USCCB Hires National Labor Relations Board to Vet Catholic Colleges

Under increasing pressure from the Vatican to come up with something better than "definite progress" and "robust discussion" concerning the implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops announced this week that they'd contracted with staff from the National Labor Relations Board to, "help sort things out about those Catholic Colleges and stuff.""It was divine intervention, really," said the USCCB President, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz.  "Here we thought … [Read more...]

Screwtape vs. Slubgrip: Fan-Fic? Or do GKC, Belloc, Knox, Lewis, & Tolkien Have a New Colleague?

Fr. Dwight Longenecker has released his second Screwtape-style novel, Slubgrip Instructs.  C.S. Lewis fans are understandably wary: Is it possible to write a follow-on work that's more than a pastiche?  The answer is yes, and there are good literary reasons why Longenecker has succeeded.Quick Background: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is a novel told from the perspective of the demons charged with tempting a young man.  It's a humorous and insightful look at the pitfalls and glorious rea … [Read more...]

Six Ways to Make Your Confirmation Class More Like an Internet Headline

(Quick update to remind the catechists: This is a blog for adults, not kids. Patheos is not a site for children.  If you want to share this particular post with your class, just print it out and read aloud.  For goodness sake don't send a twelve-year-old here.  But grown-up to grown-up?  Share away.) *** My son and I were talking about click-bait.  If only the Catholic faith were presented more like internet news.  We brainstormed a few possibilities, as gleaned from his confirmation class … [Read more...]

50 Shades of Arousal Disorders: BDSM and the Moral Life

If you browse among the purveyors of sex toys, which you most emphatically should not do, among the offerings you'll find all the regalia of oppression and humiliation.  BDSM as a variant on traditional women's porn as sold at the grocery store didn't come out of nowhere.   Long before the intelligentsia were conflicted in their literary analysis by the clash between "cutting edge" and "terrible writing", the neighbors were busy acting out sexual fantasies straight from the annals of Amnesty In … [Read more...]

Playing with Fire: Christ in the Temple

It's the Feast of the Presentation, the very last day of Christmas no matter how you count.  From today's readings: Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. Lent is around the corner.  Here's a tip for you, as demonstrated by today's readings and by all the best carols: You'll always do better if you put a bit of Lent in your Christmas, and a bit of Christmas in your Lent.Have a good one!Artwork: Conrad von Soest [P … [Read more...]

So, Mr. Jesus. We Meet Again.

This Sunday's Gospel has Jesus out for a walk on the beach, and he sees these fishermen and tells them to drop everything and come become apostles.  To hear it preached sometimes, you'd think they'd all never met before.  But take a look at last Sunday's Gospel:John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, … [Read more...]

Evading the Useless Fairy Through the Miracle of Central Heating

I periodically give the friends and relatives a health update, which I don't usually publish here.  But thermostat settings, everyone wants to talk about that, right?   So everything is holding steady, which is good.  Miracle drug still doing its miracle thing.  I got hold of a fitness tracker this winter and have started watching the daily exertion count, which makes it much easier to manage my activity level, but also maybe a little more depressing (she said buoyantly).  Basically the pace of … [Read more...]