NY State Bishops Pen Pastoral Letter on Mental Illness.

mental illness

Praise God for this incredibly important step toward better pastoral care for all Catholics--and all people--with mental illness. It's very brief but completely worth the read.  I hope you'll take a moment to look it over and then meet back here to discuss it.  My thanks to Deacon Greg for alerting us all to the exciting things happening in his neck of the woods. Here's a sample....Our society has made great strides in our understanding and treatment of mental illness. But in many cases the l … [Read more...]

The Antidote to DIY Catholicism (Part II of Guest Blog by Dave McClow, LMFT, LCSW)


(Read Part One Here)The Catechism and FatherhoodWhat gets in the way of knowing this love deeply?  The Catechism of the Catholic Church knows the power of parents.  In the section on the Our Father, it states:2779 Before we make our own this first exclamation of the Lord's Prayer, we must humbly cleanse our hearts of certain false images drawn "from this world." … The purification of our hearts has to do with paternal or maternal images, stemming from our personal and cultural his … [Read more...]

Why Johnny Can’t Pray– Why Catholic Religious Education is Doomed to Fail.


Over at Egregious Twaddle, my fellow Patheosi, Joanne McPortland, has a provocative post about What's Really Wrong with Catholic Religious Education?  You should go read it.  Chances are, it will do two things.  First, I suspect,  it will piss you off.  Then, I suspect, you'll find yourself agreeing with it.  At least, that's what happened to me.Her argument is essentially that the academic model of the religious education of children is a completely wrongheaded approach that should be scrap … [Read more...]

Are Your a Faithful Do It Yourself (DIY) Catholic? –Part 1 (Guest blog by Dave McClow, MA., LISW, LMFT)


When it comes to home improvement, there have always been do-it-yourselfers (DIYers).  And if you’re like me, that means it takes three times as long to complete the project than you expected, three to four more trips to the hardware or big box store than you planned, and a project or two that doesn’t quite get completed.  Just as there are DIYers in home improvement, there are DIY Catholics.  They come in a variety of flavors.  There are those who make up whatever they want to believe, ala cafet … [Read more...]

Study Says, “Christians Hate People Different from Them.” Except it Doesn’t

God nuts

A recent study claims, "Religiosity Means Love of Neighbor--If Values Line Up."  You'll probably be seeing more of this study since it seems like another opportunity for the secular world to prove that "those Christians" aren't all they're cracked up to be.   The problem is, the study doesn't actually say what the headlines say it does.What the study does show is that when researchers control for what they term "right wing authoritarianism"  (basically a term that means a judgmental, us-v … [Read more...]

The Les Mis Mass–My Parody of a Parody

les mis

Deacon Greg Kandra kindly alerted us to the Les Mis Mass that's actually happening in the UK.Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to review the libretto, but I've been participating in a discussion on FB about it and I decided to preserve, for all posterity, the lyrics that I, personally,  think SHOULD be included.  Submitted for your approval, a few of my original, suggested, additions.THE SONGS OF ANGRY MENCan you hear the parish sing? Singing the songs of angry men. This i … [Read more...]

“Just Married” and Loving It! (Plus, Other Great Resources No Couple Should Be Without!)

just married

Dear Dr. Popcak, I just wanted to tell you (and your wife) THANK YOU for writing "Just Married." My married friends and I are always complaining to each other about the absolute dearth of material for faithful Catholics wanting to date, prepare for marriage, and live marriage in an authentically Catholic way. Basically, we hear two messages: 1. Marriage is hard. Marriages fall apart because people think it's all going to be rosy, then when reality hits, the spouses don't know what to … [Read more...]

Reforming the Annulment Process–A Continuing Conversation. (Or Why “Alienation of Affection” is a stupid reason to require divorce before annulment).


I appreciated the many thoughtful responses to my brainstorming on ways to improve the annulment process.  Regarding my first suggestion; stopping the practice of requiring the couple to seek a civil divorce before filing for a declaration of nullity, a few people suggested that this needed to be in place because of the fear that the church might be sued for alienation of affection.I actually addressed this issue, briefly,  in the original post as I've heard this argument before.  I'd like to … [Read more...]