Monthly Archives: August 2018

Joan of Arc

The last book I read this summer was a biography of Joan of Arc by French medievalist Regine Pernoud. Rather than write a narrative Pernoud takes excerpts from original documents and arranges them according to the timeline of Joan’s life, along with commentary. Joan of Arc’s short life and career is in fact very well […]

What does the church do now?

Archbishop Vigano’s allegations against various American and Roman Churchmen, including the Pope, shed light on how a known sex abuser like Theodore McCarrcik could rise through the ranks of the clergy to become one of its most powerful Cardinals. What happens next? Do we finally get the truth of who protected and promoted McCarrick and […]

Another word on the Vigano flap

Yesterday I posted about the allegations that Archbishop Vigano made against various Cardinals and the Pope, that they knew of the predatory sexual habits of Cardinal McCarrick but promoted and protected him anyway. While Vigano’s story connects a lot of dots I think there is still a shoe to drop… several in fact, like if […]

Connecting the dots

A priest with a reputation for sexually exploiting young subordinates rises steadily through ecclesial ranks and becomes first the Bishop of a large diocese and later Cardinal Archbishop of one of the most important capitol cities of the world in spite of the urgent and strenuous objections of priests and laymen who knew of his […]

The Joys of Hell

In the supplement to the Summa Theologica Question 94, Thomas Aquinas argues that the saints in Heaven will rejoice at the sufferings of the damned, not out of any sadism, but because it displays divine justice. I never used to agree with this, but every time I see things like this I see the wisdom […]


The recurring sexual abuse scandals that plague the Church are a result of clericalism, the attitude that clergy are somehow special and should not be held accountable for their crimes. As a result: Clergy have credibility because of their class membership, not because of their character. The words of members of the clergy are given […]

On Beards

Twenty years ago as a recent high-school grad going through a grunge phase I grew a beard and long hair. I think, for reasons which are incomprehensible to me now, I wanted to look like Jeff Bridges circa 1976. One day I got my hair caught on the rollers of a scrubbing machine in the […]