15 days in Rome: how Jorge Bergoglio became pope

The Wall Street Journal has just published an e-book on the papal election, and there’s a fascinating excerpt in today’s paper: On March 5, after a long day of speeches at the Congregation, a group of cardinals arrived at the Pontifical North American College under the cover of night and were directed through long quiet [Read More…]

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RIP, Jonathan Winters

I don’t know what to make of a world in which I exclaim, “Oh no!  Jonathan Winters died!” and most of the people in the office reply: “Who?” I’m getting old. The man was a tortured genius who battled depression and alcoholism. But he was blessed with a boundless imagination.  From his obit:   Jonathan Winters, [Read More…]

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Idiotic argument of the week: the real cause of the Gosnell horror was the pro-life movement

While the shocking details of the Kermit Gosnell trial continue to seep out — and the national media averts its gaze — people are asking how it happened in the first place. NARAL has a convenient answer: So why did women go to his clinic? Why not choose a legitimate, reputable provider of abortion care? [Read More…]

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Bishop vs. bishop over gay marriage and communion

From Sunday:  Catholic Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit said on Sunday that Catholics who support gay marriage yet take the sacrament of Communion are contradicting themselves, echoing recent calls from a religious scholar for supporters of gay marriage to withdraw from taking the Eucharist. According to the Detroit Free Press, Archbishop Vigneron said that Catholics who support [Read More…]

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Cardinal Kasper: Pope is launching a “new phase” of Vatican II

John  Thavis takes note:  Cardinal Walter Kasper has an important piece in today’s Osservatore Romano, saying that Pope Francis, with his focus on poverty and social justice issues, has launched a new phase of implementation of the Second Vatican Council. Cardinal Kasper makes a strong argument that the council’s journey of renewal is not over and [Read More…]

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Pope Francis and the reform of the laity

Some insight into the pope’s mindset from Fr. Roger Landry in the National Catholic Register:  The reform of the Church already evident in the words and witness of Pope Francis may be starting, but it won’t be stopping at the revamping of the Vatican Curia and the renewal of the clergy. It also will involve [Read More…]

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Advice to seminarians: “About that sermon, keep it short…”

This is some sage advice from a Lutheran minister in First Things: First: Sheep have teeth and some of them bite. Try not to internalize it or take it personally. Some of them will bite any shepherd and you are merely the latest target of convenience. Treat them respectfully but cautiously, remembering what you share with [Read More…]

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A priest writes: “This is why I wear a collar…”

A couple years ago, when he was a mere seminarian, my blog neighbor Fr. Michael Duffy wrote passionately about how the collar is “yoke and witness” to his life and his vocation. Now another priest,  Father Chris Pietraszko, has sounded a similar chord, and I think it’s something people need to be reminded of: This is [Read More…]

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Making a big stink: man sues his bishop for failing to exorcise flatulent demons

Details:  A Romanian lawyer is suing his local Orthodox bishop and four priests claiming they failed to properly exorcise flatulent demons that were forcing him out of his home. Madalin Ciculescu, 34, accused the five of fraud after they turned up several times to exercise the demons which were responsible for the bad smells that were ruining [Read More…]

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The movie producer in a collar

Who knew? Details:  No sooner had Eric Andrews arrived on the set of “The Lost Valentine,” a 2011 Hallmark Channel movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Betty White, when his neckwear attracted attention. “People are looking at me, and trying to figure out who I was,” he said. “One of the actors came up and [Read More…]

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