samedi, mars 16, 2013

New Pope will need to woo American Catholics

Conservatives often accuse the mainstream media of leaning left.

Some writers and t.v. reporters do veer sideways -- right and left. Watch Fox News for ten minutes.

But at an even more fundamental level, the media love a fresh face -- and a new narrative.

Even if he is a 76-year-old Cardinal who was the runner up to the newly retired Pope in the last papal election.

He's from Argentina!

He leads a "simple" life!

He's on the side of the poor!

But will all of that be enough to bring North American Catholics back into the fold?

Are many Catholics faithful in name only?

What could the church do to restore a sense of integrity on a national level?

Is it even possible to do that, or must it be done diocese by diocese?

Check out the link to the Pew analysis in my story -- and feel free to chime in.

The bells of Rome have already.

dimanche, mars 10, 2013

Can "good people" dish the dirt?

I'm grateful to my editor at the Inquirer for sending me books that stretch me intellectually.

I never thought I'd review a young adult novel, analyze a series of meditations on zines, or delve into an autobiographical account of being locked up by a criminal and having to bear his child.

I have to admit, however, that there is usually a minute when I say (to myself): he is sending me WHAT?

That was certainly the case here.

After reading this autobiographical memoir by Judy Wicks, founder of Philly's White Dog Cafe, I have many more questions than answers.

In the end, I grew to admire her determination -- while still hoping, in spite of myself, for some of the intimate (relatively speaking) details that she chose, for whatever reason, not to reveal.

I have a good idea now of what Judy Wicks believes. But can readers say that they know Judy?

Arguably -- yes.  And arguably -- no.