Archive for July 14th, 2009

Sundry Things

July 14, 2009

kateriI’ve been spending much time over the past week poring over Caritas in Veritate, and some related material, thinking, reading, reflecting, researching, praying, writing.  My arrangement with Pauline Books and Media gives me four weeks to turn in a manuscript for Your Guide to Caritas in Veritate: Charity in Truth (so that they’re able to publish it in as timely a manner as possible).  So my head has been in that encyclical, and my butt’s been in my desk chair.  If I’m not here as much over the next few weeks, that’s why.  Also, at the same time, we’re moving.  Oy-vay, what timing.

Mark Shea noticed a comment I posted over at his place (one of my favorite spots to stop in for a daily look) and included it in a post of its own yesterday.  Nice to get a nod like that.

In the meantime, I’m also glad that Mark drew my attention today to a Ross Douthat column called “The Audacity of the Pope” that went up at the New York Times site two days ago.  It’s better than just about all of the stuff I’ve seen on CiV in the Catholic media (yeah, in the NYT!).   A clip:

But Catholics are obliged to take seriously the underlying provocation of the papal message — namely, that our present political alignments are not the only ones imaginable, and that truth may not be served by perfect ideological conformity.

So should all people of good will. For liberals and conservatives alike, “Caritas in Veritate” is an invitation to think anew about their alliances and litmus tests.

Please do check out the whole thing.

Today is the feast of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, important for all Americans, but especially cool here in central New York, where the National Shrine of Kateri Tekakwitha is located.  We visited four years ago.  It was about 110 degrees and our whole crew was hot and irritable.  Memorable.  Still, happy day, all.



July 14, 2009

George Weigel has another column up at NRO.  Say what you will about that last one (and I agreed with most of the guff he took about it), ya gotta admit he’s right on the mark in this one when he suggests that it is rather amusing to be reading “high-voltage rhetoric in defense of Caritas in Veritate from people who would rather have had a barbed-wire colonoscopy than see Joseph Ratzinger elected pope back in 2005.”  

Now there’s an image.

I also must nod energetically at this comment of his:

Finally, and of possible concern only to those fascinated by the most inside of Catholic inside baseball, it will be interesting to see the effect of the encyclical’s strictures against too-stringent laws protecting intellectual property rights on what some would regard as the excessive claim of the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Holy See’s publishing house, to a property right in virtually every word spoken by this pope. 

For example: Before my aforementioned little book Your Guide to Caritas in Veritate: Charity in Truth goes to press, someone (me or the publisher) will have to write to the Vatican and ask permission to quote the encyclical.  The Vatican will write back and say, Sure, if you pay us $X (and X will be several hundred dollars).  

We’ll have to pay money to the Vatican for the right to quote a papal encyclical!  It was not like this five years ago.  It has been for the past four.  See a problem with that?