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Eppur si muove

The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown is a nine-part series posted by sci-fi author and statistician Michael F. Flynn to his blog last year, covering the historical conflict between heliocentrism and geocentrism, with a special focus on Galileo. They are based on an article (pdf) by Flynn which originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Analog. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2014 - 10 comments

496 years ago, bittersweet day in church history, great for a potluck.

Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.
Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences Commonly Known as The 95 Theses by Dr. Martin Luther on October 31, 1517. or 496 years ago today. [Original Latin]
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2013 - 56 comments

"I have never been custodian of my legacy."

In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 6, 2013 - 89 comments

"Not five years ago, he condemned backers of gay marriage as amoral."

A Conservative Catholic Now Backs Same-Sex Marriage
"Among religious conservatives, opposition to same-sex marriage has remained essentially unquestioned. Which is why “The Things We Share: A Catholic’s Case for Same-Sex Marriage,” an essay by Joseph Bottum, published Friday on the Web site of Commonweal magazine, is something new in this debate."
posted by andoatnp on Aug 23, 2013 - 27 comments

Her hair color ....varies from blond to brunet across the collection

"Fabiola has been a beloved subject for countless painters, most of them amateurs. The portrait’s format is almost always the same: Fabiola is seen in profile facing left, her head covered by a rich red veil. Mr. Alÿs, who was born in Belgium in 1959 and moved to Mexico City in 1990, began collecting Fabiola paintings — as the genre is called — about 15 years ago, buying them at thrift shops, flea markets and antiques stores primarily in Mexico and Europe. He has previously shown his collection three times, when it was much smaller; the current presentation includes more than 300 works. Photos of the exhibition
posted by The Whelk on May 30, 2013 - 18 comments

Olivier Messiaen's organ music

The irony in a way is that Messiaen used this great romantic organ for his most modern experiments. For Messiaen, this was a great sort of sonic paintbox, if you like, and he would come here and experiment with the extraordinary sounds that he could conjure out of this amazing instrument. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 27, 2012 - 10 comments

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, has sold over one million copies and has been translated into over fifteen languages. He wrote over sixty other books and hundreds of poems and articles on topics ranging from monastic spirituality to civil rights, nonviolence, and the nuclear arms race.
posted by Trurl on Dec 29, 2011 - 8 comments

Irish stew. Papal hide the pickle.

Irish PM condemns Vatican interference in sex abuse cases. Enda Kenny, the new Taoiseach of Ireland, has scathingly criticized the Vatican, citing the Cloyne Report and a recently-leaked Vatican letter intended to prevent sex abuse cases from going public, despite their public policy of reporting all abuse claims to the authorities. (Similar claims of the Vatican not reporting recent child abuse cases have also been made in the US.) Ireland's Minister for Justice has cited an extensive list of The Church's failures to comply with their policies, and is supporting legislation to make it a crime not to report child abuse claims. The Vatican's envoy was asked to report to Parliament and explain The Church's position on this matter quickly, with the implied threat that they might be forced to testify. Today, the Church, citing "surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions" has recalled their envoy. "(This) should be interpreted as an expression of the desire of the Holy See for serious and effective collaboration with the (Irish) Government."
posted by markkraft on Jul 25, 2011 - 297 comments

Grape Fields to The Game

The Madness of Cesar Chavez
posted by telstar on Jun 18, 2011 - 44 comments

Missionary Position: Facing West

Pope Benedict XVI has announced the establishment of a new Vatican department dedicated to tackling what he called 'a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church." The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation will (per Archbishop Vincent Nichols,) focus on countries "in which, even though the Christian Gospel has shaped an entire culture," secularism now reigns, in what the Pope termed an "eclipse of a sense of God." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 1, 2010 - 165 comments

