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
March 14, 2021
...an exercise of brute force clothed in a gossamer administrative fig-leaf, with implausible reason given — raising questions of the true motive — ill-considered, ad hoc, juridically slapdash at best,...
March 08, 2021
He went not just to proclaim Christ, but to proclaim our dependence upon Christ, in the face of suffering that can't be swept away.
March 07, 2021
"We know that through your prayers you continue to urge this broken world and this broken land to a time of peace, humility and prosperity," Archbishop Warda said, "with dignity of life and purpose for all."
March 07, 2021
"Today," said Pope Francis in his homily, "I can see at first hand that the Church in Iraq is alive, that Christ is alive and at work in this, his holy and faithful people."
March 07, 2021
Pope Francis’s message was simple and direct: “You are not alone,” he said. “The entire Church is close to you, with prayers and concrete charity.”
March 07, 2021
The gathering took place in Hosh al-Bieaa – Church Square – in Mosul, where four churches sit: Syriac Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syro-Orthodox, and Chaldean.
March 06, 2021
"Love is our strength," Pope Francis said in his homily, "the source of strength for those of our brothers and sisters who here too have suffered prejudice and indignities, mistreatment and persecutions for the name of Jesus."
March 06, 2021
The core of Pope Francis's message was one of universal fraternity and universal respect for human life and dignity as the only sure foundations for society and the only true guides to responsible stewardship of the created order, with which God has entrusted us.
March 02, 2021
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was speaking to Italy's La Stampa newspaper. Guterres also said a security review of the incident is underway.
February 28, 2021
A Vatican City criminal court heard two days of frequently gruesome testimony last week, in the trial of two clerics: 28-year-old Fr. Gabriele Martinelli and 71-year-old Fr. Enrico Radice. Martinelli, a former student at the St. Pius X minor seminary in the Vatican, is charged with sexual abuse of a junior boy when Martinelli was
February 28, 2021
Significant other risks also attend the visit, long desired by Pope Francis and highly anticipated by the sorely tried people of the country. — Rome — The Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq, Archbishop Mitja Leskovar, has tested positive for coronavirus and is in isolation at a site removed from the nunciature — the Vatican embassy —
February 25, 2021
The trial is underway in Vatican City’s criminal court, where two priests face charges: Fr. Gabriele Martinelli, 28, and Fr. Enrico Radice, 71. Martinelli, a former pupil at the Vatican’s Saint Pius X (Preseminario San Pio X) minor seminary ordained in 2017, is accused of abusing a junior pupil while he was a senior boy at the school. Radice, former rector of the institution, is accused of covering up and enabling Martinelli’s abusive behavior.