Saturday, March 30, 2013

In The News

Some interesting reads encountered online recently:

I wonder if it will always be "precedent shattering" every time a new Pope choose a name that hadn't been chosen before. At some point, there had been an Urban I, John Paul I, John I, Benedict I, etc.; why were those choices not considered precedent shattering? (Is there a rule that says no one can choose to be Peter II?)

From "Is There Anything Wrong With Being Over 50 and Pregnant?", Nancy London, co-author of Our Bodies, Ourselves and author of Hot Flashes, Warm Bottles, believes:
that biology is destiny and that a woman who delays childbearing for decades because she has other priorities isn't living in reality...To toss that out the window and say, 'Hey, that's not for me,' and then at 50 to say, 'Oops, forgot to have a baby' - something is not processed in our thinking...And if you meet the love of your life at 50 and the desire to start a family sets in? You can try to adopt. Or 'maybe what you do grieve for your loss and find another way to serve the planet.'"
And later in the same article:
No matter how a child is procured, whether through technology or adoption, her 50-year-old parents have likely gone through some kind of hell - paperwork, blood tests, questionnaires, waiting, visa applications, mood swings, marital discord, and recalibration of expectations - to have her. These are the most wanted of children. And their parents, some would argue, can give them something that the youngest and the prettiest don't have: the wisdom of age and an abiding sense that life is a precious gift not to be wasted.
There's a biological reason to have children when one is younger, but I also consider London's statements when it comes to women - and men - who badly want children and haven't had the opportunity. (Adoption isn't mentioned often enough as a viable alternative.) I believe author correct in that many of the arguments made against older parents are the result of ageism. Perhaps not having biological children is one thing, but that doesn't eliminate adoption as a good way to satisfy the urge of raising a child.

Apparently the Catholic traditionalists are in an uproar over the elevation of Pope Francis, who has proceeded to break with tradition in several unforgivable ways, most recently by washing the feet of two girls, an Italian Catholic and a Serbian Muslim. (I had not known that the "church's liturgical law holds that only men can participate in the rite" because the original 12 apostles were all men, nor had I known that "priests and bishops have routinely petitioned for exemptions to include women, but the law is clear." Yet Francis, being the church's chief lawmaker, in theory can do what he'd like in these regards.)

From the apparent start, things looked bad for the traditionalists, when Francis emerged without the mozzetta, received the cardinals' pledges of obedience not from a chair on a pedestal, but, rather, standing; and calling for an intensified dialogue with Islam, "a gesture that rubs traditionalists the wrong way because they view such a heavy focus on interfaith dialogue as a sign of religious relativism."

I continue to find it disheartening that brute force continues to be viewed as a legitimate means of persuasion and conversion, instead of taking into account the culturally-based development of religion.

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