SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Christopher R. Altieri

July 29, 2020
Of kitchens and children and others So, last week was a week here chez Altieri. Between the steady stream of children who were our houseguests, emergency maintenance on our old city beater, and the hours Mrs. A. and I were keeping—both of us in Rome, working cases on US central time—the cleaning and tidying around here
June 20, 2020
Miscellaneous reminiscences The big news out of the Vatican on Saturday was Pope Francis’s addition of three titles for Our Lady to the Litany of Loreto. “This is,” a Dominican friend of mine noted, “actually pretty big news.” He’s not wrong. A very poor Catholic, I do not love Our Lady as I should, and
June 15, 2020
I don’t remember who was there, but it was a mix of seasoned beat reporters and young up-and-comers and I don’t quite recall what day it was, but it was either the presser for Vos estis lux mundi or the one a few months before that, presenting the four-day summit on child protection that took
June 07, 2020
The video turned my stomach, but the apple drawing made my heart sink. It was one of those “meta-” moments: a photograph of a drawing that was itself a metaphor. The picture captured the chalk rendering of a fruit in which a worm had made its home, and was captioned: “No good apples”. It was
June 05, 2020
Short takes on a dismal week On Facebook this Thursday, I misreported the release year of A Pope Francis Lexicon – an informative and often delightful volume by my colleagues on the Vatican beat, Cindy Wooden and Joshua McElwee – incorrectly stating that it came out six or seven years ago. The book appeared in January
May 31, 2020
The time in which a “national conversation” may be useful is quickly passing. “We are broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes,” wrote seven US bishops on Friday, who chair committees within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “What’s more astounding,” they wrote,
January 01, 1970
May 21, 2021
If the incongruity of making the Church more synodalitous by papal diktat ever occurred to him, neither he nor his lieutenants and mouthpieces have given any evidence of it.
May 21, 2021
“The synodal process was not thought up in some office away from reality,” said Cardinal Grech, whose department was responsible for designing the new process in their Rome offices.
May 13, 2021
Witnesses contradicted themselves and each other on Wednesday, when they gave evidence in a trial dealing with charges of abuse and coverup at the Saint Pius X minor seminary -- a college for boys aged 12 to 18 years, who are considering the priesthood and serve at papal events in St. Peter’s Basilica -- in the Vatican.  
May 09, 2021
The sucking sound you hear is all the bids for the “2021 Meeting That Should Have Been An Email Award” getting tossed out the airlock.
April 29, 2021
The new law's stated aim is to curtail and target instances of a range of crimes, including fraud, corruption, money-laundering, terrorism or terrorism-related activities, exploitation of minors and human trafficking, as well as tax evasion.
April 24, 2021
If there are stalwart reformers -- and we know there are some of the clerisy genuinely committed to the work of ripping out the rot and repairing the Church's leadership culture -- we might nonetheless reasonably wonder whether they have the wherewithal to bring about meaningful reform.
April 16, 2021
All we know for sure is that he is no longer Bishop of Crookston, after some investigation and "determination" -- and that he says he will “move out of state to a warmer climate.”
April 15, 2021
The priests who testified on Wednesday are Frs. Angelo Magistrelli, Enzo Pacelli, and Luigi Portarulo. They all appeared to cast doubt on the testimony of a key witness: former Saint Pius X seminarian Kamil Jarzembowski, whose claims regarding the climate and culture of the institution have contributed to public scrutiny and been a focal point of the criminal proceedings.
April 14, 2021
The liturgy is reportedly billed as a “Mass of Thanksgiving” in a memo that went to Crookston priests. The Apostolic Administrator appointed for Crookston, 78-year-old Bishop Richard Pates (emeritus of Des Moines, Iowa) will reportedly concelebrate.
April 12, 2021
The Times reported Sunday that the victim has sent a letter threatening suit against the Archdiocese of Westminster, for personal injury. She says she was “re-traumatised” by Church safeguarding staff after she reported her abuse.
April 05, 2021
When it comes to stepping on their own message, neither the pope nor the Vatican has need of the press corps’ help. This time, however, it's different.
April 02, 2021
"Fomenting division," Cardinal Cantalamessa said, "is the work par excellence of the one whose name is diabolos -- that is, the divider."
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