DUNCAN: This, the Second All African Bishops Conference has lacked the clarity of the first All African Bishops' Conference. What I believe we learn from this conference six years later is that Anglicanism without a confession is in a troubled place. The contrast between the spirit of GAFCON and this conference was striking. The prayerful, joyful always aware that God-is-right -here attitude of the African Church was present only when we worshipped or shared relationally. The sessions at the conference were dominated by Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and social solutions where the gospel of Jesus is not the driving force.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full —John 15:11
What was the joy that Jesus had? Joy should not be confused with happiness. In fact, it is an insult to Jesus Christ to use the word happiness in connection with Him. The joy of Jesus was His absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice to His Father— the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do— “. . . who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross . . .” ( Hebrews 12:2 ). “I delight to do Your will, O my God . . .” ( Psalm 40:8 ). Jesus prayed that our joy might continue fulfilling itself until it becomes the same joy as His. Have I allowed Jesus Christ to introduce His joy to me?
Living a full and overflowing life does not rest in bodily health, in circumstances, nor even in seeing God’s work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the same fellowship and oneness with Him that Jesus Himself enjoyed. But the first thing that will hinder this joy is the subtle irritability caused by giving too much thought to our circumstances. Jesus said, “. . . the cares of this world, . . . choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” ( Mark 4:19 ). And before we even realize what has happened, we are caught up in our cares. All that God has done for us is merely the threshold— He wants us to come to the place where we will be His witnesses and proclaim who Jesus is.
Have the right relationship with God, finding your joy there, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water” ( John 7:38 ). Be a fountain through which Jesus can pour His “living water.” Stop being hypocritical and proud, aware only of yourself, and live “your life . . . hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3 ). A person who has the right relationship with God lives a life as natural as breathing wherever he goes. The lives that have been the greatest blessing to you are the lives of those people who themselves were unaware of having been a blessing.
How this blesses and refreshes me. And my son's girlfriend gave me a beautiful CD of Gospel music that is accompanying me as I try to clean up my offices and tackle my neglected finances. I can't tell you how daunting it is for me to deal with little slips of paper and Excel spread sheets.
Here's the story of how this hymn was written:
WRITTEN AND MUSIC BY: HELEN H. LEMMEL
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS,
LOOK FULL IN HIS WONDERFUL FACE,
AND THE THINGS OF EARTH
WILL GROW STRANGELY DIM
IN THE LIGHT OF HIS GLORY AND GRACE.
Thro' death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conqu'rors we are!
His word shall not fail you He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
THE STORY BEHIND THIS GREAT HYMN....
TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS
....LET US RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE SET BEFORE US, LOOKING UNTO JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH...Hebrews 12:1-2
Helen Howarth Lemmel was born in England in 1863, into the home of a Wesleyan minister who immigrated to America when Helen was a child. She loved music, and her parents provided the best vocal teachers they could find. Eventually Helen returned to Europe to study vocal music in Germany. In time, she married a wealthy European, but he left her when she became blind, and Helen struggled with multiple heartaches during midlife.
At age 55, Helen hears a statement that deeply impressed her: "SO THEN, TURN YOUR EYES UPON HIM, LOOK FULL INTO HIS FACE AND YOU WILL FIND THAT THE THINGS ON EARTH WILL ACQUIRE A STRANGE NEW DIMNESS."
"I STOOD STILL," Helen later said, "AND SINGING IN MY SOUL AND SPIRIT WAS THE CHORUS, WITH NOT ONE CONSCIOUS MOMENT OF PUTTING WORD TO WORD TO MAKE RHYME, OR NOTE TO NOTE TO MAKE MELODY. THE VERSES WERE WRITTEN THE SAME WEEK, AFTER THE USUAL MANNER OF COMPOSITION, BUT NONETHELESS DICTATED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT."
Pastor Doug Goins of Palo Alto, California, and his parents, Paul and Kathryn Goins, both 82, of Sun city, Arizona, knew Helen in Seattle. "She was advanced in years and almost destitute, but she was an amazing person," said Doug. "She made a great impression on me as a junior high child because of her joy and enthusiasm. Though she was living on government assistance in a spare bedroom, whenever we'd ask how she was doing she would reply, 'I'm doing well in the things that count.'"
One day, the Goins invited her to supper. "We had never entertained a blind person before," recalled Kathryn, "and it was interesting. Despite her infirmities, she was full of life. I remember how amused we were when, following supper, she said, 'Now if you will lead me to the bathroom, I'll sit on the throne and reign."
"But she was always composing hymns," said Kathryn. "She has no way of writing them down, so she would call my husband at all hours and he'd rush down and record them before she forgot the words."
Helen had a small plastic keyboard by her bed. There she would play, sing, and cry. "One day God is going to bless me with a great heavenly keyboard," she'd say. "I can hardly wait!"
Helen Lemmel, who wrote nearly 500 hymns during her lifetime, died in Seattle in 1961, thirteen days before her 98th birthday.
"Create in me a pure heart, O God!" (Psalm 51:10)
Teach me your way, O LORD,and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your name forever. (Psalm 86:11,12)
Monday, August 30, 2010
Several things come through in this transcript: Cardinal Danneels, a hero of the progressive wing of the Church, is as much a clericalist as the most hidebound Italian cardinal. His sole concern is protecting the career and reputation of a bishop. The pain of the victim, a mere layman, is invisible to Danneels, whose only concern is with a fellow cleric.
Danneels disclaims all responsibility – only the pope can do anything – but of course it is very difficult to arrange a meeting with the pope.
Vangheluwe is unrepentant. He has never asked for forgiveness. He nephew correctly states that the only way to obtain forgiveness is for Vangheluwe to take responsibility for what he has done, and Vangheluwe has refused to do that his whole life.
The nephew is a classic example of the Stockholm syndrome. He let his abuser witness his marriage and baptize his children. The hierarchy has perfected the technique of cultivating the Stockholm syndrome among victims of clerical abuse.
Danneels tries to manipulate the nephew but claiming that the nephew is blackmailing Danneels by saying he will go public unless V resigns. Danneels tells the victim that he - the victim - should ask for forgiveness. The misuse of demands to forgive to protect clerical malefactors will weigh heavy on the scales at the Day of Judgment.
No, the Church does not get it when it comes to sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, the constitutionality looks like this: The government really shouldn’t be in the business of regulating the ways in which the sheer existence of a religious building offends the public sensibility. “This is America,” President Obama intoned, “and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.” [where's my spiritual bulemia medication]Yup.
