Are we making an idol of the pope who warns against them? UPDATED

Pope likes my book! Heh.

I can't think of modern pope who has so explicitly, and so frequently, warned us against the creation of idols; he mentioned idolatry early-and-often in his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, and has exhorted against succumbing to it so frequently that the joke around here is: he's in a mind meld with Scalia. And of course, the other joke is this:Even when the crowds cheer him at his audiences, Francis reminds them, "cheer for Jesus, not for me"And yet, as I write this morning in the … [Read more...]

A “Priesthood” Disingenuous, Thoughtless and Vain UPDATED

st andrews

"I am Long Island's first female priest!"Deacon Greg has the story, from Newsday (while Tom has the impatient snark):A Sag Harbor grandmother says she has become the first Long Island woman to be ordained as a priest in a group that seeks equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church.Eda Lorello, a longtime church worker, said she was ordained during a service in Wellesley, Mass., on Aug. 10 organized by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an advocacy group that says it has ordained … [Read more...]

Transparency: Can you see the illusion, now?

JIM LO SCALZO/EPA  (Source)

As the great Edward G. Robinson might say, "How do ya like yer transparency now? Ya! Ya!"Obama's "transparency" was always a damned illusion, of course. People bought it b/c they wanted to. In truth, I can't think of a less transparent administration than this one, which keeps using that word as though it means something else.So, here's the latest:The Sunlight Foundation notes that Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, ceased to exist after June 8, … [Read more...]

Too Funny: Is the Pope Cribbing from Deacon Greg? – UPDATES

"Thumbs up, Deacon!"

We've had a little fun, noting how frequently his Holiness brings up idolatry in his homilies and talks (he just did it again, on June 2!); the joke, of course, is that he and I are mind-melding.Now it seems Deacon Greg and Pope Francis are visiting a similar frequency. Posting his homily early, as he always does, the good Deacon preached this about the Solemnity of Corpus Christi:Communion is, to a great extent, about community. It is about being united in love for Christ, love for … [Read more...]

“You will set the world on fire…” Catherine echoed in Pope Francis

Catherine of Siena Giovanni_Battista_Tiepolo_096 (1)

"If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire" - St. Catherine of SienaI've told this to my kids all their lives, even before I knew Catherine had said it: If you do the thing you're born to do, you will excel, you will excite, you will change things."But how do you know what you're born to do?" they would ask, "If you do lots of things well, how do you know what you are born to do?"Some of us might not be so blessed, of course, maybe some of us can only do one … [Read more...]

The Francis Puzzle: Is he an agent of continuity or change? – UPDATED

Francis Kissing Stole

We're still getting to know Pope Francis. To me he seems like the embodiment of Catholic universality, in that his words are thoughtful, reasoned and never kneejerk. Like his predecessor, Benedict XVI, he appears to be willing to discuss any idea, explore any topic because he knows that open dialogue and the ability to wonder about things allow reason to be fully deployed. And, again, like his predecessor, that indicates that Pope Francis is perfectly confident that such reasoning will always … [Read more...]

So, where and what is this necropolis Pope Francis visited?

Pope Francis, followed by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, visits the necropolis on April 1, 2013. / AP PHOTO/L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

I was surprised to read here that Pope Francis is the first pontiff to tour the "scavi" -- the "Tomb of Saint Peter and the Necropolis under the Vatican Basilica". My husband and I were lucky enough to tour those narrow, very humid streets beneath St. Peter's (only unearthed in the 20th century) in 2010, and although I am rather claustrophobic, the place was too fascinating, and the privilege of being there too humbling to give in to it. To finally find ourselves just a few feet from the burial … [Read more...]

The Quiet Menace: Fixating on Francis, Missing the Point – UPDATED

Papal Hi There

Having just gone to confession after mass this morning, it was not my intention to get into a little tiff with a media outlet on Twitter, but being who I am, I couldn't let it go when I saw one of those lazy, thoughtless sneers cross my timeline, to the effect that Pope Francis (good guy) was refusing to stay in (bad guy) "Pope Benedict's luxurious apartments."I needed to disabuse the writer of the notion that Pope Benedict owned anything, including a "luxurious apartment" but that the papal … [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...]


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