How to commit Vatican journalism

RealClearReligion – John Allen: The RealClearReligion Interview

When the National Catholic Reporter’s senior correspondent John L. Allen, Jr. was called upon to put a question to Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, the Vatican press officer said: “Holy Father, this man needs no introduction.”

So very true, and the interview gives a model of what sober reporting should look like.

Beware people who revel in being "prophetic"

Bipartisan protip: if you want to be a prophet, or if you revel in it, you’re not. And if a President is in your audience, and you’re agreeing with him or telling him things that he doesn’t mind hearing, you’re definitely not.

Rev. Leon and Prophecy – Michael Sean Winters

“I am tired, very tired, of people, clerical or lay, who pat themselves on the back by articulating their positions on this issue or that and claim that they are taking a prophetic stance. All too often, it seems to me that this claiming the prophet’s mantle is designed to keep the person claiming it from the normal method we humans employ to face problems of a terrestrial nature: an argument. Claiming to be a prophet has become a way to avoid argument, not engage it, a way to claim the moral high ground for oneself and, just so, an evidence not of a genuine prophecy which comes from God, but a false prophecy that comes from the desires of the speaker.”

An Ignatian papacy

John Thavis on the pope’s ‘reform’ project

Pope Francis came into the Vatican with a mandate to change the way its bureaucracy functions (or disfunctions), in the wake of scandals, leaks and power struggles that have embarrassed the church. It seems to me that he’s taking that task seriously, by laying the spiritual groundwork for change.

He’s approaching the various Vatican environments not so much as the new boss, but as the new pastor.

I think that’s one big reason why he’s decided to continue to live in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guest house, instead of moving into the formal papal apartment. In the Domus, he’s a few steps away from St. Peter’s, as well as the Vatican City governor’s office, and his morning liturgies are accessible to Vatican employees.

In the Apostolic Palace, the pope would have been surrounded by Secretariat of State offices and the usual filters. In effect, the Domus provides a much better pastoral base for evangelizing the Vatican.

Google loses, Samsung wins

Tightwind.net has it right:

Google makes relatively little from Android while one company—Samsung—makes more operating income from Android than Google as a whole. Think about that! Google is doing the hard work of developing the operating system and applications, but Samsung is capturing all of the revenue and income. Google’s Android strategy failed.

The only problem with the notion that Google’s exit from the trap is selling devices (Glass, Chromebooks, Motorola-made Google-branded phones) is that we have very little evidence that Google will be any good at it. Google TV, anyone?

This strategy requires Google to attack directly into the arena dominated by Samsung and Apple. I think I’ve seen that before.

Evangelicals and Catholics Together, Pope Francis-style

Luis Palau: Why It Matters that Pope Francis Drinks Maté with Evangelicals: “One day I said to him, ‘You seem to love the Bible a lot,’ and he said, ‘You know, my financial manager [for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires] … is an evangelical Christian.’ I said, ‘Why would that be?’ And he said, ‘Well, I can trust him, and we spend hours reading the Bible and praying and drinking maté [an Argentine green tea].'”

As husband to a tea-drinking Evangelical, I can relate! (But not to the maté, I’ll take other kinds of tea.)

Pope Francis – Ross Douthat

Pope Francis I – Ross Douthat: “First, whatever correlations of factions and forces within the conclave produced this result, Bergoglio won relatively swiftly, which — joined to his runner-up status last time, in a conclave that had a very different slate of cardinal electors — suggests a man with deep reservoirs of support and goodwill among his fellow prelates. Even if he was a compromise choice of some sort, his fellow electors were clearly quite happy to make it.”

A hopeful observation; may it be so! And a style note: until/unless some future Pope takes the name, it’s not Francis I, it’s simply Francis.

Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller) wins theology discussion with Piers Morgan

Something more rare than rubies… Penn Jillette provides a sterling example of intellectual integrity. He’s an atheist, but he’s more capable of taking people at their word and respecting the content of beliefs he does not share than Piers Morgan could ever be.

There’s a few theological bobbles here and there, but that would be nitpicking. Well worth three minutes of life to watch it.

http://www.cato.org/longtail-iframe/node/45125/field_longtail_player/0