Catholic Weird Al Readies for Lent

'There's a little black spot on your head today ....'

02/08/2010 Comments (5)

In my Christianity in Mass Media class later this semester we have a session I’m calling “Christian Movies and the Menace of Mediocrity.” Nick Alexander, the Catholic weird Al, has a great new video that will NOT be part of that class session. It has everything that such projects from Catholics should have. It has quality production values. Quality sound, picture and visual ideas.  In other words, it doesn’t “create a vacuum,” as my dad used to say.

It in fact suffers from only one defect: My daughter isn’t in it! It is, by coinicidence, filmed at the parish we used to attend in New Haven, Conn., and Nick — whom I have never met and was surprised to see in film at my old parish —...READ MORE

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The Catholic Greatness Void

Who Will Replace Dulles, Neuhaus and McInerny?

02/04/2010 Comments (17)

The Church has suffered great losses in the past few years — enormous losses: Father Richard John Neuhaus, Cardinal Avery Dulles, Msgr. William Smith. Now, we’ve lost Ralph McInerny. My question—which I’m asking only, not answering, by the way — is who do we have to take their place? Or do we only have a giant void?

I asked several friends here at Benedictine College. Their responses made me realize I’m not prepared to answer the question, only to ask it.

1. Does America still have the academic capacity to produce minds of their caliber? These men are not only different in degree from smart folks, but almost different in kind. We’re talking about men who could grasp the nuances of...READ MORE

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The Cardinal’s Five Revelations

News and Insights From Cardinal Schonborn at Benedictine College

02/01/2010 Comments (14)

Cardinal Schonborn spoke at Benedictine College Jan. 31, 2010 and received the Cross of the Order of St. Benedict from the university. Video photos and more here.

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn came to Benedictine College yesterday and gave two masterful addresses (a homily which Jack Smith addresses here and a lecture). The Archbishop of Vienna and President of the Austrian Bishops’ conference is too deep a thinker to do justice to in a blog post. But he did say some startling things. So herewith, I attempt only to give you my personal top five revelations from his lecture.

1. The Student’s Oops. Ten days before his fateful Regensburg address on Sept. 12, 2006, a former student loaned Pope Benedict XVI an ancient dialogue about Islam ...

Remember that line that was taken out of context and used to fuel riots in the Muslim world? The one from...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, benedictine college, cardinal schonborn, intelligent design, islam

State of the Union From Their Point of View

01/28/2010 Comments (2)

(CNS, Reuters photo)

I thought it might be fun to look at some lines of the State of the Union and imagine what they might sound like from someone else’s perspective ….

1. From a Massachusetts voter perspective ... he might seem a little disingenuous.

“For these Americans and so many others, change has not come fast enough. Some are frustrated; some are angry.”

Ummm .. the frustration and anger in Massachusetts (of all places) seemed to do with overreaching, not under-reaching, didn’t it? …

2. From an alien from outer space perspective … someone who heard this speech without knowing anything about America might be startled at the irony of Obama citing two problems.

In the early part of the...READ MORE

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Nazi vs. Vatican Spy Fight

01/27/2010 Comments (2)

Nazi Reichsadler (wiki commons)

I had a fascinating discussions with two Vatican experts about papal security for an article in Our Sunday Visitor.

The two had surprising things to say about Nazis and the Popes, but since that was off-topic for that story, John Norton at OSV has graciously allowed me to share their words with readers here.

David Alvarez is author of Spies in the Vatican: Espionage & Intrigue from Napoleon to the Holocaust (University Press of Kansas 2002). He’s a professor at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. I asked him whether the Pope was considered a threat to the Nazis.

What kind of tabs were the Nazis keeping on the Pope?

“The Nazis considered the Catholic Church in general and the...READ MORE

Filed under holocaust, nazis, pius xii, pope benedict xvi, vatican

What Not to Learn From Massachusetts

01/25/2010 Comments (3)

Like many pro-lifers, I spent the weekend after the March for Life (make that marches for life) eagerly lapping up articles about the historic win in Massachusetts.

As writer after writer explained how this spelled the end of Obama’s dominance, it reminded me of the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statues in Baghdad after the U.S. invasion … and then of the “Mission Accomplished” sign displayed on the U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf that proved embarrassing for President Bush.

Conservatives are reveling in Scott Brown’s win over Martha Coakley in the race to replace the late Ted Kennedy in the Senate. But Catholics who for pro-life reasons are also reveling in the win need...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, benedict xvi, congress, march for life, obama, politics, pope benedict xvi, senate

America, We Won't Go Away

Why we march every January

01/22/2010 Comments (2)

Here’s a National Catholic Register editorial that has run in the past to mark today’s Roe v. Wade anniversary ... find it on the home page under “Hot Topics.”

America, we won’t go away. Many people wish we would, and heaven knows we would rather be doing almost anything else. But we can’t go away, and we won’t.

I’m sure you’ve seen us. We may have made you angry, or sad, or we may have made you turn quickly away and find something else to look at.

You may have seen us two days before Christmas outside the Planned Parenthood building. The old man with the rosary, the college kids in sweats, the sad-looking woman clutching brochures and an “I Regret My Abortion” sign —...READ MORE

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Massachusetts' Inaugural Address

Imagine Obama's Words Coming from Bay State Voters ...

01/20/2010 Comments (1)

Today, on the year anniversary of Obama’s inaugural address, let’s imagine his Inaugural words coming from the mouths of Massachusetts voters.

Might they be saying to Obama: “On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Republicans, heaven knows, have proven definitively that they are not our saviors, and the Senate victory in Massachusetts is rich in dramatic irony but in the grand scheme of things a small thing.

But think of it from Catholics’ point of view: The President promised a conscience clause for doctors to...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, congress, obama, politics, senate

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About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.