Gay Marriage, Slack Parents, and Religious Ceremonies: An Even Simpler Solution

The usually sensible Fr. Longenecker proposes that the Catholic Church get out of the civil marriage business as a way to avoid being forced to officiate at same-sex ceremonies.There is a much simpler solution: We could decline to offer Catholic wedding ceremonies to couples unless at least one of the two is a practicing Catholic.We already try to do this, witness the massive hoops that Catholic couples are forced to jump through in order to get a church wedding as it stands.  We attempt … [Read more...]

Communal Life in the Parish and Making Time for Our Evangelical Mission

Josh Canning lays down the challenge here: How do we make time for evangelization in our lives?Half the battle is wanting to, of course.  That requires conversion and discipleship.But suppose you've experienced the conversion, and given your life over to a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and do in fact want to answer that call of the baptized to go and preach the good news and make disciples of all nations?  Why is it so dang difficult?When I read this post at … [Read more...]

Pope Francis’s Puzzling Comments on Guns and War: The Clue to Understanding Laudato Si’

H/T to Kate O'Hare, who linked to these initially puzzling comments from Pope Francis on weapons manufacturing and just warfare: It makes me think one thing: people, leaders, entrepreneurs that call themselves Christians, and produce arms! This gives some mistrust: they call themselves Christians! “No, no, Father, I don’t produce them, no, no .... I only have my savings, my investments in arms factories.” Ah! And why? “Because the interest is somewhat higher ...” And a double face is also a curr … [Read more...]

How You Get People to Behave at Mass: A Story About What Works and What Doesn’t – updated

Elizabeth Scalia writes here about the story behind the story of the slouches in the pews.  She's cranky and she's got it right.  I'm going to tell a story now, and if you were there that day kindly shut up about the who-when-where-why-how, because it could have been anywhere.  It's the story of what makes people respect the Mass, and what doesn't, and why Elizabeth has it right. *** So I'm at one of these social-moment Masses, and it doesn't matter what kind -- a funeral, a wedding, a first co … [Read more...]

Three Signs It’s a Sexual Abuse Cover-Up and Not Just an Innocent Misunderstanding

In yesterday's installment in this series on preventing and stopping sexual abuse, I created three pairs of fictional scenarios.  Scene A was a typical case of ordinary parish life mishaps; Scene B was covert sexual abuse.  Today I want to explain how I crafted those pairs, and what the hallmarks of covert abuse were that I put into all the Scene B's.Let's pause here and encourage you to read up on this subject elsewhere.  My analysis below isn't based on statistical modeling, and I don't ha … [Read more...]

Phone Before You’re Sure: Why Stopping Sexual Abuse Requires Early Police Involvement

Yesterday I wrote this, and you might be wondering why: You can talk to an officer at your local police station and describe the situation first before naming the perpetrator, if you are unsure whether a crime is actually taking place. Isn't it obvious if sexual abuse is taking place?  The answer is no, not always.  Today we're going to look at why that is, and why you should go ahead and make an inquiry with the police about a questionable situation if you're unsure.(And no, this isn't p … [Read more...]

How to Idiot Proof Your Parish and Diocese Against the Sexual Abuse Crisis

The idiots in question are ordinary people like yourself, busy, overwhelmed with responsibilities, always trying to figure out which situations are the most desperate and which are okay enough to leave be for the moment.   Elizabeth Scalia and others report on the latest round of resigning bishops, and here's the thing you need to understand: That diocese is just like yours, and by that I mean it is filled with people like you.--> In the unlikely event that you're one of those people who … [Read more...]