Santa Muerte

A Saint for Lost Souls. "The barrio of Tepito, where it's said that everything is for sale except dignity, has been one of Mexico City's roughest neighborhoods since Aztec times. Famous for its black market and its boxing champions, Tepito is a place where residents learn to fight early and fight hard. These days it has also become the epicenter of Mexico's fastest-growing faith: Santa Muerte, or Holy Death, a hybrid religion that merges Catholic symbolism with pre-Hispanic worship of the skeletal Mictlantecuhtli and Mictlancihuatl, Lord and Lady of the Dead."
posted by homunculus on Apr 28, 2010 - 36 comments

Catholic Charities Denies Health Benefits To Spouses

I am writing to you to inform you of an important change to our group health care benefit plan that will take effect on March 2, 2010 due to a change in the law of the District of Columbia. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 3, 2010 - 163 comments

Has the Supreme Court Become Too Catholic

Has the Supreme Court become too Catholic?
posted by jefficator on Dec 10, 2009 - 123 comments

The Surprisingly Accurately Named Thirty Years War

The Thirty Years War is a website covers that ginormous kerfuffle that consumed Europe in the first half of the 17th Century from the Second Defenestration of Prague to the Peace of Westphalia. It has a handy map with a place locator which will help you tell your Schweidnitz from your Schweinfurt. Here are some other maps, The Religious Situation in Central Europe about 1618, Principal Seats of War, 1618-1660 and Europe in 1648 - Peace of Westphalia.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 29, 2009 - 55 comments

Bringing New Meaning to 'Flogging the Bishop'

Does it cause hairy palms? (No, that is a myth.) Will it make you go blind? (No, though zinc deficiency can be detrimental to one's vision, and semen contains a small amount of zinc.) Are you going to hell for it? (Maybe, maybe not.) But what if it helps with conception? (well, the men doing it, anyway)
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 9, 2009 - 20 comments

Religious takes on the global financial crisis

The Dalai Lama blames the financial crisis on a decline in spirituality. Hindus blame it on greed. Saudi Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, blames the crisis on ignoring God's rules. Jewish scholars say we could have avoided a crisis by following Talmudic traditions. Pope Benedict sees the global financial system as "self-centred, short-sighted and lacking in concern for the destitute." Is it right to pray for the economy? (a Christian perspective). A Malaysian conference brings together Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, and Sikhs to discuss the crisis.
posted by desjardins on Jan 14, 2009 - 93 comments

Nun of the Above

Are nuns keeping up with the times and are they having fun? From blogs to running, to the arts and union disputes, nuns are busy. Even a beauty contest is being planned. But, the old ways persist. [more inside]
posted by Xurando on Aug 25, 2008 - 42 comments

Dignity and Bioethics

The Stupidity of Dignity: Conservative bioethics' latest, most dangerous ploy. Steven Pinker reviews Human Dignity and Bioethics, the latest report from the President's Council on Bioethics. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on May 28, 2008 - 28 comments

Two popes, two

"Ratzinger is an Evolutionist, which by definition makes one an athiest", is one of the reasons that this website, in which the "true" catholic faith (different [?] from the other catholic faith) is promoted, gives as to claiming Benedict XVI isn't the true pope. And to make their point they have elected a "real" pope themselves: Pope Pius XIII His real name? Lucian Pulvermacher (wikipedia) (previously) [more inside]
posted by omegar on Jan 31, 2008 - 79 comments

Medieval Church Wall Paintings

The Mills-Kronborg Collection of Danish Church Wall Paintings, courtesy of Princeton University's Index of Christian Art, includes descriptions and images of medieval and early modern church frescoes. There are more church frescoes at Painting and Sculpture in Medieval Hungary. (Another site features a fine panorama.) Anne Marshall has developed an extensive site devoted to similar paintings in England, many of which were whitewashed during the Reformation. The University of Leicester hosts a much more specialized database devoted to the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy (no images); La Mort Dans L'Art/Death in Art has some Continental examples of The Three Living and the Three Dead.
posted by thomas j wise on Dec 15, 2007 - 4 comments

The Pope with the Robotic Head

Gerbert D'Aurillac: mathemetician and engineer, Pope, ghost, and meddler with dark forces. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Nov 1, 2007 - 17 comments

Mother Teresa's lengthy, unresolved crisis of faith

From a Time magazine article: A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist." Previously on Mother Teresa's doubt, more generally.
posted by ibmcginty on Aug 23, 2007 - 110 comments

it's been agreed that results of the debate are to be binding on all religious and nonreligious people.

