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Bill McGarvey :
99 article(s)

Bill McGarvey is co-author of Busted Halo’s Freshman Survival Guide. Bill was editor-in-chief of Busted Halo for six year. In addition to having written extensively on the topics of culture and faith for NPR, Commonweal, America, The Tablet (in London), Factual (Spain), Time Out New York, and Book magazine, McGarvey is a singer/songwriter whose music has been critically acclaimed by the New York Times, Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Billboard and Performing Songwriter. You can follow him at his website billmcgarvey.com or on Facebook.com/billmcgarvey
June 9th, 2006
Remedies for the Church from a 23-year old Whisperer.

He may not be the pope but if chapters 1-3 of “The Gospel According to Rocco” have proven anything it’s that Whispers in the Loggia‘s Rocco Palmo can pontificate with the best of them. So, in light of the fact that BustedHalo is geared toward young adult “spiritual seekers” and The Ratzinger Report (then Cardinal Ratzinger’s book-length interview on the Church) is more than two decades old, we asked Palmo to share his thoughts on the state of the Church today and how well it is reaching out to the next generation.
BustedHalo: You may not be a typical 23 year old but you do have a sense of what people your age are interested in. What do you think the Church could do better?
Rocco…

June 6th, 2006
Just who is the mysterious scribe behind Whispers in the Loggia, the controversial blog that Catholic power brokers can't seem to get enough of?

He is a wiry bantam rooster of a man; a ball of nervous energy with brown hair and rectangular glasses sitting atop a Roman nose. From a row home in South Philadelphia he fields emails and phone calls day and night from sources around the globe who feed him inside information on all things ecclesial: what the Vatican is saying (and what it really means), which Bishops are being moved where, who’s in and who’s out. His blog, Whispers in the Loggia, is read by a growing legion of fans that includes everyone from very prominent cardinals and Vatican bureaucrats to parish priests and lay people. His knowledge of arcane Church traditions is so thorough that the New York Times and Associated Press now use him as…

April 17th, 2006
An interview with the author of The Collar: A Year of Striving and Faith Inside a Catholic Seminary

The Collar chronicles the journey of five men who have left their careers and former lives behind to begin formation for the Roman Catholic priesthood. In his realistic, human, and at times, gripping account of seminary life, Jonathan Englert gives a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the faith journeys of these five individuals, including a recently widowed father of four, a blind violinist, and an avid hunter from Wyoming.
Due to the shrinking population of ordained priests, a growing number of Catholics, and the aftermath of the clergy sexual abuse scandals, seminary life is a topic that promises to continue to fascinate Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
With a master’s degree in journalism from…

March 14th, 2006
A Catholic conversation about faith, fiction and friendship

Jim Shepard and Ron Hansen are two of America’s most esteemed contemporary fiction writers. They are also fast friends and Catholics (in very different ways, as our interview reveals).
Shepard and Hansen met in 1980 when they were both teachers at the University of Michigan. Hansen had recently published his first novel, Desperadoes, and Shepard was working on his first, Flights. Since their earliest encounters, slinging a football around the parks of Ann Arbor, they’ve spent countless hours talking books over whiskey, helping to edit and refine each other’s work, and acting as generous cheerleaders for contemporary writers whom they believe in.

Shepard is the author of: Flights, Paper…

January 16th, 2006
BustedHalo's conversation with the co-founder of Killing the Buddha and author of the memoir Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and their Son

By the time he was in his late twenties, Peter Manseau had already received a bachelors degree in religion, spent time in a Trappist monastery considering a vocation to be a monk, worked at the National Yiddish Book Center and started the popular website Killing the Buddha which bills itself as “a religion magazine for people made anxious by churches.” If it seems like Manseau has a terminal case of God on the brain it is understandable, it is after all the family business. He is the youngest of three children born to Rev. Bill Manseau a former priest of the Archdiocese of Boston who refused to renounce his priestly vows when he married a former nun, Mary Doherty, in the late 1960s.
In his moving memoir, Vows:…

