17 results
March 14, 2013

Like most of you, I knew nothing of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio until yesterday. Yet shortly after learning the name of the man we now call Pope Francis, I found myself in an arm wrestle with Patrick Coffin over whether his last name was pronounced “Bear-GO-lee-yo” (as the Italians would say) or (Bear-GO-glee-oh), as Patrick insisted South Americans would say.

Now, just what a Canadian like Patrick knows about the Latin American pronunciation of a first-generation Italian surname is...

March 4, 2013

The death last weekend of Miracles founding member Bobby Rogers—may he rest in peace—reminded me of one of my personal bête noires: the retreat from marriage. The Motown singing group fronted by Smokey Robinson scored their first No. 1 (and first No. 1 for the label) with “Shop Around,” a memorable if not especially deep number extolling the alleged merits of a man’s taking his time to find just the right wife. What the Miracles meant exactly by shopping is not made altogether clear...

February 20, 2013

The Romans, as any first-year Latin student can tell you, were in the practice of ending their sentences with verbs. Regina agricolam amat, for example. Literally, “The queen the farmer loves.” Unless you are Yoda, however, you would speak this sentence in English this way: “The queen loves the farmer.” (Something tells me this relationship is not going to work out.)

In any case, Latin word order often (not always) proceeds this way: subject, object,...

February 18, 2013

My last post declaring that women were not suited to military combat because it is contrary to their nature provoked a surprising number of responses questioning the distinctions between men and women made manifest in the natural law. Many of the responses were based on anecdotes, a method of argumentation that has its merits but also has its limits.  That being acknowledged, permit me to indulge in...

February 14, 2013

Leave it to the bizarre imagination of retail America (merchants and consumers alike) to turn the celebration of the moment when an angel of almighty God handed the palm of martyrdom to a third-century Roman priest into an opportunity to boost the bottom lines of candy manufacturers and lingerie vendors. It’s a pretty easy guess with what kind of judgment Valentinus would react.

Let’s bring the commemoration back into focus.

According to the 1962 Missal, St. Valentine was...