May 13, 2016

Press Loves Stewart’s ‘Man-Baby’ Trump Tag, Downplays His Harsh Hillary Critique

In an appearance at the University of Chicago on Monday, Jon Stewart, as NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock noted the next day, mocked those who think highly of this country’s ideals and history, and particularly GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and his supporters, when he asked, “When was American great?”

In that interview with former Obama presidential campaign chief David Axelrod, the former fake Comedy Central newsman also called Trump a “man-baby,” and sharply criticized Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, questioning her authenticity: “… Maybe a real person doesn’t exist underneath there.” Readers here will have little difficulty guessing which personal critique the Associated Press used in its related story’s headline and most of its verbiage:


Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (051316)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: A master’s degree in the works of Benedict XVI? Yep, it’s happening

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Rome:

May 9, 2016 / 04:11 pm

No Catholic who wants to take an in-depth look into the faith and the reality of the Church of our time can skip the works of the “Theologian Pope”, Benedict XVI. To really deepen one’s knowledge, or to literally become an expert in all things Joseph Ratzinger, one can begin a new master’s program which began in February of this year. During two semesters at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum in Rome, the program, “Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality,” teaches in eight parts the works and spirituality of the emeritus Pope. The program is offered in English and Italian, and one of its professors is Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus, who spoke with CNA about the program.
Msgr. Kolfhaus, you teach students in the Master of Ratzinger Studies program. How did that come about?

Since I was a student in Rome, I’ve known Joseph Ratzinger, and still to this day my contact with him has not broken, but has actually intensified compared to the time of his pontificate, during which I  met with him maybe only once a year. I know the person whose theology this master’s program presents. Furthermore, I have focused on Mariology for many years, which unfortunately has too few theologians devoted to it in the German-speaking world. I think that both are reasons why the Augustinianum – the institute for patristic studies in Rome – asked me to present Ratzinger’s thoughts on Mary. Furthermore another topic is: the Spirit, charisms, and the Church.

For whom is this program intended? Who would enjoy it, or benefit from it?


The program is pertinent to anyone interested in studying theology – regardless of which author someone especially admires. It’s not a “Ratzinger Fan Club,” but rather about joy in the “sacred discipline” that makes an offer to the mind to better understand the faith. Just as there are many spiritualities, so too are there many theologies. Insofar as they don’t contradict doctrine, they are legitimate. The theological “menu” should be abundant, and Joseph Ratzinger can’t be missing from it. The master’s program has proven to be popular among European and American students, but unfortunately there are no German students.

What do the students expect?

The expectations are as varied as the countries of origin and vocations of the students. It is an international program with priests, seminarians, sisters, and laity. They all know that one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century became Pope. They know the documents and speeches from Benedict XVI, but are now interested in what he thought, said, and wrote as a scholar in the decades prior to his papacy. Many search for a solid theology and discover with Ratzinger not only his “favorites” – Augustine and Bonaventure – but also Thomas Aquinas and other great classics. Ratzinger is a brilliant starting point for them.

How is the response thus far? Is the offer catching on?

The offer has been so well received that the lecture hall is filled to the last seat. There are actually two programs – one in English and another in Italian. Both are, so to say, “booked up.” The students want good theology, and “hunger” for texts that offer more than an information-rich, historical-critical analysis. So there is a true “Ratzinger renaissance,” still in the lifetime of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Only a few years after his resignation, not only are important topics being discussed but also theological methods – like the allegorical or typological interpretation of Sacred Scripture – are being enthusiastically rediscovered. I am sure that this master’s program has a future and I would hope that other universities would adopt this program’s curriculum. …

Go here for the rest of the story.