In his latest Q&A column for The Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati, Fr. David Endres answers, yes, explaining that the Church’s aversion is rooted in ancient pagan denials of the Resurrection:

While today one may not think of the choice for cremation as offering a theological statement, in ancient times cremation was associated with a lack of belief in the resurrection. In the first days of the Church, we see that Christians buried their deceased while the pagans burned the bodies before burial. The choice of how to treat the bodies of the deceased was seen as testimony to belief or unbelief in the afterlife. Canon law had forbidden cremation and did not allow for Christian burial for someone who had been cremated.

He then goes on to explain that the Church has relaxed its absolute prohibition of cremation (while still discouraging it) since “[t]oday the choice for cremation is not often made to deny the resurrection, but is often chosen for practical reasons including financial necessity.”

That’s true, but I also believe people “burn their bodies” due to a denial of what constitutes a human person, namely a unity of body and soul [CCC 365].  That’s why so many Catholics say things like “Heaven just got another angel” after a loved one dies. They think the body is something discarded and left behind, so why not torch it?

Shouldn’t that be enough for the Holy See to douse the crematoriums once again?

Not a parody.

From a tale in The Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati:

Glenmary Father John S. Rausch appeared on CNN Aug. 1 as part of a climate change town hall event with former United States Vice President Al Gore.

After being introduced by host Anderson Cooper, Father Rausch said his experience as a priest in Appalachia has led him to believe the climate crisis is really a crisis in spirituality.

Father Rausch asked, “Mr. Vice President, how can we influence people to see a spiritual connection in their consumer habits (so) that they can see the consequences of their buying, the consequences (they) have on people in Appalachia and also in other parts of God’s kingdom?”

Before delving into his response, Gore took a moment to thank Father John for his ministry, and expressed admiration for the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

“Well, thank you, Father. And thank you for what you do. I’m a Protestant, but I’ll tell you, because of Pope Francis, I really could become a Catholic. He is really an amazing spiritual leader.”
Gore, who was raised a Southern Baptist, went on to recommend that people of all faith traditions should read Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si.

Dear Alma Mater:  Could you at least try to be Catholic — even for just one day?

The University of Dayton unveils empty chair memorial “to continue the work of creating a more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming world.”

160107  mlk monument for media relations  Burgess



Teachers in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati received the following email this week:

Subject: Xavier Summer Workshops- Racism in Black & White AND/OR Welcoming Schools: Creating LGBTQ Inclusive Spaces – REGISTRATION DEADLINE APPROACHING

Please share this information with teachers and staff!!
                                                                   Summer Sessions!
Looking for Great Summer Courses?
Need Graduate Credits?
Each class is worth 1 graduate credit and/or 15 CEU’s
June 10th & 11th
Welcoming Schools: Creating LGBTQ Inclusive Spaces
http://bit.ly/WelcomingSchoolsLGBTQInclusiveSpacesXavier  (Click on the link for more details)
June 24th & 25th
                Racism in Black and White (Click on the link for more details)
*Cost Per Credit- Graduate Students $550.00, Undergraduates- $694, Non-Credit-$195
Tracey DuEst, M.Ed.
Associate Director of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Xavier University (Ohio)
McDonald Library Room 124
Office- 513-745-3114
Cell- 513-678-6809
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“We do not see things as they are we see things as we are” Anais Nin
“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply (or react)” Steven Covey

Francis’s man in nearby Lexington, KY, speaks at a conference for a dissentient organization:

Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, praised New Ways Ministry at the group’s annual conference in Chicago last week.

“New Ways Ministry made me want to come here,” the bishop said, extolling the group for its outreach to people who are “really struggling” with Church teaching on the immorality of homosexual acts.

The bishop’s appearance was a breakthrough for New Ways Ministry. The organization drew a caution from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1999, and in 2011 the US bishops’ conference issued its own statement that New Ways Ministry should not be regarded as a Catholic organization, because of its dissent from Church teachings. Several bishops have refused to allow the organization’s leaders to speak at parishes in their dioceses.

In his remarks to the group, Bishop Stowe tackled the controversial question of whether Catholic institutions should remove openly homosexual employees. He replied in the negative, saying: “We risk contradicting ourselves if we want our employees to live by the church’s teaching and if we ourselves as an institution don’t live by our teaching, which has always opposed discrimination of any sort.”

Bishop Stowe, a Franciscan, was appointed to the Lexington see by Pope Francis in 2015.

Chicago’s archbishop, Blase Cupich, a notorious dissenter Francis put in charge of one of the largest dioceses in the United States, will speak on May 5 at a fundraiser for the Athenaeum, the home of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Mount St. Mary’s of the West.  The irony would be amusing if it weren’t so offensive.  Cincinnati’s Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr has made priestly vocations the centerpiece of his episcopate, and he’s accelerated the uptick in vocations that began under his predecessor.  Cupich, on the other hand, is to vocations what a turd is to a punch-bowl.  I’m told by people close to his diocese that dozens of men discerning priestly vocations are escaping Chicago for more faith-friendly locales.  There’s an additional irony here: Cupich was widely rumored to have been on a very short list for Cincinnati’s ordinary when former Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk’s retirement loomed.  Imagine what he would have done to vocations here.  We dodged a bullet, Chicago didn’t.  Shame on the Athenaeum’s Bishop Fenwick Society for inviting scandal by bringing this man here.

