Tag Archives: faith and reason

Wonder & Knowledge: where do they meet with science

Crossroads Cultural Center & Columbia Catholic Ministry in
collaboration with the

Center for the Study of Science and Religion at Columbia



A conference on the origin of the
universe in science and philosophy and the role of wonder in scientific



Msgr. Lorenzo ALBACETE–Theologian, author, columnist

Dr. Marco BERSANELLI— Prof. of Astrophysics, University of
Milan and author of From Galileo to Gell-Mann: The Wonder that Inspired the
Greatest Scientists of All Time: In Their Own Words
 (Templeton Press)

Fr. Michael HELLER–Prof. of Philosophy, Pontifical Acad. of
Theology, Krakow (2008 Templeton Prize winner)


Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Columbia University Main Campus

Earl Hall Auditorium, 2980
Broadway at 116th Street, NYC


The conference is open to the public and free of charge.

For more information, visit www.crossroadsculturalcenter.org

Science, philosophy: does wonder have a place?

Wonder & Knowledge.jpg

Ted Kennedy: mercy or damnation? What do real Christians think?

In the week since the obsequies for Edward Kennedy, Senator, not a few self-appointed ministers of God’s justice and mercy have rendered their judgement: the Senator should not have been buried using the rites of the Catholic Church. Interesting.

The sacred Liturgy tells us what we who are baptized believe: we are sinners and God’s mercy is in abundance. Sinners need and want mercy from God almighty. I want and need His forgiveness and His tender embrace. I am sure Ted Kennedy wanted the same. Since I was not at his bedside when he was sick, nor did I hear the Senator’s confession and nor was I present when his priest gave him the Sacrament of the Sick, Viaticum and the Apostolic Pardon. Presumably he received these sacred rites before his death. In short, I don’t know the state of his soul. I do know that he wrote to the Holy Father and a kind reply was received.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley has been criticized for being a pastor of souls; he explains as much on his blog this week. The bishop of Madison, WI, Robert Morlino, has a wonderful piece on this subject and I highly recommend your reading it. Use it for you lectio. Bishop Morlino’s reflection is found here.
Is a lack of mercy to a sinner the demonstration of Christianity’s decay? What virtues are being taught and lived when Christians so violently pontificate that mercy is not possible for the sinner, even such a public sinner? Does Christianity have any real meaning left? If we break mercy from the Christian life then we no longer have a Christian religion that leads one to salvation in Christ. To whom do we witness: Christ or the self?

Nuns become Catholic

All Saints nuns.jpgYou may have seen the story of 10 nuns come into full communion with the Catholic Church. The ceremonial aspect of full communion was yesterday but the journey to that point was long in coming individually and corporately. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore received the nuns and is working with them to become a diocesan right community.

Read a story about the event and another leading up to September 3.

The story of these nuns coming into full communion with the Catholic Church is reminiscent of a similar gesture many years ago of the Friars and Sisters of the Atonement also leaving the Episcopal Communion. They are known today as Franciscan of the Atonement doing ecumenical work for the Church.

Benedict XVI is a green pope

Pope Benedict XVI & nature.jpgHave 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

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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