Carl's Cut's (For the End of Summer, Start of Fall) | Carl E. Olson | CWR blog
Commentary on matters big, small, light, heavy, ecclesial, secular, musical, and otherwise.
• A friend, whose alma mater is the University of Notre Dame, wrote me this morning: "Apparently, Pope Francis gave some crazy interview in which he implied that Catholics should not be 'obsessed' with ND football. A sure sign the end of all things is nigh." He did not send a link to the original comment in Italian, so I cannot verify.
• It is rumored that the word of the month for September is "credibility". It's not clear how credible those rumors really are.
• In recent decades, there have been serious cuts to the funding of good, sharp satire. One reason is that it's difficult to satirize a culture that would make most forays into the satirical arts look like a pale imitation of the madness that holds sway. A recent example is the case of a former British soldier who is now, well, something else altogether:
A former trained soldier has swapped her Territorial Army beret for a veil and become Britain's first transgender Muslim woman. Lucy Vallender used to be called Laurens and says she is finally 'true to herself' after a sex change three years ago. The 28-year-old is now married to a Muslim man she met on an online dating site, but he did not know she was once a man when they wed.
No, of course he didn't. Because that would likely exhibit some sort of "gender bias", right? Except I doubt that was part of the equation. But if this story were an equation, we'd have to use the "≠" sign as nothing adds up.
• Speaking of changes, the former Crystal Cathedral is undergoing many substantial changes:
The Crystal Cathedral was to [Robert] Schuller what Graceland was to Elvis. Now it has been bought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which has long coveted having a cathedral that sat at the center of its vast footprint of 1.2 million Catholics.
The name has already been changed to the Christ Cathedral. But the work of liturgical consultants, priests and architects to transform a temple so closely identified as a symbol of Schuller's sunny, uniquely Southern Californian theology into one that conforms to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church has just begun.
"The exterior will always be the Crystal Cathedral, at least for a while," said Duncan Stroik, a professor of architecture at Notre Dame and editor of the publication Sacred Architecture Journal. "Catholic on the inside, but kind of Protestant on the outside."
Those who have taken on the project recognize that their assignment is a intimidating one, but they also have faith: They can turn the Crystal Cathedral into the Christ Cathedral.
Read the entire story on the LA Times site. It is heartening to read the comments by Dr. Stroik, who is leading the way in the revival of great Catholic architecture, as evidenced in part by his recent book, book, The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence, and the Eternal, which was reviewed for CWR by Dr. Amanda Clark earlier this year.
• Is Hollywood out of ideas? Has it tapped out when it comes to fresh cinematic adventures for the masses? I'd say the answer is tilting hard toward “Yes” when there is a remake of Left Behind currently in the works. And it stars Nicholas Cage. Yes, the Apocalypse is upon us, and it will cost you $10.00 to experience for two hours.
• In light of recent events and the reaction of some, I propose that Matthew 16:18 (New Jerusalem Translation) be re-written as follows:
So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it, up and until a twenty-first century pope gives a lengthy interview which fractures the very foundation of said community and destroys the faith of millions and plunges the world into darkness and confusion not seen since said pope's comments about atheism a few months earlier.
A bit wordy, I suppose, but I'm sure the original Greek will flow like honey. (And, please, spare me the angry e-mails. Just leave angry comments. We need more comments. I get paid by the comment.)
• Clueless Cut of the Week comes courtesy of mushy, trendy, lefty “Evangelical” author and know-it-all, Brian McClaren: “We have a Catholic priesthood more concerned with keeping women out of the priesthood as the world is destroyed by carbon gases. … We have evangelicals with the audacity to say that homosexual people are ruining marriage. I think anyone who says that should be laughed off the stage. Heterosexual people do that on their own, thanks.” No word if McClaren and Jody Bottum are working on a book together yet.
• I enjoy reading nearly anything by the Anglican Scripture scholar N.T. Wright, and his recent interview with Christianity Today about the Psalms is not exception: