Please Don’t Fiddle While The Family Burns: An Open Letter to the 2015 Synod on the Family

The following is an article I penned for the October issue of Inside the VaticanThe upcoming 2015 Synod on the Family gives us an opportunity to ask "What does the Church need to do to support families in this post-modern age?"During last year's Extraordinary Synod, there was much public discussion about how the Church might respond to the needs of "irregular families"; that is, families impacted by divorce, cohabitation, etc . While this conversations is absolutely necessary, it is also … [Read more...]

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World Meeting of Families: So What? Who Cares? What’s In It for Me?

 The World Meeting of Families (WMOF) is an international event occurring every three years since it's inauguration in 1994.  Convened by the Pontifical Council for the Family which was founded by St. John Paul II in 1984 to promote family well-being around the world, the World Meeting has been hosted by Rome in 1994, Rio de Janeiro in 1997,  Rome again in 2000, Manila in 2003, Valencia, Spain in 2006, Mexico City in 2009 and Milan in 2012.  The 2015 Philadelphia Congress will be the fi … [Read more...]

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Spiritual Autism & the Catholic-Evangelical Divide—AMENDED with APOLOGY

AUTHOR NOTE:  In an attempt to address a serious problem I feel impacts the Church, I attempted to use autism as a metaphor.  I made a sincere effort to do so sensitively, based upon my understanding of the disorder. Since then, it has come to my attention that many people have been offended by my characterization of autism and my use of it in this context.  It was never my intention to offend any parent of a child with autism or any person with autism.  I have nothing but the deepest respect for … [Read more...]

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Dr. Janet Smith Shows Real “COURAGE”

Earlier this month, there was a tremendous conference put together by moral theologian Janet Smith and Courage (a faithful Catholic org supporting people living with same-sex attraction) called Love One Another As I Have Loved You: Welcoming and Accompanying Our Brothers and Sisters with Same Sex Attraction. The conference has generated a fair amount of public comment, and some of it has been quite critical  (see here and especially here).  Dr. Janet Smith has been ably and charitably res … [Read more...]

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“Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”–An Autopsy on the Death of Religious Faith

Reba Riley's memoir, Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing describes her loss of religious faith in her early 20's and her subsequent attempt to assemble a meaningful spiritual life for herself.I was struck by her interview with the Religion News Service because at the time I read it, I had just finished writing my paper for the journal to be published at the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families at which my wife and I are both speaking.  Riley's interview read … [Read more...]

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Science Says, “Want Happiness? Go to Church!”

Science endorses church attendance?!?  Atheists' heads explode in 3...2...1... From the Washington Post A new study suggests that joining a religious group could do more for someone’s “sustained happiness” than other forms of social participation, such as volunteering, playing sports or taking a class. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at the London School of Economics and Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that the secret to sustained happi … [Read more...]

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CONFIRMED–HISTORIC Record Breaking Attendance at 2015 World Meeting of Families

Today on More2Life Radio, we were blessed by a visit from Dr. Mary Beth Yount, the Director of Content and Programming at the World Meeting of Families.  In addition to telling our listeners about the event itself, she revealed the BREAKING NEWS that this year's World Meeting of Families has over 15,000 people currently registered for the week long congress, making the 2015 World Meeting the highest attended World Meeting of Families ever!That number is expected to climb by several more … [Read more...]

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New Study Quantifies Spiritual Health Crisis in Catholic Families

My latest article for OSV's Daily Take If your child came home from school with a test grade of 22 percent would you be concerned? How about 17 percent or 13 percent? Sadly, new research by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown found that similar numbers reflect the spiritual health "grades" of Catholic families. The first-of-its-kind study was sponsored by Holy Cross Family Ministries, an organization promoting family prayer and family well-being around the … [Read more...]

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