Things Theological

A Layman's Petition to Francis

Last week, James Todd, founder of the Catholic aggregator site Pewsitter.com, launched a petition to Pope Francis to clarify the meaning of Amoris Laetitia. Please, your Majesty, what precisely is the status of the divorced-and-remarried vis-a-vis reception of the Eucharist?   The petition reads in part:
Amoris Laetitia has brought confusion to what had been 2000 years of clarity. Because Amoris Laetitia is fracturing the unity of the Church whereby one diocese teaches differently than another on this fundamental tenant of the faith, something must be done. 
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Notes on Our Pope of Peace

In Jorge Bergoglio’s lexicon, the words love and peace are vacant of meaning. Love dwindles down to nice feelings; peace shrinks to an ostrich-like refusal to acknowledge encroaching peril. On the flight back to Rome from Fatima, our shepherd delivered this reversal of reality to the court press:  An atheist said to me: “I am an atheist”; he didn’t say what nationality he was or where he came from.  He spoke in English, so I couldn’t tell and I didn’t ask him.  Continue Reading
Faustina's Diary & Editors' Handiwork

Pius XII was against Faustina’s apparitions before he was for them. He first distanced the Church from them by placing her writings on the Index of Forbidden Books (Index Liborum Prohibitorum). Notwithstanding, he  blessed an image of the Divine Mercy in Rome in 1956. The Holy Office [not yet renamed Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] under John XXIII, suppressed the writings twice, the second time in 1959. The stay against Faustina’s diary and devotion to the image of Divine Mercy lasted until 1978, the year Karol Wojtyla was elected to the papacy. Continue Reading
Notes on the Faustina Phenomenon

After hearing my confession, a gentle, elderly priest granted absolution and, for my penance, imposed the chaplet of Divine Mercy. I cringed. Oh, please, not that! Like the bargaining murderer in Alfred Hitchock’s I Confess, I negotiated the penance. I blurted out something about revulsion for the self-regarding jumble of Faustina’s supernatural stenography. I wanted nothing to do with the cult of Faustina and her preposterous painting commission. Please, Father, give me a different penance. A mild man, he obliged. He rescinded the chaplet and sent me to the rosary instead. Continue Reading
P.T. Barnum & Vatican Productions

P.T. Barnum gave us Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale. The Vatican has given us the Pope of Peace, headed for Egypt later this month. And the Pope of Hearts will perform at Fatima in May. The show is on the road. How much longer before we have The Singing Pope? Light opera will do. With Laudato Sí in mind, a libretto in the spirit of the “Major-General’s Song” in The Pirates of Penzance would suit: “I am the very model of a modern Major-General, / I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral.”   Amoris Laetitia presents more subtle complications but lines from HMS Pinafore might point the way: “Let the air with joy be laden, / Rend with songs the air above, / For the union of a maiden / With the man who owns her love.” The librettist will have to add something about the proprietary lover’s previous wife, the abandoned Buttercup. Continue Reading