Intrinsic evil: what the Catholic Church teaches about torture

Over the last 24 hours, in the wake of the Sarah Palin NRA comments, I’ve heard from many Catholics who are evidently unfamiliar with the church’s teaching on torture. Here’s one clear statement, from St. John Paul II, in his 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor:    80. Reason attests that there are objects of the human [Read More...]

“The sacred and profane collide on the Via Dolorosa”

Thousands of pilgrims walk the streets of Jerusalem every year, retracing the footsteps of Christ, the Stations of the Cross, along the Via Dolorosa or “Way of Sorrows.” Some years back, writer George Martin described his experience of that Way of the Cross, and it’s been posted this week over at my other blog, CNEWA’s [Read More...]

Spy Wednesday, when we realize who we really are

This day marks “Spy Wednesday,” when Judas plotted Christ’s arrest and “spied” for an opportunity to betray him. From the vault:  Think [Judas] was the only one? Think again. How many of us break bread with Christ on Sunday—sharing a dish, savoring his grace, experiencing his presence—only to damn him on Monday? How many of [Read More...]

On that singing nun and the “acid bath of ingratitude”

The good folks at CNS have posted a transcript of that conversation that Sister Cristina had with the Italian judges after her sensational performance on Italy’s “The Voice.” She speaks of how she has “a gift to give,” and talks freely about her joy in giving it. To wit:  Raffaella Carrà: Listen Sister Cristina, are [Read More...]

“You don’t have to like your priest”

An interesting observation via Word on Fire, from Dominican Br. Patrick Mary Briscoe: It may well be the case that your parish priest preaches homilies that are—how do we say it gently?—uninspiring. Maybe you’ve come to him to ask a serious question about the faith concerning a teaching or mystery you’ve really struggled with, and [Read More...]

What does it mean to be “Catholic”?

Author Peter Manseau looks at that question in The New York Times:  Even as the pope appears to be opening a big tent, others in the church hierarchy ensure that it will not expand too far. Last July, in response to a question about gay priests, Francis famously uttered one of the lines that set [Read More...]

The hunger game: the challenge of fasting during Lent

The good people at Legatus Magazine invited me to write a few words about fasting for Lent. Check ‘em out: I was doing perfectly fine, sitting at the diner, scanning the menu and steadfastly determined to have a tuna melt for lunch … until someone at the table next to me made a fateful decision. [Read More...]

Hooray for Holy-wood!

My blog neighbor Tony Rossi watched the Oscars last night so the rest of us didn’t have to—and caught some inspiration and some religion, to boot: One sweet moment occurred during Jared Leto’s Best Supporting Actor acceptance speech when he spoke about his mother’s past and shared a story that could give hope to other young women [Read More...]

Just desserts: Let them bake cake—or not

Over at First Things, Elizabeth Scalia wades into the conscience wars over providing (or not) various services to gays: The question is no longer whether couples may marry, but whether a baker may refuse to sell them a wedding cake on the strength of his religious or moral conscience, without risking a lawsuit. Anyone can [Read More...]

Hey, it’s the pope!

John Allen in today’s Boston Globe offers some examples of what can only be called the Franciscan style: Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York is a member of a Vatican council that oversees the Synod of Bishops, a summit of Catholic prelates from around the world. The council meets every so often in a building a [Read More...]