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June 3rd, 2013

interwebz round-up: May 26-June 1

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

Here’s the best of the internet, at least the bit of it I’ve seen.

As an aside, when I share an article or even a pin, it’s not because I necessarily agree with everything said or even the basic point. I share what I find thought-provoking or in the case of humor, amusing. Obviously my own biases affect my perspective on these things, so you’ll probably see more stuff I agree with here than that I disagree with. But ultimately, I share things because I think they’re worth considering or enjoying – not because I think the author is ultimately correct.

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Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

A funny thing happened recently in the religious blogosphere. Pope Francis seemed to throw the gates of heaven wide open to everyone. The blogosphere was quite excited because this seemed to be a very progressive, tolerant approach to one of Christianity’s more offensive doctrines, the idea that God would condemn large numbers of people to eternal torture. Many blog posts and editorials were written, some by Catholics or at least people with some familiarity with theology, but most were written by religious journalists who fairly misrepresented what Francis had said. Then came the predictable walk-back by the Vatican, and the equally predictable disappointment of those who really wanted Francis to have taken the universalist route he was portrayed as taking.

Given the amount of misinformation and confusion surrounding this story, let me just let Il Papa speak for himself. According to NPR’s write-up of the incident, he said,

The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class. We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all. And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: We need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: We will meet one another there.

For those wanting a little context, again from the NPR piece: “The pope was delivering a homily in the chapel of the Domus Santa Marta residence inside Vatican grounds where he has decided to live. He recites mass and delivers a homily there every morning except Sunday for Vatican employees and whoever else might be staying at the residence.”

And as a side note, I just noticed that I share my name with the humble boarding-house where the Pope lives. I believe it’s named after Saint Martha, the sister of Lazarus who asked Jesus to send her sister to help out in the kitchen when she was hosting the disciples, which is odd because in many ways I pride myself on being a Mary rather than a Martha in that pair. But I like the parallel. A humble, simple place where you can kick off your shoes and be at peace with yourself? That’s a lot of what I consider my best self. I can dig it.

Anyway, getting back to the Pope. Even before I saw the Vatican responded to this homily, I thought the press and blog reactions to it were largely misunderstanding his statement. I’m a lifelong Methodist who’s done a good bit of religious study as a Protestant, but I also have some familiarity with Catholic theology and practice, both through my maternal extended family which is mostly Catholic and through my own experience in the Catholic education system. (I attended a local parochial school for grades 6-8, and currently am doing a philosophy doctorate at a Jesuit college.) So I know just enough Catholic theology to be dangerous, and just enough Protestant theology that the similar points all bleed together. With that caveat in mind…

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  • 5 Dec 2020, 12:53
    PM me your address. I have a card set aside for you, but need name and address to get it going.

    - Erulisse (one L)
  • 5 Dec 2020, 12:04
    What a lovely idea!
  • 4 Dec 2020, 17:56
    Mmmm, ginger snapses!
  • 4 Dec 2020, 17:37
    I don't send out cards anymore, but I was drooling over all the pop-up ones Amazon had and wondering if it might not be time to resume the tradition (I decided no).

    Not much help in the Hallmark…
  • 25 Nov 2020, 14:52
    That's great! Happy Thanksgiving to you and thanks for the marching, musical cats. LOL

    - Erulisse (one L)
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