Yes, the New York City government is still refusing permission for the Greek Orthodox church destroyed in the attacks of September 11 to rebuild. [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] And yes, one wishes that the unshakeable commitment to religious freedom didn’t get shaken so much when the topic is, say, forcing pro-life pharmacists to issue morning-after pills or requiring Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.
But the principle remains sound, [his bolds] even when it is violated or honored only in the breach. It isn’t simply that religious institution have a right to be treated no worse than other institutions. They have, in fact, a right to be treated better, with more deference, by the government under our constitutional scheme. If such an institution wishes to be offensively bloody minded, there isn’t—or, at least, there shouldn’t be—much that an American government can do about it.
Which is almost what Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama (initially) said. Almost. They rightly insisted on the constitutional principle that government could not intervene, but then they drew the conclusion that the discussion should thus be over—and that only bigots and un-American theocrats would continue agitating against an Islamic center near Ground Zero.
The self-congratulation in all this is a little hard to take—a kind of belief that, unfolded in full, would betray a vast sense of superiority to both those culturally backward Muslims who must be offered such tolerance and to those culturally backward Americans who must be lectured on tolerance.
The deeper problem with this line, however, is that it assumes government is the only actor: the only power, the only arbiter, the only law in America. If the government can do nothing, than nothing can be done. [This is so important. Statists! Pay attention!]
The New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote a column that might be the model for this kind of thinking about public affairs—this way of feeling about public affairs. Curiously calling for ex-President Bush to enter the debate and calm the people current-President Obama was incapable of soothing, the column was profoundly bothered by the mere existence of criticism. The failure to build the mosque, Dowd perversely declared, would be a triumph for those who hate America: “the ultimate victory for Osama and the 9/11 hijackers is the moral timidity that would ban a mosque.”
Real democracy is messy. [his bolds] It’s got protestors and agitators and banners and manners and morals and financial pressures and gossip and policemen on horses keeping an eye out to make sure it doesn’t turn violent. Oh, yes, it’s also got government, but apart from paying for those policemen, government ought not to be too deeply involved as these things sort themselves out. If what the Muslims want to do is not illegal, than government should have nothing more to say. [And they should also protect those who want to protest against what is not illegal, because protesting is not illegal, even if it is against Muslim extremism or abortion clinics]
That does not mean, however, that everyone else should also have nothing more to say. The attempt to build a large, new mosque and Islamic center anywhere near the site of the World Trade Center is so offensive, so bizarre, and so deliberate that it should be stopped.
Have I ever missed you.
Love in Christ,
Which is not to say that abolishing celibacy as a discipline is the answer.
Some will be surprised at the revelation that Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium urged a victim who was abused by his uncle, a bishop, to remain quiet, accept a private apology and allow the bishop to retire and not “drag his name through the mud.”
Secretly made recordings of meetings among the cardinal, the victim and the perpetrator leave little room for Danneels to explain his way out of his own words. He didn’t call the police, he didn’t immediately seek removal of the bishop, he didn’t act immediately to find out whether there had been other victims.
One press report termed the leaked recordings “ some of the most damaging documents to emerge in the scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church.” That may be a bit of overstatement. But what the recordings underline is the fact that when church leaders are caught in their own words – in depositions, letters, memos, directives, in the tens of thousands of pages, for instance, archived at bishopaccountability.com – the true nature of the scandal is bared. The deepest part of it, that part which refuses to go away with countless pro-forma apologies and programs, has little to do with sex and much to do with a culture that sees itself above accountability.
That’s why analyzing the scandal requires seeing it as much broader than a referendum on a certain ecclesiology or a particular view of reform or orthodoxy. And that’s why some of the recent thinking and comments by church leaders in different parts of the world becomes important. Whether the questions that are being raised in other countries have any “legs” is itself an open questions. Who knows whether those raising the questions have the stomach for pursuing them beyond their own diocesan borders.
Danneels was generally seen as one of the last of the Vatican II generation who knew that council intimately and supported its reforms. He would be, for lack of a better term, a liberal by many of today’s ecclesiastical measures. But it doesn’t matter. So was Archbishop Rembert Weakland, and his handling of some abuse cases was notoriously callous, and in his own attempt to hide a homosexual liaison he saw fit to lift nearly a half million dollars from archdiocesan coffers without telling anyone.
By contrast, Cardinal Anthony Bevelacqua of Philadelphia was a noted conservative, one of those who could be described as leading the reversal on Vatican II reforms. The Philadelphia Grand Jury report on his role in hiding sexual predators and using the law to avoid accountability is deeply disturbing reading. So are the documents in which Cardinals Bernard Law and Edward Egan are depicted overseeing the handling of abuse cases in their respective dioceses. Both are staunch conservatives and would be considered by many as protectors of a traditionalist approach to ecclesiology and church teaching.
Wherever members of the hierarchy are on the political, theological or ecclesiological spectrums, they meet first as brothers in a unique culture of celibate men who have sworn oaths of allegiance to the papacy and who have repeatedly acted to protect the institution while shunning the plight of thousands of child victims of abusive priests.
But there does seem to be a tendency to show more sympathy to the priestly abusers who face disgrace later in life when someone finally comes forward to lay charges than for the victim, who is always, of course, an alleged victim. Like why can't that victim just suck it up and forget about it, the poor priest, he's crying because his name is being dragged through the mud. And really, I don't think money is the answer for these victims. They want a priest or a bishop with a real fatherly love, a love that comes from the Father, to tell them they understand what they have gone through and to say they are so sorry and that they will do everything they can to make sure it never happens again---and mean it.
The nephew of the bishop in question in Belgium was five years old when the abuse started.
FIVE freakin' years old.
As people who are involved in counseling victims of abuse, the Catholic Church still doesn't get it. They do not understand the lifelong damage this can cause.
Yes, it seems that the only thing anyone can talk about is the sex abuse scandals, and it is clear that history is being made. Taking the longest possible view, the Church is at last passing out of a phase that started in the 1950s, and with the sex abuse cases, is simply reaping what it has sewn. The result of effectively abandoning the traditional moral strictures in seminary formation is going to be moral chaos in the Church. Two and two still equal four. And now, even despite the attempts by the media to obscure this equation, many more people can see that, so much more clearly than before. The state of moral chaos, the doctrinal and liturgical disaster that is the Church in Belgium, Germany, Austria, France, Britain etc, is now being revealed for the evil that it has been all along. That this did not come about under John Paul II is an indication of Benedict’s new direction and strengths.
