Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith

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A Mardi Gras feast of Oscar picks by Commonweal’s Richard Alleva; plus a buncha gals sittin’ around talking about “Boyhood”

photoRichard AllevaBoyhood posterRichard Alleva, a film critic for the Catholic journal Commonweal, predicts which films will take home Oscars on Feb. 22. Also, friends Claudia White, Gigi Wolfgang and Janice Keeman bat around “Boyhood” at Claudia’s Durham, CT, home.


Michael Keaton in Birdman

From Terry Gross’s recent Fresh Air interview on NPR with Michael Keaton, star of Birdman:

GROSS: So your parents were Catholic and observant.

KEATON: My mom was. My dad was a Protestant. And, you know, that was a big deal.

GROSS: Oh, that’s right. You’re right. Right, so what did that make you?

KEATON: It was a blessing because I distinctly remember, you know, hearing only Catholics are going to heaven. And I was blessed by that because I really was a, you know, I bought the whole deal. In Catholic school I was a good Catholic kid, altar boy and all that. And I remember thinking, whoa, now wait a minute, you know, my dad’s not Catholic. I haven’t really seen him do anything really that wrong. You know, I’m going, this doesn’t hold up logically to me. So I think somewhere in the back of my head I tucked it away. I went, eh, I’m kind of in. I’m mostly in on the religion thing but not totally. That was a blessing in disguise, I think. You know, it really made me open-minded to things, I think.

GROSS: Did you have an official exit point?

KEATON: No, because I loved being raised Catholic. I think it was very – I really like it. And I – you know, if I meditate, I still occasionally find that because that’s my – that’s familiar territory for me. I’ll find a church I think is cool, but not often, or, you know – yeah, there were exit points kind of early on, you know, like in – you know, I was kind of the kid who got in trouble in high school, and I was a party boy in college and I was a lot of fun. And also, you know, you start reading more and learning more and you’re open to more people, you know, and different viewpoints. And, you know, I’m a curious dude, so I read a lot. But I never was one of those guys who went, oh, my God, this is scarring, this is horrible, you know. I thought it was pretty cool. I liked it. And I love Pope Francis. I think he’s pretty cool. I hope the other slipper doesn’t fall, as they say, you know, we don’t find out something weird down the road. I hope he gets in and out and everybody goes, wow, how about that dude?



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Toward a church that welcomes gays and a country that cares for the poor: catching up with two travelers

Michael ReynoldsLynn_CampbellMichael Reynolds is heading to Italy this week on an LGBT pilgrimage, where, during a planned audience with Pope Francis, he hopes to pass along to the pontiff a book of testimonies about how LGBT Catholics have been welcomed by their parishes. And Lynn Campbell, director of the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office of Catholic Social Justice Ministry, is in Washington, DC, for a gathering of Catholic leaders; she and her contingent will meet with the Connecticut delegation to remind them to remember the poor.

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