Benedict and the Bishops on Communion for the Divorced

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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...]

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Is This Synod the Most Dangerous Crisis in the History of the Church?

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It is to hear some people tell it. I think it was this video that got me thinking about Pius VI, but all the daft ranting of the past year certainly played a part in my realization that people have no context for what they’re experiencing. I’ve written a bit about Pius, his times, and the [Read More...]

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The Pope and I

Dawn at the Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, where the pope is about to say mass.

I don’t want to brag or anything, but I had mass with the pope. And not some big open air mass. Nope. This was a votive mass for Our Lady, Mother of the Church, in the glorious Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. I even got a plenary indulgence for participating. Take that, [Read More...]

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Day 0: World Meeting of Families

The pope signs start a couple miles from my house and create an increasing sense of traffic panic the closer you get to Philadelphia.

I drove into Philadelphia yesterday (Monday) on assignment for the National Catholic Register, so I got an early taste of some of the World Meeting of Families. I spent much of my time trucking around to museums and exhibits for a feature story I’m writing, so most of my cell phones pics are of old things, and [Read More...]

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The Fascinating Story of a Historic Cross at Papal Mass in DC

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When the pope celebrates mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, there will be a fascinating piece of history there with him: an iron cross made for the first mass in the English colonies in 1634. The Georgetown University site has the story. The cross is believed to have been forged [Read More...]

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#LaudatoSii: Hold Your Breath, Make a Wish, Count to Three

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Tomorrow I will begin reading Laudato Sii, and I plan to tweet as I go. I’m already seeing the overheated freakouts online and it’s a sorry spectacle. Everyone needs to cut the crap, m’kay? It seems like all we do lately is replay the right’s reaction to Mater et Magistra and the left’s reaction to Humanae Vitae. [Read More...]

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A Lost Papal Bust by Bernini Found

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This bust of Pope Paul V by Bernini surfaced two years ago in a private collection after being lost for 100 years. Commissioned by the Pope’s nephew Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1621, it was the first papal work of the 23-year-old artist. It remained in the Borghese family until 1893, when it was misidentified and auctioned off [Read More...]

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What Happened at the Secret Synod Planning Session?

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Edward Pentin has done some first rate reporting on the factions forming to push through radical change in the Church’s unchangeable moral teaching. He has a new story in the National Catholic Register* about a secret meeting that took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with “the aim of urging ‘pastoral innovations’ at the upcoming Synod of [Read More...]

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