August 23, 2018

I want to take a look at the relationship between homosexuality and the pedophilia scandals. I know that there are other writers who are simply saying “There is no relationship. Stop with the homophobic scapegoating already,” and that does need to be said. But it’s not likely to be all that effective in addressing the concerns and beliefs of those who sincerely believe that the problem comes down to too many gay priests, and too much sexual liberalism. Proponents of… Read more

August 12, 2018

Writing about God is difficult. It’s almost as hard as writing a good sex scene. You can write about the idea of God, of course. You can defend God. Argue in favour of God’s existence. Argue endlessly about what God would probably want if He showed up and weighed in on the state of the modern world. It’s easy to write around God. But to write about God is a different thing. Because God isn’t a concept, an idea, a… Read more

July 31, 2018

Well, it seems that at least one Catholic Archbishop has taken a break from the usual blame-shifting tactic of pinning the sex abuse crisis on the gays… And has decided instead to blame the sexual revolution, and specifically the rejection of Humanae Vitae, for the scandal that has rocked the Church now for going on thirty years. I’ll be honest. I do think that there is a relationship between the sex abuse crisis and the widespread rejection of the Church’s… Read more

July 30, 2018

Yet again, the Church is being rocked by a clerical abuse scandal. And yet again, I see people repeating the sentiment that “If people’s faith is being destroyed by the actions of men, then their faith was in men and not in God.” Two Sundays ago, sitting in Church, I couldn’t help but think of this when the reading from Jeremiah came up: “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord…. Read more

July 28, 2018

This week we mark the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae. It is probably the single most divisive document issued by the Church in the last hundred years — arguably more divisive than even the controversial documents of Vatican II or the infamous footnote in Amoris Laetitia. I want to talk a bit, not about its argumentation but rather about the problems of its legacy. A FaceBook friend posted, a while back, that Humanae Vitae is the litmus test for Catholic… Read more

June 18, 2018

I apparently don’t understand success. The formula for it is not, as I suggested, hard work + advantage but hard work + persistence. This is a typical line taken by self-help books, prosperity preachers and business seminars, so it’s not surprising that this was the view put forward by one of the commenters on my previous post. Alright. So “persistence” is basically just an aspect of hard work – that this is kind of like saying “Air + oxygen =… Read more

June 7, 2018

Alright, so you’re white. And also male. You’re successful, but you’ve worked hard all your life. Growing up there were obstacles that you had to overcome, and you worked to overcome them. Your parents weren’t rich. They weren’t poor, but certainly nobody bought you a car when you were sixteen. Now you’re sick of everybody telling you that the reason you’re successful is that you have something called “privilege,” and you’re tired of being told you need to be ashamed… Read more

June 6, 2018

A lot of people seem to be confused about why it isn’t appropriate to ask victims of sexual assault about their behaviour leading up to the assault. And why is it unacceptable to advise women of reasonable precautions that they could take to avoid rape? I mean, if women’s are making choices that place them in danger, isn’t the truly compassionate thing to explain those dangers? There is actually nothing wrong with giving women sound advice on how to stay… Read more

June 1, 2018

Since Vatican II, there has been a great fear among orthodox Catholics that a focus on the sensus fidelium would lead to a collapse in the central authority of the Church. Doctrine would cease to be defined by Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium and would instead be subject to the caprices of the popular vote. This has in fact happened. But not in the way that people feared. I wasn’t around for Vatican II, or in the years that immediately… Read more

May 15, 2018

I’ve been away for a while, but I wanted to get back to the discussion of hell that I started several months ago. I found the combox really interesting – I just didn’t have the leisure at the time be able to engage much. So, I want to address the argument that there is a coherent, rational notion of hell which a minority of people hold, and also a horrific, manipulative notion of hell which is leveraged by powerful religious… Read more

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