On his 88th Birthday, Some Quotes from Benedict XVI

Just Ordered this Book!

It is only when life has been accepted and is perceived as accepted that it becomes also acceptable. Man is that strange creature that needs not just physical birth but also appreciation if he is to subsist . . . If an individual is to accept himself, someone must say to him: “It is good that you exist” – must say it, not with words, but with that act of the entire being that we call love. – Principles of Catholic TheologyPope Francis offered Mass, today, for his predecessor, on the occas … [Read more...]

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For Credibility of the Church, Should Francis Reconsider Barros Appointment?

Juan Barros Madrid via WikimediaCommons/Gabriel12

I never write about these stories because they make me physically ill, so I leave it to others. But it seems like this story is dying on the vine, and I'm not sure it should. And it's Lent, when we're supposed to do difficult things, so here goes.Pope Francis has appointed Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid to a Bishopric in Southern Chile, and Barros is set to be installed there tomorrow, March 21.This may be a problematic appointment, one that blows up in the Holy Father's face, because it … [Read more...]

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Amid Storms and Wars, the Daily Outrage that is Francis

"Great Battle in Heaven" by the brilliant Daniel Mitsui. Used with permission.

He is the most exhausting pope of my lifetime.Deacon Greg sent this cute video to me today, and while I appreciate its cleverness and the work that went into it, I couldn't help but think, "I'm getting burned out on Francis."I'm getting burned out, not because I dislike him. I like Francis just fine, although Pope Benedict XVI will always be the pontiff of my heart, because his writings have penetrated it and poured the merciful balm of Christ Jesus into it as little else ever has. As … [Read more...]

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The Power of the Message: “It is Good that You Exist”

Charming. It is good she exists.

Oftentimes, when I sifting through angry emails or moderating the comboxes and releasing comments from people who would presume to tell me I am going to hell, or that I am "outside of the church" (as an aside, I am fascinated by people who declare that on the basis of a single word, they know all about me and the state of my soul; there are people in Vegas who would pay cash-money to see that trick) I think back to what my dear Pope Benedict XVI, my spiritual "Pop-pop" has said:It is only … [Read more...]

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Francis is a Chemist; Chemists Seek Out Surprises

Not everyone is in love with Pope Francis' remarks at the beatification of Blessed Paul VI, in particular they don't like all that talk of surprises:This is the perennial newness to be discovered each day, and it requires mastering the fear which we often feel at God’s surprises.God is not afraid of new things! That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways. He renews us: he constantly makes us "new". A Christian who lives the Gospel is " … [Read more...]

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Good for Voris; Now, About our Tendencies Toward Idols…

Good for Voris. A manful apology and restatement of his mission, and a sound refutation of a contingent of Catholics who are becoming increasingly unhinged toward Pope Francis and vile toward any who will not agree that he is an antipope and a threat to the church. I myself deleted several comments about Pope Francis today, including one calling him "Frank the Fraud", and I dropped a banhammer on someone actively wishing for his death.It is certainly interesting to watch the very people … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis: No Commendatore, No Michael Corleone

It may have gotten a four minute standing ovation from his Bishops, but Pope Francis' closing remarks to the synod, which I thought were pretty beautifully wrought, are being praised-but-quietly by others, at least as I am surveying today.It seems to me people aren't really appreciating what Francis said there -- how capably and clearly he let both the "left" and the "right", the progressives and the traditionalists, know that neither side has a corner on the fullness of the faith or the … [Read more...]

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Suffering Servant: Did Benedict Actually Resign?

This whole piece by John L. Allen is fascinating, but scroll down to the question:Did Benedict resign?Yet another point of interest from the recent press conference came when Francis took a question about papal resignation. He didn’t reveal his own plans, saying only that he’ll do “what the Lord tells me,” but did insist that he believes Benedict XVI historic decision to step down is not an “isolated case.”In that connection, an essay on Tuesday by longtime Vatican watcher Vittorio … [Read more...]

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“It is Consummated”: the “Mad Eros of the Cross”

Christ the Bridegroom**

On the Cross, God’s eros for us is made manifest. Eros is indeed – as Pseudo-Dionysius expresses it – that force “that does not allow the lover to remain in himself but moves him to become one with the beloved” ("De divinis nominibus", IV, 13: PG 3, 712). Is there more “mad eros” (N. Cabasilas, "Vita in Cristo", 648) than that which led the Son of God to make Himself one with us even to the point of suffering as His own the consequences of our offences?Dear brothers and sisters, let us look a … [Read more...]

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The Tenderness of Francis: No, that’s Benedict! NO WAY!

I take my popes very seriously.

A few weeks ago I found myself in the middle of a dust-up on social media. A supposed "fan" of Pope Benedict made a remark that, in light of what I know of the Pope Emeritus from my reading, made no sense to me. So I asked this rather cranky anonymous entity about it, and there ensued a very strange conversation; the more I quoted Benedict to this person, the angrier he or she became with me.It was the tenderness of Benedict that seemed to be throwing this person off."Tenderness" … [Read more...]

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