“Mrs. Bishop” and the Theology of “but of course!”

It was a little over a year ago that a lady around these parts had declared herself to be Long Island's First Female Catholic Priest and managed to be kind of off-putting about it.Her vanity hits the nadir when she refuses to disclose her age. She wants to pastor the people, and gather them in, or something…but she will not give enough of herself, be open enough with herself, to even tell them her age.Ain’t she priestly, though? Really pastoral! Just like Francis!Today we read of ano … [Read more...]

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Gay and Catholic: A Vital Book for Our Time

Eve Tushnet Gay and Catholic Book

Over at the Patheos Book Club, they're talking about several interesting new titles -- it's always a good place to stop and explore books; like an actual, old-fashioned, store you can read excerpts while sipping coffee in your comfy chair.I'm particularly interested in their November offerings, because they include titles by Patheos Catholic bloggers, Lisa Hendey (whose book, The Grace of Yes) will be featured in the second half of the month, so more on that, later) and Eve Tushnet, whose … [Read more...]

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The Burke and Kasper Videos: Epic Fail All Around – UPDATED

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

If you're not already fully repelled by everything in our world being politicized, this might do the trick.Seriously, when I watched these two CNS-produced videos -- which take a page from the political propaganda playbook -- my stomach turned. I actually had a visceral reaction to the overt manipulation at work, here. Propaganda videos, complete with dark music and heavy messaging on one side and fluffy light and goo on the other, are repellent enough in in the political arena. To see them … [Read more...]

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Why Francis and Benedict are Right: Proselytizing is Folly

Limerick parade, 2002/Elizabeth Scalia

Do you know why, as Pope Francis rightly noted (as Benedict did, before him), proselytizing doesn't work?Because it is not Incarnational. It has nothing in common with the example set by the Word when he condescended to join humanity and "set his tent among us". Not near humanity, but still apart; not above humanity, overseeing it, but among and with and in commonality with us.When Proposition 8 was roiling California in 2008, a group of Evangelical Christians decided to make a weekly … [Read more...]

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Burke’s “Exile” to Malta**: What if Everyone is Wrong? UPDATED

The rumors appear to be true, and it looks like Pope Francis is "demoting" Cardinal Raymond Burke from being prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura to “cardinal patron” of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.Burke is only 66 years old; the current "cardinal patron", Paolo Sardi, has just turned 80. That's kind of interesting.There's lots of analysis around, and some odd tweets. Everyone seems to be seeing this as a demotion -- some are using the word "exile", whi … [Read more...]

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The Great Unraveling: A Necessary Look at Reality

unravel shutterstock_6632740

This morning, the New York Times published an exquisitely-written dose of reality via Roger Cohen. If "only Nixon could go to China" then perhaps only a NYT columnist could spell this out and thus permit us to credibly acknowledge that things are as grim as we have all known, in our guts:It was the time of unraveling. Long afterward, in the ruins, people asked: How could it happen?It was a time of beheadings. With a left-handed sawing motion, against a desert backdrop, in bright … [Read more...]

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Consigning Joni Mitchell to the Prayers of Dorothy Day

Very likely due to being ill for nearly four months, I'm in a bit of a work-and-spiritual funk just now. I've got the blues and am hauling out all the usual prescriptions to try to help myself along.I want to "snap out of it" because I know that I have no business feeling glum; my life is too full of good things, for which -- when my head is on straight -- I am everyday grateful. My husband and kids are healthy. My son is happily married to a wonderful young woman. My other son is making … [Read more...]

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Do The Rapes of Rotherham Tell a Tale of Conquest? UPDATED

For days I avoided the story, as I know many others have. Coming on the heels of the atrocities of the Islamic State, the take-over of Mosul (now a holding camp for kidnapped Yazidi "brides") the purging of the Iraqi Christians from their ancient lands and the pursuit of genocide -- the disheartening knowledge that, despite the official pivot away by our government, there are still thousands on Mount Sinjar who will not be rescued, because they are very old, or very young, or very weak -- who … [Read more...]

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Unhappy Nation America: Not a Family, Not a People

house adrift shutterstock_134984156

America is not happy. However it might look on paper, in reality we are not getting along. We are e pluribus unum, no more.I wrote that, and later struck it as being too harsh, for my latest column at First Things, which was written after an evening's troubling conversation with an African American friend who is feeling done with everything and everyone. The militarized police in Ferguson so strained his basket of disciplined goodwill that I suspect one more straw, no matter how light, will … [Read more...]

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Can Finding Peace and Joy in Life Really Be This Simple?

Not easy, mind you, but simple? As in not overburdened with worldly reason and trendy thought; as in intuitive, rather than taught; as in off-the-grid, beyond the collective and as singular as you and I really are?This is a pretty good argument that yeah, peace and joy may not be easy to find, but the method to attaining them is actually pretty simple. I think she's correct.Again, and again, Saint Gregory of Nyssa proves true: Only wonder leads to knowing. … [Read more...]

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