To Vaccinate Or Not? Safety Net or No Safety Net?

Ok, setting aside theology and Church related topics to dive into…vaccines! The Wall Street Journal has an article detailing the increase in some diseases, the rates of which infection had decreased substantially because of vaccinations. Over the past decades, there has been an increasing movement to delay or refuse vaccinations for children. To me, it never made much sense. The only way your unvaccinated child can be relatively safe from these diseases is if…everyone else vaccinates their children. Wow. Talk… Read more

Marriage Isn’t Everything.

Good post by an Evangelical pastor, Kevin A. Thompson, whose work I’ve cited before. [Marriage. What Does Peace Have To Do With It & Are We Ready To Do The Work Of Peace?] He writes: Many people undervalue marriage. This is why I spend a lot of time writing about its importance, pleading for spouses to take it seriously, and highlighting the value which comes when we hold marriage in high regard…. It is an equal mistake to over value… Read more

Padre Pio. Just A Simple Priest.

Today is the feast of St. Pio of Pietralcina, known to most of his devotees as simply Padre Pio. He received the stigmata (the wounds of Christ) at a very young age and they remained until he died. Ironically, as this bio notes, he lived sick and died healthy, with the stigmata healed. Despite the stigmata, he was in many ways, just a simple priest. I’m named after him; so when I had the opportunity to visit San Giovanni Rotondo,… Read more

Link Between Birth Control and MS?

A new study indicates that there may be a link between some forms of oral contraceptives and multiple sclerosis. As a Catholic, I see a lot of reasons as to why the Catholic teaching on birth control makes sense. Others have done a fine job explaining those reasons, most notably Prof. Janet Smith . Patrick Coffin also does a great job in his book Sex Au Naturel. And of course, there’s Simcha Fisher. There are many others, but these are… Read more

Newsflash: Man Puts Family Before His Career. Man Is Happy.

Scott Behson at the WSJ recently did a post on a man who gave up a high level position to spend more time with his family and… he’s happy. Last month, Max Schireson gave up his job running a billion-dollar startup to spend more time with his family. And he couldn’t be happier. Part of me thinks this is a fantastic article. The other part of me finds it incredibly funny in the ironic sense. Think about it. It’s newsworthy… Read more

Just Let Cardinal Dolan Do His Job.

Elizabeth Scalia took a lot of flak for her  piece, “Dolan is Charged to Model Christ, Not the Pharisees,” in which she defended the Cardinal’s decision to continue as Grand Marshal in the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade even though it will be the first time that an identifying gay group will also be marching. Look, I get it. We’ve been disappointed by the leadership of the Catholic Church on more than one occasion. I also get that we all… Read more

Why We Don’t Need Catholic/Christian Writers, Artists, etc.

Given a cultural milieu that seems to constantly fight basic Christian values, it’s easy to understand why there’s been a mission movement, one where Catholic/Christian content is generated for sympathetic audiences. However, the goal has been mission oriented and not the actual perfection of a skill. Hear me out. C.S. Lewis wrote, “We don’t need more Christian writers; we need more writers who are Christian.” I think we could apply this as a maxim to most professions/occupations. I applaud those… Read more

Evangelization – Two Birds With One Stone

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Patheos community here. In 2006, I was on Chris Matthews’ show “Hardball” to discuss the Da Vinci Code movie, released the evening of the episode we were doing in New York. Matthews, a Catholic himself, asked me why so many Catholics had read the book if, as I claimed, it was factually incorrect and not an accurate representation… Read more

James Foley And Shifting Thoughts on Martyrdom.

Last week I wrote about James Foley and the increasing use of the word “martyr” in the wake of his execution. I’m pleased to note that others are having similar conversations, including David Gibson of Religion News Services. One of his recent RNS pieces is online at Huffington Post: “Is James Foley A Martyr? Brutal Death Sparks Faith-Based Debate.” Gibson noted an important shift in the discussion about martyrdom: For example, Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who lived under constant threat… Read more

The Legion Defames A Woman. A Saint.

  Throughout the ongoing unraveling of the Legion of Christ, I have not written anything on the topic. I know people who are or were part of the Legion; but I’m not an expert on the Legion in any way. Nevertheless, today’s article by Jason Berry has provoked me to action. Berry details the Legion’s development of the Magdala Center at the Sea of Galilee in the Holy Land. Apparently, the Legion was given administrative control of the a Vatican… Read more

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