This may be a good day to highlight Collin Garbarino’s argument that the latest Disney princess flick, “Frozen,” is “a better allegory for the Christian gospel than C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” He concedes that if he went that far his colleagues at Houston Baptist University “might run me out of the university on a rail.”
Having seen the movie twice (don’t ask), I can understand where Garbarino’s colleagues might be coming from. But I’ll let it go and move onto other weather-related allegories:
March for Life, huddle for warmth
The 41st annual demonstration against abortion, held in Washington on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, is still going on despite snow on the ground and bitterly cold temperatures. Weather has forced numerous cancellations of busloads of protesters but Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley used the frigid temperatures to rally the protesters at a Mass last night:
Card OMalley homilist. Weather perfect.Colder is is the better our witness Showd we’re serious
— Ann Rodgers (@annrodgerspgh) January 22, 2014
(Yes, Ann clearly misses the copy desk at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but you get her drift)
The Francis Effect, again?
CNN’s Dan Burke catalogued six “surprising changes” in the March for Life, one of them the effort to attract more evangelicals, who, as our own Sarah Pulliam Bailey reported, are strongest against abortion but underrepresented at a demonstration that has always had a very Catholic flavor.
But O’Malley may have signaled an equally important shift as he used his homily at Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and interviews with the media to place the battle against abortion in the context of the church’s other positions, such as poverty and immigration and adoption.
“There’s a consistency in our life ethic,” he said, echoing the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, but mentioning Pope Francis even more to hammer home this theme and the importance of not appearing to be judgmental.
Will it work? As Rocco Palmo noted of last night’s Mass, “compared with the customary vibe in the room, the ovation was palpably tepid.”
Still, they got a boost from O’Malley’s boss:
I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 22, 2014
Nun who fired gay teacher resigns
Both O’Malley and New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan have also insisted that, contrary to what Francis said, the church is not “obsessed” with issues like abortion and gay marriage. But the regular firings of gay church employees would lead the public to believe otherwise – and now one of those firings, a highly-publicized case at a Seattle Catholic school, has prompted the resignation of the nun, Sister Mary Tracy, who fired vice-principal Mark Zmuda.
The pope looks East
Fr. Lombardi, Vatican spox, confirms a papal trip to Korea this Aug. is being studied. Wud be to attend Asian youth gathering
— Catholic News Svc (@CatholicNewsSvc) January 22, 2014
A trip to the Philippines is also under consideration, Lombardi said, but not this year.
The pope looks West
Francis will welcome President Obama to the Vatican in March, and I look at some of the items that may be on their agenda. Patheos’ Catholic blogger, Rebecca Hamilton, wonders if the holy water in the fonts at St. Peter’s will boil dry when the president walks by. Which is obviously the first thing I should have mentioned.
On the other hand, Francis has already lost Colbert – again:
“Out of 1.2 billion Catholics out there, there’s only of one of ‘em that really bothers me. It’s this guy named Frank. I’m so PO’d at this socialist, poor-coddling, gay-not-judging, foot-washing, atheist hugging, audacity of pope.”
Watch in all its glory:
American Judaism’s Asian infusion
Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl grew up as the daughter of a Korean Buddhist immigrant and an American Jew in Tacoma, Washington. Now, at 41, she’s set to lead New York’s historic Central Synagogue – probably the only Asian-American to lead a major U.S. synagogue. The Wall Street Journal has a must-read profile, including her recounting a trip to Israel when she was 16:
“I was kind of an oddity all the time,” she said. Her biggest surprise came when fellow students questioned whether she was actually Jewish, since her mother wasn’t. “It was extremely painful and destabilizing for me,” she said. Still, she came home determined to become a rabbi. “I basically never wavered from that moment.”
Then check out the stuff about her Helen Reddy performance.
Cuts to circumcision insurance?
Yeah, cue the rimshots. But Tablet points to another WSJ story, this one on new research about the utility of routine circumcisions on newborns, which is leading some states to reexamine the once-standard public funding of the procedure.
Glenn Beck confesses
An unexpected mea culpa from a leader of religious conservatives:
“I remember it as an awful lot of fun and that I made an awful lot of mistakes, and I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language,” Beck said of his days on Fox News. “I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart.”
“I didn’t realize how really fragile the people were. I thought we were kind of more in it together.”
Now for the firm purpose of amendment.
RNS has a new favorite ABC
He’s the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby:
Appreciated evening with media groups. Struck by challenge of journalism. Tough job to do. Need to pray for them in their duty to truth.
— Justin Welby (@JustinWelby) January 20, 2014