The Mysterious Conservative Loathing of Francis

A reader writes: Have you read Pope Francis’ speech at the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Bolivia? Full text here. It was a real eye-opener for me. I had heard plenty of negative things about it, so I braced myself for a lot of leftist politics & economics. But after having read the whole [Read More…]

Fr. Robert Barron on Laudato Si and the Pope’s Recent Comments on Capitalism

Customary thoughtful common sense from Fr. Barron, punctuated across the blogosphere by outraged people asking absurd questions like “Why do we have to understand the context of the pope’s remarks?” I remember when Catholics understood that texts needed to be read in the context of the Tradition?  When did so many of us morph into fundamentalists? [Read more…]

Pope Receives Summer Re-Education Camp Arts and Crafts Project

So the Pope is in South America right now and at a recent audience, some guy brought him a geegaw as a diplomatic gift. It’s a truly ugly reworking of a hammer and sickle into a crucifix, and the pope’s magnificent “What the WTF?” expression .brings tears of laughter to my eyes. Here, watch for [Read More…]

Where in the US is Flat Francis?

So this is a thing. [Read more…]

Funniest Thing I’ve Seen This Month

I have no idea who made this, but it is screamingly funny: I’d love to see a treatment like this for previous encyclicals. My only regret: nobody says “In a world where…” [Read more…]

Trust thou not in fake memes – Not William Shakespeare

This is the latest bit of evidence circulating in the Reactionarysphere in the ongoing combox heresy trial against Pope Francis: Only, here’s the thing: he never said it.  It’s just invented from whole cloth and attributed to him.  When you are so desperate to obtain a guilty verdict against the guy you hate that you [Read More…]

The “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” Strategy of Conservative Dissent

When the Pope says things that upset the Left, we hear that the faith is the only thing that saves us from the degrading slavery of being a child of our age. When he says things that upset the Right like “legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state” or “encyclical on the environment“, we [Read More…]

“Pope Francis Made My Mom Stop Hating Catholicism”

There are, roughly speaking, two ways stories like this get interpreted in our polarized American Church. 1. I’m glad somebody found the grace of the Holy Spirit, working through Francis, to reconsider the Church and, if all goes well, become a disciple of Jesus Christ. 2. Francis is attracting dangerous riff raff with his cult [Read More…]

Elizabeth Stoker-Bruenig has a Smart Look at Pope Francis

She is a rare bird: a lefty who takes seriously not only Francis as a Catholic with a heart for the poor and the week, but an orthodox Catholic Christian who gets that the faith really is about the revelation of Jesus Christ crucified and risen, including all that mystical spiritual warfare with the devil [Read More…]

How Everybody Will Misread the Encyclical on the Environment

…and how it should be read: Yesterday I heard a story on NPR about the Pope’s forthcoming encyclical on the environment. While the “conservative” who was interviewed spoke all about “prudential” decisions and the non-expertise of the Church on this issue, the “liberal” insisted that our individual decisions are ultimately social, and have impact far [Read More…]