Archive for the ‘Roman Catholic’ Category

Riders On the Storm

The finality when you quit moving. The anger and the deep feelings over a missing movement. Sister Joan Chittister. The deep feeling, at the end. The sorrow before the joy. For the nuns. The missing understanding. In the Insurrection. Had it all been a waste? When you tried to lead and no one was following.

http://ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/what-lcwr-teaches-us-about-church-leadership LINK

Extinguishing the charism. Dealing with loss. Dealing with hope at the end of the story. In stories of power.

For Truth, for future generation, for the power to freely worship, in liberation movements. As nuns lose the security of Church, replaced by the same Passover theme, and the power of prayer. In the story of a nun’s own fertility — given freely to God — today’s focus was in the absolute power in God’s own fertility. Truth is not a property of thought that guarantees validity to thinking, in either politics or religion.

The National Catholic Reporter this week quotes Sister Joan Chittister’s reflection written following a 1980 retreat after she had already served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The conflict: The tension between a concern of “unity in the church” and the awakening of female “consciousness”: So, where should we go? It was the same issues that Muslim women felt in the modern age.

If the LCWR ( Leadership Conference for Women Religious) itself was permitted to speak or to raise any questions which … ’had already been decided.’ Sister Joan Chittister, specifically citing the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious, wrote: “They told us that though we might question certain things ourselves, we could never say them in public.“ As LCWR members found themselves in a “faith and loyalty trap.” Feeling oppressed. In a quest, if not for some power, for more leverage.

Dealing with the pain that comes from found but lost personhood. “Once you have a consciousness of new order of creaturehood … continually suppressing that for the sake of institutional or organization fragility… is extremely oppressive.”

Not being able to participate in much except administrative dissent. Did this sound like the story of The Passion to anyone else? Passionate women, tired of being in the minority opinion. Was there immense disappointment over the so many missing young followers? Thirty year later, after the liberation movement, so tired and aged like the majority of sisters, with so few women following behind in the same witness in the power of God. It was as if the struggle should one day end.

In this innate sense of wanting to be moved. When Truth was somehow tied to your own fertility. If you used your own fertility –the reduplication of truth within yourself – for a greater purpose, like for the future. In the ideology of capital punishment, to somehow try to take away the future — to take away a life. Was there an irony to follow the conflicting dogma in extinguishing the charism? The Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith was in effect attempting to implement a form of euthanasia to suppress what is mostly aged women who constitute the populations left in the convents of the United States. After all the sermons about Roe V. Wade about the sanctity of person – a word whose origin meant “to speak through” someone.

How did this all look to the outsider? Or even to the young Catholic who never attended church? When you always had wanted to grow your own, how had the sexual abuse crisis looked to the young? Who wanted to be part of these goings-on? Did it seem too much like an uncomfortable assembly of family at Christmas? Adults, mindful of happy times in a past that the young had a hard time mimicking? When things of the past are doubted, based upon the present. Among those under the age of 30, people declaring “no religion” in affiliation had grown to close to 30 percent, in the US population. So, in the fighting for power bases, how much of this drop-off was due to just bad leadership, with a new worldview since Sept. 11 that all religions, not merely Islam, were narrow and fundamentalist. And with all of these impositions, God did not seem very alive.

The finality when you quit moving. A symphony now has climaxed in all of this fertility, but there is unfinished business in things inadvertently lost. In stories concerning the power of God in His fertility, in life and in death, the power of God remains.

The seen and the unseen. When you were born into something. When so often the power of God remains to be seen.

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How the Change in the Mass in English Came to Be

AFTER a time, some of us learn that life comes down to some simple things – how we love, how alert we are, how curious we are. In ways mysterious and comforting comes the profundity of style, of stories, in language, by others more articulate than I. Layer by layer, we discover and peel away superstition, fantasies, ideas of grandeur, levels of confusion, of anger, of hate, in order to experience the people and the world around us – and our life in the world – as directly and clearly as possible.” –Scott Walker of Graywolf Press

To have learned firsthand, through, with, in …. prayer, in the minor Elevation. 

When they come to take you away. The fear, the unsettling fear associated with power, like getting a letter from the IRS. The fear, like on Holy Thursday. There was a certain vintage of fear which came alive, not at all unlike if you had lived in Eastern Europe forty years ago. Over issues of trust. Of people with legal power. When you felt so powerless, as “they” took away my prayers.

In third grade geography, the teacher had discussed the things which made up a regional character. The mountain people seemed different, from the people of the plains. At least in the times when there was a lot less movement, and those people mostly looked alike. With a LANGUAGE which defined them, until the movement in the story changed the people. Language is the reference point for the nuanced subtleties of all relationships. Language is just a measure of what people think about worth. When valuation is so much only what was in a person’s mind, we all are just extrapolating and thinking – and that is perhaps what everyone thinks language is worth. A developed self-worth, when you were touched by the language.

Mindful of this subtlety, day in and day out, of language — the reference point for all delicate human relationships – the significance is when people gathered to say together words which to people somehow connected have recognized meaning. Here!  With a living language which defines us to each other, if not to God.

There is something exciting within when something grips you. It happened when you came across a great epic in which you could identify.  Poetry is a medium connecting the unconnected, measuring a past to the ever-growing present.  And the language of the Mass is what connected us: not only to God but to each other – those graduates of the parochial school.  Prayer is best described as “when you really looked deeply at something, it becomes part of you.”

How alert we are about Divine worship – over power and might? Under John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger had been the Prefect of the the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Get your programs and scorecards ready, concerning issues of power and might. Concerning by whom he had been surrounded. Had there been plots about worldly power, concerning Divine worship among a group of the well-connected? This was like watching the same plot found in The Caine Mutiny?

George Pell was a a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and president of the Vox Clara Committee, which supervises for the Vatican on English translations of liturgical texts used at Mass. George Cardinal Pell had been a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge. The son of a professional fighter, his infamous polarizing remark once was that he did not “think a Christian can say ‘I’m a lover, not a fighter.’ ”

William Joseph Levada, the current Prefecct of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had been a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. He is an American from Southern California.

Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone was Cardinal Ratzinger’s chief canon lawyer having been named in 1995 Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before Archbishop Bertone left the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to become Archbishop of Genoa. In 2006, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone became Secretary of State under Pope Benedict. He is a current member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments.

The current Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is Antonio Cañizares Llovera. Nicknamed “Little Ratzinger,” Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera had formerly been a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge, since 10 November 1996, and was named Archbishop of Granada on 10 December 1996. He does NOT speak English.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, one of Pope Benedict closest friends, is also a voting member of the the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He is the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

The men from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had long focused upon punishment with those who disagreed with their perspective about shared belief. And now the men were scattered throughout the Curia to implement their vision of a universal church throughout the world. IN ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, one more blow to episcopal collegiality.

In an all too politicized church over what groups can legitimately call themselves Catholic, today it is reported the Vatican was “extremely irritated” by the WORDING, as the Irish foreign ministry was closing its Vatican embassy because “it yields no economic return”, particularly as the Vatican sees its diplomatic role as promoting human values.  Maybe like in days of old, in the reign of monarchs, as in the Sport of Kings, in the breeding, not always noticeable or understandable by the unwashed, or those who are being pruned away who also are “extremely irritated” by the wording, in the revised English Order the Mass, affecting the intimate ability to pray with a possessive fervor. In our native tongue.

There is a noted difference between translators and interpreters. When all along the goal of a good translator, on a dead language, should be to promote quality services of its people – in union. And there was a lot more power and might in having a good interpreter, when you sent missionaries out to the salvage world.

So why do languages die? Like Latin, or Irish? In Ireland, when your people had lived under a dominant culture…. because English was a language forced upon the Irish… and you were supposed to reflect THEIR culture. To convey how you overcame anger, through stories of power and might. In song. There the people had come to know how to convey knowledge or understanding. “To be loyal to the church is to expose evil for the good of the church,” Paddy McCafferty said about Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests who were complaining about the new translation, among other things, where the sentences were so long they could be seen from outer space. Yes, there was a storm in Ireland about the new translation, among other things. Where historically the people mindful of the subtleties, day in and day out, of language — the reference point for all human relationships — knew something about a dying language.

So why do languages, like currencies, die? Like Latin, or Irish. The significance was when people gathered to say together words with a living language which defined us to God. Precise words which to people somehow connected had recognized meaning. Here! When all along the goal of a good translator, on a dead language, should be to promote quality services of its people – in union.

The fallacy behind the call for language change in an English — which has NOT changed — is that you lose something when things change through the life of a living language. Simply what would be lost is union, layer by layer. So you gave up your own currency to use something more universally accepted?

Language was just a measure of what leaders think about worth, and apparently the one-time members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith do not think much about the English-speaking world and the manner of our prayers or the strength of the faith within the congregation, as expressed in the measure in language, since 1965.

It was as if the chosen English words have not been valued by the English-speaking people in my country. The fallacy, as if these were just words. When the North American bishops who fought the change understood, until the command came down from Rome to “Just do it.”  As if this just was the Nike Corporation, or one with German-engineering like a BMW. 

This pope who as theologian had discussed the need to prune back in the universal Catholic Church — perhaps with his German obsession over clean exterior-dirty interior, or clean form and dirty content while losing sight though the human discussion, in a human perspective, over what would result in, who at the end of the story, exactly would be saved — over who exactly was Catholic? On the question of union, and human relationships, this everyday question was about union and possession where translations did have to be interpreted into every day life.

So why did people quit using or studying language? Was the death of a language just a result of, the victim of, a dominant culture, on issues of power and might? And when a dead language was revived, how could modern people pretend to explain how to translate for the world? When the real issue was the English words – ones like ‘ineffable,’ ‘consubstantial,’ ‘incarnate,’ ‘inviolate,’ ‘oblation,’ ‘ignominy,’ ‘precursor,’ ‘suffused’ and ‘unvanquished.’.

What would happen when English speaking people were not on familiar terms, when they no longer recognized their own language? When this new language was an imposed language. And this was somehow going to affect relationship supposedly based upon real authority, on matters spiritual?  Who really wanted to go to Mass and hear what was the music of language played in the wrong key?   As your language came credentialed by the Authorities who did not actually KNOW the nuance of English, but provided a BARE substitution of English for the Latin. Behold the clericalism in the power struggle to prove you carried a divine Authority. With the take-away – the sacrifice – into a direct English interlinear translation, in what Latin can never reveal what the Vatican II translation until now had.  And the real issue in these changes is about abandonment, in the ongoing papal wars with Modernity.

Read the following edited NCR column by Jamie L. Manson (with a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics), which recently appeared in the National Catholic Reporter.  About the tone-deaf leadership, as one man lost his hearing, just as he came to power, in Rome.

”Anthony Ruff, OSB, is a monk of St. John’s Abbey and professor of liturgy, liturgical music and Gregorian chant at St. John’s University in Minnesota.  In 2005, Ruff accepted an invitation to join the team of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).  Ruff joined ICEL for reasons similar to those that led him to associate with the editors of First Things. He was committed to guarding and promoting faithfulness to church tradition. Back then, he believed that the current Missal used in the United States “was a symptom of a mistake: that Vatican II had implemented these texts in a way that was too liberal and too much a sell-out to the secular world.”

“ICEL is a translating agency formed in 1963 by English-speaking bishops at the Second Vatican Council in response to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy’s decree calling for translations of the Missal into the vernacular. Article 22 of the constitution stated that these translations were to be “prepared and approved by territorial bodies of bishops,” such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

”But six weeks after the bishops approved the constitution, the Vatican sent out its first instruction stipulating that these translations would have to be sent to Rome and be approved by the Holy See. The bishops’ memories were long enough to recall that they did not agree to this arrangement.
”Assuming goodwill on the part of the Holy See, the bishops acquiesced.

