According to the Western press, the main takeaway from Pope Francis’ address to the bishops of Slovakia was: limit your homilies to ten minutes! We know that the advice’s “theological note” (the degree of how authoritatively binding a teaching is) is de fide definita because (a) he’s said it before and (b) it was accompanied by a joke. Speaking to nuns who clapped after his remarks, the Pope quipped “it was the nuns who applauded most because they are the victims of our homilies.”

I would not have clapped.  

Catholic homilists are sometimes unfairly compared to their Protestant counterparts because the latter are generally more practiced in that art. That’s not surprising, given that most Protestant denominations quickly displaced the centrality of the Eucharist in Sunday worship by a Word service. Discard the Eucharist and you have to fill in the time.

Praise the Lord

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