A Clarification: Difficult Times, Difficult Thoughts

Some clarifications. There were some who took exception to my calling the pope “wrong” yesterday. I want to be clear: I believe it was a mistake to open up a rejected proposal for debate and bring discredited theologians and leaders back into prominence. Most troubling is his personal support of Cardinal Danneels, which is inexcusable and reflects very [Read More…]

Benedict and the Bishops on Communion for the Divorced

The current synod is certainly not the first synod to consider the issue of communion for the divorced and remarried. In October 2005 the synod kicked around these issues, and in February 2007 Pope Benedict XVI published the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Sacramentum caritatis (the Sacrament of Charity). Note well the long passage of time between synod [Read More…]

The Future Church According to Benedict

I’ve run these poetic and prophetic words from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s Faith and the Future before, but today yet another survey has people fretting about the future of the faith. Don’t. We’ve known this future was coming for decades. Now we just have to do the work of sustaining vibrant faith communities to see us through the coming trials [Read More…]

Pope Benedict, Creation, and Biblical Criticism

My paper “The Word in Creation: The Ratzingerian Critique of the Historical-Critical Method and Its Application to the Creation Accounts” is up at Homiletic and Pastoral Review. Two of my preoccupations during my master’s studies were Creation (particularly the Augustinian understanding of Genesis) and the theology of Pope Benedict. This paper was where the two converged thanks to [Read More…]

Understanding the Washing of the Feet

One of the most striking traditions of Holy Week is the washing of the feet at Holy Thursday mass. Once again, we are reenacting something Christ himself commanded us to do, and the somewhat awkward and uncomfortable way the tradition is performed at many modern masses does nothing to undercut the potent symbolism of the [Read More…]