When Neither Will Do: Either/Or Gives Way to Both/And

purses

Part three in the ongoing Saga of the Satchels, or "what happens when Lizzie tries to do something really simple and girly, like buy a new handbag."So, these arrived yesterday, both of them:On the left, the red Baggallini, which is a little larger than the bag I have carried for five years, but a little smaller than I had hoped. It may yet be too small to stash a light scarf. But I still really like it.On the right is the red vintage Scarleton bag, with which the devil Hallie … [Read more...]

Kasper is Missing a Chance to Demonstrate Mercy – UPDATED

Hey, don't listen to those African bishops! Unless you're an African in Africa...and even then!

Cardinal Walter Kasper today addressed his recent remarks to a group of reporters, numbered among them Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register (and Zenit). You can get the background by reading through these posts. The controversy involved his words concerning the bishops of Africa -- which he brought up -- and his denials about ever having spoken to Zenit (a misunderstanding) or having spoken the words that came out of his mouth (intent does matter, and it may have been innocent). … [Read more...]

“I felt only love”: Vinicio Riva on Francis’ Kiss -UPDATED

neurofibromatosis

Everyone remembers this gentleman, and this beautiful moment, one that has lingered in our awareness so well that weeks later, we are still reading, writing and talking about it, still processing it:When these pictures burst upon the scene, Max Lindenman, in a thoughtful post, wondered (worried?) whether the man's anonymity might tempt us to dismiss his human reality.But I do wish I knew more about him — his name, his nationality, his employment history, how faith and doubt play o … [Read more...]

Christianists, Proselytizing and the Encounter with Christ

Image shamelessly cribbed from Frank Weathers

Recently there was a dust-up among some Catholics who wondered what exactly Pope Francis meant when he, during an interview with La Repubblica editor Eugenio Scalfari said that proselytizing was a "solemn nonsense".Clearly, what he meant was that preaching at people doesn't work; while being a reflection of Christ among us is powerful evangelization.If anyone needed the proof of it, recall the ill-reception proselytizing Christians received in 2008, when -- instead of living and working … [Read more...]

Francis, Mary De Turris Poust, the Word and Trust – UPDATED

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The weekend was busy and I was offline for most of it, so I came late to Mary DeTurris Poust's most excellent rant on the state of homilies and parish liturgies in general but when I read it, I cheered. I completely understood where she was coming from, because so often I've gone to mass half-dragging my feet, dreading the sort of (can I say this?) half-assed manner in which so many parishes serve it. And I don't mean "serve it" as entertainment for the rest of us but serve as in service: as in … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Allows Gay Priests to Exhale – UPDATES

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Lots of exploding heads on the internet today, thanks to this headline, which will, naturally, be over-emphasized by the press. But it is certainly worth noting:Pope Francis says he won't judge gay priestsPope Francis reached out an olive branch to the gay community Monday, saying that he won't "judge" gay priests."If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"The pope's predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, authored a document that said men with … [Read more...]

Can Pro-and-Anti Gay Marriage People Co-exist?

shutterstock_102538235 (1)_gay marriage flowers

Still stuck in my writer's block, the only way I could write a column this week for First Things was to format it as a playlet -- a little one-act thing called "Suitable Recommendations" -- wherein I try (and I have no idea whether I succeed) to showcase a story we're increasingly seeing being played out as gay marriage becomes more common: the business owner whose conscience can't let him or her provide services to a same-sex couple planning a wedding.Gentleman: That’s some religion you’ve … [Read more...]

Is faith a carousel or a roller coaster, for you?

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Time is flying. People will soon be getting their March/April issue of The Catholic Answer, and in it you'll find a column that might inspire the question in you: Vice or Victory? Carousel or Roller Coaster?Here was a woman swinging between excesses and defects of pride with pit stops at vanity, gluttony and sloth; here was someone excessive over “work” gifts and defective in appreciation of familial ones; a person deciding that while God and family may offer forgiveness, she knew better and … [Read more...]

Aurora Victim: “I do forgive him…”

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A remarkable take-back of power:Within just a few short hours of surgery on his foot Monday, Aurora, CO shooting victim, Pierce O’Farrill tells nationally-syndicated radio host, Todd Schnitt, that he wants to talk to the shooter, James Holmes.In the exclusive “Schnitt Show” interview, O’Farrill, who was shot three times, recalls the horror in vivid detail and says,“I would like to talk to him. I do forgive him.”Mr. O'Farrill is in better shape than other victims, but this reminded me … [Read more...]

A Church Where Sheep May Safely Graze

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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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