Oscar Romero, Martyr; Lovers of Authoritarians, Nervous

By: Saturday January 10, 2015 10:00 am

After years and years of delay for “prudential reasons,” a panel of Vatican theologians has declared that the late Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez of El Salvador is a martyr, killed for his faith while standing at the altar saying Mass. If Francis is looking to lift up a bishop who is a shepherd that smells like the sheep, he couldn’t find a much better example than Romero, and that has to make the lovers of authoritarians (inside and outside the church) nervous.

 

Mario Cuomo, Pope Francis, and Not Preaching to the Choir

By: Saturday January 3, 2015 10:00 am

The obituaries of Mario Cuomo are filled with words about his 1984 speech at Notre Dame on religion and politics, but they seem to miss the fact that Cuomo’s approach of separating in-house debates of what is and isn’t moral from debates over how to act politically in the world has not only penetrated the thinking (and actions) of his conservative opponents, but also is the same approach being carried out by Pope Francis.

From your ears to God’s lips

By: Monday February 25, 2013 1:30 am

Didn’t we mock Oral Roberts for this sort of statement a quarter-century ago?

A Humble Suggestion for the College of Cardinals

By: Saturday February 23, 2013 9:00 am

Father James Martin, SJ, humbly proposed to the college of cardinals that they look beyond their own ranks for a new pope, and offered himself as an obvious choice. (Gotta love those Jesuits and their fine sense of humor!). But I think the good father didn’t go far enough.

Things are in a real tough place for the Roman Catholic church, from the scandal of bishops protecting priests who sexually abused children from the law to the non-transparency of the Vatican Bank that is putting their relationship with major EU banks in jeopardy to liturgical translation battles and other worship wars to . . . well, you get the idea. What is needed is something — someone — really outside the box. Someone that will capture the attention of the world. Someone whose selection will be so out-of-the-blue that it could only be seen as a miracle, an act of God. Someone like . . .

Pope Benedict’s Resignation May be a Surprise, But It’s Not a Shock

By: Monday February 11, 2013 7:05 am

Benedict XVI has announced his resignation, which has garnered shock from many quarters. “But but but . . . popes serve for life! No one could have anticipated this!”

Sorry to burst some bubbles, but it has happened before, canon law explicitly allows for it, John Paul II wrote two letters of resignation as his health declined, and Benedict himself spoke about the possibility — indeed, the necessity — of a pope resigning under certain circumstances. I applaud Benedict for not thinking that he is irreplaceable and therefore must stay in office until he dies.

So now speculation will turn to his successor, and rumors will be flying. Enjoy the retrospectives, the speculation, and the rumors, but take them all with very large grains of salt.

Meet Nancy Pelosi’s New Archbishop

By: Saturday July 28, 2012 9:00 am

On the Feast day of St. Francis, the Archdiocese of San Francisco will officially receive its new archbishop: Salvatore Cordileone. Between now and then, things will be very interesting for Catholics on both sides of the San Francisco Bay. Cordileone headed the Catholic church’s efforts to oppose marriage equality and pass Prop 8, for which he was elevated to become Bishop of Oakland and head of the USCCB’s anti-marriage equality programs nationally.

And now he’s going to be Nancy Pelosi’s new bishop.

Nancy may want to take communion often before October 4th. Something tells me she may have difficulty with that once Cordileone arrives on her side of the Bay.

Selective Epistle Reading

By: Tuesday October 25, 2011 1:30 am

The Vatican has expressed an opinion on financial reform, and the Pope is on the side of the 99%…the left side in fact. This may come as a bit of a surprise to some, specifically XTC fans.

Benedict’s Choice for New Philly Archbishop Signals Increased Church vs. State Battles Ahead

By: Saturday July 23, 2011 10:00 am

This past week, Pope Benedict XVI named Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput to succeed Cardinal Justin Rigali as head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. While this is an in-house decision of the Roman Catholic church, it will have major implications far beyond Philly, and reaches deeply into the broader political discussions in the US and beyond. Chaput is a leading conservative voice on church and state, and a strong defender of the church in general, and he’s stepping into the biggest church vs. state battle going on right now outside of Ireland.

Naming Chaput to head up the Philadelphia Archdiocese put one of Benedict’s most articulate and powerful voices front and center in those battles, and also changes the secular political calculus for 2012 in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Benedict, Blankfein, and Bybee: All Hail Non-Accountability!

By: Saturday April 24, 2010 9:03 am

There are predators, and then there are enablers.

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about child sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic priests, deceptive Wall Street bankers, or DOJ-sanctioned torture. The game being played right now is the same, in all three venues: avoid accountability.

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