Does the Catholic Faith Permit the Use of Artificial Wombs?

If Brave New World is coming soon to a hospital near you, what does that mean for your premature baby? Over the Register, today I'm making predictions about what the next edition of The Catechism will have to say about "artificial womb" technology: Here at the Register, Angelo Stagnaro has recently expressed his grave concerns about the invention of “artificial wombs.” The technology in question is a medical device that simulates an unborn baby’s environment in utero. It is designed as an improv … [Read more...]

Why Does the Ascension Matter?

This is my annual reminder of why we bother with all this Jesus business.  If you're not in it for this, I'm not sure what you're doing.  First ran at the Wine Dark Sea. *** We think of atheists as the people who actively deny the existence of God, but there’s a much more pernicious and widespread atheism among religious people today: Faithy-ism. We talk about God, and do God-themed activities, but we don’t really mean it.  It’s all just a metaphor.  Our spirituality consists of our deeply felt … [Read more...]

Is Your Catholic School Any Good?

The other week a friend was sharing in a private discussion group about how her child was being bullied over at the local public school.  She asked for advice and prayers, then added, "I'm hoping we can get financial aid for Catholic school for next year."That comment caused another member of the group to say, "You know, it was at Catholic school that I was bullied all those years.  I begged my parents to take me out, but they wouldn't."About that same time, another friend, in a c … [Read more...]

Traps for Catechists and How to Avoid Them

It's new-catechist season, and if you know such a person, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you about the book you want.  It's Classroom Management for Catechists, by me.  It's cheap, short, readable, and gives you a 101 on how to avoid all the stupid things I did as a new religious ed teacher, and instead go directly to putting together a decent class even if you aren't a genius with magical superpowers.There's a Spanish version, too.  If you are buying in bulk for your parish or diocese, call … [Read more...]

Whom Does Modesty Serve?

I've got sex on the brain, and before I start into that conversation, I want to lay out a few comments about the limits of modesty.Here's a quick working definition: With respect to chastity, modesty is the collection of actions we take in order to safeguard our purity.  Modesty includes not only the way we dress, but the way we interact with others.There are of course other areas where modesty applies -- with respect to our wealth, our accomplishments, and so forth.  For your homework, y … [Read more...]

Lent in the School for Evangelization

We Catholics like our programs.  Love our programs.  So here's this program we have starting this month, and the whole Church is enrolled.  It's called "Lent" and it features prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  That's the theory, anyhow.During Lent your parish is likely to take on some kind of other program as a sort of evangelization-thingie.  Small groups (I approve), or a parish mission (ditto), or some other worthy pursuit.  These things are good.  But what if your parish isn't doing one of … [Read more...]

What My Dog Knows About the Immaculate Conception

Every evening at nine, Fitz kids and parents gather in the living room and talk to each other for an hour, and then we go to bed.  It's not a rule, it's a thing that happens.  There are usually two or three cats present, and always one dog.The dog is not my dog, and I almost never provide any particular dog care.So I was puzzled one evening a few years ago when I realized the dog was standing in front of me, paws firmly planted in a ready-for-action stance, gaze even, silent, still, wa … [Read more...]