"The Keyser Soze" of evangelists

Pardon the absence of an umlaut.  I’m not sure how to add one. But I am sure of this: Max Lindenman is the real deal. For proof, just read his latest essay, which references in its lede one of the ’90s greatest movies (crafted from one of the decade’s most inventive screenplays), while dissecting the [Read More...]

Battling Satan with…joy?

The joyful Fr. Dwight Longenecker takes a look at doing battle with evil in a way you might not expect: Each one of us is called to engage in the spiritual battle, and we will succeed best when we take the battle seriously, not ourselves. During Lent, that battle intensifies. As Christ went into the [Read More...]

This video will just knock you out. Really.

A friend posted this on his Facebook page, and I’m so glad I was able to find it on YouTube.  This deserves to be seen by a wide audience. It’s the profile of one of the CNN “Heroes” — a chef who gave up his career to feed and care for the homeless of India. [Read More...]

What Catholics don't know

That’s the notion I’m chewing on this week over in my column, “All Things New.” A snip: A couple years ago, during Easter season, a man stopped me after church one Sunday. He was perturbed. “What’s all this Latin doing in the mass?” he asked. “What do you mean?” “All this Latin!” he said, exasperated. [Read More...]

Deacons in NCR

The National Catholic Reporter has just published a special section devoted to deacons, and Your Humble Blogger (and wife) make an appearance. Much more interesting, though, is “A Letter to a Newly Ordained Deacon” by Bill Ditewig — and some thoughts on women deacons by Phyllis Zagano.  All that’s just for starters. Check it all [Read More...]

Holy enrollers: boomers causing a boom at divinity schools

More of those over 50 are embarking on a second career — in religion. Details, from TIME magazine: Boomers are the fastest-growing demographic at U.S. divinity schools, according to the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), an organization of more than 250 theological graduate schools in the U.S. and Canada. The under-30 crowd may still be [Read More...]

Deacons and sex: a biblical scholar weighs in

This, from John W. Martens, in AMERICA: The overarching question for me, especially in light of the actual practice of the Church with respect to permanent deacons and the biblical teaching of Paul, is what is at stake in this argument for Ed Peters? What’s the point? What is so troubling about married permanent deacons [Read More...]

Can you countenance continence? — UPDATED

For those who are curious about this topic — and any married deacon should be — check out this article on the subject by canon lawyer Edward Peters. The issue in question is here: 1983 CIC 277. § 1. Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of [Read More...]

Quote of the day

“I must honestly tell you that our Christmas Eve liturgy was so slap-dash, so irreverent and untrained and featured music so poorly chosen and executed that it was joyless, perfunctory and at times just so awful as to feel more like torture than celebration. Even my husband, who never has a bad word to say, [Read More...]

Another Annunciation…

Earlier, I posted an item about one artist’s unique take on Mary’s visit from Gabriel. Below is another interpretation, from the same artist, John Collier, commissioned for a church (now co-cathedral) in West Virginia. As the artist describes it: “In my Annunciation the angel Gabriel stands on a rotting stump which has a living branch [Read More...]


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