Author Alice McDermott believes the Catholic Church is in need of transformative change

first_imgMaeve Filbin | The Observer Author Alice McDermott appears at the annual Christian Culture Lecture to discuss her writing, the Catholic Church and her sometimes complicated relationship with her own Catholicism.When asked to reflect on this sentiment in light of the growing number of allegations of sexual abuse with the Catholic clergy, McDermott said it is imperative these accusations remain part of the conversation.“We can’t not talk about this,” McDermott said. “You know, a few years ago, I would talk to Catholic groups and [they would say], ‘Oh, do you have to bring that up?’ And I think we must. As a matter of fact, this is really what I’m going to end up talking about tonight.”To turn away from the controversies of the Church and allow things to go on as they always have would be an overturning of everything Catholics believe, McDermott said.“You know, as Christians, we believe that pain and suffering is transformative,” she said. “The Church is in a lot of pain now and has caused a lot of suffering and the people of the Church are suffering. I think because of the degree of pain that the Church is in and that the Church has caused, redemption — which means change, transformative change — is absolutely necessary. And the Church is not so bad, you know, they can do it. We can do it.”McDermott said she understands why young people have left and continue to leave the Catholic Church, as it is challenging to remain in the midst of such spiritual and social turmoil.“A friend of mine said, ‘It’s a wonderful time to be Catholic because either we’re seeing the end of the Church or we’re seeing the beginning of a new church,’” McDermott said, “But we’re seeing something.”In the same conversation with “Image Journal,” McDermott said the ultimate undoing of the Catholic Church will be its attitude towards the ordination of women. Further expounding upon this belief, she said life as a woman of the Catholic Church, a historically male institution, can be a challenge.“A few years ago, you could say, ‘Oh, we can be patient,’” McDermott said. “But I think the times call for us all to raise our voices. It’s the 21st century.”Church leaders tend to explain the role of women in the Church in terms of custom, McDermott said.“They’ll pull out stupid things like, ‘Well there were no women at the Last Supper,’” McDermott said. “Number one, you don’t know that, because only the men were taking notes. And Christianity didn’t begin with the Last Supper, Christianity began with the resurrection and the first person to know that Christ was risen was a woman. Now, if you believe in this faith, nothing’s arbitrary. It’s what makes … the story of Christ’s life such a good novel, because there are no superfluous details.”Ultimately, McDermott said, excluding women from ordination is a form of prejudice.“It’s saying that someone of the opposite gender is less than,” McDermott said. “I think about what it would mean for the young people in the Church, for the women in the Church, and I think, for the body of Christ as a whole, for the Church to say, ‘Oh yeah, everybody is welcome.’ Isn’t that what Christ said?”The ordination of women — and perhaps other sources of necessary redemptive evolution — could give the Catholic Church a fresh start, McDermott said.“What a way to renew,” McDermott said. “What a wonderful thing to come out of the tremendous suffering that we’re going through right now.”McDermott said she explores the theme of rebellion within the faith in “The Ninth Hour“ and her other works. As “The Ninth Hour“ is her eighth published novel, McDermott holds years of creative writing experience.Growing up with two talkative brothers who would later become lawyers, McDermott said she rarely got a chance to contribute in conversation, and instead turned to writing.“As a kid, you look for way to take control of the world,” McDermott said. “You draw pictures, or you sing songs or you get good at some niche sport. For me, it was writing — it was always just using the written word. So, it was always there for me.”McDermott said some life-changing professors recognized her talent and let her know “what [she] had to say was worth hearing,” encouraging her to pursue her passion.When giving advice to aspiring student writers, McDermott said she encourages them to identify the same passion within themselves.“It’s sort of tongue-in-cheek and sort of not,” she said. “I tell students the best piece of advice is, if you can do anything else, do it. I mean, especially in the literary world, as in any of the arts, if you don’t feel that the art that you practice is absolutely necessary, if you’re doing it for some reward, rather than because you believe it’s necessary, you’re headed in the wrong direction.”With the right momentum, McDermott said, students can find success in their writing.“If you do feel, ‘I must do this,’ you’ll do it,” she said. “Trust me, it will happen. It always does. I’ve been teaching a long time. It always does. If that is there … then you should write all the time and you should read everything.”Tags: Alice McDermott, Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal, Catholicism, Christian Culture Lecture, The Ninth Hour, women in the Church In her novel, “The Ninth Hour,” award-winning author and professor Alice McDermott explores the Catholic faith through the lens of multiple generations of women, telling the story of a young widow, her daughter and the group of religious sisters who care for them. Before appearing at Thursday’s Christian Culture Lecture to discuss her written works, McDermott reflected on her own Catholicism and her relationship with the Church.In an interview with “Image Journal,” McDermott said “[she sees] the Church not as something that can evolve, but something that must evolve.”last_img read more

