Echoes, Ghettos & the Chasm of Unknowing

Start here with Robert Royal's piece on the "anti-Catholic moment" Are we living in one?Maybe. But I'll get back to that, later.The hatemail and disgusting threats being made against Stacy Trasancos are reprehensible and cannot be justified.They can't. Don't try. Don't say "well, she..." and then prattle on that her expressed frustration and the hurt feelings of others justifies wishing that her children be "kidnapped, raped and murdered."Don't say, "but..." because there is no but. … [Read more...]


Over at First Things, a terrific feature on Hidegard of Bingen:Many have made Hildegard in their own image. She became a mystic to later medievals who saw her through the lens of her popular disciple Elisabeth of Schönau, although she was more properly a visionary and prophet. To humanists like Jacob Faber Stapulensis she became a woman of letters, to Reformers like Andreas Osiander a Protestant, and (in our own day) to the feminists like filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta a proto-feminist. She … [Read more...]

Fr. Frank Pavone Facing Restrictions – UPDATED

Heard a few whispers about this the other day, but couldn't mention it because I really didn't know; seems the story is out:Father Frank Pavone, one of the country's most visible and vocal opponents of abortion, has been suspended from active ministry outside the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, over financial questions about the priest's operation of Priests for Life.The suspension was made public in a Sept. 13 letter from Amarillo Bishop Patrick J. Zurek to his fellow bishops across the … [Read more...]

Yes, We Can Talk About Abortion

Over at dotcommonweal, a serious and thoughtful discussion on abortion by three Catholics of slightly divergent views -- Dennis O’Brien, Peter Steinfels and Cathleen Kaveny -- demonstrate how to talk about abortion like adults: with courtesy, humanity, a bit of breadth and not a clenched jaw in sight -- and it is frankly, a very excellent thing.I predict you will not agree with any of them, in totality -- nor do I -- but I believe you will be surprised at how much common ground may be found b … [Read more...]

Chatting with Heather King – PODCAST UPDATE

Later this month, we'll be celebrating the release of Heather King's latest book, Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Therese of Lisieux, but while we wait in joyful anticipation for our copies to arrive, check out my interview with this wise and self-knowing author:Thérèse wrote under obedience. You sort of write under obedience, too, don't you?In a sense, yes. I am not affiliated with any movement, organization, cause, politics, or institution other than the Church. But that "other than the C … [Read more...]

Catholic Portal: WTC, Hooters, Mother Teresa, Dominionism

Never let it be said that the Catholic portal at Patheos is a predictable place. Currently featured in its columns and blogs:We've been anticipating the 9/11 Anniversary for a couple of weeks, by taking the Testimony of Two Towers, pondering the water and ash, remembering her secret heroes both priestly and canine, and we're finding allusions to that terrible day in our own lives.And we're not done with that topic. This week look for pieces on the anniversary by Deacon Greg, Pat Gohn and … [Read more...]

Art Matters: "A doorway to God"

I like this:Beautiful art is not just for cultural enrichment but is an important way to experience God and become aware of the human thirst for the infinite, Pope Benedict XVI has said.A sculpture, a painting, a poem or a piece of music can arouse a feeling of joy when it becomes apparent it is something more than just a chunk of marble, a canvas covered with colours, or words or notes on a page, he said.“It’s something bigger, something that speaks and touches your heart; it carries a mes … [Read more...]

Mindblowing Catholicism

Ladies and Gents I am going to boldly proclaim something to you with absolute confidence that I am right and in no danger of being told otherwise: you will love this book. Not only will you love it; you'll treasure it, return to it often and want to give a copy of it to everyone you know, even if they are not Catholic.I'm very serious.Catholicism; A Journey to the Heart of the Faith is going to be released on September 6th, and you will want it on that day, and reading it will open up for … [Read more...]

Spiritual Communion

It seems like a small thing, but this story stirred something in me, and gave me hope:More than a million young Catholics learned the hard way about a venerable Catholic tradition: "spiritual Communion" or the "Communion of desire."After a wild storm Aug. 20 at World Youth Day in Madrid left six people injured -- including two with broken legs -- Spanish police collapsed the tents where most of the unconsecrated hosts for the next morning's Mass were being kept.Without the hosts in the … [Read more...]

Secret Heroes at Ground Zero – UPDATED

Sister Mary Ann Walsh has a wonderful and moving piece up on the main page, chronicling the actions of some of our priests, at Ground Zero:Afterwards, [Cardinal Egan] worked at Ground Zero, a site so contaminated that officials told him to discard all his clothes when he returned home. He anointed bodies, listened to rescuers, and consoled both the disconsolate and their consolers. He celebrated funeral Masses at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and led prayers when President George W. Bush arrived at G … [Read more...]