- Monday, 03 August 2009 09:30
Have you ever considered what a 21st century theology
of creation would look like? What experts would you follow? Would you ever
think of Pope Benedict as a green pope? Could the leader of the 1 billion plus
Catholics lead the charge in standing on the side the culture of life AND the
environment? As Benedict’s ministry as the Supreme Pontiff unfolds so is his
vision of what humanity is as gift of God and our responsibility to care for
it. Pope Benedict is offering us a way of being environmentally conscious that
is coherent with faith and reason. As he said in July 2007, “Our earth speaks to us, and we must listen if we
want to survive.” In his recent letter to the world, Caritas
in Veritate, Pope Benedict wrote: “When nature, including the human being, is
viewed as the result of mere chance or evolutionary determinism, our sense of
responsibility wanes. In nature, the believer recognizes the wonderful result
of God’s creative activity, which we may use responsibly to satisfy our
legitimate needs, material or otherwise, while respecting the intrinsic balance
of creation. If this vision is lost, we end up either considering nature an
untouchable taboo or, on the contrary, abusing it.” Read John Allen’s analysis.
By the way, he’s not the only head of a Church who is acting in a green way, so
is Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople…he’s known as the “green
- Monday, 20 July 2009 18:00
The Catholic Forum presents
Ecology: A Doorway to the Mystery
with Pablo Martinez, Ph.D.
Dr. Martinez is a well known ecological economist working on three continents to bring harmony between nature and development. His work includes an online university for poor rural villages connecting 30 countries in Spanish and English, and fighting to solve chronic hunger in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Martinez’s new book, Environmental Solidarity: Ecology as if God is Happening, describes the latest ideas in world development and the need for a relationship with a loving creator as the key to solving the world’s great human and natural crises. His talk will touch on these themes and inspire all who attend with a hope for the future of mankind and the planet.
Dr. Martinez was a visiting professor at Yale University during the 2007-8 academic year.
Please join us!
Sunday, August 2 at 7 p.m.
St Rose of Lima Church Hall (42 Church Hill Road, Newtown, CT), Monsignor Conroy Room
A pizza dinner will be served!
The Catholic Forum is a personal initiative of friends who follow the Communion & Liberation ecclesial movement, who with other members of the parish church are interested in matters pertaining to faith and reason. The Catholic Forum has sponsored other events on faith and reason including talks by Father Richard Veras and Dominican Father Peter Cameron; they’ve also sponsored the St Paul play directed by Father Cameron.
- Wednesday, 01 July 2009 11:15
The Jesuit report that after residing
more than seventy years within the papal summer Palace itself, the headquarters of the Vatican Observatory recently moved to a new
location in the Papal Gardens at Castelgandolfo. The move was occasioned by
increased demands for space within the Palace, and the growing needs of the
Observatory. Until few weeks ago, the observatory offices were located on the
top floor of Papal Palace, the Pope’s summer home located in the Alban Hills,
25 kilometers southeast of Rome. Its extensive astronomical library is
scattered over four rooms on the top two floors of the Palace, while the
valuable meteorite collection and laboratory, the historic vault of
photographic observations made at the Observatory from 1895 to 1979, and the
classroom where the biennial Vatican Observatory Summer Schools are conducted,
are located on the ground floor of the Palace. Meanwhile, the living
quarters of the Jesuits is divided between rooms on the second and top floors.
With the prospect of half a dozen younger Jesuits joining the staff over the
next five years, the issue of both residence and office space was becoming
“Moving the Observatory collections and libraries has been
a logistical challenge,” noted Father José Funes, the Argentinean
Jesuit and director of the observatory. “But the new site will allow us to
address a growing need for space and order.” The new quarters,
located in the remodelled monastery built by the Basilian monks within one of
the most beautiful gardens in the Italian peninsula, should provide a far more
peaceful and comfortable setting. The Vatican Observatory traces its
history to the reform of the calendar by Pope Gregory XIII in 1583. It was
re-organized by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, “so that everyone might see clearly
that the Church and her Pastors are not opposed to true and solid science,
whether human or divine, but that they embrace it, encourage it, and promote it
with the fullest possible devotion.”
- Wednesday, 17 June 2009 17:53
Using the method of Saint Cyril and Methodius Pope Benedict
spoke about the work of the Church in making the faith intelligible to people
using their own language. The task of inculturation is an extremely difficult
work because of the nuances of language and culture. Just look at the headaches
in translating catechisms, papal speeches and liturgical texts today. The
coalescing of faith and culture is a work the Church has done since the time of
Christ. Watch the video clip on the subject.
The Pope said, in
This was a decisive factor for the development of the Slavic
civilization in general. Cyril and Methodius were convinced that the various
peoples could not consider that they had fully received Revelation until they
had heard it in their own language and read it with the characters proper to
their own alphabet.
To Methodius falls the merit of ensuring that the work
began by his brother would not remain sharply interrupted. While Cyril, the
“philosopher,” tended toward contemplation, he [Methodius] was directed
more toward the active life. In this way, he was able to establish the
foundations of the successive affirmation of what we could call the
“Cyril-Methodian idea,” which accompanied the Slavic peoples in the
various historical periods, favoring cultural, national and religious
development. Pope Pius XI already recognized this with the apostolic letter Quod Sanctum Cyrillum, in which he classified the two brothers as
“sons of the East, Byzantines by their homeland, Greeks by origin, Romans
by their mission, Slavs by their apostolic fruits” (AAS 19  93-96).
The historic role that they fulfilled was afterward officially proclaimed by
Pope John Paul II who, with the apostolic letter Egregiae Virtutis
Viri, declared them co-patrons of Europe, together with St. Benedict (AAS
73  258-262). Indeed, Cyril and Methodius are a classic example of what
is today referred to with the term “inculturation”: Each people
should make the revealed message penetrate into their own culture, and express
the salvific truth with their own language. This implies a very exacting work
of “translation,” as it requires finding adequate terms to propose
anew the richness of the revealed Word, without betraying it. The two brother
saints have left in this sense a particularly significant testimony that the
Church continues looking at today to be inspired and guided. (Wednesday Audience, June 17, 2009)
- Friday, 22 May 2009 08:30
Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News & World Report’s “God & Country” blog posted an exclusive interview in which Newt Gingrich speaks on following his desire to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
The former Speaker of the House said in part: “The whole effort to create a ruthless, amoral,
situational ethics culture has probably driven me toward a more overt
To read the interview