21 results
February 26, 2013

By nature I tend to be a rather contrary person. Or, as my father sometimes put it, I tend to end up "crosswise in the door" when told that a particular direction is one in which I must go. Perhaps then it is no surprise that I kind of liked wearing a veil to Mass . . . until I was told I had to do it. Ever since then the subject makes me bristle.

The first time I wore a headcovering to Mass was soon after my conversion in 1996. A friend invited me to a diocesan-approved Tridentine...

February 25, 2013
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (San Diego County, CA)

On the first Sunday of Lent I attended Mass at the local Carmelite monastery rather than at my parish church, so this past Sunday was the first time I had seen my parish church transformed for Lent. As I looked about the sanctuary, I sighed.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states:

During Lent it is forbidden for the...

February 20, 2013

The Inquisition!

The Holy Office!

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith!

Whichever name it has used, this is the arm of the Vatican that oversees the doctrinal integrity of the Faith. It watches, with eagle eyes, the goings on of theologians and other suspects around the world.

Its staff is omnipresent, with sub-offices in every country and in most major dioceses. Its minions send daily reports to headquarters, where countless clerical workers do nothing...

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 14, 2013

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is the senior religion editor for the Huffington Post and a minister in the American Baptist church, a theologically liberal mainline denomination. In a February 11 article he reflects on the papacy of Benedict XVI, whom he doesn’t much approve of.  

From the first, Raushenbush says, he knew that Benedict “was going to continue the more...