Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Another old friend passed away this weekend.
Fr.Javier Tena, long time pastor of the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Via Aurelia in Rome and later assistant of Santa Maria de Betania in the Almagro barrio of Buenos Aires. A simple, kind and soft spoken priest who suffered through constant illness during the last years of his life.
He was a history buff and loved journals, photos and historical accounts of our congregation's past. He will be remembered for his kindness and his patience toward all who happened to knock on the church door.
Requiescat in pace.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Quite a bit of discussion has been generated in the blogosphere about the forced conversion to Islam of the Fox News reporters, Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, during their kidnapping in Gaza. All kinds of opinions out there: from disgust at the lack of backbone and conviction that a gunpoint conversion suggests, to applause and pride at the eloquent lesson of peaceful dialogue and religious openness given by the reporters.
I'm still waiting for Fox's resident theologian and pastoral guru, J.Morris, to illuminate us with a commentary on this incident involving his newsroom companions. I wonder how this topic escaped his notice...
Some of the blogs and message boards pass judgement on these two guys. Someone suggested to me that if the situation had been reversed - two Muslims held captive by Christians urging conversion - the result would have been deceased Muslims and not Christian converts.
A subjective judgement on the reporters' actions is neither possible, nor is it the point. Who really knows what their religious convictions - if they have any - are? Who knows how their thoughts on truth, meaning, freedom and life itself are defined or related to their behaviour as kidnapped hostages in Gaza?
A question all of us can ask goes beyond what happened inside these two guys. Is there anything (anyone?) worth dying for? Is this life, as we know it, worth holding on to at any cost? Can a person find something bigger and better than self which gives meaning to life and, without which, life would no longer be worth living?
Answering those questions could be important for all of us... even before there's a gun at our heads.