Archive for November 22nd, 2007



Great astronomy resource web site. I have owned a Meade LX200 for several years. Sadly my location has highLight Polution so my viewing time has been cut short over the years.

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Found an interesting artile in  Media Matters

“Among the study’s key findings:

  • Combining newspapers and television, conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed in news stories 2.8 times as often as were progressive religious leaders.
  • On television news — the three major television networks, the three major cable news channels, and PBS — conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed almost 3.8 times as often as progressive leaders.
  • In major newspapers, conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed 2.7 times as often as progressive leaders. “

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by Avery Cardinal Dulles
Copyright (c) 2007 First Things (December 2007).
Go to link for full story.The negative criticisms of the Joint Declaration from both the Protestant and the Catholic sides are illustrative of this new tendency. Without wanting a return to the polemics of the past, some critics fear that a vague spirit of civility is being allowed to replace the theological candor and rigor of earlier centuries. This reaction against immoderate irenicism may be found in some recent official teaching of the Catholic Church. A new concern for orthodoxy, as Walter Kasper has noted, lies behind the “Letter on Some Aspects of the Church Considered as <em>Communio</em>” issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1992. The same is true of the declaration <em>Dominus Iesus</em> issued by the same congregation in 2000 and of the “Note on the Expression ‘Sister Churches’” issued at the same time.
The teaching of <em>Dominus Iesus</em> is repeated in substance in the “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church” made public by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on July 10, 2007. One minor difference is that where <em>Dominus Iesus</em> had asserted that the Church of Christ is “present and operative” in all churches that have preserved the apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, the Responses state that the same may be true of ecclesial communities that have not preserved these structural elements.
Some would regard the recent trend toward reconfessionalization as a defeat for ecumenism. This judgment would be true if it meant a retreat of the confessions into their own shells and a refusal to encounter others. But reconfessionalization need not mean what Cardinal Kasper calls “an apprehensive, self-absorbed, defensive attitude.” It may be an opening to a new kind of dialogue, in which the partners are eager to express their own distinctive heritage so that they may be able to share it with others.

With this mentality, Catholics would want to hear from the churches of the Reformation the reasons they have for speaking as they do of Christ alone, Scripture alone, grace alone, and faith alone, while Catholics tend to speak of Christ and the Church, Scripture and tradition, grace and cooperation, faith and works. We would want to learn from them how to make better use of the laity as sharers in the priesthood of the whole People of God. We would want to hear from evangelicals about their experience of conversion and from Pentecostals about perceiving the free action of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The Orthodox would have much to tell about liturgical piety, holy tradition, sacred images, and synodical styles of polity. We would not want any of these distinctive endowments of other ecclesial families to be muted or shunted aside for the sake of having shared premises or an agreed method.
How then can Christian unity be envisaged? That is the question asked at Oberlin five decades ago. The first condition, I believe, is that the various Christian communities be ready to speak and listen to one another. Some will perhaps receive the grace to accept what they hear credibly attested as an insight from other communities. The witnesses and their hearers need not insist on rigorous proof, because very little of our faith can be demonstrated by deductive methods. Testimony operates by a different logic. We speak of what has been ­graciously manifested to us and what we have found to be of value for our relationship with God. If others accept what we proclaim, it is because our words evoke an echo in them and carry the hallmark of truth.

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