Church is Holy; Scandals are of Man – UPDATED

Pat McNamara, whose column "In Ages Past" runs every Tuesday here at Patheos, has an interesting piece up today on Scandals and the Church; a question and answer from 1929:"Will you not admit that many of the leaders of your Church— her Popes, Bishops and priests— have been wicked men? How can you call such a Church holy?"The Church remains holy, no matter how many of her leaders prove faithless to the Gospel they preach, for these men are cut off from the Church’s life by their sins, which … [Read more...]

My Sweet Pot-Smoking Lord…

My Tuesday column is up at First Things. Needing a distraction from Japan, I looked closer-to-home and ended up focusing on author James Frey and the planned Good Friday release of his latest book, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, expressing both boredom and hopefulness about it:I was unsurprised to read that this book—which will debut in a small run of only 11,000, underwritten by uber-gallery owner Larry Gagosian, with Frey self-publishing the inevitable second printing—is scheduled for … [Read more...]

New Mass Translation; Discerning Success – UPDATED

Pondering the (in my humble opinion unduly controversial) new English translations for the Holy Mass, Russell Shaw wonders how many people today are equipped to recognize success, even if it succeeds.That's a good question. In many ways, the "new" translations are a harkening back to the more-literal Latin-to-Vernacular translation that I and many in my pre/post-concillar-straddling generation first learned and then had to quickly relearn, once the "Spirit of Vatican II" came to the fore:My … [Read more...]

Helpful Catholics and Happy Catholics

Here is how helpful, concerned Catholics (and friends) can donate to Catholic Relief Services specifically for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami:As with all such disasters, CRS will help people recover from the emergency and stand with them as they recover in the months and years to come.”Caritas Japan is beginning to assess the needs in that country where the tsunami has caused extensive damage. CRS has programs in the Philippines and Indonesia and works with Caritas Oceania that i … [Read more...]

Big Fat Tuesday Lenten Linkfest!

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, of course, and today is Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday, so let's take a look at the wealth of excellent posts and articles that the internets put at our disposal about these vital, and vitally important days. I suspect I am not the only one who is feeling grateful that this season of repentance, quiescence and discipline is upon us. Personally, I feel like I need it. But it feels like the whole world needs it too, doesn't it? I can't tell you how many emails I've … [Read more...]

Astonishing Art; The Book Surgeon

Yes, that's a book. Nothing has been added to it, but a brilliant artist has subtracted from it, and in doing so he has rendered the book into a work of art that helps to define it.Via Digitalnun Daily (which I tell everyone to subscribe to because it finds fascinating things!), comes a link to the astounding work of Brian Dettmer:Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration … [Read more...]

The Demon Dreamseller

Drape a lovely girl over the hood of a sports car and the poor chimps start drooling over it immediately. Show them a condominium overlooking a beach at sunset. Show them a scrumptious meal, beautiful clothes, or jewelry; show them an impossibly tanned and handsome man with a dreamily beautiful woman in most any setting and they will buy not just a product but a dream, and it is this dream which we are most interested in.My dear flukes, if you are assigned to the United States, you will find … [Read more...]

What's New in the Catholic Portal? – UPDATED

If you haven't checked in lately at the main landing page for the Catholic Portal here at Patheos, you may have missed a few new faces and developments!First up, please welcome new columnist Julie Davis, better known to all as the Happy Catholic who also manages to run a foodie blog, read classic books to us and then read some more. Did I mention that she has a book coming out soon (I've read it; it's great!).Julie's column is called A Free Mind; she'll be here twice a month, or so, to … [Read more...]

Sweet Promise and Rank Propaganda

If you missed Sr. Lisa Doty talking about talking in Church, do check her out, and while you're over at the portal, do yourself a favor and avail yourself of some thoughts on promises and propaganda.First, read Max Lindenman -- typically sharp, sweet and funny -- On Dating Nice Catholic Girls:Annie Proulx once ascribed to a crippled ex-rodeo cowboy "a carved-wood quietude common among people who had been a long time without sex, out of the commerce of the world." That's it: the visible sign … [Read more...]

Perpetual Adolescents in the Widening Gyre -UPDATED

I give you two rather different pieces, both sharing a common thread: the full-rein head we have given to all of our adolescent leanings.If the society has been dumbed-down -- and it has been -- it has also developed a case of arrested development, and both issues appear to stem from a generational and cultural mindset that has embraced the sensibilities and reason of 14 year-olds.Think about being 14, for a moment. When you are 14, you know everything, and you resent anyone saying you … [Read more...]