Because, Y’Know, Pope Francis is “Soft” on Abortion…


My epiphany of this past weekend did not blind me to the challenges Pope Francis' papacy presents.  Specifically, because his style is profoundly welcoming and he is so committed to bringing home the prodigal, his more pastoral style can be easily twisted by people who's agenda runs contrary to the Church. Instead of complaining about this, we need to rise to the challenge.  To help us all do that, I'll be regularly posting quotes from Pope Francis on the very topics he's allegedly "soft" … [Read more...]

Papa Francis, The Prodigal, and “the Good Son.”


How do you feel about Pope Francis' style? I've been praying a lot about my reactions to Pope Francis as well the reactions I have read from my fellow Catholic culture warriors.    I have friends--sometimes of the more liberal persuasion (but not all)--who think Pope Francis is an incredible breath of fresh air.  I have other friends--usually more conservative--who can't believe how much this guy is, in their minds, stinking up the joint. Ambivalence Observed As for me, well, I've … [Read more...]

Calling All Franco-phobes, “Be not afraid!”


A lot of people--especially conservatives and traditionalists--are freaking out about Pope Francis comments, especially his most recent interview for America magazine.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not unsympathetic.  Even though Pope Francis is not overturning any doctrines or giving out "Get Into Heaven Free" passes to the lowest bidders, he does have a VERY different style that requires some getting used to after the more charismatically catechetical (chasmachetical?) approach of Pope John … [Read more...]

Is No-Sex the New Sex?


That's the title of an article at The Science of Relationships. The article itself covers a few different topics related to this theme, but the thing that struck me was a recognition by secular professionals that a lack of chastity (not the way they put it, of course, but still) is bad for relationships.  To put it in their language, the longer a couple delays the onset of sexual activity, the more likely the relationship will be long lasting and exclusive. Delaying the onset of sexual … [Read more...]

Why Wills? In which We Recall the Last Time Popcak took Wills to the Woodshed

Ah, Garry Wills.  My favorite professorial poseur and religious rebel-without-a clue.   He's back with a new argument for using books as kindling in the form of a doorstop titled, Why Priests?  A Failed Tradition.  Stephen Colbert has some fun with him on the topic the other day and does a fairly good job responding (although he doesn't challenge Wills demonstrably false assertion that Augustine didn't support the priesthood.) Take a look. I really have to wonder what anyone sees in this … [Read more...]

Hi All You Happy People: 21 Habits of Supremely Happy People


I came across this article that summarizes recent developments in positive psychology research into a list of 21 habits happy people cultivate.  Taken individually, each item has been shown to empirically boost our baseline happiness level a bit.  But as I looked at the list, it occurred to me what a powerful effect cultivating even a handful of these habits into one's everyday life would have.  They are all so simple.  Most interesting to me is the consistent finding that the happiest … [Read more...]

6 (+2) Reasons To Question The Assertions of


I've been seeing a lot about, a new website that purports to offer a Catholic vision of family life as a corrective to the alternatives the world has to offer.  It's been making a splash in both Catholic and secular circles, generating spirited conversations on Catholic blogs as well as secular feminist sites like Jezebel. It is clear to me that the founders of the site have a deep love for the Church and for family life and that they mean to do good.  I would like to … [Read more...]

6 Stages of Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts


Sex addiction statistics show that 25 million Americans visit cyber-sex sites between 1-10 hours per week. Another 4.7 million in excess of 11 hours per week. (MSNBC/Stanford/Duquesne Study, Washington Times, 1/26/2000).   According to Datamonitor, over half of all spending on the Internet is related to sexual activity, with 30 million people logging on at pornographic Web sites daily.  According to some estimates, sex addiction affects about 3-5% of Americans, but that number is also … [Read more...]