South Carolina is basically one big small town, so the odds are high that I have kin or acquaintance at Red Bank Baptist Church.  I have nothing ill to say about the place, not even after the congregation’s latest art problem went viral.  I do think, however, that there’s something Patheos readers across the channels should be thinking about in the whole “Too Catholic” problem. It’s Not About the Art There is nothing to be gained by quibbling over whether… Read more

One of the myths about abortion laws — lately the Irish amendment, but it could be any country’s — is that if abortion isn’t legalized, doctors will be obliged to let women die of fatal complications of pregnancy.  So let’s look at a case in present-day Ireland (pre-repeal) and see if that is true.  Over at The Catholic Conspiracy, budding blogger Leah Gaines tells the story of her daughter Naomi, born at 26 weeks, 4 days: My first two pregnancies went… Read more

I haven’t read it yet, but with great joy I see that there’s something more interesting than Laurel & Yanny on the internet this week: “‘Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones’. Considerations for an ethical discernment regarding some aspects of the present economic-financial system” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, 17.05.2018 *** For those who are wondering how I’ve fallen off the internet again, the answer is that I’ve been doing… Read more

Subsidiarity is the organizing principle that a matter should be handled by the lowest level of authority competent to handle it.  This is why, for example, we have potty-training: It’s important for parents to change diapers up to a certain point, but then one day your child becomes capable of handling matters for himself, and needs to be taught to do so. The same is true of family life: Inasmuch as your family is able to choose its own meals, employment,… Read more

A couple days ago a friend of mine, and then a second one, announced on Facebook that they’d started up an account on MeWe.  Within another twenty-four hours, more friends were doing the same, and two of the groups I’m most active in had counterpart-groups started up at the new (to us) platform.  Today I see that my Patheos colleague Father Longenecker is making the move. It was the first announcement though that got my attention, because it was Tom… Read more

Here in a few hours begins our customary three days of unplugged living.  Which looks about like the picture, only maybe with more complaining from the children, and also the odd bit of excuse-making about how this or that internet thing really must be done. Have a lovely Triduum! Artwork from the public domain.   Read more

Melinda Selmys asks, “Is Contraception the New Usury?” and poses a variation on an old argument.   In her view, the Church’s teaching on usury has faded out of memory or practice because it’s just too difficult to obey; she forsees the Church’s teaching on contraception going the same way. She isn’t original in this line of thought, and Catholic Answers treated the question back in 2006 in “Did the Church Change Its Stance on Usury?” For a summary of the… Read more

Several friends shared this sad but inspiring story of a heroic French police officer who freely gave his own life for another hostage.  NPR has details on the story here.  Updated to add: He was Catholic. 2nd Update: More details on Beltrame’s faith.  What can every Catholic take away from this incident?  I think only that heroism is valiant, and we should all strive to live a life of self-sacrifice. *** What doesn’t work is trying to use this story,… Read more

Over the past five or six years I’ve gone from barely using Facebook at all to using it as a major communications portal.  I use it professionally, to share my work, keep abreast of what others are doing, to chat with colleagues.  Forming a Facebook group is my current go-to when I have a group of people I need to all get in a room to chat with each other, but they never get in the same room in regular… Read more

One more to file under “This is not a gun blog, but . . .” a public school teacher in California pulled the trigger on his firearm and was surprised to discover a bullet came out. Guys, this is how guns are designed to work: Pull trigger => Series of deadly events ensues. What happened in this classroom was not an “accident.”  What happened is that the weapon did exactly what it was supposed to do. For those of you… Read more

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