January 10th, 2006
A Letter From the Editor

“Make no mistake” a priest friend of mine said to me during a recent phone call “it’s a disaster.” I had called to wish him a happy new year but our conversation had veered toward a difficult subject. He was reacting to the Vatican’s document on the suitability of homosexual men for the priesthood that was released in late 2005. My friend, who also happens to be gay, was commenting in part on the more open-ended interpretations of the document that some church officials have offered publicly. But he was also responding to what seems to be a collective shrug of indifference on the issue from many priests—gay and straight—in the United States who seem to think that,…

December 1st, 2005
BustedHalo discusses "America's Moral Crisis" with the former President

It seemed to be a simple enough question requiring an even simpler answer. While running for President in 1976, Jimmy Carter responded to a political supporter who—in front of some reporters—asked if he was a born again Christian. “I truthfully answered ‘Yes,’ assuming all devout Christians were born again, of the Holy Spirit” Carter writes in his new book, Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis. “This was the first time that this religious characterization had been injected into the political arena, and there was an immediate furor, with media allegations that I claimed to be receiving messages directly from heaven…making clear to…

November 21st, 2005
BustedHalo interviews the bestselling author about her return to Catholicism and the direction her writing is taking with the publication of her new book Christ the Lord

Photos by Andrea Milo
Witches and vampires have been very good to Anne Rice. Since Interview with the Vampire was published in 1976, the New Orleans native has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and inspired legions of devoted fans with her dark, erotically charged tales. She’s become a fixture on the bestseller list and several of her twenty seven novels have been made into feature films or miniseries–a television series is also in the works for her books on the Mayfair Witches as well.
So why after decades of success has the Queen of the Undead decided to focus all of her writing on the King of Kings? That’s right, following her return to the Catholic Church in 1998–after a nearly…

September 27th, 2005
BustedHalo talks once again with "Fr. Gerard Thomas"

This past February BustedHalo published an extended interview with Fr. Gerard Thomas, a celibate, gay priest who–using an assumed name for fear of reprisal–spoke very candidly about the presence of gay men in the priesthood, the pedophilia scandal and the rumors of a Vatican document that would bar homosexuals from becoming priests.
Recently there has been much talk in the mainstream press that the Vatican document will be released in the very near future, sparking a great deal of controversy among Catholics. On the heels of this news BustedHalo once again spoke to Fr. Thomas about the issue of gay men in the priesthood and seminaries and why he believes that the Vatican’s changes will prove…

September 23rd, 2005
A Constitutional Law professor discusses the nomination and confirmation hearings of

CNS Photo
Considering their limited number (nine), their lifetime appointments and the far-reaching effects of their decisions, the nomination and confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is an infrequent and important event. Of course, like many things in Washington, the process can also be extraordinarily confusing.
In this BustedHalo interview, Father Greg Kalscheur SJ, a Jesuit priest and assistant professor at Boston College Law School helps give our readers some perspective on John Roberts’ nomination and confirmation hearings. Father Kalscheur’s primary teaching and research interests include law and religion, constitutional law, civil procedure, Catholic social thought…

July 8th, 2005
The well-known social activist and author of God's Politics talks with Busted Halo

In the months leading up to the 2004 presidential election, the issue of faith—particularly how George W. Bush’s Christian beliefs influence his decisions and policies—became pivotal. While many cited “moral issues” as being important with regard to who they voted for, others felt as though President Bush, the Republican Party and even some religious leaders had hijacked a narrow religious agenda based on abortion and homosexuality and positioned the president as the only choice for voters concerned about morality.
Jim Wallis was a voice of reason and balance in that divisive debate, publicly encouraging the President, as well as Republicans, Democrats and voters in general…

May 13th, 2005
The Vatican vs. Fr. Reese and The Questioning Jesuits

Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. MT 14: 28-32
When I feel myself beginning to sink under the weight of disturbing news like the recent removal of America… magazine’s editor, Fr. Tom Reese, the faith of the ex-fisherman from Capharnaum who became a “fisher

March 19th, 2005
Author of The Rosary: A Path into Prayer

Jazz singer, author, triathlete Liz Kelly has packed an awful lot of living into 37 short years. The Minnesota native has traveled and lived all around the globe but now calls Boston home. Over the course of BustedHalo’s interview with Kelly she spoke very candidly on topics ranging from her upbringing and current position at Harvard University to her spiritual journey back to her faith–including her harrowing experience as a rape victim in her mid 20s.
BustedHalo: From what I understand your family plays an important part in your life. Do you come from a big family? …
Liz Kelly (shown with her father, left): Yes, I have six brother and sisters–five girls and two boys–and I am sixth of seven,

