Among the Merciless and Perpetually Outraged, Mind Your Soul – UPDATED

With Meanwhile, Back in America Peggy Noonan wrote a truly excellent column this week, one so full of grieving truth that only the hackiest of partisan hacks could deny it. Those for whom Noonan has beautifully articulated the here-and-now of their concerns could not help but make note of it, but they couldn't acknowledge it with an equal measure of beauty. It was more important to them to thank her while mashing a grapefruit in her face, as Sarah Palin -- who used to have leadership skills that … [Read more...]

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A Papal Validation from @Pontifex on Twitter

Those who think that Pope Benedict XVI is engaged in mere schtick by making an occasional tweet during a papal audience should think again. If we believe that the Holy Spirit can use all things to God's purposes -- even the most confounding things in the most surprising ways -- there is no reason to think that twitter will not be used thusly.The Holy Spirit can do anything. It can even make a tweet generated by a pope, and meant to appeal to a very broad audience, become an intensely … [Read more...]

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Newtown and New Media: must we “do better” on big questions? UPDATED

That's the question I'm asking in my column at First Things, this week. More correctly, I suppose I am wondering, does the Pope (and the church) need to do better with the "hard" questions of faith that are now subject to New Media?Or do we -- and especially the non-believers who are pining for "big" questions -- simply not understanding the depth of the answers?It all started with a tweetback from...a self-described “Agnostic Atheist, Freethinker, Skeptic . . . ” called the Pon … [Read more...]

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“Shepherds lead as they follow” Even to Twitter – UPDATED

Anyone who thinks that Benedict XVI's foray into Twitter is not, in its own way, shaking the earth, needs to pay attention. If you check out the #AskPontifex you see a roiling energy -- the feed is teeming with it -- aggression and curiosity and timid love and preening hatred are crashing into each other. It reminds me of dark water a few hours before a storm.I like what Sam Rocha has written about it, here:Why would he come here, to this wild place? Why dwell in virtual reality, this … [Read more...]

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Twitter Advice for the Pope and What to Ask Him?

So, two days ago the Vatican announced the Pope's new Twitter handle and relative hashtags. Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has amassed about half a million English-speaking followers (he will tweet in 8 Languages) and there are innumerable (and sometimes irreverent, often downright hateful) questions awaiting him at the #AskPontifex feed. The pope is not at a loss for reaction or, for that matter, advice. Our friend Brandon Vogt offers His Holiness Five Suggestions as he becomes a Tweeting … [Read more...]

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@Pontifex Papa Comes to Twitter! #HabemusPapam

So, the big news this morning is the rollout of Pope Benedict XVI's new twitter handle, which is @Pontifex.You can also follow feeds using the hashtags #HabemusPapam and even #AskPontifex, because His Holiness will be taking the occasional question. The man has written bajillions of brilliant, instructive, eye-opening and mind-blowing words, and now he is going to tackle the 140 character theology challenge of twitter!Huzzah, sez I! This is the logical and savvy next step in the … [Read more...]

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