Pope Benedict: Faith and the Future

faith future

In 2009 Ignatius press released this prophetic little volume, written by our pope over 1969-1970 -- while the world was in the first throes of the social revolution. I thought I'd share a few of Joseph Ratzinger's prescient thoughts. They seem timely:"The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many … [Read more...]

To Defend HHS Mandate: Look at Anything but Constitution


The vacationing Deacon Greg Kandra has still managed, between spending time with Mickey and Minnie to post this interesting piece by Dave Gibson, who has written an informative article about what I called my First Things piece, yesterday, the "nuances between direct and indirect co-operation with evil".Gibson does his usual brilliant job in expanding on it, but he does so from a place accepting that President Obama's recent "accommodation" did actually accommodate the churches. Completely … [Read more...]

Tired Benedict Needs our Prayers

benedict tired

(photo source)"Benedict turns 85 in the new year, so a slowdown is only natural. Expected. And given his age and continued rigorous work schedule, it's remarkable he does as much as he does and is in such good health overall: Just this past week he confirmed he would travel to Mexico and Cuba next spring.But a decline has been noted as Benedict prepares for next weekend's grueling Christmas celebrations, which kick off two weeks of intense public appearances. [...] Back at home, however, … [Read more...]

Feast of Saint Andrew Audio/Reading UPDATED


I'm an awful photographer but took this in Rome last May -- happily, mass began in one of the side chapels just a few seconds after I snapped this! Sant'Andrea della Valle is much simpler than many other churches but very beautiful, and I lingered, here.It's recently cleaned-up exterior is very pretty, too -- much more so than the image at the link would suggest.At News.va we read how the relics of Andrew first came to Rome:In 2006 Benedict XVI travelled to Turkey to coincide with … [Read more...]

CUA a Pontifical University: No Jesus-Free Places UPDATE

Profile on Ali Basiri, Muslim student at Catholic University

Ali Basiri, 27, prays next to his desk in his office at Catholic University. Ali is an Iranian graduate student who came there to study electrical engineering more than four years ago. Astrid Riecken / For The Washington PostThe Catholic University of America (CUA) a Pontifical University. That means this is a school established by the Holy See, and directly under its authority. As such, it cannot be true to itself while creating "Jesus-free" spaces.To demand that a Pontifical University … [Read more...]

Church, Economic Reform and Consolation – UPDATED


In the comments section of this piece, some appear to be wondering whether I am simply "dismissing" the Note on Financial Reform. I can't do that, as I still have not read it.I do think the church is, as ever, caught upon the same wire it has danced upon since its founding, with one foot poised for the next step, hovering between earth and heaven and trying to reconcile both to each other, and trying to do so in the language and sensibilities to which its churchmen have been formed. Some … [Read more...]

As with every Vatican Pronouncement…

. . . take media reports of this one with a grain of salt.When my Southern Baptist friends read press accounts of news or statements coming from the Vatican, they sometimes write me saying, "what fresh hell is this? Was Jack Chick right? Is the Vatican a bunch of commies?"And I always have to remind them to "ignore the headlines; the headlines are about the press framing their preferred narrative, because they know that two days of blaring headlines promoting one narrative will … [Read more...]

Horizontal Schisms meet Vertical Hope

Every once in a while, something comes across the desk or email and and it makes you aware of how quickly time goes by.For instance, it seems like just yesterday, I was talking about debuting a new column in The Catholic Answer Magazine, and "holy smokes...a month has gone by!" and here is my second column, entitled "And They Will Set You Free"Imagine a people, and the church in which they grow up — a church in which the people worshipped with fervor during adolescence and to which, perhaps … [Read more...]

Art and Faith on EWTN

While in Rome for the Church Up Close seminar, last September, it was a great and lasting pleasure to meet Ashley Noronha and her husband, John, brilliant people of faith who exude joy and warmth. It was a real grief that a return to Rome for the Beatification of John Paul II and the Vatican/Blogger Meet-up was so busy that I was not able to catch up with them for a cappuccino. As we say in New York, "they're the sort of people who, if you can get-together with them, you should.So it was … [Read more...]

Chaput to Philadelphia

I do believe that Rocco Palmo's Whispers in the Loggia may have been first to break the news, but New Advent might have won by a nose.And it's big news, indeed -- the beleaguered and hurting Philadelphia's new bishop is Denver's Charles Chaput:Rocco -- from whom I shamelessly cribbed the picture -- writes:He is brash, outspoken and fearless -- energetic, colorful, cultured... indeed, even hard-core....And if multiple indications from near and far have it right, he stands set to bring … [Read more...]