Why I’m listening to the laity, not to the U.S. Catholic bishops

Who speaks for Catholics? Catholic polity says the hierarchy speaks for the church. Mostly. But it also allows that the overwhelming consensus of the laity cannot be ignored. So when the consensus of the Catholic laity is in conflict with the assertions of the bishops, it may be legitimate to heed the laity as the [Read More…]

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‘God is concerned with the health of women’

The Christian Century spent much of last week eagerly reminding us that its very name is a relic of the past. Like the Religion News Service, it spent the week playing ring around the collar — rallying to support the Catholic bishops in defense of the proposition that clergy unable to command arbitrary obedience from [Read More…]

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Sunday favorites

1 Corinthians 13 And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have [Read More…]

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Whitney Houston (1963-2012)

Whitney Houston died Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 48. And she had an amazing voice. [Read more…]

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… But then again, he loves everybody

Chaplain Mike of Internet Monk offers a meditation on divine grace, beginning with this passage from Deuteronomy 7: It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you — for you were the fewest of all peoples. It was because the Lord [Read More…]

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W. Scott Poole on Left Behind, Satan and the culture wars

This is from W. Scott Poole’s 2009 book Satan in America: The Devil We Know: Left Behind also sought to make an evangelical case for some of the contemporary cultural and political struggles of the 1990s. Its emergence as a publishing phenomenon coincided with a public movement for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. … [Read More…]

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Sing a chorus or two

It’s snowing here in Chester County, and happily, since I’m not a delusional conspiracy theorist inventing elaborate tales of a diabolical plot by scientists, journalists and wildlife, I’m not compelled to embarrass myself with stale, defiantly ignorant jokes about global warming. We’re just a little more than half-way through winter, so let me share some [Read More…]

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Their bluff has been called, will the bishops know when to fold ’em?

Well, I didn’t expect this. The U.S. Catholic bishops have spent the week denying that they’re simply trying to prohibit health insurance from covering contraception. It’s not about that, they insisted, but about religious liberty. Today, President Barack Obama called their bluff, carving out an “accomodation” that removes any grounds for a complaint about “freedom [Read More…]

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