Again, taking the long view, I think this period will end up being a positive one for the Church. If the mainstream media has failed to make the connection between their favourite European bishops publicly opposing the Church on homosexuality and condoms and their protection of predatory homosexuals in the priesthood, the lesson is not being lost on those who see the situation with the eyes of the Faith. It will soon occur even to some MSM pundits that it has been the darlings of the “progressive” end of the Church, the poster-boys of the Revolution, who have been the most egregious culprits in covering up for their abusive priests and fellow bishops. The Weaklands, the Mahoneys, the Danneelses.
These scandals will, and indeed have already resulted in many becoming so distressed that they will leave the Church. But it seems obvious that those who have so attached themselves to the anti-Catholic Revolution that they would leave when it is shown to have been a hoax and a scandal, have in fact long since left the practice of the Catholic religion, if they ever had the Faith at all.
In the long term, Cardinal Ratzinger’s famous prediction of a smaller and more faithful Church will certainly come true, as it is demonstrably doing now in Austria, and this is certainly a loss. But I will dare to take Cardinal Ratzinger’s prediction one step further, and say that the new, smaller more faithful Church, will be all the more equipped to rescue their fallen-away fellow citizens, particularly after a period of state persecution.
Perhaps this looks in a worldly sense like a wan hope, but it is the real hope, the theological Hope, that God can bring a far greater good out of the darkness we are now experiencing. Pope Benedict clearly knows this, and he knows what he can and cannot achieve. His actions in the last two or three years, particularly with the outreach to the Anglicans, to the Orthodox and to the SSPX, have made it clear that he anticipates and hopes for this outcome. I have a friend here who likes to say that in five years, Benedict has done more for the true ecumenical cause, that of bringing all Christians back into the fold of Rome, than his predecessor did in nearly three decades. In this alone, Benedict has made extraordinary progress. But his actions have necessarily been preparatory. He is creating a situation in which the Church can begin to heal, a process that will take a long time, and will still be going on long after he is resting in St. Peter’s.
He also seems to know that he is limited in what he can achieve. He knows the Vatican machinery too well to think that he can, as so many of us have daydreamed, simply start firing people. A few heads have rolled, it is true, but although we tend to think of the pope as allpowerful in the temporal sense, we have seen, as in the diocese of Linz, that the “nuclear option” is not as easy to achieve as it might look on paper.
At the same time, Benedict, who knows in more detail than perhaps anyone else in Rome about the doings of these priests, is undertaking a clean-up operation. But he knows the size of the Aegean Stables. Is he willing to divert a whole river to clean it out? I don’t think we have yet seen everything Benedict plans.
We all knew the Revolution could not last. The lack of decisive action against it through the long period of the last pontificate has allowed it to grow complacent and comfortable, but we still knew that its dedication to a certain political ideology and its anti-Catholic shortcomings were going to bring it down eventually. The truth always wins. And the signs are growing, particularly in Europe, that a storm of persecution is brewing, which has always been good for the Church.
But remember that Benedict is of that generation that put all their eggs into the Vatican II basket and is determined to “make the council work”. This despite that 45 years after its close, they are still arguing over what its purpose was. Like nailing Jell-O to the wall. Younger Catholics, those of us that are left in the pews, simply cannot understand this obsession of the last generation with that monumental failure. But for the Ratzinger generation, “The Council” defined Catholicism, and it seems they cannot be convinced to give it a dignified burial.
But we cannot think that a single man, even the pope, even a great pope, could bring about huge sweeping changes for the better. As we have seen in the last few decades, it is a great deal easier to destroy the Church’s traditions with the sweep of a pen, than it will be to restore them. The Vatican is an old and peculiarly Italian institution and it is used to doing things the same way it always has, whether the ruling faction is “conservative” or “liberal”. It is a cliché, perhaps, but true, that the Church takes the centuries-long view, and what is hap-hap-happenin’ to the rest of us in the world is little more to the men Inside the Walls than a momentary distraction over one’s morning cappuccino.
The new Ordinariate was formed from a handful of English clergy who had resigned from the Anglican Communion in 1994, but who were determined not to make any approach to Rome with the Traditional Anglican Communion. The TAC did not have the status of pukka Anglicans, and their bishops did not even attend the right public school. They were not even good golf players. [LOL!] After many years of confidential dialogues, these three ex-Anglican priests, all working as school teachers, were re-ordained and nominated to the Council of the Ordinariate.
For a German-speaking Latin rite country like Ruritania, the new Ordinariate proved to be fascinating news for the local inhabitants, unable to understand the English of the Book of Divine Worship. Progress in pastoral efforts is slowed by the priests having to learn German in order to celebrate the modern Roman rite in the language of the people.
Naturally, TAC clergy and laity living in England, Australia, Canada and the United States are welcome to relocate to Ruritania, where the Imperial Credit Bank is offering subprime mortgages for very expensive houses at astronomic rates of interest. Bishop Jellyfoot is satisfied that this arrangement is a very generous response to the request made by the TAC in 2007.
Upon their arrival at Wurlitzburg Airport, the converts will be confined in the Fortress for the two years needed for the RCIA course. They will be subjected to intense physical training, stringent medical fitness tests and training on the Hyper-G gravitational inertia machine. It is expected that only one in a hundred will make it to reception into the Church. The losers will be expected to maintain mortgage repayments even after their repatriation to their countries of origin.
As for RCIA, here's a look at a real experience of RCIA via an interview with Hilary White in the Remnant via Rorate Caeli.
In 1972, if you did what you were supposed to do and went up to the local parish asking to become Catholic, they put you into the hands of their lay, or worse, sister-led religious education team. I was too young to be “instructed” but I know that she came away having been told that reincarnation was a perfectly acceptable idea for Catholics. A little half-baked Buddhism, a little Jungian psychology, a Carl Rogers-style encounter session or two, and she was ready for Victoria’s Catholic scene. My poor mum never did manage to sort it all out, but went to her death living in the same fog of bewilderment these people instilled in her in the early days of the aftermath of the Vatican II Asteroid.
Spare us, Good Lord. The intense physical training and the Hyper-G gravitational inertia machine would be preferable to that. At least RCIA would make me svelte and capable of riding in a fighter plane.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The Church has been hit over the past year by two detailed government reports on sexual abuse in Ireland and waves of abuse allegations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. Five bishops have quit because of the scandals.
