Phone Fallout: Prince of the Air vs Jesus’ Teaching 4 UPDATES

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Billy Crystal used to do a great bit mimicking Edward G. Robinson in The Ten Commandments:An echo of that appeared in my email the other day from a traditionally-minded Catholic who -- having taken previous exception to my having "made excuses" for Pope Francis' very different style -- was incensed over the news that the "Cold-call Pope" had done it again, to great general confusion.The writer was at pains to be civil, but between the lines, I could almost see Edward G. Robinson … [Read more...]

Who didn’t walk out on Benedict will stay for Francis

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It was mere moments after Pope Benedict XVI left the balcony after pronouncing his first blessing as pope, and I perfectly recall the insta-drama-queening that commenced:E.J. Dionne described himself as "petrified" of what a Pope Ratzinger might bring. Sr. Joan Chittister suggested that Benedict was so retrograde he represented the theology of the 13th century, and predicted, "[if women are not allowed ordination] . . . we're going to lose an entire generation of young women and we're going … [Read more...]

Charismatic: The Pope and the Pentecostals are 45 Minutes of FASCINATING – Updated!

Bishop Tony Palmer, introducing Pope Francis Video

I had just finished watching this video, when Marcel LeJeune sent this post of his my way, calling the it "astounding."It's that and more.I will tell you this: I watched the whole thing, and was fascinated, and blown away, and -- hard as this might be to believe -- moved to copious tears.I have seen some Catholics on Facebook say they forward through the video, only watching the last 15 minutes or so, with Pope Francis. I heartily recommend that you don't do that -- that you, … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

“If you do not love, you do not know.” Benedict, Francis and a Relevant Church

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It was one year ago today that Pope Benedict XVI announced an action on his part that will resonate for many decades into the future -- to long past when we have all passed -- and throughout the world.The Catholic church is relevant to the whole world. It has been for 2000 years, and it will be relevant until the end of time. Decades of social revolution, transitioning moral outlook, broad educational opportunities and excessive materialism (combined with the church's own heinous sins) had … [Read more...]

Divorce-Remarriage: Francis May Walk Us Thru Door B16 Cracked Open – UPDATED

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Pretty recently I wondered whether ideas to reform our annulment process would be seen by people as "amnesty" or necessary mercy:An attempt to streamline the annulment process is not an idea that will please everyone. Those who. . .have jumped through the hoops and endured the long and difficult bureaucratic processes may justifiably wonder about fairness. They may feel like the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son, and they will need to be reminded–with great love–that “ev … [Read more...]

Racking Up My Balls So You Can Crack Them! UPDATED

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Like billiard balls on the table, I am sort of scattered all over the internet just now, so, let's rack these things up and then you can have a crack at me.Earlier this week Kathryn Jean Lopez published Part II of our long interview last May. Reading oneself seven months later can be interesting, and self-instructive.KJL: “When something is true, there is no point in arguing. We cannot make anyone believe anything.” How does that gel with the Gospel mandate to evangelize?Scalia: Jes … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Has a Favorite Book for Christmas!

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It was a secret, but the folks at Ave Maria Press sort of spilled the beans!Wait, what's that in his hand? What is he getting ready to put on the tree? Let's take a closer look!Oh, it's my book! He must have heard that the next printing will include a study guide, which you can also find right here if you care (or dare) to further explore the role idols play in your life!I'm actually kind of relieved that he is not holding my other book in his hand because you know, it's a … [Read more...]

Two images and the opening of Evangelii Guadium – UPDATED

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"The great danger in today's world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s v … [Read more...]

Crouched Behind our Ideologies; Blocked from Salvation – UPDATED

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Almost a year ago, I announced that I was going to make a full-hearted effort to pull back from the temptation to ideological excess, and I completely meant it. I was tired of being angry, more than a little convinced that my anger suited the purposes of others, beyond my ken, and fed up with consenting to being bitter -- which was not only exhausting but took me nowhere I wanted to go.Here's what I've learned, so far: It's not always easy. Absent a grace-filled miracle, one can't can't … [Read more...]


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