Sunday, August 27, 2006

"What is a 'Just War' from the Catholic perspective?" & other great stories

BURNING QUESTION OF THE WEEK: "What is Faith?" This is not an intellectual exercise. We are not looking for left-brained answers this week. But the simplicity of the question may stun you, so think it over. And let us know what you think. Post your comments today.

FEATURED BLOG: "Why We Babble" (Gen 11) by Jeri Westerson takes the history out of the story of the Tower of Babel.

Pope Benedict XVI had a lot to say this week. First, he postulated that human beings experience the anxiety of constant search and that only "God meets the rational search of Man." He also referred to the the Apostle John as the Theologian who "proclaims With radiant insight That 'God Is Love.'" And as a further followup to his discourse on John, Pope Benedict said the Apostle John's objective in writing the Book of Revelation is to unveil, "from the death and resurrection of Christ, the meaning of human history."

His office likewise touched on Ecumenism saying "If the division of Christians, says Vatican II, openly contradicts the will of Christ, it is a scandal for the world and harms the most holy cause of the preaching of the Gospel."

With the conflicts in the Middle East causing our politicians to undertake wars in our name, it's time we take a look at the "Just War Theory" from a Catholic point of view. Along this thought trend, it seems that Muslims who desert the Islamic faith and convert to Christianity are becoming some of the most serious victims of the conflict.

And speaking of wars, meet a Catholic priest whose ministry includes dodging bullets. He is Fr. Jim Danner, the Catholic U.S. Pacific Fleet Chaplain. Back on the state side, fewer U.S. priests are resulting in more and more parishes being run by lay people who - although they can not be called "pastors"- are doing everything a pastor does except the sacramental roles.

As things continue to evolve in our Catholic world, it becomes more critical that our teachers and catechists learn to hone their skills at navigating the media culture from the faith perspective. A Media Literacy Course set for teachers and catechists has been announced by the Pauline Center for Media Studies. Check out the program.

We ran across a web site that features miracles from the time of Jesus as well as from modernity. It's published by the Catholic Agency to Support Evangelization. It's an interesting read. Immigration was in the news this week as studies show 42% of all legal immigrants to the U.S are Catholics. And so this question begs to be asked, "Is the Catholic Church pro-immigrant?" You bet! We also found out that Catholic-run centers are swamped with immigrants eager to learn the English language. And as expected, a new study says the Catholic Church is the key in integrating Mexicans into the U.S. culture. And we also found out this week, that while the Catholic population in the U.S. has dipped, it has grown worldwide.

Elsewhere in the news, President Bush's action may have caused him the Catholic voter base when he approved the over-the-counter sale of the Morning After Pill. This came on the heels of the release of the "2006 Catholic Voter's Guide" that identifies five “non-negotiable” issues that should take precedence when Catholics are deciding how to vote. A U.S. town with deep Christian roots and traditions is fighting efforts to remove a painting of the "Head of Jesus" in its school. But on the plus side, a group that is spearheading efforts to promote the use of a Bible textbook in public schools seem to be making good headway.

GET INSPIRED! "A Call for Balance in Our Lives" by Paul Dion, STL, is a wonderful reflection on the Gospel of Matthew 19:16-22. "STOP FOR DIRECTIONS" by Bo Sanchez ask you what the hurry is and urges you slow down. A preacher wisely points out that "Prayer is a dialogue, not a Shakesperean monologue." And a priest follows his dreams to a small parish and the challenge they faced when "Katrina" evacuees start pouring in fom the Gulf.

Have you heard of Wordnet TV's "Power of Love?" Fr. Mike Manning, SVD, hosts this talk show every Wednesday, 8:30 am, on TBN. On August 30, he tackles "Human Traficking" with Namju Cho from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery/Traficking. Check them out on your local cable network or click here to watch a streaming video of the show.

And come Sept. 1-3, imagine 12,000 young adults packed to the rafters at the Anaheim Convention Center, each one of them on-fire with the Holy Spirit. It's the 35th annual convention of the Southern California Renewal Communities, the largest of its kind in North America. Join them for an entire weekend of worsip, music, seminars and everything else that's Catholic. If you haven't been to one of these, it's time you experienced it.

Another busy and blessed week for Catholics everywhere. Enjoy your weekend and stay in the spirit. God bless.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor in Chief

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