Church and legal documents published in the United States this spring showed how American bishops and the Vatican dealt with predator priests without informing police of their crimes.
The Belgian tapes stand out as a rare verbatim record of how a leading Catholic prelate tried to persuade the victim, a 42-year-old nephew of Mr. Vangheluwe, to keep the case quiet.
They emerged as a judicial probe into the scandal teetered on the edge of collapse after reports that a June 24 police raid on Church offices and Mr. Danneels’s apartment to seize files and computers was illegal and the documents could not be used.
In their one-on-one meeting, the victim says he feels a duty to report the case to the Church hierarchy and asks Mr. Danneels to help. The cardinal responds by urging him not to go public.
“The bishop will resign next year, so actually it would be better for you to wait,” the cardinal says. “I don’t think you’d do yourself or him a favour by shouting this from the rooftops.”
The man pleads for help but Mr. Danneels, 77, who had stepped down as Brussels archbishop in January, says he cannot discipline Mr. Vangheluwe or inform higher authorities, including Pope Benedict. The bishop should turn himself in, he says.
Mr. Danneels warns the victim against trying to blackmail the Church and urges him to seek forgiveness, accept a private apology from the bishop and not drag “his name through the mud.”
“He has dragged my whole life through the mud, from 5 until 18 years old,” says the victim, who denies he wants to blackmail anyone. “Why do you feel so sorry for him and not for me?”
But I loved what I heard. Especially because I am American-born.
Here's a link to videos of the event. Do not trust the mainstream media on this, folks. Listen to the original speeches. The a capella rendering of The Star-Spangled Banner is enough to send chills up your spine.
Kathy Shaidle as a good round-up of posts on yesterday's seminal event:
And what I wrote a few months ago on the same topic.
UPDATE: J.E. Dyer writes...
The left will do what it’s going to do, but what I’d like to do here is reiterate a point I made about Palin last year to my fellows on the right. The point is this: people like Beck, Palin, and Limbaugh are as much a test of our character as anything else.
Are we so dedicated to a set idea of decorum and credentials that we will close our ears to people who are telling us the truth, because of their social attributes, communication style, and demeanor?
When we see 500,000 or more people turn out on the Mall at the end of August – in the heat and humidity, in a painful recession, after school and sports have already started in many states – are we going to insist that that’s “not conservatism,” that it’s something we need to triangulate away from and reject, because people prayed to God, got emotional, and talked about character?
And if so, what is it we’re waiting for that we think is better?
I didn't listen to the whole thing, but what I heard was inspiring. It was a call for every individual to come back to God and to take responsibility for turning America back to its founding principles.
Robert Costa writes at The Corner:
They came for many reasons — to see Sarah Palin, to pray, to hope, to socialize — but come they did. Hundreds of thousands of Americans gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, lawn chairs and Gadsden flags in hand, to participate in “Restoring Honor,” a nonpartisan rally hosted by Glenn Beck, a Fox News host.
In a surprise appearance at the FreedomWorks conference in Washington on Friday, Beck had explained why he decided to spearhead what was, in many respects, an ecumenical revival. “My role, as I see it, is to wake America up to the backsliding of principles and values and most of all of God,” he told the assembled conservative activists. “We are a country of God. As I look at the problems in our country, quite honestly, I think the hot breath of destruction is breathing on our necks and to fix it politically is a figure that I don’t see anywhere.”
The following morning, as Beck’s event opened, soft piano notes swelled from gargantuan loudspeakers as images of America — purple mountains’ majesty, oceans white with foam — slowly streamed across the high-definition video screens positioned around the Memorial grounds. Then, to a great roar, Beck took the stage. “Something that is beyond man is happening,” he said, his voice echoing all the way to the Washington Monument. “America today begins to turn back to God.”
Beck’s opening theme, calling the assembled to embrace God and remember the traditional, foundational values of the country, was carried on by the ensuing speakers. Calls for unity and inspiration were ubiquitous, interspersed with history lessons, personal testimonials, sermons, and a bit of country music — John Rich and others performed. “For too long, this country has wandered in darkness,” Beck said, gazing out toward the reflecting pool. “This country has spent far too long worrying about scars and thinking about scars and concentrating on scars. Today, we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished, and the things that we can do tomorrow.”
Beck’s healing message also included numerous citations of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the site 47 years ago to the day. Dr. Alveda King, a niece of the civil-rights activist, was a featured speaker. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, also addressed King’s legacy. “You have the same steel spine and moral courage as Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King,” she told the crowd. “It will sustain you, as it sustained them.”
According to Beck, the event raised over $5.5 million for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a charity that supports veterans. Patriotic tributes to the men and women of the American military were frequent. Palin, who son Track currently serves abroad, said that she had “been asked to speak as the mother of a soldier and I am proud of that distinction.” She then told her critics: “Say what you want to say about me, but I raised a combat vet and you can’t take that away from me.”
Ultimately, however, it was Beck’s call for a religious rebirth that dominated. He urged the throngs to “recognize your place to the Creator” and to “realize that He is our king.”
There is an aesthetic consideration concerning the position of the altar and the modification of an old church, but the most important thing is the theological and spiritual dimension. The altar and its position in the building are highly symbolic. Liturgical objects, gestures and texts have profound spiritual meaning and express the belief of Christians. Change the outward expression and you change the belief and spiritual life of the people.
First of all, even if the priest is physically facing away from the people, he is not doing so to exclude them. He is leading the people in prayer to God who is the priest’s God as much as the people’s. The eastward-facing Eucharist is universal in the western and eastern Churches. According to the work of scholars like Jungmann, Gamber and Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), the eastward-facing Eucharist goes right back to the beginning of the Church’s history. The Roman basilicas are westward-facing, and on account of this, the celebrant faces east and the people at the same time. In ancient times, the people turned away from the altar for prayer, so they had their back to the altar! Few people know this, and even scholars were once induced in this way to think that Mass facing the people was an ancient practice. It is not.
Why face east? Is not God everywhere? The east is associated with the coming of Christ, using the image of the rising sun. In Matthew 24,27 Jesus says, For as the lightning [the light of the sun - not thunderbolts] cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Christians pray facing the east because they await the Lord’s coming – in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and in the Last Judgement. The Jews pray towards the Temple of Jerusalem and the Muslims pray in the direction of their sacred shrine at Mecca. Through God is everywhere, man has a need for a symbol of place and direction. Turning towards the Lord is a symbol of conversion (in the etymological meaning of that word), and acknowledging that God chose to dwell in a place – the Holy of Holies of the Temple in the Old Testament. The repentance that ended the exile of Israel was turning toward the Temple, ultimately the living temple that is Jesus. In the traditional posture of priest and people facing the same direction, the eastward position, we are offering our prayer through Jesus, the New Temple, to the Father who is in heaven.