Sam Harris, an atheist, and Andrew Sullivan, a Catholic, debate whether moderate religion makes any sense. Harris: "Religious moderation is the result of not taking scripture all that seriously." Sullivan: "Blogger, please."
posted by ibmcginty on Jan 25, 2007 - 85 comments

This Week in God

This Week in God Salon interviews Karen Armstrong, a British ex-nun who has used her religious search to write several books on the subject. Her focus is not merely on Catholicism, but extends to many religions, including Islam.
posted by grapefruitmoon on May 30, 2006 - 30 comments

Catholics are the New York Yankees of Christianity.

The Interpretative Dance Theocrats. Inspired by Salon's excerpt from Michelle Goldberg's new book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, this handy guide will resolve your confusion over Christian theological jargon. [via]
posted by monju_bosatsu on May 22, 2006 - 15 comments

Catholic non-fundies?

Catholic church warns of the danger of fundamentalism. "The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: 'We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.'" (via flambingo)
posted by lbergstr on Oct 13, 2005 - 50 comments

Catholicism

Some MeFites have expressed an interest in learning more about the Catholic Church's positions on abortion, the death penalty, and other issues. I hope you will all find these links interesting and enlightening. The people and the Church. But, what about how other Christians see Catholics? Can Catholics respond to these claims? Of course, some claims have to be taken with a very large chunk of salt. Some Christians are even changing their minds. Though there is no single kind of Catholicism. Finally, here is a source for further research.
posted by oddman on Jun 21, 2005 - 58 comments

Papal conclave

The conclave of cardinals will soon start the process of choosing a new pope. Have you filled in your brackets yet?
posted by Davenhill on Apr 6, 2005 - 51 comments

Mmm, church and state, mmmmmmm.

Uhoh. Tony Blair's new Education Secretary Ruth Kelly is almost certainly a member of masochistic Catholic cult Opus Dei, as featured in The Da Vinci Code.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jan 24, 2005 - 52 comments

The Seven Capital Sins - Revised!

Hey, It's Not Enough We Die Of Obesity without having to go to Hell too? Some enlightened Frenchmen are bending the Pope's ear, trying to spring Gluttony from the Deadly Sins blacklist. Well, even clever old Thomas Aquinas did his damnedest to narrow the seven buggers down. So: which sins would you excuse today's poor sufferers from and which ones would you insist on keeping, if any? [Something tells me MetaFilter is ideally suited to put in a good word for Sloth. I wonder why? Speaking of which, NYT reg. is required but you can read about it here instead. Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 12, 2003 - 19 comments

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels ~ (en Español) ~ opened today. The $195 million cathedral was designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo and is one foot longer than Saint Patrick's Cathedral. [more inside]
posted by mr_crash_davis on Sep 2, 2002 - 32 comments

Know-Nothings, Bible Riots and the Catholic Church

Know-Nothings, Bible Riots and the Catholic Church Take a break from priest abuse news with this detailed history of anti-Catholic bias in the United States. In 1834, an angry Boston mob burned down a convent after Harriet Beecher Stowe's father preached that Catholic immigrants were a threat to democracy. In Philadelphia, the 1844 Bible Riots lasted for days, destroying Irish-Catholic churches and neighborhoods. In 1855, Louisville Know-Nothings went on a "Bloody Monday" rampage that left dozens of Catholics dead. Even telegraph inventor Samuel Morse got into the act with a series of anonymous anti-Catholic letters. Fascinating stuff, but oops, break's over. We now return to our regularly scheduled program.
posted by mediareport on Jun 13, 2002 - 25 comments

