Between Fusty and Freaky: Can Francis find the Liturgical Balance? UPDATED

So, really, what is your feeling about lace peeking out from under the chausible? Are you in mid-meltdown because noble vestments meant to showcase the Kingship and glory of Christ may take a backseat in Pope Francis' bus while the plainer stuff, equally valid for liturgy but emphasizing Christ's humanity, gets used?Scripture tells us "to everything there is a season". In a very complicated age, when the church has an awful lot of housecleaning to do, perhaps it is a season of simple dress. … [Read more...]

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All In: the Deep Evangelization of Pope Francis -UPDATED

Sadly, my phone is not letting me have the picture I took today, for this piece, but honestly, I didn't get any really good shots, anyway. I am a bad photographer, and too short to get much more than pictures of taller people getting better shots. Such is life. This pic above is from 2011.So, my recovery continues apace, and this morning I was able to be part of Pope Francis' audience with the press. Unfortunately, his Italian was too much for mine, so I had to wait for the translated … [Read more...]

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The Jesuit in the Dominican Robes, with the Franciscan Name

Well, I've been quiet through some exciting time, and I apologize for that. I was supposed to be writing to you from St. Peter's Square when the white smoke billowed and the new pope emerged, but instead I appear to have brought something dysenteric with me from NY; since landing in Rome, have been unable to do more than cling to the bathroom floor begging for death or healing and offering up my ordeal for the conclave and now our new pope, Francis. I'm a girl who appreciates irony, and … [Read more...]

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Benedict’s Action is an Unexpected American Consolation

Earlier today the Guardian UK asked me if I could rustle up a quick piece on what sort of legacy America could claim from Benedict. I thought about that a bit -- the American character, our cultural affinity for work and winning, and this is what I wrote:. . .not for nothing is the stereotypical American described as "optimistic, work-obsessed and materially prosperous". We are accustomed to identifying ourselves not by who we are, but by what we do. And we really are, by and large, … [Read more...]

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Benedict’s hope lies in the reach of a monk’s prayers…UPDATES

(Subiaco Cave, where St. Benedict of Nursia lived)My piece at First Things this week looks at the point and the lesson behind Pope Benedict's embrace of monasticism over his remaining time on the papal throne:The failure is heard in the shrieks of pain, ignorance, and hatred directed at the Church throughout the chambers of mainstream and social media; it is seen in the faithful priests and laypeople who read one awful headline after another and continue on, but with increasingly … [Read more...]

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“The Pope’s Jews: Pius XII Not “Hitler’s Pope” Afterall?

Martin Luther King said "a lie can't live."It can travel around for a while, but eventually, like spinning top that is spent, a lie must tumble .It's supremely interesting to me that at the very moment we are watching the beginnings of an all-out effort by the press and others to "define" the papacy of Benedict XVI, and solidify it in people's minds as a catastrophic failure, King's words are being borne-witness to by newly emerging information about another pope. Pius XII has been … [Read more...]

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Media Uses Assault Weapons of Ignorance on Benedict

(image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)Kathryn Lopez gives us a bit of George Weigel on MSNBC.George Weigel keeps his eye on the prize here. This is a good model of communicating in uncertain times, subtly and clearly communicating Gospel truth with fraternal love.Television interviews are deathtraps to the presentment of sophisticated ideas; they're places unfriendly to nuance or depth, because every story, every thought, must be condensed -- truncated to fit the spaces between the … [Read more...]

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Talking Benedict with Kathryn Lopez and Ed Morrissey – UPDATES

If you're free from about 4PM Eastern you might want to turn your online radio dial to Ed Morrissey's daily show, where I will join Ed and Kathryn Jean Lopez in discussing today's startling news out of the Vatican:The Ed Morrissey Show and its dynamic chatroom can be seen on the permanent TEMS page. Be sure to join us, and don’t forget to keep up with the debate on my Facebook page, too!What's a plug among friends.Check back for more linkage and updates, but if you have a spare m … [Read more...]

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Benedict’s Profound Talk on Creation, Freedom, Sin, Love

Yesterday, I posted some thoughts on how the book of Genesis seems, so frequently to mirror John's Gospel, at least in the beginning, and assigned myself the task of spending Lent prayerfully reading both books, "side-by-side", so to speak.Then I read our tireless, ever-working Pope Benedict's splendid remarks to his general audience, this morning, and it seems Papa is looking deeply at Genesis this week, too! And he has some wonderful things to say to us about creation, freedom, sin and … [Read more...]

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Confronting the Voris issue with Spot-on Charity

Because time doesn't permit, and because my interests don't really ride there, I rarely write about anything touching on Michael Voris -- I think the Church Militant needs to be balanced with Mercy in just the same way the Church Triumphant needs to balance with Humility, but I have enough trouble minding my own soul to get exercised about either gang. Occasionally, a Voris story blips across my awareness and then I'll either argue against purges in the family or defend him, if I think he needs … [Read more...]

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