Catholics Coming Unglued: It’s Time to Calm Down

Christ the King (Ghent Altarpiece)

A segment of the faithful Catholic population has been growing more and more distressed since the election of Pope Francis, and it’s really time they get a grip. Traditionalist site Rorate Caeli kicked off the madness by declaring the Holy Father “The Horror” and posting a string of increasingly demented attacks. That seemed to set [Read More...]

Joseph: Pope Benedict One Year Later

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One year ago today we woke to the shock of Pope Benedict XVI doing what popes haven’t done in centuries: resigning. I don’t have too much to add to what I wrote then and in the weeks afterward. He is the man I admire most in the world, and he has taught me more than [Read More...]

Pope Francis in Time Magazine: Does It Matter?

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The short answer is, “Of course it matters.” Pope Francis is Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. That’s a good thing. But it’s not as simple as that, so let’s break it down: The Good 1. Time is a fading relic of a dying media, but they still retain something of their former image, and [Read More...]

An Astonishing Picture

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This gives me chills: the first pope and the current pope. Pope Francis holds a casket with the pitiful remains of St. Peter. Almost the entire scope of the Church’s history captured in a single image. Astonishing, moving, powerful. What must have Francis been thinking at that moment? The remains [UPDATE: See comment below]: [Read more...]

“Love alone makes us happy”

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Benedict on Love, from his Sunday, 7 June 2009 Angelus message, because I miss his voice: [Jesus] revealed to us that God is love “not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance” (Preface). He is the Creator and merciful Father; he is the Only-Begotten Son, eternal Wisdom incarnate, who [Read More...]

Francis/Netanyahu Meeting Cancelled (Actually, It Was Never Even Planned)

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Last week, a report began circulating in the Israeli press that President Benjamin Netanyahu would be meeting with Pope Francis when Netanyahu traveled to Rome this week. The report set off a firestorm in Israel because of rumors that a visit by the pope to Holy Land was contingent upon the return of certain holy [Read More...]

Parsing Francis, Shepherd of a Lost Sheep UPDATED

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Another week, another Pope Francis interview to set the internet atwitter. I liked it better when a quiet little German scholar issued clear and carefully structured catechetical lessons instead of free-ranging, off-the-cuff interviews with a hostile press. But then, the church isn’t here to make me comfortable. In fact, she’s here for the opposite purpose.  [Read More...]

The Mainstream Media School of Religion Reporting …

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… most recently on display in the awful reportage about the Pope Francis interview, is illustrated by an old, old joke: A man goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Help me, doc! I can’t stop thinking about sex!” The doctor puts him on the couch and begins to show him ink blots. “What does this [Read More...]


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