You need to know what you believe

Quote of the Day for Monday, June 6th, 2011: Pope Benedict XVI, from the forward to Youcat, the new Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church published last year, and released recently in English by Ignatius Press: You need to know what you believe… Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination. You need God’s help if your faith is not going to dry up like a dewdrop in the sun, if you want to resist the blandish...

Public Health Leaders Should Be Carefully Scrutinized

Quote of the Day for Sunday, November 5th, 2010: Matthew Hanley over at The Catholic Thing on Thursday, commenting on the public reaction to Pope Benedict’s recent statement on condom use in the Peter Seewald book, in a post entitled Misrepresenting Benedict’s Bravery: The New York Times tells us the pope’s words, in the newly published book Light of the World, were received with “glee from clerics and health workers in Africa, where the AIDS problem is worst.” The pope as anachronistic obstacle to global health has long been a fashionable narrative. B...

Benedict XVI on Condoms & Gigolos

Benedict XVI, quoted on the possible justification of condom use in an upcoming book by German journalist Peter Seewald: "Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times," as excerpted in today’s L’Osservatore Romano: “There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility.” Boy, is this likely to grow legs! The AP has the story, and the Boston Globe is spinning it wi...

Part of the Difference Between Mission and Agenda

While Pope Benedict XVI is busy bracing the winds of ill-will to find a way to heal rifts of schism within the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion continues to rush breathlessly toward implosion. Harvard’s Episcopal Divinity School announced today the appointment of the Reverend Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale as the new president and dean of the seminary, a woman with apparently no academic credentials whatsoever, but who luckily happens to be an ordained lesbian Episcopalian priestess. Not only that, but she is a stalwart supporter of the leg...

An All-Too Common Word

Yale Divinity School last week hosted “Loving God and Neighbor in Word and Deed: Implications for Christians and Muslims,” a conference on global inter-faith dialog, which was a follow-up to a written dialog commonly referred to as “A Common Word,” started back in late 2006 by several dozen Muslim leaders responding in an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI regarding Benedict’s famous University of Regensburg address, in which he infamously used some quotes from an obscure Byzantine text of Emperor Manuel II Paleologus to help ...

Benedict’s Challenge to American Anti-Authoritarianism

Pope Benedict XVI’s Yankee Stadium homily last Sunday was quite a celebration of American Catholicism, but the pontiff never strayed far from his theme of the unchanging need for faithful Christians, as a community rooted in the apostolic heritage, to be a sign of the gospel’s hope for mankind in the face of sin and death, through bearing witness to the unity of the truth found in the Word of God, revealed in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. This rootedness is not something Benedict sees simply in the hierarchical form of the Church (even if ...

Recovering from the Papal Mass

As evidenced by my last post, I tried very hard to get myself pumped up for yesterday’s occasion of attending the papal Mass at Yankee Stadium. The Mass was very nicely done, and it was wonderful to hear a stadium full of people thunder “Amen” and the other responses, but it was still a massive crowd attending an orchestrated “event,” and both these factors, unsurprisingly, wore on me greatly. I think it probably would have been an unmitigated pleasure for me had the organizers of the event chosen to focus solely on the pope...

Hitting the Road to Worship with Pope Hope

In less than 36 hours, Joyce and I will be in New York, for the papal Mass at Yankee Stadium. I’m very much looking forward to the experience, even if it means getting on a bus at 6:00am, and spending four hours traveling each way, just to sit high in the upper deck of the stadium. As much as anything else, I’m looking forward to the community. I expect celebrating the Mass with 50,000 Christians, or whatever it works out to be, will be exhilarating. I get energized on Holy Days when several hundred people crowd the church where I typically c...