Monday, May 17, 2010

Today on Kresta - May 17, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on May 17

4:00 – Pastoral Theology: What is it and why does it matter?
Pastoral Theology is the branch of theology concerned with the practical application of theology in the pastoral context. This approach to theology seeks to give practical expression to theology. Normally viewed as an 'equipping' of ministers, practical theology is often considered to be more pragmatic than speculative, indeed, essentially a practical science. Hence its main interests are in those areas of theology which will aid the clergyman in ministry. Topics tend to include homiletics, pastoral care, sacramental theology, and ethics. All branches of theology, whether theoretical or practical, purpose in one way or another to make priests, pastors, and others in a pastoral role "the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 4:1). Pastoral theology presupposes other various branches, accepts the apologetic, dogmatic, exegetic, moral, juridical, ascetical, liturgical, and other conclusions reached by the ecclesiastical student, and scientifically applies these various conclusions to the priestly ministry. We talk with Doug Bushman about “pastoral theology.”

4:40 – An Introduction to Transhumanism: Attempting to Make a New Type of Person
The ideas of the young international movement known as "transhumanism" are beginning to characterize the thinking of an increasing number of clinicians and bioethicists. Transhumanism is really a set of ideas that has developed in response to the rapid advance of biotechnology in the past 20 years (that is, technology capable of and aimed at manipulating the physical, mental and emotional condition of human beings). Conventional medicine has traditionally aimed at overcoming disorders that afflict the human condition; it has prescribed leeching, cauterizing, amputating, medicating, operating and relocating to dryer climates, all in order to facilitate health and militate against disease and degeneration; in other words, the purpose has been to heal. Technology is now making possible interventions that in addition to a therapeutic aim are intended to augment healthy human capacities. There is a gradual but steady enlargement taking place in medical ideals from simply healing to healing and enhancement. We are all too familiar with "performance enhancing drugs" in professional sports. But biotechnology promises to make possible forms of enhancement that go far beyond muscle augmentation. We explore this “brave new world” with E. Christian Brugger of the Culture of Life Foundation.

5:00 – Finalmente: Coming Into the Church
It was last October, the Red Mass, said on that first Sunday in October just before the opening of the Supreme Court on the first Monday. Hadley Arkes and his wife Judy were at the service at St. Matthew’s in Washington, and were on the way to the Hilton on Sixteenth Street for the lunch following the Mass. Suddenly, and happily, they were joined on the walk by Fr. Arne Panula, whom Hadley had met years ago at the Opus Dei house in New York. He had moved over to direct the chapel and programs at the Catholic Information Center at Fifteenth and K. In a bantering way, Fr. Arne confronted me: “You, the most notable figure at the threshold, never quite crossing it.” (Never actually coming into the Church.) “What’s holding you back?” Hadley dipped into the repertoire of Bert Lahr from the Wizard of Oz: “C-c-c courage! it’s what I haven’t got.” A few months later he was received into the Church. Hadley is with us to discuss his journey. He says - taking a line from Fr. Richard Neuhaus - it may be a story about, “How I became the Catholic I was.”

5:40 – A Report on Catholic Commencement Season / Marquette President Defends Catholic Identity
The U.S. bishops have stood publicly and in unison against Catholic honors for those who publicly and clearly oppose Catholic teaching, most dramatically in response to last year’s Notre Dame ceremony. So what happened this year? It appears that more than 95 percent of our Catholic college leaders this year have taken the high road, and Catholics should applaud that. For 17 years, the Cardinal Newman Society has encouraged the renewal of Catholic identity at Catholic colleges and universities. CNS has publicly identified Catholic institutions that choose commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients whose public actions and statements are contrary to key teachings of the Catholic Church. Recent years have seen a marked decline in these scandals, from 24 in 2006 to just nine this year. We review the commencement season with Newman Society President Patrick Reilly.

5:50 – Real Protection in a Hook-Up World: What Every Parent Needs to Know
If you think sex education is still about the birds and the bees, you're wrong. And it's not about science either. If you're a parent with children in the public school system, you need to know what's really going on. Dr. Miriam Grossman, M.D. rips back the curtain on sex education today, exposing a sordid truth. She is here to discuss real protection in a hook-up world – what every parent needs to know.

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