A Palm for Romero, A Finger Wagged at the World

The Church’s decision to beatify Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez as a martyr shows just how relevant it can keep itself by investing ancient words and concepts with new meanings. True to the popular understanding of martyrdom, the Salvadoran archbishop died a violent death. On March 24, 1980, an assassin belonging to a right-wing death [Read More...]

Purgatory-Schmurgatory, As Long As You’re Hopeful

By the Council’s 25th session, when the Trent Fathers finally got around to the subject of Purgatory, they must have feeling tired and grouchy. After affirming that such a state exists, and that “the suffrages of the faithful” and “the acceptable sacrifice of the altar” work to detainees’ benefit, they drew a veil. “The more [Read More...]

Yes, He’s the Burying Kind

We should have buried Erich Priebke. Or rather, since protesters in Albano Laziale effectively derailed Priebke’s funeral cortege, forcing officials to suspend the service, we should have tried. Whatever happened, the effort would have been worth it. Not that Priebke, who died in Rome October 11 at the age of 100, was a warm or [Read More...]


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