People, Look East: Exploring the Orthodox Experience of Divorce and Remarriage

We’re divorced and remarried, but we love God and love the Church. Are we excommunicated? Why can’t we receive Communion? I heard Orthodox Christians can! In anticipation of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family, the question of pastoral care for the divorced and remarried has emerged as an issue of great concern. In areas of the world where divorce is common, this question rated high urgency on the surveys sent to bishops’ conferences to prepare for the synod. (In… Read more

Strange Bedfellows, and Real Questions About Sex–UPDATED

Yes, Planned Parenthood counselors enthusiastically provide “sex-positive” advice to teens who ask. What’s more interesting to me is what kids are asking, and why. I admit I was more bemused than outraged by the Daily Caller’s story on the release of Live Action’s latest Planned Parenthood sting video. In the past, LA has used actors and hidden cameras to catch Planned Parenthood workers appearing to violate laws or policy with regard to sex-selective abortions or procurement of a prostitute’s abortion… Read more

Two Saints, No Waiting: Pope-pourri on Canonization Eve

There’s so much good stuff out there on Sunday’s dual canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. I call your attention in particular, to Tod Worner’s “St John Paul II: The 20th Century’s Greatest Dissident” and Dr Greg Popcak’s “Pope St John Paul II & Pope St John XXIII: Partners in the Universal Call to Holiness.” My Patheos Catholic Channel neighbors, along with the entire Catholic media world, will continue to provide updates and reflections throughout the weekend… Read more

Harrow Us, Lord: A Holy Saturday Prayer

  It was never my intention to give up blogging for Lent. But Lent, like life, like any pilgrimage, is never driven by intention; it is a surrender to the road and the will of the One who calls us to walk it. On this Holy Saturday morning, deep in the seeming silence of the garden of the tomb, think about it. How was your Lent? Where did it take you? What intentions and expectations were abandoned, jettisoned beside the… Read more

I Was on Death Row, and You Walked with Me: Being Prolife out on the Margins

  So a priest, a nurse, and a lawyer walk into a prison . . . and they’re all the same guy. CNN had a great profile Friday of Fr Neil Kookoothe, pastor of St Clarence in the Diocese of Cleveland. Fr Kookoothe’s unique skill set—he got a nursing license and a law degree before entering the seminary—helped him free a man from Death Row, and led to legislation widening Ohio’s discovery rules. D’Ambrosio, Kookoothe said, had no previous criminal… Read more

Everything But the Baby: Rethinking the Ed in Religious Ed

  I have updated my update to “What’s Really Wrong with Catholic Religious Education? Everything” to include links to a wide variety of responses. The conversation continues here and in comboxes and on social media, and starting Monday the Patheos Catholic Channel home page will have a central link to posts tagged Rethinking Religious Education. But today’s post from my friend and Patheos neighbor Sam Rocha deserves, I think, an endorsement all its own. Sam, a philosopher and father and… Read more

Being David’s Harp: Walking Mercifully with Mental Illness

  Save me, O God, for the waters have risen to my neck. I have sunk into the mud of the deep and there is no foothold. I have entered the waters of the deep and the waves overwhelm me. Two important posts to share with you today—not on the theme of Rethinking Catechesis, though I invite you to keep your cards and letters coming in, as it were. This is another critical issue that requires rethinking and merciful response,… Read more

The Blogger Who Kicked Over the Hornets’ Nest: More Buzz and Sting about Religious Education UPDATED

Now I know how Jonathan Swift felt when he proposed ending English famine by eating Irish babies. Friday’s post suggesting that we quit catechizing children touched more of a nerve than I expected, opened more worm cans, and (best of all) sparked some great conversations. Thank you for commenting here and on Facebook and Twitter, for sharing the post and linking to it. We’re talking out loud about our larger hunger, and no babies have been harmed in the process…. Read more

O Key of David! Opening Wide to the Thrill of Hope

We’re all prisoners, every damn one of us. The more free we declare ourselves to be, the more restraints we chafe at and goads we prick against, the tighter we’re bound. You’re not the boss of me! we shout—at the Church, the government, each other, God—but inside, we know better. All our running and rebelling and freak-flag waving and commitment phobia is just distraction from the shadows the bars cast over our lonely lives. Guess what? That’s GOOD news. Because… Read more

O Root of Jesse! Grant Us Patience, and Step On It!

Time. This time of year, we’re obsessed with it, because there’s never enough of it. Counting down the days, opening the doors of the Advent calendar, frantically checking the last-date-for-Christmas-delivery schedule. Weaving holiday parties and extra baking and penitential services and the kids’ concerts and the trips to the airport into the already tightly stretched fabric of our daily schedules. Trying to squeeze a little peaceful anticipation from the 24/7 carols and jingling and very special TV episodes, only to… Read more

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