“A Lonely Hearts Church”: I review a new Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catechesis on Family Life

for AmCon: Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive is a slim volume, more of an overgrown pamphlet, prepared for the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. It’s meant to lay out Catholic beliefs about vocation, sex, and family life in a way that acknowledges and responds creatively to contemporary challenges. It contains discussion questions to make it easy to use in ministries, book clubs etc. This is what outspoken Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and his team think is most important … [Read more...]

“Gay and Catholic” Book Extras: A Tiny Post About Marriage and Priesthood

These are topics I left out of the book partly because I wanted to focus on all the less-visible vocations available to lgbt/same-sex attracted Christians--and partly because I just don't have very much to say here. Never let it be said that I let that stop me! And ETA wow, this got longer than it should have. So, not so tiny after all....Gay/queer/ssa people do get married, to members of the opposite sex, in ways which don't fit the stereotype of the terrified closet case or self-deceived … [Read more...]

“This Is Not My Beautiful City”: I review “Belleville”

for AmCon: A young American expatriate in Paris comes home one afternoon to find her husband, a doctor working on pediatric AIDS for Doctors Without Borders, unexpectedly home in the middle of the day and watching porn. This setup, which could lead to a farce or a realistic domestic drama, instead gets the suspense-flick treatment in Amy Herzog’s tense and thought-provoking “Belleville” (at D.C.’s Studio Theatre through October 12).I’ve seen three Herzog plays so far (and reviewed “4000 Mile … [Read more...]

A Mundane Masquerade: Peter de Vries, “The Tents of Wickedness”

This is a little 1949 satire--dedicated "To James and Helen Thurber," if you want to place it in its social world--about a respectable family man in Decency, Conn., trying to figure out which genre of novel he lives in. He plunges strenuously from Faulkner to Greene all the way to Joyce, and the authorial voice shifts with him. At the same time Charles Swallow, our protagonist, is also trying to figure out whether he's a newspaperman, an advice columnist, or a psychiatrist. And he's trying to … [Read more...]

A Couple Gay Christian Whatnot Links

Protestants! CAN YOU FEEL THE ECUMENISM.First, my friend Matt Jones looks at how his shifting understanding of vocation has changed both his emotional and spiritual life--very powerful: Two years ago, as I was just beginning to think more critically about my faith and sexuality, I attended a wedding. It has been interesting to revisit the memorialized emotions that accompanied the ceremony, to examine the well-worn paths down which my uncertain thoughts routinely fled when confronted by … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #5–Finding Jesus in the Temple

Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him … [Read more...]

Painting the Town Red: “The Exiles,” A Masterpiece of Lost L.A.

Kent MacKenzie's The Exiles played exactly once, at the 1961 Venice Film Festival, and then vanished for more than forty years. It was rediscovered in 2003, and you can find it now on Netflix--which you should do, for real, here's why.The Exiles follows a group of American Indian men and women over the course of one night at the very end of noir-era Los Angeles. The neighborhood where the film was shot was demolished--excuse me, I mean renewed--shortly afterward. The Native actors were … [Read more...]