Swansong for St. Martin of Tours, the Bronx

On Friday, the New York Times ran a feature article on St. Martin of Tours, a Bronx elementary school that closed the previous Wednesday after a run of 86 years. In the words of the Times, St. Martin’s had survived “gang fights, racial unrest and crack wars,” and “helped generations of immigrant children become Americans” [Read More...]

Belfast: Troublesome Once More

Yahoo! News reports: Dublin, Ireland – Rioting engulfed the Short Strand district of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday night, as pro-British loyalists and Irish republican residents of the area clashed for the second consecutive day. Local police said that as many as 400 people participated in the violence and that a news photographer was wounded in [Read More...]

Corapi Resigns Alaska Governorship

“I’m not a quitter,” insisted the bearded priest-turned talk-radio host in his famous stentorian basso. “But people who know me, know that, besides faith and family, nothing is more imporant to me than our beloved Alaska. My particular mission was speaking, writing, and teaching—not so much in the sacraments, but outside of them, in conjunction [Read More...]

Wimbeldon Head: No Grunting, Please. We’re British

The chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club wants Wimbeldon competitors to grunt more daintily, if they must grunt at all. According to the Daily Telegraph: He blamed younger players, whom he said suffered from an “education problem” about the issue. On the first day of the SW19 championships, Victoria Azarenka, of [Read More...]

Deacon Checks Corapi’s Math

Deacon Greg Kandra does a splendid of of explaining why John Corapi’s attitude toward the priesthood could stand a little fine-tuning. (He quotes Herman Melville, too, which I think is pretty cool): Of all the bizarre comments contained in John Corapi’s rambling speech on Monday, there was one that struck me as especially strange, and [Read More...]

Portrait of a Possible Pedophile

I hesitate to post more news about priests who, depending on the reader’s point of view, have either done wrong, or are being wronged. But this Kansas City Star profile of Fr. Shawn Ratigan, the elementary-school chaplain charged with possessing child pornography, is so gripping, I had to share it. What’s remarkable is that Ratigan [Read More...]

Charity, Corapi and the Rule of Two Negroes

In my teens, I was an obsessive reader of Bill James’ Basebal Abstract. Anyone who’s familiar with the book will know that James doesn’t content himself with number-crunching — although he does more of it than any six accountants I know. No, for James, fanboy that he is, no detail relating to the National Pasttime [Read More...]

Cinema’s Worst Father Figure: Fact and Fiction

I’m taking it for granted that most people here had perfect parents. Well, today in Salon, Matt Zoller Seitz praises Hollywood for imagining the unimaginable — bad dads. Some of his picks are perdictable: Darth Vader (duh!); Jack Torrance, from The Shining; and the perverted Paters from Happiness, Chinatown and Natural Born Killers. Only at [Read More...]

To Fr. Corapi: Bupkes; To John Corapi: Concern and Sympathy.

I’ve got to hand it to John Anthony Corapi — once called ”Father,” now, as he announces today, no longer to be involved in public ministry as a priest — he knows how to keep ‘em guessing. In a voiced-over video running just shy of nine minutes, which appears on blacksheepdog.us, apparently his new website, [Read More...]

Sotomayor: Think Like Kids, Coppers

Today in Slate — which, as Elizabeth observed, must owe me money for all the clicks I’ve gotten them — Dahlia Lithwick defends Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s decision in JDB v. North Carolina. At issue in the case was whether a law-enforcement officer, having removed a 13-year-old from a classroom and escorted him to [Read More...]

Adoration Angst: Christ Before My Eyes, Fr. McBrien in My Head

Once, when I was a teenager (right after the Visigoths swept through Rome on spring break), a friend yelled at me for drinking Coca-Cola. It seems Coca-Cola held investments in South Africa, which was still a few years away from ditching Apartheid. At least I think that’s what the problem was. Anyway, loath to be [Read More...]

American Women Religious: Off the Barricades, Into the Boardroom?

A good part of the media played up the Vatican’s recent Apostolic Visitation of American women religious like the sisters’ gallant last stand against overwhelming force. They were the Communards of Paris, the Jews at Masada, General Wainwright’s “battling bastards” at Corregidor. No one came right out and said they were going to go down [Read More...]

Fr. Corapi Announces Announcement

Yesterday evening, on the Deacon’s Bench, the lovely and talented Deacon Greg Kandra announced that Fr. John Corapi’s company announced that Fr. John Corapi himself will soon announce something “very important.” Fr. Corapi was placed on administrative leave in March — on Ash Wednesday, in fact — pending a canonical investigation tnto allegations of sexual [Read More...]

Barack Obama: Bully and Cad?

Remember back when right-wing bloggers were terrifying each other, predicting that President Obama would build America’s first gulag archipelago? (What’s that? Ah. Sorry, Japanese-Americans. Make that America’s second gulag archipelago.) Well, critics are making a case that his administration does, in fact, threaten Americans’ traditional civil liberties. The twist: both the critics and the alleged [Read More...]

How to REALLY Write for First Things

For the past two years, I’ve had a passionate love-hate relationship with First Things. When the Best Spiritual Writing: 2010 anthology came out, I counted no fewer than three First Things imports — one by Amanda Shaw, another by Joseph Bottum, and a third by the man himself, FT founder Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. Possibly [Read More...]

…Then Someone’s Not Being: A Reply to Elizabeth

Today, in First Things, my mentor, gaffer and friend Elizabeth Scalia does a very gutsy thing. She talks about homosexuality in a way that affirms nobody’s orthodoxy: Wondering whether being born gay might constitute a “call to otherness,” she continues: I have a theory that our gay brothers and sisters are, in fact, planned, loved-into-being [Read More...]


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