Pope Benedict XVI exits, on his own terms

In the spring of 2009, Pope Benedict XVI stopped in Aquila, Italy, to pray at the shrine of St. Celestine V.The pope left his pallium -- a wool garment that resembles a yoke, symbolizing bonds between a shepherd and his flock — on this medieval pope’s tomb, noted theologian Scott Hahn of Franciscan University of Steubenville. Then, 15 months later, he visited a cathedral outside Rome to pray before the relics, once again, of St. Celestine V.Few noticed Benedict’s actions at the time, wro … [Read more...]

Dave Brubeck’s long pilgrimage

Dave Brubeck had a problem and, as a short concert intermission turned into a long and mysterious delay, the jazz master sheepishly came back on stage to make a confession.It seemed that his son Chris had locked his electric bass in a dressing room and the Baylor University stage crew couldn't find the right key. Without that bass, the Two Generations of Brubeck ensemble -- pianist Brubeck backed by sons Chris, Dan on drums and Darius on electric keyboards -- was in trouble."I really don't … [Read more...]

Soulful voice on a Capitol Hill sidewalk

The atmosphere on Capitol Hill's brick sidewalks stays frosty year round as the power-walking professionals rush along in suits of wool-blend armor, their earphones in place, smartphones loaded and eyes focused dead ahead.But things changed at the corner of Second Street and Massachusetts Avenue NE. That's where streams of pedestrians converge near Union Station, the U.S. Senate office buildings, the Federal Judiciary Center, the Heritage Foundation and other buildings packed with prestige and … [Read more...]

Prof. Benedict addresses Catholic academia

In his latest address to American bishops visiting Rome, Pope Benedict XVI stressed that Catholic educators should remain true to the faith -- a reminder issued just in time for another tense season of commencement addresses.No, the pope did not mention Georgetown University by name, when discussing the Catholic campus culture wars.Yes, he did mention the law requiring professors who teach Catholic theology to obtain a Canon 812 "mandatum (mandate)" document from their bishops to certify … [Read more...]

Shriver and God’s big family

If someone truly wants to understand R. Sargent Shriver, all they need to do is reflect on his last public appearance three months before his death at age 95.Although weakened by his long struggle with Alzheimer's disease, the founder of the Peace Corps and other projects for the needy attended the first Archdiocese of Washington "White Mass" for children and adults with disabilities. One last time, he stood with those touched by the Special Olympics and the work of his wife, the late Eunice … [Read more...]

Yes, Catholics need more priests

As a regular part of his ministry, Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore says Masses on behalf of Catholics who have left the church.The unique element of these rites is that he offers his prayers for anyone he has -- during his 45 years as a priest, with or without knowing it -- driven away from Catholic pews and altars.This isn't the kind of ecclesiastical issue that makes headlines.Nevertheless, this is a quiet kind of crisis that priests must take seriously, said O'Brien, in a … [Read more...]

Celebrate Christmas — gasp! — in Christmas?

Father Dino Bottino didn't expect to spark a firestorm several years ago when he delivered his sermon about the true meaning of Christmas.Still, it didn't take long for outraged parents to leak one crucial statement -- that Father Christmas, also known as Santa Claus, isn't real -- to the Italian press. Headline writers around the world immediately felt a great disturbance in the Holiday Force, as if millions of tiny nonsectarian voices had cried out in terror.Clearly, this priest had … [Read more...]

A social media Reformation?

As every avid Twitter user knows, there are only 140 characters in a "tweet" and that includes the empty spaces.The bishops gathered at the ancient Council of Nicea didn't face that kind of communications challenge and, thus, produced an old-fashioned creed that in English is at least 1,161 characters long.No wonder so many of the gray-haired administrators in black suits in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops struggle with life online. It's hard to take seriously the frivolous-sounding … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X