SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Christopher R. Altieri

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March 12, 2020
Pope Francis has announced the theme of the next Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, scheduled for October 2022: “For a synodal Church: communion, participation, and mission.” (Insert obligatory “synod on synodality” joke here.) There; now that’s out of the way. It’s not a terrible idea, to be perfectly frank. Indeed, it’s long
March 11, 2020
Mass may be cancelled, but Romans are helping each other through a national crisis
March 06, 2020
The Catholic Herald has learned new details regarding the Vatican’s response to the Coronavirus emergency, in the wake of a confirmed case inside the walls of Vatican City
March 05, 2020
It was all couched in the most cordial terms. But last weekend there occurred an exchange of letters which, in Vatican terms, was the closest thing to “pistols at dawn” since Archbishop Viganò and Cardinal Ouellet exchanged pleasantries in the papers last year. The letters concerned the Vatican’s 2018 arrangement with mainland China regarding episcopal
March 05, 2020
There was a “meeting point” at the Holy See press office last week to present the Vatican’s new “task force” for helping bishops’ conferences and religious orders craft abuse policy. Briefly, what journos in attendance learned was that a coterie of experts – not named – will be coordinated by Andrew Azzopardi, an experienced Maltese
March 03, 2020
The International Theological Commission published a paper on Tuesday tackling what the ITC theologians involved in the colloquies consider to be a thorny issue that could bear on the validity of marriages, especially those among so-called “baptized non-believers”.
February 28, 2020
The remarks Pope Francis prepared for Thursday’s penitential liturgy at Rome’s cathedral archbasilica of St John Lateran are tempting to tea leaf-readers. One may resist that temptation, however, and still glean from his prepared remarks some not insignificant insight into the mind of Francis the governor of the universal Church. The reflection was chock-full of
February 28, 2020
The Pope focused the three causes of bitterness: problems with faith, problems with the bishop, and problems with brother priests
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