Bad Queen Bess


This week’s article for the Imaginative Conservative explains the true character of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Was she “Good Queen Bess” the “Virgin Queen” or something much more vile? Confronted by these threats, Elizabeth’s men set up a harsh plan of counter-terrorism. If the pope and the Catholic monarchs were her enemies, then so [Read More...]

The Stars and Stripes of Freedom and Responsibility

The Stars and Stripes

When the children were at that delicate cusp between eighth grade and high school we had a conversation about freedom. There wasn’t anything particularly new or innovative about my ideas. In fact what I told them was as old as grandpa. I explained that as they entered high school and then college they would be [Read More...]

Twelve Things to Remember if the SCOTUS Decision Upsets You

supreme court

The Supreme Court decision allowing gay “marriage” in the United States has upset all right minded Christians, and rightly so. It is pretty clear that the Supreme Court has rubber stamped a widespread rejection of Christian morality by a large segment of the American people. Not only has the Supreme Court ratified same sex “marriage” [Read More...]

Pope’s Message of Liberation

pope francis 1

When people suspect Pope Francis of being a “liberation theologian” they have a point. However, he is not a liberation theologian in the classical Marxist sense. Instead, he quite rightly understands that liberation is part of the gospel message. At the opening of him ministry Jesus quoted from Isaiah that he had come to “set [Read More...]

Why the Episcopalians Voted for Gay Marriage

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

Christians who are unfamiliar with the Anglican worldview will likely be scratching their head over the vote yesterday by the Episcopal Church’s general convention to formally permit homosexual “marriage” to take place. “How could such a thing happen in a Christian church?” you might ask. The Episcopal Church of the USA is, of course, the American [Read More...]

We Are Ruled by the Unelected Elite


Thomas D. Williams reports here on Justice Scalia’s sharp observations about the recent Supreme Court decision. Scalia wonders how “nine lawyers” can presume to make such historic decisions not only for the United States, but for humanity. Scalia noted that “the Federal Judiciary is hardly a cross-section of America.” “Take, for example, this Court,” he [Read More...]

Episcopalians Vote to Allow Gay Weddings

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson with a friend

The AP reports here from the Episcopal Church’s General Convention  that the Episcopal Church of the USA is now formally permitting same sex weddings.  Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church’s embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the pioneering election of the [Read More...]

We’re Catholics. Everything’s Connected.

One Church. One Faith. One Baptism.

I heard about this Methodist minister who  had decided to make his church more liturgical so on Ash Wednesday he got some ashes from the fireplace and added some water and smeared the mess on the heads of his people. Thinking he could do better he trotted off to the Catholic priest and asked, “Where [Read More...]

Satan Hates Marriage

True Marriage is Eden Restored

A priestly correspondent has reminded me of the diabolical dimension to the present destruction of marriage and family in our society. The reason Satan hates marriage is because in the ideal of marriage man and woman are restored to harmony and pro creative union. When the marriage is Christian he hates it even more. When the [Read More...]

The (Roman) Empire Strikes Back

Julius Caesar

After my most recent visit to Rome I’ve been reading more about the history of Rome, and the parallels with twenty first America are fascinating. Many people know about the fall of the Roman Empire and follow the usual narrative that Rome collapsed from within because of moral decadence. Of course, the story is more [Read More...]

The Swamp of Subjective Sentimentality


A friend commented about the same sex controversy saying that he has family members who are gay and they are furious with the Catholic church saying, “Who are they to define marriage?” In discussing the problem we observed that most Americans are now so enswamped by subjective sentimentalism that they cannot conceive of someone having [Read More...]

The Marriage Mess and the Room of Tears

Fr Barron writes brilliantly here on the threats posed to Christians in America today. He recognizes that, despite the reassuring words of Justice Kennedy that religious objections will be respected and recognized, that there is no logic to that position: Since same-sex marriage is now recognized as a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Constitution, those [Read More...]

The Rainbow Flag or the Confederate Flag?


Reactions to two flags in America sum up the nation’s mood. The Rainbow Flag has come to stand for the gay liberation movement. It has triumphed at the Supreme Court on Friday, and almost like the timing was planned,  the weekend saw Gay Pride parades across the world in which the rainbow flag was omnipresent. [Read More...]

Going for Baroque

Not a felt banner in sight

  My article for Imaginative Conservative website this week is a critique and grudging admiration for the baroque style of church architecture. Am I the only one to be so unenthusiastic about the baroque period? Do others share my distaste for the plaster pilasters, the too clever painted ceilings and the faux architectural tricks or [Read More...]

Welcome to the Marriage Mess

marriage breakup

So many are lamenting the immorality of the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday, but I can’t help seeing the idiocy of it. This is not only a grossly immoral decision but it is silly, short sighted and stupid. Think about it for just a moment. The effect of this ruling is that anybody can marry anybody. [Read More...]

What Happened to Me at Medjugorje


The news is breaking that the Vatican has given a negative ruling about the alleged supernatural events at Medjugorje. Of course before making any full comment we’ll want to read what the CDF has to say, but on this occasion I thought it might be of interest if people heard my Medjugorje story: I was [Read More...]

Why Did God Destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?


One of those interesting details has surfaced which reminds you that everything is connected. It is now predicted that the Supreme Court will give its ruling on same sex marriage on June 30. The Mass readings for that day are Genesis 19.15-29 – the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We should be clear. The destruction [Read More...]

Why Laudato Si is Brilliant Evangelization


This week’s article for Aleteia explains why the Pope’s encyclical should be regarded as a milestone in Catholic evangelization. The pope realizes that many outside the church and outside Christianity cannot hear the simple message of Christ because of the distractions of religious language, historical prejudice, cultural baggage and anti religious propaganda. So he takes [Read More...]

Can You Disagree with the Pope?

francis preaching

My latest article for CRUX rounds up opinions about the Pope’s encyclical. Some say –”Meh. Disregard it.” Others say, “It is almost infallible! Everyone must submit!” My own attitude to Laudato Si’ is one of critical enthusiasm. I think the pope could have used a good editor. The encyclical is verbose and often vague. I share William [Read More...]

Pope Francis Should Back Birth Control?


I can’t resist G.K.Chesterton’s quip: “Birth control? No birth. No control” Writing here at the National Catholic Reporter, Jamie Manson argues that Pope Francis should have lifted the birth control ban in his recent encyclical. Manson uses the usual over population scare tactics that we’ve seen in the famous 1968 shock horror “non fiction” work The [Read More...]

Send a Monk to Norcia

Birthplace of St Benedict

Beneath the monastic church in Norcia is the crypt which marks the site of the birthplace of St Benedict and Scholastica. Justin Leedy is the aspirant monk who would like to join the young community who are resurrecting Benedictine life at the birthplace of St Benedict in Norcia, Italy. During my visit to Italy I [Read More...]

How to Be a Happy Conservative


Too often conservatives are portrayed as miserable curmudgeons, parsimonious prudes and paranoid puritans. My latest article for Intercollegiate Review explains how a conservative worldview can make you happy. Being conservative helps us attain all four levels of happiness. A basic conservative principle is self-reliance. At the animal level, happiness is enhanced if the person earns his [Read More...]