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Responsible Faith
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Broaden the depth and scope of the themes developed in the reflections in my memoir and respond to current social issues from a faith perspective.
Broaden the depth and scope of the themes developed in the reflections in my memoir and respond to current social issues from a faith perspective.

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Latest blog, The Gospel of Good Stewardship

The more I read and researched the faith community’s involvement as advocates for saving our planet, the more I was impressed, and encouraged by how much impact their commitment has had locally, nationally and internationally. It became apparent to me that scientists cannot make changes in global warming alone. They supply the empirical data that we base our judgments on as to whether or not our earth is in peril, and if we are responsible for its condition. The faith based leaders provide the theological underpinning based on a belief that we all are “stewards of creation”. 
 
Another surprise for me was that despite the diverse traditions and beliefs the major religious communities have, they are able to work together on their common concern for creation. Abortion, gay marriages etc. seemed to pale in comparison to their mutual concern for our responsibility for the future of mother earth. In this commentary, I will focus on the contributions of Popes John Paul and Benedict, and the catholic bishops in confronting the dangers of Global climate change. In a future commentary I’ll provide an ecumenical view of how the various faith communities are working together to preserve planet earth for future generations. 

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Would like to share my latest blog about Global Warming... check it out, very in-depth.

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Latest Blog! Check it out now, and read more: http://bit.ly/10H9TBI
“Are you a global warming skeptic? There are plenty of good reasons why you might be.” Richard Muller, a physicist and ex-card carrying contrarian got my attention with that  opening line in an article he wrote for the Wall Street Journal, entitled The Case Against Global Warming Skepticism: There Were Good Reasons for Doubt, Until Now. [LINK] He goes on to list a number of reasons why he wouldn’t be surprised if you answered yes to his question and even suggests that “…global warming skepticism seems sensible.”  He spends the rest of the article providing reasons to convince the deniers (a fancy word for disbelievers) that his two year study at the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project proves that Global Warming is real, and that humans are the major contributors. He hopes that the results of his research will “…cool this portion of the climate debate.” 

In this commentary I plan to: give my opinion of why the dangers of global warming seems to be such a hard sell to the “person on the street”;  provide resources that I found helpful in coming to the conclusion that global warming is real and that we have to take responsibility for our part in taking our environment for granted;  how we can be part of the solution by being more accountable for how we buy and dispose products as consumers; and how we can participate with organizations that are already “fighting the good fight” to save Mother Earth.
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The Coming Climate Catastrophe
I just flashed back to the 1940ies, when if a news story broke between the time the morning paper and evening paper were published, there would be a special addition of the paper. If you happened to be downtown, you’d see and hear paperboys in their corduroy knickers and wool caps, waiving papers with large headlines, like JAPANESE BOMB PEARL HARBOR. To get your attention that something important happened, they’d yell at the top of their voices, Extra! Extra! Read all about it!Well, Stop the Press, I’m breaking into the commentary I was writing, because I am concerned with several issues that aren’t actually new, but have irrupted to a new level recently and need to be addressed as breaking news, on climate change and global warming.My hope is that I can provide you with enough information to realize at an intellectual and emotional level, that we are not winning the climate change and global warming battle, and encourage you to put these issues of environmental justice on the same level for change, as we do social justice.

I believe that each of us has a responsibility to learn everything we can about climate change and global warming, so we can become part of the solution, not as scientists but as followers of Jesus. I believe Jesus would be leading the way to save Mother Earth, if his earthly ministry were during the 21st Century. This commentary will provide basic scientific knowledge for us to be informed advocates for future generations.

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The Creeping Culture of Consumerism
Blog from Dr. Don Fausel for December 2012
http://responsiblefaith.com/about/blog/creeping-culture-consumerism/

I remember reading an article in the Catholic Worker written by Dorothy Day sometime in the early 1950ies. In her inimitable style she paraphrased Luke 2:1 “…a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census be taken of all who inhabited earth.” Her version was “… a decree went out from Macy’s, and Wal-Mart and Sears, that the whole world should do their Christmas shopping.” I substituted Wal-Mart and Sears because the other two department stores she mentioned are no longer in business.