Saying that the priest has his back to the people betrays ignorance, prejudice and misunderstanding of liturgical symbolism. Journalists and secular-minded Christians thus betray their failure to understand that heaven is the true goal of Christian life, and that doing good for other people is but a consequence of our devotion to God.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
kleptoparasitism found among birds, fish or insects,
In many monogamous bird species, there are extra-pair matings resulting in males outside the pair bond siring offspring and used by males to escape from the parental investment in raising their offspring. This form of cuckoldry is taken a step further when females lay their eggs in the nests of other individuals. Intraspecific brood parasitism is seen in a number of duck species with females laying their eggs in the nests of others for example in the Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula.
Interspecific brood-parasites include the Old World cuckoos in Eurasia and Australia, cowbirds and Black-headed Ducks in the Americas, and indigobirds, whydahs, and the honeyguides in Africa. Seven independent origins of obligate interspecific brood parasitism in birds have been proposed. While there is still some controversy over when and how many origins of interspecific brood parasitism have occurred, recent phylogenetic analyses suggest two origins in Passeriformes (once in New World cowbirds: Icteridae, and once in African Finches: Viduidae); three origins in Old World and New World cuckoos (once in Cuculinae, Phaenicophaeinae, and in Neomorphinae-Crotophaginae); a single origin in Old World honeyguides (Indicatoridae); and in a single species of waterfowl, the black-headed duck (Heteronetta atricapilla).
Most avian brood parasites are specialists which will only parasitize a single host species or a small group of closely related host species, but four out of the five parasitic cowbirds are generalists, which parasitize a wide variety of hosts; the Brown-headed Cowbird has 221 known hosts. They usually only lay one egg per nest, although in some cases, particularly the cowbirds, several females may use the same host nest.
The Common Cuckoo presents an interesting case in which the species as a whole parasitizes a wide variety of hosts, but individual females specialize in a single species. Genes regulating egg coloration appear to be passed down exclusively along the maternal line, allowing females to lay mimetic eggs in the nest of the species they specialize in. Females are thought to imprint upon the host species which raised them, and subsequently only parasitize nests of that species. Male Common Cuckoos will fertilize females of all lines, maintaining sufficient gene flow among the different maternal lines.
The mechanisms of host selection by female cuckoos are somewhat unclear, though several hypotheses have been suggested in attempt to explain the choice. These include genetic inheritance of host preference, host imprinting on young birds, returning to place of birth and subsequently choosing a host randomly ("natal philopatry"), choice based on preferred nest site (nest-site hypothesis), and choice based on preferred habitat (habitat-selection hypothesis). Of these hypotheses the nest-site selection and habitat selection have been most supported by experimental analysis.
 Common adaptations of avian brood parasites
Among specialist avian brood parasites, mimetic eggs are a nearly universal adaptation. There is even some evidence that the generalist Brown-headed Cowbird may have evolved an egg coloration mimicking a number of their hosts.
Most avian brood parasites will remove a host egg when they lay one of their own in a nest. Depending upon the species, this can happen either in the same visit to the host nest or in a separate visit before or after the parasitism. This both prevents the host species from realizing their nest has been parasitized and reduces competition for the parasitic nestling once it hatches.
Most avian brood parasites have very short egg incubation periods and rapid nestling growth. This gives the parasitic nestling a head start on growth over its nestmates, allowing it to outcompete them. In cases where the host nestlings are significantly smaller than the parasite nestling, the host nestlings will often starve to death. Some brood parasites will eliminate all their nestmates shortly after hatching, either by ejecting them from the nest or killing them with sharp mandible hooks which fall off after a few days.
 "Mafia hypothesis"
It has often been a question as to why the majority of the hosts of brood parasites care for the nestlings of their parasites. Not only do these brood parasites usually differ significantly in size and appearance, but it is highly probable that they reduce the reproductive success of their hosts. So what possible benefits are gained from providing this parental care? Through studies in an attempt to answer this question evolved the "Mafia hypothesis". This hypothesis revolves around host manipulations induced by behaviors of the brood parasite. Upon the detection and rejection of a brood parasite's egg, the host's nest is depredated upon, its nest destroyed and nestlings injured or killed. This threatening response is indirectly enhancing selective pressures favoring aggressive parasite behavior that may result in positive feedback between Mafia-like parasite and compliant host behaviors.
There are two avian species that have been speculated to portray this mafia-like behavior, the brown-headed cowbird of North America, Molothrus ater, and the Great Spotted Cuckoo of Europe, Clamator glandarius. The Great Spotted Cuckoo lays the majority of its eggs in the nests of the European Magpie, Pica pica. It has been observed that the Great Spotted Cuckoo repeatedly visits the nests that it has parasitised, a precondition for the Mafia hypothesis. An experiment was run by Soler et al. from April to July, 1990–1992 in the high-altitude plateau Hoya de Guadix, Spain. They observed the effects of the removal of cuckoo eggs on the reproductive success of the magpie, and measured the magpie's reaction; the egg was considered accepted if it remained in the nest, ejected if gone in between visits, or abandoned if the eggs were present but cold. If any nest contents were gone between consecutive visits, the nests were considered to have been depredated. The magpie's reproductive success was measured by number of nestlings that survived to their last visit, which was just before the nestling had been predicted to fledge from the nest. The results from these experiments show that after the removal of the parasitic eggs from the Great Spotted Cuckoo, these nests are predated at much higher rates than those where the eggs were not removed. Through the use of plasticine eggs that model those of the magpie, it was confirmed that the nest destruction was caused by the Great Spotted Cuckoo. This destruction benefits the cuckoo, for the possibility of re-nesting by the Magpie allows another chance for the cuckoo egg to be accepted.
I am my Beloved's and He is mine, largely because He is a jealous lover and won't let anyone come between Him and me. But He is faithful and true, kind and generous and His mercies are new every day.
So when I hear a love song on the radio, I think of Jesus. As I was driving home from some wonderful interviews yesterday, the song Everyday by James Taylor came on the radio.
Yeah, every day, loves a little closer. Thank you, Jesus
Here's a version I found on YouTube:
They weren't awake until after the Resurrection and then nothing could put them to sleep, not the fear of death, he said.
