About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

The End, and a Beginning

There have been a lot of changes for me this past year. Games Magazine, where I was Editor-at-Large for about 17 years, was folded into a sister publication, reducing my responsibility to only two pages a month. I left Maximum PC magazine after being one of its original writers and longest-running columnist, a tenure of [Read More…]

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A Clarification: Difficult Times, Difficult Thoughts

Some clarifications. There were some who took exception to my calling the pope “wrong” yesterday. I want to be clear: I believe it was a mistake to open up a rejected proposal for debate and bring discredited theologians and leaders back into prominence. Most troubling is his personal support of Cardinal Danneels, which is inexcusable and reflects very [Read More…]

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Benedict and the Bishops on Communion for the Divorced

The current synod is certainly not the first synod to consider the issue of communion for the divorced and remarried. In October 2005 the synod kicked around these issues, and in February 2007 Pope Benedict XVI published the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Sacramentum caritatis (the Sacrament of Charity). Note well the long passage of time between synod [Read More…]

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NY Times Joins the Temple Truthers

My history column for the Register this week is on Temple Trutherism. It’s like 9/11 Trutherism, only with slightly more anti-semitism! Reporter Rick Gladstone shows us some of those high-quality skills you only get from journalism school by utterly ignoring the experts he interviewed and concocting a story about scholarly doubt as to whether the Temples were [Read More…]

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Verdict on German Plan?: “Schismatical, heretical.”

At the Register this week, I write about an idea floated by the German episcopate to go their own way on matters of “pastoral care” and damn what the Universal Church has to say. Trent’s already rendered the verdict on this approach, and pretending “pastoral care” isn’t the same as “discipline” doesn’t make it any less of [Read More…]

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How Scrivener Lost Me to Ulysses

My coverage of the papal visit was a test bed for mobile computing and reporting. I did all of my writing on an iPad 2 with a Zagg keyboard. It was light, extremely portable, fit in a confined space, and did every single thing I needed. When we were crammed into the chapel of the Basilica covering [Read More…]

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Want Some More Catholic History and Archaeology?

No? Well tough, you’re getting it anyway. This piece (which I talk about here) marks the first of a weekly series, appearing Mondays in the National Catholic Register. I plan to use the space to explore odd corners of Church history, sometimes just for fun, sometimes in order to shed a bit of light on a present [Read More…]

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Is This Synod the Most Dangerous Crisis in the History of the Church?

It is to hear some people tell it. I think it was this video that got me thinking about Pius VI, but all the daft ranting of the past year certainly played a part in my realization that people have no context for what they’re experiencing. I’ve written a bit about Pius, his times, and the [Read More…]

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