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Pontifications

Pontifications

June 2008 Archives

St. Paul takes center stage

posted by David Gibson

Sunday was the annual Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, but the focus this past weekend was on the Apostle to the Gentiles, in light of the inauguration by Pope Benedict XVI–along with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople –of the […]

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“Christ Almighty: Tangy, yet nauseating?”

posted by David Gibson

The misbegotten blog-confession (there must be a juicy neologism in there) of the Washington Post’s “On Faith” co-founder, Sally Quinn, that she took communion at the funeral of her friend Tim Russert has provoked a pretty healthy web-storm. As it […]

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FASHION UPDATE! Pope does NOT wear Prada

posted by David Gibson

L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, confirms rumors that those nifty red loafers Benedict XVI has worn since the day after his election are not name brand, but personally cobbled by some Vatican Geppetto. According to the AP: “Obviously the […]

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You say galero, I say saturno…

posted by David Gibson

Pope Benedict’s penchant for high ecclesiastical fashion has been noted here and here, but in neither story did I note his preference for a wide-brimmed red summer hat. Snappy lid, Your Holiness. But I wasn’t sure what to call it–a […]

Iraqi Christians: The toll, and the cost

posted by David Gibson

A story in this morning’s NYTimes, “For Iraqi Christians, Money Bought Survival,” reveals a little-known (to most of us in the U.S., I suspect) story of how Iraqi Christians have been paying off militias in exchange for their lives. The […]

Welcome to “Pontifications”

posted by David Gibson

Yes, the name has changed–from the equally sanctimonious (and tongue-in-cheek) “Benedictions”–but the blogger has remained the same: David Gibson, author of the “Benedictions” blog that covered Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the U.S. in April. You all helped make the […]

Everyone’s selling something…

posted by David Gibson

Even the Swiss Guards, it seems, are into the marketing racket. As readers of this blog know, and as I explain in my “Pontifications” introduction, I like to roam the broad realm of Catholic faith and culture, from the sublime […]

Last chance? Or last laugh? It’s here: Post-Rapture spam…

posted by David Gibson

Seriously. As ABC News reports, a 49-year-old supermarket shelf-stocker from Cape Cod has come up with a brilliant idea: A website called Youvebeenleftbehind.com which enables the saved to store e-mails and documents that will be sent to up to 63 […]

Wars of Religion (Kitsch)

posted by David Gibson

Speaking of souvenirs–as I like to do–while the Presbyterian Church (USA) is discussing (arguing) homosexuality at their meeting in San Jose, they are making great inroads against the Catholic Church. According to the omnipresent Gary Stern of the Westchester Journal […]

Papal shocker: Right-wing schismatics can come home with few strings

posted by David Gibson

News out of Rome is that the Vatican has made a papal-approved offer to the right-wing Traditionalist schismatics of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), the progeny of the late Vatican II-hating Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. When I heard of […]

The GOP’s Catholic freefall

posted by David Gibson

There is so much to chew over in the latest batch of data from the Pew Forum’s prodigious Religious Landscape Survey, but combine the Pew’s numbers on Catholic party affiliation with a lesser-noted new survey from Georgetown’s CARA institute, and […]

George Carlin, R.I.P.

posted by David Gibson

The potty-mouthed, acid-tongued, but often hilarious comedian George Carlin has died, and with him another product of a bygone Catholic culture–the parochial school “class clown” (as he styled himself) who rebelled against all those strictures but got his revenge by […]

Rove v. Roe?

posted by David Gibson

In his New York Times “Beliefs” column this week, Peter Steinfels takes a look at a strange pair of political bedfellows: The bare-knuckles, divide-and conquer former White House political operator, Karl Rove, and the National Right to Life Committee, the […]

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson: Reformer? Dissenter? Prophet?

posted by David Gibson

You decide. Click here for my interview with Australian bishop, Geoffrey Robinson, who just completed a U.S. tour to discuss his controversial new book, “Confronting Sex and Power in the Catholic Church.” Here’s an excerpt: Amid all the turmoil, you […]

Russert farewell: Public man, private funeral

posted by David Gibson

Fine roundups of the sendoff for the late Tim Russert from the WaPo’s Howard Kurtz and the NYT’s Jacques Steinberg. Both focused on the public memorial at the Kennedy Center, which was televised–and could anyone beat an acoustic version of […]