We must as a people strengthen our spirit!
We must make a choice today.
Faith, Hope and Charity
In your own life, not just pray, but pray on your knees. Recognize your place with the Creator, recognize He is your King, He is the one who guides and protects us.
Pray on your knees with the door open for your children to see. Not only pray with them, but let them see their father or their mother humbled in prayer. That which they will gaze upon they will become
Tell the truth. America is crying out for the truth.
Tell the life in your own life and then expect it from others.
Connect with your spouse and your children. Charity begins at home, first.
It has to do with the love of the Father, drawing me. I write about it at the Anglo-Catholic.
Here's the heart of my post:
Though I knew the TAC was in informal talks about communion with the Holy See and I was already a big Cardinal Ratzinger fan in 2004, (we were all rooting for him in the conclave in 2005) I still had a basically Protestant theology of the Church and of the Body of Christ as a mystical entity, an unseen fellowship among believers that transcended any earthly institutions. What mattered was a shared faith in Jesus Christ–and of course, a personal relationship with Him. It took a few more years for me to begin to grasp a more Catholic ecclesiology. I thought I was already Catholic because my faith was more catholic than most Catholics I ran across. I had a lot to learn.
But it has not been doctrine that is drawing me into the Catholic Church. I am content with the doctrine I get at our little bastion of sanity at the Cathedral of the Annunciation. We receive great teaching from our priests. And our worship is beautiful.
Why I yearn to be Catholic goes way beyond doctrinal assent or a desire to be obedient on principle–it's a deep-seated passion, from the heart, because of the love of the Father, drawing me through faithful Catholic bishops like Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast and our previous Nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, who is now in France.
I love them. I want to be able to receive Our Lord from their hands. I want to be in heaven with them and take my whole family with me. And all my friends.
They have revealed to me in profound, personal ways how alive and well and beautiful the Catholic Church is at the level of her institutional, earthly structure. I yearn now to be connected because of them. And I could not began to name the many beautiful priests and lay Catholics I have come to know and love. There are many more bishops who I do not know as well, but who have also been loving and kind to this journalist who is still an outsider.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
When I asked about whether or not a different by-law enforcement officer can deal with my parents, since my mother is obviously frightened of the one dealing with us now (especially after reading Ezra Levant’s column and blog), they did not want to discuss that issue.
My mother went to the hospital yesterday. She has lost 10 kilos (about 22 pounds). She is just over five feet tall. She weighs less now than she weighed when she got married.
But no one wants to discuss the simple matter of putting someone other than the six-foot by-law enforcement officer who menacingly said, “be careful” to my mother in one exchange. When my mother, confused, responded “I am careful,” he leaned in and whispered, “be very careful…”
At the end of the meeting, I expressed my disappointment that nothing has moved forward, and that my parents are in the same position they were in before all of this started. Nothing has changed.
And here's a great old song from the 1970s that I used to play over and over, before I knew Jesus.
I wonder why?
My first point is this: Ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have bad consequences. Today we are living in a world that is under the sway of some very destructive ideas, the worst being that men and women can live as if God does not matter and as if the Son of God never walked this earth. As a result of these bad ideas, the Church’s freedom to exercise her mission is under attack. We need to understand why that is, and we need to do something about it.
My second point is simply this: We can no longer afford to treat the debate over secularization -- which really means cauterizing Christianity out of our cultural memory -- as if it’s a problem for Church professionals. The emergence of a “new Europe” and a “next America” rooted in something other than the real facts of our Christian-shaped history will have damaging consequences for every serious believer.
We need not and should not abandon the hard work of honest dialogue. Far from it. The Church always needs to seek friendships, areas of agreement, and ways to make positive, reasoned arguments in the public square. But it’s foolish to expect gratitude or even respect from our governing and cultural leadership classes today. Naïve imprudence is not an evangelical virtue.
The temptation in every age of the Church is to try to get along with Caesar. And it’s very true: Scripture tells us to respect and pray for our leaders. We need to have a healthy love for the countries we call home. But we can never render unto Caesar what belongs to God. We need to obey God first; the obligations of political authority always come second. We cannot collaborate with evil without gradually becoming evil ourselves. This is one of the most vividly harsh lessons of the 20th century. And it’s a lesson that I hope we have learned.
That brings me to my third and final point today: We live in a time when the Church is called to be a believing community of resistance. We need to call things by their true names. We need to fight the evils we see. And most importantly, we must not delude ourselves into thinking that by going along with the voices of secularism and de-Christianization we can somehow mitigate or change things. Only the Truth can set men free. We need to be apostles of Jesus Christ and the Truth he incarnates.
That some Anglican groups would have one car, some, like the Anglican Use parishes in the states, might have a string of seven, some might even have a locomotive or two.
They were both too young to know the song. (More at The Anglo-Catholic)
Every year, my brother used to produce, first a tape, then a CD, of Christmas songs that he would do with some of his musician friends and some of mine from my old partying days in Boston. My brother is five years younger, but when he grew up, the age difference shrank and when the second tenor dropped out of my friend's a capella group my brother joined in---the only white man. But man, can he sing. And harmonize. They do this song better than anyone else.
Christopher and Michael, I will play this for you sometime.
In the meantime, I looked it up on You Tube.
Here's Curtis Mayfield:
Here's a version by Al Green that, well, it ain't Anglican, but got me praising God and wanting to dance, and well, I did dance. I used to love Al Green when I was in late teens and early 20s--but his love songs, not his Gospel music.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A few years ago, I met her in person at a Christian writers' conference in Dallas and we and several other Master's Artist bloggers hung out and partied together, even went out dancing at a jazz club and the agent who joined us showed off some of his ballroom dancing moves.
Anyway, Mary stands out among fiction writers publishing in the fiction market. I've read a number of her novels and all are good. She writes beautifully.
But her memoir, Thin Places is a masterpiece.
I read it on the plane to Vancouver last June and have been meaning to write about it ever since.
I probably had tears welling up most of the flight because of Mary's transparency about her struggles growing up as the child of separated hippie-ish parents, who partied and smoked dope, who left her feeling tremendously unsafe. Her biological father used to take her periodically and photograph her naked and she only later in life realized what a boundary violation that had been. But that was all she knew and she loved him. She called him Jim, and he committed suicide, leaving her with a lifelong hunger for her father.
But the defining, harrowing events of Mary's life began when a group of neighborhood boys raped her, starting when she was age five, until she realized if she pretended to be taking a nap at the babysitters, she did not have to go with them to the ravine where they brutalized her and left what she called a lifelong mark that seemed to attract other predators into her orbit as she grew up.
