Catholic parishes in western Oregon will celebrate Respect Life Sunday on October 3. That Sunday will mark the beginning of a month long observance of promoting respect for life from conception to natural death. The theme for this year is “The measure of love is to love without measure.” Archbishop John G. Vlazny will mark the occasion with a Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, October 3 at 11:00 am.
Washington, D.C.—Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.
On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively. Protestants as a whole average 16 correct answers; Catholics as a whole, 14.7. Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons perform better than other groups on the survey even after controlling for different levels of education.
President Barack Obama went into the most detailed open talk about his faith at a backyard gathering Tuesday. This comes days after he attended Sunday services at St. John’s Episcopal Church which was his first public worship service since Easter of 2009. Obama timing comes on the heels of polls showing that 1 out of 4 Americans think he is a Muslim and during a time of religious heated debates surrounding 99-1 this year. It is almost as if Obama is sharing his faith out of self-defense. If so, this does not look good for those who appreciate open discussion of faith in public and also not good for those who dislike it. No one should be in this position. I fear that politics is already interrupting an already unhealthy national debate on religious issues. (HINT to TV execs, now is the time to do some televised faith town halls to let America have an honest dialogue) Here is what Obama said:
Several Hundred Oregon Catholics skipped Sunday morning mass to hold a gathering in downtown Portland to promote a wider involvement of women in Catholic ministries and clergy roles. The gatherings was put on by One Spirit, One Call and described the event as “…a symbolic opportunity to give public witness to the unjust and unequal treatment of women in the church. It is a powerful statement that we will be gathering during the time we usually are at Mass…” See video of the event here.
The Archbishop of Portland, John Vlazny, told The Oregonian
“I’m not happy about it, Whenever people are disturbed, it’s a good idea to get together and pray. But my job is one that tries to promote the unity of the church, to encourage the church in our evangelization. I’ve tried my best to treat people with fairness.”
Georgene Rice of KPDQ-FM interviews Carol Kent, author of “Between a Rock and a Grace Place: Divine Surprises in the tight spot of life” about her life and dealing with a son who is in jail for homicide.
Georgene: I feel like this is such an excellent book becuase they are so many times that we feel overwhelmed and we feel so cut off from God that there is no possibility of restoring any hopefulness or usefulness. This book says otherwise.
Kent: Thank you for catching the essence of why I wrote this book…I think whenever you face a crisis, when your child has made a very wrong choice, or you have a health crisis, you ask, “How am I ever going to find the energy to find a place of grace?” I want to encourage our listeners to look for God’s divine surprises, everyone of the chapters talk about the divine surprises in our journey….Here he is locked up without the possibility of parole sentence for taking the life of his wife’s first husband, it was a murder…He was fearful that his two stepdaughters were going to have unsupervised visitation with their biological father, a man who had multiple allegations of abuse against him, he just totally unraveled and did the unthinkable act and he is now serving life without parole sentence. It was Christmas time, and my doorbell rang, we opened the door and we saw a beautiful gilded package with a bow. It said “to mom” and my son is not allowed to send any kind of package from prison and we opened it together and inside was a gorgeous silk jacket and it fit me perfectly, and when I opened the card, it looked like it was in my son’s writing, thanking us for our investment in him, and due to the help of a friend, he was able to get something for me. It is a precious reminder that in the middle of devastating circumstances, God does surprise you with something wonderful.
Odyssey Networks was on the grounds of the Dove Center for an interview with Musri just after his dialogue with Jones. In it, he tells Odyssey why he chose to persuade the pastor through the use of Christ’s own teachings. In addition, Musri offers outspoken criticism of the intense coverage of extremists in all corners of the world and in all religions. The media’s fascination with the fringes of faith has made for misrepresentation and contributed to hostility in both the West and the Muslim world, he says.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole—3D animated adventure in which, after being kidnapped and enslaved by a force of militaristic owls led by a scheming queen (voice of Helen Mirren), a plucky owlet (voice of Jim Sturgess), accompanied by a diminutive fellow captive (voice of Emily Barclay), escapes and embarks on a quest to enlist the help of a legendary group of heroic warrior owls (voiced, among others, by Geoffrey Rush and Sam Neill) to defeat the evildoers. Director Zack Snyder’s visually engaging adaptation of the first three novels in Kathryn Lasky’s popular “Guardians of Ga’Hoole” series of children’s books offers a sound, if somewhat bulky and not overly original, narrative of downtrodden right versus overweening might. But intense scenes of animal combat preclude endorsement for the youngest of this otherwise unobjectionable tale. Also shown in Imax. Strong, though stylized, violence, situations of peril. A-II — adults and adolescents. (PG) 2010
You Again—Grown-ups find it hard to leave the dramas — and traumas — of their teen years behind in director Andy Fickman’s entertaining multigenerational comedy about family, forgiveness, and second chances. A twenty-something ex-geek (Kristen Bell) who has evolved into a self-confident career woman is forced to relive her past horror when she returns home for her brother’s (Jimmy Wolk) wedding, only to discover he is marrying her high school nemesis (Odette Yustman). Similarly, the groom’s mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) has issues with the bride’s aunt (Sigourney Weaver), a student-era best friend-turned-rival. Mild slapstick violence, some double-entendres. A-II — adults and adolescents. (PG) 2010
I’m continuing my adventure through Richard Stearn’s book, The Hole in our Gospel. It is ripping me to shreds, in the best way possible. Every time I read it I want to run outside and knock on doors and wave the book around like a madwoman and say, “Read this! Children are dying! What will you do?!” But since I can’t leave my kids alone in the house and because it’s 10 o’clock at night I’m electronically knocking on your door and I’m virtually waving the book around because children really are dying and I really do wonder what we will do.
Devil—Rapidly fizzling horror entry in which Satan stalks an elevator stuck between floors in a Philadelphia high-rise. Director John Erick Dowdle, working from a story by M. Night Shyamalan, puts reliable scream queen Bojana Novakovic and a handful of other riders with unsavory pasts through some decidedly less-than-scary paces as the Prince of Darkness dispenses some rough justice. Fleeting crude and crass language, dubious, though incidental, use of Catholic imagery. A-III — adults. (PG-13) 2010