Monday, October 12, 2009

US bishops say...


US Bishops Congratulate Obama


WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 12, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. episcopal conference, issued a statement today to congratulate President Barack Obama on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

"In the name of the Catholic Bishops of the United States," the cardinal stated, "I would like to offer congratulations to President Barack Obama on his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize."

The Nobel Committee announced Obama's win Friday.

Cardinal George continued: "As he has graciously said, much of the work of realizing a more peaceful and just world for all persons and nations remains to be done; but the prize was given because as President of the United States he has already changed the international conversation.

"In our own country, the remarkable and historic achievement of his election has changed the relationships between men and women of all races. The rich diversity of United States society is now more surely anchored in a national unity that is better able to foster the peace we all are challenged to pursue. Our prayer is that almighty God will bless the president and his family."

-- From Zenit

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."