Suffer the little children
At last year's Easter egg hunt at a church in Daytona Beach, Florida, several children were injured as they approached a huge pile of plastic eggs containing candy and Bible verses.
To make sure their own kids got their "fair share," some parents rushed in and trampled many of the other children. Said one observer: "This isn't an Easter egg hunt; it's an Easter egg massacre." (Chicago Reader, May 15, 1998)
German theologian Jurgen Moltmann would like to revive the medieval custom of the Easter laughter in churches. Moltmann says in the Middle Ages congregations told jokes and had other fun during the Easter liturgy.
"The Easter laughter was a reaction to the wholly unexpected, complete `reversal of all things.' God had brought this reversal about by raising Christ, who had been crucified by the powers of this world.
"The laughter about this `reversal,' which has already taken hold in the community of the risen Christ, will one day sound through the whole universe when the universe will be resurrected ... The expectation was for cosmic death, but what comes is eternal life. If that is no reason to laugh!" (Publik-Forum, January 1998)
"A group of 13- and 14-year-old girls were about to join me in a Holy Week reenactment of the Last Supper at Misericordia House for Girls in Lima, Peru," recalls Father Peter Byrne, M.M. (Maryknoll, February 1998).
"We were all dressed for our parts when the sister in charge came by to give the disciples a last look. Some of the girls had on a little lipstick, and Sister, rubbing their mouths with tissue paper, reminded them that Jesus' disciples did not wear lipstick.
"But after Sister left, one of the girls came over to me and said, `Father, please remind Sister those early disciples of Jesus weren't teenage girls!"
Saint Paul in trouble
An unnamed reader sent "A Notification Concerning the Writings of Saint Paul of Tarsus" to the Tablet (Jan. 2, 1999). Apparently, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has found some "grave errors" in the writings of this ancient theologian.
The Notification expresses concerns about the apostle's assertion in his Letter to the Galatians that "there can be neither male nor female--for you are all one in Christ Jesus." This, the document says, "is based on a grossly mistaken anthropology."
In addition to such serious doctrinal issues, the congregation also points out that Paul has been seriously at odds with Pope Saint Peter, as reported in the Acts of the Apostles. …