1. David Edelstein reviews Calvary, starring  Brendan Gleeson as a priest who must eventually face off against a killer:

"Crisis-of-faith movies are often painfully solemn, even Ingmar Bergman-esque, but writer-director John Michael McDonagh evidently came of age watching too many episodes of Twin Peaks. Calvary is crammed with strange, over-the-top performances—unmodulated, in different keys, the characters framed with the bluntness of a carnival barker showing off his freaks. Those shots are in contrast to the Irish coastal vistas: craggy, primordial, mythic. It’s meant to be a haunting combination, and I have colleagues who found it just that. They were devastated by a film that acknowledges the Catholic Church’s crimes and what’s portrayed as its increasing irrelevance in modern society, yet affirms, in the end, the overriding importance of faith.”


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    David Edelstein reviews Calvary, starring Brendan Gleeson as a priest who must eventually face off against a killer:

    "Crisis-of-faith movies are often painfully solemn, even Ingmar Bergman-esque, but writer-director John Michael McDonagh evidently came of age watching too many episodes of Twin Peaks. Calvary is crammed with strange, over-the-top performances—unmodulated, in different keys, the characters framed with the bluntness of a carnival barker showing off his freaks. Those shots are in contrast to the Irish coastal vistas: craggy, primordial, mythic. It’s meant to be a haunting combination, and I have colleagues who found it just that. They were devastated by a film that acknowledges the Catholic Church’s crimes and what’s portrayed as its increasing irrelevance in modern society, yet affirms, in the end, the overriding importance of faith.”

  2. calvary

    brendan gleeson

    review

    movie

    ireland

    catholic church

  1. Today historian David Kertzer talks to us about his new book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe. In the interview he explains why the Catholic Church was interested in allying with dictator Benito Mussolini in the 1920’s and 30’s: 

The popes had seen the Italian government as enemies, basically. They had rejected the notion of the separation of church and state, they had lost their privileged position in society, and they had always called that system illegitimate. Pius XI at least began to see the possibility that Mussolini might be the person sent by God — the man of providence — as he would later refer to him … who would reverse all of that, who would end the separation of church and state, restore many of the prerogatives of the church and at the same time, as the Pope was very worried about the rising socialist movement … saw Mussolini as the man who was the best bet, perhaps, to prevent a socialist takeover of Italy.


photo of St. Peter’s Basilica via flickr 

    Today historian David Kertzer talks to us about his new book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe. In the interview he explains why the Catholic Church was interested in allying with dictator Benito Mussolini in the 1920’s and 30’s: 

    The popes had seen the Italian government as enemies, basically. They had rejected the notion of the separation of church and state, they had lost their privileged position in society, and they had always called that system illegitimate. Pius XI at least began to see the possibility that Mussolini might be the person sent by God — the man of providence — as he would later refer to him … who would reverse all of that, who would end the separation of church and state, restore many of the prerogatives of the church and at the same time, as the Pope was very worried about the rising socialist movement … saw Mussolini as the man who was the best bet, perhaps, to prevent a socialist takeover of Italy.

    photo of St. Peter’s Basilica via flickr 

  2. fresh air

    interview

    mussolini

    pope

    catholic church

    italy

    history

    david kertzer

    brown university

  1. Today on Fresh Air James Carroll discusses Pope Francis' “radical” first year.  Carroll wrote an article in The New Yorker about Pope Francis’ departure from traditional Church positions. For example, he explains the Pope’s attitude toward communion:

"He talked about the Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist, communion, in a very different way from the way in which his predecessors … have been talking about it. Communion has been treated as food for those who are not hungry. Food for the well-fed, food for the well-behaved. Popes and bishops have used the sacrament of the Eucharist, the mass, as a kind of boundary marker. You’re in if you obey all the rules and you’re out if you don’t. If you’re not a Catholic, if you’re a Protestant not in communion with the papacy, if you’re a divorced and remarried Catholic, if you’re using birth control, if you’ve committed any of the long list of sins that have been emphasized over the years, don’t go to communion.

