Pope Benedict XVI To Meet With President Obama

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

In news reports released today from the Vatican, it has been confirmed that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will welcome  President Barack Obama for an audience scheduled to begin at 4 p.m on July 10. As expected, speculation has began about what the Roman Pontiff and the American president will discuss behind closed doors. The most obvious expectation is for the Holy Father to raise concern about the state of life issues in the United States, as well as address economic concerns and challenges facing the international community.

This is certainly something to pray for, even if any changes are not immediate; I believe profoundly in God planting seeds and I will pray for both my Pope and my President.

USCCB Issues A Statement of Support For Bishop D’Arcy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

Bishop John M. D'Arcy

Hattip to reader Rick Lugari.  The USCCB* has issued this statement of support for Bishop John D’Arcy, the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend:

“The bishops of the United States express our appreciation and support for our brother bishop, the Most Reverend John D’Arcy.  We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd.”

Bishop D’Arcy had been in the forefront of protesting Notre Dame honoring Obama on May 17, 2009.

* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Pity and Fear

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Aristotle taught that the purpose of tragedy is to inspire pity and fear in the audience, thence causing catharsis, a purging of emotion. I’ve always found his explanation of tragedy compelling, but as I get older (queue laughter at the thirty-year-old getting “older”) I find that I want to achieve catharsis much less than I used to. Not that my life is layered in tragedy or anything, indeed, far from it. But somehow, one just doesn’t feel as much like seeking out pity and fear at thirty as at twenty.

This has been running through my head as I’ve been reading about The Stoning of Soraya M.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Gold Reserve Was Just Sitting Around Doing Nothing

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

From the only reliable source of news on the net, The Onion.  The sad and sorry fact is that as  policy the above, as ridiculous as it is, makes more sense to me than most of the economic policies that have been implemented since September 1, 2008.

Neda Agha-Soltan: “The Voice of Iran”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

  • In a Death Seen Around the World, a Symbol of Iranian Protests, by Nazila Fathi (New York Times):

    Only scraps of information are known about Ms. Agha-Soltan. Her friends and relatives were mostly afraid to speak, and the government broke up public attempts to mourn her. She studied philosophy and took underground singing lessons — women are barred from singing publicly in Iran. Her name means voice in Persian, and many are now calling her the voice of Iran.Her fiancé, Caspian Makan, contributed to a Persian Wikipedia entry. He said she never supported any particular presidential candidate. “She wanted freedom, freedom for everybody,” the entry read.

  • Family, friends mourn Neda Agha-Soltan, Iranian woman whose death was caught on video, by Borzou Daragahi (Los Angeles Times). Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, ‘was a beam of light’ and not an activist, friends say. The video footage of her bleeding to death on the street has turned her into an international symbol of the protest movement.
  • In Iran, One Woman’s Death May Have Many Consequences, by Robin Wright. (Time) – Neda is already being hailed as a martyr, a second important concept in Shi’ism. With the reported deaths of 19 people on June 20, martyrdom provides a potent force that could further deepen public anger at Iran’s regime.

On the protests in Iran, see also From Tehran’s Streets: Hope and Rage – A Photo essay from LIFE Magazine. (NOTE: The Tehran-based photojournalist who made these pictures is now missing).