Category Archives: Pope Francis

Pope Francis: Having A lot of Children is not “irresponsible”

. Okay, so a few weeks ago Pope Francis used some less than delicate language to state what the Church has always taught: Catholics are not obligated to have as many children as physically possible. I don’t have to repeat the whole saga for you.  You remember:  the media went wild, the people who hate [...]

What Catholics Can Learn From Super Bowl XLIX

Maybe it’s because my Connecticut sons are big Patriots fans. Maybe it’s because I was alone with my iPhone at video shoots all day yesterday. But the fascinating end of Super Bowl XLIX  (yes, that is this year’s) has been much on my mind. It seems there are lessons that Catholics can learn from how [...]

Feeling Devastated by What Pope Francis Says? Try These 3 Helpful Keys.

I can hardly recall a papal visit which has touched upon so many hot topics and ignited so much controversy as Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines. You would almost think the Pope had just issued an encyclical, when actually most of what he did was talk to reporters on a plane. The reactions have [...]

The Pope, Freedom of Speech, and the Constitution

Last week Pope Francis encountered some criticism for suggesting that there are limits to freedom of speech.  His comments were made in the wake of the attack in France on the magazine Charlie Hebdo.  Without in any way condoning the lawless violence, Francis observed that there ought to be a decent limit to freedom of [...]

The Call to Prayer, Pluralism, Provocations, and the Pope’s Punch

Religious freedom is a basic human right. This is not terribly controversial by itself, but when we come to the details, things can get messy. At Duke University, a Muslim student group received permission to recite the Friday call to prayer from the bell tower of the neo-gothic nondenominational chapel on campus–only to have it [...]

‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5: A Catholic Creator’s Complex World

I’ve been plowing through season five of “Downton Abbey,” the saga of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in early 20th-century Britain, which premieres on Sunday, Jan. 4, on PBS’ “Masterpiece Classic,” and a few thoughts have come to mind. They’re not particularly organized, but here goes (warning, if you want to remain utterly [...]

The Media Antipope Strikes Again

The Catholic Church today has two popes. In itself, this is not without precedent. There have been numerous antipopes throughout history, most infamously at the end of the period known as the Avignon Papacy. What is unique about our antipope today is that he is a fictional character who exists only in the fevered imaginations [...]

Francis and Benedict: Who Am I to Judge?

A common view has it that Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict are light years apart.  There is something to be said for that view.  They are certainly very different men, who tend to emphasize different things. On the other hand, we tend to overemphasize the differences.  That is, despite the differences, there are deeper [...]

Patti Smith at the Vatican – A Thrill of Hope

A few of my friends on social media have groused this Advent about punk rock pioneer Patti Smith’s being invited to sing at the Vatican for Christmas. I can understand why they think it’s not fitting, but that ship has sailed. She already performed there – last year.  And I think she did a beautiful [...]


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