Belying Emily Letts’ “good abortion” Words: Her Face UPDATE

Emily Letts

Kathy Schiffer calls a video of Emily Letts getting an abortion "weird", and if all you take into account is this young woman's words, they are weird; they make almost no sense.“I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.”If you let yourself become distracted by what is coming from her mouth, you miss all that is … [Read more...]

You Balance Out the Keening Pain of Newtown – UPDATED

light in darkness

“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from PrisonMy goodness, you guys, I'm not easily moved to tears but the response to this request for toy donations on behalf of an outreach that had none to give -- and the kindness and generosity that i … [Read more...]

Twitter Advice for the Pope and What to Ask Him?


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...]

The Cross always threatens Communists – UPDATED


Found Via Deacon Greg:Government authorities from a district in the Central Highlands last week compelled ethnic villagers to remove Catholic pictures and items from their chapel and replaced them with images of Ho Chi Minh last weekend.“After local Catholics finished prayers in the chapel on Sunday morning, local government authorities came and asked them to remove a cross and a Marian picture from the chapel,” a Church source said.The source added that authorities from Kon Thu … [Read more...]

LCWR, the SSPX and the Vatican; Fun Times in Catholicland UPDATED

Busy days here at Patheos and I am only now getting to a bunch of emails from people asking me what I think about "this misogynist outrage from the Vatican" concerning the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Others, possibly recalling a piece I wrote three years ago sound like they're rubbing their hands together in anticipation; "I can't wait to see what you have to say about this!" wrote one woman.I wrote back, "what I think may surprise you."The possibility of the … [Read more...]

You Say “Tomato,” I Say “To-MAH-to”: St. Blase and the Holy Helpers

St. Blase

OK, so Father Longenecker—This week I wrote about St. Blase, and you followed up with a great post on St. Blaise.Nonplussed, I went directly to Spell-Check, I did not pass Go, and I confirmed that We Are Both Right. The saint whose feast day we celebrated today answers us, whichever spelling we prefer.I am not defensive or spiteful or OCD or anything like that, but I did happen to notice that the following websites all spell the name as I did: Blase. • EWTN • Holy Spirit Inter … [Read more...]

A Brother’s Lesson on Christmas

shutterstock angel

This morning, on Facebook I noticed that The Christopher's Tony Rossi had posted something from their "Three Minutes A Day feature -- quick inspirational reads that can put a day into perspective. You can get the Three Minutes a Day Book, too and Tony quoted for the latest volume (#47) which is for 2012.As it turns out, that entry uses something from a piece I wrote a long time ago. It was from an open letter, written to Maureen Dowd back when I wasted time and energy trying to cheer her … [Read more...]

Holy Eucharist, Humility and Flannery O

My column at First Things this week looks at the story of Father Augustin Escobar, the California priest who recently had his priestly faculties suspended for concelebrating Mass with a Presbyterian minister. As few details had yet emerged as I was writing, I stuck to the question of closed communionThere exists an odd double-standard concerning Catholic observances and almost any other ritual. Culturally nuanced and sensitive Americans would never presume to attend a Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, … [Read more...]

St. Scholastica; Irritating Sister

photosourceWhen I made my first inquiries about becoming a Benedictine Oblate, I received this icon with the monastery's response. It sits on my desk, still.Today is the feast of St. Scholastica, the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia. Very little is known about her, historically, and there is some debate about where her relics may be. While in Rome, we were able to take a tour of the monastery and cave at Subiaco, where Benedict founded the order, and our helpful guide communicated … [Read more...]

St. Francis de Sales

"To live according to the spirit is to love according to the spirit."Today is the feastday of this very great saint - a bishop, a prolific writer and Doctor of the Church; patron of writers and communicators.In this age where we are all of us communicating instantly, non-stop, and probably more than we ought, he is a good saint to keep in mind.If you have not read Pat Gohn's reasons for keeping St. Francis on her fridge door, go check it out. His message of hope, which she shares, … [Read more...]