“Ruff took pains to chronicle the history of the translation of the Missal beginning in 1963, and was careful to ensure that his portrait of its development was accurate and balanced. He read directly from a number of church documents and explained the theological implications of liturgical language.

“Ruff pointed out that Rome gave ICEL a remarkable amount of freedom as it embarked on translating the Latin into English. In a 1969 document, the Vatican reminded ICEL that it was ‘necessary to take into account not only the message to be conveyed, but also the speaker, the audience and the style.’ By providing this guideline, the hierarchy was working from their own theory of how Christianity ought to relate to local cultures.

“In 1969, the Vatican recognized that these translations would be somewhat loose, and that eventually translations from Latin would not be adequate. The ultimate goal was that all the texts of the Missal would be created in the original language rather than translated from the Latin.

“But history did not pan out that way. The bishops ‘did not know that in future years, further instructions would give more and more power to the center,’ Ruff said.

“By 2001, Rome’s primary emphasis had shifted from respect for receiving cultures to respect for, if not idolization of, the original Latin language of the Missal. This shift was made evident by the Vatican’s 2001 establishment of an advisory committee, known as Vox Clara, to oversee ICEL. Previously, ICEL was directly supervised by Rome. Under this new arrangement, Vox Clara’s power was upgraded, and ICEL’s authority was significantly downgraded.

“Vox Clara was a committee that met several times a year for three days at a time. ICEL was a high-functioning office staffed with full-time employees, consultants and translators. And yet, Vox Clara was suddenly entrusted with the power to override any of ICEL’s work.

“More than 7,000 consultants worked on various aspects of ICEL’s translation of the new Missal. Every translator was appointed by invitation only — and he was appointed by someone to whom he was ultimately obedient. Ruff himself was not appointed since, as a musician, his task was to set the new translations to melodies.

“The process was highly secretive. No progress reports were ever published, and no drafts were made available to those who requested them. This was a marked departure from the protocol followed by ICEL in the 1980s and 1990s.  Apparently, the Holy See tired — as older people often do — of the long struggle into twilight with first the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). This had been the main English liturgical translation body. The Holy See ordered the then body of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) restructured, with its bylaws changed, and then mandating a new philosophy concerning translations for the new edition of the Roman Missal.

“ICEL completed its translation of the new Missal in 2008, and the text was handed over to Vox Clara and the Vatican. Rome made more than 10,000 changes to ICEL’s text, many of them unexplainable. The resulting translations from the Latin were so literal that some of the renderings in English sounded convoluted, if not confusing.

“Worst of all, the Vatican’s version wasn’t based on the final draft submitted by ICEL.

“‘It was as if they pulled up the wrong file to work on. The last three years of consultation felt as if it was all for nothing,’ Ruff said. Even though more than 100 bishops approved ICEL’s work, Rome trumped them all.

“’The bishops would be critical of Rome’s translations over drinks at night, but the next day we would read that they were publicly defending the new Missal as a great moment of renewal. Our problem is that our structure doesn’t allow people to say what they believe for the good of the church.’

“Ruff said he doesn’t think all of the changes in the new Missal are bad. But because the process was so cloaked in secrecy, it necessarily became tainted.

“‘If there had been more collaboration at the table, those who are upset or confused by the new translations might have had the opportunity to see the reasons for the changes,’ Ruff said. ‘This lack of transparency leads us to automatically assume the worst of church leadership.’

“Beyond his objections as a liturgist, on a pastoral level this cumbersome wording worries Ruff. These are large problems that pervade the church, though in a church that Ruff intends to engage in and be a part of for the rest of his life. ‘Our system is not set up to tell the truth. It is not possible for those doing the work to say to those in charge “this isn’t working.” This,’ he said, ‘is not exactly a hot-button issue in the way issues of sexuality are. I would hope that we could at least have a variety of opinions about translation.’

“He has learned, however, that this new translation ‘reflects deeply problematic views of the relationship between the See of Peter and local church, the relationship between the church and culture, and the relationship between tradition and the ongoing need for renewal,’ he said.

“His own disillusionment with the institutional church has sparked a new kind of creative vision. He now dreams of a renewed church that honors the prophetic tradition while also celebrating the beauty of tradition. ‘I would love to belong to a community that was working for the transformation of unjust structures in church and society as well as offering direct outreach to the victims of oppression,’ he said.”

Forty-five years after the groundbreaking and liberating document on the sacred liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium – that great Magna Carta which transcended ecclesiastical politics in an overwhelming consensus of the bishops of the world which had passed 2,147 to 4 – now comes this obscure 1960s-era strategy known as Operation Twist. Like in the strategy employed by the Federal Reserve Bank, in August 2011.

From the Latin, tyrannus

Officials of The Federal Reserve Bank want to know how investors might respond to changes in monetary policy and to avoid surprising markets. According to interviews and hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Nancy Lazar, an economist with International Strategy & Investment Group Inc., is among a group of well-connected investors and analysts “with access to top Federal Reserve officials who give them a chance at early clues to the central bank’s next policy moves. The access is part of a push by hedge funds and other traders to get more information about the inner workings of government. Developments in Washington have become more important, after the financial crisis in 2008 spawned new regulations and a stronger hand by lawmakers in businesses. … Conversations are important to both sides, making it difficult for the Fed to completely close its doors to traders and analysts,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

In ways mysterious and discomforting comes this change involving the foundation of the profundity of style, of stories, in language of the WORD ethic. Mindful of the subtlety of human language and its power, this subtlety of language is one reference point for what divides me and my community from outsiders. (If you recall the Christmas story, Jesus was born as an outsider.) Those temporal rulers from far away had what interest to preserve our local language, when language was the outward sign to the insiders, about things working deep within? Language, my language, was the communal means, before Geiger counters and seismographs, to find the Truth before upheaval. It was a real relationship thing. Here.