… The word excommunication refers to being outside of communion. Pope Francis speaks in a very different way. He said, quite explicitly, the Church is not a toll house; we’re not interested in having a barrier here that has to be raised for those who are worthy. No, communion is for people who are hungry. … It’s for those who are not whole so that they can become whole.”
View in High-Res

    Today on Fresh Air James Carroll discusses Pope Francis' “radical” first year.  Carroll wrote an article in The New Yorker about Pope Francis’ departure from traditional Church positions. For example, he explains the Pope’s attitude toward communion:

    "He talked about the Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist, communion, in a very different way from the way in which his predecessors … have been talking about it. Communion has been treated as food for those who are not hungry. Food for the well-fed, food for the well-behaved. Popes and bishops have used the sacrament of the Eucharist, the mass, as a kind of boundary marker. You’re in if you obey all the rules and you’re out if you don’t. If you’re not a Catholic, if you’re a Protestant not in communion with the papacy, if you’re a divorced and remarried Catholic, if you’re using birth control, if you’ve committed any of the long list of sins that have been emphasized over the years, don’t go to communion.

    … The word excommunication refers to being outside of communion. Pope Francis speaks in a very different way. He said, quite explicitly, the Church is not a toll house; we’re not interested in having a barrier here that has to be raised for those who are worthy. No, communion is for people who are hungry. … It’s for those who are not whole so that they can become whole.”

  2. fresh air

    pope francis

    catholic church

    james carroll

    the new yorker

    catholicism

  1. I have had moments of joy and light, but also moments that haven’t been easy … moments of turbulent seas and rough winds, as has occurred in the history of the church when it seemed like the Lord was sleeping.

    — Pope Benedict XVI today in his farewell address. While Cardinals gather in Rome to choose a new Pope, the Vatican is reeling from scandals—child sex abuse, corruption at the Vatican bank, the leaking of secret Church documents. On Fresh Air today veteran Vatican reporter, John Thavis, details this unprecedented time in the history of the Catholic Church.

  2. Fresh Air

    Coming Up

    John Thavis

    Catholic Church

    Pope Benedict XVI

    Farewell Address

  1. The church doesn’t say that the ordination of women is not possible because somehow women are unfit to carry out functions of the priest, but because on the level of sacramental signs, it’s not the choice that our Lord made when it comes to those who act in his very person, as the church’s bridegroom. And you can say that sounds like a lot of poetry or you know, how do we know that’s true, but if you’re a Catholic, this is part of our sacraments and practice for 2 millennia, and it’s not just an arbitrary decision of male oppression over women.

    — Bishop Blair Explains Vatican’s Criticism Of U.S. Nuns

  2. catholic church

    religion

    leonard blair

  1. The question is, ‘Can you be Catholic and have a questioning mind?’ That’s what we’re asking. …

    — Sister Pat Farrell [full interview here]

  2. sister pat farrell

    catholic church

    religion

    vatican

  1. Women theologians around the world have been seriously looking at the question of: How have the Church’s interpretations of how we talk about God, interpret Scripture, organize life in the Church — how have they been tainted by a culture that minimizes the value and the place of women?

    — Sister Pat Farrell

  2. sister pat farrell

    religion

    catholic church

    vatican

  1. Our works are very much pro-life. We would question, however, any policy that is more pro-fetus than actually pro-life. If the rights of the unborn trump all of the rights of all of those who are already born, that is a distortion too — if there’s such an emphasis on that. However, we have sisters who work in right to life issues. We also have many, many ministries that support life. We dedicate to our lives to those on the margins of society, many of whom are considered throw-away people: the impaired, the chronically mentally ill, the elderly, the incarcerated, to the people on death row. We have strongly spoken out against the death penalty, against war, hunger. All of those are right to life issues. There’s so much being said about abortion that is often phrased in such extreme and such polarizing terms that to choose not to enter into a debate that is so widely covered by other sectors of the Catholic Church — and we have been giving voice to other issues that are less covered but are equally as important.

    — Sister Pat Farrell, on today’s Fresh Air

  2. npr

    sister pat farrell

    religion

    catholic church

  1. Tuesday: the conflict between the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The church conducted a doctrinal assessment of the group, because of its “radical feminist views and positions not in agreement with the church’s teaching on human sexuality.”

    On the next Fresh Air, Terry Gross talks with Sister Pat Farrell, the president of the nun’s group. 

  2. nuns

    Leadership Conference of Women Religious

    catholic church

  1. I haven’t lost my faith but I’ve lost my religion. I still believe in something so deeply. … I’ve never really gotten past that quote from Anne Frank in her diary, where she says that people are really good at heart. But I feel like the Catholic Church – no – the Catholic hierarchy has been disinviting people like me and especially women like me for so many years that I finally took the hint.

    — Anna Quindlen on religion and faith [full interview here]

  2. anna quindlen

    religion

    catholic church

    faith