Teen Suicide, Media Excess, Palin and Bullies, Again

A horrible story made even worse by our excesses of media. Try to fully engage and consider this awful story while attempting to ignore the unstoppable video-with-commercials that ABC News plops into almost all of its pages, and which cannot be stopped while in commercial mode.The story is shattering -- two young teenage girls committed suicide together, and yes, bullying once again seems to lie at the heart of their hopelessness:The bodies of best friends Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz, … [Read more...]

Rome-bound, against all odds…

Lots of excited talk this weekend about the Blogger-meetup scheduled in Rome scheduled for May 2 -- the day after the beatification of Pope John Paul II -- and instigated by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. We might call this gathering of international bloggers a "baby step" toward helping disparate voices to get to know each other less as "contingents" and more as hale-fellows-well-met. It will also, hopefully, help to coalesce blogdom's diverse, multi-focused alternative … [Read more...]

The Church is not a Democracy – UPDATED

As Holy Week approaches we can always count on provocative headlines, like Time Magazine's Is Hell Dead? which looks at the latest book by Evangelical preacher Rob Bell. In October, it wouldn't warrant a cover, I'm sure.This entire Lent, however, the Catholic church in America has been roiling with Cult of Personality issues. The scandals of recent years have shaken the faithful; Rome seems distant to many and in our media-obsessed society a passionate orator proclaiming "the truth" … [Read more...]

Corapi Story; Devil's Delight

Over at Deacon Greg's place, the raging, the speculation, the accusing, the snide remarks, the sneering, the hyperventilating, the name-calling, the condescension, the nasty challenges just go on and on and on.There is this whole "we call you part of an anti-Corapi conspiracy" thing going on there, and in my email, which is sad, and sick, and disheartening, and it must be throwing the devil into spasms of delight.I popped over to Deacon Greg's, because someone sent me an email of the … [Read more...]

The Confession, Fr. Corapi, SOLT, Baseball, More!

Have any of you folks been watching The Confession, on Hulu? I saw the first three chapters and found the confession scenes just riveting:When a cold-blooded hitman bursts into a hotel room to execute someone, the intended victim does something unexpected: he asks the hitman for a moment to make his peace with God. The hitman lowers his gun as the victim takes a chain with a crucifix from around his neck, holds it tightly in his hands, kneels down with eyes closed, and begins moving his lips … [Read more...]

DigitalNun's Catholic Daily

The Benedictine Nuns of Holy Trinity Monastery in East Hendred in the UK are very sharp ladies. They continue the Benedictine tradition that once upon a time took place in the scriptorium by adapting it to the modern age and through their sophisticated website which offers an Online Retreat Service, a blog, digibooks, podcasts and more.Their offerings are uniformly excellent, but my favorite thing is the DigitalNun Daily, a virtual daily newspaper in which they cull together online articles on … [Read more...]

Types of Catholic Commenters

Writer Max Lindenman, who usually adds a dose of cleverness to the food for thought offered in his column, "An Israelite Without Guile," today gives us a spoonful of medicine that goes down pretty easy, if you have a sense of humor. Perusing various Catholic blogs and magazine sites, he has identified Nine types of Catholic Commenters:For the curious, I've prepared a brief field guide to some recognizable types:1) The Chief Mourner: For this nostalgic soul, spiritual perfection was realized … [Read more...]

The Toxicity of Idolatry – UPDATED

My Tuesday column at First Things is up, and today we're talking about the strange gods we put before us and the toxic effect it has had on our politics:[In Barack Obama] . . . chattering classes, largely indifferent-to-agnostic-to-hostile toward religion, had suddenly found themselves a god, and to speak his name in vain could not be countenanced. Heretics sinning against the speak-not commandment were speedily feathered with the gooiest tar available and then ostracized from polite … [Read more...]

Archbishop Dolan on CBS

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who shared with moving honesty the story of his encounter with an angry Catholic here will be featured tomorrow night on 60 minutes.Even though 60 minutes starts the same time as In the Arena (the real one, not Spitzer's) that's one episode I will be sure to watch.Asked if he feared the impact of the scandal would go on forever, Dolan replies, "In some ways, I don't want it to be over, because...this was such a crisis in the Catholic Church that in a way, we don't … [Read more...]

Religion, Apps and New Media

Last week I mentioned that Eliot Spitzer and CNN had renamed their re-tooled panel show, turning Parker Spitzer, into In the Arena, and I groused that there is already a panel show by that name being aired by the Diocese of Brooklyn, which you can see each spring here.This week we'll be talking about the latest on the deplorable and depressing scandal within the church - you can watch that tonight at 7PM, Eastern or again at 11:30PM, if you're inclined.Last week's show was great fun, though, … [Read more...]