Conclave 2013

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

The Black-and-White Pope

A few days ago we all had a shocking surprise as a Latin American, Jesuit archbishop emerged onto the loggia of St. Peter’s to the general joy of the Catholic world.  The rejoicing was widespread, but not universal, with some expressing misgivings.  These are clearly natural reactions, to be expected in any election, sacred or [...]

What to Hope For in a New Pope

Imagine members of the lay faithful being invited to instruct the cardinals who come to Rome to select a new pope.  They would be asked precisely whom they would choose as successor to St. Peter.  Of course the cardinals are not obliged to take counsel with mere mortals.  However avid some of us might be [...]

Press Ignorance Points to Deeper Problems

In The Idea of a University, Cardinal Newman writes, “Men whose minds are possessed with some one object, take exaggerated views of its importance, are feverish in the pursuit of it, make it the measure of things which are utterly foreign to it, and are startled and despond if it happens to fail them.  They [...]

Pope Francis—The Journey Begins

As the newly elected pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s papacy has already been historical. His is a part of the world no other pontiff has hailed from. His is an order no other pontiff has claimed. His is a name no other pontiff has taken. Even from this, it may be fair to expect that the [...]

Pope Francis Knows What Must Be Done

 Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus Papam: Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Georgium Marium Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Bergoglio qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum. The stunned silence in the second or two after the announcement from the central balcony of Saint Peter's Basilica spoke volumes. No one was expecting the cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to [...]

Following the Bad Council of the Media

Speaking to the clergy of Rome in one of his last speeches as pope, Benedict XVI acknowledged the ruinous influence that the media has exercised over the Church for decades.  He referred to the spurious spirit of Vatican II as the “council of the media.” What he didn’t mention was that plenty of clergy enthusiastically [...]

Sede Vacante 2013: Between Tradition and Novelty

The vacancy of the Sancta Sedes Apostolica, the Holy Apostolic See of Rome, is known as the sede vacante, the Latin ablative absolute of sedes vacans, meaning “when the see is vacant.” The Roman See (diocese) is called Apostolic because, Divine Providence deigned it to be the diocese of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. [...]

Press Coverage on the Eve of the Conclave

So the date is set.  Tuesday, the 12th of March, the Cardinals will process into the conclave intoning Veni Sancte Spiritus, while the rest of us—personally or digitally—will get the “extra omnes.” Out we go, leaving it up to the Princes of the Church to perform their duty.  Buoyed by our prayers and best wishes, [...]

Catholic Youth are Indebted to John Paul II and Benedict XVI

Less than one month ago, Facebook posts and Twitter tweets announced momentous news: “Annuntio vobis tristitiam magnam,” one said. “Sede Vacante,” read another. A million similar messages appeared across the internet and the new social media. The ancient See of St. Peter was vacant. As a 30-something Roman Catholic, the resignation of the pope has been [...]

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