COMMENTARY: Who sets the church’s agenda if not the world?

c. 1999 Religion News Service (Eugene Kennedy, a longtime observer of the Roman Catholic Church, is professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and author most recently of”My Brother Joseph,”published by St. Martin’s Press.) UNDATED _ An influential Roman Catholic bishop recently told a symposium audience that”we cannot allow the world to set the agenda for the church.” This prelate spoke as if such tough-love theological shorthand expresses the true sentiments of Vatican Council II. It is shorthand, but it is not theology, for his intention was to call back to life an ungodly trinity of notions entombed longer than Lazarus.

NEWS FEATURE: Catholics to honor relics of St. Therese during U.S. tour

c. 1999 Religion News Service UNDATED _ The bones of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower of the Roman Catholic Church, are making their first trip to the United States more than a century after her death, and the visit is stirring new interest in devotion to religious relics. A part of church tradition from its earliest days, the veneration of relics is considered passe by many American Catholics. But organizers expect millions to view the remains of the French nun who died in a convent at age 24 and is considered the most popular saint of this century.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 1999 Religion News Service Record numbers turn out for controversial New York exhibit (RNS) A controversial art exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, which has been criticized by New York’s mayor as being offensive to religion, opened Saturday (Oct. 2) to record crowds. The long lines continued through the weekend at the exhibit that includes a painting titled”The Holy Virgin Mary,”which includes a clump of elephant dung and cutouts from pornographic magazines. Cardinal John O’Connor, leader of the New York Catholic Archdiocese, thanked Catholics who had written letters of protest about the painting, the Associated Press reported.”This is our Blessed Mother,”he said in a Sunday morning sermon at St.