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Archive for the ‘Dialogue’ Category

Do I have your attention?

Good.  The fidget spinners have done their duty, and we can move on.

Do I know you?

Even better.

Are you a past Into the Dance reader?

Better still.

Does it seem to you that I’ve been gone for quite awhile?

That doesn’t surprise me.  It’s because I have. (more…)

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donald_trump_august_19_2015_croppedIf the firestorms surrounding Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump were literal, America would long ago have been reduced to cinders.

A 10-year-old video, recently shared by the Washington Post, shows Trump and Billy Bush (of Access Hollywood) making lewd comments about women on the set of the soap opera Days of Our Lives.

Let’s state the obvious first: (more…)

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Crowning_in_Syro-Malabar_Nasrani_Wedding_by_Mar_Gregory_KarotemprelIn part one, I talked about hermits and celibates, quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

[Hermits] manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is, personal intimacy with Christ.

(CCC 921 — italics mine)

(…)

Virgins who, committed to the holy plan of following Christ more closely, (. . .) are betrothed mystically to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church.” By this solemn rite (Consecratio virginum), the virgin is “constituted . . . a sacred person, a transcendent sign of the Church’s love for Christ, and an eschatological image of this heavenly Bride of Christ and of the life to come.

(CCC 923 — italics mine)

If you’ve read part one (and I encourage you to do so), you may have noticed that I’ve changed my use of italics slightly.

In addressing the question of why the Church only recognizes the validity of sex within the bonds of the marital union, I want to draw attention to the nuptial character of Catholic spirituality. (more…)

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La Belle Dame sans MerciINTERLOCUTOR: Catholics are puritanical in their attitude toward sex.

ME: No we’re not.

INTERLOCUTOR: Prove it.

ME: Okay. (more…)

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French-born anthropologist, philosopher, historian, literary critic, and social scientist René Girard, arguably one of the pivotal figures in Christianity during the last half-century, passed away yesterday at age 91.

Some of my more faithful readers may remember me referencing Girard in my commentary on Frozen.  One of his major contributions was his exploration of Christianity in light of the ages-old scapegoat mechanism, which he discusses in the following video.  It’s just a few minutes long, and is worth a look:

NOTE: This video was posted by a Youtube user who is from all available evidence a devout Catholic of good conscience.  Hence, I am assuming fair use here.  But if anyone knows or suspects otherwise, please let me know, and I will promptly delete this post.

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For those of you who weren’t aware, Fr. Robert Barron, whom I’ve admired and followed for years now and whose videos I have often shared on this blog, was recently appointed an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles.  Hence, Into the Dance extends hearty congratulations to him!

Bishop Barron was one of the commentators on MSNBC’s coverage of Pope Francis’ Mass in Philadelphia, along with Brian Williams, Chris Matthews, and Notre Dame professor Kathleen Sprows Cummings.  In this short segment of the commentary, he offers a very concise, charitable, and brilliant defense of priestly celibacy within the Church.  Take a look!

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For parts 1-3, click here

Ok — so where exactly do the issues we touched on in part 1 figure in the analyses of parts 2 and 3?  Well, let’s take them one-by-one, but going in reverse order:

From the perspective of many in our society, even if these Planned Parenthood videos are true, it is irrelevant.  Fetuses lack autonomy, and their “parts” can be made useful without infringing on the “rights” of the “right” people.

Albino ChildNext, the albinos: In part 1, I talked about the sense we all have of the inviolable dignity of the human person.  This sense is fundamental.  It doesn’t go away when we try to deny or suppress it; but it does require more extreme and intense examples in order to be alerted (much like when we find that the more impaired a person’s hearing, the louder we must shout to get his/her attention).

CecilFinally, there is the affair of the animals.  Inattention to certain classes of human beings and over-attention to the beasts can co-exist, and here’s why: Any time you either add or remove items from a scale on a balance, the other is raised disproportionately high or dropped disproportionately low accordingly.  It’s only natural that this should happen, and I think it helps to explain why in some ancient cultures people worshiped animals while immolating their children in human sacrifices.

Pope Francis 2By contrast, we could all benefit greatly from the human ecology of the current (and, contrary to what many people think, the previous) pope, which ties inseparably a legitimate and loving care for the whole created world with a proper understanding of the great “hierarchy of being” — in which the higher care for the lower, and the joy of the Creator shines through all things.

To those who have stuck with me through all four posts, many thanks.  I guess I just can’t say a whole lot without saying a whole lot, if that makes any sense.

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Acknowledgements

1. “Albinisitic man portrait” by The original uploader was Muntuwandi at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Albinisitic_man_portrait.jpg#/media/File:Albinisitic_man_portrait.jpg

2. “Cecil the lion at Hwange National Park (4516560206)” by Daughter#3 – Cecil. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cecil_the_lion_at_Hwange_National_Park_(4516560206).jpg#/media/File:Cecil_the_lion_at_Hwange_National_Park_(4516560206).jpg

3. “Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped)” by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped).jpg#/media/File:Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped).jpg

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