December 2015

Under the Roman Big Top

The descent of my Church into spectacle is a sorrow to behold. Nothing is more unedifying—repellent, really—than the lust of this pontificate for circus. We are under the Roman big top now, led by the Man in White and his retinue of jiggling dromedaries on the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. One menagerie follows another, with Cardinal Ravasi’s Pontifical Council for Culture having rehearsed at last year’s Venice Biennale. It is show time in Rome.   The elephantine extravaganza of our Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy debuts tomorrow evening, December 8, with a sensory blitz in service to the Vatican’s own image of itself as the nonpareil of human kindness and meteorological savvy. Continue Reading
Kristallnacht Remembered

A lifetime has passed since Kristallnacht. Seventy seven years is long enough to empty popular memory of the scale and nature of events in Germany on November 9, 1938. To a generation that has forgotten—or one that never learned—the Night of Broken Glass seems not so different than Ferguson, Missouri, or any other urban riot within living memory. Even the name that has come down to us suggests broken shop windows, nothing more lethal than glass on the sidewalk. But there was more. Continue Reading