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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has publicly criticised Cardinal Angelo Sodano’s comments about the abuse crisis on Easter Sunday.

Cardinal Walter Kasper says the talks between the SSPX and the Holy See are “not easy”.

President Doris Leuthard of Switzerland discussed the abuse crisis with Pope Benedict yesterday (video).

The Pope has appointed Mgr Liam MacDaid as the new Bishop of Clogher.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec has told a group of physicians that no one is the “ultimate arbiter of life“.

Fr Federico Lombardi says Benedict XVI’s trip to Portugal next week will have a strong Marian dimension.

The Catholic Truth Society is organising a spiritual bouquet to be presented to the Pope when he visits Britain.

Comedy Central is planning a new cartoon featuring Jesus living in New York City to escape his “powerful but apathetic father”.

Sandro Magister and Fr Joseph Komonchak discuss how the Church can be holy when its members are sinners.

Hubert Wolf at Foreign Policy asks how much the wartime Church knew about the Holocaust.

Russell Shaw argues that Pope Benedict is an innovative social thinker.

John Zogby crunches the numbers of a recent poll of American Catholics about the abuse crisis.

Russell Moore wonders why the Catholic novelist Walker Percy didn’t kill himself.

Rome Reports asks people on the streets of the Eternal City how to encourage people to go to church.

And Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo will receive an honorary doctorate from the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St Louis today.

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New Atheists ‘abet fundamentalists and reactionaries’, says author

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Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God, declares that New Atheism has failed.

He writes:

It isn’t that the citadels of faith are rolling back the tide of unbelief. Among intellectuals – a target audience of the New Atheists – professing traditional faith is no more common than it was three years ago, and may even be less common.

But the New Atheists’ main short-term goal wasn’t to turn believers into atheists, it was to turn atheists into New Atheists – fellow fire-breathing preachers of the anti-Gospel. The point was to make it not just uncool to believe, but cool to ridicule believers.

And this year doubts about that mission have taken root among the New Atheists’ key demographic: intellectuals who aren’t religious and aren’t conservative. Even on the secular Left, the alarming implications of the ‘crusade against religion’ are becoming apparent: though the New Atheists claim to be a progressive force, they often abet fundamentalists and reactionaries, from the heartland of America to the Middle East.

Written by Luke Coppen

December 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Benedict XVI ranks high on world’s top thinkers list

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Foreign Policy magazine has ranked Pope Benedict XVI as the 17th most important thinker in the world today (Richard Dawkins is 18th).

The citation reads:

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s election as pope in 2005 was a surprise to everyone, including himself. ‘God’s Rottweiler’, so-called for his purges of liberal reformists, was older than most candidates, bookish, and very conservative.

As pope, Benedict has certainly moved the church closer to its form prior to Vatican II’s sweeping modernizations. This traditionalism has garnered excitement in some circles, but it has also sparked controversy, particularly this year when he tried to reinstate excommunicated bishops from the Society of St. Pius X – one of whom was a well-known Holocaust denier.

But it hasn’t all been anti-Semites and Latin masses. Benedict has also been outspoken about the perils of reckless capitalism in the aftermath of the financial crisis; he has positioned the church prominently and unexpectedly as an advocate for the environment and warned against the perils of climate change. And, despite early stumbles with the Muslim world and anger over what many saw as an attempt to lure disillusioned Anglican conservatives to the church, the pope has worked hard for interfaith dialogue.

Written by Luke Coppen

December 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm