Breastfeeding in public just got a major, holy, endorsement. Pope Francis recently told mothers that they could breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel. While presiding over the baptism of 33 babies, the leader of the Catholic church said, “You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them, don’t worry.” Later, during the mass, he urged the congregation to think of impoverished women struggling to feed their children.
So, what’s the big deal? Why are people getting all excited by this? I mean, it’s not like the Sistine Chapel doesn’t already have its fair share of boobs all over the place. Artwork notwithstanding, this vocal support for nursing in public by the Pope is rather significant, particularly as mothers in the U.S. are still being hassled for doing so, regardless of their legal rights. Just recently, mother Alanna Panas was kicked out of a Maryland casino for breastfeeding her infant in an empty lobby. Ocean Downs Casino security told Panas that her daughter Lilly was a “security threat,” and told her to leave, despite the fact that Panas was nowhere near the casino floor (where those under 21 are not allowed). The casino eventually reached out with a half-hearted apology, but one that certainly did not make up for the harassment Panas felt. And unfortunately, she’s not alone. Keep reading »
Cardinal Raymond Burke once held the high-ranking position of Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. However, last year, Pope Frank — disagreeing with his right-wing positions on things — demoted him to “patron” of the Knights of Malta, which was a major diss.
Now that he has more time on his hands, Cardinal Burke — a man known for having spent $20,000 on a bejeweled crown and $30,000 on a glamorous 20-foot long cape (pictured above) — is giving out interviews to prestigious internet sites like “The New eMANgelization” about how women went and ruined the Catholic Church with all their silly talk of liberation and whathaveyou. Keep reading »
Fun facts about me: My mom’s whole family is Catholic going back centuries. It’s part of our family legacy – the Veteri Ponte (shortened to Vipond) were Catholic barons in England, and depending on who was ruling and whether they were Anglicans or Protestants, we had our land granted and taken away over and over. One of my ancestors was Queen Elizabeth I’s handmaid, and apparently she was mouthy (now you know where I get it from).
Which is all to say, Catholicism is part of my identity. I was loosely raised in the Catholic church. I stopped short of getting confirmed because I didn’t want to make a promise to a god if I didn’t know that I believed in it. Later in adulthood, when I was attending a Jesuit university, I started inching further back toward it. I took classes on Catholic history and on sacramentalism, I started reading the Bible more, I grew an affinity for Graham Greene. One of my favorite novels is still The Power and the Glory, in no small part for this very twentieth-century Catholic point of view, which I still think is a beautiful way of framing Christ:
“Man was so limited: he hadn’t even the ingenuity to invent a new vice: the animals knew as much. It was for this world that Christ had died: the more evil you saw and heard about you, the greater the glory lay around the death; it was too easy to die for what was good or beautiful, for home or children or civilization–it needed a God to die for the half-hearted and the corrupt.”
Keep reading »
From 1925-1961, the Home, in Tuam, Ireland, was where thousands of unwed mothers and their “illegitimate” children were sent to pay a penance for their out-of-wedlock pregnancies in the form of indentured servitude overseen by Catholic nuns. Like the Magdalene Laundries, which were also run by the Catholic Church, the Home’s treatment of these women/girls and their babies was abusive, with moms and children often kept separate from each other and ostracized by the surrounding community. Now, five decades after the Home was shut down and destroyed, the remains of 800 hundred babies, the children of those women whose only crime was getting pregnant out of wedlock, have been discovered in a septic tank on the property. Keep reading »
Pope Francis continues to make news by making waves: for assuring the world that atheists can be good people, for blessing leather-clad Harley riders, and, now, for softening the church’s position on gay priests. With the ink barely dry on yet another big news moment (he racked up the No. 2 most-attended papal address on record yesterday), Pope Francis boarded the papal plane and gave his first news conference during his overnight flight back to the Vatican. This is the line getting a good bit of attention: “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can’t marginalize these people.” Read more on Newser…