Tegal Council deputy speaker named suspect for holding crowded concert

first_imgHowever, Rita said Wasman would not be detained. “We have already prepared a warrant for the suspect and will summon him on Wednesday. He is only obliged to report regularly to the police while waiting for the legal proceedings to begin,” she said.Wasmad held the concert at a field in South Tegal last Wednesday to celebrate a marriage and a circumcision in his family.On Saturday, South Tegal Police chief Joeharno was dismissed from his position for allowing the event to proceed. (trn)Topics : “Fifteen witnesses and several experts have been questioned during the investigation,” Rita said, adding that criminal, health and linguistic experts had taken part in the process.Read also: South Tegal Police chief dismissed after allowing lawmaker to hold dangdut concertPolice also confiscated seven pieces of evidence, including permits issued by South Tegal Police and a DVD recording of the event. Tegal Police in Central Java named Tegal Council Deputy Speaker Wasmad Edi Susilo a suspect on Monday for holding a crowded dangdut concert last week in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions. “After conducting an investigation, we have decided to name Wasmad Edi Susilo a suspect,” Tegal Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Rita Wulandari Wibowo said on Monday, as quoted by tribunnews.com.Rita said Wasmad had failed to adhere to health protocol during the event and disregarded warnings from the authorities. He was therefore charged under Article 93 of the 2018 Health Quarantine Law in conjunction with articles 216 and 65 of the Criminal Code, which carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison.last_img read more

See how Western Michigan students tailgate

first_imgJosh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerAdvertisementThis is placeholder textEveryone we spoke with recommended we go to Lot 105, where the students were — the spot where the rules from the signs actually needed to be enforced. There, we found an upbeat tailgate scene.Western Michigan’s Chief of Police Scott Merlo oversaw Lot 105. Standing at the entrance of the lot, Merlo scanned the waves of students, some of whom appeared intoxicated, behind dark wrap-around sunglasses.Merlo and his group of officers monitored the entrance to the lot to check students’ backpacks before they enter the blocked off area. But they didn’t search for beer or alcohol. Students with cases of Natural Light and Budweiser strolled in without a second look.All the officials cared about was glass, Merlo said. In past years, the student section of tailgates would end up littered with shards of smashed bottles. It drove the landscaping and clean crews nuts.“No glass,” Merlo said. “So that’s what we do. Sometimes people show up and, you know, they’ve got a big bag of marijuana. It happens.”Beyond Merlo, the students got raucous. Pickup truck beds were full of people. Folding tables with mirrored pyramids of red Solo cups bracketed the trucks.Out of the back of SUVs, some students grilled and sold hot dogs or burgers to their fellow partiers. One student stepped on top of a car and shotgunned a beer.Before Lot 105, Merlo said, students used to tailgate at the track kitty corner to Waldo Stadium. Merlo used to work for the city of Kalamazoo’s Department of Public Safety, where there was a long-held zero-tolerance policy.“Man we’d write tickets, zero tolerance, MIPs, excessive noise, open intoxication,” Merlo said. “Hammer, hammer, hammer.“And then there was just a huge conflict.”Now, Lot 105 is the preordained tailgate spot for students, allowing for oversight and a space for the students to enjoy themselves.When students walked up with a bag, there wasn’t animosity. Officers were friendly, and the tailgaters readily presented the contents of their bags before entry. When they did have glass, there was a dumpster at the entrance.On the far side of the of the lot sat a rehabilitation tent staffed by paramedics ready for anyone who had too much to drink or was overcome by the heat. Usually 10 or 15 students visit the tent on any given gameday, Merlo said.“It’s actually kind of fun,” Merlo said. “We haven’t had any issues. I’ll walk through here and everyone’s decent, having a good time.” Approaching Heritage Hall at Western Michigan about three hours before game time, there wasn’t much to see. We followed a sign that read, “Stampede this way,” but didn’t find a collection of Broncos.Instead there was another sign with tailgate rules: Kegs and bottles were prohibited. Fans aren’t allowed to bring their own furniture.A group of WMU alumni — some of whom played in the marching band — suggested the tailgate scene was tame because it was Friday. The fans, in what wound up being the adult section of the tailgating scene, glorified playing Syracuse. It’s not every day a Mid-American Conference teams host a Power 5 school. Photos by Staff Photographer Josh Shub-Seltzer Commentscenter_img Published on September 3, 2018 at 9:45 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more