Happy Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

Today is one of the major patronal feasts of Rome, and, in honor of the occasion, the famous statue of St. Peter at the Basilica gets dressed up...

But it is a joint feast, the idea being that the church at Rome is founded not on the witness, the martyrdom, of Peter alone but of Peter and Paul, two great apostles who, tradition suggests, both met their end in Rome. And last night at services at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, B16 announced that on June 29th, 2008, a Pauline year in celebration of the 2,000 anniversary of Paul's birth will begin.

Nicely coincidentally, next year will also be the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Paulist Fathers, founded by Isaac Hecker under the patronage of St. Paul. Exciting times!


BaptizedPagan, PhD

So my defense went very well yesterday, and I'm now Dr. Brian.
Thank you to all of you who kept me in your prayers, I hope to live up to the vocation that this degree represents.

Keep an eye on this space...lots of stuff happening on the Rome front -- Latin masses, letters to Chinese Catholics, etc. -- there's a lot to squeeze in before Rome leaves on holiday.

And have a very happy feast of Irenaeus of Lyons, a great ecclesiologist and theologian of the reconciliation of all peoples!


Motu proprio

Not _that_ motu proprio....but now that I've got your attention:

B16 released a motu proprio today re-establishing the previous practice of the conclave to elect a pope only by a 2/3 vote, rather than the scheme JPII instituted by which a deadlocked conclave would eventually switch over to a simple majority -- raising the specter of an intransigent minority that could hold out indefinitely until the 2/3 voting was over. It's another sign, in my opinion, of B16's desire to undue some of John Paul's more, um, creative innovations...maybe Divine Mercy Sunday is next??

In other news, I'm defending my dissertation tomorrow afternoon, so keep me in your prayers!


The God Machine Cometh

So I'm doing my last preps for my dissertation defense next week, and then I can get back to the important work of this blog which some of you have been clamoring for (hi, Chris!).

But as a teaser, for those of you drooling over the future of the iPhone (hi, Dave!), here are a couple of fun pieces I've come across lately:

Rocco Palmo, of Whispers in the Loggia fame, has dedicated his column this week on Busted Halo to the theological implications of the God Machine.

Hilariously, a very bitter media reporter from Slate has a funny little piece on how the media responds to the Apple striptease entitled "Apple Suck-up Watch" (although watch for the lack of the subjunctive mood at a crucial point...).

Personally, I'm hoping that my partner will decide that now's the time to switch to Cingular/AT&T and get hisself an iPhone I can play with...it would also make a great dissertation completion present, hint hint...