Thursday, November 30, 2006

The hottest calendar of the season ...

As everyone knows, a 2007 calendar featuring a variety of photos of Pope Benedict is now selling like hot cakes in Italy. The proceeds go to benefit children in Rwanda. And of course, a Pope posing specifically for such a project is unprecedented.

Apparently, these were selling on ebay for $30-60 (they have a street price of €5) ... now you can order them directly from the publisher in Italy. Details at We Belong to the Lord: You Know You Want the Pope Calendar! [Hat tip American Papist.]

As for me, thanks to my Italian connection (heh. My good friend Paolo in Pisa), I have my own copy that will adorn the wall above the desk next year. Yay Papa Bene! :-)


pram said...

Hi Gashwin

I just stumbled across your blog, dunno where from. I'm a Hindu married to a Mallu Catholic, and we're trying our best to raise a mixed faith household. You know how it can be with us Indians :)

Very very interesting read, your blog. I have a million questions for you, but for now - just this one - how can Catholicism with all its own idols of St. Mary and the pictures of the saints etc honestly say it doesn't indulge in idolatry? To me, both Hinduism and Catholicism seem like polytheistic faiths, with a different set of pantheons. Please don't feel offended, and nor am I here to question the genuineness of your faith. I've tried asking my husband's family this same question, but beyond a "It's just so" type answer haven't got anything. I'm curious to hear your take.

Anyhow, take care!

Gashwin said...

Hey Pram ... thanks for stopping by here and please do ask any questions that you may have!

I don't have much time to respond right now ... just a few points:
1) First of all, yes, from the outside it might appear that the devotion to the saints is similar to Hindu devotional practices and polytheism. However, appearances aren't everything. Christian devotion to the saints is not the same as the worship offered to the One God. (In fact, there are technically three categories of such devotion. latria, or worship, that is due only to God; dulia or veneration, that is given to the saints, (similar to the veneration one gives to living people one admires or resppects) and hyperdulia a special kind of veneration that is reserved for the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin.)

2) This discussion is not really a new one ... there have been iconoclasts in the Christian tradition (most importantly the Iconoclast controversy in the 7th and 8th centuries in Eastern, i.e. Byzantine Christianity.) that have understood the biblical prohibitions against idolatry as applying to images as well. This is the direction that both Judaism and Islam took. It never became a mainstream position in Christianity.

3) I would suggest that you get a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (it should be available at any Catholic bookstore) for your reference for any questions about Catholicism. It's the best compilation of Church teaching out there.

4) Please do drop me an email with all your question and I'll respond as I can!

My best wishes to you and your husband for your marriage and for the commitment to learning about each other's religion as well!

pram said...

Gashwin what's your email id? Mine's pram310 at gmail/yahoo.


Gashwin said...

Oh ,it's in my profile as well. gashwingomes AT hotmail DOT com.