Amazon Synod, part II

Please understand. There is no denying the historic cruelties visited on Amazon peoples. Still, they are hardly alone in that. Ruthlessness and barbarity have befallen every peoples on earth at some point in their history. Nor has it stopped. At present, it is Christians—not aborigines—who are prime targets  for violent persecution around the globe. Vatican emphasis on past affliction in the Amazon is a pretext for something else altogether. It is a seductive ruse for the synod’s anti-development, denuciatory, Marxoid serenade with native activists on the ocarina. 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
Tears for Notre-Dame; Few for Sri Lanka

Do Catholics mourn sacred buildings more than each other? You will likely shout a dismissive “No! Of course not!” Nevertheless, the question occurs to me witnessing the significant contrast between the way Catholics have responded to the Notre-Dame fire and, within a week, the Sri Lanka massacre. While money floods in from around the world for the rebuilding of Notre-Dame, there is no such spontaneous rush to contribute to the lives of maimed and mourning Christians in Sri Lanka.   In great measure, veneration of Notre-Dame arises from reverence for symbols and abstractions. 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