This perspective of the institution – its connection of this community to the outside world as well as its own connection to communal sins – as a church was trying to pass on the old robes of authority, not recognized by the next generation because of a recognition of what this approach had caused the prior generation. Attempting to address the issues but in a vernacular that was not readily understood here, a church now wanted me to now pray, if not live, unquestioning when inheritance and fertility had once seemed so personal. 

When the decision to change the manner of prayer was about communal sins, like in Germany. Post-war, when there had once been the shame in such a nation. When the seat of Saint Peter now wanted me to now pray unquestioning, based upon the same mysterious foundation which had led to cover-ups and misunderstandings exposed throughout the world. When you obeyed rules based upon a relationship you were born into. When a child obeyed authority, without a developed interpreted perspective into every day life of power. When the best part of my prayer life was in the questioning of Creation.

About the continual movement in the story of communal sins. There was the affect on each and every relationship of the invisible communal sin. Whether just living unquestioning, or trying to figure the world outside.  About acceptance, within a relationship, over past inheritance, and then over presenting that inheritance to the next generation.  Why did I have all of this, and what was happening here in comparison to what once had happened here, to this community?

Did we have communal sin here?  What were we doing to change?  About communal sins, like in Germany. Post-war, the shame of a nation. Did Israel now have some kind of communal sins of their own these days? What were the causes?  Language?  Nationality?  Ways of thinking? There was just a banality of goodness and/or evil, or there were causes? To live unquestioning on issues of authority? And the expiation?

Yes, as the Seat of Saint Peter forces the biggest ‘stress test’ on the English speaking world, English sentences heard at the preface will be more than eighty words long. The fear, the unsettling fear associated with power on issues of infallibility over matters of faith if not morals – in the Church Too Big To Fail – on issues of unity, in the decade when there has been epic challenge to unity in the apostolic visits to nunneries, to the reality of those child abuse cases.

George Cardinal Pell, was the Australian bishop believed to have been a “campaign manager” behind Joseph Ratinzger’s 2005 election to the papal chair. This one time jock, educated abroad in Rome, was a force behind the scenes changing the rules of engagement. George Cardinal Pell had been chairman of the blue-ribbon Vox Clara Committee – think of it as some kind of supercommittee in Washington – which “consulted” the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments overseeing the text’s preparation, on the wholesale new translation of the Mass-book, soon to become the first vernacular text employed across the whole English-speaking world. With regard to liturgical reform, which is fundamental for the New Evangelization, and so after the corrections on the part of the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. When the enforcement of the existing rules seemed totally out of control, due to the existing apparatus, and the language of the Mass is now being used as a tool – some would even say as a weapon — to advance specific agendae with promises of unachievable historic fixes which could be approved by only paid staffers and blood relatives. Because we were such imperfect beings. In need of the approval of such liturgical innovations.

The continual movement in the story: Like within the Mount of Olives when they come to take you away. As the new scribes and Pharisees like George Cardinal Pell made me feel like an outsider each and every Sunday at Mass. And I felt so much like Mary Magdalene that first Easter asking: “Where have you taken my Lord?”

See http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/1927/0/-priests-and-bishops-latest-to-say-english-missal-translation-needs-overhaul

Foundation for Evangelization through the Media (FEM)

http://www.blogsurfer.us/?url=https://paperlessworld.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/how-the-change-in-the-mass-in-english-came-to-be/

Doing the Shoulder Shrug

Spiritual direction. Amidst all the misdirection in the world. I have been going on retreat once a year over the past 15 years. On opening night, there is a discussion, always the same discussion, about the meaning of the word “retreat.” The same discussion was part of the ritual of being Catholic if not Christian.  

Retreat means “to withdraw.” In the word, here is a sense conveyed of defeat. My retreat was always about reflecting to how I got to where I am. To understand where I am going. German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote: “The first half of life gives us text and what follows supplies the commentary on it.” A retreat also conveys a sense “to go back, or backward.”

Shoulder shrugging. It is the shrug about the times that you are born into. Was that what it was like to be a German in Nazi Germany? If you were a reader of the New York Times, you notice over the last week that Maureen Dowd was writing pieces as if she worked for the Catholic Bulletin.

Institutional religion. The story of Holy Week involves the failure of institutional religion. Two thousand years ago. And today. Amidst all the misdirection in the world, where Germans and Italians never quite came to a reconciliation with the times of totalitarian governments. Governments that came to power in times of tough economic times. Take a look at the book, Hitler’s Beneficiaries by Götz Aly. The Nazis were elected in a democratic process all based upon their economic policies.

When you grew up in such a system, few young people ever challenged the system. Not when times seem so good. Maybe not much different than growing up in America over the past 20 years.

Rob Dreher wrote a piece in his own internet website about what it meant to be a Southerner in America. And Catholic. “As a Southerner born in the post-civil rights era, I’m often chagrined by how quick non-Southerners are to stereotype the South, and in particular Southern whites. But I also at the same time look back on the history of the south –my region and the region which defined me. It is he region that I love fiercely. Yet I wonder how on earth white people –who knew better or who ought to have known better–stood by and accepted inhumanity against black people. Even if they themselves didn’t directly participate. That is part of what it meant to be a (white) Southerner, once upon a time.”

“What it means to be a (white) Southerner today is not only loving what is good about our region and culture, but accepting that it’s impossible to separate the good from the dreadful historical legacy, except by an act of morally insupportable cognitive dissonance.”

He is writing about what it has meant to be Catholic, during all this focus on sexual abuse. In the past. He wrote about one priest protects a child but know that other kids are at risk, due to superiors looking the other way. It was something that happened growing up. “About the time that I’ll be fed up with anti-Southern stereotypes, I’ll read or see something about what life was like for black folks in the South prior thereabouts to 1964. And I am then reminded why there isn’t a lot of sympathy in many quarters for my people. This is our legacy we have to carry for the times when we too shrugged like cowards.”

