In Laurence Cossé's A
Corner of the Veil, a French novel translated into English in 1999, a
society of priests known as the Casuists come upon the proof of the existence
of God. (The proof is a document mailed to the editor of the society's
magazine, a point of fact that endeared the book to me right away, since I open
the Century's mail.)
Why are wars so common given that they are so destructive? When they are so rarely won? When they are so often fought for reasons that turn out to be lies? When they invariably bring out the worst in human brutality? How do individuals and societies recover from such destruction and mendacity?
I was the only woman in a seminary course on negative theology. One day, a young man raised his hand and asked, “What about an ordinary housewife? How could a person like that live this life of prayer?”
Evidence is mounting that some Russian Orthodox clergy have been aiding the efforts of pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine. One pro-Ukrainian editor charged that priests at an Orthodox church in Slovyansk, Ukraine, blessed the rebel fighters and let the rebels store ammunition on church property. Patriarch Kirill I, head of the Orthodox Church based in Moscow, suggested that the Ukrainian military actions against the Russian-backed rebels is an attempt to “overpower the canonical Orthodox Church.” The rebels temporarily took over a large Protestant church and murdered four evangelicals who belonged to another church in town (New York Times, September 6).