“Meet the Monks Who Spend Their Lives Praying for Ireland’s Priests”: Crux

feature: Prayer, reparation, and praising God are the focus of a new Benedictine priory in Ireland, which focuses especially on reparation for the sins of priests.“It was never our predetermined plan to come to Ireland,” Silverstream Priory’s Father Benedict Anderson, O.S.B., told Catholic News Agency. “But we believe that, through circumstances that we could never have foreseen, Divine Providence placed us here to play some sort of role, however modest, in the life of the Irish Church. … [Read more...]

Taking the Rough with the Smooch: Movie notes

A couple quick hits before we move to our main event, viz. a trip back in time to Gay 1986.Habit: Do you like artsy bisexual '90s vampire movies, but found Nadja too cold, The Addiction too smart, and everybody too good-looking? Boy do I have a film for you. Habit follows a startlingly disheveled and run-down dropout type (writer/director/star Larry Fessenden) as he meets a cute early-'90s chick at a party and begins to wonder why people are disappearing. The direction is really sharp--the … [Read more...]

As They Liked It: Playing Shakespeare in the Early ’80s

The BBC has this great series, "Playing Shakespeare," in which John Barton leads members of the Royal Shakespeare Company in a series of supposedly-somewhat-spontaneous classes about playing Shakespeare's verse. Herein a few notes to whet your appetite, and then a rant.John Barton is hilarious, first of all. He is perpetually swathed in a baggy sweater, all slumping shoulders and bushy eyebrows, his hair piling frowsily on his head like he forgot it there. And then this glorious rich voice … [Read more...]

“Five Things I Wish I’d Known About Alcohol”: I’m at Aleteia

with five things:The first time I got drunk, I was embarrassing. I was 17 and sloppy, grabbing other people’s beers to finish the dregs, kissing randoms. I rode the subway home in the morning feeling incredible—feeling new. My ridiculous and pathetic behavior was transformed into a kind of success. Now that was a party.A decade and a half later I started to read about other people who’d had the same feeling: like falling in love, but also like being loved, like being good, like flying. Ot … [Read more...]

“Humiliation and Reconciliation”: I’m at AmCon

as usual I seem to have kept the most important stuff for the last three paragraphs, but here's the opener: My poolside reading this July has been Mary C. Mansfield’s 1995 work The Humiliation of Sinners: Public Penance in Thirteenth-Century France. The book illuminates human questions we still have not resolved with stories from civilizational past. You don’t have to care as much about the Rogation dragon as I do to see echoes of Mansfield’s medieval world in our own rituals of public abase … [Read more...]

What Might Apology and Amends to LGBT People Look Like? I’m at Vox

doin' my thing:On June 26, while flying back from a trip to Armenia, Pope Francis told a reporter that he agreed with Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany: The Catholic Church owes an apology to gay people. The Pope's comments were short but rambling — not as deft and pithy as his well-known statement from an earlier airplane interview, "If [gay people] accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?" — but even the best apology is only a beginning. Good apologies allow us to live to … [Read more...]

Don’t Medicalize My Eschaton (or, What If Addiction Isn’t a Thing?)

Three blind men are feeling around with their hands, trying to determine what's in front of them."I feel something long and ropy, with a bristly end," one says."I feel something thick and wrinkly, muscular and prehensile," one says."I feel something curved and hard and smooth, like a shofar," one says."I've got it!" the first one exclaims. "It's an elephant!"And they spend the next five days trying to feed hay to a table with a rope, a shedding python, and a shofar on it. … [Read more...]