It’s not the Antichrist who tempts those who write memoirs about losing their faith, it’s the Anti-Groucho. Their sin is yearning to belong to a club that would never have anyone like them for a member.
John Cornwell’s Seminary Boy is a vividly recalled but impersonal journey to the inevitable destination shared by all memoirs Read More
When New York’s Al Smith, the first Catholic Presidential candidate in the nation’s history, lost the 1928 election, comedians said that Smith sent a one-word telegram to the Pope: “Unpack.”
With the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the 265th Bishop of Rome, one New York priest joked that he’d sent a similar message to Read More
For obvious reasons, the Papacy is not a hereditary office. The College of Cardinals will convene to pick John Paul II’s successor beginning on April 18. But the Papacy is a monarchy-one of the few that wields real power, even if it commands no divisions. The televised images of red clerical robes aswirl outside the Read More
John Paul II, born Karol Joseph Wojtyla, was an authentic, formidable, brilliant man who lived in direct and energetic engagement with the world’s people. To him, this seems to have been the essence of his calling as leader of the “universal church.” The Holy Father of the Catholics was not embarrassed to present himself as Read More
Terri Schiavo is a test case for what President George W. Bush, following Pope John Paul II, calls the “culture of life.” Not that she wanted to be, poor woman. Though she leaves the ranks of the living, she will remain in the ranks of the fought-over.
The phrase “culture of life” refers to Read More
Old editions of the Yale Songbook included a German drinking song called “The Pope.” This was its first stanza: “The Pope, he leads a jolly life / He’s free from every care and strife. / He drinks the best of Rhenish wine, / I wish the Pope’s gay life were mine.”
But the next stanza Read More
Martin Scorsese’s Kundun needs no hype from me; a month after it opened, the lines still stretch around the corner at the neighborhood movie house where it is playing. It is a movie with the rare merit, for a film in a historical or exotic setting, of presenting a world that is authentically strange, not Read More