In a Timeless Tradition, the Camerlengo Taps His Silver Hammer on the Pope’s Head

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, newly appointed Camerlengo of the Roman Catholic Church

Today in Vatican City, Pope Francis named a new camerlengo. For those (probably most of us) who aren't sure what that means, the "camerlengo" or "chamberlain" is the  cardinal who keeps things running smoothly in the Vatican City-State after the death or resignation of a pope.  According to Wikipedia:Unlike the rest of Roman Curia, the Camerlengo retains his office during the sede vacante and functions as the executive director of the Vatican's operations, answerable to the College of Card … [Read more...]

A Conversion of Consequence: Russell Saltzman Has Crossed the Tiber

Tiber River

It is with great pleasure that I welcome my friend Russell E. Saltzman, a former Lutheran pastor and a former journalist, into the Catholic Faith.In the years since we became internet friends, Russ--who has been a columnist for First Things--has shared delightful stories about his friendship with the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.  I was pleased, a few months ago, to review Russ's book Speaking of the Dead: When We All Fall Down, a book of funeral homilies which offered a glimpse into Russ' f … [Read more...]

Wise Words in Soft Brown Leather: Patristic Wisdom for Daily Living

A Year with the Church Fathers

I love a beautiful book.  And A Year With the Church Fathers is certainly beautiful, with its gilded pages, its ribbon marker, its beautiful art, its presentation page!  I could smell the soft leather when I tore the wrapper off the package.I found the meditations easy to read and understand.  Author Mike Aquilina explains how he arrived at the very clear, easily accessible translations: "The meditations are taken from classic translations of the Fathers.  I've modernized the language to mak … [Read more...]