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Morning Catholic must-reads: 18/07/13

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

By on Thursday, 18 July 2013

Workers make last-minute preparations at the World Youth Day vigil venue (AP)

Workers make last-minute preparations at the World Youth Day vigil venue (AP)

World Youth Day will boost the Brazilian economy by $220m (£145m, €168m) and create 20,000 jobs, organisers have said.

Pope Francis has confided that his work is not easy in a letter to the country’s president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (full text of letter, video).

Bishops should not cluster parishes as if they are “downsizing a corporation”, Fr Helmut Schüller, head of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, has said during a visit to Boston.

Emma Elliott Freire says that Christians in Brazil are divided over the merits of recent mass street protests.

Fr James Martin SJ explains that the Pope is not actually “offering indulgences in exchange for Twitter followers“.

BBC correspondent David Willey recounts his own dealings with the Vatican bank.

And sand sculptures featuring female curves on Copacabana Beach are being covered up out of respect for the papal visitor next week (video of papal sand sculptures).

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day.

  • NatOns

    ‘And sand sculptures featuring female curves on Copacabana Beachare being covered up out of respect for the papal visitor next week (video of papal sand sculptures).’

    Why?

    I suspect because they are images of the body, not because they are pagan idolising worship of the naked female form. After all, if all religions worship the same god – which after an obscure fashion they all must worship God however perversely – then the Pope must also accept them as they are, engage with their understanding of truth, and get out of the stuffy, prudish, Vatican to make friends of them. But if it is only gender, sexuality and sex .. well, no, no, that would never do, of course .. like all Roman Catholics, I mean to say, the Pope hates – er, ehem – images of naked bodies, writhing humanity, and – ahm, well, you know, oh – sex!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rome_Sistine_Chapel_01.jpg

  • Sara_TMS_again

    The objectification of women is not something to celebrate.

  • Sara_TMS_again

    That article by James Martin actually does not go far enough in explaining what you have to do to get an indulgence. You can’t be in actual sin, and you have to go to confession, as well as following in real time and in a spirit of contrition.

    Having said that, I always thought there was a problem with indulgences for virtual attendance. You can’t fulfil your Mass obligation by watching one on telly, even in real time. There has to be moral presence.

    I can see the idea (to encourage widespread participation by virtual means rather than everyone taking on the expense and destructiveness of a trip around the world), but the canon lawyers should have explained to Francis that it doesn’t actually work in practice in the form implied. They could perhaps give indulgences to people gathered together to follow the proceedings at designated centres and attending a designated Mass.

  • NatOns

    Nor indeed the objectification of men – or children .. or any of God’s creatures, and least of all for the purpose of idolising desire (even of the sexual sort).

    This does not mean the Church must adopt a prudish phobia about human nudity, even in a frankly sexual context; modesty, not scruple, is the aim.

    Fig leaves and clothing have a place in modesty, but of greater importance – for orthodox Catholics – is a witness to Faith .. not politics.

    http://antveral.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/adam-eve.jpg

    Rather, it is the reason for this covering up exercise I puzzle over, not the correct political stance toward the devastation pornography has wrought .. that has to be an absolute negative. In this covering up the Church has a great deal to consider, not least in its wild-eyed expression that all religions worship the same god .. clearly this cannot be so: if the Catholic Faith offers the Truth. Gratification is the only religion many today know, recognise or want, and idolisation of sexual pleasure is its most prevalent form of worship in public and private – outside of winning at sports or spend-spend-spend shopping; this is what binds a great swathe of humanity together and before a transcendent reality, not salvation from Adam’s sin and our own (after all who says Adam really existed .. priests, the Pope?); so how the Catholic Church deals with this particular religion – among so many other religions around us – is a more apt consideration for this covering up of naked bits than the nakedness of the object.

  • paulpriest

    That’s nothing compared with the Catholic Voices attempt to not explain indulgences

    But not as embarrassing as certain Catholic commentators denouncing the media errors – then pretending they knew the subject by speed reading [and misunderstanding] the New Advent entry componded by trying to synthesise Spe Salvi into the mess….the ensuing car-crash of non-catechesis was jaw-dropping.

  • $24570317

    How sculptures of women which look like women can be thought of as the “objectification of women” I cannot imagine.
    It is nothing of the kind.
    If you do not understand the meaning of “the objectification of women”, which seems only too evident, a little research should do you good.