How not to preach

That’s the provocative—and very accurate—title of an essay in the current issue of America magazine by John J. Conley, S.J. Good advice, through and through, concluding with: Permit me to offer two positive counsels to preachers. First, fall in love with God’s word in Scripture. Let the great hymn of creation, fall and redemption become [Read More...]

Scalia the prophet: “See how these Christians complain to one another”

This essay by Fr. Paul Scalia (son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin) popped up on my Facebook feed yesterday. “The Church Militant or the Church Belligerent?” was published eight years ago, but it seems even more pertinent—even prophetic—today. Read it all, but here’s a snip, from Catholic Answers: The Church, like a nation, must defend herself [Read More...]

Remembering the priests of Dachau—and the roots of the restored diaconate

Dachau entrance, 1945, from National Archives / Wikipedia Lest we forget: Seventy years ago today, the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated.  Many countries mark this date as Holocaust Memorial Day.  My blog neighbors Kathy Schiffer, Diane von Glahn and Marge Fenelon have written poignantly about this singular moment, with Marge noting the special connection of Catholic priests to another notorious [Read More...]

Africa’s “Catholic moment”

From George Weigel via The Pilot:  According to an old Vatican aphorism, “We think in centuries here.” Viewed through that long-distance lens, the most important Catholic event of 2014 was the dramatic moment when Africa’s bishops emerged as effective, powerful proponents of dynamic orthodoxy in the world Church.The scene was the Extraordinary Synod of 2014, [Read More...]

When non-Catholics go up for communion

  Image: “Communion of the Apostles” by Fra Angelico (1440) via Wikipedia. This is a time of year when we see a lot of people in the communion line at Mass who, Sunday after Sunday, normally aren’t there. Some folks call them “Chreaster” Catholics—for one reason or another, they just show up for Christmas and [Read More...]

“We became the thing we hate”

A stirring and challenging cry of the heart from Mark Shea:  Now that the Torture Report is out and we are discovering that the lies we listened to for so long (We only waterboarded three high value targets! We had to do it to save lives!  Valuable intel!  Are you telling me that some filthy [Read More...]

“One cannot announce Christ without the Church…”

From Pope Francis’s message for World Mission Sunday (October 20): The work of evangelization often finds obstacles, not only externally, but also from within the ecclesial community. Sometimes there is lack of fervour, joy, courage and hope in proclaiming the Message of Christ to all and in helping the people of our time to an [Read More...]

Put up yer dukes: welcome to the Church Belligerent

Some astute analysis of where we are today, from Rev. Paul Scalia (son of Antonin): The Church, like a nation, must defend herself and her faith. She must fight for the truth and for the salvation of souls. This demands doing battle, for which reason we call ourselves the Church Militant. Like a nation, however, [Read More...]

Francis’s papacy in just one word

Photo: CNS And it’s: mercy. John Allen explores that theme and posts this singular quote from the pope’s presser on the plane:  “I believe this is the time of mercy. This change of epoch, also because of many problems of the church — such as the example of some priests who aren’t good, also the [Read More...]

Behold, the Orthodox deacons of Ethiopia

Do you have vestments like these? Over at our CNEWA blog, ONE-TO-ONE, there’s an interesting look at the clergy in that part of the world: Traditionally, a priest’s primary duty is the celebration of the Qeddase — in Ethiopia, typically five priests concelebrate — and other liturgical rites, particularly burials. Liturgical festivals feature rhythmic dancing, [Read More...]


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