Church of Nice or Church of Nasty?

There is much disparaging blather about the modern Catholic Church being the "Church of Nice" but what's the alternative? Church of Nasty?The problem with these two extremes is that they really do exist and they reveal the faults of the two sides of Catholicism. The modernists are the Church of Nice while the traditionalists are the Church of Nasty.Of course I generalize to make my point. Before everyone gets all huffy I fully realize that not all traditionalists are nasty just like I … [Read More...]

God in the Details

After leading a parish pilgrimage to Italy and dealing with family and parish matters I have been very busy and not had time to blog very much.There has been nothing too dramatic, but the usual mixture of celebrating the sacraments, administering a growing and busy parish and school, ministering and trying to find more time to spend with people.In the midst of this, celebrating daily Mass I had the chance to meditate a bit further on the Catholic priest’s life. I celebrate the daily M … [Read More...]

When is Apostolic Succession Valid?

Many Anglicans--especially members of  the breakaway groups--seem to think that apostolic orders are like pedigrees for dogs: if you have the paperwork to prove it your doggie is a show dog.But apostolic succession is more than the paperwork.Anglicans like to point to the fact that Church of … [Read More...]

Cardinal Coccopalmerio on Anglican Orders

Deacon Kandra reports here that Cardinal Coccopalmerio has suggested that Anglican orders may not be "absolutely null and utterly void" as declared by Pope Leo XIII.In a recent book he writes, "When someone is ordained in the Anglican Church and becomes a parish priest in a community, we cannot … [Read More...]

Fatima and the Rosary

Did you know that the full title of Our Lady of Fatima is "Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima"?This is why at Our Lady of the Rosary Church we will be marking this year with special Masses and prayers. The Holy Father has granted the opportunity for  plenary indulgences for all those who … [Read More...]

How to Be a Catholic Tree Hugger

The Holy Father Pope Francis exhorted us all to be better stewards of the earth's resources, and that is not only good Catholicism. Its good common sense.However, has anybody else noticed how Catholics who are keen on Earth Day seem to be taking their cues not from our Catholic tradition--which … [Read More...]

Renewal, Roots and Rain

"Mine O Thou Lord of Life. Send my roots rain." wrote G.M.Hopkins in a poignant sonnet that voiced his disappointment with life. It's here and worth a read.It came to mind when I was pondering from where true renewal comes in the Church. I'm now in my sixties and I've seen a new idea, a new … [Read More...]

Reformation or Revolution?

As we approach the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation there are some voices in the Catholic Church calling us to celebrate this event. I certainly think it is possible, in an irenical spirit to commemorate the event, but what exactly is there in the Protestant Reformation t … [Read More...]

Fideism R Us

There is a funny sort of fideism around which is a popular form of a philosophical error.Fideism holds that faith is superior to reason and special knowledge can be had by faith alone which is superior and maybe even contradictory to that knowledge arrived at by reason.Pope St John Paul II … [Read More...]

Free Wil…from Debt

Did you know that college debt keeps a large number of men and women from pursuing their call to the priesthood and religious life?Most dioceses and religious orders expect their applicants to have a college degree, but that means the young men and women turn up with both a degree and college … [Read More...]

Is Easter the Religion of the Goddess Ishtar?

The weary old theory that Christianity is just paganism warmed up always circulates around this time of year.Armchair atheists like to point out the similarity between the word "Easter" and the Near Eastern goddess "Ishtar". The problem is, the myth of Ishtar had nothing to do with resurrection … [Read More...]

Why Christianity is Unique

It is fashionable to think that all religions are pretty much the same. They teach people to be good and spiritual and make the world a better place right?Wrong.There are basically four types of religion: 1. Paganism 2. Moralism 3. Spirituality 4. Improvement.The first teaches, "Make sa … [Read More...]

Where Did Judas and Jesus Go?

I remember a sweet story told by an Anglican bishop about Jesus' descent into Hell. The priest was catechizing the children and he said, "And where did Jesus go after he died?"A little boy thought long and hard and finally he put up his hand and said, "I think he went to the deepest, darkest c … [Read More...]

My Scene in The Passion of the Christ

If you are watching Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, did you know I am responsible for a scene in the movie?Well now, the tale goes like this:I was living in England and Mel Gibson had completed the rough cut of the movie but was worried that he would not be able to get any distributors … [Read More...]

National Catholic Reporter Praises Brutalist Architecture!

The tired and emotional progressives at National Catholic Reporter have published a piece which actually praises the brutalist "Catholic" suburban architecture of the seventies and eighties.This article quotes Michael deSanctis a theology professor and church building consultant from Gannon U … [Read More...]

Why the Vatican Sounds Increasingly Anglican

When I was a priest in the Church of England the authorities introduced a delightfully Anglican phrase, "two integrities". We were all supposed to embrace "two integrities". So when it came to the issue of women's ordination for example, we were supposed to "listen carefully and dialogue with those … [Read More...]