Distinctly Catholic

Rev. Leon and Prophecy


Controversy has erupted over the remarks of the Rev. Luis Leon, pastor at St. John’s Episcopal Church, during his Easter homily. On this most holiest of days, Rev. Leon spoke about the religious right, saying that they wished to put blacks back in the back of the bus, women back in the kitchen, gays back in the closet and immigrants back on the other side of the border. The remarks would probably have received no attention except for the fact that the President of the United States was sitting in the pews listening to the harangue.


Rosshirt on Dr. Ben Carson


Tom Rosshirt, in this essay, beats me to the punch of tackling the strange phenomenon of interest in one Dr. Ben Carson who has emerged in certain conservative circles as a kind of anti-Obama icon. His rise to prominence was a little scary to me because he preaches the kind of homespun populism that brings to mind images from "All the King's Men." I was relieved to learn from Rosshirt that Carson is mostly about making money.

What's Wrong With Planned Parenthood?


I am not shy about criticizing the libertarianism of the right. Here is an instance of goofy libertarianism on the left, an official with Planned Parenthood who just can't bring herself to state that a child born alive after a botched abortion is a patient deserving medical attention. Shocking and sad at the same time. This is what happens when you convince yourself that the unborn child is not really a child and that only the volition of the mother should count.

A Real Threat to Traditional Marriage


Yesterday's "Outlook" section of the Washington Post featured an essay by Donna Freitas detailing the "hook up culture" on college campuses, including our Catholic college campuses. Last week, Archbishop Cordileone, chair of the USCCB subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, led a prayer vigil outside the Supreme Court during oral arguments on same sex marriage.

Pope Francis & the Washing of Feet


Last Thursday, I called attention to a comment by a young priest at one of the blogs for traditionalist Catholics. The young priest wrote he was bewildered by Pope Francis’ washing the feet of women as well as men during the Mandatum rite at the prison for young offenders where the pope celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. I noted that the priest’s comment was sad, but the tone of my post was snarky. I apologize for that. The issue here is quite serious and deserves better than snark.

Ich bin der Welt


If there is a more hauntingly beautiful piece of music this side of the eschaton, I do not know it. Dame Janet Baker sings a song we do not usually associate with Good Friday, but for those of us who were blessed to know Father Joseph Kugler, the connection is obvious and intense.

More Good Friday Musical Reflections


Music takes us where words can't. As we ponder the Mystery of our redemption this day, here are some more selections I want at my funeral (alas, Lenny Bernstein, Mahalia Jackson and Nat King Cole  have already gone to God so he can't conduct and they can't sing them at my funeral!), Mozart's Ave Verum and the great spiritual "Steal Away to Jesus."




Jesus, Remember Me


Today is not a day for opining, for criticizing neo-cons or challenging the left, or any other such usual posting. It is a day in which we should all, I think, take as our model the good thief who, mindful of his sins, only turned to Jesus and begged for His mercy and companionship. Better than any words I could devise, here is one musical selection that invites us to contemplate the terribleness of the price by which our atonement was achieved, the exquisite Pie Jesu from Faure's Requiem, here sung by Barbara Bonney..


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In This Issue

April 21-May 4, 2017