Robert P. Imbelli

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.

By this author

Field Hospital Therapies

A year ago, on this feast of his namesake, Pope Francis made a memorable voyage to Assisi. Among his many addresses and homilies, here's an excerpt from one delivered in the Cathedral of San Rufino to clergy, religious, and members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. As it happened, they were preparing for a diocesan Synod. The Pope said in part:

It Keeps Getting Worse (Update)

The latest twist in the White House break-in story:

The man who jumped the White House fence this month and sprinted through the front door made it much farther into the building than previously known, overpowering one Secret Service officer and running through much of the main floor, according to three people familiar with the incident.

An alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher’s office, said a Secret Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Of course, the Secret Service has no comment "due to an ongoing investigation of the incident." Do these investigations ever conclude?

In case you missed it, the Washington Post story also has a link to its previous story about the shots fired at the White House in 2011 which were only discovered some days later.

As a friend keeps muttering about the situation in Italy: "Incredibile!"


Giving credit where credit is due the Times picks up on the Post story:

Francis in Albania

Pope Francis spent eleven packed hours in Albania yesterday, speaking to government officials, religious leaders, and the Catholic faithful. Each of his prepared addresses is worth reading, but here is Osservatore Romano’s report on the most touching moment of the day:

John and James

Yesterday the Church's Liturgy remembered the Passion and Beheading of John the Baptist. While in past years I may have focused uniquely on the Baptist and his role in the drama of salvation, it was impossible to read the gospel without remembering James Foley, imprisoned and beheaded. James sent a last message to his family through a freed captive who had committed the words to memory. He said:

Boots on the Ground (Updating)

and they seem to be Russian.

The Washington Post quotes a Ukranian military official:

Russian forces in two armored columns captured a key southeastern coastal town near the Russian border Thursday after Ukrainian forces retreated in the face of superior firepower, a Ukrainian military spokesman said.

Painful and Beautiful

Today's New York Times has an article with an accompanying short video. It's about the author and film maker's mother, Pam White, and the man who married her, loves her, and is her principal care-giver through her journey with Alzheimer's disease.

Remembering James Foley

After his release from his first captivity in Libya James Foley wrote this letter to his alma mater, Marquette University. He said:

Francis Speaks Boldly (Update)

At today's Angelus:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Apostate Saint

In reflecting upon the witness of Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) whose feast the Church celebrates today, I came upon a provocative and illuminating article by the Jewish theologian, David Novak. Writing in 1999, Novak said in part:

Poetry and Prayer

The current issue of Commonweal features two lovely poems by Christian Wiman.

The Scottish poet, Edwin Muir, at the end of the Second World War, wrote a very personal prayer-poem on the Transfiguration. It ends: