The one thing I’ll add to all the Trump-parsing

Since the rise of The Donald, journalists and analysts have been racing to keep up with the tumult in his wake – from the already breathless hype of the 24-hour news cycle, which may perversely see him as something of a boon, to the somber head-scratching of some of the more thoughtful commentators.  Without wanting [Read More…]

We Are All to Blame

The US government is (technically) functional again, and the national crisis has been (sort of) averted, for the time being.  But whatever our political persuasion, we all know that the recent government shutdown was only the latest episode in an ongoing pattern of melodramatic debt crises ending in hard-fought, down-to-the-wire agreements to kick the can a [Read More…]

Parsing Papal Popularity, Part III: Toward a Hermeneutic of Sanity

I had not planned to extend this series to a third post – until I stumbled upon a short and sweet analysis that is so utterly sane that its positive suggestions make an irresistible complement to my more critical breakdowns (here and here) of the ongoing ideological tug-of-war over Pope Francis and how he is interpreted. [Read More…]

Parsing Papal Popularity, Part II: Is the Pope Catholic?

I must confess, I am a beat behind.  Partly for personal reasons, partly for stylistic ones, and partly because our pope is so full of surprises (and provokes so many reactions), it’s been a little hard to keep up.  But if the first wave of reactions to the impactful interview with our pope of surprises that America [Read More…]

Parsing Papal Popularity, Part I: Good, Bad and In-Between Reasons for Loving Francis

As Pope Francis’ pontificate passed the six-month mark, it was observed with a level of enthusiasm that shows a large-scale honeymoon still going strong.  His ongoing popularity contains tremendous opportunities for the Church in both its internal life and its proclamation of the gospel.  These opportunities, however, are not quick fixes but require a good deal of collective [Read More…]

The Human Face of Technology: A Critical Reflection

A recent series of iPhone ads aims to portray a very human side of that product’s technological features.  Not surprisingly, these ads cast technology in a rosy light, which challenges my often critical perspective toward a cultural infatuation with the latest gadgets. I say “challenges” because these ads both reflect and perpetuate a certain cultural [Read More…]

Another case of Chaput-in-mouth disease

Writing at Faith in Public Life, John Gehring draws attention to a peculiar essay by archbishop Charles Chaput in which he denounces the media in the following terms: “We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC for reliable news about religion. These news [Read More…]

United States vs. Al Jazeera

I’ve always been a fan of Al Jazeera. It is a force for change in the middle east, shining the light on areas that regional leaders prefer to keep in the dark. Al Jazeera is truly independent, pretty objective in its reporting. It has annoyed most Arab countries at one time or another, and has [Read More…]

Quote of the Day – On Catholic Blogs

“As I talked with brother bishops in preparation for this presentation, there was consistent agreement that one aspect that is most alarming to us about media is when it becomes unchristian and hurtful to individuals.For example, we are particularly concerned about blogs that engage in attacks and hurtful, judgmental language. We are very troubled by [Read More…]


Well, I recently purchased my first Apple product, the iPhone 3G, and I was pretty sure I’d like it. But I really like it. I still can’t stand iTunes. I had avoided downloading and using iTunes for any music purposes before getting the phone — for politico-cultural reasons as well as general annoyance — but [Read More…]