Although she was just applying consumerism to Christmas, I believe she was a prophet of the creeping culture of consumerism that has in recent years taken over our society. This commentary will consider consumerism and its underlying philosophy as it’s grown beyond the season of Christmas. I believe consumerism is a symptom of our value system. In a future commentary I will suggest ways of moving from a society based on consumerism to what has been called a Society of Sustainability. If we can’t change the world—at least we can change ourselves!
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Humpty Dumpty Had A Great Fall...
Blog from Dr. Don Fausel for November 2012
http://responsiblefaith.com/about/blog/humpty-dumpty-had-great-fall/

I'm not sure why, but as I was thinking about a title for this commentary, one of my childhood nursery rhymes Humpty Dumpty popped into my head. It was almost as if I were having a mystical experience. But why Humpty Dumpty I thought? What does he have to do with despair or hopelessness for reform in the Church? Then I remembered as kindergartener I could never figure out why Humpty fell off the wall in the first place. Did someone push him or was it his own fault that he fell, and why couldn't they ever put him together again?

Then in my adult mind it dawned on me, perhaps Humpty Dumpty is an analogy for the situation the Catholic Church is in. There are many who believe the church is at a breaking point or already has "had a great fall" and can't be put together again. An increasing number of us no longer have the energy to "fight the good fight", and are ready to admit defeat, and move on. The question is, can Humpty Dumpty be put together again? This commentary will consider whether the hopefulness for renewal in the Church that I covered in my last commentary, makes me a Cockeyed Optimist, like the song in the Broadway musical, by Rodgers and Hammerstein, South Pacific. Or is it time to join the increasing numbers of what Tom Roberts calls 'had it' Catholics?

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The Hierarchy and the Lowerarchy

In Obedience to Authority and Loyal Dissent I indicated that in my next posting, I would share my viewpoint on how the governing structure of the Church has been dysfunctional and how that affects the People of God.  Briefly, my fundamental belief is that the majority of the problems the Church has experienced both pre and post, Vatican II, are rooted in its ancient and absolute monarchial governance.  As a first step, the very least the hierarchy needs to consider is a bona fide agreement  to acknowledge and operationalize the sensus fidelium’s (the sense or mind of the faithful) lawful right to participate in decisions on faith and morals. This needs to be a sine qua non, otherwise there will be little chance for reform or renewal, accept as the sensus fidelium is defined by the Vatican.

In this commentary I will provide background information on the legitimacy of the sensus fidelium;  and of how the hierarchy has consistently ignored the mind of the people; and how an egalitarian dialogue is an essential component for change. I will also provide information on a promising document approved by the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, which supports the role of the faithful; plus statements by high ranking members of the hierarchy who don’t go along with the party line.
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My Calling to the Clerical Culture

I’d like to share some anecdotal information that I personally experienced both as a seminarian and priest, who became part of the clerical culture. There certainly were “benefits” but there was also a price to pay for being put on a pedestal by parishioners as well as people outside the Catholic Church, who had some unrealistic images of anyone who wore a Roman collar. I’m not suggesting that my experiences represent the majority of those who were ordained in pre-Vatican II, but I think my experiences can resonate with others who were ordained during that period of time, and for those who are interested, they can vicariously identify with the dynamics of becoming part of the clerical culture.

In my next commentary, I will move from my personal experiences as a former “cleric”, and consider the concept of the clerical culture from an institutional, sociological, and psychological perspective. I will first examine the abuse of—and—and addiction to power in the Catholic Church, from the Vatican on down. Second, how the perpetuation of clerical culture has contributed to the sexual abuse of children. Finally, I will propose how I believe that we, the people of God can begin to change this elitist culture of clericalism.

Read on to see the rest....
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