Keep It Shakespeare, Stupid

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is launching a three-year project to commission 36 pairs of playwrights and dramaturges to translate the works of Shakespeare into English. Yes, English. John McWhorter in the Wall Street Journal expresses support for this plan, saying, “Much of Shakespeare goes . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter Number Thirteen

Over the past forty-eight hours, a consensus has begun to emerge among Synod fathers that their work in this second week of Synod-2015 would be greatly facilitated if they were given concrete, specific answers to the question, “What are we working toward?” Continue Reading »

Pius XII, Co-Conspirator in Tyrannicide

Written from Rome:The great Piazza San Pietro is a five minute walk from where I’m living during Synod-2015. About three-quarters of the Square is bounded by the famous Bernini colonnades, which reach out from the Vatican basilica as if to embrace the world. Along the open “front” of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter Number Twelve

As numerous reporters and commentators have noted (some more accurately than others), there is a clash of theologies and pastoral sensibilities here at the Synod; procedures and process have been muddled; rumors and rumors-of-rumors abound, both inside the real Synod and in the media/blogosphere Synod.

“What About You?”

Of all the speeches Pope Francis recently delivered in America, among the most inspiring was one highlighting the life of Katharine Drexel, delivered to an overflowing crowd in her own Philadelphia: Most of you know the story of Saint Katharine Drexel, one of the great saints raised up by the local . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter Number Eleven

Widespread confusion over procedures and process continues to be one of the less attractive hallmarks of Synod-2015. Thus it was perhaps inevitable that, over the weekend, there were several media reports to the effect that another procedural crisis was at hand.

Special Edition II

As Synod-2015 ends its first week of work, a crucial point of conversation and debate over the next two weeks is coming into clearer focus as other, more mediagenic proposals fade into the background.

Sex and Tradition

In a few carefully argued pages in his recently translated The Crisis of Modernity, the Italian Catholic philosopher Augusto del Noce explains the “ascendance of eroticism.” Del Noce died in 1989, but his account could have been written yesterday. He illumines why Fifty Shades of Grey . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter Number Ten

During the first week’s work of Synod-2015, numerous Synod fathers have commented on what seems to them the Eurocentric character of the Instrumentum Laboris, the Synod’s basic working document now being digested in the circuli minores (the Synod’s language-based discussion groups) as well as commented upon in the Synod’s general assemblies.