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 out on “Islamaphobia” while overlooking or indulging in [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 citizens, but as customers, and if [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 ‘extreme’ elements in every Church are nearest [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 [Read More...]

Pope Francis and the Evangelicals

Pope Francis in fellowship with Evangelical Pastor James Robinson

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 not necessarily “big players” in the Protestant world. He has diplomatic meetings [Read More...]

Ten Things to Remember if You Hate Ecumenism

Passionplay Oberammergau 2010 - Premiere

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 [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 prisoners [Read More...]

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

U.S. President Obama reacts after missing putt on the first green at golf course on Martha's Vineyard

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 crises that have blown up over the last few weeks [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 here. If [Read More...]

Pope Says to Anglicans “Come on Over!”


Pope Francis has waved a welcome to Anglicans who are still shivering on the banks of the Tiber . They don’t even have to swim the Tiber anymore. They can walk across the bridge called “Ordinariate” In the wake of the Church of England’s decision to ordain women bishops the Ordinariate of Our Lady of [Read More...]

Why is Pope Francis’ Visit to Philly Important?

This report says that while the Vatican has yet to confirm the date, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia has indicated that Pope Francis will visit the city for next September’s World Meeting of Families. If the pope is planning to visit the City of Brotherly Love next fall what’s the big deal? Kathy Schiffer reports here that the [Read More...]

For St James Day – The Botofumeiro

For the Feast Day of St James, here is a video of the famous botofumeiro at the Cathedral of St James Compostella. For those who are not in the know, this is a thurible–incense container that is about four foot high. They put the incense in with shovels and then they swing the thing from [Read More...]

Demonic Infection and Victory Over Sin


Is there a demonic element to seemingly ordinary human problems? Sometimes. While full blown demonic possession is rare, it is much more common for souls to be troubled by what might be called “demonic infection”. In counseling people spiritually I have come to believe that there is a state of demonic influence in our lives which [Read More...]

Meriam Ibrahim and the Obamas

Here is a strange situation. Michelle Obama and her husband have championed the rights of the poor, taken the side of African Americans and profess to be Christians, but on the case of Meriam Ibrahim they have been silent. What gives? My article for Aleteia on Meriam as an icon of Christian suffering is here. [Read More...]

Joseph Pearce on the Muslim Threat


Englishman Joseph Pearce writes here about the threat of militant Islam in Europe. There is a demographic catastrophe happening in Europe which nobody wants to talk about,” he continued, “that we daren’t bring up because we are so cagey about not offending people racially. And rightly we should be. But there is a cultural thing [Read More...]

Thundering Through With St James


Here is my latest article for Catholic Exchange. It’s unlocks an interesting detail about St James and the dating of the New Testament. Bible scholars piece together details of evidence to build up a full picture of the New Testament authorship and dates. Their work is like that of a detective—picking up a hint here and [Read More...]

I’m Outta Here


My vacation happens to coincide with a Patheos update so while the techies are doing their thing for the next few days I’m outta here. I’ll be in the mountains enjoying the scenery and relaxing on the porch. I’ll not be blogging or moderating comments. See you on Saturday. [Read more...]

Coming Up: An Ecumenism of Blood


Pope Francis has appointed Enzo Bianchi the prior of the new ecumenical monastic community of Bose in Italy to join the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. For those who are unfamiliar, the community of Bose is one of the new ecclesial movements in the church. Like the community at Taize, it is composed of both [Read More...]

Brideshead Re-Visited Re-Visited

Charles Ryder

On vacation I had indulged myself and watched the entire Granada TV version of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Re-Visited.  What a lush show! It really is the most splendid and faithful literary film adaption ever made. With perfect casting, a top notch book – film script adaptation, beautiful and authentic scenery and excellent acting, it is absorbing [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 [Read More...]

Explaining Transubstantiation


I’m often surprised at the number of good, faithful Catholics who are well informed about their faith, who do not understand the doctrine of transubstantiation. In my experience they fall into two categories. The first do not believe the Eucharist is anything more than a symbol. The second believe the bread and wine become the [Read More...]

The Curse of Adolescent Progressivism


I was reminded this week of one of Pope Francis’ most memorable homilies from  last November in which he warned of “adolescent progressivism. There is a good report on the homily here. ” In the long run that phrase will become one of his memorable “one liners” which holds hands with Benedict XVI’s warning about [Read More...]