“If you at some time felt you could not go forward, I would do the same!”  ✂︎

America Magazine quoting Pope Francis on the “institution” of the emeritus pope:

I think that the emeritus pope is already an institution because our life gets longer and at a certain age there isn’t the capacity to govern well because the body gets tired, and maybe one’s health is good but there isn’t the capacity to carry forward all the problems of a government like that of the church. I think that Pope Benedict made this gesture of emeritus popes. May, as I said before, some theologian may say this is not right, but I think this way. The centuries will tell us if this so or not. Let’s see.

Perception, the Press, and the Pursuit of Truth

For those that don’t know me well, I am a huge sports fan.  Specifically, I am a big Oklahoma State University sports fan.  Rooting for my alma mater is something that has been a part of my life since long before my matriculation in Stillwater, OK.  Two weeks ago, while enjoying the OSU football team beating up on a well-undermanned University of Texas-San Antonio team, I began to hear and read rumors that a big scandal was about to break regarding the Cowboy football program.

Sure enough a few hours later, the school sent out a mass e-mail warning alumni and fans that Sports Illustrated was about to run a series of stories that would make allegations of disturbing behavior that ran the gamut of NCAA violations.  Anxiety of the unknown hammer that was about to drop consumed me and the rest of the fan base who love the school so much.

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The Cage

A friend of mine likes to tell the story of the time he was in military survival training and he was forced into a cage to simulate what a prisoner of war might experience. The cage, he says, was small, hot, and dark. After a few hours of struggling, he found a way to position his body that, though very tight, was tolerable. A few minutes later, he fell asleep. In fact, his sleep was so deep that several hours passed and the training ended. The trainers, upon finding him asleep, unlocked his cage and walked away. Upon waking, his struggles resumed.

This went on for several more hours until he again returned to sleep as his coping mechanism. As his friends who had participated in the drill alongside him were celebrating their completion of the exercise into the morning hours, they began to realize he was missing from the celebration. After calling around for a while, they returned to the exercise ground to find him still sleeping in that tiny cage. After waking him, they reveled in informing him that he had spent hour after hour in an unlocked cage. He had become so comfortable in his captivity that he failed to realize his freedom. Continue reading →

Weekly Clippings: Divided We Fall Edition

It’s been about a month since Pope-emertius Benedict XVI’s resignation became official, and now we are a couple of weeks into Pope Francis’s pontificate.  While there was a fair amount of sadness as Benedict left the chair of St. Peter followed by a great deal of joy with the election of Francis, there has also been a divisive undertone among many Catholics and members of the media trying to pit the Pope against the Pope-emertitus.  Personally, I wish it would stop, and from my reading this week, I see that I am not the only one. Continue reading →

An honest reflection on the election of Pope Francis

As the white smoke began to pour out of the Sistine Chapel chimney, my heart began pounding.  I felt a great deal of nervous excitement to hear the outcome.  The more minutes that passed between the reports of white smoke and movement on the balcony of St. Peter’s basilica, the more nervous and excited I became.  Finally, after what seemed like hours had passed, “Habemus Papam!” was declared. Continue reading →

Weekly Clippings: Save the Date Edition

So the news we’ve been waiting for all week finally came yesterday, and the news is that we’ll have to wait a few more days.  The Vatican announced that the Conclave to elect the next Successor of St. Peter will begin on Tuesday, March 12th with the first vote coming late afternoon Rome time.  In the meantime, the mainstream media is still clamoring to create scandal out of this historic occasion.  While I’ve tried to take the whispers, innuendo, and flat-out rabble-rousing with a grain of salt, it has been difficult.  Based on my readings this week, it appears that I am not the only one that has struggled to avoid the annoyance. Continue reading →

Weekly Clippings: Sede Vacante Edition

What an incredible week this has been.  The Chair of St. Peter is officially empty.  In an emotional day, the world watched as His Holiness Benedict XVI, pope-emeritus, was flown over the city of Rome to his temporary retirement home at Castel Gandolfo.  So as a rare papal retirement begins for Benedict, a Church waits as the next stage of our history unfolds.  Needless to say there was a lot to take in this week, and here a few items I found interesting. Continue reading →

Pope Benedict XVI: Pontiff of Light

General Audience 2005

My first chance to see the Pope in person and before I had a good camera.

April 19th is a dark day for Oklahomans. It is the day we solemnly remember the Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people including 19 children. On April 19, 2005, I was sitting in my Oklahoma City apartment in a pretty dark state myself. My beloved grandma was becoming chronically sick, and it was tearing me apart because I knew what was coming. I was also 18 months removed from completing my master’s degree and still without a job. The economy was tough. Jobs were too few and too far between. I was unemployed, basically broke, and had nothing to do but watch TV. My life was in a bit of a depressing lull. Continue reading →

Don’t underestimate Pope Benedict’s digital legacy

Over the past few days, I have watched and read pundits and prognosticators try to label Pope Benedict’s pontificate and outline his accomplishments. As the mainstream media is discovering, due to the size of the Church and nature of the Papacy, it is often hard to determine what accomplishments and failures can be attributed to a given pope1.

However, one area of this Holy Father’s legacy that does have definable accomplishments is in new media and the “digital church”. It might be hard and almost laughable to think of an 85-year-old church leader leaving a digital legacy, but what Pope Benedict has done is really quite amazing. Here are four major accomplishments that I point to in order to support this.
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Weekly Clippings: Reactions, Predictions & Reflections Edition

What a wild week in the Catholic world. For most of us the shock of Pope Benedict’s announcement to step down has not subsided, but the reality of the situation is settling in our minds and hearts. With that, the reactions from around the world are starting to pour in. Continue reading →