamientos no fueron tan frecuentes como se ha creído duramente mucho tiempo. 

Borromeo alentó a los investigadores a profundizar en la gran masa de fuentes históricas que ahora son consultables, para superar definitivamente, por una parte, la leyenda negra creada contra la Inquisición en países protestantes, y, por otra, la apologética católica propagandista que surgió como reacción.

Noto mucha agresión hacia la Iglesia Católica a pesar de que el Papa Juan Pablo II ha pedido perdón en más de cien ocasiones. Las expresiones de pesar siempre fueron incondicionales, y la Iglesia nunca esperó encontrar pedidos de perdón similares como respuesta.

Ni los hubo. Y falta que hace, ya que muchos Pueblos, Religiones y hombres de todo el mundo han cometido y siguen cometiendo hechos similares al que nos ocupa, y lo peor es que no se arrepienten.

El Papa Juan Pablo II reiteró el arrepentimiento de la Iglesia por los pecados cometidos,( no sólo por los errores), por sus miembros a lo largo de los siglos, entre ellos los abusos cometidos por la Inquisición. 

Además, la inquisicion mas sangrienta no fue la católica, sino fue la inquisicion anglicana. El rey Enrique VIII en un solo dia mando a torturar y la hoguera aproximadamente a 72.000 catolicos y su hija Elizabeth durante su reinado mando a la hoguera y tortura a mas gente que los catolicos lo habian hecho en mas de 300 años.

Y en Europa, los seguidores del protestante Martín Lutero en el siglo XVI condenaron a 50 mil mujeres por brujeria, 25 mil sólo en Alemania, en la pira purificadora.
--- Beginning of the Gospel of Luke ---



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