Fr. Williams and the Grind of Celibacy

They say you know you’re getting old when cops start looking like kids. I say you catch your first whiff of your own grave-dirt when priests start looking like kids. This first occurred to me two years ago, when I attended an ordination ceremony for three new priests of the Diocese of Phoenix. One, whom [Read More…]

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Fair Play for the Girl Scouts!

A friend of mine, actually one of my old parish’s most accomplished busybodies, once talked her way into the hotel room of a 1950’s rock guitarist when he was performing in the Phoenix area. Her goal — her sole goal — was to get the legend’s autograph for a friend of hers. After sizing my [Read More…]

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Sendak’s Not-so-Wild Things

Researching last week’s piece on tattooing revived somewhat my old interest in Polynesian culture. With no pig to stick or roast, I had to indulge my enthusiasm the virtual way — by watching a YouTube clip in which a mixed group of Maoris performs a war chant. The effect was suitably horrifying. The performers managed [Read More…]

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Life After Sex?

Yesterday, at the Crescat blog, Katrina Fernandez wrote that nobody has ever died from not having sex. Initially, her statement struck me as a bit reductive. No, the body doesn’t need sex in the same way it needs food and water, but it does appreciate sex — so much so that it’ll thank people for [Read More…]

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In Defense of Tattoos

Several years ago, a friend of mine covered his enormous tricep with a portrait of his parents. On the whole, it was a good tattoo, even if the black-and-white fine-line work did resemble a style popular among inmates of Arizona’s state penitentiaries. For some reason, he’d had it superimposed on an older, cruder piece — [Read More…]

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Mark Shea and the Gay Saint

Mark Shea’s May 1 column, the one in which he informally canonizes the late Perry Lorenzo, might not qualify as a revolutionary act. But it will, I think, represent something — a subtle but important tonal shift in the intra-Church conversation on homosexuality. If Mark himself doubted his column represented something new, he probably wouldn’t [Read More…]

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A Confession About Confessions

It’s a shame I wasn’t in a church with an open confessional last Saturday. I would very much like to have seen the look on the priest’s face when I told him, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been…oh, about 15 minutes since my last confession.” It’s not that I’d committed any fresh [Read More…]

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The Best Hippy-Dippy Catholic Movie Ever

A naked blonde lies staked to the ground, straddled by a man who means to insult her, in the Victorian sense of the word. Gulping back terror, she warns her assailant that if he goes through with his plan, she’ll make sure he goes to jail for the rest of his life. Even in her [Read More…]

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The Prophecy of Sister Laurie

Many observers have a hard time believing that the LCWR really was “stunned,” as it has claimed, by the results of the CDF’s recent doctrinal assessment. In the past, after all, women religious leaders made no bones about mistrusting Rome. Claiming Our Truth, published by the LCWR in 1988, predicted: “fidelity to society and church [Read More…]

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How to Eat Like A Loser and Love It

Years ago, on a discussion board, someone started a thread titled: “What are your food confessions?” Broadly, the title meant: “What favorite dishes are you afraid to claim in polite company?” As so often happens, respondents seized on the call to confess as an excuse to show off. Responses ran along the lines of: “Gator’s [Read More…]

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Memories of A Man I’ll Call “Eddie”

Last night I learned another friend had fallen sick. This time, the illness was lymphoma. When I got the news, he was already in the ICU, hooked up to all sorts of things that go beep in the night. This morning, I learned he’d died. In calling this man a friend, I exaggerate a little. [Read More…]

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Another Priest Weighs in Against Blessing Kids

After reading Fr. Cory Sticha’s opinion piece on blessing kids in the Communion line, I wrote a priest friend to ask his own opinion. It turned out that the gentleman — who describes himself as a “fearless truth-teller, defender of orthodoxy, voice of decency in a decadent age and living, breathing affront to relativists everywhere” [Read More…]

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Blisters in the Sun

If, this Easter morning, I failed to leap out of bed and sing the praises of a risen Lord, I had good reason. My lower body bore the marks of a stressful pilgrimage. These included a blister an inch and a half long on my left arch, and a cut of about equal length on [Read More…]

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And I Saw the Priest Dance

Liturgical dancing! Even to speak the words means stirring the passions of anyone who believes the post-Conciliar Church became, and perhaps remains, too wordly, too progressive, or too people-friendly. They serve as a shorthand for aggiornamento gone wild. Once I posted a video of Stephen Colbert spastically jigging to “King of Glory” on a friend’s [Read More…]

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Romero and Sweet Schmaltz

A little more than halfway through the film Romero, the title character, played by Raul Julia, walks nervously into a church that’s been occupied by the Salvadoran National Guard and announces his intention to remove the Eucharist. Expressing the contempt felt by the Salvadoran military establishment for the Church, an insolent, gum-smacking goon of a [Read More…]

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Trayvon Martin, White-Boy Privilege and Me

On its face, the legal justification for Trayvon Martin’s shooting — Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves or others from harm — is race-blind. The question remains whether the same can be said for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who pulled the trigger. His father [Read More…]

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