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February 18, 2013

Pitiful, just pitiful.

That was my reaction on watching this five-minute clip from The Colbert Report, in which host Stephen Colbert talks with Garry Wills about his new book, Why Priests? A Failed Tradition. The book was published last week.

Colbert is a Catholic but not, so far as I can tell, a completely orthodox one. Still, he professes...

February 17, 2013

After some years away from him, I’m back on a Ronald Knox jag. I’ve got several shelves of his books—nearly everything he wrote—and a few nights ago compared what I have to the listing of his works in Evelyn Waugh’s biography of him. Of the few titles I didn’t have, I found some at online book dealers, so three are on their way to me.

One book I hadn’t taken down from the shelves in a long while was Essays in Satire, published in 1930. Two of the essays particularly caught my...

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 16, 2013

I hadn’t heard of Maria Divine Mercy. That’s the moniker of an Irish woman, living in Dublin, who doesn’t reveal her real name but does reveal that she’s been receiving messages from the Trinity and the Virgin Mary—nearly 700 messages since late 2010.

Maria Divine Mercy was brought to my attention by a Facebook friend who happens to be a woman religious and who, at the time of writing to me, was convinced that...

February 15, 2013

Pope Benedict’s renouncement of the papal office has spurred a rash of questions about the purported prophecies of St. Malachy. “Will Benedict’s successor be the last pope?” “Are we headed into a period of great tribulation?” “Will the world end soon?”

The last time we fielded so many such questions at Catholic Answers was about eight years ago, shortly after the death of Blessed John Paul II. This makes sense, because the prophecies in question concern the identities of popes from...