Papa and Pop-Pop, Side-by-Side as Christians

Papa and Pop-Pop

What a day it is! With the release of Lumen Fidei and the announcement of canonizations of Blessed Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, today is all about continuity, cohesion and co-operation: the announced canonization of two modern popes; the release of an encyclical composed by two modern popes, "written with four hands" but with one heart; an unexpected moment when two modern popes sit side-by-side and ask our great angelic warrior, Saint Michael the Archangel, and the most humble of … [Read more...]

Obama says Church Consciences will Be Respected? – UPDATE

Thomas More

That would be surprising! Refreshing, too!Says Obama, today:On an issue as sensitive as [gay marriagte], knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.This from the man who said, during his Comme … [Read more...]

I’m back, baby, I’m back!

CPA 13 Hendey Kandra Me

I am very nearly positive that in the years I've been writing this blog I have never left it completely unattended for a full week -- not when I've traveled to Rome. Not when I've traveled to Rome and been lying on the tile floor, at death's door, even! Nor when I've vacationed anywhere. Except for the days following my brother's passing -- for which there were no immediate words -- I've blogged or arranged for a guest blogger when I've been on the road.And it's not like I didn't have plenty … [Read more...]

The Mystery of God’s Own Timing

Pope-Idols

Yesterday morning my email and twitter feeds were busy with people laughing and saying "he did it again! It's downright spooky!" while sending me this link to Pope Francis' homily, which contained many important themes but was particular heavy on the subject of idolatry:‘The Lord is the only God, there is no other’, but then live as if He was not the only God and have other deities at our disposal...There is a danger of ‘ idolatry: idolatry, which is brought to us through the spirit of the w … [Read more...]

Dark Joy, Inclusion, Mad Men, Conceit, Accommodation and the American Church

American Church

My First Things column this week was more or less (and a little weirdly) inspired by three very disparate things: Pope Francis' thoughts on "the dark joy of gossip" (and his homily from yesterday morning), Harry Crane's outburst on last Sunday's episode of Mad Men and Russell Shaw's new book, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in AmericaThe pope's words on gossip have been reverberating within me (and, I know, within others) for weeks, … [Read more...]

“The Church challenges all its members, in different ways over different issues.” Just like Life Itself

Two great reads for you as I head out to Adoration:1) Sister Mary Ann Walsh hits a homerun as she observes the media going batshit crazy over basic Church teaching as though it's all brand-new:It amazes me when basic church teaching is received as if it were somethig brand new. This morning's New York Times brought the latest example with the headline: "Dolan Says the Catholic Church Should Be More Welcoming to Gay People." A glance at other media outlets finds similar news accounts. … [Read more...]

Why AM I Catholic? – UPDATED

sistine-chapel (1)

Patheos had the idea of asking its bloggers, from all channels, why they believe what they believe; why they are "Evangelical Christian" or "Mormon" or "Protestant" or so forth, in 200 words or less. The page is likely to be completed next week (so check back, because it will be fascinating) and I'm very happy that so many of us in the Catholic portal are posting on the question during Holy Week. You'll find links to some of them at the end of this piece. You can answer yourself, in the … [Read more...]

A Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious Theology of Womanhood

CathPT_BlessedBeautifulBodacious_1

"Each woman's life, well lived, might be the best gospel anyone will ever read. But before the doing, before the carrying out of the mission, there is the being. The personhood of each woman, without her ever saying a word or doing a thing, is a sign of life.Womanhood. Life.Those terms are inseparable" -- Pat GohnOutside of my husband and sons and my heroic and saintly in-laws -- and my dear Benedict, who still astounds me -- I haven't got too many heroes in my life, but Pat … [Read more...]

Unusual Liturgy, Unusual Media, Unusual Holy Week – UPDATED

christ-the-king-large

My piece over at First Things this week, recounts the unusual, and ultimately rather empty-feeling Palm Sunday liturgy I experienced last weekend:It struck me as odd that the same people who say they wish to “build up the community of the People of God,” and who often decry what they see as “limitations” to the role of the laity, completely omitted any interaction between themselves and the people in the pews. The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday is the only one inviting lay participation, yet … [Read more...]

Am I a Cynic, or Simply Observant? Both?

shutterstock_1547640_cynical_observation

Since I am both socially inept and an introvert (not an automatic blend; I'm just a particularly clumsy amalgam of the two) to me, watching from sidelines is altogether preferable to deep engagement. This has made me pretty observant, or at least that's what I took from it when my mother -- reaching for an answer when queried as to why I was "so odd" -- said, "well, she's very observant..."Two really excellent columns by women I admire have crossed my screen today, and in both cases, I found … [Read more...]


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