January 2nd, 2005
A first-hand exploration of the conflict between Israel and Palestine

Editorial Note: Through Father Tom Ryan of the Paulist office for ecumenical and interfaith relations BustedHalo Editor, Bill McGarvey was asked to participate in a study mission to Israel from Jan 1-Jan 9. The purpose of the trip is to meet with both Israelis and Palestinians to get some sense of what this conflict–which we see constantly played out on our tv screens and the front page of our newspapers–is like firsthand.
The trip is being sponsored in part by a group called the American Israeli Friendship League (AIFL) and they are being led by Sister Carol Rittner who has written numerous books on genocide and the Holocaust and is a professor at Stockton State College. The rest of the group consists…

November 3rd, 2004
A gay priest speaks out

In the wake of the scandals, some high-ranking officials in the Catholic church have lumped together pedophilia and homosexuality by suggesting that the presence of gay men in the priesthood is at the root of the sexual abuse crisis. Recently, there have been rumors that the Vatican is about to release a document that will either bar or seriously restrict the ordination of gay men to the priesthood. In an article that appeared in a recent issue of Commonweal, a magazine run by lay Catholics, a gay priest (writing under the pseudonym Fr. Gerard Thomas because he has been forbidden from speaking publicly about his sexual orientation) spoke out about why releasing this sort of document would constitute a serious moral…

October 12th, 2004
Interview with the creator of Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia, Barbara Hall

Since relocating to Hollywood from her native Virginia in the early 80s Barbara Hall has written for or co-produced successful shows such as Family Ties, Newhart, Chicago Hope, Northern Exposure, I’ll Fly Away, and Moonlighting; more recently she’s created and produced the popular and critically acclaimed series Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia; she’s also published seven novels (an eighth is on its way any minute) and written and recorded several records, both with her band, The Enablers, and on her own…
What have YOU done lately?
Hall recently slowed down just long enough to speak with BustedHalo about everything from television writing and poetry to physics and faith before.…

September 8th, 2004
How a Small Group of Mid-Western Monks are Turning Ink Toner into Gold

he last time you attempted to replace your toner at an office supply store, chances are you were first forced to negotiate a Fort Knox-like system involving glass cases, keys, and surly managers, as though you were purchasing Tiffany diamonds or a firearm. Consumers who require decent printouts for everyday tasks are at the mercy of a very narrow market with inflated prices.
The thing about mercy, though, is that it sometimes comes to the rescue from some very unpredictable places. Sparta, Wisconsin is the site of Our Lady of Springbank Cistercian Abbey and the home of six monks who have brought the 1500-year-old Benedictine tradition of prayer and work into the twenty first century through their website, LaserMonks.com.…

June 24th, 2004
The Busted Halo Interview with the author of the New York Times Bestseller Father Joe.

Perhaps it is fitting that it took someone whose job it is to satirize sacred cows and poke fun at hypocrites to write one of the most powerful spiritual memoirs in recent memory. We live in an age of irony and skepticism where nothing is precious and every motive is doubted; where institutions are generally reviled and authority is sneered at. Who better to speak about something as unexpected and sobering as a personal faith journey than someone who shares our culture’s sense of contempt?
Tony Hendra’s name may not be a household word yet, but anyone who has been awake and interested in popular culture over the last 30 years will certainly know his work. The British-born Hendra moved to the United States…

January 3rd, 2003
Anne Rice

Most of us can identify certain teachers or mentors who have had a profound impact on our lives. The same can be said for particular books that have shaped our view of the world. With that in mind, BustedHalo asks the question:
“What books have helped you on your spiritual journey?”
Anne Rice is the best selling author of numerous books, including The Vampire Chronicles. Her new book Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt was published in late 2005.
Anna Karenina: Tolstoy
The genuine Christianity that Tolstoy exhibits makes it the mammoth book that it is. The incredible compassion he had for the characters of the book was life changing. Tolstoy makes Anna’s husband into so compelling a character that he is a tragic figure.…

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