Benedict: Anchoring Pole for Francis and John Paul II

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Over at Aleteia, Father Dwight Longenecker has a piece about Pope Francis as "reformer":Francis is hailed as a “reforming Pope” and he certainly seems intent on carrying through the plans initiated by Pope Benedict. Is it best, however, to regard him as a “reforming Pope”?People can and will make their own determination about that, but Dwight's not wrong that -- public perceptions and media narratives aside -- Francis is certainly moving forward on some Benedictine initiatives, even as h … [Read more...]

17 Silly, frivolous love stories, for Valentine’s Day!

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Love stories, courtesy of National Review, where you will find Charmaine Yoest, Elizabeth Kantor, John J. Miller, Richard Brookhiser, and many others talking about their favorite love stories.I'm in there, too. Were I holier, I would simply have said "The Incarnation" but since I am a sinner and self-obsessed, I told about "How I met my husband; aka An Irish Love Story":At age 20 I began the process of discerning a vocation as a contemplative religious, specifically as a Poor Clare … [Read more...]

Scott Walker and the MSM’s Fake Respect for Credentials

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Well, the hacks are back.They've been mostly quiet, since 2008, but the 2016 election is looming, so preferred narratives are unfolding, Alinsky-esque choosing and isolating of subjects is beginning, as we see with the sudden (and laughably clumsy, yes, hackish) obsession with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The New York Times' Gail Collins is leading the charge with her dull machete, declaring "Scott Walker needs an eraser", in part because he referred to a gifted educator as a "teacher of … [Read more...]

Would I care more about 50 Shades, if I were Evangelical?

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Over in our Evangelical Channel, a brief post by Samuel James, entitled "50 Shades of Self-Loathing" has gone mega-viral. In conversation with an Evangelical friend, I've learned that some Evangelical energy has put into promoting a "boycott" of the movie.The Evangelical community is very exercised about 50 Shades of Grey, and I'm trying to figure out why we Catholics seem less so.It's not as if bishops have not spoken out about the film and exhorted us to holiness. It's not as if … [Read more...]

From the Chapel Hill Murders, an Opportunity for Real Tolerance

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When Representative Gabrielle Gifford was shot while meeting constituents, a reckless press took no time at all to blame ideology: obviously the shooter must have been a crazed Christian Tea Partier following the instructions of a hapless Sarah Palin who -- like some Kos diarists -- had used "targeting" language and imagery in discussing election strategies.You could tell the press really, really hated it when they had to admit that the shooter was so truly, pathetically, deranged that no … [Read more...]

I’m having a Howard Beale Moment

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Yes, yes, yes, I'll recover my head and my bearings in an hour or so, but just now I am weary unto death with the headlines I am reading, because so much of it is -- excuse my vulgarity -- unrepentant bullshit. And I'm tired of the government and the press ladling bullshit at me, as though I have grown accustomed to the taste and smell of bullshit and now crave it and would, in fact, happily bathe in it, if only they just gave us all the bullshit they have to spare.First up: We're supposed … [Read more...]

Kurds & Volunteers Take Kabane from ISIS; Media Silent?

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Irony of ironies: several hours after posting a grouse about the internet wasteland and what it is taking from us, we must now talk about how powerfully this instrument can keep us informed, especially when mainstream media outlets will not.Back when ISIS was casting the Iraqi Christians from their ancient homeland at gunpoint, and rampaging through the Nineveh plain, there seemed a dearth of coverage, all of it lowkey. In the opening days of their genocidal assaults on Christians and … [Read more...]

Launching a Lenten Rescue of my Brain

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The other day a friend asked me what I was doing for Lent, and I immediately launched into plans for articles I hoped bloggers here in the Catholic Channel would be undertaking."No," she said. "I meant you, personally, what are you planning for Lent?"That inspired a longish reply full of lugubriously spiritual yearnings all introspect-y and lumbering gracelessly toward what passes for deep thoughts in my plebeian brain, but somewhere in there was an acknowledgement that I'm feeling a … [Read more...]

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh: A Humble Way of Mercy

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A few years ago I happened to be sitting at a conference breakfast next to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, who at that time was serving as director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. -- a position of weight, responsibility and connections that might be a terrible temptation to ego in another person. Sister Mary Ann managed to wear it lightly, yet powerfully and to great effect. As we munched on sausages and scrambled eggs, I marveled at her energy and … [Read more...]

Strange Gods & Small Groups: A Match Made in…Heaven?

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I'm looking forward to using this book with my students this year. We belong to a very small English speaking group in our parish in Göteborg, Sweden. Two of my students have made their Confirmation already and two of them will be making it in the Spring. I think your book will be a huge asset to me and my class and help further our discussions and our learning. -- Sam E.I am in the process of prepping my annual Suggestions for Lenten Readings, but on the advice of a few friends, I'm … [Read more...]

Patheos Blogger Gives Countercultural Witness to Marriage Vocation

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In celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life, today is a particular sort of "open house" day for many religious orders; nuns and brothers and priests are greeting guests in parlors and chapels, showing something of their homes and how they live their lives.Kathryn Jean Lopez got a bit of a jumpstart on the day by sharing tea and laughs with the Summit Dominicans who, when we last left them, were rescuing an older nun from a freezing elevator.Religious tend to be optimistic and … [Read more...]

5 Reasons Why Brian Williams Will Not be Hillary’s Veep*

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Rumors are swirling that, as NBC launches an internal investigation into more than one now-suspect autobiographical stories he has told, Brian Williams may step down from his anchor desk, and his role as Managing Editor at NBC News.A source at the network says the atmosphere is muted; it's all heads-down-nose-to-grindstone over there right now, with many wondering why Williams felt the need to embellish a story, when covering a war zone is already brave and praiseworthy work?Was the … [Read more...]

Kate O’Hare is Everywhere; And Now, at Patheos Catholic!

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Perhaps the names seems familiar, but you can't quite place her. If that seems true, you've very likely seen Kate O'Hare actively participating on social media -- she is hard to miss as she draws out new angles in arguments and stories about politics, entertainment, art, technology, sports and religion. She talks about it all, because she has spent her life writing about all of those subjects, in turn.O'Hare is a veteran journalist with a finger on the pulse of the popular culture; she … [Read more...]

3 Reasons Brian Williams’ Non-Apology is Worse Than You Think

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He was an award-winning newswriter for CBS News for over two decades, during which time he amassed a mess of awards, including an Emmy, a Peabody award, Writer's Guild awards and I forget what else, and in three fast steps, Deacon Greg spells out why Brian Williams' non-apology not only fails, but further-damages his credibility:What was wrong with that? Let me count the ways. 1. There’s the deflection in the first sentence. Williams seems to be saying: “I was only trying to do something goo … [Read more...]


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