Thanks, Catholic News Service, But No Thanks

As Deacon Greg Kandra reports at The Deacon's Bench, Catholic News Service (CNS) today released matching videos purporting to summarize two sides of a hot-button debate on the eve of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. While only one thread in a tangled rope of issues facing families, Catholic or not, in the world today, the discussion of whether Catholics who marry after a civil divorce (but whose first marriage was validly sacramental and has not been declared null) might be admitted to … [Read more...]

Looking East Clearly: More on Orthodox Divorce and Remarriage

My┬árecent post on the "Orthodox solution" has provoked a lot of conversation here and on social networks. Most of the reaction has been from Catholics who do not wish to see the Church alter its practice of denying the sacraments to divorced Catholics who remarry, and interpreted calls to look to Orthodox practice as a signal that the upcoming synod might seek such an alteration. My purpose---and, I believe, the purpose of Cardinal Kasper and other Church leaders who recommend exploring what … [Read more...]

More Kind, More Demanding: Seeking the Way to Witness on Same-Sex Marriage

 This is an apology, but not a retraction. My most recent post---confessing to mixed emotions about the Supreme Court's decisions on same-sex marriage---seems to have created as much confusion in my readers as there is in my head.Some people are concerned that I personally believe what I said I feared: that my Church sees homosexual persons not as sinners, but as sin itself. I know that's not Church teaching, far from it. But it is, in my experience and observation, all too often … [Read more...]

In “That Uncomfortable Silence,” Let Love Grow

 I haven't blogged since Wednesday. Struggling too much with what to say and how to say it, taking my pain to the cross. That pain, I have to be honest, does not come from the rulings the Supreme Court made on same-sex marriage, which the US leadership of my Church---to whose mysteries, including the sacramentality of marriage, I give full assent, though I have a devil of a time with the way those mysteries are proclaimed---called "tragic." It's far more personal (and therefore selfish) … [Read more...]

“Consistent with prevailing public opinion”: The Feds and Marriage, Utah Style

 In sorting the tangled threads of response to today's Court decisions on marriage and states' rights, it occurred to me to look at a somewhat related issue from an earlier time in our nation's history.In the late 19th century, the federal government was embroiled in another battle over the definition of legal marriage. In the Utah Territory, settled almost entirely by Mormons, plural marriage (a practice accepted and even believed to be divinely ordained by mainstream Mormons at … [Read more...]

Keep Calm and Catholic On

 There will be lots of heat burning up the interwebz regarding today's SCOTUS decisions in Windsor and Perry. Knowing that Supreme Court decisions are never what their most avid proponents or their most ardent opponents think they are, I'm waiting till the dust settles and looking for sources of light---calm, reasoned reflection---in the meantime.The Catholic Telegraph of the Cincinnati Archdiocese is in early with clarity and hope. Neither decision will have the effect of … [Read more...]

In the Breaking of the Bread: A Book Review

Recipe for Joy: A Stepmom's Story of Finding Faith, Following Love, and Feeding a Family by Robin Davis Loyola Press, 2013We're all on a journey of faith, love, and family. It's a journey with detours and U-turns, scenic roads and midnight breakdowns. But whether in Emmaus or Columbus or wherever (as the airline pilots say) our final destination may be, when we come to ourselves it is always around a table.I'm weighing in shamefully late, as in the very last hours, with my contribution … [Read more...]

Breaching a Contract, Breaking Faith: Religious Freedom in Cincinnati

 We're used to thinking of religious freedom as an individual right---my freedom of conscience to believe and practice as I choose. But as the continuing debate over the HHS mandate demonstrates, freedom of religion under the First Amendment also guarantees the rights of religious institutions. When those freedoms collide, what gives?In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, for which I perform occasional work as an independent contractor, the cases of two dismissed Catholic school … [Read more...]


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