Ignoring revelation: 11-21/22-09
FBI's continued popularity: 11-24-09

Taking faith to the streets: 11-23-09

Perhaps you read some of The Kansas City Star's coverage of this past weekend's National Catholic Youth Conference held in Downtown Kansas City.


It attracted more than 20,000 young people from around the country.

I was there Friday morning when this amazing collection of people marched four or five blocks down 14th Street from the Sprint Center to Bartle Hall. That's what you're seeing in the photos here today. (By the way, that's Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in the photo on the left.)

What struck me as I merged into the moving mass (Mass?) of humanity was simply that here was a group of people giving public notice that their faith is important and that along with all the secular things that happen on the streets of a major city's downtown, perhaps it is worth remember that religion also has a voice in the public square.

At times on Friday morning, that voice was represented by a small group within the large group -- a small group singing "Amazing Grace" as its members walked along.


Religious traditions enrich our society in countless ways, and sometimes a good way to remind people of that is simply to arrange to fill the streets with human beings who want people to know that their faith is vital to them. Oh, I know, these were kids, and some of them perhaps were just along for the fun of getting out of their cities. And no doubt a few of them got into various kinds of trouble while they were here. Hey, they're human.

Nonetheless, they were willing to join together in a way that could not be missed, a way that put everyone on notice that the voice of faith has something to add to the public discourse.

And good for them.


* * *


Speaking of things Catholic, Pope Benedict XVI and the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, met briefly at the Vatican this past weekend. The purpose was so Williams could complain a bit to the pope about the Vatican's recent announcement that it was setting up certain church structures to allow disaffected Anglicans to become Catholic, all the while keeping their Anglican rituals. It was a surprise announcement to Williams, and he made sure the pontiff knew he wasn't pleased. This strikes me as one more example of this pope not having a good grasp of how his actions and/or words will be taken before he does or says them.


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