SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Christopher Altieri

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February 27, 2020
Pope Francis visited the southern Italian port city of Bari at the weekend to highlight a major gathering of Catholic bishops from 19 Mediterranean countries. He didn’t pull any rhetorical punches while he was there. Home to the relics of St Nicholas, revered by Greek and Russian Orthodox alike, Bari has become an ecumenical hub
February 22, 2020
It was the first release of its kind for the troubled diocese, which covers the whole of the US state of West Virginia.
February 20, 2020
Rompere gli schemi: it’s an Italian expression that means something between “to break the mould” and “to upset the balance”. It’s what Pope Francis has done, again, with his post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Querida Amazonia.  Lots of ink has been spilled since its publication last week in efforts to figure out whether Francis has merely temporised
February 14, 2020
Pope Francis has a lot to say – but none of it on the subjects journalists were expecting A good deal of the early reporting on Querida Amazonia focused on whether the door to “married priests” was open or shut. It’s understandable. Indeed it was inevitable after all the time and energy spent on the
February 13, 2020
It was quite an impressive array of experts, advocates and power-brokers that participated in a conference last week hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, to explore “New Forms of Solidarity: Towards Fraternal Inclusion, Integration and Innovation” at the Casina Pio IV. They included Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
February 13, 2020
You may have heard that the bishop of a small city in Tuscany denounced a priest in his diocese to secular authorities in connection with sexual abuse allegations. The bishop is Giovanni Nerbini – a 66-year-old from Fiesole, consecrated bishop last June and installed in the see of Prato on September 7 of last year
February 12, 2020
Pope Francis released his post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Wednesday. Titled Querida Amazonia, the document is an official encouragement to the participants in October 2019’s Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology. It is also addressed to the whole Church. People looking
January 23, 2020
The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported on Saturday that the metropolitan archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, is conducting an investigation into an abuse allegation lodged against one of Cardinal Dolan’s own suffragans: Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn. Cardinal Dolan is conducting the investigation under the law that came into effect on June 1
January 23, 2020
I overslept on Monday. I had been working all weekend, but that’s no excuse. It was a school day, and there was lunch to pack for my daughter. In order to do that, I needed some of the things sitting in the sink and soaking. So I found myself pressed for time, and hastily reciting
January 22, 2020
The Legion of Christ is back in the news, with AP reporting on a gruesome story in Mexico, not only of abuse and cover-up, but also of failure to reform in the wake of revelations regarding the outfit’s founder: a charismatic sociopath called Fr Marcial Maciel. He started the Legion, which served him as a
January 19, 2020
An embattled senior Vatican official again took to social media on Friday to defend himself from accusations of dishonesty in connection with a book he wrote with another senior churchman on the priesthood and priestly celibacy. The senior official is the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal
January 16, 2020
One line in Pope Francis’s “State of the World” address to diplomats last week really stood out, regarding the disaster that struck Notre-Dame on April 15, 2019. “The fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Pope Francis said, “showed how even what seems so solid can be fragile and easily destroyed.” It would be easy to