What's beautiful about the structure of Thin Places, however, is that each event in her life is penetrated with spiritual insight, joy and love as she examines these sad events with the wisdom and maturity of adulthood.
"The Celts define a thin place as a place where heaven and the physical world collide, one of those serendipitous territories where eternity and the mundane meet," she writes in introduction. "Thin describes the membrane between the two worlds, like a piece of vellum, where we see a holy glimpse of the eternal---not in digital clarity, but clear enough to discern what lies beyond."
Mary reveals the thin places in her life story, as she encountered God in Jesus Christ and began the poignant and sometimes difficult journey towards forgiveness and healing.
She wonders what Jesus might have been thinking when he chose her. "That one! I choose her because she knows her lack, because she knows her insatiable need for a father. Someday she'll cling to me."
Even 25 years after accepting Jesus into her heart, the ache for her father has still not entirely gone away. She recalled hearing a friend tell of taking his daughter to look at colleges and felt the loss of her own father who never saw her graduate from school or walk down the aisle with her husband or play with his grandchildren. "It's an injury that never seems to heal."
"I am Jacob in times like this," she writes. "Wrestling with God over my lack of a father. He injures me so I limp. The limp reminds me of God's Godness and my frailty---the most humbling thin place."
Mary wrestles with feelings of shame and unworthiness. She also writes a chapter about the corrosive effect of envy on her life. Her relationships were boys is haunted by the abuse. She runs away if anyone comes too close. But she eventually marries a loving husband. The work, though, continues.
I could not put the book down. There is great story-telling, coupled with tremendous spiritual insight. It took a lot of courage first of all to confront all these inner recesses of pain and struggle and secondly to put it unsparingly on the page.
This book deserves to be a best seller. But it may be too real, too good.
I would especially recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with the after-effects of abuse. But all of us, if we examined our lives with the honesty Mary has examined hers, might discover we too are a mess that only God can fix. He comes alive in her words. The book is shot through with heavenly light.
Thinking about the farmer's essay and what Pakistanis are going through got me to wondering about the tradition of theodicy in Islam. Theodicy is the term used to mean theological explanations for the existence of evil. Here is a marvelous interview with the Christian theologian David Bentley Hart, in which he discussed theodicy in the Christian tradition. I don't know how the existence of evil is generally explained by Islamic theologians, and would appreciate any guidance from readers. You may be familiar with the infamous Lisbon earthquake of 1755, and the resulting tsunami. The massive destruction and loss of life it caused had a major effect on European intellectual currents at the time, causing many to doubt God's providence, or God himself. It seems to me that this is a case of a horrific natural disaster occurring at a time when serious fault lines in religious belief were already opening across European culture; the earthquake and tsunami only exacerbated the rupture.
It is not unusual for our liturgical passion and dedication to public devotion to be misunderstood. Some assume we are too churchy and, where Anglo-Catholicism is unhealthy, they have a point! For when a dedication to devotion does not come from the heart, and is not leading people to a genuine relationship with Jesus, Anglo-Catholicism fosters religion, even religiosity, at the cost of living faith. A strange ‘church-moth’ is created in the place of a disciple; one who loves mass but rarely sees beyond the externals to the life changing message of the Gospel. This danger being real, the Anglo-Catholic must guard against closing hearts when falling on knees.
Another criticism of our dedication to public devotion is that we are too inward looking and precious. Again this warning might have substance in places where a worshipping community have become completely out of touch with the people that they serve. I have certainly met one or two horrific examples of clergy who genuinely seem more concerned with the correct length of lace on their albs than in evangelism, mission and fostering faith in others. Such people need to remember that worship exists to ‘send us out in the power of the Spirit’. They should also reflect on the fact that Corpus Christi processions once involved taking Jesus through every street in the parish! Looking inward is healthy and important but only if it leads to us looking outwards as well as inwards.So two criticisms exist which Anglo-Catholics must take on the chin, for where we have become disconnected from the living Gospel they hold water. Daily mass, daily offices, the angelus, rosary, ejaculatory prayers and all else are of no use whatsoever if they do not lead us to Jesus. But where this does happen then devotion to daily worship becomes a wonderful, life-giving and life-affirming thing. Indeed I would argue that devotion to worship set alongside living faith is the catalyst for discovering a true life of fruitful prayer. And it is certainly worth noting that most religious communities within the Anglican fold are the product of this type of living Anglo-Catholicism.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The greatest surprise of all is a newly created indoor garden. There had been a courtyard behind the house, with kitchens and out-buildings. These had all fallen into decay, and instead of rebuilding them someone had the brilliant notion of making another garden from them. A glass roof covers the entire area at the back of the house, broken walls have been made safe and whitewashed, and a magical space has been created, full of tropical and sub-tropical plants. After the downpour which we braved on the way from Cardiff, this came as a surprise and a relief.
What a parallel with the state of the church in England and Wales. Once so grand and powerful, now fallen on hard times and in many places ruinous. Maybe it takes the vision of someone looking at us from outside to see the possibilities and recreate our ruins into something productive and beautiful. It will never be the same as once it was; but if the Ordinariate can build on the best of the past, and capture people's enthusiasm and imagination, it may be that there will again be a church in these lands which will be acclaimed as stupor mundi, something worth travelling miles to see.
Monday, August 23, 2010
August 23rd, 2010 · 1 Comment
The Pope welcomed a gathering of altar servers in Rome. As John Allen notes:
First, for the first time this year, the female altar servers in attendance outnumbered the males. According to organizers, the balance was roughly 60-40 in favor of females. The official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, pointed to the turnout as a symbol of “the massive entry in recent decades of girls and young women into a role once reserved exclusively to males.”
This predominance of girls was predictable (anyway I predicted it in my book The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity). Western Christianity has for a long time been regarded as unmasculine. It has been difficult to keep men, especially young men, connected to a church which seems to want to lessen their masculinity.
If an activity is obviously and mistakably masculine (such as soldiering), opening it to women does not make it a part of the feminine sphere. But if a sphere is already regarded as feminine (and Western Christianity is), opening an activity within it to women will make that activity a feminine activity.
I don't agree with everything Podles says, but his book on the Feminization of Christianity was most interesting and I share some of his concerns.
CBC TELEVISION - THE NATIONAL - August 22, 2010
Interview with Cardinal Marc Ouellet as he prepares to ascend to the Vatican.
