Prayer and Penance: Did Twitter Hasten Benedict’s Retirement?

In hindsight, we're seeing clues, now, and reading words he uttered indicating that Pope Benedict XVI has clearly been thinking of renouncing the papal throne for some time.Forgive me if this sounds absurd on the face of it, but I am wondering if, despite these pieces of evidence, Benedict's recent entry into Twitter has had anything to do with the seeming abruptness of his announcement.Before you scoff, consider: the pope's interest in, and support of, the church's engagement with new … [Read more...]

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Digital Field of the Lord: Hoeing the Rows, for the Seeds

In my my first reaction to Benedict's announcement yesterday, I wrote:Listening to some of the inanities coming out of the mouths of cable news anchors, and noting the way they are quickly, predictably, focusing on the "negative narratives" -- one voice on cable anchor is making it sound like the church has just endured 32 years of misery and she imagines "great joy" among "progressive" Catholics and "confusion" among "conservative" ones -- how grateful I am that, thanks to Benedict's … [Read more...]

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Another Roundup of Reactions on Benedict’s Move – UPDATE

First -- best comment of the day, from I know not where. Stole it from Mark Shea on Facebook:"Pope joins Twitter. Loses interest in job."I think part of the reason some people have had trouble processing what Benedict is doing -- aside from the fact that we've never seen this in our lifetimes -- is that we have become so habitually ironic that we don't know how else to be. But even irony has grown stale. Only authenticity can still surprise us, and being shaken from our torpor today … [Read more...]

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Talking Benedict with Kathryn Lopez and Ed Morrissey – UPDATES

If you're free from about 4PM Eastern you might want to turn your online radio dial to Ed Morrissey's daily show, where I will join Ed and Kathryn Jean Lopez in discussing today's startling news out of the Vatican:The Ed Morrissey Show and its dynamic chatroom can be seen on the permanent TEMS page. Be sure to join us, and don’t forget to keep up with the debate on my Facebook page, too!What's a plug among friends.Check back for more linkage and updates, but if you have a spare m … [Read more...]

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Benedict Announces Retirement (It’s what he WOULD do!) UPDATES!

(photo source)In the Pope's most recent tweet, our dear Papa had this to say to us: We must trust in the mighty power of God’s mercy. We are all sinners, but His grace transforms us and makes us new.And today, on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will retire in just a few weeks.He's been looking very tired for a while -- he is 86 years old. Funnily enough, I was pondering my Pope App this past weekend and marveling the schedule of a man c … [Read more...]

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Newly App’d (but Always Apt) Pope Talks Up Social Media UPDATES

Yesterday saw the release of the Vatican's new "Pope App", which is so well-done that even God and the Machine's Tom McDonald gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up, writing, "I may have to take back all the bad things I’ve been saying about Vatican communications. (Okay, some of them.)"I downloaded the app to my phone last night, and agree that it's pretty groovy. But right on the heals of that app roll-out, the pope has more to offer on these virtual fields in which the sheep do graze.On … [Read more...]

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A Papal Validation from @Pontifex on Twitter

Those who think that Pope Benedict XVI is engaged in mere schtick by making an occasional tweet during a papal audience should think again. If we believe that the Holy Spirit can use all things to God's purposes -- even the most confounding things in the most surprising ways -- there is no reason to think that twitter will not be used thusly.The Holy Spirit can do anything. It can even make a tweet generated by a pope, and meant to appeal to a very broad audience, become an intensely … [Read more...]

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A couple of last-minute gift ideas!

This landed in my mailbox yesterday: James Hitchcock's History of the Catholic ChurchLooks delicious, and I can't wait to read it, but before I could even peer at it, my son -- who likes reading all sorts of history -- grabbed it. He's been outside on the porch, reading and smoking, and reading, and he says he's loving it. So...a Buster recommend! If he didn't like it he'd say so, succinctly and in no uncertain terms.I was really happy to receive a signed copy of Amy Welborn and Ann … [Read more...]

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Newtown and the God who Knows

"In the face of horror ... there is no other answer than the cross of Christ: Love that descends to the abyss of evil." -- Pope Benedict XVIWords fail at this terrible news, somehow made all the more tragic for the season.Christmas is coming. These beautiful children, who likely had written their letters to Santa, or perhaps had opened a new window in an Advent calendar before going to school, are lost to us -- now -- in these weeks where nothing gives us a better sense of promise, a … [Read more...]

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“Shepherds lead as they follow” Even to Twitter – UPDATED

Anyone who thinks that Benedict XVI's foray into Twitter is not, in its own way, shaking the earth, needs to pay attention. If you check out the #AskPontifex you see a roiling energy -- the feed is teeming with it -- aggression and curiosity and timid love and preening hatred are crashing into each other. It reminds me of dark water a few hours before a storm.I like what Sam Rocha has written about it, here:Why would he come here, to this wild place? Why dwell in virtual reality, this … [Read more...]

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