What the hell is WRONG with these people? – UPDATE

chesterton last words

If you ever doubted that there is a battle going on all around us -- a true battle -- between good and evil, and that that battle engages every single one of us whether we are aware of it or not, the events of the past week really ought to clarify that point for everyone.In the face of the unspeakable evil of the slaughter of children, good broke through, and the stories are legion -- good people of all faiths and of no faith at all have moved with generosity and concern to do whatever … [Read more...]

It’s Norbertine Nun Wreaths, Gift Ideas Time!


My project today -- and I am sadly later to it than usual -- is to remind you that once again, the Norbertine Nuns of Tehachapi, California are taking orders for their incredibly fresh and long-lasting Christmas Wreaths (pdf)I can only tell you that I have bought these wreaths for the last couple of years and they outlast any wreath I've ever purchased from a retail outlet, or mail-order house. For the last two years we've left the wreaths up throughout January, until my husband … [Read more...]

The Celeb Names & Why We Care

Earlier I posted a picture of celebrities from the 1940s and asked you to identify them.Some of the guesses were very good, indeed. I myself was only able to recognize Loretta Young (the sitting gal with the feathered hat) but I got waylaid by the fellow in profile, who looked a little like Cary Grant, if Cary Grant had looked like that.Let's look again:The un-Cary Grant is the film director Leo McCarey. The back row is Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Jack Benny, Irene Dunne, and William … [Read more...]

Secular Sex Abuse Gets a Look – Poll Added

In New York, Queens Assemblywoman Margaret Markey routinely presents a bill which seeks to open a year-long "window" into the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse cases, allowing victims whose cases may go back as far as 40 years to bring suit for damages.Because the bill has -until now- been limited by Markey to impact the churches, exclusively, it has always either failed or been shelved. It is difficult to pass a bill that essentially finds some sexual abuse victims to be more worthy … [Read more...]

"No one wants to see Pope prostrate…"

As we've wondered about the impact of a Great Prostration, I remembered this discussion on In the Arena, the current-events panel show produced by NET-TV in the Diocese of Brooklyn: … [Read more...]

The Great Prostration; Count Me In

In an impromptu, and very beautiful homily, Pope Benedict XVI last week brought up the issue of penance:Penance is grace; it is a grace that we recognize our sin, it is a grace that we know we need renewal, change, a transformation of our being. Penance, being able to do penance, is the gift of grace. And I must say that we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word penance, it has seemed too harsh to us. Now, under the attacks of the world that speak to us of our sins, we … [Read more...]

John Allen; definitive on Benedict, Scandals

The great John Allen, perhaps the best English-language reporter on the Vatican beat, does yeoman's work in three different articles, to which I am linking today. Allen takes knowledgeable, sometimes devastating but always fair looks at Pope Benedict XVI and the crisis that has engulfed him over the past few weeks and has come to -rather unjustly- define his papacy.None of these pieces is fun to read. All of them are thoughtful, instructive and very valuable, particularly to anyone who wants … [Read more...]

Defending Benedict Against Theatricals

There is a plot afoot to arrest the Pope when he goes to England in September. As it seems Her Majesty, the Queen had apparently expressed an interest in putting Benedict up at Buckingham Palace, I am intrigued to imagine the Defender of the Faith and the head of the Church of England, giving sanctuary and protection to the Bishop of Rome.But then Christ in the fullness of time will restore all things to himself!The basis for the plot is a single document being lauded as a smoking gun … [Read more...]

The Celibacy Lecture

My husband was working with the Scouts this weekend and the church scandals came up. One woman said, "if the Catholics did not insist on a celibate priesthood..."My husband, a quiet sort, answered as he worked, "the Scouts have had their share of sex-abuser scoutmasters; none of them were celibate priests."I have my own response to the "if only priests were not celibate" lecture but because it is a rather mean answer, I only use it if the lecturer has been rude about it. I ask them: was … [Read more...]

Douthat, JPII and B-16 -UPDATED

Over the past week, in correspondences with friends, I've wondered how Pope John Paul II -whom I revere for a holy man- was such a poor judge of character? He named so many weak bishops, and seemed to believe people he should not have. When this story broke about Fr. Maciel, I had to wonder again: was JPII a deplorable judge of character?After reading that, I wrote to someone, "It seems like JPII was the charismatic hero, leading the parade, and Cardinal Ratzinger was the homely little guy … [Read more...]