A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Posts Tagged ‘Catholic church’

Heroic virtue

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The tenor of the news surrounding the late Pope John Paul II’s beatification in the coming hours has been tilted slightly negatively. Isn’t this process being rushed? Didn’t he fail to confront the pedophile priests in his flock? Wasn’t he dismissive of modernizing the role of women in the church?

One could argue yes, to some degree, in regard to those criticisms. But the conflict-spin on this story misses the larger point — the whole life of John Paul II, a life that can be far more effectively be argued as having been heroically virtuous. That’s the key in this whole march to sainthood. Forget the miracles. That’s an ethereal sideshow. Whether or not you believe in God or Heaven or even the Catholic Church, one simply should not overlook the extraordinary life lived by this pope — beginning with his resistance to Nazism as a young adult right up to the way he dignified old age by living so visibly with Parkinson’s disease. John Paul was, emphatically, one of the most important historical figures of the past century. Believe what you want about this beatification and the motives behind it, but this pope has earned the right to his church’s greatest recognition.

By the way, nearly 17 years ago, on May 4, 1997, Pope John Paul II beatified my favorite saint — Padre Gaetano Catanoso, cousin of my grandfather, and thus, my cousin as well.

Book review

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Gavin Ferriby, director of the Sacred Heart University Ryan-Matura Library in Fairfield, Conn., reviews My Cousin the Saint this week in great depth and detail. Here’s an excerpt:

“This is a engaging account of life, death, and faith in an Italian-American family — the latter portions on canonization are unavoidably less emotionally engaging than the author’s account of Padre Gaetano, or the illness and death of the author’s brother Alan. Catanoso nevertheless gives an authentic account of how being Catholic has changed for him, and those things that continue to hold him to the church, and those things that make him want to run from it.  Written in a decidedly lay, non-theological voice, the journalist Catanoso covers his story with graceful prose and a sure eye for telling detail.”

The future of Pope Benedict XVI

Friday, March 26th, 2010

As a Catholic, a relative of a saint, a citizen of the world, I want to state loudly and clearly that I am appalled at the actions of the Vatican regarding the priest sex abuse scandals, then and now. Specifically, I am outraged and offended by the pope’s restrained response.  Apologies are not enough. Taking responsibility, meting out long-overdue punishment and changing the culture of this church are boldly in order. If Benedict cannot lead on this issue, he must consider stepping down so that someone else will.

As much as the Vatican would want the world to believe otherwise, The New York Times is not out to get him. It’s only out to get the truth. And it is. For balance, today’s Times offers this story, too.

The Saint’s Room

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Shot in Reggio Calabria, Italy by Michael Frierson, of UNC-Greensboro.

Not Strictly Spiritual

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

A lovely endorsement from blogger Mary DeTerris Poust is here, second item. An excerpt: “It is a wonderful book that will make you want to get on the next plane to Italy to find your long lost relatives.”

Now in paperback

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

My Cousin the Saint
Released today, by Harper Perennial. Available here. Take a look inside here.

A new archbishop in New York

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

From today’s Times: “Archbishop Dolan, a church historian whose studies have focused on the contemporary American Catholic experience, made it clear on Wednesday that he understands he was chosen for his formidable skills at communications and public relations, and that he intends to use them.”

The whole story is here.

The pope’s photographer

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

giansanti of JPII
Photo by Gianni Giansanti
From The New York Times today: “Gianni Giansanti, an internationally prominent photojournalist known for nearly three decades of images that captured Pope John Paul II on the bustling world stage and in contemplative private moments, died on Wednesday in Rome. He was 52.” Full obit here.

Pope Rejects Any Denial of Holocaust

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The New York Times reports today: VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI, meeting with Jews in an effort to mend fences after lifting the excommunication of a schismatic bishop who has publicly denied the scale of the Holocaust, said Thursday that the Catholic Church was “profoundly and irrevocably committed” to rejecting anti-Semitism…The rest of the story is here.

Update:Boston Globe reports: Pope meets Jews, says denial unacceptable. Full story here.

Indulgences, get your indulgences!

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The New York Times reports: “The announcement in church bulletins and on Web sites has been greeted with enthusiasm by some and wariness by others. But mainly, it has gone over the heads of a vast generation of Roman Catholics who have no idea what it means: ‘Bishop Announces Plenary Indulgences.’ ”

What’s an indulgence? Read here.