“That shrug is unfortunately what the story of sexual abuse is all about. Accepting the unacceptable. Catholic journalist Jason Berry brought down a lot of grief on his head from his own south Louisiana family when he wrote the seminal ‘Lead Us Not Into Temptation,’ about the Louisiana priest who molested the children of Catholic families in his own flock, and the bishop who protected him. His family didn’t want these things spoken of — even though Berry was standing up for the weak, the voiceless, and the defenseless–doing what good Catholics ought always to do.”

Shoulder shrugging. All of the shoulder shrugging. Like Sarah. After her plan with Hagar went bad. Concerning the first born son. In “the careful what you pray for” story.

Ishmael. After the forced relocations. Taking it personally – the crime, in the family. The narrator  never points out the threat of being reduced to utter non-existence, as Abraham’s firstborn son.  If you knew them all so personally.  Until there developed a fear, perhaps out of being forced out.  And then the coverups, in the tradition of mystery.

On Irish Politics and Irish Religion

The Irish Times reported on December 8, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI had invited Cardinal Sean Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to a meeting on December 11th to discuss “the painful situation” in the Catholic Church in Ireland, per confirmation by a Vatican official. The papal nuncio to Ireland will attend along with senior Vatican Curia figures with specific competence in this area,” according to Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.

The Irish Times on December 4, 2009 reported that Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said it was discourteous that Papal Nuncio in Ireland did not respond to the two letters sent to him by the Murphy commission in February 2007 and earlier in 2009. The previous reluctance of the Papal Nuncio in Ireland to contribute to the report, and then the delay of one week before finally commenting upon findings of the Murphy commission have led to calls for expulsion of the Papal Nuncio in Ireland. Fine Gael leader in the House, Frances Fitzgerald, said the report of the Murphy commission should mark a defining moment in the relations between church and State. The Papal Nuncio in Ireland has denied ’showing contempt’ for the State institutions by refusing to respond to requests from the Murphy commission for information, according to Ivana Bacik (Labor).

The Vatican, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, responded to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, indicating that the communication was not made through the proper channel, he added. In making their requests, the Murphy commission undoubtedly established that it was the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under then prefect Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who took control of issues of sexual abuse by priests sometime around 2001. So the Irish political parties were now in a row over why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not reply.

Replying to Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, the Vatican’s view was, as the commission had been established under government authority through the Department of Justice, such communication should be routed through diplomatic channels and in accordance with international customs, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said. The Holy See’s approach was, according to Taoiseach Brian Cowen, consistent with international law where dealings between states should be conducted via the diplomatic channel unless other arrangements were made by mutual consent. He said that it was not “unreasonable to assume the Holy See was open to responding to a further approach through diplomatic channels” to the Murphy commission investigating clerical child sex abuse in Dublin, according to the Irish Times.

Labor leader Eamon Gilmore said that the reply to Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny by Taoiseach Brian Cowen confirmed that senior figures in the Catholic Church had failed to grasp the urgency of what was at stake, according to the Irish Times.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny asked how it was there was no response from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs to the response from the Vatican that contact had not been made through the correct channel.

Responding to Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin’s expression of “deep disappointment” at the lack of a response by the pope to the Dublin diocesan report, sources inside the Vatican said until the Holy See received a formal complaint from the Government via its diplomatic mission in Rome, a Vatican response would be “inappropriate”.

The Irish Times reported on December 8, 2009 that Vatican insiders say Friday’s meeting is a direct intervention from the Holy See, called by Pope Benedict XVI. The sources reportedly state that the pope will argue the Irish clerical sex-abuse crisis has gone on far too long and will urge Irish church leaders to find a definitive exit from the crisis. Hmmmmmm.

In a related story, The Irish Times reported on December 8, 2009 that in 1991 Father Kevin Hegarty was appointed editor of the Irish Bishops’ Conference-sponsored magazine Intercom, published under the aegis of the Bishops’ Commission on Communications. In its December 1993 issue an article titled “Twenty Questions for the Bishops” challenged their handling of clerical child sex abuse. “Will they eschew silence as the preferred legal and moral strategy in the face of future allegations?” it asked.

In 1993, the Irish bishops criticized an Intercom article on women priests published in the magazine and written by the current Irish President Mary McAleese (then a university professor).

In 1994, Father Hegarty was removed as editor of Intercom after publishing an article challenging the bishops’ handling of clerical child sex abuse. In March 1994 auxiliary bishop of Dublin, Eamonn Walsh, who was investigated by the Murphy commission, was appointed to survey the Bishops’ Conference on their attitude to Intercom. In July 1994 Father Hegarty was appointed full-time curate at Shanaghy in west Mayo. “In the circumstances I felt I had no choice but to let go of Intercom,” he said.

In a January 1995 letter to the Irish Times, Mary McAleese (then a university professor) wrote that “what is truly depressing about this episode, though, is the contrast between the energy and determination which went into sorting out a perceived problem with the editorial tone of Intercom , and the sheer breathtaking ineptitude of church handling of matters relating to child abuse by clergy….It is truly ironic that Father Kevin Hegarty raised the issue openly inIntercom” long before the Father Brendan Smyth affair, and in so doing incurred the wrath of those so anxious now to reassure us of their clean hands and bona fides in this squalid business.”

The Irish Times on December 8, 2009 reports that Father Hegarty said the Murphy report “showed that church leaders placed most premium on loyalty, regardless of the truth.” He said. “We live in a dysfunctional church, which happens when deafness becomes deadly,” he said. The bishops named in the Murphy report include the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, the Bishop of Galway, two Dublin auxiliary bishops, and Bishop of Limerick. Monsignor Dolan, the vice chancellor in Dublin from 1980 to 1997, is also named; he became chancellor in 1997.

Before he became pope, Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect for Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is hard to fathom how the pope might whitewash this situation involving both church and state over which he had assumed personal control for at least the past 8 years. In a nation that understood the Curia was operating both as a sovereign state with diplomatic ties as well as in the spiritual domain. Would this pope actually address concerns that the Papal nuncio was ’showing contempt’ for the State institutions? In Ireland.