KIM BRUNHUBER (HOST):
- Plus, Canada's controversial man of the cloth. Heather Hiscox speaks with Cardinal Marc Ouellet as he prepares to ascend to the Vatican. -
- Moral certainty in the face of modern convictions. We speak to Cardinal Marc Ouellet as he prepares to enter the Vatican's inner circle. -
He's loved and loathed. Now Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet is about to take on one of the most important positions at the Vatican. He's traveling to Rome to head up the Congregation of Bishops, the body that determines the future leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. No Canadian has ever risen so high in the Church. Some say it puts him in line to be pope. The CBC's Heather Hiscox spoke to Cardinal Ouellet days before his departure.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): Cardinal Marc Ouellet looked out at an extraordinary site last Sunday inside the beautiful Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre. The pews filled with worshipers and the worshippers were filled with emotion. The head of their Church in Quebec was celebrating mass with them for the last time. The Vatican has summoned Cardinal Ouellet, in days he will move to Rome and into the inner circle of Pope Benedict. (Interview) How did you find out you had been chosen?
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: I found out at the end of May. I received a call from the secretary of state, Cardinal Bertone, asking me on behalf of the Holy Father to accept this position.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): On the phone. And what was your reaction privately to yourself?
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: My reaction was a big surprise. And I said: "oh mamma mia." Because I was really surprised. I had heard comments, you know, in the "milieu", here and elsewhere that some day I could return to Rome. But I did not expect to be called so quickly to be at this Congregation.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): Or to such an influential position. Cardinal Ouellet will head the Congregation for Bishops, meaning he will have a principle role both in determining the leaders of the future and in dealing with the stain of the past, sexual abuse by clergy, and the bishops who covered up or turned a blind eye. (Interview) You said in accepting, one of the things that you are quoted as saying: "I will help the bishops be good bishops." What do you mean by that?
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: There is the need to address the difficult situations in the Church, in a diocese there might be a crisis between the bishop and his priests, or something else ... a case of abuse.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): How do you plan to deal with that?
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: This is a very important question. And I think Pope Benedict has begun to address the situation with firmness, with rigor so the Church has certainly to go forward with transparency and also with a new awareness of the damage that was done to the victims. So this is a big challenge for the Church today. I mean, I feel ...
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): It's enormous, people want to make sure it never happens again.
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: Yes, exactly. Because the problem is a very serious problem. And the fact that the clergy itself has been sort of under attack on this side of its ministry, it is a signal that the problem is much broader in society also. But the reform has to begin within those who have the greatest responsibility in helping others, to grow in holiness, to grow in the response to their call.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): Cardinal Ouellet has known Pope Benedict for more than 20 years. They share a friendship, a trust, and a strict conservative theology. Ouellet has been unyielding in his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. He applauded the Harper government this summer for refusing to fund abortion for developing countries in its G8 maternal health initiative. He said then, and readily repeats, abortion is a crime to human life even when rape is involved.
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: I reminded people that the human being is worth of respect, even in those cases.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): (Interview) There were some who heard in an unjustifiable moral crime even in cases of rape, they heard in you trying to put this on the political agenda and trying to perhaps return to the debate of the decriminalization of abortion which was settled in lw over 20 years ago. Was that your intent?
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: Yes. It is not a subtle question because there is an objective injustice for the child who is weak, who is a human being, who is a person with dignity and has no protection whatsoever. It might be legal, it is legal, but it is morally unacceptable.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): His comments unleashed fury in Quebec. One newspaper columnist went so far as to wish him a long and painful death. (Interview) Are you comfortable having been a lightning rod?
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: Oh yes. I think I did what I have to do.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): Long after the Quiet Revolution, much of Quebec still views the Catholic Church as repressive and irrelevent. Cardinal Ouellet, the traditionalist, has been a polarizing figure.
ONSCREEN: (Cardinal Ouellet speaking during mass) I am conscious that many people might have been hurt or pained ...
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): He acknowledged as much in his final homily, even offering an apology to anyone who had ever been hurt by his comment.
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: My comment on ... so apologizing was not pointing out to a specific situation, abortion or marriage, but it was more general. I want God to forgive me and also the people because it not meant to hurt people at all but to give them the light of the Gospel and the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): There are Bishop colleagues who have not seen the Gospel in quite the same light and I'm thinking even of the Quebec Assembly of Bishops. The head of that group gave an interview after your appointment and was quite strong in saying essentially "good riddance, he never saw Quebec's position properly, he was too emotional but he didn't get the sensitivities and issues in post-Quiet Revolution Quebec." I found it quite striking that he would attack so strongly. What did you think?
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: I have been trying to do my homework and sometimes we've had points of view ... so, that's the Church. And we are not forced to say always the same thing at the same time, the same words. And I hope for the future, we need Bishops that are able to teach and to teach in a convincing manner to their people and Bishops that are close to their people. I think that is a great quality of the Bishops of Quebec. They know the situations and maybe they have more sensitivity than I have for the very concrete situation in this part of the country. I saw also the need of a clear affirmation of what is catholic doctrine about some matters.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): In stressing those, as you approach that doctrine, do you think that arrested the decline of religious faith in Quebec? Or did it help it, if you know what I mean? It sounded like the Bishops were saying "he's been bad for reparations in Quebec."
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: On the short term it may be interpreted in this way, that it has shaken up some people and even some people have taken more distance. It is possible. But on the long term I think what I did is a good seed for the people of Quebec. We are at a moment of crisis, of void to a certain extent and we really need to help and to gather our strength around these spiritual values.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): Cardinal Ouellet walks in moral certainty and climbs in the catholic hierarchy at a stunning pace. After just eight years as cardinal, people now speak seriously of him as "papabile", a man who might one day become pope. (Interview) I know one wouldn't campain actively for that, that that wouldn't be seemly, but in your private, prayerful moments, do you ever allow yourself to contemplate that?
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: So you have given your life to God. And so the christian basic attitude, especially a religious attitude, is to be available for God, for His plan. And when thoughts of this sort come to mind, I think it is interpreted more as temptation, as a dream, if you want, because when you know closely the Pope and, I 've known these two Popes, so you see the burden that they have on their shoulder, it is a difficult ministry to keep the Church in unity, that's the ministry of Peter. So I pray for the Pope. And I ask the people to pray for me and the new task I will now take in obedience to God.
HEATHER HISCOX (REPORTER): For CBC News, I'm Heather Hiscox in Quebec City.