Category: Web Watch

Medicine for a miserable world

At this stage it probably goes without saying that Gaudate et Exsultate, the Pope’s new exhortation on holiness in ordinary life, was always going to be dismissed by some as like the proverbial curate’s egg: good in parts. Writing at catholicworldreport.com, for instance, in a piece headed ‘Pope Francis “takes aim” in Gaudete et Exsultate…

The story is more about what Pope did not say

In some ways, the Vatican’s speedy disavowal of reports ahead of Easter that Pope Francis had told the elderly Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari Hell does not exist could not have been clearer. “The Holy Father Francis recently received the founder of the newspaper La Repubblica in a private meeting on the occasion of Easter, without…

There’s nothing new about attacks on the Pope

Given how fractious the Catholic internet has been of late, it can be surprising to find someone you might expect to have joined the camp of those attacking the Pope expressing an impressive docility, and a recognition that being Catholic is not simply a matter of believing Catholic things but of union with the Pope.…

Excommunication of remarried: was it ever a reality?

There’s been a lot of debate in English Catholic journalism over the last week or two about a Cambridge lecture by Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich. The lecture itself, ‘Pope Francis’ revolution of mercy: Amoris Laetitia as a new paradigm of Catholicism’, conducted under the auspices of the Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry, can…

A true pro-life movement is not just anti-abortion

“In a remarkable move,” tweeted Chicago-based campus minister 
@richraho, “+Anthony Taylor boycotts local March for Life because keynote speaker, the State’s AG, is pro-death penalty.” A link to an article from arkansas-catholic.org detailed how Little Rock’s Bishop encouraged Catholics to join him in one of two pro-life Masses he would celebrate on Sunday January 21,…

The perils of symbolism

Interpreting art – including religious art – can be a tricky and contentious business. Take, for instance, a photograph posted by Crisis magazine columnist Austin Ruse of Cardinal Raymond Burke following Christmas Midnight Mass in Florence. “A stunning photo!” proclaims lifesitenews.com author Diane Montagna from her @dianemontagna Twitter account, thanking @austinruse for posting it in…

Remembering the reality of the Devil

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist,” says Kevin Spacey’s Keyser Söze in 1996’s The Usual Suspects. It was, writes Tracy Robey at racked.com, a vision of evil – hidden in plain sight and wearing utterly forgettable clothes – “that captured pop culture’s imagination”. Trumping other 1990s takes…

Steering carefully between errors of extremes

The squabbles about Amoris Laetitia continue to rumble on, with Dan Hitchens, deputy editor of England’s The Catholic Herald observing from his Twitter account @ddhitchens that “Rocco Buttiglione, one of the leading critics of traditional teaching on the sacraments, has collected his articles into a book”, and directing followers to his firstthings.com “critique” from August…

Discerning truth among the noise and the bluster

At times one wonders about the loudest voices on the Catholic internet – the old adage about empty cans making the most noise can seem alarmingly apt. Andrea Tornielli surely has a point on lastampa.it when he observes: “Too many are causing unceasing confusion in their self-referential media circles and then say that today in…

Who guards the guardians?

It’s a common observation among informed Christians – regardless of their branch of the Christian family – that when it comes to covering religion, the mass media is embarrassingly out of its depth. Genuine mastery of the subject is rare, which is one reason why John Allen being hired by The Boston Globe in 2014…