24 results
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...

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...