Things Theological

The Vatican: Integral Ecology and Liberation Theology

The extraordinary Synod of Bishops for the Pan Amazon region, coming to the Vatican in October, is a very big deal. It would be a mistake for people to dismiss it as inside baseball among Catholics. Far-reaching issues of broad societal concern are at work here under cover of ecological ideals and social justice rhetoric delivered in a Christian idiom. Under cover of deep ecology, liberation theology has come in out of the cold. And it is gunning to even the score between the industrial West and the Third World. Continue Reading
Amazon Synod Goes Dancing With Wolves

Before heading full tilt into the neo-pagan mirages of the Amazon Synod, a brief personal word is due. It will only take a second: “There is love and there is life. Yet we have but one heart.” That was the way Edgar Degas explained his failure to marry. If I were to borrow a variant of it to explain why this weblog has been silent recently, it would go something like this: “There is the studio and there is the writing desk. Continue Reading
Scattered Notes on Notre-Dame

My heart splintered watching Notre-Dame go up in flames. The disorder of my own responses—a jumble of dismay, anger, and foreboding—permits no tidy structure. What follows is a series of thoughts in no strict sequence. Bear with me. •    •    •    • “Somebody did something” on 9/11. Taking a cue from Ilhan Omar, can we wonder if somebody did something to Notre-Dame? It is a rational conjecture. Watching the cathedral tower burn, it was impossible for the mind’s eye not to go directly to the burning towers of the World Trade Center. Continue Reading
Notes on The Gates of Hell

The gates of hell are no closer than they ever have been. No matter the crumbling of our culture or the dereliction of a pope, they have not moved a millimeter. Immobile, they remain where—and what—they were when life first erupted on the planet: an ineluctable border between life and death. Yet we go on invoking them as a talisman against institutional rot or, alternately, as the default comfort in a waning civilization. What calls attention to the phrase just now is Cardinal Dolan’s February 3rd pastoral letter to all parishes in the New York Archdiocese. Continue Reading