What’s YOUR Catholic Marriage IQ? Take the Quiz!

Do YOU know the truth about the Catholic difference in marriage? One thing that became stunningly clear in light of the recent Synod on the Family is how little people really understand the Catholic vision of marriage — perhaps most especially Catholics! Test your Catholic marriage IQ with the following questions.Q: What is the primary job of the Catholic husband and wife? A: The primary job of a Catholic husband and wife is to help get each other to heaven. That's a big part of what it m … [Read more...]

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Bad Parenting: Why The Ban Against Communion for Divorced and Remarried Catholics Is Unjust and 3 Ways to Fix It.

In all the debate about what should be done to help those Catholics who have divorced and remarried without the benefit of an annulment, there is one solution I have not heard debated.Let's Be Honest... I agree that it is seriously problematic to allow those who have remarried without the benefit of an annulment to receive communion for the reasons I have mentioned elsewhere.   But let's face it, Did the vast majority of people who are on this path choose it knowingly and consciously?  D … [Read more...]

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Sloth at the Synod? OR…Why Cardinal Johnny Can’t (be bothered to) Read

Some years back, Rudolph Flesch wrote a book called, "Why Johnny Can't Read" about the poor state of literacy among children.  As I listen to the various conversations going on at the Synod on the Family in Rome, I wonder if Flesch could be persuaded to write a sequel for Catholic Cardinals and Archbishops.During the synod, there have been many discussions about how to handle various challenges such as what can be done to help Catholics who have remarried after divorce without the benefit of … [Read more...]

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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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