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A Comprehensive Theory of Time?
What is time?  One physicist hunts for the ultimate theory. 

Fascinating stuff!  Bridges a bit between observable physics, mathmatics and philosophy (like all good cosmological arguments).  Definitely worth reading. 

Legionaries Need to Undergo a Radical Reformation
Given the steady stream of horrible news regarding Legionaries of Christ founder Marcial Maciel (now on the English wire).  I would agree with Thomas Peters...

  1. The leadership of the Legionaries must apologize and seek restitution for Maciel’s victims
  2. The Church must determine a pastoral way to either re-found the Legion under a new charism or disband it completely and allow them to be absorbed into pre-existing local Church and religious structures
  3. The Church must identify which living members of the Legion are guilty of colluding with or intentionally ignoring Maciel’s grave crimes, and punish them accordingly
And all of us must continue praying for Maciel’s victims, those in the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi movements, and for Maciel himself. I will probably post an update to this story once we have some clue as to what were the findings of the apostolic visitation currently taking place in the United States, Mexico and Europe (mostly Spain).

May God have mercy on all souls.  B-(

Faith, Science, and Reason
From First Things:

Chris Baglow’s book, the title of which is Faith, Science, and Reason, has come out at last, and I urge anyone who is interested in Catholic education to buy and read it. Baglow’s book would be an excellent textbook for high school or college courses, for homeschoolers, for adult education classes, or for that matter anyone interested in the subject. Though a Catholic text (carrying an imprimatur), non-Catholic Christians and Jews would doubtless find much of interest in it, many valuable insights, and perhaps even inspiration in developing similar materials for use in their own institutions of learning....

...Dr. Baglow’s careful analysis and lucid exposition make one apparent difficulty after another melt away. He shows that the record of the Church in relation to science is one to be proud of, and indeed quite glorious. The student will come away with a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith, of science, and of their coherence with one another.

We are all deeply in Dr. Baglow’s debt. There has been a terrible drought of classroom instruction in this area. This book is not just a few drops of water on the parched earth—which itself would have been welcome—but a drenching, reviving rain.

A Village Keeps It's Promise

The play is a testament to human tenacity — and strong faith. This year, once again, the townspeople of this tiny Bavarian village will keep their promise made in 1633, when a deadly plague spread through Europe following the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). It killed 80 townsfolk. The villagers promised to perform a play depicting the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ every 10 years if they were spared any further deaths. Miraculously, the disease halted. So, the following year, the first presentation took place. Since then, world events have intervened only a few times to keep them from taking to the stage.

The play initially was performed on a stage in the cemetery above the graves of the recent plague victims. In modern times, the locale has shifted. Today, the entire play, seen by more than half a million visitors from all over the world, takes place in 14 acts on a theater site built in 1830. Originally, it was an open-air venue. In 1890, the stage was enlarged, then renovated in 1990. Today, more than 4,720 viewers can be accommodated.

The play is set in the valley of the River Ammer, among the lush meadows and gentle foothills of the Ammergau Alps. It’s a beautiful village, a fairy-tale place, with its wooden balconies decorated with brilliant red geraniums and houses painted with cheery murals. This picturesque Bavarian village is only one hour away from the lively city of Munich.

In 2010, the 41st season will see 100-plus performances from May 15 to Oct. 3, every day except Monday and Wednesday. The presentation is long. Starting at 2:30pm, it finishes at 10:30, but that includes a three-hour dinner break from 5 to 8pm.

Tickets sell out quickly. Many tour companies are combining a visit to Oberammergau with visits to the Pilgrimage Church of Weis (a World Heritage Site) and stops at locales closely connected with Pope Benedict XVI, such as Marktl am Inn (where he was born and baptized in 1927), Freising Cathedral (where he and his brother Georg were ordained in 1951) and Regensburg (the university where he taught theology). Visit CometoGermany.com or e-mail tourist-info@oberammergau.de for more information.

White Wolf's Werewolf Replaced by GURPS Shapeshifters?!?
I have no words for how silly this looks.  Just glad I didn't have anything to do with it.  Go here and see...

Chicago archdiocese opens canonization cause for first African-American priest in USA
Fr. Augustus Tolton, a man born into slavery who became the first American diocesan priest of African descent, is now being considered for canonization. Cardinal Francis George announced on Monday that the nineteenth century priest’s cause for sainthood has been introduced in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Exciting news.  I'm looking forward to him and Pierre Toussaint becoming saints.

The Ten Commandments of Catholic social teaching
A neat list of guiding principals for social action for Catholics.  When people misunderstand why we do the things we do in the social sphere going to these principals may help.    

Published in OSV

1. The principle of human dignity 

“Every human being is created in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and therefore is invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family.”

This is the bedrock principle of Catholic social teaching. Every person — regardless of race, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, employment or economic status, health, intelligence, achievement or any other differentiating characteristic — is worthy of respect. It is not what you do or what you have that gives you a claim on respect; it is simply being human that establishes your dignity.

