Islam

Cardinal Dolan & The Uses of Fatuity

Over Fourth of July weekend, parish bulletins throughout New York Archdiocese carried “Only in America,” an essay by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. It was a hail-fellow celebration of tolerance and religious liberty. But the meringue had been whisked up by the dialogue fairy, a bewitching crony of resurgent Islam. It began with the cardinal flashing his interfaith credentials. He had just received an award from the New York Board of Rabbis. This prompted one of those strenuously heartwarming reminiscences that are communion breakfast staples. Continue Reading
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
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
The End Time Is Ever With Us

I put aside the day’s news with one thought: the end times are always with us. We do not have to wait for their approach—not tomorrow, not next year, not some distant century. They abide with us. We are forever in them. And every morning we awaken one day closer to the solitary Apocalypse that waits for each of us. It is easy to forget that the peace we are promised is eschatological, not historical. We have no guarantee of salvation in or through history. Continue Reading
Misuse of Orlando

On the day after the Orlando bloodbath, I read in Crux Edward Beck’s scripted recollection of the homily he delivered in church the previous morning. The two did not quite square. Between the spoken address and the published account, something crucial was omitted and something ugly added. As can happen with Fr. Beck’s homilies, the gospel becomes a vehicle of persuasion in favor of his personal preoccupations. Edward Beck is a visiting Passionist priest who offers the noon Mass at my parish every Sunday. Continue Reading