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The Council of Trent

October 6th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

Although Catholics generally banded together during the Reformation against the Lutheran threat and the growing number of Protestant dissidents, popes and bishops did recognize that the church had to respond to this crisis and, with humility, acknowledged that some reform was necessary.

In general this reform would be carried out by the popes, but there were other reformers, such as Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish priest who in 1540 founded a men’s religious order, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) to respond to the Protestants and to strengthen the Catholic Church. Some Jesuits enjoyed considerable success, but clearly the reform of the church had to be carried out in Rome. Read more »

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Living Our Faith: Reformation Series — Counter-Reformation and the Council of Trent

October 6th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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The story of the Catholic Church at the time the 16th-century Catholic Counter-Reformation began is multidimensional.

Pasquale Cati, “Council of Trent” (Wikimedia Commons)

What today may escape notice are the efforts in the 1500s by new religious orders and congregations to renew Catholic life.

As a response to the Reformation, the Council of Trent was convened by Pope Paul III in 1545 to make clear the church’s teachings. The council, which met in 25 sessions over a period of 18 years, presented its teaching in direct response to the teachings of the reformers.

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Sunday Scripture readings, Oct. 8, 2017

October 5th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

 

Twenty-seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time           

1) Is 5:1-7

Psalm 80:9, 12-16, 19-20

2) Phil 4:6-9

Gospel: Mt 21:33-43

    

Fruit that lasts       

The Bible is filled with images to describe God’s relationship to us. The first reading offers one such poetic passage when the prophet Isaiah uses the image of a grape harvest.

In vine-growing areas, the grape harvest is a time of rejoicing, especially when the harvest is good. If the fruit is not good, the harvest day is a time of frustration. Perhaps the memory of a disappointing harvest inspired Isaiah’s words. Read more »

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Saint of the Week: Our Lady of the Rosary

October 5th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

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Our Lady of the Rosary

Feast Day: October 7

Dominicans and local rosary confraternities began celebrating a feast honoring Our Lady of the Rosary in the 15th century.

Madonna del Rosario, Simone Cantarini (Wikimedia Commons)

As Christian and Turkish forces met in battle in the Gulf of Lepanto (near Greece) on Oct. 7, 1571, Pope Pius V asked Mary to protect Catholic lands and Catholics to pray the rosary. The ensuing Christian victory was attributed to Our Lady of the Rosary.

In 1572 the pope allowed some celebrations of Our Lady of Victory on the first Sunday in October; in 1573 the feast was changed to Our Lady of the Rosary, and in 1716 the feast became universal.

The Oct. 7 date was fixed in 1913.

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‘Battle of the Sexes’ when male chauvinism loses on court

October 3rd, 2017 Posted in Movies, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

The early 1970s in all its revanchist sexism, double-knit-fabric garishness and choking cigarette smoke is the setting of the coming-of-age story that is “Battle of the Sexes.”

That the coming of age arrives for Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) when, as a 29-year-old champion tennis player, she achieved her greatest fame by defeating 55-year-old Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) in the gaudiest, most-hyped tennis exhibition match of all time in Houston’s Astrodome, makes this no less poignant.

This lightly fictionalized version of history is ultimately more about King than the past-his-prime Riggs, but the script by Simon Beaufoy, as directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, takes pains to show each character’s harsh isolation and crippling doubts leading up to the match.

Emma Stone and Steve Carell star in a scene from the movie “Battle of the Sexes.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. (CNS/Twentieth Century Fox)

King, married to the bland Larry (Austin Stowell), copes with her realization that she’s attracted to hairdresser Marilyn (Andrea Riseborough) despite the scandal and loss of income that would have meant then. Cut off from equal prize money by the all-male gatekeepers of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association, she seeks equal pay for women on the small Virginia Slims tour. (A cigarette sponsoring tennis? Welcome to the ’70s!)

Riggs, trapped in a corporate job and a loveless marriage to wealthy socialite Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue) and unsuccessfully struggling with a gambling addiction, is desperately trying to make himself relevant in a sport in which he’d excelled decades before, but he has to settle for hustler stunts such as filling the tennis court with livestock.

