It is Good Friday, which sounds paradoxical since this day recalls the crucifixion of Jesus. Explanations vary for the term’s origins, but the import of the day is clear, and taken to extremes in the Philippines, where some people are still nailed to a cross in a form of popular devotion that the Catholic Church can’t seem to quash.
Another popular devotion that seems hard to quash: why the Bible’s bad guys – namely Satan – always seem to be dark-skinned. Our own Adelle Banks asks why.
And if you don’t like the New Testament, there’s a “New New Testament” with some stuff from the cutting room floor pasted back in. (And what was wrong with the Old Testament again?)
Another paradox: Pope Francis turned the foot-washing rite of Holy Thursday into another statement by washing the feet to juvenile offenders at a suburban Rome detention center, two of them Muslims and two of them women. That has many uber-Catholic Traditionalists fuming at the new leader of their church.
I am a young, recently ordained priest. Tonight, I planned on preaching about the Eucharist and the institution of the priesthood.
How can I speak about such things – the self-offering of Christ, the 12 viri selecti – when our Holy Father is witnessing to something different?
I feel like going up to the congregation and saying, “I don’t have any idea what the symbolism of the washing of the feet is. Why don’t we just all do what we want.”
How hard this is for young priests.
Never mind the other SJ teams that are already out. Such is March Madness.
How about “Lent Madness”? The Episcopal Church has it, and we have the winning saint – anyone remember Frances Perkins? You should.
As Lent ends, the New York Times asks a number of writers to weigh in: “What Is the Purpose of Lent?”
A most unlikely redemption story: former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey. But the Star-Ledger’s Brian Donohue, who followed McGreevey’s statehouse career with a jaundiced eye, is a believer.
The Hindu festival of Holi is also starting, and Reuters has a story and lovely photo gallery on this colorful rite of spring.
The tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is making condoms available at all monastic schools in a bid to stem the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV among young monks who are supposed to be celibate.
Then there’s Boston College, which is trying to stop the distribution of condoms by students.
Seems like an opportunity for synergy someplace.
Anti-atheist discrimination at the Post Office?! Mark Silk investigates…
A good weekend to one and all, and if you enjoy this daily Religion News Roundup send it to friends and family – they just need to load their email address in the box below. No cost, no hassle.