Under orders from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, American Jesuit Thomas Reese resigned on May 6, 2005 as editor of the Catholic magazine America because he had published articles critical of church positions, several Catholic officials in the United States told the New York Times. The order to dismiss the editor of America magazine was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in mid-March when the Vatican office of doctrinal enforcement was still headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Catholic officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter. (Some have suggested it was the American bishops who got Father Reese removed, a story much like Father Kevin Hegarty’s dismissal.) Soon after Father Reese’s dismissal, Pope John Paul II died and Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI. His new job duties included a job description of infallibility on both matters of faith and morals.

At one point it will be nice to see Pope Benedict’s own Transfiguration. Beyond the days of the ongoing cover up, when the immoral were involved in a great cover up. And too many people of faith lost their faith in bishops around the world, with the cover up of crimes. And too many Catholics had lost faith in the bishops around the world whose appointments had been solely based upon political litmus tests of who was conservative or liberal. Cardinal Ratzinger was on record, reported in America in the days of Rev. Thomas Reese, as saying that perhaps it was time to prune back this church. Maybe the pruning might finally start with a few Irish bishops. And then a progression to include a few other bishops involved in the cover up who had elected Cardinal Ratzinger pope. Bernard Cardinal Law for one. Of course in the culture of Germany since the days of Adolph Hitler, there had never been a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Life had just gone on.


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Those Quiet Carbon Imprints

Before he became pope, Cardinal Ratzinger was quoted in America Magazine as stating that the church needs to get smaller so that it can become purer. And the plans seemed to well be underway. Actually the comments were based upon Salt of the Earth, a full-length interview to a secular journalist, as well the 1985 The Ratzinger Report, a best-selling book/interview. In an article in 2005, Notre Dame professor R. Scott Appleby was quoted: “If it’s true Pope Benedict XVI prefers a leaner, smaller, purer church as he has spoken of before,” said Notre Dame professor R. Scott Appleby, “we could see a withering of certain Catholic institutions because they’re not considered fully Catholic. This might include Catholic colleges, hospitals, and other Catholic institutions.”

On November 18, 2009, RACHEL ZOLL (AP) wrote the following:

BALTIMORE — Fallout continues from the summer controversy over the University of Notre Dame awarding an honorary degree to President Barack Obama, who supports abortion rights. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops went behind closed doors at their fall meeting Wednesday to discuss, among other issues, what action they should take to increase oversight of the nation’s more than 200 Roman Catholic colleges and universities. Chicago Cardinal Francis George, president of the bishops’ conference, revealed this week that he had formed a task force charged with reviewing the issue. Its research included a look at what church law says about bishops’ authority over the schools. The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities has planned a similar discussion of canon law and bishops’ authority at the group’s annual meeting, set to begin Jan. 30 in Washington.

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Voting in the Age of Spin

Having read the news from Catholic Review of Baltimore which was reporting that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) would vote at their November general meeting in Baltimore on 4 items pertaining to the Roman missal, I wondered how much truth there was in the Roman Catholic Church in the age of spin. The Catholic Review of Baltimore was reporting in this edition that the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments was expected to “to give its ‘recognitio,’ following the U.S. bishops’ vote on the Roman missal, the ritual called the language of the Mass.

I would suggest that Mark Pattison do a bit more research when he writes the Roman Missal has not yet been given final approval for use in the United States. This BINDING revised Order the Mass was announced more than a year ago. Your parish priest has been practicing all of the changes. The Catholic Review of Baltimore should checkout the website:

http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/missalformation/OrdoMissaeWhiteBook.pdf.
http://www.adoremus.org/Arinze_June08.html

In advance of a vote, former chairman of the U.S. bishops’ liturgy committee, Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, sharply criticized what he called the “slavishly literal” translation into English of the new Roman Missal from the original Latin during a lecture on October 22nd at Catholic University of America in Washington. Someone should tell Bishop Trautman the horse is dead that he is beating. The race was fixed.

There had been quite an internal debate within the United States Conference of Bishops that dates back to 2006. Until the release of the BINDING revised Order the Mass by the US Conference of Bishops in 2008 which had been withheld for two years. This is a done deal. In 2011 the Mass was changing as some kind of nostalgia from Rome for the old ways, as if the old ways, like old wine in new wineskins, would work to bring the youth back into the fold. With the release of the news of the revised Order the Mass, English speaking Catholics are going to have to learn to pray in a new way.

In his speech last week, The Catholic Review of Baltimore reported Bishop Donald W. Trautman said the “sacred language” used by translators tends to be “elitist and remote from everyday speech and frequently not understandable” and could lead to a pastoral disaster

I wondered if the Catholic Press was always this sloppy on historical accuracy as the Catholic Review of Baltimore, in their report of what would transpire at meeting of The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). With its traditional sensibilities receiving too little attention, the Congregation for Divine Worship had stepped in to take over the English liturgical translations from the International Committee on English in the Liturgy, with the lingering dispute over authority won by the Curia. With the assertion of control by Vatican officials, the Roman way to pray for the English speaking world was now a fait accompli. In the real old boy network, Pope Benedict had supported Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The 2008 announcement of the revisions was: “Recently the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was granted the recognitio for the new English–language translation of significant parts of the Ordo Missae as found in the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, including most of those texts used in every celebration of the Holy Mass. The recognitio was granted in response to the request of the USCCB by Bishop William Skylstad, then President of the Conference, who informed Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in a letter dated July 29, 2006, that we, the Latin Church Bishops of the USCCB, approved the translation of the Ordo Missae at its plenary meeting on June 15, 2006.”

Someone in charge of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Francis Cardinal Arinze, had issued his binding orders long ago. The debate had already taken place. In June 2008, arguing that the new translation of prayers and other texts for the Mass is too awkward to be proclaimed effectively in parishes in the United States, Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Richard Sklba, said. “If I have trouble understanding the text when I read it, I wonder how it’s going to be possible to pray with it in the context of worship.”

