Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My picks for Catholic Media Promotion Day

Explanations will follow - for now, my picks, many of which will explain themselves, I think!


The Weight of Glory

Fallible Blogma

The Crescat


Catholic Under the Hood


Vatican Radio

Catholic Answers


Friday, March 11, 2011

Holy Martyrs of Baghdad: a Lenten initiative

Below, please find the English text of a letter explaining a special Lenten initiative.

Dear Brothers and Sisters
in Christ,

This Lenten season, please consider a private devotion in the form of (at least) one decade of the Rosary
to be said each Friday, with the following intention: the official juridical recognition of the Holy Martyrs of Baghdad.

The suffering of Christians all across the Mideast region is very real, and truly terrible.

It is worthy, therefore, that we ask Almighty God to move His Church to recognize the victims of the Oct. 31st massacre in Baghdad's cathedral Church of Our Lady of Salvation, as true Christian martyrs, slain in hatred of the faith.

Please also consider, as part of this devotion, a prayer: for the conversion of all those who are now enemies of Christ and His Holy Church
; that through their conversion, they obtain pardon; that by pardon, there be reconciliation, and in reconciliation, peace.

As this is a "grass roots" initiative, please help spread the word: especially by way of the new communications media, to prudent use of which our
Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has called us in the service of the Gospel.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The 8th of March

Even one day late, it is still worthy saying: I hate the 8th of March.

It isn't that I don't love women and I don't want to celebrate them. But that is not the way.

Just to speak of "woman" doesn't say anything about what is there to celebrate. Nothing archetypical in it. There are good women and bad women, angels and bitches. Or normal women: but according to what a criterion defined?

You could answer: well, according to no criterion whatsoever. Because it doesn't matter. The 8th of March is for women as such.

Too bad that this "as such" is questionable.

Ancient Greek mythology knew at least four archetypes of women: Hera (in Latin, Juno), Aphrodite (Venus), Athena (Minerva), Artemis (Diana), etcetera. Each one of them personified some aspects of womanhood: like maternity, sex appeal, wisdom, virginal strength, or whatever. When that same mythology tells the story of Paris being called to choose among three of them (Hera, Aphrodite and Athena) thus unchaining the events that led to the war of Troy, it is as if it was telling us that we too have to make a choice:

To decide which traits of womanhood we want to celebrate. Because there is no celebration that isn't of archetypes.

Woman par excellence in the Christian tradition was Mary: embracing all the power of a virgin and all the realization of a mother. So, it would seem, we don't have to make a choice. And we could celebrate all women in her.

But still, her archetype was felt too strict a model. Because we wanted to add another type of woman: the active single, not virgin and only accidentally mother.

And I ask myself: what peculiarly feminine remains in the active single? And why should I celebrate it?

The answer is close to: nothing, and for no reason.

That's why I hate the 8th of March. Because I love women, and I'd like to celebrate them without having to make a disastrous choice (guess then where it goes my pick).


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Colonialism and multiculturalism

Internal affairs and international affairs intermingle with each other. Let's look at what is happening now: part of the world afire, and we not knowing which way to go and what action to take. More: divided, we don't know who are our friends and our enemies, and fear reactions inside and outside.

Powerful, we are impotent, with the USA aligning themselves on this regard with Europe. Once colonialist, Western Europe demised any claim to tell others how to be and what to do. Actually it even gave up telling it to itself.

Should I go over the history of colonialism, mainly in its Nineteenth Century version? It is easier to go over its end of the Twentieth Century version.

The newest version sprung from bad conscience over what went on previously. This raises the question: what did actually go wrong? Here the mainstream answer is summarized by the word imperialism (which embraces colonialism).

"Imperialist" are labeled people who want to impose themselves on others. Which now looks as a no-no, absolutely to be avoided. Hitler did it (actually also Stalin, but he is less talked about), but he was defeated, and we, the winners, don't want to hear of anybody wanting to implement a policy that runs against our grain. So anybody who trying to do it is likened to him (as it shows the mob of public servants parading in the streets of Madison).

On a larger scale, it is no longer a question of the Hitlers of the situation, but of "us": in the new era of blatant globalization, in which peoples seem to want to emulate us, or turn against us in hatred, "we" see ourselves as a kind of cancer of the earth, that bought about the ruin of all the pretty local realities everywhere existing before our arrival. It looks like "we" have imposed on others our life style – whose comforts, however, "we" are rarely ready to give up.

Hence, the heinous idea of multiculturalism: it looks open, for as much as it is closed: on "ourselves", incapable of understanding that what is culture for "us" it is simply the world for others.

Actually, colonialism is the history of mankind: all along a story of peoples' movements, their superimposing, mingling, or erasing each other. Never was there anything we could call "nativism". That local realities appear such is just another manifestation of the mystique of western domination.

Neither old days colonialists, nor to days multiculturalists, give sign of an idea of man, nature, society, and – last but not least – of God, such to convince and attract other peoples.

So the answer given to the question of what went wrong, turns out to be just another version of the same cultural disease, which led to colonialism and two world wars. The trouble, finally, is that arguing to convince others is confused with imposing, and any talk about truth becomes suspicious.