Don’t try this at home…

posted by David Gibson

QUESTION: My son and daughter-in-law belong to a church with different beliefs from mine, and thus my new grandchildren, a few months old, were not going to be baptized. My 1950s Catholic background would not let me sleep, so I […]

Russert update

posted by David Gibson

The public mourning for Tim Russert is going on today with a viewing at the St. Albans School, the Episcopal school his son attended in Washington. The private funeral mass will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) at Holy Trinity Church, the […]

“Angels OR Demons?” No ecstasy for Ron Howard or Dan Brown

posted by David Gibson

So the Diocese of Rome (that’d be the pope’s diocese) has barred Ron Howard and Tom Hanks and the production team filming “Angels & Demons,” the “Da Vinci Code” prequel/sequel, from shooting inside two churches in the Eternal City. At […]

Obama on faith–and abortion

posted by David Gibson

Barack Obama’s meeting last week in Chicago with a high-profile group of Christian leaders from across the spectrum–T.D. Jakes, Franklin Graham, among others–was a coup of sorts for the candidate, as it gave some of his most important critics, and […]

Tim Russert: Passing of a man…End of an era?

posted by David Gibson

The death of Tim Russert last Friday was not only a shock to the journalistic world, but also to the wider American community, judging by the reactions across the blogosphere and in my own anecdotal experience with friends and family. […]

Channel the spirit of Pentecost every day

posted by David Gibson

Tom Reese is a Jesuit priest and a political scientist of the Church whose balanced insights into the complex workings of the engine room of the Barque of St. Peter have made him an invaluable resource to journalists–and something of […]

Paralyzed–and denied a church wedding

posted by David Gibson

Can this be true? Catholic World News reports that an Italian bishop has refused to allow a church wedding for a paraplegic man because the impotence resulting from his crippling automobile accident would be grounds for an annulment. A spokesman […]

“Sue the bastards!” (Even if they’re church ladies.)

posted by David Gibson

Among all the tainted food (especially meat) tragedies that are cropping up these days–enough to make Sinclair Lewis rise up and write again–the tale of an outbreak of E.coli in apparently tainted beef served at a Lutheran church social in […]

The Catholic case for “another” US-led invasion…

posted by David Gibson

No, not an incursion into the Middle East. Neither the Vatican, nor the Pope (current or past), nor the bishops, nor church teaching or tradition supported the American invasion of Iraq. But when President Bush, the author of that terrible […]

Catholic guilt? Try again…

posted by David Gibson

Whenever someone tickles the hair-trigger of my seemingly congenital guilty conscience, the response to my reflexive mea culpa is that I am s-o-o-o Catholic. Well, yes, I hope so. Then again, the Pilgrim tradition of my youth is no slouch […]

Never too hot for risotto!

posted by David Gibson

…Especially if it’s the Pope’s Risotto. Sure, we’re sweltering here in New York, and it’s likely worse elsewhere. But summer is still a few days away–officially–so before it gets hotter or later, let’s whip up a steaming plate of the […]

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Thank you for visiting Pontifications. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!   ...

posted 2:38:01pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Moving on, and many, many thanks...
So...my recent vacation and related absences also coincided with an offer from PoliticsDaily.com to cover religion for them, as editor Melinda Henneberger announces here in her roundup on the site's very successful first 100 days. That ...

posted 8:29:24pm Aug. 02, 2009 | read full post »

Calvin at 500, Calvinism 2.0
If you thought you knew John Calvin--who turned 500 last week--you probably don't know enough. For example, that he was French, born Jean Cauvin. And if he was in fact scandalized by dancing, he was also a lot more complex than that. I explored ...

posted 11:53:35am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

Apologia pro vita sua...Kinda
 In my defense, I've had computer outages and family reunions and a few days of single-parenthood, which is always a bracing reminder of what many parents go through all the time. And this weekend it's off for a week's vacation. Anyway, ...

posted 10:51:36am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

When Benny met Barry: "I'll pray for you!"
The first word via Vatican Radio and first image (that I saw) via Rocco: Speaking to Vatican Radio, Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi said "moral values in international politics, immigration and the Catholic Church's ...

posted 12:54:28pm Jul. 10, 2009 | read full post »

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