Brothers in Arms

The Rise of Conservative Cafeteria Catholicsism

When Benedict XVI and John Paul II were pope the conservative Catholics loved to throw around the phrase "cafeteria Catholic" as a term of derision.It's a name I used a fair bit to parody those Catholics who would pick and choose what bits of Catholicism they liked and rejected the bits they didn't like. The "cafeteria Catholic" was a liberal who picked peace and justice issues but was silent on abortion. The "cafeteria Catholic" picked up on the fellowship of the Lord's Supper but declined … [Read More...]

rembrandt head of christ

All That Really Matters is How Much You Love Jesus?

When I resigned from my position as an Anglican priest one of the ladies in the parish was very upset.She couldn't figure out the point of my decision."Surely!" she cried, "All that really matters is how much we love Jesus?"This is the response from many non-Catholics when faced with the doctrinal claims of the Catholic church.In some ways they are right. How much we love Jesus is the most important thing, but that's where the discussion begins, not where it ends.We have to a … [Read More...]

The Five Stages of Persecution

Seeing the rise of persecution against Christians in Iraq, the far East and Africa, Mgr Pope has a great archived article here on the five stages that precede outright persecution. Can it happen in the USA - land of religious freedom? Mgr Pope observes the five stages.I. Stereotyping the … [Read More...]

Playing the Blame Game

You know the old playground rebuke, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me."Well, that's a lie. Names do hurt you.Calling other people names is the first symptom of genuine hatred and the first step toward violence against that person.When I disagree with a … [Read More...]

FaithWorks! – 29

Go here for this week's FaithWorks! - My weekly newsletter on the practical practice of the Catholic faith.Over the summer I'm publishing a series on the Ten Commandments, resources for learning, reflections, comments and quotesIf you'd like to subscribe to FaithWorks! go here. … [Read More...]

Nice or Nasty?

Joseph Pearce analyzes what it means to be nice and what the word 'nice' means anyway.You don't want to be nasty, but do you want to be nice? Or is that setting the bar too low?A few days ago, whilst being driven around Tampa, I noticed a car bumper sticker telling me to “Just Be Nice.” For s … [Read More...]

Is Proselytism Solemn Nonsense?

Pope Francis has been criticized in some quarters because he has said, “Proselytism is solemn nonsense.” He has also told Evangelical Christians and an atheist interviewer that he “doesn’t want to convert them.”In a meeting last week in Caserto he explained to his priests that their job was not “ … [Read More...]

Richard Dawkins Gets Guts

Damian Thompson has a brilliant piece at The Spectator here in which he points out that noted atheist Richard Dawkins is now attacking feminists and Muslims. Well at least Dawkins has the guts to attack Muslims. Most atheistic secularists have this inexplicably love affair with Islam--calling people … [Read More...]

America: Spoiled Rotten

This week's article for the Imaginative Conservative reflects on the spoiling of America. We are so used to being treated like royalty that we get uppity and stroppy when we can't have our own way.Americans have been subtly conditioned to see themselves not primarily as patriots or serious … [Read More...]

Francis and the Evangelicals

 Here is my latest article for Aleteia which is a further reflection on Pope Francis' friendship with Charismatic Evangelicals. His reach to this extreme group brought to mind this quote from C.S.Lewis who said, when he was asked about church re-union: “It seems to me that the ‘ … [Read More...]

Fr Longenecker’s Conversion Story

I'm really supposed to be on vacation and not blogging, but knowing how the blog is a hungry beast, I thought I would point out to readers that there is a good bit of archived material to be read using the tab "Archived Articles" at the top of the blog home page. These are articles that were written … [Read More...]

Pope Francis and the Evangelicals

Sandro Magister reports here on Pope Francis' outreach to Evangelical Christians.Francis clearly understands that there are real points of contact with Evangelical Christians and Catholics and what interests me in his ecumenical outreach is how he builds relationships with individuals who are … [Read More...]

Ten Things to Remember if You Hate Ecumenism

When I was training to be an Anglican minister I remember going to my first "Ecumenical Evensong". It was in a village church in England in February. The weather wasn't the only thing damp and cold. The Methodists sat on one side of the church and the Anglicans on the other. For the most part the … [Read More...]

America Locking Up Americans

Did you know that the USA has the highest per capita rate of incarceration of any country in the world? Wee have far more people in prison per capita than any other country.I often hear paranoid talk about America locking up Americans. It is already happening on a massive scale. Many of the … [Read More...]

Obama’s Second Term: A Triumph of Hope Over Experience

Matt Lewis at the Daily Telegraph says President Obama is not paying available because he's on a course….a golf course.He rightly observes that presidential golf comes across as aloof and elitist. Who plays golf? The country club set.This article outlines the international and domestic cr … [Read More...]

FaithWorks! – 28

My weekly newsletter started up again  this summer with a series on the ten commandments.Sorry I have forgotten to post the links here for blog readers.We are up to the fourth commandment, and here is the link to the new, shorter and more concise FaithWorks!If you want to subscribe go … [Read More...]