Monthly Archives: October 2012

Still no red hat for +Nichols

This is just fascinating. The Holy Father will create six new cardinals in a consistory to be held in a month. This will be the third consistory in which Westminster’s Archbishop, Vincent Nichols, has been passed over. Interesting. +Nichols has now been in the post for three and a half years; to give some context, Nichols’ precedessor, […]

Hearing, saying, celebrating, presiding

Terminology is rarely neutral. There are a few pieces of Mass-related terminology about which I want to speak: Saying Mass, hearing Mass, celebrating Mass, and presiding at Mass. The locution that one “hears Mass” was once quite popular; St. Mother Theodore Guerin’s journal records that she and her companions heard Mass at my home parish […]

Tsar or Czar?

In the United States, the term “czar” is sometimes used to denote an extraconstitutional layer of Presidential advisers (among other things). When the office bears no resemblance to its ancestor, the word has scant obligation to do so, and so, in that idiosyncratic context, I have no objection to the term. For all other purposes, […]

NPR’s botched coverage of the Vatican II anniversary

Imagine you read a story that purported to be about the 2004 election. The writer framed the story as being entirely about Howard Dean and John Kerry; he explained how Dean mounted a strong challenge, but was ultimately defeated by Kerry; he interviewed partisans for Dean and lukewarm supporters of Kerry. The story never once […]

The credibility of the bishops as pastors

The episcopate, we are often told by their critics, have lost their authority and credibility because of the response of some bishops to the abuse crisis. Revulsion to the abuse crisis and to particular episcopal misconduct in connection to it is understandable, cf. MP: The Finn Indictment, 1 MPA 51 (2012), but the effort to translate […]

Internet memes, morality, and mortal sin

I am not a fan or a supporter of President Obama. My patience with people who create or propagate fictitious claims about him, however, had already run out before the latest meme did the rounds, and it was the final straw. So I’m going to nail my colors to the mast on this right here, and […]

Construing the council

I was asked in another place: “I thought you ‘uber Catholics’ always taught that since Vatican II was a pastoral council and not a doctrinal council, it wasn’t binding on Catholics.” That’s not a straw man; some “traddies” do take that position. But I’m not a traddie; they do not speak for me, nor I […]

Cardinal Martini’s comments

Carlo Cardinal Martini, SJ, died in August; de mortuis nihil nisi bonum, but his eminence left us with a posthumous interview (original Italian here) in which he makes some statements about the state of the Church. A decent time having elapsed, it demands attention. Before moving on, n.b. Father Ray Blake’s post here. Martini evokes “the […]