January 14, 2012 Leave a comment
Italian police keep protesters out of the Vatican:
‘Occupy the Vatican’?! How silly…
The director of the “Church and Sport” section at the Pontifical Council for the Laity admits that the “Tim Tebow phenomenon” has heightened his interest in the NFL playoffs.
Legionary of Christ Father Kevin Lixey works in the Roman Curia helping the Church make a contribution to the world of sport, with the aim of promoting a sports culture suitable to the integral development of the individual.
ZENIT spoke with Father Lixey about the Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow, after Tebow led his team to an overtime win in last Sunday’s playoff game.
Those familiar with the NFL — and even those who are not — might have heard of Tebow for more than his unique style as a quarterback. His outward expressions of his Christian faith are being talked about by all sorts of commentators, in the world of American football and beyond. Though certainly not the only athlete to publicly express his faith on the field, Tebow is drawing more attention than usual. We asked Father Lixey what he thinks about that.
ZENIT: Do you see Tim Tebow’s public expression of faith as a positive or negative phenomenon? Certainly it is drawing a lot of attention to Christ, in one form or another …
Father Lixey: The hype over Tim Tebow is certainly an interesting phenomenon in an ever more secularized world. I consider it something very positive. Even at the college level, while quarterback for the Florida Gators during the 2009 Bowl Championship Series title contest, Tebow wrote “John 3:16″ on his eye black. The Palm Beach Post reported that 92 million people Googled the verse following the game … impressive!
But, it is not the mere public expression of faith — as Tebow drops a knee to give thanks after a touchdown, or prays with other players who include teammates and opponents after the game — that is attracting people; it is his entire person.
I had the chance to speak with the offensive coordinator who coached Tim at the Florida Gators. He said he was a very unique player who was spiritually on another stratosphere with respect to the rest of the team. Yet, Tim was respected by his teammates because he was genuine. And this is the point I would like to touch on. As one reporter noted (Chuck Klosterman, Dec. 6, 2011): “This, I think, is what makes Tebow so maddening to those who hate him: He refuses to say anything that would validate the suspicion that he’s fake (or naïve or self-righteous or dumb).”
While Tebow certainly sticks out for these external manifestations of his faith, not to mention his unorthodox playing style as an NFL quarterback, his personal background is also not typical for an NFL quarterback. It is a real “Cinderella” story — although those who have to tackle Tim would not consider him a Cinderella.
First of all, Tim Tebow was born in the Philippines to American parents who were serving as Baptist missionaries, as his father is a pastor. His mother, while pregnant, suffered a life-threatening infection and was advised to have an abortion but she decided not to, and both Tim and his mother survived a difficult pregnancy. Another unique aspect is that Tim, like his four older siblings, was home-schooled. Thanks to legislation that was passed in Florida in 1996, home-schooled students were allowed to compete in local high school sporting events.
ZENIT: OK, but does prayer really have a place in football? Surely God doesn’t care about who wins the Super Bowl — or does he?
Father Lixey: Judging from his public statements, Tebow is one of the few and most prominent religious athletes to recognize that God does not care about the score of football games. Tebow considers his missionary and philanthropic work much more important than football, but at the same time, possible, because of it. We all too often equate prayer with only asking good things from God, where prayer is only used “to obtain something” i.e., victory, health, or a miracle. The Catechism reminds us that prayer is also “the raising of one’s mind and heart to God” and that we “we must remember God more often that we draw breath”…
Read it all at Zenit here.
David Bawden, who is also known as Pope Michael, claimed ascendancy to the papacy in 1990. He lives on a farm near Delia where he runs the Annunciation Seminary that has one full-time and one part-time student.
Total lunacy I tell you:
Attired in a black cassock that covered all but the bottom of a pair of red pants and Nike flip-flops, David Bawden on a recent Sunday afternoon reclined on a couch in the living room of his Vatican in Exile, a wooden-frame farm home in southwestern Jackson County, and talked about events that led to what he said was his election as pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
Bawden matter-of-factly reflected on the 21 years that have passed since 1990, when he was voted in as pope by six people who gathered at his parents’ second-hand store in nearby Belvue.
His biggest beef with the Roman Catholic Church, which he said led to his papacy, was its move toward modernism, starting with Vatican II, which included doing away with the traditional Latin Mass.
By now, Bawden has heard the whispers and out-loud criticisms that have come his way since he declared himself the head of the Roman Catholic Church and its 1 billion adherents worldwide.
Yet he remains committed to his papacy, saying it was ordained of God, and that nothing will stop him from being pope…
Bawden in the late 1970s had attended St. Pius X schools but was asked to leave. Despite his efforts to return, he was barred from being a student again.
“There was some infighting in the seminary, and I got in the middle of it,” Bawden said. “I was dismissed because of that.”
While continuing to pursue his vocation, Bawden held fast to his belief that Rome no longer had authority for the Catholic Church, that popes it elected were heretics and therefore the papal position was vacant.
It was Bawden’s belief that if the College of Cardinals wasn’t equipped to elect a pope, the duty fell to laypeople in the church.
Before he staked his claim to the papacy, he outlined his problems with the modern Catholic church in a 1990 book titled “Will the Catholic Church Survive the 20th Century?” He said he wrote the book to appeal to other traditionalists like himself.
After his book was published, he sent notices of an upcoming papal vote to traditionalists around the globe. But only six people showed up for the pivotal vote that took place July 16, 1990.
One was Bawden’s late father, Kennett, who died in 1995. One was his mother, Clara “Tickie” Bawden, 83. One was Bawden himself.
Then there were three others, all of whom, Bawden lamented, since have “fallen away” from the Catholic Church that he leads.
Bawden said he had an inkling he might be voted in as the pontiff that day…
Read on here (if you are so inclined).
Only in Kansas…
At least six people are reported dead after a cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground off Italy.
The Costa Concordia hit a sandbar on Friday evening near the island of Giglio and listed about 20 degrees, after which people tried to reach land in lifeboats or by swimming.
The last 50 people on board are being evacuated by helicopter in a “worsening” situation.
Italians, German, French and British were among the 3,200 passengers.
In addition, 1,000 crew were on board the vessel.
One thousand passengers were Italian, with 500 Germans and 160 French.
The Costa Concordia had sailed earlier on Friday from Civitavecchia port near Rome for a Mediterranean cruise, due to dock in Marseille after calling at ports in Sicily, Sardinia and Spain.
‘Groaning noise’Cabin steward Deodato Ordona says the ship suddenly began to tlt.
Passengers were eating dinner on Friday evening, when they heard a loud bang, and were told that the ship had suffered electrical problems, one passenger told Italy’s Ansa news agency.
“We were having supper when the lights suddenly went out, we heard a boom and a groaning noise, and all the cutlery fell on the floor,” said Luciano Castro.
The 290-metre (950 ft) vessel ran aground, starting taking in water and listing by 20 degrees, the local coast guard said.
Orders were given to abandon ship, Deodato Ordona, a cabin steward on the Costa Concordia, told the BBC.
“We announced a general emergency and took passengers to muster stations,” he said.
“But it is hard to launch the lifeboats, so they moved to the right side of the ship, and they could launch.”
Elderly passengers were crying, said Mr Ordona, adding that he and some others jumped into the sea and swam roughly 400 metres to reach land…
Wikipedia has more on the massive Costa Concordia (the largest ship ever to be built in Italy) here.