In the Vernacular.

Over the last two weeks Pope Benedict XVI has issued what are likely to be viewed as two of the most consequential documents of his Papacy. On June 30, he issued his landmark letter to China’s Catholics; and on July 7 he issued his Motu Proprio de-restricting the use of the pre-concilliar traditional Latin liturgy…

First Things First.

I have to admit that I was a bit startled to find my name in a July 6 column written by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus in First Things. Neuhaus, for those who don’t know him, is a Catholic priest and writer probably best known for forging a political alliance between conservative Catholics and the American…

Zen’s Distance

The early responses to the Pope’s letter have been predictably varied, but none has been more surprising or unusual than the one penned by Cardinal Joseph Zen Zi-kiun of Hong Kong. In January, when the letter was first announced, it was widely assumed that Zen would play a leading role in drafting the text, and,…

June 30, 10:00 AM GMT

According to the Vatican, that’s when the long-awaited “Letter to Catholics in China” will be released. I haven’t been able to find the statement on the Vatican’s website, but the AP is reporting the news, and there’s no reason to disbelieve it (as noted here yesterday, rumors pegged the 30th earlier in the week). I…

The Imminent Letter

Several interesting developments suggesting that the Pope’s “Letter to Catholics in China” will be released in the next few days: 1. The ever-watchful Jennifer Ambrose pointed out to me that the Pope has named Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli to be the new President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Two weeks ago I wrote…