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Posts Tagged ‘Pope Francis’

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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If you haven’t yet heard the buzz about “Joke With the Pope,” a project of the Pontifical Mission Societies, then you heard it here first 🙂

I’ll let Conan O’Brien explain, and then I’ll provide the link:

Link: http://www.jokewiththepope.org

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Instead of trying to answer that myself, I will defer to Fr. (soon-to-be Bishop) Robert Barron.  Do I do that too often?  Maybe…but consider it an exercise in humility on my part 🙂

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Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped)“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 Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped).jpg#/media/File:Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped).jpg

Every month, the Pope comes out with two specific prayer intentions: Universal and Missionary.  I have identified these in the past, but this time I decided they deserved a brief bit of commentary.

Scientists

InvestigadoresUR” by Urcomunicacion – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:InvestigadoresUR.JPG#/media/File:InvestigadoresUR.JPG

Universal Intention: 

That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Let’s be clear: Science is good.  It has been, and still is, an invaluable tool for humanity and has made a tremendous difference in so many ways.
The problem, from the Church’s (and, I hope, from any reasonable person’s) perspective, is not science, but scientism.  Scientism is the misguided belief that science can answer virtually everything, rendering religion invalid.  It reduces all knowledge to what is quantifiable, empirically discoverable, and verifiable by means of the scientific method.
In its most extreme form, scientism reduces the human person at the individual level to mere biology, and at the collective level to numbers or to marks on a “grid.”  With this view of humanity in place, matters of importance are not decided by the question, “Should we do it?”  Rather, they are decided by the question, “Can we do it?  Do we have the capability?”
And if carrying out our capabilities for what we consider the greater good means shutting down a particular biological configuration (the individual) or clearing out a few marks on a grid (groups), then so be it.  As the saying goes, “If you want to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs.”
Let us always make sure that scientific endeavors serve the genuine good of humanity, rather than subjugating the human person to the advancement of science.
I would like to mention, in passing, a fascinating and eye-opening book on this subject for those who are interested in exploring the notion of scientism further: “Technology as Symptom and Dream,” by Robert D. Romanyshyn.
Dorothy_Day_1934“Dorothy Day 1934” by New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection – New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dorothy_Day_1934.jpg#/media/File:Dorothy_Day_1934.jpg
 Missionary Intention:
Contribution of Women:  That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.
It may surprise many people to learn that the Catholic Church has a very robust and inspiring theology of womanhood.  In fact, the Church is at one and the same time more feminist and more “masculinist” than most of Western culture, which tends to regard gender as a mere biological accident (here again is the scientistic view of the human person).
Genesis 1:27 tells us that God made humankind in His image, and in the same sentence tells us this: “[M]ale and female he created them.”  Man and woman image God together; neither gender fully does so by itself.  Therefore, men and woman share equal dignity and offer unique gifts to the world, humanity, and the Church.
For more information on this, see my Mother’s Day and Father’s Day posts from 2013.
Images from Wikipedia

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LonelinessPope Francis’ general intentions for the month of November, 2014:

That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.

Image from Wikipedia

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Pope_Francis_in_March_2013

Pope Francis’ general intentions for the month of September, 2014:

Down_SyndromeThat the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.

Please Lord, let it be so.

Image from Wikipedia

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