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Understanding Francis: Saint Cicero and the Jesuits


Pope Francis’ frequent references to the history of the Church to explain current challenges, such as when he refers to neo-Pelagians, are a key to the Holy Father’s worldview. If he looks to history to discern the situation of the Church today, perhaps we should look to that same history to better understand his own thinking. And, as I have noted before, one frame for interpreting this first Jesuit pope is to see him as battling the Jansenists of our time as previous Jesuits did in the late sixteenth century.

Abp Forte, Call your office


According to this report at Patheos, the Archbishop of Monrovia, Liberia, declares that Ebola is God's punishment for homosexuality. He should re-read the Catechism on the innate dignity of all human persons. Blaming people for a dread disease is not exactly an expression of respect for the dignity of gay people, nor an indication of respect for the intelligence of everyone else. 

Remembering Lorenzo


It was the spring of 1993, Good Friday to be exact. I had known Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete for only a few months. That night, Lorenzo and his beloved brother Manuel, and a third person whom I do not recall, came into Kramerbooks & Afterwords for dinner. They were seated at table 40, right near the stairs that lead down to the prep kitchen. I can remember it as if it was yesterday. The waitress took their order and I stood by her as she wrote it down. When all three of them ordered lamb chops, I interjected.

Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete: Requiem Aeternam


This morning, Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete died. I will have a fuller tribute to this most remarkable man and priest on Monday. But, as soon as I learned this crushing news, I knew I had to re-read an article he wrote in the NYTimes. There, he wrote: "The roots of grief arise from a wound deeper than the psychological or the cultural. It is at that level in ourselves where we decide what we can or cannot expect of life, what is just or unjust, what is the purpose and value of our existence." The roots of grief go very far down this morning. I had expected from life more time with Lorenzo.

Happy Anniversary to Us!


Heading to the airport to catch a flight to Kansas City for NCR's 50th anniversary celebration. I can scarcely say how proud I am to be associated with NCR and with all the talented people who produce what is clearly the liveliest webpage in the Catholic blogosphere.

I had hoped to have a book review ready to run today, so I could post in advance, but I am not done with the book yet! So, I am taking the day off and, now, so are you faithful readers of Distinctly Catholic! See you on Monday. 



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In This Issue

October 21-November 3, 2016

  • Reformation's anniversary brings commemorations, reconsiderations
  • Picks further diversify College of Cardinals
  • Editorial: One-issue obsession imperils credibility
  • Special Section [Print Only]: SAINTS