Church of Nice or Church of Nasty?

Maybe we should change terminology and talk about a church that is Tough and Tender. Read more

God in the Details

The Catholic Church will sometimes seem to you to be full of human failure, incompetence, futility, fighting and frailty. But there is great treasure hidden in that muddy field. Read more

When is Apostolic Succession Valid?

Apostolic succession is more than the paperwork. 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 say that nothing has happened, that everything is ‘invalid’,” Deacon Greg says that the Cardinal is “one of the Vatican’s top legal minds.” If this is the top what’s the bottom?… 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 celebrate with prayers and devotions Our Lady of Fatima. The details for the indulgence can be found here. One of the conditions is a… 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 has a pretty good record for encouraging good stewardship of the earth’s resources–but taking the lead from the secular environmental movement. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down on… 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 gimmick, a new movement or a new method, resource or course every few years. Each one is going to bring renewal to the… 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 that we, as Catholics, should be celebrating? What is distinctive about Lutheran theology, may we ask, that is something Catholics need to learn? I am not an expert in Lutheranism, but I… 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 knocked fideism and rationalism on the head with his brilliant encyclical Fides et Ratio. Nevertheless, the kind of popular fideism we see today is linked with a sort of dreamy… 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 debt. Wil Berhnard is one of them. Wil is soon to graduate from Aquinas College in Nashville and has been accepted as a postulant for the Eastern… Read more