US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Kate, Madonna, and Lady Gaga gossip

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Father forgive me, for I’m about to sin and gossip during Holy Week, but there’s just too much celebrity news to ignore!

First the royal wedding: We learned this week that Bishop Sean Brady will be the “first senior Irish churchman” to attend a British royal function, according to Catholic News Service.  

Meanwhile, royal family watchers talked religion a few weeks ago when Kate Middleton was confirmed in the Church of England. Fear not, Catholics, she was never Catholic, though rumors circled that she was giving up the faith for the crown. Turns out she just had never been confirmed.

While some certainly dismiss the confirmation as jumping through a hoop to become the wife of the future head of the Church of England, one commenter who was also confirmed as an adult suggested that Kate’s confirmation could be something more. “solemn vows have little weight unless you trouble yourself to consider the splendid solemnity of the forces that underpin them. It seems to me that one part of becoming an adult is to take responsibility for your faith, or, indeed, your lack of it,” she writes in a reflection that people of faith might be able to learn from. She notes that a bit part of her decision to be confirmed was affirmation of her spiritual journey and questioning by a priest who she describes as “the most genial version of self-deprecating goodness imaginable.”  

More news coming from Britain: Forget Kabbalah! The U.K. Mirror reports that Madonna seems to be interested in Opus Dei now.

That’d be a surprise to Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, who says that Madonna loathes the church, ABC News reports, and Lady Gaga is following in her footsteps.

Donohue is upset about Lady Gaga’s song and video “Judas,” in which Lady Gaga plays the part of Mary Magdalene. The video is to be released on Easter. Despite Gaga’s creative director saying the video is inspirational (“And she’s dancing her face off”), I’m not sure we’ll be getting any deep theological conversations out of the video. Still, Donohue might want to send Gaga a bill for all the publicity he’s generating for her (as if she needs it).

Can we learn anything from all this gossip? I think so. Whether talking about a royal confirmation, Opus Dei, or a new music video, we must remember that we truly cannot know where other individuals are on their spiritual journeys, whether they are celebrities or those next to us in the pews. We can only hope that they have the best of intentions, and try to approach them as “the most genial version of self-deprecating goodness imaginable.”