January - February

Notes from Across the Atlantic

Richard John Neuhaus FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

QUESTION OF INTIMIDATION

Who is intimidating whom? The New England Journal of Medicinei s alarmed by the Supreme Court decision Gonzales vs. Carhart.“The Partial Death of Abortion Rights”, “The Intimidation of American Physicians”, are among the alarms raised. A reader writes: “I was surprised at the notion that physicians who support abortion are...

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The Primacy of Christ and Honoring the Islamic Invitation

Editorial FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

Honouring the Letter and the Transcendence of God

Last October, on the first anniversary of their robust reply to the Pope’s Regensburg lecture,...

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The Uniqueness of Jesus

The story of Jesus is what the eternal trinitarian life of God looks like when it is projected upon the screen of history, and this means not only on the screen of human history but of sinful...

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The Primacy of Christ in the Light of Modern Dilemmas

We human beings are created by God and for God. We are created with a spiritual soul as well as a body, and so material things alone are not enough to satisfy us: we yearn for what is truly...

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The Incarnation, The Priesthood and Communion with God

John Gavin FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

We Shall Become Like Him

One of the “hot topics” in Patristic studies these days i s theosiso r deificatio. Dionysius the Areopogite...

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Love for Allah: An Exercise in Honest Dialogue

 “A common word between us and you” is the title of a long, learned and beautiful letter which 138 Sunni and Shiite Islamic leaders have recently sent to the major representatives...

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Be Unfashionable and Love Jesus

FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

From Pope Benedict's address to University Students, Vatican City, November 9, 2007

"...people who wish to be Christ's disciples are called to go against the...

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The Primacy of Christ in John Duns Scotus: An Assessment

The theology of John Duns Scotus places Christ at the centre of a universe ordered by love. Christ is presented as the basis of all nature, grace and glory – the most perfect model of...

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Quenching the Catechetical Thirst

An Interview with Marianne Cuthbertson FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

A big handicap for many priests in the work of spiritual formation is the marked degree of religious ignorance of many...

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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

A QUESTION OF MATTER

Dear Father Editor,

I have been looking again at your September 2006 editorial (Form and Matter: Towards a New Synthesis) and I find myself...

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Cardinal Christoph Schonborn makes an Important Distinction

FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

From an interview with Paolo Gambi published in the Catholic Herald last October.

I wrote in the New York Times about the overwhelming evidence of design. I...

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The Road from Regensburg

FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

Ecumenical and inter-religious developments in the search for a modern apologetic

SPE SALVI
In his second encyclical, this time on Christian hope, Pope Benedict...

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Sunday by Sunday

FAITH Magazine January-February 2008
Our regular guide to the Word of God in the Sunday Liturgy

Sunday 6th January
The Epiphany of the Lord Year A
Matthew 2:112

Some of the last figures to...

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What the Heavens Said

II
Weeks and months turning on the sundial, through
villages and towns indifferent to the stranger, not hostile,
inquisitive at most. And through the valleys, soft with vegetation,
along the meadowed...

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Book Reviews

Book Reviews

FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

After Asceticism: Sex, Prayer and Deviant Priests
By The Linacre Institute, AuthorHouse (2006), Paperback, 276 pages, £9.95

After Asceticism offers an...

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Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

FAITH Magazine January-February 2008


A special feature keeping us up to date with issues of science and religion

CLONING PIONEERS VASCILLATION: SOME PRO-LIFE FRUIT?

In a surprising development...

