The Terrible Problem with Laudato Si’

"Living our vocation to be protectors of God's handiwork is essential to the life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience."Laudato Si' 217 The difficulty, the dreadful, unspeakable, shield-your-eyes difficulty with the Pope's new encyclical on the environment comes down to one nasty problem: The man is right.For the popular press, hoping all this time that Pope Francis would be something new and different, created in the image of The Today Show, t … [Read more...]

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On Racism in the American South and the Shock of the Charleston Shootings

When I first heard about the murders at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church down in Charleston, the news was barely onto it.  So I went where the reporters were going, which is #CharlestonShooting on Twitter.  It's a hashtag that's been used before, for a different white-on-black shooting.  If you peruse the comments with any sense of interest in your fellow man, you'll note the race theme real quick.  At this writing,  half a day later, all the evidence is pointing towards an unequivocally hate- … [Read more...]

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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...]

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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...]

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Doesn’t get much more unqualified than this . . .

. . . That would be me, writing about "loving your enemies."  Ha.It's the 16th of the month, which means I'm all pre-prayed over at CatholicMom.com.  One of those days when you have no choice but to lay it all out:One of my chronic frustrations is that it seems like my pagan friends are such better people than me. They are kinder and more merciful; they work harder – why can’t I be as virtuous as they are? Our Lord reminds me of that today, pointing out, “If you love those who love you, … [Read more...]

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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...]

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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...]

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