Peter and the Sons of Caesar: A World Upside Down

In observance of the "Fortnight for Freedom", my column at First Things considers that the ever since Peter was crucified upside down, the church has seemed like a screwball, topsy-turvy proposition to the worldly world, and all it's glamor. And all its empty promises:In the first chapter of Father Robert Barron’s remarkable book Catholicism, he discusses the utterly revolutionary fact and idea of Jesus Christ, son of Mary, son of God, as communicated in the “fighting words” that open S … [Read more...]

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Leah Libresco, Media’s Favorite Puzzle

When Leah Libresco informed me that she was entering an RCIA program and wanted to know how to move her blog over here to the Catholic portal, she said she thought there might a some reaction to her conversion, but not enough to take up a whole day, so her main plan was to "sit on the porch and eat ice cream."I'm thinking the vanilla swirl has melted and congealed in the bowl, by now.Being busy with travel and a conference since last Wednesday, I've been a mostly-passive observer of the … [Read more...]

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“No one hates men! But…damn these men!” – UPDATED

On Facebook, Diane of Te-Deum blog embedded this interview between Christiane Amanpour and Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, whom Amanpour calls "a practicing nun."Because she's a class-A journalist, is the haughty Christiane. She's like the Anna Wintour of elite broadcasters, but even less interesting.Full disclosure: as a Benedictine Oblate, I've read and gleaned much wisdom from Sister Joan's books on Monasticism; she has a lot of good and instructive things to say about the psalms and … [Read more...]

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I love this book!

I haven't read The Bible Tells Me So, yet; I never even heard about it until this week. But I love it, because Lisa Mladinich has written so entertainingly about it, and about the fellow behind it!It's the beginning of the catechetical year on a warm Wednesday evening in September, and a noisy crowd of raw recruits has just shuffled in and slumped into chairs, worn out from a long day at school.Before they can droop any further, he engages."Hey y'all, welcome to 6th grade … [Read more...]

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A Papal-Ordered Penance – UPDATED

Joanne writes on the pope-ordered penance that accompanied the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland:. . . at the request of the Holy Father—the papal legate Cardinal Mark Ouellet spent last night in St Patrick’s Purgatory, fasting and keeping barefoot vigil in prayer for reconciliation and healing of the grievous wounds dealt by Ireland’s clergy abuse scandals. [...]Of course, this gesture will be read by many (if not most) as one more cynical photo opp, one mo … [Read more...]

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When Films Touch Real Life

Over at the Patheos Movie Club (you didn't know we had one of those?) and also on the Catholic Landing Page, we have, along with many other interesting pieces, this fascinating article that about 75 Carmelite Sisters who saw For Greater Glory and a piece of their own history:We have read about the Cristeros, researched the elements of the persecution in Mexico, and a few times we've given talks on the beginnings of our community. Some of our first sisters were put in jail. We heard about … [Read more...]

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Humanae Vitae Will Bring Us Together UPDATED

Many Catholics have long regarded Pope Paul VI's little-read-but-much-despised encyclical letter Humanae Vitae as prophetic. Even some who, perhaps, had not previously thought so are admitting that "Humanae Vitae in its entirety reads better, and more presciently, every year."A few months ago, while I was in the middle of a rant, I wrote as an aside:I have come to believe that Humanae Vitae is going to eventually be seen as a powerfully unifying document between Evangelicals and … [Read more...]

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A Church Where Sheep May Safely Graze

Imagine you're pregnant, unchurched and addicted, and you want to step out of the darkness and into the light. What sort of hand will you trust to lead you out?My first child was conceived out of wedlock. I was, at the time, not only unmarried but also a crystal meth addict. I was not Catholic but some strange combination of agnostic/lapsed Protestant; my boyfriend and the father of my child was a Catholic. Obviously neither he nor I were living virtuous lives at the time, but the reality … [Read more...]

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Baptist becomes reluctant Catholic

I know, I know, I have a perverse sense of humor, but this line from this achingly honest piece by a former Baptist seminarian just charmed me:I called my dad crying on January 28th. I was going to become Catholic and hated the idea so much.As far as I'm concerned, the kid's a natural! I bet he ends up being a priest!Welcome to the Catholic Church, Steven. As Paul Johnson said, "come on in; it's awful!" And we just love it. … [Read more...]

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Does Mo Dowd think Celibacy = Pedophilia?

Zoran Karapancev / Courtesy of Shutterstock.comI hadn't read Mo Dowd's latest screed because I've been really busy and because, well, her Yosemite Sam act has really begun to bore me over the years -- as Joanne (envisioning Dowd as another Looney Toon fave) writes here:I wonder sometimes why she doesn’t simply self-destruct in her Tasmanian Devil hissing and spinning...Anyway, because I read Joanne's piece, I read Dowd's -- and if you're going to read either you should read both. T … [Read more...]

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