It’s a slender thread, admittedly, that runs from a 16th-century pope to the Olsen twins to a converted car dealership in San Bernardino.
It’s there, though, hidden in the unlikely form of a new iPhone application that is dedicated to support of the Vatican Observatory, one of the quirkier institutions in Christendom.
Confused? Pause for a moment and step into St. Bernardine’s Catholic Church in downtown San Bernardino, where muted light filters through stained-glass windows and Father Mike Manning is at the pulpit, just finishing an impassioned sermon on “the power of accepting God’s love.” He is answering the question of whether it’s hypocritical for a sinner to go to church.
“The church is a place of sinners,” says Manning, a distinctly cinematic sort of priest with milky blue eyes and a glistening smile. “May we sinners never give the impression that we’re better than anyone else, and may we never hinder anyone from coming into our experience of the Lord in our church. Thank you ”¦ and may Jesus’ love for you always make you smile.”