A Jesuit's Jottings
Rick Malloy, S.J., is a Jesuit priest and cultural anthropologist. He is the author of _A Faith That Frees: Catholic Matters for the 21st Century (2007) and _Being on Fire: The Top Ten Essentials of Catholicism_ (2014), both published by ORBIS Books
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Why Are Some Bishops Saying You Can't Vote Democrat?
"In this statement, we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God's truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election."
This quote is from "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" the official document of the U.S. Bishops. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/
Read the document and compare to reports of some Bishops saying you can't vote for party "x" or candidate "y".
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Equal Justice Initiative. Check It Out!
Check Out this Website eji.org. Fascinating and disturbing info here. The Criminal "Justice" System needs mega reform. See the US Bishops brilliant analysis "Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice" (2000). http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/criminal-justice-restorative-justice/crime-and-criminal-justice.cfm
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
33% of adults under 30 have no church background
These Americans are even less religious in conventional measures, including frequency of attendance at religious services and the degree of importance they attach to religion in their lives.
The survey may be affected by a differing view of the words "religion" and "spiritual."
According to the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, the survey found that many of the country's 46 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way.
Two-thirds, or 68 percent of the respondents said that they believe in God. More than half, at 58 percent say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth, while more than a third, 37 percent classify themselves as "spiritual" but not "religious." One-in-five or 21 percent say they pray every day.
The unaffiliated, with few exceptions say they are not looking for a religion that would be right for them. They increasingly think that religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics.
The lower the age group, the less likely people are to be affiliated.
Popularly known as "nones," the growth in the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans is largely driven by generational replacement, the gradual supplanting of older generations by younger ones.
A third of adults under 30 have no religious affiliation (32 percent), compared with just one-in-ten who are 65 and older (9 percent). Young adults today are far more likely to be unaffiliated than previous generations were at a similar stage in their lives.
This report contains capsule summaries of some leading theories put forward by scholars in an attempt to explain the root causes of the rise of the "nones." These theories run the gamut from a backlash against the entanglement of religion and politics to a global relationship between economic development and secularization.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Friday, October 05, 2012
One kid takes all the toys, like the Rich
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Terry Williams saved from death penalty... for now.
Court spares Pa. inmate from Wednesday execution by denying prosecutors’ emergency petition
By Associated Press,
PHILADELPHIA — The state’s high court on Wednesday halted Pennsylvania’s first scheduled execution in more than a decade, at least temporarily sparing the life of a man who says the two men he killed had molested him.
With hours remaining until Terrance “Terry” Williams’ death warrant expired, the state Supreme Court denied a last-minute appeal by Philadelphia prosecutors to overturn a lower court ruling and proceed with the execution.
The 46-year-old Williams, of Philadelphia, killed two men in his teens.
A state judge found late last week that prosecutors withheld evidence from Williams’ capital murder trial in 1986, including evidence the victim in that case was molesting teen boys. Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina tossed out Williams’ death sentence on Friday but upheld his first-degree murder conviction.
But Philadelphia’s district attorney appealed her ruling and wanted Williams executed before the death warrant expired at midnight Wednesday.
Williams, 46, has been on death row for nearly three decades. He would have been the first person executed in Pennsylvania in 50 years who had not given up his appeals.
Williams’ lawyers spoke with him by phone Wednesday afternoon from outside the prison at Greene County, where he’s on death row. He was never moved to the Centre County facility where he would have been executed.
“He was very relieved,” said defense lawyer Shawn Nolan, one of several federal public defenders representing Williams. “Today was a very scary day for Terry because the stay could have been lifted, and he could have been taken to Rockview and executed.”
They argued that prosecutors had appealed only the stay of execution and not Sarmina’s decision to throw out the death sentence. If the state had executed Williams, it would have done so without a valid death sentence, they said in papers filed Wednesday morning.
District Attorney Seth Williams, no relation to the defendant, insists Terry Williams is the rare defendant deserving of the death penalty, and complained in a response Wednesday that his appeals have tied up the court system long enough.
“Since the sentence of death was imposed in 1986, vast resources have been expanded to give consideration to his every challenge to the judgment,” prosecutors wrote.
Williams was 17 when he fatally stabbed a 50-year-old high school sports booster during a sex-linked argument at the man’s apartment. He had turned 18 when he and a friend fatally beat the 56-year-old church deacon, Amos Norwood, in a cemetery five months later.
Williams, a gifted quarterback who led his high school to a city title, was having sex with homosexual men throughout his teens in exchange for money, gifts and clothes. He says Norwood had been sexually abusing him since he was 13. The jury heard only that Norwood was killed in a robbery. Sarmina relied on original police files she unearthed in ruling Friday that prosecutors had “sanitized” the real story, perhaps affecting the jury’s decision to sentence Williams to death.
The Supreme Court will now ask for briefs as prosecutors appeal her finding.
Only three people have been executed in Pennsylvania since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty in 1976.
Gary Heidnik was executed in 1999 for the murders of two women he had imprisoned in his Philadelphia home. The others were both executed in 1995: Leon Moser for the 1985 murders of his wife and two daughters in suburban Philadelphia; and Keith Zettlemoyer for the 1980 slaying of a friend who planned to testify against him in a robbery trial.
Associated Press writer Peter Jackson contributed to this report from Harrisburg, Pa.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.