The body of Catholic social teaching opens with the human person, but it does not close there. Individuals have dignity; individualism has no place in Catholic social thought. The principle of human dignity gives the human person a claim on membership in a community, the human family. 

2. The principle of respect for human life 

“Every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, has inherent dignity and a right to life consistent with that dignity.”
Human life at every stage of development and decline is precious and therefore worthy of protection and respect. It is always wrong directly to attack innocent human life — that is part of any moral vision for a just and good society. 

3. The principle of association 

“Our tradition proclaims that the person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society — in economics and politics, in law and policy — directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community.”

The centerpiece of society is the family; family stability must always be protected and never undermined. By association with others — in families and in other social institu­tions that foster growth, protect dignity and promote the common good ­— human persons achieve their fulfillment. 

4. The principle of participation 

“We believe people have a right and a duty to partici­pate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.”

Without participation, the benefits available to an indi­vidual through any social institution cannot be realized. The human person has a right not to be shut out from par­ticipating in those institutions that are necessary for human fulfillment.

This principle applies in a special way to conditions associated with work. “Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected — the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and join unions, to private property, and to economic initia­tive.” 

5. The principle of preferential protection for the poor and vulnerable 

“In a society marred by deepening divisions be­tween rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the last judgment (see Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.”

Why is this so? Because the common good — the good of society as a whole — requires it. The opposite of rich and powerful is poor and powerless. If the good of all, the common good, is to prevail, preferential protection must move toward those affected adversely by the absence of power and the presence of privation. Otherwise the balance needed to keep society in one piece will be broken to the detriment of the whole. 

6. The principle of solidar­ity 

“Catholic social teaching proclaims that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they live. We are one human family. ... Learning to practice the virtue of solidar­ity means learning that ‘loving our neighbor’ has global di­mensions in an interdependent world.”

The principle of solidar­ity functions as a moral cat­egory that leads to choices that will promote and protect the common good.

7. The principle of stewardship 

“The Catholic tradition insists that we show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation.”

The steward is a manager, not an owner. In an era of rising consciousness about our physical environment, our tradition is calling us to a sense of moral responsibility for the protection of the environment — croplands, grasslands, woodlands, air, water, minerals and other natural deposits. Stewardship responsibilities also look toward our use of our personal talents, our attention to personal health and our use of personal property. 

8. The principle of subsidiarity 

This principle deals chiefly with “the responsibilities and limits of government, and the essential roles of volun­tary associations.”

The principle of subsidiarity puts a proper limit on gov­ernment by insisting that no higher level of organization should perform any function that can be handled efficient­ly and effectively at a lower level of organization by human persons who, individually or in groups, are closer to the problems and closer to the ground. Oppressive gov­ernments are always in violation of the principle of subsidiarity; overactive governments frequently violate this principle. 

9. The principle of human equality 

“Equality of all persons comes from their essential dignity. ... While differences in talents are a part of God’s plan, social and cultural dis­crimination in fundamental rights ... are not compatible with God’s design.”

Treating equals equally is one way of defining justice, also understood classically as rendering to each person his or her due. Underlying the notion of equality is the simple princi­ple of fairness; one of the earli­est ethical stirrings felt in the developing human person is a sense of what is “fair” and what is not. 

10. The principle of the common good 

“The common good is understood as the social con­ditions that allow people to reach their full human po­tential and to realize their human dignity.”

The social conditions the bishops have in mind presuppose “respect for the person,” “the social well-being and development of the group” and the maintenance by public authority of “peace and security.” Today, “in an age of global interdependence,” the principle of the common good points to the “need for international structures that can promote the just development of the human family across regional and national lines.”

What constitutes the common good is always going to be a matter for debate. The absence of any concern for or sensitivity to the common good is a sure sign of a society in need of help.

As a sense of community is eroded, concern for the common good declines. A prop­er communitarian concern is the antidote to unbridled individualism, which, like unrestrained selfishness in personal relations, can destroy balance, harmony and peace within and among groups, neighborhoods, regions and nations.

Atheists invited to join Vatican Council for outreach initiative
The Pontifical Council for Culture has announced that it is creating a foundation to focus on relations with atheists and agnostics. The president of the Council announced the initiative on Wednesday as a response to Pope Benedict's call to "renew dialogue with men and women who don't believe but want to move towards God."


Interesting.  I'd love to be a fly on the wall during those meetings...

(Audio Book Podcast) Heart of the Hunter
Heart of the Hunter

Check out Heart of the Hunter a fantasy audio book pod cast by Sam Chupp.  It's complete now so you can don't have to wait to hear it all.  If you like it please let him know.  He's a great guy and deserves to get some good feedback.

The Fluidity of Memory
The article on Discover "How Much of Your Memory Is True?", is fascinating.  I love this stuff.  Kinda scary thinking what an impersonal entity like a government might do with this though.  Read it.  If you have any interested in the mind, perception, and reality, read it.