Did The Lord’s Prayer need revision? Have we had it wrong all these centuries? Pope Francis thinks so. He announced last week that he is blue-penciling the Our Father.
By Francis’ lights, that ancient Matthean phrase “Lead us not into temptation” needs correction. It has been misleading from the get-go. The wording ought to go more like like this: “do not let us fall into temptation.” Francis explained:
It is I who fall, it is not God who throws me into temptation and then sees how I fell. Continue Reading
A sabbatical provides time to heed Polonius’ advice to Laertes: “Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice.”
The instruction was probably a shop-worn platitude even in Shakespeare’s day. Still, it is sound advice. We should each keep it written somewhere in full view—taped to the cover of an iPad, perhaps, or the back of a smartphone. You can insert it into a cookbook, use it to mark your place in a missal, or pencil it on the lintel over a kitchen door. Continue Reading
It is August. This is the time of year to loll in a hammock, take bribes, and be fanned by eunuchs. But I have no hammock. No one is coming forward with a bribe. And all the eunuchs are clustered where they have always been—in high places, far from here and out of reach. Still, I can dream.
In reality, there is no alternative to getting on with the job. This time, though, hot weather gives me a plausible excuse to put aside a proper essay and just . Continue Reading
Francis is on his way to Egypt, prompting George Neumayr to write: “The most liberal pope ever, of course, sees no irony in shilling for the most illiberal religion on Earth.” With that quotation, Robert Bové alerted me this morning—in what he termed “a mourning quote”—to Neumayr’s latest column in The American Spectator. Neumayr has a keen eye and an ear for cant—two qualities unwelcome among fainthearts and papal sycophants. He does not write for academics nor for readers who like to be addressed as if they were academics themselves. Continue Reading
The sixties were generous with gifts that keep on taking. I cannot help thinking that one of them was the Church’s 1969 calendar revision for January 1.
/The Church began withdrawing recognition from the circumcision of Jesus in the sixties. Today, circumcision itself is under threat once-Christian Europe, from Switzerland to Scandinavia. Because it is practiced by both Jews and Muslims, it is tempting to see moves against the ritual as the sour fruit of secularist ideology. And there is partial truth to that. Continue Reading