3 results
December 21, 2015

The year 1939 saw many milestones. Most critics say it was the best year for movies (Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Ginga Din, Stagecoach, for starters). For the Polish people, however, all the attention was on the terrifying sight of Hitler's tanks and shock troops rolling into their homeland. In Spain, the civil war ended and the rule of Franco began. I could go on.

In Toronto, Canada, on Saturday, June 3, 1939, young Vincent...

February 19, 2013

The world's media have a habit of seeing papal elections through the lens of secular politics. It's understandable to a degree, but how many reporters have noticed that so few of the much ballyhooed "front runners" or "papabile" candidates have ever actually been elected pope? Modern exceptions to this might be Giovanni Montini (Paul VI) and Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI). But the Vaticanologist maxim "He who enters the conclave with a white hat emerges with a red one" usually carries the...

February 11, 2013

It sets me on edge to hear people refer to themselves as "devout" Catholics. Adjectives modify nouns, and some nouns are sturdy enough to stand on their own.

I understand the idea, of course, of identifying oneself as firmly believing and taking the Faith seriously. But it seems to me that devout injects a note of pious self-puffery. (And don't get me started about the term "staunch Catholic." Does one's reputation as a Catholic really benefit from the added connotation of...