Hated the Red Shoes, but Pink Sneakers are to Die For!

Mizuno Sneakers worn by Wendy Davis Eric Gay, AP

When Pope Benedict XVI abdicated his papacy and was succeeded by Pope Francis, one particular fact seemed to delight the press -- and Benedict-haters -- more than any other: Francis was not wearing the red shoes!Google his red shoes (once incorrectly reported and forever incorrectly misunderstood to be Prada-made) and it feels like more was written about them than Benedict's encyclicals, his books, his travel, his kissed babies. Those red shoes drove secularists, and some Catholics crazy, … [Read more...]

“Pope Francis” a snapshot and keepsake of a historical moment – UPDATED

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One of the pleasures of writing for Our Sunday Visitor, either as a freelancer (or pamphleteer!) or as a columnist for The Catholic Answer has been getting to know the great people who make up their editorial staff. Catching a meal with Greg Erlandson in Rome (or a papal audience with Sarah Hayes) only made them more memorable, and working with Dr. Matthew Bunson, who edits TCA is a joy. I haven't fully made a deadline yet, and he's been a very patient fellow about it, indeed!But even if he … [Read more...]

Happy Easter! Let Us Stop Throwing Each Other Away

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Happy Easter. Christ is risen, and all things are made new!It's a time to break the chains of old habits, old thoughts; time to unwind and finally toss old tapes; he is risen: "I am doing something new..."On Wednesday, traipsing through my archives, I came upon this post from last year -- the image of a full-term baby tossed into the trash, and my thoughts about it.Upon re-reading it, I thought about how easily we throw people away, everyday, in less dramatic fashion. We throw … [Read more...]

The Quiet Menace: Fixating on Francis, Missing the Point – UPDATED

Papal Hi There

Having just gone to confession after mass this morning, it was not my intention to get into a little tiff with a media outlet on Twitter, but being who I am, I couldn't let it go when I saw one of those lazy, thoughtless sneers cross my timeline, to the effect that Pope Francis (good guy) was refusing to stay in (bad guy) "Pope Benedict's luxurious apartments."I needed to disabuse the writer of the notion that Pope Benedict owned anything, including a "luxurious apartment" but that the papal … [Read more...]

Unusual Liturgy, Unusual Media, Unusual Holy Week – UPDATED

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My piece over at First Things this week, recounts the unusual, and ultimately rather empty-feeling Palm Sunday liturgy I experienced last weekend:It struck me as odd that the same people who say they wish to “build up the community of the People of God,” and who often decry what they see as “limitations” to the role of the laity, completely omitted any interaction between themselves and the people in the pews. The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday is the only one inviting lay participation, yet … [Read more...]

Did Mahony Crib a Joseph Notion from a Patheos Blogger?

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Perhaps not. But I can't help wondering about it.On February 27, Joanne McPortland of Egregious Twaddle wondered whether a Pope Joseph I, inaugurated on the Feast Day of the Patron of the Universal Church might not be a wonderful thing for the church:. . .if I were to whisper my wish, which is all any of us could do, I would hope the Spirit and the College of Cardinals would be leaning toward someone who combines the best of my two favorite popes:—a man with the openness to the w … [Read more...]

With less than a day remaining of Benedict XVI’s pontificate…

Benedict's last night

(AP Photo/Source)Tonight, no lightning strikes; mere hours away from the of Benedict's pontificate, a bright beam shines from the heavens and the absence of gloom almost gives a shiver: a light shines in the darkness, a light ever-ancient, ever-new.Since the day and night have left us thoughtful and -- the effect of our happy sadness -- a little dreamy, I thought I'd give you a few particularly nice, or particularly interesting pieces about the Once and Future pope.First the Once: … [Read more...]

“I will not forget the lessons you have taught me…” – UPDATES

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You all know I am not a sentimentalist.I'm always suspicious of emotionalism and of course, tough-as-nails, right? But I am human! And this video which Kevin Knight put up at New Advent got me all verklempt!It's just priests, saying thank you to Pope Benedict. But it's very moving.And with this sort of thing, that so few of us even knew about, it's like, "yeah...thank you for that, too!"UPDATE I: And a video of young people saying thank you, too!UPDATE II: Fresh off of … [Read more...]

Benedict’s hope lies in the reach of a monk’s prayers…UPDATES

Subiaco Cave

(Subiaco Cave, where St. Benedict of Nursia lived)My piece at First Things this week looks at the point and the lesson behind Pope Benedict's embrace of monasticism over his remaining time on the papal throne:The failure is heard in the shrieks of pain, ignorance, and hatred directed at the Church throughout the chambers of mainstream and social media; it is seen in the faithful priests and laypeople who read one awful headline after another and continue on, but with increasingly … [Read more...]

Benedict has never looked so worn out

This picture from L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO took my breath away. It's copyrighted, so you have to go to the link.But be prepared for how worn, thin and unwell Pope Benedict looks.He is an introvert. Hopefully when he has removed himself from the Throne and has quiet time and solitude, he will recharge a little.I do not think he will be our monastic prayer warrior for very long. But I am sure that while he is in his monastic phase, we will be helped by it. … [Read more...]


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