9 results
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 16, 2013

As the clock strikes 8 p.m. on February 28, 2013, Rome time, the Chair of Peter will no longer be occupied by a successor of Peter. The sedecavantist movement may say, "Like we've been saying all along." 

Many unanswered questions linger, such as what will Benedict XVI's proper title will be. (The leading theory is that he'll continue to be called Your Holiness in the way...

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...

January 31, 2013

Human nature is a pesky thing. Because it's fallen, it can sometimes undermine or sabotage our work as apologists in ways that we easily miss.  One of the ways this can happen is through triumphalism, defined as the spirit of arrogance or pride with respect to belonging to the Church. Not the proper sense of pride, a la "I'm proud to be Catholic," but the self-puffery sense, a la "I belong to the One True Church, and you don't." Whether subtle or overt, it’s lethal to the work of...