Adventist and Catholic News & Views 009 – 28 Feb 2020

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News and commentary on Adventism:

“Illegal” Bibles Confiscated in Raid on Adventist Church in ChinaAdventist Today
In a clamp down on pornography? I think this is religious persecution. But it’s China. We know that.

Israeli/Adventist Archaeologists Discover Rare Canaanite TempleAdventist Today

Wild rabbit
Wild rabbit

Not So Lucky for the RabbitAdventist Today
A rather morbid look at God’s role in us getting what we want or are pleased with, and the implications of assuming he did provide it. I would say things are the way they are because God created them that way. We are all blessed, perhaps with equal blessings, in different ways, and we should be able to thank God for it all. Whether we have a house and car or are the poorest of the poor. The poor have, perhaps, already found what we with houses and cars will only find later.

Coronavirus Outbreak Forces Closure Of Adventist Churches In ItalyAdventist Today
The Catholics are doing it, so why not join in. Pray that this outbreak may be brought under control.

Although Adventist Pharmacy Worker’s Case Declined by Supreme Court, Case Moves Cause of Religious Liberty in the Workplace ForwardAdventist News Network
Patterson v. Walgreens turned down. But some good has come of it. I think Darrell Patterson, the employee, was a bit unreasonable, but I think so was the employer.


News and commentary on Catholicism:

Prevalence-induced concept change in human judgmentScience, 29 Jun 2018
“Why do some social problems seem so intractable? In a series of experiments, we show that people often respond to decreases in the prevalence of a stimulus by expanding their concept of it. When blue dots became rare, participants began to see purple dots as blue; when threatening faces became rare, participants began to see neutral faces as threatening; and when unethical requests became rare, participants began to see innocuous requests as unethical. This “prevalence-induced concept change” occurred even when participants were forewarned about it and even when they were instructed and paid to resist it. Social problems may seem intractable in part because reductions in their prevalence lead people to see more of them.”
– Levari DE, Gilbert DT, Wilson TD, Sievers B, Amodio DM, Wheatley T. Prevalence-induced concept change in human judgment. Science. 2018;360(6396):1465-1467. DOI: 10.1126/science.aap8731

It seems that we broaden our definitions of what we’re looking for when something becomes rare. I’ve seen ethical review committees issue bizarre requests for amendments to research studies when truly unethical problems with studies become rarer, similar to what is described in this article. I think I’ve seen it in the Church as well, so I thought it might be nice to mention this here.
Has this “judgement creep” affected Catholic theology (moral theology or otherwise) in any way, now or over the centuries? Has it affected us as Catholics? Have we started finding fault where there is none, due to the boredom of having been graced with at least 150 years of holy popes and a relatively prosperous Western lifestyle? Or have we started seeing excessive rigidity where there is none, and thus become lax over time?

Pope Francis in the Philippines
Pope Francis in the Philippines

US bishops: Pope Francis talks Fr. James Martin, euthanasia, at private meetingCatholic News Agency
Here it is said that Pope Francis was angry and unhappy about Fr Martin’s activities. Source: anonymous bishops with fairly strong recollections. Strong recollections would be expected if something this controversial caused Pope Francis to be visibly upset in front of the bishops present.

Archbishop Wester responds to recounting of pope’s words about Jesuit Fr. James MartinNational Catholic Register
And here it is said that Pope Francis wasn’t, and that his anger was addressed at other groups. Source: Named bishop with acknowledged poor recollections. If something of this nature had happened, I think it would have stood out and been remembered. Thus, lack of recollection of something so notable is evidence of it not happening. But that makes the other bishops liars, or at least misinterprers. The only way for all to be judged honest is for archbishop Wester to have been napping or distracted at the time. Although he did hear something on the matter. And are bishops always honest?

Second bishop challenges anonymous prelates’ version of papal meetingNational Catholic Register
The plot thickens. This is an internal USA bishop fight, and now nobody knows what really went on between Pope Francis and Fr James Martin.

On the CNA/Martin AffairWhere Peter Is
WPI weighs in on the Fr James Martin / Pope Francis misinformation drama. I no longer see this as a matter of defending Pope Francis against propaganda. It’s now down to two groups of bishops calling each other liars. There is no real Pope Francis vs Fr James Martin side to take. The sides to pick are the two groups of bishops. One’s choice may be swayed by one’s view of Fr Martin, one’s trust of anonymous claims, or other factors.

St John Maron
St John Maron

U.S. Eastern Catholic bishops thank pope for lifting ban on married priestsCrux
That was in 2014.

Bishop Gallaro Appointed New Secretary of the Congregation for the Eastern ChurchesThe Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma
This is 2020. They have an Eastern Catholic secretary again.

Religious Liberty, Neglected by Christendom, Restored in Vatican IIWhere Peter Is
This needs to be heard more.


More in New and Views …

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