BFS Dinner Features Cardinal Blase Cupich

Cardinal Blase Cupich is the Archbishop of Chicago and a member of the Congregation for Bishops which advises the Holy Father in the choice of Bishops for the United States.

Cardinal Cupich was born on March 19, 1949 and ordained to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Omaha, August 16, 1975. After receiving a B.A. in Philosophy, from the College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN he attended the North American College receiving his bachelors, masters and licentiate in theology from the Gregorian University. He completed his doctorate in Sacramental Theology at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Cardinal Cupich has served as a pastor, high school teacher, director of worship, as well as Secretary, Apostolic Nunciature, Washington, D.C. and President/Rector, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, OH. He was appointed by Saint Pope John Paul II Bishop, Diocese of Rapid City and later Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Spokane. On September 20, 2014 he received the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Chicago and His Holiness Pope Francis elevated him to the College of Cardinals on November 19, 2016.

His Eminence serves on many commissions including the USCCB Communications Committee and the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; he is co-chair of the National Dialogue Initiative with Muslims, Chair of the Sub-Committee for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Chancellor of the Catholic Church Extension Society and a Trustee of the Catholic Mutual Relief Society.

Throughout the years, the seminary has depended on financial support from generous benefactors. The Bishop Fenwick Society (BFS) is a devoted giving society made up of benefactors who give $1,000 or more, annually, to fund the seminary and Athenaeum. To thank BFS members for their steadfast generosity, and encourage others to join, Archbishop Schnurr hosts an annual thank-you dinner. This year’s event on May 5 will be held at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel (downtown Cincinnati).

“We encourage everyone who cares deeply about our mission to join the BFS,” said Kyle Isaack, director of Advancement at the Athenaeum. “If you’ve already donated this year – we thank you for your support. If you’ve never given, please consider making a donation today, so you can help us form and educate our future priests.”

A recent sign of the secularization of our culture is the phenomenon of “meatless Mondays,” promoted as though there’s never been a custom in our society of skipping meat on a day that falls closer to the end of the week (hint: rhymes with … “Cryday“). It’s especially disappointing to see Catholics peddle it, as is the case with the folks at Xavier University’s Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice (XUDDCFJ, ‘natch). Under a regular feature on its website, “Dorothy Day’s Top Five,” you’ll find this item at the top:

#1: Meatless Monday is today in the caf. Sign up to commit to a meatless Monday today in Fenwick from 11:45-1:15 or 5:00-7:00.

How this relates to faith or justice is anyone’s guess.  Perhaps bovine rights are the new frontier.

I generally steer clear of criticisms of our “separated brethren” on this site, thinking there’s enough work in the Church universal to keep my keyboard busy. But the over-sized Easter postcard invitation I received via snail mail today from Crossroads, a local big-box evangelical community, is just too much. On the front is the slogan “ESCAPE THE BAD NEWS. DISCOVER LIVING FULLY ALIVE.” On the back is following description:

Crossroads church is designed to inspire, equip and push you to get the best out of life. Easter will be amazing music, immersive video, and practical teaching. It’s come as you are, so throw on your jeans and baseball cap (OK, your kid can wear her Easter dress). No secret handshake, just free coffee, regular people, and 100 decibels of face-melting, soul-waking awesomeness. There’s even a sweet Easter experience designed just for your kids.

I’m not making that up.
No Jesus, no Resurrection.
Just a very busy A-V guy.

In his daily Lenten reflection on the Gospel reading, Bishop Robert Barron corrects misrepresentations of the nature of the Atonement, a dogma routinely denied by Xavier University’s Ken Overberg, S.J., during his homilies at Bellarmine Chapel:

Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus prophesies his crucifixion and his Father’s role in his coming death. What enabled the first Christians to hold up the cross, to sing its praises, to wear it as a decoration is the fact that God raised up and ratified precisely this crucified Jesus. “You killed him, but God raised him up.” Therefore, God was involved in this terrible thing; God was there, working out his salvific purposes.

But what does this mean? There have been numerous attempts throughout the Christian centuries to name the salvific nature of the cross. Let me offer just one take on it. It became clear to the first Christians that somehow, on that terrible cross, sin had been dealt with. The curse of sin had been removed, taken care of. On that terrible cross, Jesus functioned as the “lamb of God,” sacrificed for sin.

Does this mean God the Father is a cruel taskmaster demanding a bloody sacrifice so that his anger might be appeased? No, Jesus’ crucifixion was the opening up of the divine heart so that we could see that no sin of ours could finally separate us from the love of God.

It wouldn’t be Lent without Xavier University’s Ken Overberg, S.J., denying the Atonement, at this point surely an act of both material and formal heresy, before the students and attendees of Bellarmine Chapel.  Here’s a key snippet:

All too often we hear of ransom, sacrifice, and suffering and dying for our sins.
We may ask–we must ask–of this atonement theory: What does this say about God? What kind of God could demand such torture of the beloved Son? Is this the God revealed by Jesus in his words and deeds? Or has this part of the tradition slipped back into the ancient (but still popular) religion that believes violence saves?

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