Faith Forum: October 7 through October 13

The religious news was dominated by two stories this week.  The first is historically relevant but may not be of interest to you otherwise so we’ll be spending less time on it today.  On October 11th, 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council, a three-year process which altered much about how the Catholic faith operated.  Everything from the direction faced by priests during the Mass to the language used during the ceremony was changed.  It was also after this council that the Catholic …

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Followup on Catholic Fortnight for Freedom

The USCCB’s Fortnight for Freedom has passed with remarkably little public reaction or engagement on the part of the country’s 70 million plus Catholics. Here’s three responses to the campaign:

Fred Clark: Flaccid ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ fizzles for fathers

Part of what we learned here, I think, is that if you’ve got a top-down, hierarchical mentality that regards listening to anyone else as beneath you, as an affront to your righteous authority, then you’re probably not well-suited to rallying grassroots support. When that arrogant mentality shapes your …

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Catholic bishops’ complaints ignore legal history

Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches has written an excellent piece about just how thoroughly the Catholic bishops’ claims ignore a long history of court rulings that have defined the ways religious institutions interact with the state in various circumstances.

Now, I’m not saying that court rulings are always perfect – members of minority religions are well aware of how entrenched assumptions can affect even jurists’ ideas of what is reasonable or unreasonable. But each and every point that the bishops present as an example of infringement …

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Catholic “Fortnight for Freedom” this summer

It’s not just extreme factions of conservative Christianity trying to spark nationwide revivals. The Catholic church is getting into the act with their newly-announced “Fortnight for Freedom.” From the just-released Statement on Religious Liberty:

In particular, we recommend to our brother bishops that we focus “all the energies the Catholic community can muster” in a special way this coming summer. As pastors of the flock, our privileged task is to lead the Christian faithful in prayer.

Both our civil year and liturgical year point us on various …

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