October 23, 2013 |
When Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Germany traveled to India last year to minister to poor slum dwellers, he reportedly flew first class. This year, renovations of the Roman Catholic bishop's church-owned residence in the city of Limburg ran massively over budget to cover $620,000 worth of artwork, $1.1 million in landscaping and last-minute design revisions -- $42 million in all, billed to the Vatican and German taxpayers, Hamburg's tabloid daily Bild reported. Dubbed the "Bishop of Bling" by European media that have been avidly tracking the bespectacled clergyman's lavish lifestyle, Tebartz-van Elst was suspended from his post by Pope Francis on Wednesday in a clear sign that the new pontiff is serious about diverting resources from the "princes of the church" to the paupers in its congregations.
October 18, 2013 |
Calming would-be suicide bombers, negotiating a hostage crisis, throwing herself into a sniper's cross hairs, sniffing out CIA coverups and finding out her most trusted employee is a brainwashed killer beholden to her ruthless father: Just another day on the job for Olivia Pope. It's a testament to the complete insanity of “Scandal” that “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington” -- in which a mild-mannered Midwestern mom wanders into her representative's office on Capital Hill wearing an explosive vest at the exact same moment an intruder barges into the White House -- is probably the most restrained episode we've seen so far in Season 3. Now, don't get me wrong, this was still a fun-filled hour of television.
October 4, 2013 |
When Cassadee Pope took the crown in the third season of “The Voice” late last year, the clock started ticking. Like many a winner before her, she had to quickly cash in on her new-found fame before a new season of replacement contestants stole viewer interest. While the show's competitor “American Idol” has turned out successful acts like Kelly Clarkson and Phillip Phillips , NBC's hit competition, despite its formidable ratings, has yet to churn out viable pop stars.
October 1, 2013 |
The bishop declines to move into his official residence, which he considers “hopelessly antiquated.” He disdains “velvet and brocade and gilt cherubs with paint peeling off their backsides.” He inveighs against “formalism, feudalism, reaction, old men following old ways because the old ways seem safer and they are unprepared for the new.” “I believe that the church in this country is in drastic need of reform,” he tells a fellow priest....
September 29, 2013 |
Pope Francis' highly publicized recent interview with an Italian Jesuit magazine has ushered in a new era for the Roman Catholic Church - an era of record levels of misinterpretation of the pontiff's words, both by the liberal media and by conservative Catholics who have been grousing about Francis ever since he washed the feet of a Muslim girl during Holy Week. The remark most focused on was this: "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2013 |
Cool guy, that new pope. Wish those House Republicans would spend some time studying the interview Pope Francis gave to the Italian Jesuit journal La Civita Cattolica that was published online by America, a U.S.-based Jesuit publication. They might learn a few things about compassion, priorities and how to be real Christians. Francis thinks the church, to its detriment, is “obsessed” with its battles against abortion, gay marriage and contraception. “The teaching of the church is clear,” he said.