Thursday, October 30, 2014

TIME admits MSM “has nearly no understanding” of Catholic Church

© 2014 Gabriel Bouys, AFP/Getty Images
I’ve been saying it for a few years now. Terry Mattingly and Mollie Hemingway at GetReligion.org have been saying it for even longer. Hell, at least three times a week you can go to your favorite aggregator and pick up some Catholic blog where the writer is saying it yet again. Now, finally, Elizabeth Dias at TIME has said what we’ve all been saying over and over again for years: “the mainstream media has nearly no understanding of the Church.”

 The proximate cause of Dias’ ire is the wild ballyhoo with which the media has greeted Pope Francis’ declaration Monday at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so. He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment. ... The Big Bang, which today stands at the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of a divine creator but demands it. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.

“Anyone who knows anything about Catholic history knows that a statement like this is nothing new,” Dias huffs. “Pope Pius XII wrote [the] encyclical Humani Generis in 1950 affirming that there was no conflict between evolution and Catholic faith. Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that, stressing that evolution was more than a hypothesis, in 1996. Pope Benedict XVI hosted a conference on the nuances of creation and evolution in 2006. There’s an official book on the event for anyone who wants to know more. Pope Francis’ comments Monday even came as he was unveiling a new statue of Pope Benedict XVI, honoring him for his leadership.”

The media went gaga over the Pope’s statement precisely because they don’t know anything about Church history. In fact, where religion is concerned, most journalists seemingly prefer to consult their own private well of pseudo-knowledge than to find reliable and authoritative sources.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ask Tony: What's the big deal about the Synod on the Family?

Answer: There is no clear objective answer; so much depends on one’s ideological or ecclesial perspective.

First of all, let’s discuss what a synod is. Synod is a general word for an ecclesial gathering, and can range in size from a few local priests to as many bishops from around the world as can fit in St. Peter’s. Synod and council, according to the old Catholic Encyclopedia, are synonymous terms. Only when the bishops of the world are gathered under the presidency of the pope is it deemed an ecumenical or general council capable of legislating for the entire Church.

If we leave our description here, it would seem that this Synod is simply a “talk shop”, a manufactured event in which the participants can discuss change without actually changing anything ... much like a session of Congress. It’s not quite that simple or cynical an exercise.

We in the West — especially in America — tend to assume that our concerns are shared by the whole world, or at least that they ought to be, and that the only people who matter are the people who think just like we do. This isn’t the case; what may sound like a splendid idea among American or German Catholics may not fly with Catholics in Estonia, or Burkina Faso, or South Korea.

For as much as has been made of Francis being the first pope from a Third World country, culturally he is in many respects as much a European as were his predecessors. Cardinal Walter Kasper, who has been carrying the standard for divorced and remarried Catholics, is a German of the Germans. The synod allows the pope and Cdl. Kasper to float trial balloons in an arena where the response is more international, and isn’t shaped by the Western media.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How to Get Men to Fix Things Around the House

So my cousin's daugher (my first cousin once removed), April, posted this picture on her timeline, with a little laughing rant about how we should do things right away, without talking about it, "unless you enjoy hearing us nag you".

Well, on the positive side, it helps to be reminded every now and again.

One thing I've noticed over the years, though, is that the things that stay longest on the "honey-do" list are tasks that will 1) take plenty of time (especially if you don't do that kind of repair work for a living), 2) require plenty of physically strenuous effort, and 3) necessitate a minimum of two (2) trips to Lowe's or Home Depot — the second to get the things you didn't know you needed or forgot to get the first time around.

In other words, it's not gonna be something the man can do when he gets home from work, or when he's "got a free minute" while he's doing something else. They won't be things he can multitask; you can't talk to the COO about the rollout of the latest cybersecurity package while you're struggling a water heater out of a space not big enough for a coat closet ... even with Bluetooth.

And, in most cases, it'll be something that's mostly cosmetic, or something you can do without for now, so it'll be lower on the priority list. At least, lower on his priority list; sometimes, it'll be higher on her list because she can't stand to have a kitchen that looks like it was modeled after an A&E Channel reality series (the kind that makes you moan, "YECCH! How can people live like that!?"). And will that unfinished pergola look good when it's half new and half weather-stained?