David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for Religion News Service and author of The Coming Catholic Church (HarperOne) and The Rule of Benedict (HarperOne). He blogs at dotCommonweal.

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Is Francis a Balthasarian?

Theologians quoted in this Globe & Mail story try to make the argument for Papa Bergoglio as a disciple of von Balthasar:

Should we still call Ratzinger "pope" after February?

Bishop Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., is known as a Catholic culture warrior to many but he is also a Rome-trained canon lawyer.

Benedict XVI, not conservative enough...

Conservative disappointment with Pope Benedict's record has been an undercurrent in commentary in the last few years, and it has broken into the open since his resignation (or abdication, for the neo-Victorians). My latest at RNS rounds up some of the disappointment and posits some reasons:

In praise of the Post Office

The announcement that Saturday mail delivery may end in a cost-cutting move by the U.S. Postal Service has lots of people going, well, postal -- just one of many pejorations associated with the the Post Office.Give it a rest, I say. I have a quixotic affection for old-fashioned institutions -- churches, newspapers, legislatures, universities that are not only online -- that are vital to building and maintaining a culture, but which are endangered species these days.The Post Office is one of those easy targets, and not always a fair one.


Patty Andrews, last of the Andrews Sisters trio, died last week at 94. Amazing how a tune can be the gateway to an era, perhaps one not your own. My dad played drums in a big band during the late 1940s, for fun, and kept a small set after he was married that he would haul up and play along to old Glenn Miller 78s and Sinatra LPs and other great songs of the 30s and 40s and 50s.

Lillian Daniel nails the "spiritual but not religious" crowd

United Church of Christ* pastor Lillian Daniel, author of a new book, When Spiritual But Not Religious Is Not Enough," is profiled by Bob Abernethy of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. She rocks the house:

Move over, Aretha. Justice Scalia takes center stage!

If singing legend Aretha Franklin took the prize for the most outre' hat at the 2009 inaugural, Ju

Pax Obama, Part Deux

Amazingly, the Republican fringe may have started to acknowledge reality: it backed down on the debt ceiling hostage scenario in which they basically held a gun to their own heads.Jon Chait explains here. But I think the main lesson is that by incremental steps Obama is forcing the GOP to recognize that they have to govern. Every small compromise they make is a surrender of their all-or-nothing fundamentalism.

The NRA preempts Obama

The President is unveiling his gun control agenda this morning, but Politico reports on this ad that the NRA released to get the PR jump on the crafty Prez. This should work well: