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

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!

PopeSantaWithMyBook

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

"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

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...]

Evangelii Gaudium and My Joyful Grouse Rome-ward

Well, the little I've managed to read of it today, I've loved, and you will likely love it, too, because in my skimming, I'm finding it gorgeous.In my skimming, my eyes landed on this bit, which is rather glorious, and a true challenge to all of us. It more or less explains what Pope Francis meant when he called proselytism "solemn nonsense":Loving others is a spiritual force drawing us to union with God; indeed, one who does not love others “walks in the darkness” (1 Jn 2:11), “remains … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: A School of Love On Legs

My column at First Things this week was written on the energy of annoyance:Currently the Internet is abuzz with the news that Pope Francis, upon hearing that Catholic Traditionalist Mario Palmaro was ill, picked up the phone and called this vociferous critic of his papacy, assuring him that there were no grudges being held, only prayers being offered.I was astonished, amazed, above all moved [by] one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. But I felt the duty to remind the Pope … [Read more...]

One Catholic’s Brief and Incomplete Appreciation of Billy Graham

Over at Patheo's new Public Square feature, they're talking about the legacy of Billy Graham in the 21st Century.I'm interested in getting some Catholic input on Reverend Graham, whom I've always respected, particularly input from Catholics who had entered the church through a more Evangelical background. My own appreciation of him came late. I remember, as a kid, seeing ads in TV Guide for one of his "Crusades" and wondering what the Protestants were crusading about. My formerly-Lutheran … [Read more...]

Pope Francis’ Marginalized Ones: You and Everyone You Dismiss, Too

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Back on Wednesday, Pope Francis gave a particularly passionate and energetic sermon that got a lot of notice:Turning to the Letter to the Romans, the Pope then affirmed that this feast is a “feast of unity.” He underlined the fact that all are invited, “the good and the bad.” And the first to be invited are the marginalized:The Church is not the Church only for good people. Do we want to describe who belongs to the Church, to this feast? The sinners. All of us sinners are invited. At this … [Read more...]

Two Extraordinary Moments Where a Single Hand Gesture Tells the Whole Story

Twice today I have been very moved to come across gloriously beautiful -- dare I say transcendent -- images, where the poignancy of the moment was movingly emphasized by the small unconscious movement of a single hand.First, thanks to Deacon Greg, I saw the La Stampa photo of Pope Francis kissing a man so seriously disfigured that most of us would likely find him difficult to look at, and would turn away.Everyone is looking at this picture, and it is, indeed, breath-taking.But … [Read more...]


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