Showing posts from March, 2013


posted March 31, 2007 From a religious point of view, Easter is a more important Christian feast than Christmas, but it gets less attention because there’s less money to be made from Easter. So much for our supposedly Christian nation. Like Christmas, Easter derives from pagan myth and ritual. The ancient religions surrounding the first Christians celebrated various saviors coming down from heaven and going back up to heaven. A striking parallel to Easter is reported by church historian Henry Chadwick. He tells of the god Mithris, whose death was mourned on March 22 and resurrection celebrated on March 25. The likeness of Good Friday and Easter to religious festivals of the pagans prompted them to accuse Christians of plagiarism. Besides the idea of dying and rising again in three days, Christians apparently borrowed ritual ideas. My reporting this may give the impression that I have little respect for Holy Week and Easter. Wrong. I regard the Paschal mystery as a profou

Pope Francis elected

Pundits on the pope, March 26, 2013 The latest National Catholic Reporter (Mar.29 – Apr 11) feeds my addiction to religious politics with a wealth of opinion, reflections, suppositions, and guesses about the new pope. Joan Chittister (p. 13) expresses weary longing for reform of the Catholic Church, and many observers offer suggestions for cleaning up its moribund institutional structure. John Allen (p. 9) reviews qualifications for high offices in its governing structure. Antonio M. Pernia (p. 12) states, In a complex world—more multicultural, pluralistic, postmodern, global and technological—it is no longer possible for one person to govern alone. . . . Just as a superior general of religious orders has a council to govern with him, cannot a pope, too,   have a council (e.g., of six or eight or 10) who would share the responsibility of leadership with him? Emeritus Archbishop of San Francisco John Quinn calls for major decentralization of Vatican and papal authorit