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

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(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...]

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

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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...]

A Papal Validation from @Pontifex on Twitter

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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...]

A couple of last-minute gift ideas!

history of the catholic church hitchcock

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...]

Newtown and the God who Knows

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"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...]

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

PeterShadowheals

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...]

Twitter Advice for the Pope and What to Ask Him?

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So, two days ago the Vatican announced the Pope's new Twitter handle and relative hashtags. Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has amassed about half a million English-speaking followers (he will tweet in 8 Languages) and there are innumerable (and sometimes irreverent, often downright hateful) questions awaiting him at the #AskPontifex feed. The pope is not at a loss for reaction or, for that matter, advice. Our friend Brandon Vogt offers His Holiness Five Suggestions as he becomes a Tweeting … [Read more...]

Does Church Suppress God’s Will? That’s Wicked, Right?

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Like Mark Shea, I too thought the National Catholic Reporter had endorsed female ordination years ago. I actually had no intention of writing about it for my First Things column, today.Yet somehow -- and though I had intended to write more about Calah Alexander and the idea of a Ministry of Succor to young mothers, I ended up at female ordination, asking a few questions about NCR's stand:The overbearing men of Rome, most particularly Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are depicted as … [Read more...]

@Pontifex Papa Comes to Twitter! #HabemusPapam

Pope Benedict XVI arrives to lead his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican

So, the big news this morning is the rollout of Pope Benedict XVI's new twitter handle, which is @Pontifex.You can also follow feeds using the hashtags #HabemusPapam and even #AskPontifex, because His Holiness will be taking the occasional question. The man has written bajillions of brilliant, instructive, eye-opening and mind-blowing words, and now he is going to tackle the 140 character theology challenge of twitter!Huzzah, sez I! This is the logical and savvy next step in the … [Read more...]

A Year of Faith! A Year of Discussion!

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Here at Patheos, we like to say we are "hosting the discussion on faith", and we try to live up to it.To that end, and as the Holy Father today declares open a dedicated "Year of Faith", we at Patheos are today launching a dedicated Year of Faith Page.Every week throughout the Year of Faith that page will be showcasing Catholic voices from around the world, featuring people of all stripes and callings – women and men, and Catholic youth; bishops, religious, deacons and priests – all … [Read more...]


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