Archive for April 19th, 2013

No, the pope didn’t write about this blog (“Caelum et Terra” = Heaven and Earth”), but he did  write a wide-ranging book on many things a couple of years ago. This has been issued in English, and is the first look at Francis’ thought before his election. I’m still getting used to citing the National Catholic Reporter, but hey, John Allen has made a name as the journalist of note regarding all things Vatican. Here he is on the Francis on economics and justice:

Francis begins by highlighting the problem of global warming as an example of humanity becoming “overly zealous” and losing respect for nature. He calls it the result of a “constructivist” ethic, in which humanity forgets that it has received creation as a gift from God.

In a chapter on economics, Francis says the church condemns both Communism and “wild Capitalism … with equal vigor.” He asserts that Capitalism harbors a “spiritual perversion” that seeks to “tame transcendence,” seeking to co-opt religion for its own ends.

The pope warns that without a robust defense of the poor at its heart, Christianity risks becoming a “lukewarm, weak and mediocre church.”

Francis also clearly endorses the concept of “social debt,” meaning the idea that business people have a responsibility to serve the societies in which they operate. He says that social debt must be considered part of every transaction.’

Read the rest here: http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/book-indicates-pope-moderate-realist

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Russian Icon Carvers

Rashid and Inessa Azbuhanov are a Russian couple who are among the leaders in the renaissance of icon carving in the Russian Orthodox Church.  Their exquisite work is in many private collections, from the Russian Patriarch to Blessed John Paul II:

Икона. Св.Екатерина

Икона. Архангел Михаил

Икона. Богоматерь Державная

Икона. Преподобноисповедница св. Параскева Спасо-Влахернская

 Икона. Св. Трифон

Икона. Казанская Богоматерь

Икона. Св. Флор и Св. ЛаврИкона. Богоматерь Влахернская

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From OpEdNews:

When Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca, recently directed a corporate “fracking” combine in Western Pennsylvania to unseal the terms of a settlement with citizen-plaintiffs, she struck a clear blow for the public’s right to know.   But far beyond the borders of Washington County PA, her ruling is being celebrated by a national movement working to reverse 127 years of law that gave corporations the constitutional protections of real human beings.

Her decision echoed language as old as that used when corporations were judged subservient to citizens and as new as the slogans of the “occupy” movement.

Judge O’Dell-Seneca observed that the Pennsylvania state constitution says men and women come into this world with “certain inherent and indefeasible rights’ and continued that,

“There are no men or women defendants in the instant case; they are various business entities”legal fictions, existing not by natural birth but by operations of state statutes”Such business entities cannot have been ” born equally free and independent,’ because they were not born at all. Indeed, the framers of our constitution could not have intended for them to be ” free and independent,’ because, as the creations of the law, they are always subservient to it.

Read the rest here.

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