Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

I am probably the only Baptist on the planet that looks forward to the pop cultural pronouncements of the Vatican’s daily newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano . I sit by the internet for months waiting to see what they’re going to come up with next. Seriously, I love those guys. Their editorial staff reminds me of the stereotypical youth pastor: really nice, solidly Christian, but trying way to hard to be hip.

For example, back in February they released a list of the top ten rock and pop albums of all time . To give you an idea of their taste, consider that number ten on the list was David Crosby’s “If I Could Only Remember My Name.” I’m not kidding. They picked a album that Even David Crosby would be embarrassed to include on his list. But—bless their hearts—they put that out there for the world to see.

Then in June they thumbed their noses at Illinois Nazis by declaring the 1980 comedy The Blues Brothers to be a “ Catholic Classic .” Not just a classic, mind you. A Catholic classic. (If Pope Benedict follows their recommendation and watches the movie he might be in for a surprise.)

But just when you think you can count on the LR editors to be twenty years behind the curve, they go and throw us for a loop by pulling out a reference that is only six years old.

Analyzing a 2005 episode of The Simpsons , the paper declares , “Few people know it, and he does everything he can to hide it, but it is true: Homer J Simpson is a Catholic.”

Well, not really. Although Bart and Homer did convert for one episode, in every other episode in which they go to church they attend the “Presbylutheran” First Church of Springfield.

Nevertheless, unlike some people, I give them props for trying. I would never mock them in the indirect (and funny) way that Carl Olson of Insight Scoop does by finding Catholicism in every show on TV:

• “Desperate Housewives” is surely Catholic since it is about a neighborhood with families—and if the Catholic Church isn’t all about neighborhoods and families, who is? Besides, from what I gather from commercials (having never watched DH) the show occasionally broaches the topic of sex, which is something the Catholic Church occasionally mentions, albeit with a somewhat different take.

If they editors of LR read the Ignatius Press blog, then Olson may soon be getting a job offer from Rome.

(Yeah, I know David Mills linked to this story yesterday. But it needed context .)

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles