Book Review: The Death of a Pope

Friday, May 15, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Out today from Ignatius Press is The Death of a Pope, a new novel by Piers Paul Read, a mainstream novelist (his survival novel Alive about a rugby team whose plane crashes in the Andes topped the New York Times bestseller list when it came out 25 years ago, and was later made into a film) who has also written both fiction and nonfiction on Catholic themes. He wrote a popular history of the templars a few years back, and On the Third Day, a thriller about the discovery in modern Israel of a crucified skeleton that some allege to be proof that Christ did not rise from the dead.

I had not read any of Read’s previous books, but when Ignatius emailed me and offered me a review copy, the premise of the novel sounded interesting and I could not resist the lure of a free book. However, I did not initially expect much of it, my idea of modern “Catholic thrillers” having been formed by the likes of Pierced By A Sword, whose prose style treads that delicate line between incompetent and downright laughable.

However, I need not have feared. Read’s prose is deft and indeed literary, though the modern device of using present tense narrative to convey immediacy is not necessarily my cup of tea. Those inclined to literary snobbery will not find themselves holding their noses as they read this novel by any stretch. The less pretentious reader will enjoy the fast-paced plot, which whisks him from a terrorist trial in London, to the refugee camps of Uganda, the chemistry labs of Cairo and at last to the 2005 papal conclave.

Read the rest of this entry »


Lying Worthless Political Hack

Friday, May 15, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

pelosi

I have designated Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, a Worthless Political Hack in prior posts, here and here.  Now I must add to her title.  Her laughable attempt to argue, in the immortal words of Sergeant Schultz, “I know nothing!”, in regard to water-boarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques”, what she deemed to be torture in the 2006 and 2008 elections, is so transparent that even the Washington Post is stating that obviously she is lying.  Steny Hoyer, Democrat Majority Leader in the House, who has despised Pelosi for decades, has called for hearings on what Pelosi knew and when did she know it.  Twist in the wind Lying Worthless Political Hack! 

Update:  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has thoughts regarding the Washington Post article.


Gallup: More Americans Identify as “Pro-Life” Than “Pro-Choice” For First Time

Friday, May 15, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

This is only one survey, but it is encouraging all the same. The denial of legal protection to an entire class of human beings is one of the most serious human rights issues of our time. Here’s an excerpt from the article, with some thoughts below:

A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves “pro-life” on the issue of abortion and 42% “pro-choice.” This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.

Gallup1

Read the rest of this entry »


Did They Have Doug Kmiec Write It?

Friday, May 15, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Saint Obama

Making the rounds of Saint Blogs is the purported text on the honorary degree to be conferred by the Notre Dame law school upon Obama at Notre Dame on Obama Day, May 17, 2009:

“At the 164th Commencement The May Exercises

The University of Notre Dame Confers the degree of

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on the 44th president of the United States, whose historic election opened a new era of hope in a country long divided by its history of slavery and racism. A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago, he now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good. Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow.

On Barack H. Obama, Washington, District of Columbia”

Read the rest of this entry »