If we “get” Francis, we have to absorb his lessons

One aspect of fallen human nature is that we, in a weirdly paradoxical way, tend to become precisely what it is we do not like. Saint Paul decried this tendency in himself, "I do not understand myself; all that I hate I am become" (Romans 7:15).In attempting to walk with people who still processing our new pope and trying to understand him, or trying to understand themselves and what matters within the depths, I've had a lot of time to ponder that line of scripture. It is so easy for those … [Read more...]

Re Translating Francis’ Interview with Eugenio Scalfari – UPDATED

scream at all the things

Pope Francis called Eugenio Scalfari, the atheist editor of La Repubblica, and said, "how about an interview" and Scalfari, no fool, took him up on it. Reading the first English translation found online this morning, I cursed my poor Italian and kept thinking, "this must be a sloppy translation -- some of this isn't even making sense."Well, "Nunblogger" Sister Anne Flanagan, a Daughter of Saint Paul, saw issues too, and since she reads Italian well, she has become a piecemeal translation … [Read more...]

Müller on Francis: “Don’t get hopes too high”

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Interesting, from the UK Tablet -- full text of an interview between Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller and the German Catholic News Agency:KNA: Can former liberation theologians who have been reprimanded (by Rome) now hope to be rehabilitated?Archbishop Müller: (laughing) I myself haven't reprimanded any! Contrary to widespread popular opinion, the two instructions of 1984 and 1986 were not a big 'No' to liberation theology. They merely discussed certain aspects of it. Its most important … [Read more...]

The Key to Pope Francis

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The Holy Father continues to speak with a sharp sense of urgency:“Yes, you have to come to know Jesus in the Catechism – but it is not enough to know Him with the mind: it is a step. However, it is necessary to get to know Jesus in dialogue with Him, talking with Him in prayer, kneeling. If you do not pray, if you do not talk with Jesus, you do not know Him. You know things about Jesus, but you do not go with that knowledge, which He gives your heart in prayer. Know Jesus with the mind - the … [Read more...]

Triage in Francis’ Field Hospital: Room for Sarah?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Antonio Spadaro, SJ is one of the nicest, most humbly centered and joyful men I have ever met, and his remarkable interview with Pope Francis is, almost a week after its publishing, still dominating conversations among Catholics and even non-Catholics. Bravo, Antonio!The talks that are happening are remarkable, even among people who we may presume have discussed an issue many times, and perhaps have reached an impasse, or simply not known where else to go with it. Check out this affecting … [Read more...]

Francis, Mary De Turris Poust, the Word and Trust – UPDATED

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The weekend was busy and I was offline for most of it, so I came late to Mary DeTurris Poust's most excellent rant on the state of homilies and parish liturgies in general but when I read it, I cheered. I completely understood where she was coming from, because so often I've gone to mass half-dragging my feet, dreading the sort of (can I say this?) half-assed manner in which so many parishes serve it. And I don't mean "serve it" as entertainment for the rest of us but serve as in service: as in … [Read more...]

Francis Confounds the Associated Press

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Via Matthew Schmitz' twitter feed, where he notes a sense of "disorientation."I can just hear the mainstream secular press.WAIT! WHAT? I thought we had a read on this guy! He was gonna shut up about abortion, already! Next day he's telling doctors not to perform them, and sayin' each aborted kid has the face of Christ? WHAT? That's like the WORST THING HE COULD SAY when people are actually listening!This feels like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the Football! It's almost like he's … [Read more...]

A Spiritual Anti-venin for Catholic Battlers

AFP / Getty Images / Via americamagazine.org

Oh, boy. I'm still trying to put some thoughts together concerning Pope Francis' profoundly good, profoundly Catholic, profoundly touching interview, released yesterday. But as I do that, here's something for all of us to chew on, particularly those who are fretting that "this is the end of everything Catholic!" and those who are sneering that weird "nyahnyahnyah..." that I don't even understand. This is for all who are convinced that the church can't be righted until "those people" that other … [Read more...]

Pope Francis’ Wide-Ranging Interview with America – UPDATED

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America Magazine has just posted 12,000 word profile and interview of Pope Francis, written by the wonderful Antonio Spadaro, S.J. (a beloved friend) and covering a broad range of issues:The setting is simple, austere. The workspace occupied by the desk is small. I am impressed not only by the simplicity of the furniture, but also by the objects in the room. There are only a few. These include an icon of St. Francis, a statue of Our Lady of Luján, patron saint of Argentina, a crucifix and a … [Read more...]

Are we making an idol of the pope who warns against them? UPDATED

Pope likes my book! Heh.

I can't think of modern pope who has so explicitly, and so frequently, warned us against the creation of idols; he mentioned idolatry early-and-often in his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, and has exhorted against succumbing to it so frequently that the joke around here is: he's in a mind meld with Scalia. And of course, the other joke is this:Even when the crowds cheer him at his audiences, Francis reminds them, "cheer for Jesus, not for me"And yet, as I write this morning in the … [Read more...]


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