Category Archives: Faith & Reason

Was John Paul II euthanized?

john_paul_2_0921.jpgWell, that’s a question. Provocative or not, I am quiet sure that it is germane 6 years later with little evidence. But Time magazine’s Jeff Israel brings to our attention the hypothesis of Dr Lina Pavanelli who, in an article, “The Sweet Death of Karol Wojtyla” (Micromega), claims Blessed John Paul II was euthanized. The first thing I think of is: someone is trying to make a book deal with conspiracy theory accusing the Vatican of hiding something. But I am wondering, as Israel pointed out, that if the issue is actually the doctor’s reception of Church teaching on life –or not–, especially on issues like euthanasia. Many in the medical community want to dismiss the Church’s teaching on life in order to liberalize medicine enough to reduce the dignity of the human person to absurdity. There’s a vibrancy in questioning Magisterial teaching on life in Europe because of proposed legislation.

Remember all the questions about the death of Pope John Paul I?

Yousef Nadarkhani sentenced to death for being Christian in Iran, the Church silent

Yousef Nadarkhani.jpgYousef Nadarkhani, 33, is a Christian; he’s never practiced Islam, the faith of his family. He converted Christianity at the age of 19. A court ruled that he’s guilty of apostasy but he’s also being accused of security charges, running a brothel, being a rapist and being a Zionist. And now he faces death. 

BUT it seems that the charge of apostasy is being minimized or completely discounted now; information conflict. Nadarkhani was arrested October 13, 2009.

“I am resolute in my faith and Christianity and have no wish to recant,” Yousef Nadarkhani said.
Benjamin Weinthal’s article in The Jerusalem Post gives some more detail.

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La Civiltà Cattolica has new leadership with Antonio Spadaro

Antonio Spadaro.jpgLa Civiltà Cattolica, THE prestigious journal of opinion in Italy, and perhaps in very many ecclesial circles, has new leadership in Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro. La Civiltà Cattolica has been at the service of the Church 162 years.

Father Antonio, 45, takes the helm from Father GianPaolo Salvini, 75, who’s been the head of La Civiltà Cattolica since 1985, an apostolate of the Italian Jesuits in Rome.
While not an official organ of communication of the Holy See, La Civiltà Cattolica is reviewed by a ranking –though competent– official of the Secretariat of State. It is said that the Papal Palace, that is, the Pope himself, reviewed the pre-publicaiton draft of the journal; Pope Paul VI changed the process.

 La Civiltà Cattolica cover.jpg

The new director, Father Antonio, also the superior of the House of Writers (near to the Porta Pinciana) is trained in literary criticism and has been at the journal for a time since 1994. He’s from Messina and was ordained in 1996. All of his training was in Italy but he completed his Jesuit formation, tertianship, in Ohio. He earned a doctorate from the Gregorian University under the direction of the Australian Jesuit Gerald O’Collins. The new director has published some 15 books and he’s interested in the new social communications.
Don Antonio hosts two blogs: “Antonio Spadaro” and “Cyberteologia.”
He got a difficult road ahead of him: bringing La Civiltà Cattolica further into the new millennium with the use of English, social media and greater visibility. The voice of  La Civiltà Cattolica needs to be heard. A new broom sweeps clean.
May God grant Father Antonio many and rich blessings as he begins his new ministry.

Lorenzo Albacete on 9/11

Albacete.jpgMonsignor Lorenzo Albacete was interviewed by PBS’s Frontline on the 9/11 tragedy.

That phrase: “I saw death” is a startling thought. What does one really see? The interview is interesting as it tries to deal with facing good and evil, not only in the ad extra but also ad intra, and the worship of the true God.
Monsignor Albacete’s interview is part of the larger project called Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero.

Artistic expression is part of that “way of beauty” that leads to God

Pope Benedict gave the following teaching on beauty –a subject near to his heart– on August 31. Some of the paragraphs are here (the entire address is here). Isn’t what the Pope says true???? The beautiful expressed in food, music, art, architecture, the human body, the poerty and friendship is the extroversion of the Holy Spirit.

 

Today, I would like to consider briefly one of these channels that can lead us to God and also be helpful in our encounter with Him: It is the way of artistic expression, part of that “via pulchritudinis” — “way of beauty” — which I have spoken about on many occasions, and which modern man should recover in its most profound meaning. 

 

Perhaps it has happened to you at one time or another — before a sculpture, a painting, a few verses of poetry or a piece of music — to have experienced deep emotion, a sense of joy, to have perceived clearly, that is, that before you there stood not only matter — a piece of marble or bronze, a painted canvas, an ensemble of letters or a combination of sounds — but something far greater, something that “speaks,” something capable of touching the heart, of communicating a message, of elevating the soul

 

Wells cathedral.jpgA work of art is the fruit of the creative capacity of the human person who stands in wonder before the visible reality, who seeks to discover the depths of its meaning and to communicate it through the language of forms, colors and sounds. Art is capable of expressing, and of making visible, man’s need to go beyond what he sees; it reveals his thirst and his search for the infinite. Indeed, it is like a door opened to the infinite, [opened] to a beauty and a truth beyond the every day. And a work of art can open the eyes of the mind and heart, urging us upward.

 

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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