In the early going of the second presidential debate, Anderson Cooper said to Donald Trump, «You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?» Trump responded by saying his taped conversation with Billy Bush was just «locker room talk,» then pivoted to ISIS. He said, «You know, when we have a world where you have ISIS chopping off heads, where you have — and, frankly, drowning people in steel cages, where you have wars and horrible, horrible sights all over, where you have so many bad things happening, this is like medieval times.»
As a medieval historian, I’ve been watching the ways in which Trump, other politicians, and even plenty of journalists characterize ISIS and its horrific actions as «medieval.» I’ve always thought it was a mistake, but a mistake mostly limited to the world of rhetoric.… Seguir leyendo »
On Sunday, April 27, in Rome, Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be canonized as saints of the Roman Catholic Church. This event clearly will have intense significance for Catholics, but what about everyone else? Why should non-Catholics even care?
Both men are widely popular among the laity. Vatican City officials expect millions of people to attend and more to watch from around the world.
Both men also have critics. Some conservative Catholics still work to roll back the reforms of the Second Vatican Council called forth by John XXIII. Many Catholics strongly critique John Paul II’s centralizing tendencies and catastrophic response to all the sex abuse scandals.… Seguir leyendo »
It’s time to stop being surprised by Pope Francis.
Since he became pontiff, he’s made a lot of news. His tweets echo around the world. He embodies principles of humility and piety. He eschews the fancy trappings of office favored by his predecessor, from the Popemobile to the red shoes. He washed the feet of prisoners, including a Muslim woman, on Holy Thursday. He telephones ordinary people who write to him.
In Rome, he called for «revolutionaries» to leave the comforts of their home and bring the word into the streets. In Rio, he told the gathered youth to «make a mess» in the dioceses as they help the church shake off clericalism.… Seguir leyendo »
On Friday, Pope Francis announced the canonization of two of his predecessors: Pope John Paul II (pope from 1978 to 2005) and Pope John XXIII (1958-1963). That John-Paul II, whose pontificate dominated the late 20th century, is on a fast-track to sainthood should not come as a surprise.
At his death in 2005, the crowds chanted, «Santo subito!» (sainthood now!). The Vatican verified his first miracle, the curing of a French nun of Parkinson’s, from which he also suffered, just two months after his death. He was beatified in 2011 and his second miracle, the healing of a Costa Rican woman with an aneurism after her family prayed at one of his shrines, was ratified that same year.… Seguir leyendo »