BY MICHAEL MULLINS
In a blog titled “Playboy Prince needs to grow up”, the London Tablet’s deputy editor Elena Curti has argued that Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun newspaper was correct in breaking ranks with other British newspapers, which had resolved not to invade Prince Harry’s privacy by publishing the Las Vegas nude photos.
Prince Harry has revelled in his image as a loveable rogue, but this time he has gone too far. ... A hedonistic few days in the desert resort culminating in strip billiards with a group of women he has just met is not seemly behaviour for the third in line to the throne. ...
A whole chorus of people, including at least one newspaper editor, have said the nude photos of Prince Harry are an invasion of his privacy. This card was played by St James' Palace in a message to the Press Complaints Commission for newspaper editor.
[However The Sun’s] public interest defence is correct. Prince Harry is nearly 28. He is a senior member of the royal family and has represented the head of state. With his role comes wealth and privilege but also responsibilities. It's about time he took that on board.
Liturgy Lines criticises intinction, which is the method of receiving communion under both kinds in which the host is dipped into the chalice before it is consumed by the communicant. Describing it as “a very complex, choreographed arrangement”, the blog insists:
Intinction is not a fuller sign of a banquet! The Eucharistic sign is not just the bread and the wine; it is eating the bread and drinking the wine together at the Lord’s Table. ... Intinction, as with Communion in the form of bread alone, weakens the Eucharistic sign.
USA Today’s religion blogger Cathy Lynn Grossman summarises responses to the highly symbolic decision of the “most senior Catholic” in the US Cardinal Timothy Dolan to give the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention.
There’s America magazine’s editorial view that it will “damage the church's ability to be a moral and legitimate voice for voiceless” and catholicvote.org’s prediction that “if Mitt Romney wins the White House in 2012 there will be a very healthy relationship between a Romney administration and the US Bishops, led by a close working relationship between Cardinal Dolan and President Romney”.
But a sticking point will be the Republican promise to tax the rich less and reduce social welfare, outlined by Mitt Romney’s running mate, Catholic congressman Paul Ryan.
Robert Jones at the Washington Post’s Figuring Faith blog says it has the “potential to open up a new “religion problem” for the Romney campaign among rank-and-file Catholics”.
Prior to the Ryan pick, the Romney campaign enjoyed a largely supportive relationship with the Catholic bishops. ... Rank-and-file Catholics embrace the idea—rooted in over a century of Catholic social teaching—that it is both appropriate and necessary for the government to play a central role in reducing economic inequality in America.
At the Irish Association of Catholic Priests, there’s a blog about the impact on “Irish Catholic mothers” of the sexual abuse crisis that has devastated the Catholic Church in Ireland. The blog, which merely asks the question, elicits a striking first response from Mary O Vallely:
I know at least two mothers whose sons were abused by clergy and they are shining examples of not letting anything come between them and the love of God. They might have lost faith in the servants but not in God’s goodness. Women can be amazingly resilient and no matter what some weak men do they will continue to love and to give unselfishly of themselves.
Back in Australia, Country Priest has it both ways when he blogs on the Spanish “Fresco fiasco” story in which a well-meaning devout octogenarian woman ruins a mural in her local church when she touches it up.
Cecilia Giménez meant well, and I do feel a little bit sorry for her. She loved her local church’s fresco of the Ecce Homo, which is why she took it on herself to restore the deteriorating portrait. Moreover, once she realised that things had got out of hand, she confessed and apologised. And now she is the laughing stock of the Twitterverse and blogosphere. ... Now having said all that, I also think this story is very funny. It immediately reminded me of that memorable scene in the forgettable Bean movie, and in all fairness, Señora Giménez did to a better job than Mr Bean. And now the Photoshoppers have begun in earnest.
Finally John W at v2catholic blogs on Neil Armstrong, highlighting his family’s reference to “his example of service, accomplishment and modesty”.
The word "modesty" stands out. Not something we associate these days with a hero. A hero, especially a sports hero, is usually someone who pumps their fist in the air at every little point won. Modest people: Pete Sampras, Rod Laver....David Rudisha, Neil Armstrong.
Michael Mullins, founding editor of CathNews, compiles this 'Blog Watcher' column every week.
Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.