Category Archives: Pope Francis

‘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 [...]

The Pope Criticizes the Curia

Pope Francis gave a talk to the officials of the curia that admonished them to guard against a variety of spiritual diseases.  The Washington Post seems surprised by the tenor of the talk.  You can read the Post‘s article here.  And here is another article that lists all of the fifteen spiritual diseases that Francis [...]

Should the Pope Keep Quiet?

Over at Aleteia, I run down the list of things the media got wrong about Pope Francis in “2014: The Year In Pope Francis Misunderstandings.” The media got Francis wildly wrong again and again. • The media said he wants to change the Church’s teaching on communion for Catholics who are divorced (and not annulled) and remarried. He didn’t, [...]

The Pope Didn’t Exile Cardinal Burke. The Pope Gave Him An Army. [Photos]

I wish someone would exile me the way Pope Francis exiled Cardinal Burke. When I think of exile or banishment, I think of tiny islands. Where friends are few and far between. The Associated Press described Cardinal Burke’s new position as “largely ceremonial” and said the Knights of Malta are a “charity” who provide “residences [...]

No Greater Freedom

Each of us has our own hobbyhorses. Michael Sean Winters, for example, seems to have a thing about Philly’s Archbishop Chaput and the World Meeting of Families which Philadelphia will host next October. Winters is also very fond of hymns—a fine pastime, that—and of trying to curb overzealous Catholic prelates’ deficient notions of freedom, which Winters often takes [...]

Father Larry Richards Defends the Pope

“Ok, I have had it.” Father Larry Richards wrote on his Facebook page on Oct 28. There followed the first strong words of a defense of the Pope that reached a high point yesterday (Nov. 9). Father Richards is the Erie, Pa., priest who first gained national attention for his inspiring talks on confession. Anyone [...]

‘Sexy Jesus’ and #HotJesus — Reactions Roll in to ‘A.D.’ Casting

Was Jesus sexy? Who knows? Unless you’re a devotee of the Shroud of Turin image purported to be of Jesus Christ (which shows him as fairly tall, strapping, bearded and long-haired), there’s no reliable physical description of the Son of God available. While it’s reasonable to assume He looked like His mother (who supplied the [...]


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