He finally sees a lucrative opportunity, the chronic gambler’s vision of the ultimate payoff, by promoting himself as the ultimate male chauvinist pig who takes on women to “prove” male superiority in tennis and other matters.

Riggs isn’t entirely serious, but most of professional tennis, which has long spurned his clowning, is on his side, and he knows it all makes for good TV.

King’s other major rival is Australian Margaret Court (Jessica McNamee), the only player on the women’s tour with a child, and suspicious of King’s sexuality. “That’s what happens on an all-women’s team,” Court tells husband Barry (James Mackay). “Licentiousness, immorality, sin.”

Well, not in this movie, no. Stone makes King both conflicted and a little prim, and Larry, who knows the score and also Billie Jean’s ultimate fixation only on her game, eventually lectures Marilyn with, “I’m her husband and we’re just both a phase.”

Real life is never this neat, of course, but the plot necessarily churns toward the big showdown with all the formula and backstage clichés this requires.

Riggs first takes on Court, and manages to break her confidence as he defeats her before the match with King that drew 90 million TV viewers. King, however, is one tough cookie who polishes her skills while Riggs gulps vitamins and fails to train.

The film contains references to aberrant sexuality and fleeting profanities. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

 Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.

 

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Saints of the Day: Guardian Angels

October 2nd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner, Uncategorized

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Guardian Angels
Feast Day: October 2

The concept of guardian angels, as developed in Catholic theology and piety, has biblical roots.

The angel Raphael aids Tobit and his family; one angel interprets for the prophet Zechariah, while another guides Cornelius in Acts of the Apostles; and angels are called “ministering spirits sent to serve” in the Letter to the Hebrews.

In Matthew, Jesus teaches: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd.” Pope Clement X set this date as the feast of guardian angels in the 1670s.

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Scripture, no longer a divider of Christians

September 29th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

Future church historians will explain to my great-grandchildren how an age of dialogue arose during the 20th and 21st centuries, displacing the hostile, suspicious age of polemics that for 400 years shaped relationships between Catholics and members of the Reformation churches.

Divided Christians during the age of polemics shied away from examining faith together or remembering that Scripture constitutes a shared treasure.

The Bible became a point of contention. Read more »

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Ecumenical dialogue: Steps of development

September 29th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

Martin Luther’s Reformation may be the only ongoing 500-year-old argument on earth.

The theological split inevitably looks to be permanent. Yet, reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants has taken place, in small steps, beginning in the years after World War II, accelerating with the Second Vatican Council, and culminating with 1999’s Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, which asserted “a common understanding of our justification by God’s grace through faith in Christ.” Read more »

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Who was Martin Luther?

September 29th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , ,

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Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German monk of the Order of St. Augustine. He was a biblical scholar and a successful preacher. He taught at a university and had a pastoral assignment as well. This latter assignment helped him to become a famous homilist.

For much of his life he worried about his personal salvation, and he did not find the theological traditions of the Catholic Church, including indulgences, to be satisfactory to explain salvation. He concluded that only God could justify a sinner and that the traditional Catholic methods of preaching salvation were insufficient. Read more »

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Living Our Faith: Reformation series — Martin Luther

September 29th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

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On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther, German monk, scholar and preacher, tacked on the church door in Wittenburg a list of

Portrait of Martin Luther by 16th-century German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder. Later this year, Christians begin marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, traditionally dated from the October 1517 publication of Luther’s 95 Theses. Modern Catholic scholars and ecclesiastics acknowledge that Luther was not the unvarnished villain of traditional Catholicism and that he and his work deserve an open, honest evaluation.
(CNS photo/Public domain)

95 theses of grievances against the Catholic Church.

He sparked what later would be known as the Reformation, a movement that led to the split between Catholicism and Protestantism.

Modern Catholic scholars and ecclesiastics acknowledge that Luther was not the unvarnished villain of traditional Catholicism and that he and his work deserve an open, honest evaluation.

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