What is the Sin? It is in the Self, the Idol

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Reflecting on Lumen Fidei over at First Things, Nathaniel Peters writes:. . .an unexpected word does appear in Lumen Fidei: idolatry. As is characteristic of his evangelical boldness, Francis notes that in the story of the golden calf, “the opposite of faith is shown to be idolatry.” Faith demands a kind of patience. It requires us to abide the hiddenness of the God we long to see. The pope notes Martin Buber’s definition of idolatry, which he in turn took from the rabbi of Kock: “Idolatry is … [Read more...]

So, what IS the “new evangelization?” – UPDATE

JPII, Benedict, Francis--Faith, Hope, Love (1)

In Catholic circles, everyone talks about "The New Evangelization", but explaining what exactly it is, is not always easy. In my column in this issue of The Catholic Answer Magazine, I more or less "go to the sources" to help give solid examples of The New Evangelization, in Theory and Application:Weeks before his death in 2005, Pope John Paul still appeared at his apartment window and, unable to speak, showed his faithful attention to the people and received theirs in return. His mere … [Read more...]

“Your Holiness, I want to be a priest of Christ!” – VIDEO UPDATE

Pope Francis, embraces, cries with Nathan/credit Radio FM Cancao

Okay, this made me weep, and I am no weeper.Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul 30, 2013 / 02:54 pm (CNA).- Nathan de Brito brought Pope Francis to tears during one of his motorcades through the streets of Rio de Janeiro on Friday, when he broke past barriers to deliver an important message to the Pontiff.“Your Holiness, I want to be a priest of Christ, a representative of Christ,” de Brito whispered in the ear of Pope Francis July 26, after jumping hurdles and making his way to the Pop … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and the Art of War – UPDATED

Giotto, Peter striking ear of Malchus, John 18:10

“To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.” -- Sun TzuIn my column over at First Things today, I hope to lay a calming hand on a few shoulders that had nearly gone spastic yesterday, in response to early reports of Pope Francis' chat with reporters as he flew home from World Youth Day. A great many voices on social media were yelling that the pope was being "used" by the press to further a gay-sympathetic agenda; the fact that most sec … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Allows Gay Priests to Exhale – UPDATES

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Lots of exploding heads on the internet today, thanks to this headline, which will, naturally, be over-emphasized by the press. But it is certainly worth noting:Pope Francis says he won't judge gay priestsPope Francis reached out an olive branch to the gay community Monday, saying that he won't "judge" gay priests."If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"The pope's predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, authored a document that said men with … [Read more...]

Francis: A Big Brass Band of a Pope and Peter the Roman – UPDATED AGAIN

Hey Marco Call Me

For years, I have been saying that each pope -- each iteration of Peter -- has his own style, which is why comparisons are always imperfect; a man's nature informs his outreach. John Paul II was a trained actor and his papacy was like a giant, dramatic, nation-shaking pipe organ that could not be ignored. The shy and introverted Pope Benedict XVI, on the other hand, was like a tinkling piano, inviting you to come in be quiet and find some stillness. And the energetic, extroverted Pope Francis? … [Read more...]

Papa and Pop-Pop, Side-by-Side as Christians

Papa and Pop-Pop

What a day it is! With the release of Lumen Fidei and the announcement of canonizations of Blessed Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, today is all about continuity, cohesion and co-operation: the announced canonization of two modern popes; the release of an encyclical composed by two modern popes, "written with four hands" but with one heart; an unexpected moment when two modern popes sit side-by-side and ask our great angelic warrior, Saint Michael the Archangel, and the most humble of … [Read more...]

The Mystery of God’s Own Timing

Pope-Idols

Yesterday morning my email and twitter feeds were busy with people laughing and saying "he did it again! It's downright spooky!" while sending me this link to Pope Francis' homily, which contained many important themes but was particular heavy on the subject of idolatry:‘The Lord is the only God, there is no other’, but then live as if He was not the only God and have other deities at our disposal...There is a danger of ‘ idolatry: idolatry, which is brought to us through the spirit of the w … [Read more...]

Too Funny: Is the Pope Cribbing from Deacon Greg? – UPDATES

"Thumbs up, Deacon!"

We've had a little fun, noting how frequently his Holiness brings up idolatry in his homilies and talks (he just did it again, on June 2!); the joke, of course, is that he and I are mind-melding.Now it seems Deacon Greg and Pope Francis are visiting a similar frequency. Posting his homily early, as he always does, the good Deacon preached this about the Solemnity of Corpus Christi:Communion is, to a great extent, about community. It is about being united in love for Christ, love for … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and I are in a Vulcan Mind Meld!

Francis-strange gods

We've joked that our new Pontiff and I seem to be enjoying an unusual bit of synchonicity on the issue of idolatry. In his wonderful talks and homilies he touches frequently on the issue, enough so that Brandon Vogt -- the hardly sleeping and inventive Brandon Vogt -- took the time to create this amusing photoshop for me:Here's Pope Francis this morning:“The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an e … [Read more...]


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