Tone-Deaf on Religion–UPDATED

"Sikhism is a religion that originated about 500 years ago in Italy [sic]."~ CBS This Morning reporter on the shootings at a Wisconsin Sikh templeI've been bemoaning the media's inability to get Catholicism right for a very long time, but it struck me this morning that maybe there really isn't a specifically anti-Catholic bias out there in journalism land. The media's talent for being tone-deaf on religion appears to be wide-ranging and indiscriminate.The reporting on the tragic … [Read more...]

Everybody’s Friend, The Hermit

Just a brief post to share how happy it makes me that my friend The Hermit is also Kevin Lowry's (and many, many other people's) friend The Hermit.Brother Rex---when I was first introduced to him, I thought he was called Friar X, which was the coolest religious name ever---is a diocesan hermit in the Franciscan tradition. He's got a wicked wit, as Kevin notes, and a profoundly holy prayerfulness by which I am borne up every day, as are the many he holds in intercessory prayer. As a Tiber … [Read more...]

Magdalene the Magnificent

With the exception of that other Mary, the Mother of Jesus, she's the most famous woman in Christianity. (And in contrast to that other Mary, the most infamous.) Certainly, she's second only to that other Mary among artistic representations of the women of the New Testament. Her name in French, Madeleine, when run through the British mouth, gave us maudlin, which these days connotes a kind of boozy sentimental tearfulness, but originally referred to her penitential weeping. By extension, a … [Read more...]

Hope in the Heartland

New York is where I'd rather stay! I get allergic smelling hay! I just adore a penthouse view! Darling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue . . .Like Eva Gabor's Lisa on the TV series Green Acres, I've always preferred the penthouse to the henhouse. A cornfield is a place that creepy Twilight Zone kid played by Billy Mumy will wish you into if you cross him. I've camped twice, once at Big Sur and once in Yosemite and both out of love for someone I was camping with, not for the … [Read more...]

Calling All Reverts!

CARA, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, has just published some speculative demographics (h/t New Advent) on Catholic reverts---those of us raised as Catholics who leave the Church for a time and then come back. The numbers are interesting to me, as is CARA's contention that reverts, and not just immigrants, are helping to keep Church membership numbers steady in the face of attrition by mortality, low birth rates, and drift away from the Church. Who are the Catholic reverts? … [Read more...]

Of Divine Bondage: When the Ties of Religion Unravel

 Blest be the tie that binds Our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds Is like to that above . . .Two stories I was too dumbfounded by to blog about last night, and the tie that (pun intended) binds them.Story 1: Sr Joan Chittister, OSB, is interviewed by CNN's Christiane Amanpour. The piece, as Diane at Te Deum notes, epitomizes everything that is wrong with the media coverage of the CDF-LCWR interaction, and with the GPS system of the bus the LCWR … [Read more...]

Is There Healing for the Dialogue of the Deaf?

 Ouch. What a morning.So far I have already: Missed a meeting that I have inexplicably had in my calendar for two weeks as being scheduled for this afternoon, when it was this morning at 9:30---in Cincinnati. Been told that my post on St Patrick's Purgatory represents the worst of the "world-rejecting" worst of Irish Jansenism. (Yup. That's me. If it's a choice between the world and a place of pilgrimage, prayer, and penitence, I'm kicking the world to the curb.¬†Especially this … [Read more...]

In St Patrick’s Purgatory

 Rocco posted a moving story last night on the opening of the Dublin Eucharistic Congress, and how---at the request of the Holy Father---the papal legate Cardinal Mark Ouellet spent last night in St Patrick's Purgatory, fasting and keeping barefoot vigil in prayer for reconciliation and healing of the grievous wounds dealt by Ireland's clergy abuse scandals.The ancient pilgrimage site known as St Patrick's Purgatory is on an island in Lough Derg near Dublin. According to legend, … [Read more...]