A Bomb Is Not a Mother

Pope Francis has a penchant for using maternal imagery in reference to the Church, and true to his gift for holding up the beauties of the Church’s tradition to let them speak for themselves, he does so in ways that transcend any pietistic stereotypes.  Recently, he used this type of language to turn the language of [Read More…]

On leaving my parish

This post is sort of related to the recent post on Trump’s election, but it is much more personal.  Let me start with a story.  About forty-five years ago, when I was six or seven, my family quit our parish, St. Patrick’s, and moved to Annunciation, the adjacent parish.  I was young, and though my [Read More…]

Beyond Yes or No: The Anti-Dichotomy Queen Takes On the Synod

Like my colleague David, I have been following the synod of bishops with interest, with my preferred sources being mainly the refreshingly unfiltered (and often quite detailed) reports from the Vatican Information Service via email subscription, and the incomparably lucid reporting of John Allen and his team at Crux.  Allen does us a particularly valuable [Read More…]

My People: The Gubbio Project

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the Cathedral in San Francisco using water spray to keep homeless people from sleeping in the doorways of the Church at night.   The archdiocese took a lot of grief over this—in my opinion, well-deserved—and eventually turned them off. Now I have come across a story (H/T [Read More…]

Pope Francis’ Address to the Synod Fathers

Here, courtesy of Zenit, is the full text of Pope Francis’ concluding address at the Synod on the Family, for which the bishops’ standing ovation was well deserved.  In keeping with the Holy Father’s own warnings, I will let the brilliance of his address speak for itself and not risk turning into my own weapon with excessive [Read More…]

Benedict the Radical

One year ago, Pope Benedict XVI carried out what will surely go down in history as the most radical act of his pontificate: leaving it.  It was this startling act – the first papal resignation in six centuries – that made possible the next great surprise: the election of his successor, the first pope to [Read More…]

Hauerwas, Weigel, and the future of Catholicism in the U.S.

Prominent Protestant theologian Stanley Hauerwas recently penned a provcative piece on the end of American Protestantism. Hauerwas writes argues that American Protestantism is dying precisely because of its success. America is the first instance of Protestant society not having to overcome and grow out of a Catholic culture and history. Thus he sees the U.S. [Read More…]

Pope Francis and the Gang of Eight

A recent episode of Salt + Light Television’s Vatican Connections offers a refreshingly balanced and informative report on Pope Francis’ recent creation of an advisory panel consisting of eight cardinals from around the world to advise him on church governance and particularly curial reform. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miNZOUKsWQE&list=PLgoAlsvvzIyWC8HqiqlqdSnRowhIZViib&feature=player_embedded#!]   One easily overlooked point given mention here is that [Read More…]