Tag: Vatican

If I Were the Pope, I’d Deal with China Differently


The Catholic Church, in her long and storied history, has lots of experience dealing with dictatorial powers that see her as a rival.

Throughout much of European history, bishops were a different class of wealthy noblemen. Rulers rightly saw bishops as potential threats. Many kings and princes attempted to control the ability to appoint the bishops within their rule. The response of the Church varied over time and place, but the essential lesson is that the Church should not, can not, cede her power to appoint bishops to the local authorities. When she does, it goes badly.

La Dolce Vita: A December Sojourn in Rome


I promised a little while ago that I would be writing about my recent travels, and since I’ve already done a piece on London and Paris last summer, I thought some readers might like a Saturday night sojourn to Rome. 

This trip did not begin in the most auspicious of ways. While it was a 6 am flight out of Gatwick, I needed to board a train there from my university city by 1 am in order to leave my luggage in storage, collect my boarding pass, and get through security. And if 1 am train rides, when I hadn’t actually slept, weren’t enough fun, I also got to contend with an incoherent, screaming vagrant boarding at one of the stops jumping straight into my empty carriage. Living in a city for two years teaches you to not blink an eye at things that would shock you in a small town. Screaming Scottish man with a beer belly in a fishnet dress and pumps, carrying a Stella Artois; well, it is Friday. 

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Justice we think about mostly to blame someone for injustice. It’s not a pleasant topic of conversation, but our strong feelings about justice, especially anger, nevertheless make it impossible to put aside. An old liberalism, supposedly able to quell anger, required that polite conversation avoid religion & politics. But that opinion was abandoned & forward […]

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Pope Francis has apparently taken inspiration from William F Buckley, Jr. The first two hundred names in the Catholic phonebook are now eligible to become cardinals.  It used to be that one rose through the clerical ranks and won a job that automatically came with a cardinal’s red hat, such as becoming the archbishop of […]

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The Fiasco in Rome


I have never before heard of Andrew Ratelle, I confess, but he has just produced one of the most insightful–and disturbing–observations I’ve come across about the fiasco last week in Rome:

By upholding the nuclear family, the Church made what was perhaps the most important social investment in history. People in the poorer, more pagan regions of the world where polygamy, polyandry, arranged and child marriages were common, now had a place to look for support when it came to building a life that was most beneficial for themselves and their children. By weakening this support, or at the very least dispersing it to include more “diverse” arrangements, these bishops have weakened the very shield from which the nuclear family has received so much protection. Even in our own country, where “diverse” familial arrangements have almost become synonymous with urban poverty and crime (at least for those who have no gilded safety net to fall into), where should families look to now, since the Church has seen fit to dilute the medicine they have thrived on for so long?

God Bless Cardinal Pell. (And Margaret Thatcher. And, for that Matter, Capitalism.)


From an article in the London Spectator describing the changes Pope Francis is making in the curia:

154078-cardinal-george-pellThe Pope has begun his attack on the Curia by placing its scandal-ridden financial structures under the control of a new department with unprecedented powers: the Secretariat for the Economy. Its first prefect is Cardinal George Pell, the conservative former Archbishop of Sydney.