“I shall be called John Paul”

John Paul I

On this day in 1978, the newly elected John Paul I explained his choice of name: Yesterday morning I went to the Sistine Chapel to vote tranquilly. Never could I have imagined what was about to happen. As soon as the danger for me had begun, the two colleagues who were beside me whispered words of [Read More...]

Philadelphia Gets a Visit From a First-Class Relic of St. John Paul II

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The first-class relic of St. John Paul II touring the US is stopping in Phillie this weekend. I hope to make it there, if time allows. Here’s the press release from the Diocese: A precious Relic of the recently canonized Pope Saint John Paul II will be exposed for public veneration between all of the [Read More...]

Look What I Got in The Mail!

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  It’s beautiful and big and mine mine mine! This is me: It leads with the complete text of his central work on the topic, Spirit of the Liturgy, and then collects all his papers and homilies on the liturgy in several sections: Typos–Mysterium–Sacramentum, Celebration of the Eucharist, Theology of Church Music, and Further Perspectives. [Read More...]

Francis Returns to the Quote Heard Round the World: “Who Am I To Judge?”

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but in an off-the-cuff interview on an airplane early in his pontificate Pope Francis said, when asked about homosexuality, “Who am I to judge?” Except he didn’t. He was asked about the alleged “gay lobby” of homosexual Vatican employees, and replied, in part, “A gay person who is [Read More...]

My Favorite John XXIII Quip

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Asked how many people worked at the Vatican, St. John replied, “About half of them.” Anyone who has worked for the Church knows how true this is. Our motto should be “employing the unemployable.” (And, yes, I’ll include myself among that group.) Catholic News Service has a few Pope John jokes I hadn’t heard before. [Read More...]

The Canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II: The Opposition

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Two diametrically opposed complaints about the upcoming canonizations of two beloved popes landed in my news feed within minutes of each other. That each comes from radically different camps–modernist and anti-modernist–shows that the fringes are almost always united in their wrongness, if divided in their reasoning. First up is this blast of badly-argued nonsense from [Read More...]

John XXIII and the Jews

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One of the better parts about being a writer is that you get learn things for a living. For example, when Carl Olson asked me to cover a lecture on Pope John XXIII and the Jews for Catholic World Report, I had only a fairly general image of Pope John. I thought he was a [Read More...]

Huzzah! Ratzinger’s “Opera Omnia” Is Coming This Month!

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Well, the first volume, at least. The English translation is being published by Ignatius Press, and should be out by the end of April. The title is Collected Works: Theology of the Liturgy. Here’s the official line: This major volume is a collection of the writings of Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) on the [Read More...]


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