Why Faithful Catholic Priests Should Be Good Lutherans


Let's talk about a big problem, guys. Let's talk about Pelagianism. Pelagianism is the doctrine of salvation by works which was condemned by the Church about a thousand years before Luther was born. But while the Church never doctrinally confessed Pelagianism, if we're honest we have to realize that in the day-to-day trenches of faith life, practical Pelagianism or pseudo-Pelagianism is a disease we never got rid of.I don't think it's a disease of Catholicism. I think it's a disease of the … [Read more...]

A Ministry Of Food


(Note: I wanted to publish this last Friday, the last Friday of Lent, but, well, I forgot. So there you go.)Sorry America, but someone has to tell you: you have a food problem.I blame Protestantism. Yes, I blame everything on Protestantism, but there's a reason. In his excellent food book An Economist Gets Lunch, Tyler Cowen recounts how the Prohibition destroyed America's taste buds. No good wine, no good restaurants. Prohibition caused America's chefs to emigrate. Then the Depression, … [Read more...]

Short Meditation on Palm Sunday


Palm Sunday might be one of the moments of the year when that peculiar lingering bittersweetness of the Gospel is strongest, perhaps along with the feast of the Holy Innocents.All of the Easter period is a long bittersweet moment. We march--as Jesus did--towards both the searing pain of the Passion and the glory of the Resurrection. We fast and deprive ourselves, but for joy.Here is the entrance of Christ, the King of Kings, into Jerusalem. On a donkey, according to Scripture and … [Read more...]

For Honest Ecumenism


When I was growing up, with the exception of some family and some priests, the people I knew who were serious about their religion were not Catholic, and the Catholics I knew were nominal Catholics. It was through arguing with non-Catholics that I discovered that people could love each other, yet disagree on fundamental points, yet talk respectfully and joyfully about the Most Important Things.One thing I like about deeply religious (non-fundamentalist) people is that disagreeing with them … [Read more...]

New Distributism 5 — Towards A Catholic Economic Anthropology (1) : Markets And Original Sin


I am writing a series of columns on Catholic social doctrine. Here’s all of them.–A possibly apocryphal story holds that, during a state visit to San Francicso, the Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev was so impressed by the abundance of goods in the city's stores that he asked to meet the person in charge of supplying them. Today this story makes us smile, but the answer to the Communist leader's question—no one, and it works much better that way—is actually deeply counter- … [Read more...]