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  • Notes from Across the Atlantic

    Richard John Neuhaus FAITH Magazine January-February 2008

    QUESTION OF INTIMIDATION

    Who is intimidating whom? The New England Journal of Medicinei s alarmed by the Supreme Court decision Gonzales vs. Carhart.“The Partial Death of Abortion Rights”, “The Intimidation of American Physicians”, are among the alarms raised. A reader writes: “I was surprised at the notion that physicians who support abortion are intimidated. As a young physician who is pro-life, I know about intimidation. We carry our convictions quietly within the established medical community. Biding our time, we wait to act or speak out when necessary to protect unborn life.” Ask Dr. Maureen Condic about intimidation. Deviating from the establishment position, she wrote about embryonic stem cell research in First Things(“What We Know About Embryonic Stem Cells,” January 2007) andfor her effrontery was attacked by the scientific establishment. No doubt some abortionists are intimidated. More generally they are despised. It is the specialty that dare not speak its name. A doctor once introduced himself to me saying, “I work in the field of reproductive health.” I’m sure I did not intimidate him. Contempt for what a person does is not intimidation.

    CONSTRUCTIVE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

    There is an office called the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Social Development and World Peace. As you can tell from the name, the office has weighty responsibilities. John Carr is the head of the office, and he recently testified before another institution with weighty responsibilities, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Centre of Reform Judaism, also testified, as did the National Council of Churches, the Episcopal Church and a group of evangelical Protestants who signed a statement warning against global warming. Speaking for the bishops, John Carr said, “The U.S. Catholic bishops seek to offer a constructive, distinctive and authentic contribution based on our religious and moral teachingand our pastoral service.” He went on to say, “Our Creator has given us the gift of creation: the air we breathe, the water that sustains life, the climate and environment we share.” Further, he said, “Global climate change is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family.” In addition, he said, “This is an essential time to build up the common ground for common action to pursue the common good.” The representatives of the other groups also made these “constructive, distinctive and authentic” contributions presumably based upon Catholic teaching and pastoral experience. Mr. Carr said, “Pope John Paul II insisted that climate is a good that must be protected.” I don’t know what statement of the pope Mr. Carr has in mind, but it is true that we would be in a fine fix withoutclimate. He refers to meetings his office has held with global warming groups and says “such gatherings can create an environment of dialogue and common ground for common action on climate change,” and he urged that such gatherings be expanded. So at least one environment is being not only protected but expanded. In one meeting, he learned that parts of Alaska are “already being destroyed by erosion, flooding and other forces”. Much of Mr. Carr’s statement is devoted to the poor and to “sustainable development”. Sustainable development is an idea developed in World Council of Churches circles in the 1970s and 1980s, and focuses attention on how much poor countries should be allowed to develop before they jeopardise the environment on which we all depend, although Mr. Carr does not put itquite that way. In any event, we can all agree that there is climate, and there is, as always, climate change. The U.S. bishops, according to John Carr, believe that these constitute “problems” that “require taking bold action weighing available policy alternatives and moral goods and taking considered and decisive steps before the problems grow worse”. Such is the “constructive, distinctive and authentic contribution” of Catholic social doctrine. Where would the senators or, for that matter, all of us be without it? The national bishops’ conference recently underwent across-the-board cutbacks due to financial difficulties. One may be permitted to wonder whether cutbacks, or even eliminations, might not be more carefully targeted, with an eye toward, for instance, the Department of SocialDevelopment and World Peace. (For a crisp, informed, and cliché-free reflection on climate change, see Thomas Derr’s “The Politics of Global Warming” in the August/September issue of First Things. )

    LENIN ON DISPLAY

    The Fremont district of Seattle proclaims itself to be the “Centre of the Universe”. One should not begrudge the folks who live there whatever consolations they can contrive. Fremont is also the sharpest edge of edgy, as in avant-garde. After the people of Poprad, Slovakia, pulled down a seven-ton statue of Vladimir Ilych Lenin in 1989 and threw it into the town dump, it was discovered by an American who had it transported to Seattle and it was placed in the town centre of Fremont. This report says, “The statue was controversial and remains so – especially to Russian immigrants.” Those touchy Russians. The report continues: “Lenin the Man was a violent sociopath, catalyst for wholesale slaughter across half the world. But Lenin the Public Artwork is a beautifully crafted sculpture, and acatalyst for healthy discourse.” Now if only they could find an artistically worthy statue for Hitler the Public Artwork, one can imagine the catalytic effect on public discourse in Fremont..