Chastity for Thee But Not for Me?

Here is what I find most amusing about the reactions to the Pence Anti-Adultery plan:It turns out the people who ordinarily believe that it is both impossible and undesirable to refrain from intercourse out of wedlock are, in the case of the sitting Vice President, certain he must be an exception to that rule.  Ordinary mortals have no such capacity for self control! They'd be harmed by trying, and anyway it wouldn't work!But either they know Mr. Pence to be a class apart, or they are so … [Read more...]

Look Mom, I Found the Porn!

This week over at the Catholic Conspiracy, we watch me lose my temper at the people who tell me I need to calm down and get along about that porn basket.But they’re taped shut. That doesn’t change the fact that you’re selling pornography at your store. You’re telling the world that it’s fine to buy and sell this stuff. You’re making the decision to attract buyers of pornography to your business. But that guy who runs the stall is just trying to make a living. That’s right. He’s decided he … [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...]

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...]

A Patron Saint for Rabble Rousers and their Bishops

When I answered Tom McDonald's How I Pray series, one of the pile of question marks in the black hole that is my prayer life concerned spiritual reading.  Two answers of late:1. The book I'm carrying around town and reading in snatches is Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper, by Brant Pitre.  So far, it's excellent. Recommended if you have a general understanding of the significance of the Mass and the Last Supper, and are looking for so … [Read more...]

Five Reasons I Love Ashtags. Actually Six. And a Youtube Video.

I know these people who don't love ashtags.  People like Monique Ocampo, who is even giving up selfies for Lent.  I get it, but I am not these people.  Five reasons, six for the intrepid, and the first one will shock you:Reason #1: I like people.I particularly like the people I'm friends with on social media.  So I like to see photos of them.  It makes me happy to be able to see you with your cat, or your birthday cake, or your brand new, freshly-repentant ashes.  It's like getting Christ … [Read more...]

Scantily Clad Teenage Dancer Friends on Facebook

From the inbox, a question re: Discussing Modesty from a friend who said he'd be willing to see it answered on the blog.  Here's the original question: Hi Jen,Being of a similar mindset on Faith and parenting (and having the common Family Honor reference point between us), I have a question for you (and your husband)? I have a Catholic friend who is a marginally-involved Catholic who has a daughter who is VERY into dance. She's 13, tours the country in various dance competitions, and all this … [Read more...]