Thursday, June 30, 2011

News.va, Papal tweets etc.

"Un Tweet Storico" as the Italian version of the new Vatical news site states. Apparently the Pope is now a bird.

But he's a bird that lets someone else do his tweeting for him. He just presses the button.

In the sidebar, I say that I follow the Vatican. It's true. It will especially be true this coming school year when I am in Rome. Ever since I heard about the new Vatican website, I have been excited. Now I'm not an old hat at blogging like some, but I do enjoy that fact that the Church is in a more official capacity "joined" the internet. Even Il Papa himself is getting involved. He is truly a revolutionary Pope.

Also, I was supposed to get an email when the website launched but I got it the DAY AFTER. I thought the internet was supposed to cut back on all that time between things. Instant gratification and all that.

Oh, and in British News, stabbing burglars will be legal. Also, some random English Bishop made some irrelevant remarks on the importance of the "externals" of the ordained priesthood...or something.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Marriage is what brings us together today...

...and homosexual civil unions is what is driving us apart. Friday marked the passage of a bill allowing "gay marriage" in New York, what many are calling the sixth and most consequential state to do so. I would really rather not talk about homosexuality because it disgusts me for one reason or another. However, in that this move is one that destroys the meaning of marriage, it's kind of a big deal for me, especially today. I wrote a reflection on the reason marriage is significant this weekend.

There are many commentators out there rejoicing in this turn of events and there are many who mourn. It's at moments like this when the culture of America and its cultural offspring is slowly destroying the cohesion of civilisation that I wish we could just forget about our globalisation efforts for a bit and work on our dear country. We are strangely lacking in concrete symbols to rally around. In an age where it is uncertain whether or not flag-burning is a constitutional right, and the Eagle means nothing, the president comes and goes, the country is constantly divided along party lines, one wishes that we had something besides the the death of thousands on days of catastrophe. Oh, and the dollar. That's something we can all agree on. Except that it's falling fast in value and plus money is all a construct anyway in the federal reserve system as it stands.

But back to days of catastrophe, because money depresses me, I think America needs to realize something that I don't know that many people anywhere realize anymore. The positive is just as potent as the negative. We should all be able to rally around something that is good in this nation, not just the calamities of terror. Yes, we have fireworks and the fourth of July, but like I said, that has become theoretical patriotism. It's not connected to what we do as Americans or who we are. And if it's not a symbol of something we agree on, then what's the use? So, what is good in this nation?

Somewhat of a rhetorical question.

I would say that marriage is good. But it is slowly or maybe not so slowly leaving this nation. Apparently the legislature laughed in the face of the people of New York and said "Screw you, we're going to do this anyway, no matter what you think." You see, the lawmakers are not virtuous men and women, they're shallow, easy, manipulated, empty robots. They don't do what is best for the people, but what a few of the people think is best for them. And as we all know, we don't always want what's best for us really.

This move, believe it or not, by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the bill is kind of funny considering that he and his family have traditionally held that the public work of politics is separate from his private religion. Well, let me tell you, Mr. Cuomo. You destroy earthly marriage in a hyped-up political move (especially one that the bishops were firmly against) and the heavenly marriage that you claim to profess isn't going to mean much. Catholics can participate in the heavenly marriage with Christ Jesus in the Eucharist, but if marriage means nothing, heavenly marriage certainly doesn't.

Give that a thought.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Architecture Conference...and MORE

A couple weekends ago, and my apologies for being busy almost 24/7 since then, was the Palladio Conference at Notre Dame. It was an amazing experience mostly because it featured some very important international architects such as Leon Krier and Robert Adam. It also had, quite surprisingly to me, quite a bit of disagreement about what it means to build traditionally or classically these days. Let me tell you, it's not easy. Tradition is one of the most misused and reviled terms on the planet and so no wonder people take differing stands on traditional architecture. I myself have my own theory of architecture which I'm trying to write into a book. I ended up being very annoyed at the architects I saw speak mostly because they weren't very good at it, but also because they didn't seem to delve into the application of Palladian architecture today but rather focused on how Palladio dealt with his own era's problems. Which is fine, but I would have preferred if the architects had gotten up there and defended their own work in terms of Palladian or classical architecture and urbanism. I think it would have sparked a lot of good discussion as well as presented an intellectual and not merely fact-based conference. I did however talk to The Heiress a bit, as well as to her father. (I even had a small discussion with him about something upon which he believed we disagreed. Turned out we didn't.)

Also while I was down there, I hopped over to McKenna Hall where the annual University Faculty for Life Conference was being held, hosted by our very own Center for Ethics and Culture at Notre Dame. Now I am not Faculty of any kind, although I often wish I was. However, my father was attending and he been faculty. And anyway, I am "for Life", so that's all right. Anyway, Professor Solomon, current Director of the Center gave a rousing speech at the Closing Banquet. It concerned the split between the "activist" branch of the prolife movement and the "academic" branch and how the academic debate is at an impasse. It was, surprisingly considering what has happened recently both at Notre Dame and in the World at Large, hopeful. It made me quite glad that I was on the winning side--God's side.

My Other Life

One might call it my Inner Life. It's where I occasionally reflect on the interesting and grace-filled moments in my life. Yes, there are some. Of course, I tend to avoid spicy topics over there, but isn't that what a pseudo-political blog is for? And so of course I had to start this one.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I am a Fan.

Last year, Pope Benedict set up a system through which members of the Anglican Community could join the Catholic Church while maintaining those traditions not contrary to the Faith and which connected the community, a system known a "Ordinariates." I, being somewhat of an anglophile, have been really excited. Also, my patron saint, St. Thomas More, was beheaded for holding to the True Faith, and now so many people have the opportunity to rejoin the ranks.

Well, it's not only for the English. It's also for Americans of the Anglican Communion. For instance, people from Maryland: Here's what the folks at St. Luke's have to say for themselves.  (h/t: Fr. Z.)

It's so cool that so many people are coming to the Fullness of Truth through the Church. Christ had a wish that His disciples be one...and He promised to be with us always, in fact we heard this line on the Ascension just last Sunday (in some diocese). This is a step in the right direction of Unity, and you know, it's at times like this that I can believe that Christ will fulfill his promise.

BREAKING NEWS!!!

This is...the most tasty...computer ever...
Let me put it this way. For one reason or another, Steve Jobs is a genius. Yes, he is a Man of Big Business. Yes, he probably doesn't care about anyone but himself and his wallet, but boy, he sure does a swell job with computers.

And this is The Record Company.
The irony is that I'm typing this on a Dell computer running Windows Vista...or is it 7?

This astounding story tells it all.

So now I can access the contents of my computer anywhere? On any computer connected to the internet? Oh wait I think Google already has this...but wait, Apple actually made a deal with "The Record Companies" (sounds like it should be a band...). The deal says that 70% of the revenue from the iCloud services. Tada! Music industry is back in business. I think that's a good thing.

(And further can someone tell Steve Jobs that my Macbook is acting up?)