The Parable of the Good Nazi

OK. The headline was supposed to get your attention. It just occurred to me in the wake of the Charlottesville protests this past weekend, that the Parable of the Good Samaritan is worth another look. Too often this parable is preached as a peace and justice parable. In other words, Jesus is telling us to reach out and help the wounded, the vulnerable and the victims. Sure. But in fact, the parable is not really about that. The parable is about racial... Read more

What Happened in Charlottesville?

From an Eastern European Neo Nazi rally. Non copyright photographs of White Supremacist violence in Charlottesville are unavailable at the time of writing. I’ll tell you what’s happened in Charlottesville this weekend. It is human beings revealing what lies within. It’s real simple and its been happening since Cain killed his brother Abel. It works like this: Human being is unhappy He doesn’t know why he’s unhappy Somebody must be at fault. He needs to blame... Read more

Miracles? Nah.

There has been some interesting talk about miracles resulting from my recent article at Catholic Herald UK on the Shroud of Turin. I am on the side of those who believe in the shroud’s authenticity, and I respect those who shrug their shoulders and remain agnostic. But the ones who interest me the most are the shroud deniers. The evidence for the shroud’s authenticity, if not conclusive, is increasingly compelling. We’re at the point now where it is easier to... Read more

David Hume and the Shroud of Turin

The Scottish philosopher David Hume famously disbelieved in miracles. He used a kind of Occam’s Razor to cut through any suggestion of a miracle. He argued: By definition, a miracle goes against our very regular and extensive experience of how the world works. Therefore, on the basis of experience, the probability that a miracle has occurred must always be less than the probability that it hasn’t. Because it is rational to believe what is most probable, we never have a... Read more

Standing “Rad Trad” on its Head

Over the last few years “rad trad” or “raddy traddy” was Catholic slang for the ultra traditionalist, Latin Mass, take no prisoners traditionalist. I like the rhyme, but I’m for standing this on its head. Let’s take “radical” and “tradition” and recognize something that is cool and constant in being a Catholic, and that is that if you are a Catholic you can be both establishment and rebellious at the same time. You can be a revolutionary and a fogey,... Read more

10 Common Cons of Satan

Satan is the Father of lies. Therefore it follows that one of his favorite tricks is to separate us from reality. He’s like that stage magician who uses distraction to keep you from seeing what is really going on. He pulls a trick to turn our attention away from reality. What is “reality”? Reality is what is. Reality is the way things are in the natural world. Reality is the way we were created. Reality is the destiny God has... Read more

Critiquing Cotton Candy Catholicism

Rembrandt Head of Christ One of the advantages of being a Catholic is that, if you go to Mass regularly, you will hear so much of Sacred Scripture being read. This is also one of the disadvantages. It is not a disadvantage because you hear Sacred Scripture, but because you hear it in small chunks. What is lacking in the experience of most Catholics is an overall view of the whole of Sacred Scripture from Genesis... Read more

Lewis, Tolkien, Art and the Sacraments

I posted quip on Facebook a few days ago: “Protestants have no art because they have no sacraments. Discuss.” A lively discussion then ensued. Unfortunately most commenters missed my point. They either gave me examples of Protestants who were artists or they tried to explain that Protestants really do have at least a couple of sacraments. OK, but what I was digging at was something deeper, and that is not so much whether there are some good Protestant artists or... Read more

Watch Out For the Weeds

A detail from tomorrow’s reading at Mass will be missed by many people because of the translation of “tares” as “weeds”. Most people don’t know that this particular kind of weed called “tares” actually looks just like wheat. When they are first growing together they are both green and they are very hard to tell apart. However, when the wheat ripens it turns golden brown but the seeds of the tares become black green. The head of the wheat burgeons and becomes ripe.... Read more

Does the Catholic Church Need to be Reformed?

There is constant talk about Pope Francis being a “reformer” and it is assumed without anyone challenging the idea, that the Vatican  (and by extension the whole Catholic Church) is desperately in need of being reformed. But what does this call for “reform” really mean? Everybody has their own idea, but I get the feeling that the generally agreed and assumed definition is the agenda for change that the secular media simply assume must be the right thing to do.... Read more