January 2017

Canon 212 & Aggiornamento Recidivus

Aggregator websites continue to grow and evolve for good reason. We rely on them to sift the welter of online news sources and narrow choices to a manageable level. Most of us follow several at once for things we want to know, plus the things we wish we did not know but need to. What matters is the quality of discernment behind the selection of headlines and bylines. Is the curator an algorithm for all-you-can-eat news hounds or a living person whose sensibilities align with your own? Continue Reading
Vulgarity, Popularity, & The Periphery

Flannery O’Connor said it first: “Stupidity and vulgarity are harder to put up with than sin, harder on the nerves.” Therein is one reason Pope Francis is so irritating. By no means can any man who ascends to the Chair of Peter be faulted for stupidity. But one who pants after personal popularity as Francis does opens himself to the charge of vulgarity. Vulgarity is a roomy concept. It covers more than crude language and slack manners. Showing off, too, is vulgar. Continue Reading
God Loves Stories

On a recent Sunday, the visiting priest stepped down from the pulpit into the aisle to give his homily. He began by telling us that the meaning of our faith is often best conveyed, not by theological statements, scholarly arguments, or even the catechism, but by stories. And he had one for us.   I like this priest very much. He offers Mass with great reverence, and his counsels are usually apt, always gracious. But this time, he sent me wandering off. Continue Reading