Catholics, Jews, Muslims - all three feel suddenly embattled and isolated

Catholics, Jews, Muslims - all three feel suddenly embattled and isolated [nyt reg req] "This is a rare moment in history, like a planetary alignment: three world religions simultaneously racked by crisis....this confluence is highly unusual but not without precedent... — from 800 to 200 B.C., a period of tremendous violence and upheaval on many continents.... We could use this suffering to create wonderful new religious systems, as the Buddha did, or we could retreat into the spiritual barbarism of hatred ." Perhaps Karl Marx was right that religion, like opium, results only in illusion and false hope.
posted by Voyageman on Jun 13, 2002 - 14 comments

God Changes Everything

God Changes Everything Let's say there was a school system or a chain of clinics on whose professional staff were a certain number of men who molested the children in their care and who, whenever this behavior came to the attention of their superiors, were shifted to another school or clinic, with parents and colleagues, not to mention the justice system, kept in the dark whenever possible...
posted by cell divide on Mar 20, 2002 - 8 comments

Boston's Catholic Archdiocese questions link of celibacy to pedophilia.

Boston's Catholic Archdiocese questions link of celibacy to pedophilia. The Pilot, the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper, questions if celibacy causes sexual abuse by priests. Also questions if the priesthood attracts a disproportionate number of homosexual men. (Also on cnn.com and elsewhere.) What do you think? On a side note, the editorial also says that "We know that our sexual orientation is neither morally good nor evil." Since when was that a Catholic belief?
posted by aacheson on Mar 15, 2002 - 14 comments

"Saint's Lives" are some of the most important primary sources

"Saint's Lives" are some of the most important primary sources from the late ancient, Byzantine, and medieval periods. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook links to hundreds of these texts, translated for your benefit, as well as thousands of other documents. Celebrate All Saint's Day by reading about your favorite saint in a text written while your saint was still alive.
posted by ewagoner on Nov 1, 2001 - 12 comments

Someone else's Religion or your health?

Someone else's Religion or your health? How the Catholic church is manipulating medical research in the United States. Stem cell research offers some exciting opportunities for medicine but the Pope doesn't think so.
posted by keithl on Jun 21, 2001 - 48 comments

New! Jesus Sports Statues. When you saw the Buddy Christ idea in the movie Dogma you thought it was a funny, yet biting swipe at the Catholic Church. But apparently Catholics think it's a great idea. These figurines have already sold out. Jesus playing tackle football is my favorite.
posted by y6y6y6 on May 31, 2001 - 31 comments

Vatican might name Saint Isidore of Seville the patron saint of Internet users and computer programmers.

Vatican might name Saint Isidore of Seville the patron saint of Internet users and computer programmers. The world keeps getting weirder, doesn't it?
posted by christian on Feb 6, 2001 - 24 comments

Pope John Paul II has been busy protecting his conservative legacy by appointing a record number of new cardinals. This expanded group of cardinals will vote for the next pontiff and so a continuation of the Church's present course on abortion and birth control is quite likely.
Still, it's a little known fact that the Vatican actually ceased to the home of the true Catholic Church on October 9th, 1959 and that John Paul II is, in fact, a heretical anti-pope.
posted by lagado on Jan 24, 2001 - 26 comments

Saint Chad

Saint Chad was the object of some controversy in his life. The title of Bishop in Lastingham was thought to be vacant and Chad was appointed. It was later discovered that the title was not actually vacant, and Chad was not the rightful holder. He politely stepped aside. On an interesting side note, this happened in the year 666.
posted by tomorama on Dec 2, 2000 - 2 comments

Our religion is better then yours, Naa, Naa!

Our religion is better then yours, Naa, Naa! “The truth of faith does not lessen the sincere respect which the Church has for the religions of the world, but at the same time, it rules out...a religious relativism which leads to the belief that ‘one religion is as good as another’,” it said.
posted by john on Sep 5, 2000 - 14 comments

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