Dueling saints from the Second Vatican Council?

History will show St. John XXIII was a pastor with an "exquisite openness to the Holy Spirit," while St. John Paul II will be known "as the pope of the family."That was as close as Pope Francis came to providing the sound bite all the so-called Vatican experts were waiting to hear during the historic St. Peter's Square rites in which he -- with the retired Pope Benedict XVI looking on -- elevated to sainthood two popes who did so much to shape modern Catholicism.The media mantra called … [Read more...]

The man from Buenos Aires vs. dead Catholic museums

BUENOS AIRES -- It's hard to wrestle with the crucial moral and cultural issues in modern Argentina without getting Catholic and Protestant leaders into the same room.During one tense gathering, some Catholic speakers kept referring to decades of rapid growth by "evangelical cults" in Latin America. The assumption seemed to be that evangelical Protestants were all the same, with no real differences between, for example, the freewheeling "prosperity Gospel" preachers and ordinary Protestant … [Read more...]

Boy Scouts, canon law and trying to predict the future

Every since the gay Boy Scouts earthquake, many Catholics have been asking canon law expert Edward Peters to fill a role he has clearly stated he has no desire to play -- that of a prophet."I'm no good at predicting the future. My only concern is with the BSA policy as written," said Peters, reached by email during a busy week. "That policy does not conflict with the church's teachings on homosexuality or homosexual persons."Right now, it's logical for parish leaders and Catholic parents … [Read more...]

‘Tis this pope’s gift to be simple

The rise of Pope Francis has certainly raised new questions for Vatican watchers, such as: How significant is it that he has not been wearing cufflinks?In the past, this kind of detail "would be seen as frivolous," noted Rocco Palmo of Philadelphia, whose "Whispers In The Loggia" site is must reading for Catholic insiders. Now, this pope's commitment to beyond-symbolic simplicity is causing religious leaders, journalists, diplomats and Catholics at every level to wrestle with the importance … [Read more...]

The pope, Twitter and what comes next

As soon as Pope Benedict XVI announced he would surrender St. Peter's throne, messages stopped flowing to the 1.5 million or so readers following his newborn @Pontifex feed at Twitter.This wasn't surprising since the 85-year-old theologian -- bookish and reserved, by nature -- cited his deteriorating health and declining energy as reasons to let a new pope wrestle with a world "subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith."Twitter … [Read more...]

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...]

Searching for “Catholic identity” on campuses

St. Ignatius Loyola was clear from the beginning that a Jesuit education would involve more than texts and classrooms, teaching that students should "absorb along with their letters the morals worthy of a Christian."Thus, the motto of the Society of Jesus can be found in gilded letters across the front of Georgetown University's famous Gaston Hall: "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Inque Hominum Salutem (For the Greater Glory of God and the Salvation of Humanity)."In other words, a Jesuit university … [Read more...]

“Shocking” news for postmodern nuns

In the beginning there was the Conference of Major Religious Superiors of Women's Institutes, which was established with the Vatican's blessing in 1959 during an era of rapid growth for Catholic religious orders.Then along came two cultural earthquakes, the Second Vatican Council and the Sexual Revolution. In 1971 the women's conference changed its name -- this time without the Vatican's blessing -- to become the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Two leaders in this transformation … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X