“They Failed”: Thank You, Archbishop Gomez

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Tonight, Archbishop Jose Gomez broke his silence on the recently released documents concerning efforts by his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, to cover up instances of clergy abuse. Like me, Archbishop Gomez found the documents "brutal and painful reading." He did not stop at repugnance, however, but in a letter to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, assigned accountability: "I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. … [Read more...]

Songs of Innocents and Expedience–UPDATED

Duccio, "Slaughter of the Innocents"

Remembering the Slaughter of the Innocents means mourning them all . . . or none of them.Herod, the king, in his raging, Charged he hath this day His men of might, in his own sight, All young children to slay. (The Coventry Carol)On December 28, the Church recalls the massacre of infants and toddlers recounted in the Gospel of Matthew. Having heard from the Magi of the birth of a great king, the tetrarch Herod, anxious to hold on to his precarious puppet rule of Judea under his … [Read more...]

It’s Always Apocalypse, Now

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One more midnight gone, but for Christians---especially in Advent---we live always in the end-times. And that's good.As a small, fearful child with a galloping case of scruples, I was terrified of the End of the World. Those were apocalyptic times for Catholic school kids, the late fifties and early sixties. There were the weekly drop drills intended to prepare us for the nuclear annihilation that was always thisclose; Sister Maria Consuelo, our Cuban refugee third-grade teacher, was always … [Read more...]

‘VAGINAS WIN! VAGINAS WIN!’: Reductio ad Lady Parts

Barack Obama, Cecile Richards

My lady parts, what's left of 'em, are feeling mighty marginalized this morning, after waking up to the news that they did not get invited to the Grrrrrl Power party that reelected President Obama. Being respectable card-carrying feminist lady parts, activated in the 1960s, they are astonished to learn how far the mighty have fallen. "WTF?" they are asking. "Didn't we already fight this battle? Didn't they hear us roar in numbers too big to ignore that women are more than the sum of their lady … [Read more...]

Your Assigned Reading for Election Day–UPDATED

breviaryWorn

It's all over but the shouting, which I imagine will go on for oh, another four years.I voted so early this year (on my birthday in October, in a one-stop-shopping visit to the Montgomery County Building to renew my car tags), and so reluctantly (see here and here for why), that this Election Day arrives not with a bang but a whimper. A political junkie in withdrawal, I anticipate a couple of bouts of the shakes tonight as I try not to spin through the spin of the "news" channels or unglue … [Read more...]

I’m That Guy: The Gunpowder of Being Catholic in Public

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On the eve of a contentious election, pondering the explosive nexus of faith and politics.Please to remember The Fifth of November Gunpowder, Treason, and Strife . . .Back when I was in my Anglican interim, I loved commemorating Guy Fawkes Day. A haunting little historical nursery rhyme, bonfires, the burning of effigies, and children in raggedy clothes with ash-blackened faces accosting householders, begging A penny for the Guy!---what's not to love? I had a vague notion of the … [Read more...]

After Us, the Deluge: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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Image sourceA month ago, we were in Lourdes under a blazing sun, cooling ourselves with glimpses of the River Gave de Pau as it ran alongside the Sanctuaries. This past weekend, we watched the news and the Shrine's own YouTube channel dumbfounded as the rain-swollen river overflowed its banks, driven by storms in the Pyrenees. About 500 pilgrims, including malades seeking healing, had to be evacuated from riverside hotels like the one where we stayed. Water rose more than four feet in the … [Read more...]

Playing Dress-up: The NYT Womanpriests Fashion Spread

 I used to advocate for women's ordination in the Catholic Church---but never because I thought we needed more supermodels on the vestment runway. A curious slideshow featured in yesterday's New York Times Review section (H/T to Katrina Fernandez) makes me saddened and bemused enough to break off from the pilgrimage posts for a minute.Entitled Women as Priests, the slideshow by photographer Judith Levitt profiles 10 women---all white, all of a certain age---who profess to be … [Read more...]


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