George Tyrrell remains too-readily dismissed as a heretical figure in the modernist controversy. He revered Mary as the sign and summit of contemplative life. Conversely, Pope Francis is on a tear to strangle the Church’s contemplative orders. This December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, seems a fitting time to honor Mary with the words of Fr. Tyrrell written eight years before his expulsion from the Jesuits. Unlike our present pope, Tyrrell lauded the transcendent grace of cloistered distance from the endless vicissitudes of the world. Continue Reading
Straightaway, my apologies for yesterday’s Mail Chimp broadcast that misspelled the name of the first respondent cited on the 303 Creative case. It is Aubrey Elenis—plus nine other parties. (Respondents are adversaries of the petitioner.) In my hurry to post on the selfsame day of oral arguments before the Court, I wrote Ellis instead of Elenis.
Web designer Lorie Smith owns 303 Creative. She is the sole petitioner, meaning that she alone asked the court to review her case. The number and tenor of arguments both for and against her refusal—on conscience grounds—to create a design celebrating same-sex marriage are an education in the thicket of legal argument. Continue Reading
My town hall boasts two flag poles. One flies the requisite Stars and Stripes. But it is the companion pole standing next to it that stirs the local blood. This one flaunts the colors dearest to a well-appointed community that congratulates itself on its civilized progressivism. Ukraine’s bicolor tops the second pole. It is paired with the rainbow colors of the LBGTQ Nation. The duet proclaims the town fathers’ common purpose: celebration of those chic causes that thrill The Better Sort. Continue Reading
Dante, Hell’s topographer, imagined its location and architecture with such specificity that Botticelli could map it in painstaking detail two centuries later. By now, images that stirred Savonarola’s audience to fear of sin have dwindled to plot devices in pulp thrillers and horror movies. Of all impossible thoughts, Hell is the most unthinkable for us moderns. Displaced by myths of progress, the concept survives largely as a cultural heirloom, a curio. A place where the worm does not die and the ever-burning wrath of God never goes out strikes us as preposterous. Continue Reading
Leonardo Boff is Pope Francis’ unacknowledged point man on the environmental creed. His name and work were not mentioned anywhere in Laudato Sí, not even in the footnotes. The omission was no oversight. Boff works most effectively as the man behind the curtain. He is the wizard of liberation theology’s protective metamorphosis—chameleon-like—into climate justice. Forget those priests carrying AK 47s alongside the Sandanistas in the 1980s. That was yesterday. Today, care for creation is every Earthling’s commission in order to liberate the poor and forsaken from ecological aggression by the developed world. Continue Reading