Bishop Donald Trautman then used the example of the translation of the Latin “patibulum,” to translate the English “gibbet” as jut one oddity in the new text. In the end, The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), the translation body responsible for the Proper of Seasons, failed to gain a two-thirds vote from the bishops to approve the Proper of Seasons in Orlando. It did not matter. The collegiality of the Holy Sea however was missing when it came to the revision in the Order the Mass which was BINDING.

In his recent speech, Bishop Trautman talked of how Vatican II compelled the church to produce a translation of the missal that is accurate, inspiring, referent, proclaimable, understandable, pastoral in every sense – a text that raises our minds and hearts to God,” to be true to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. “Why do we now have a reversal? The Aramaic and Latin texts have not changed. The scriptural arguments have not changed, but the insistence on literal translation has changed.”

It is the re-translated version of the Nicene Creed that is sacrilegious, changing a communal prayer into some kind of Bull Durham “I believe.” Bishop Donald Trautman also objected to this in his recent speech to this change and opined that vocabulary used in BINDING revised Order the Mass is not readily understandable by the average Catholic, where the vast majority are not familiar with words of the new missal like ‘ineffable,’ ‘consubstantial,’ ‘incarnate,’ ‘inviolate,’ ‘oblation,’ ‘ignominy,’ ‘precursor,’ ‘suffused’ and ‘unvanquished.’

Bishop Trautman opined: “Since this is a creedal prayer recited by the entire assembly in unison, the use of ‘we’ emphasized the unity of the assembly in praying this together as one body. Changing the plural form of ‘we’ to ‘I’ in the Nicene Creed goes against all ecumenical agreements regarding common prayer texts,” he said.

Bishop Trautman quoted the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which said rites and texts “should radiate a noble simplicity. They should be short, clear, free from useless repetition. They should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.”

In Rome, the Constitution is not sacred, the press is not free, and elections are not fair. The race was fixed. The monarch of Vatican City was in charge.

POST SCRIPT from the USCCB website after November 19, 2009 gathering…..

BALTIMORE—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted to approve the last five pieces of the English translation of the Roman Missal during the November 17 session of the annual Fall General Assembly. Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, NJ, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, called the bishops’ completion of their years-long work on the Missal “historic.”

The bishops approved the Proper of Saints with 195 in favor, 23 opposed and 4 bishops abstaining. The bishops approved the Commons with 200 bishops in favor and 19 opposed. They approved the Roman Missal Supplement with 203 in favor, 15 opposed and 3 abstaining. They approved the U.S. Propers with 199 in favor, 20 opposed and 1 abstaining. They approved the U.S. Adaptation to the Roman Missal with 199 in favor, 17 opposed and 1 abstaining.

These items will now go to the Vatican for recognitio, or approval, which Bishop Serratelli said is expected sometime in 2010. Once the new translation is approved in its entirety, the materials for its implementation at the parish level will be ready in approximately a year.

Keywords: Roman Missal, English translation, ICEL, Proper of Saints, U.S. Propers, Commons, U.S. Adaptations to the Roman Missal, recognitio, implementation

An announcement in 2008 by the US Conference of Bishops about the revisions read: “Recently the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was granted the recognitio for the new English–language translation of significant parts of the Ordo Missae as found in the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, including most of those texts used in every celebration of the Holy Mass. The recognitio was granted in response to the request of the USCCB by Bishop William Skylstad, then President of the Conference, who informed Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in a letter dated July 29, 2006, that we, the Latin Church Bishops of the USCCB, approved the translation of the Ordo Missae at its plenary meeting on June 15, 2006.”

In the end, The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), the translation body responsible for the Proper of Seasons, had failed to gain a two-thirds vote from the bishops to approve the Proper of Seasons in Orlando. The approval of the US Conference of Bishops had been withheld for two years. However, Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments who does not even speak English, had issued his binding orders in 2008. Any collegiality of the Holy See when it came to the revision in the Order the Mass was missing. This new translation was binding. Thus the perfunctory re-vote in Baltimore last week.

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Star Tribune Rejoins the Associated Press

The Associated Press is running an article today, posted on the Star Tribune website, about how the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church comes to Italy. The writer must have been catching up of her news more than 7 months old. On January 22, 2009, the weekly news magazine L’Espresso published details of the exploitation and suffering in the city of Verona. Sixty-seven ex-pupils chronicled sexual abuse over a period of at least 30 years up to 1984 allegedly perpetrated by priests and brothers belonging to the Compagnia di Maria per l’Educazione dei Sordomuti. John Hooper first wrote about this in the Guaridan in February 2009. He wrote:

“For more than a century the Antonio Provolo Institute was regarded as a model of Catholic charity in action. It cared for the deaf mute children of families in a region, which, for most of that time, was among Italy’s poorest.” Giuseppe Zenti, the bishop of Verona, promised an exhaustive investigation, and said if the allegations proved to be true, they would represent a “lacerating wound” for all Christians.” At about this time the Minneapolis Star Tribune had objected to the fees imposed by the Associated Press, announcing their withdrawl which might be the explanation why this is now being presented as a news story.

The AP writer, Nicole Winfield, must have no clue about the meaning of numbers. She cites the 50,850 priests in Italy with its population of 60 million, comparing the abundant number to the 44,700 priests in the United States, referring to a nation of 300 million. She never cites the actual Catholic population in her story. She does not seem to make the important connection of priest count to the actual American Catholic population estimated at 60 million. The relationship of the Catholic population to the priest count issue also is never effectively drawn, though an astute writer might make that connection. I wonder how much of what she writes about that she does understand.

Religion was a lot like law enforcement. There was corruption in a police force on occasion. How did you maintain the law, in a world filled with evil? How did you maintain some semblance of order?

The news story focuses on goings on in a school over 30 years. Seventy-three cases over 30 years becomes “a culture of silence” which has surrounded priest abuse in Italy, according to the yearlong Associated Press tally. Seventy-three is now the AP standard for what constitutes “a culture.” It took more than 7 months to determine that 73 is what constitutes “a culture?” Among 50, 850 priests in Italy.

