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...]

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...]

The Pope and Bovril

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Pope Leo XIII loved economic sanity, St. Thomas Aquinas, and beef tea. h/t: Retronaut [Read more...]

Catholics Coming Unglued: It’s Time to Calm Down

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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...]


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