Friday, January 8, 2010

Today on Kresta - Friday, January 8, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Jan. 8

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – The Limits of Liberal Democracy: Politics and Religion at the End of Modernity
Exploring the question of the place of religion in the modern nation-state, Scott H. Moore observes that the easy alliance between the modern liberal democracy and Christian faith in particular is showing some serious stress fractures. He offers an incisive analysis of the ways government, operating according to the ideals of a liberal democracy, has encroached on religious freedom and how the church, of both liberal and conservative leanings, has largely acquiesced. Moore offers a bracing critique of the limits of liberal democracy that calls for and points the way toward a more faithful engagement of Christians with public life--a participation that takes seriously the reality of the Christian church and both the private and public moral teachings of its Scriptures.

5:00 – Kresta Comments – Mary Daly

5:20 – Ten Commandments for the Environment: Pope Benedict XVI Speaks Out for Creation and Just
Seasoned author and journalist Woodeene Koenig-Bricker is an environmentalist – so is Pope Benedict XVI. But don’t let that word scare you. Woodeene is here to offer commentary that helps to unpack the Ten Commandments for the Environment, which were recently released by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. She helps us understand an environmentally responsible lifestyle as a moral responsibility to protect the poor, who suffer most when climate change creates a shortage of resources. With practical, everyday ideas for reducing one's ecological footprint, this book is a must-read for those seeking the inspiration that the Holy Father radiates to a new generation of Catholics.

5:40 – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Sunday
Sunday is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the feast day commemorating the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Originally the baptism of Christ was celebrated on Epiphany, which commemorates the coming of the Magi, the baptism of Christ, and the wedding at Cana. Over time in the West, however, the celebration of the baptism of the Lord came to be commemorated as a distinct feast from Epiphany. We talk to Steve Ray about the Baptism of Christ and its relationship to Epiphany.


  1. EWTN Slip-up?

    Did I hear a priest express the positive value of married priesthood on EWTN? I repeat. On EWTN?

    Yes! During the latest episode of The Journey Home, I was surprised to hear an unorthodox statement about priestly marriage.

    Marcus Grodi had on his show three former Anglican/Episcopal priests who are now Catholic priests to discuss the recent Apostolic Constitution, which allows Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining aspects of Anglican tradition. All three priests are married with children: Fr. Eric Bergman (six children), Fr. Ray Ryland (five children), and Fr. Dwight Longenecker (four children).

    The discussion eventually turned to the topic of married Protestant clergy becoming Catholic priests. The priests acknowledged that being married has its problems and that celibate priests have the advantage of being able to devote themselves fully to their priestly duties. Marcus went on to say that the Lord is calling many Protestant clergy to come home to the Catholic Church and that the Church has reached out to these clergy through a "pastoral provision" that provides an exception to priestly celibacy. In response, Fr. Bergman said this:

    "Exactly. So that their ministry -- the ministry of these married men -- can complement the ministry of the celibate comrades in arms, because this is not either/or. So many times we think of -- in the West -- we think of either/or. We have to recognize that in the East they do have married priesthood and celibate priesthood and only fifty percent elect to be ordained as married men, and fifty percent elect to be celibate. So this idea of all being one way or the other -- it's not the mind of the Church. The mind of the Church is that these ministries of the married priest and the ministry of the celibate priest -- they complement each other. And we don't exclude one or the other."

    Wow! Did I really hear that on EWTN?

    Marcus moved on to a listener email. He didn't respond to what Fr. Bergman had just said.

    I'm used to seeing EWTN rigidly maintain its orthodox conservative message. The hosts and guests seem to be carefully vetted so that no deviation from orthodoxy ever occurs. That's why this came as such a surprise.

    Also during the discussion on priestly celibacy, Marcus noted that one of the concerns the Church had back in the 60s about allowing married Anglican priests to become Catholic priests was the possible undercutting of the Church's commitment to celibacy, and that some Catholics today assume that if these married priests had their way, their goal would be to undercut that commitment. Fr. Longenecker responded, "Those of us for whom this wonderful exception has been made are not on any kind of a campaign to do away with the norm of celibacy." Read this article and this article on Fr. Longenecker's website to see what he really believes.

    This episode of The Journey Home should still be available for the next few days at the EWTN archive page. The discussion on celibacy starts at minute 43.

  2. EWTN Slip-up? continued

    In 2005 Fr. Bergman and about 65 of his Episcopal parishioners were received into the Catholic Church as a pastoral provision community, which allows them to use the Book of Divine Worship. He was ordained as a Catholic priest in 2007.

    Fr. Longenecker and his family were received into the Catholic Church in 1995 and he was ordained as a Catholic priest in 2006.

    Fr. Ryland does fully assent to Church teaching on priestly celibacy, as this article makes clear. Fr. Ryland was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983.