Papa Z's Views and Comments
- Name: David Zampino
- Location: Wisconsin, United States
I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
- The twenty-fifth day of December.
- In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
- the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
- the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
- the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
- the one thousand and thirty-second year from David's being anointed king;
- in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
- in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
- the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
- the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
- the whole world being at peace,
- in the sixth age of the world,
- Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since his conception,
- was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.
- The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
Monday, December 22, 2008
On Friday, December 19th, 2008, the mortal remains of Avery, Cardinal Dulles were committed back to his Maker. As a bit of a tribute, I would like to share with my (up to seven!) readers a small portion of the Cardinal's remarks given shortly after the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. The words are as powerful now as they were then.
. . . As a theologian, I have to recognize that Christian hope never rests on material things. As individuals we try to follow the teaching of Jesus, who reminds us that rust corrodes, moths consume, and thieves break in and steal. Jesus instructs us to build treasure in heaven, the one bank that can never fail. The only thing that counts in the end is whether or not we hear the greeting of the Lord, “Well done, you good and faithful servant.”
Jesus Christ is not only the personal hope for each one of us. He is also the hope of the world. If the world turns away from Him, it goes terribly astray. The pursuit of riches produces massive poverty; the pursuit of freedom begets slavery; and the pursuit of peace ends in destructive violence. But with the strength and generosity that comes from the Lord we can take part in building here on earth what the liturgy calls “a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love, and peace.”
Amen and Amen!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
HAVING LEARNED WITH SADNESS OF THE DEATH OF CARDINAL AVERY DULLES, I OFFER YOU MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES, WHICH I ASK YOU KINDLY TO CONVEY TO HIS FAMILY, HIS CONFRERES IN THE SOCIETY OF JESUS AND THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY OF FORDHAM UNIVERSITY. I JOIN YOU IN COMMENDING THE LATE CARDINAL’S NOBLE SOUL TO GOD, THE FATHER OF MERCIES, WITH IMMENSE GRATITUDE FOR THE DEEP LEARNING, SERENE JUDGMENT AND UNFAILING LOVE OF THE LORD AND HIS CHURCH WHICH MARKED HIS ENTIRE PRIESTLY MINISTRY AND HIS LONG YEARS OF TEACHING AND THEOLOGICAL RESEARCH. AT THE SAME TIME I PRAY THAT HIS CONVINCING PERSONAL TESTIMONY TO THE HARMONY OF FAITH AND REASON WILL CONTINUE TO BEAR FRUIT FOR THE CONVERSION OF MINDS AND HEARTS AND THE PROGRESS OF THE GOSPEL FOR MANY YEARS TO COME. TO ALL WHO MOURN HIM IN THE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION I CORDIALLY IMPART MY APOSTOLIC BLESSING AS A PLEDGE OF CONSOLATION AND PEACE IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Federalist Party -- George Washington and John Adams
Democratic-Republican Party -- Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe
National Republican Party -- John Quincy Adams
Whig Party -- William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and Millard Fillmore. (Technically John Tyler ascended the Presidency as a Whig -- but was kicked out of the party soon after!)
The "modern" Democratic party elected it's first president -- Andrew Jackson -- in 1828. The "modern" Republican party elected it's first president -- Abraham Lincoln -- in 1860. (And in 1864, Lincoln chose for his running mate a Southern Democrat as a sign of national unity! Can you imagine something like that happening today?)
What I'm trying to say is this: so-called "minor" parties have been a part of this great nation for more than 200 years. Frequently, these parties have been "single-issue" parties (like the Prohibition Party or the Greenback Party) but their very presence has brought to the fore issues of national importance which needed to be discussed.
Some have suggested that a proliferation of small parties would necessitate the forming of "minority" or "coalition" governments which would, in fact, find it very difficult to actually govern. They point to examples like Italy, the United Kingdom, or Canada. However, in the Electoral College, the United States is protected from many, if not most, of the difficulties of a more parliamentary system. One person still needs those 270 Electoral Votes to be President! But would it hurt to have other voices heard in our legislatures? Of what are the two big parties afraid?
In the 2008 election, three minor parties qualified for ballot access in enough states to have theoretically reached the magic 270 Electoral Vote threshold:
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate, garnered more than 520,000 votes and appeared on the ballot in at least 45 states.
Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate, garnered more than 180,000 votes and appeared on the ballot in at least 37 states.
Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate, garnered more than 150,000 votes and appeared on the ballot in at least 32 states (and the District of Columbia).
And, of course, Ralph Nader ran as an Independent, garnered more than 690,000 votes and appeared on the ballot in at least 45 states (and the District of Columbia).
These four candidates, each of whom could have THEORETICALLY won the White House due to their ballot access, together accounted for more than 1.5 MILLION votes. Yes, this represents only a bit more than 2% of the ballots cast -- but all four were LEGITIMATE NATIONAL CANDIDATES! Why were they not permitted to participate in the Presidential Debates.
(Please note: my mentioning these candidates and political parties should not be construed as an endorsement of any sort. I'm trying to make a point! Nor am I suggesting that parties or individuals who manage to make the ballot in only a couple of states should be taken particularly seriously. I'm talking about allowing the major players, who represent parties which are at least decades old, to be treated with the legitimacy they deserve.)
How would participation by these other candidates have hurt? The final results of the 2008 election would most likely have remained the same. The number of voters choosing a minor candidate might well have increased -- perhaps even dramatically -- but either the Republicans or the Democrats still would have won. The difference? Legitimate issues, on both the "Right" and the "Left" which were ignored during the campaign would at least have been heard. And perhaps, over time, such legitimate issues may well be addressed by the "Big Two". Such has happened in the United States before! Finally, such exposure might well have resulted in success by the minor National parties on the State and Local level.
Would that be such a bad thing?
Cardinal Dulles was arguably the most significant American theologian of the century, and possibly the foremost ecclesiologist in the world. Indeed, we even used his "Models of the Church" at Oral Roberts University!
I had the great privilege of meeting Cardinal (then Father) Dulles while I was a student at Nashotah House. We had a academic convocation each November, and Fr. Dulles was one of the featured speakers. We had just suffered through an interminable (and awful) address by some retired Episcopal bishop. Fr. Dulles was next. Very diplomatically, very kindly -- and VERY thoroughly, Fr. Dulles absolutely demolished the previous speaker. So thoroughly, in fact, that our Systematic Theology/Liturgy professor at the seminary (who was more sympathetic, I'm afraid, to the heretical bishop than to Fr. Dulles) visibly extremely uncomfortable! It was a joy to behold.
Following the convocation, I had the honor to ride back to the airport with Fr. Dulles. I am most privileged to have in my personal collection several of his books, which he graciously signed for me.
Cardinal Dulles's death will leave an incredible void in theological circles -- and, no doubt, among his Jesuit brothers. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Friday, December 05, 2008
With fraternal affection in the Risen Lord,