Reviving the tradition of the jolly Cavaliers who defended the Church and people against the moralistic encroachments of the forces of Puritanism. A High Church vision of Church, politics, and society that keeps its sense of humor. We've got work to do. The Puritans are back smashing icons and policing sex.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Danish/Byzantine connection


Although I had seen one before, I never knew anything about the Dagmar Cross. Dagmar was a Bohemian princess who married King Valdemar of the Danes but died as a young woman in 1212. Her body was exhumed in 1690 and a gold cross in the Byzantine style was found on her body. On one side is the crucified Christ. On the other side is Christ in the center flanked by the Virgin and St. John the Baptist or Forerunner. Above is St. Basil the Great and below is St. John Chrysostom--the two great liturgists in the Eastern tradition. The cross is apparently given as a gift for confirmations and weddings among the Danes today.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Disappointing end to the Alabama Church fires investigation

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/3714240.html . If you haven't heard, I'm sorry to be the one to say that it was college students who have been charged with setting the Church fires in Alabama. They're innocent until proved guilty, of course. The prospect of young, promising liberal arts students responsible for these actions should be dizzying.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Quotation of the Day

"Suppose a priest comes at the beginning of Mass and says: 'Good morning, everybody, did your team win last night?' That's not a liturgical greeting. If you can find it in any liturgical book, I'll give you a turkey," Cardinal Arinze said. I hate most of what the man has to say, but this line wasn't too bad.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

More Church fires in Alabama

http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1139394589156260.xml&coll=2 .
These disturbing works of arson continue. Many of the fires have been set in the pulpits. The churches tend to be historic, which means valuable structures and historical records are being destroyed. Despite these setbacks, there is no doubt that the congregations will grow stronger as a result of the experience. One wonders about the motivation. Is the motive racism? Some of the churches were white. Is it an assault on fundamentalism? Doubtful. I don't think liberal activists would take that sort of action. Is it someone who feels rejected by religion (read: religious people)? It's hard to say at this point.

This story probes some relevant questions: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0208/p02s01-ussc.html .

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

NO COMMENT DEPARTMENT: Separation of Church and Jackson


http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0600712.htm . The Church is dubious about involving Michael Jackson on a project related to the late Pope John Paul II because of Jackson's association in the public's mind with child abuse. Hmmm.

Visions of the Divine: Give me that old time religion?


The Episcopal Church & Visual Arts has put together this exhibit of images of Christ: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/69108_ENG_HTM.htm .

Cheekwood, a Nashville museum and botanical garden, is currently hosting this exhibit entitled "100 Artists See God." Go to www.cheekwood.org for more information.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Burning Crosses


You have no doubt seen the disturbing pictures of the burning of the Danish flag in the news. Islamic radicals protest the caricature of the Prophet Muhammed by burning the national flag of a Christian country. That's a rather ironic form of protest. Nevertheless, the Danes should be allowed to run the cartoon of Muhammed, and Muslims should be allowed to burn flags. One wonders whether they are allowed to burn their own country's flag. I bought a Danish flag today in solidarity. I also bought some Havarti cheese on the way home from work. The Ovesens in my family are no doubt pleased.

This piece offers an interesting international, inter-religious perspective on the story: http://www.aina.org/news/20060206120105.htm

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A New Encyclical

Pope Benedict XVI has released his first encyclical letter, Deus Caritas Est or God is Love. Here is the link: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20051225_deus-caritas-est_en.html . I'm going to read it on the plane today and hope to have an initial response late tomorrow.

 
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