September 26, 2013 |
A FRIEND asked whether I liked the new man in the Vatican. "Is the pope Catholic?" I answered. Sorry - couldn't resist. But seriously, how could anyone not be taken by Pope Francis? In comportment alone, the guy is a bracing blast of Alpine air. You know, the way he rocks plain, white robes instead of jewel-toned, ornate ones. His decision to live in the Vatican's modest guesthouse instead of the 10-room papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace. How he put-puts around Vatican City in a 1984 Renault instead of being chauffeured in a luxury Mercedes the way his predecessor was. "A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but please, choose a more humble one," he advised Catholic priests and nuns shopping for new wheels.
September 15, 2013 |
MT. CARMEL Baptist Church is a West Philadelphia landmark, a place of worship where political heavy hitters come to pray, and a force for social change in its neighborhood and beyond. We talked with the church's pastor, the Rev. Albert F. Campbell, about his congregation's beliefs, its good works, its considerable history and its challenges in the here and now. Who we are: Campbell described Mt. Carmel as a "traditional Baptist church" that has evolved and adapted to the community around it. When Campbell, 81, became pastor 47 years ago, the congregation was made up of neighborhood residents, who'd walk to the church every Sunday with their families, he said.
September 11, 2013 |
Salvator Mundi, the portrait of Christ by Renaissance master Antonello da Messina, stares through you. It doesn't matter how you address the beneficent visage, which looms over the stage during On the Concept of the Face Regarding the Son of God . It doesn't matter whether you believe in Jesus as a divine power; his gaze burrows into you as it burned into Romeo Castellucci. "He called me as a man, not as God," says the provocative Italian theater practitioner, whose play runs Thursday through Saturday at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre as part of the 2013 Fringe Festival.
July 31, 2013 |
LAST WEEK, Pope Francis marked a triumphant return to South America by exhorting 30,000 young Catholics from his native Argentina to launch "a revolution" for God, to make "a mess" and "stir things up. " Yesterday, the 76-year-old pope took his own radical advice. Pope Francis shocked a planeful of reporters - and much of the planet - with his compassionate remarks about homosexual priests, saying: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?"
July 28, 2013 |
IT'S NOT UNUSUAL to find a doctor in the house during Friday services at the Zubaida Foundation mosque in Lower Makefield - or several doctors. "We have two heart surgeons, for example," said mosque administrator Mohammed Husain. The largely professional, mostly second-generation immigrants who worship at the Bucks County mosque tend to be accomplished people. That's why America opened its doors in the first place to the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi families who are the core of the congregation (now joined by some with roots in the Middle East and South Africa, along with American-born Muslims)
July 7, 2013 |
CENTER CITY'S Arch Street United Methodist Church is probably best known for its commitment to social justice. It has long been active in feeding the hungry, and it works with other organizations to find shelter for the homeless. Occupy Philadelphia organizers planned their protest for the rights of "the 99 percent" in its sanctuary. Built in the 1800s, the Gothic-style church predates City Hall, which lies just to the south. The chapel was dedicated in 1865. The sanctuary, which seats more than 900, was dedicated in 1870.
July 3, 2013
MOST OF US wake up in the morning, adjust our eyes to the light, wash off the residue of slumber and steady ourselves for the day's work. Sometimes it's a happy prospect, sometimes drudgery, but for most, it's neither joy nor sorrow. It's just life. And then you have those special ones, people who, for different reasons but common goals, rush into the day with adrenaline, courage and the knowledge that each step might be taking them toward their last. They are heroes, though they'd reject that title.
June 29, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - The U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on gay marriage have sparked a bitter dispute on the Pennsylvania House floor over the last two days. On Wednesday, State Rep. Brian Sims (D., Phila.), who last fall became the first openly gay candidate to win a seat in the House, rose to praise the landmark decision overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act, only to be silenced by other lawmakers' objections. That was in keeping with rules for that part of the session, when members can rise to speak on almost any subject.
June 28, 2013
Uneasy over the lotus position Yoga is more than a system of physical exercises. There is a spiritual component that may or may not be emphasized ("Going to the mat," June 23). Most yoga teachers are probably nice people, and yoga participants may seek to participate in a benign exercise program. Indeed, people testify to physical benefits such as greater flexibility or easing and healing of certain maladies. But I don't believe that yoga is benign. It has been practiced for thousands of years and is tied directly to Eastern religions, mainly Hindu gods.
June 10, 2013 |
Rain had fallen every day of the tournament, and the heartiest soaking came on the decisive fourth day, from tee-off through the dramatic playoff. On that miserably chilly afternoon in 1997 at the Oaks Country Club golf course in Greensboro, N.C., New Zealander Frank Nobilo won his first and only PGA tour championship. Starting from 5 strokes back, he sealed it on an 18th hole that by then was all but unplayable. Yet Nobilo makes no claim to having prevailed over the elements.