Biblical Authority After Babel Cannot Be Built Upon Mere Protestant Christianity

I recently finished reading Kevin J. Vanhoozer's, Biblical Authority after Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity. I have numerous complaints about his "mere Protestant Christianity" project.(1) Vanhoozer regularly says that the Church is a product of the Word, by which in context he evidently means the Scripture. But this is exactly the wrong order. The Church is produced by the Word, certainly, in the sense that the Logos Incarnate converted the apostles, … [Read more...]

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Western Civ Doesn’t Need Tenured Radicals to Ruin Itself

 “Tragedy typically leaves questions painfully open, . . .  [but] the challenge is not only how we speak without false consolation in a world like this but how we keep our culture alive to the fact that it is 'a world like this.'” --Rowan Williams, The Tragic ImaginationI did not expect to live in such an unusual moment. When the God of thunders and of rocky heights, The Lord of hosts, Kyrios Sabaoth, Would humble people to the quick, Allowing them to act whatever way they wished … [Read more...]

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Post-Execution Church: Rise Up from the Electric Chair!

 I read this recent New York Times interview with people who have witnessed an act of capital punishment in the United States. Whatever your view of the death penalty, hearing those with actual experience of the act humanizes that opinion.Those who enter the observation room bitter don't often forgive, even after death. Staff are traumatized by it. Many just leave numb and knowing they witnessed something terrible, although not always certain how to even explain it. If this … [Read more...]

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Is There a Way to Get Beyond Making the Best of a Bad Liturgy?

The following is an exchange I facilitated between Villanova theologian Kevin Hughes and Notre Dame liturgist Timothy O'Malley (I'll resist the urge to say "Go Zags!").Their exchange grew out of a discussion I started with the statement, "Bad liturgy is a form of penance."Kevin Hughes: You’ve written so beautifully about the relationship between liturgy and life, and I have learned so much. You’re following in a great tradition of writers like Romano Guardini, Alexander Schmemann, Joseph … [Read more...]

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Extraterrestrials Aren’t a Threat to Theology, Because They Aren’t New to the Ancient Church

I'm completely enthralled with the question, "Is there anybody out there?" --Fr. Brian Reedy SJ The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration captured the attention and imagination of a global audience late last month when NASA scientists announced the discovery of seven planets orbiting a star dubbed TRAPPIST-1 (an acronym for Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope). These planets are a mere 40 light-years away from Earth, all of which are Earth-sized, and three of wh … [Read more...]

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The Young Pope: The Second Coming of Brideshead Revisited?

In many ways, The Young Pope is the second coming of Brideshead Revisited.In the place of a millionaire with a teddy bear, we have a Pope with a pet kangaroo. Charles Ryder drinks champagne every afternoon; Lenny Belardo downs a Cherry Coke Zero every morning. The stately spires of Oxford have given way to the sumptuous splendor of Rome. And Papa Belardo can be as savagely witty as Waugh himself.[NOTA BENE: many of the links in this post lead to YouTube videos to give you an … [Read more...]

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Executive Director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Responds to “Catholic Spring” Wikileaks Allegations

When I woke up this morning, I never thought I would get caught up in WikiLeaks drama.Prominent commentators have used a stolen e-mail thread from political operatives in 2011 (while I was a 21-year-old college student) about my organization, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, in an attempt to impugn both my integrity and my organization's work.So let's set the record straight: every day, my colleagues and I work tirelessly to promote the social mission of Pope Francis and the … [Read more...]

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Will Priests For Life Pull Its $445,000 Out of the Trumpster Fire?

$445,000.00 is nearly half a million dollars. Is Priests for Life budgeting almost half a million dollars for their 2016 election campaign? It would seem so.When you submit the terms “Priests for Life”, “Election”, and “Plan” for a Google search, the first result is Priests for Life’s “Election 2016 Plan of Action, End Abortion and Save America“. Oddly enough, the plan is described as “confidential” – but is neatly set up to be found by anyone interested in what Priests for Life is up to this … [Read more...]

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Reflections of a Priest from India on the Consequences of White Privilege in America

As I've remarked on occasion, I have social media "friends" of all kinds of political and religious backgrounds, though the majority are politically conservative and Roman Catholic. In some circles, it seems, talking about the reality of what is called "white privilege" in American society is treated with anger, derision, or worse. I find this truly puzzling, because, to me, the phenomenon is self-evident, or at least borne out by experience.Acknowledging the subtle and pervasive ways in … [Read more...]

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Humility Turns Away the Liturgy Police

Last week, I wrote a reflection on the role of discipline in the Christian life. I concluded with the following:Likewise, each person on the path to the "narrow gate" must follow certain guidelines so as to not get caught in the underbrush or ambushed by wild animals. But how one travels the path is between you and God.I was quite pleased with the piece; it got many social media interactions. But pride goeth before the fall, as they say, and God didn’t wait very long to see how se … [Read more...]

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