Most Christians who had heard the story of Judas were not real surprised any more by revelations that came out of Verona, Italy in January. But it was good to have a local newspaper back in the press community. Willing to throw its donation again in the collection basket. In the Associated Press.

Term Limits

Watching parts of the funeral for Ted Kennedy yesterday, it hit me how few people who have been elected to recent public office in the United States wear eyeglasses in public. The president and those living ex-presidents. All the first ladies. Senators. And what good vision the elected government representatives had.

Or was it just vanity of vanities? The model of good government started with good looks?

My all time favorite forward was written in September 1986 in a book by Scott Walker. He was then working for the Minnesota-based Graywolf Press:

“After a time, some of us learn (and some more slowly than others) that life comes down to some simple things. How we love. How alert we are. How curious we are. Love, attention, curiosity. Layer by layer we discover and peel away superstition, fantasies, projections, levels of hate and anger and confusion….”

How Are Things in Glocca Morra

These were times of fear. It came during a sense of great loss. Over wealth. Over freedom. Over loss of life.

Mob rule. Politics. The devil in history.

Addictions. Issues of liberty. Russia Mafiya. Evil. The contract killing. In the wake of the KGB. The devil in history. All the things that came together as a system collapsed.

Mob rule. Politics. The devil in history. In the wake of World War I. The laws passed. Politicians who exploited constitutions, in times of fear. Evil.

Times of fear. The aftermath of genocide.

A lot of the world carried a disbelief in the devil. Evil seemed to be asleep, in the popular view in 2000. Then came September 11, 2001. It was much more than the current American view that evil was directed against one nation. It was much more than those 19 people from overseas? It was what had happened globally. In Spain. In London. In Saudi Arabia. In Morocco. In Kenya. In Yemen. In Somalia. In Turkey. In Mumbai. In Bali. In Jakarta. In the Philippines

Terror. Times of fear. Power. The fight in the north of Ireland. The fight of Basque separatists. The battles within China and within Russia over ethnic minorities that desired power.

The patterns are present which reflect deep currents in global sociology which work against any effort to transcend divisions.

Division. Divide and conquer. It was the mantra of terrorist and political parties.

Hunger and politics were inter-connected. So was politics and religion.

Ireland. Today there was a story in the Boston Globe about the Irish returning once again to Boston. The writer presented an update on how fast the world could change. For ex-patriots returning home in the 1990s. And now headed back to Boston.

Ireland. I have commented in the past about the title one of the more popular books sold in Ireland in 2007, Vanishing Ireland. Technology had changed generation and a nation, so much that the Vanishing Ireland book became a best seller. There seems to be a silent grieving, an expressed longing, a spiritual-type hunger, expecting things to be the same. And in all of its wake, returning to your life, carrying on, amidst the change. All that the Celtic Tiger had done was to get the romance out of the system. When Ireland had conquered the ghosts of the past, with jobs, with peace, a secularism had come in which changed the nature of the Irish. And with it had come a new division. Welcome to the European Union. Where everything seemed based on wealth. And in all of its wake, expecting things to be the same, when everything is based on wealth. The devil in history.

The Ireland these ex-patriots returned to was not the place that they had known. There was no comment upon any ill-will directed at the European Union that had poured money into the place to help the economic boom, which had become an economic bust. Deflation was close to 6% over the past 12 months. There was just an unstated acceptance, about everything, as these ex-pats returned to day to day Irish life.

Wealth and technology. Technology had changed a nation, so that there seemed to be a silent grieving, among the ex-pats. Still with a longing. Nostalgia was also some kind of spiritual hunger, for what forefathers and foremothers always had had. And with silent grieving, the same type of conflict of the hungry with the well-fed. That was always the conflict within religion, a conflict over those who strongly professed religious belief, in conflict for what ever reasons with those others without.

These were times of fear. Over the void left. It came during a sense of great loss. Over wealth. Over freedom. Over change and the effects of change. Over how the void would be filled. Over what had in the past had always been there, at least before many native-born had left the first time. They were now leaving again for Massachusetts.

When you left for economic necessity, how could these former ex-patriots complain? Yet theirs was a witness to how the world had silently changed. Even in a place like Glocca Morra. Or Camelot.

The past is always with us. Sometimes it was not even quite past.

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The Job of a Moral Theologian

Risk Management and good moral theology: where was a moral theologian when you needed one? Risk Management was described as good judgment calls.

If you cannot control health care payments, you cannot control insurance premiums. If you could not control who could acquire the most updated MRI machine, you could not control competition. Your urban hospital was going to be tested like rural hospitals were 25 years ago. Hospitals that were being killed in this current depression, with no control over the falling reimbursement for health care. As more and more people went uninsured.

Your doctors knew that if you cannot control health care payments, you cannot control insurance premiums. Thus the health care issues of 2009, with artificial deadlines of 10 days. When costs were out of control. Because with health care, no insurance company could say no, when a health care contract was written covering health care expense, without a rationale.

Population Control. Immigration. If you could not control the population numbers, you could not control government costs. If you could not balance budgets, or have some control over the number of citizens, you could not control the economy in a competitive world economy.

Future markets. I used to work across the street from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In the Age of the Ascent of Money. If you talked to a future trader, you learned that actions have unexpected outcome in human affairs. Future traders were hedging bets, with option contracts. Agreed prices when the seeds are planted. Agreed prices before oil or gold was taken out of the earth. Options. Hedge Funds. Derivatives.

The uncertain futures, beyond insurance. Falling family size. The universal desire to be rich, in a nation with borders. Balanced budgets. Border that were defended against neighbors. With defense departments.

Social Security. Amidst boom and bust cycles. Population Control. Until the demographics showed falling birth rates. Where the youth would not be able to sustain the medical bills of their parents. The numbers were not there. Thus the meager reserves which would not sustain either Medicare or Social Security. In addition to the health care crisis.

“The most controversial task of moral theology is to help people live their faith in the light of the times … to help them face new questions and not just to repeat or attack” the old formulas, Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley told the National Catholic Reporter.

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