Don’t Judge a Bishop by His Residence (or the Pope’s)

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I love Pope Francis. I don't love when the world---(including more than a few Catholics)---uses Francis as a stick to beat bishops with.Today's CNN frontpage feature, headlined "The Lavish Homes of American Archbishops," uses public real estate and tax data to profile U.S. archepiscopal residences valued at more than $1 million. The investigation's subhead says it all: "10 of the country's top church leaders defy the Pope's example."I'm no fan of bishops who bling for bling's sake. And … [Read more...]

You Can Lead a Beggar to Bread: Pope Francis on Evangelization & Proselytism

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It's Tuesday, and Pope Francis is smacking gobs again. We're still waiting for a better English translation of his latest published conversation with La Repubblica founder Eugenio Scalfari , but it's safe to say there's a lot of seasickness aboard ye olde Barque of Peter this morning. Again.My gob has been so far pretty unsmackable, but a few pull quotes from this latest piece made me reach for the spiritual Dramamine. One, in particular, seemed to be a stunningly insensitive and snarky way … [Read more...]

“Someone In the Family Is Suffering”

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Image SourceWhile we in the US---Catholics, the media---are still parsingĀ and praying over last week's papal interview, Pope Francis himself is wasting no time in issuing marching orders (H/T The Deacon's Bench). "Am I indifferent or is it like someone in the family is suffering?" he asked.He asked everyone to be honest with themselves and respond in their hearts: "How many of you pray for Christians who are persecuted" and for those who are in difficulty for professing and defending … [Read more...]

Quick, Martha, Your Girdle! Slaying the Beast of Internet Ordure

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What with so many heads 'splodin' in so many directions this morning---see this wise, sane, unexploded post from The Anchoress Elizabeth Scalia if you've somehow escaped getting brain matter on you thus far---I am in grave need of the intercession of a holy buttkicker. As the grace of the Catholic calendar would have it, today is the Feast of St Martha. Couldn't be a better cavalry to call in.Wait, you say, St Martha of Martha, Martha, you worry too much? St Martha who appeared to get her … [Read more...]

Seven Buses: The Love That Builds Bridges

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This started to be a story about attending my 45th high school reunion last Sunday. But it's really more a story about the ways a good mother loves---which is to say, it's a story about God.Alma MaterThe first mother in this story is my alma mater, my soul-mother, Immaculate Heart High School. I've written before about the debts I owe the Women of Great Heart I encountered there---the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart who taught me and inspired me and called me out on my idolatrous … [Read more...]

Muslims & Convicts & Girls’ Toes, Oh My!

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Stop it. Stop it right this minute.Stop looking at the coverage of Pope Francis's visit to the Casal del Marmo juvenile detention facility to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper and then going into full Three Stooges Slapfest Mode on social media about it.Stop charging the Holy Father with heresy for deviating from a liturgical instruction (reserving the washing of feet on Holy Thursday to males) that can technically only be dispensed with by Rome. The Holy Father IS Rome. No heresy … [Read more...]

“Something to Love, Something to Be Bugged By”: Pummeled by The Anchoress

A 24-foot long cast bronze arm and fist monument to boxer Joe Louis is seen hanging from a balance suspension on Jefferson Ave at Woodward in downtown Detroit

I didn't sleep last night, playing out my crankiness over the Pope Wars in mental and spoken potential posts of staggering snarkiness. I raised my moralistic eyebrow higher and more uncontrollably than The Bachelor's notorious Tierra, whose eyebrow had its own Twitter handle. What made me so cranky was the inevitable rebound effect. Lots of those folks who, early on, so resented enthusiasm for Team Francis expressed as criticism of Team Benedict are now turning the tables and expressing their … [Read more...]

“To Know the Unsurpassable Joy”: A Message from The Hermit

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In the wake of yesterday's post on the futility of picking papal teams, I received the following message from My Friend The Hermit (Br Rex Anthony Norris of The Little Portion Hermitage). He thought it should be for my eyes only, but I think differently. Thank you, dear Brother. This is wonderful advice to carry with us into Holy Week: It is to know and to make known Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen that is the beginning and end of the mission of the Church. For that, dear reader, you … [Read more...]


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