Poverty and the Pope

franciswithpoor

My article for Aleteia today analyzes the Catholic understanding of poverty. Pope Francis speaks so much about poverty and wealth that you might assume that the Catholic Church thinks wealth is intrinsically evil and poverty intrinsically good. This is to misunderstand what is a subtle and profound understanding of the relationship between the spiritual and [Read More...]

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Nitpicking the Pope

ono

Reading through the commentary in the press and on social media it amazes me how snarky and nitpicking people are about Pope Francis’ visit. I think it was pretty much universally appreciated that he skipped lunch with Pelosi, Biden, Boehner and the other nitwits on Capitol Hill in favor of visiting with the homeless, but [Read More...]

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A Papal Quibble

confused

I admit. I’m somewhat confused. I’m generally enthusiastic about Pope Francis, but I do wonder why does he keep going on and on to his bishops and clergy about the need to be kind and gentle and merciful? In Cuba he told the priests not to be harsh and judgmental in the confessional. To the [Read More...]

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Links to White House Ceremony Welcoming Pope Francis

zuchetto

A beautiful September morning for Pope Francis to visit Washington. Kudos to Pope Francis for speaking in English at the White House You can read his speech here. It’s good, but I wish he had woven in a mention of defending the unborn and the persecuted Christians around the world when speaking about our responsibility [Read More...]

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From Pope Francis: Five Zingers for Left and Right Wingers

halo

With Pope Francis coming to America I can’t believe how polarized Conservatives and Liberals are. Why can’t people be smart enough to realize that both sides want the best and affirm some things that are good and true, and both sides have blind spots where they think they’re right, but they’re actually off beam. The [Read More...]

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Women’s Ordination Conference in Philly Ends

Women Priests?

Deacon Kandra features a video of the closing liturgy of the women’s ordination conference that just concluded in Philadelphia. Go here if you would like a glimpse of their liturgical style. I should warn those who are enthusiastic about the extraordinary form of the Mass that they will probably be disappointed. While Acts of the Apostasy [Read More...]

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What Would A Truly Catholic Political Party Look Like?

elephant-donkey-boxing

If you’re like me you look at the Republicans and the Democrats and wish they both would go away. They seem to quarrel with one another constantly and yet their actual behaviors are much the same: corrupt, venal, lying, self serving, ambitious and doing everything they can to support the big boys who back them. [Read More...]

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Why a Pope Is Necessary

peter and keys

For Christianity to be both dogmatic and relevant it must have an infallible interpreter My latest blog post over at National Catholic Register discusses this idea briefly. Here’s the problem: if Christianity teaches unchanging truth how does it adapt to different cultures and different ages? If it does not adapt it ceases to be relevant. [Read More...]

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Breaking News: MSM Uses Correct Catholic Terminology

biretta

Catch a breath. The Mainstream media has reported here on Pope Francis in Cuba and the reporter has used the correct terminology! The headline actually says that the Pope “celebrated” Mass. Yes. You heard correctly. The reporter used the correct terms. He said the Pope “celebrated” Mass. They did not say that the pope “Did [Read More...]

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Woe to Pope Francis. Whoa!

thoughtful

Never forget that verse from the gospel, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you.” For the first two years of his papacy Pope Francis seemed therefore to bringing woe onto himself. Everyone was speaking well of him. This CNN article points out how things are changing. Pope Francis is getting schtick from [Read More...]

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Cuba and the USA: Two Anti Catholic Regimes

Pope Francis and Raul Castro

  My opinion article at the National Catholic Register reflects on the fact that the Pope is visiting a country where, for fifty years the regime has oppressed the Catholic Church. What is often overlooked is that America also has a sad history of anti-Catholics and that the spirit of anti-Catholicism is still strong. Pope [Read More...]

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Tattoos and Taboos

jesus tattoo

Are tattoos taboo? If so why? Maybe because they lead to vanity and marring the image of God in which we are created. My essay for Imaginative Conservative this week ponders the issue with reference to Flannery O’Connor’s story Parker’s Back. O.E. Parker is one of Flannery O’Connor’s crazy misfits. A tough dropout who was captivated [Read More...]

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Coming to America: What Will Pope Francis Discover?

zuchetto

My latest article for National Catholic Register ponders the sort of Catholic Church Pope Francis will find. I was born and raised in the U.S., but I was never an American Catholic. Brought up in an evangelical-Protestant, fundamentalist home, I went to England after college and became an Anglican priest. Eventually, we were received into [Read More...]

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Right Wing Left Wing or Catholic?

thoughtful

My article for Aleteia this week disses secular media’s obsession with viewing everything as a right wing-left wing conflict. They loved to portray Pope Benedict as a stern right wing arch conservative neo Nazi. Now they love to portray Pope Francis as a kind, loving and gentle socialist. Both are crazy wrong The simple fact [Read More...]

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Can Catholics Support Carly?

carly

Virtually all commentators have declared Carly Fiorina the winner of last night’s debate between Republican candidates. The lady is poised, articulate, passionate and well informed. Her high points were her fiery denunciation of Planned Parenthood in which she called out Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama–daring them to watch the videos published by the Center for [Read More...]

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Brother Augustine of Norcia (and South Carolina)

IMG_2414

My former student Philip Wilmeth is now Brother Augustine. He made his simple profession as a Benedictine monk with the newly re-established community at Norcia last week. The picture to the right shows me with Brother Augustine when we visited last June. He won the beard competition… The monks have started what is turning out [Read More...]

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Cults, Cliques and Common Sense

moon

One of the creepiest things about religion is the tendency for those involved to drift into cult-like behaviors. That doesn’t mean the devotees are all following the leader like zombie Moonies. Religious groups can drift into cult like behaviors without becoming full blown cults. How can you tell if a religious group is operating like [Read More...]

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Can There Be a Catholic Schism?

split

Some of my blog posts are going to start appearing over at the National Catholic Register website. You can follow them through links here. My first blog post for NCR is a comment on progressive theologian Daniel Maguire’s suggestion that the Catholic Church will split into three wings like Judaism–Reformed, Conservative and Orthodox. I agree [Read More...]

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How Protestants Are Destroying Christianity

open bible

Right up front I should say that there are plenty of terrific Protestant Christians. They love the Lord. They live their faith. They reach out to the needy. They engage in mission work. They give generously. They are joyful and radiate their Christian commitment more strongly than many Catholics. I don’t dispute the holiness and [Read More...]

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Selling Baby Parts: “This is Really A Good Idea”

The latest video from Center for Medical Progress is the clearest proof yet that Planned Parenthood are not only selling baby parts, but they are doing so intentionally and that they know it is illegal and they know it would be a public relations disaster if the news gets out. View the video and share [Read More...]

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Ten Reasons Why Abortion is Worse Than Murder

abortion

I had an interesting conversation with a non-Catholic Christian today who asked about the Pope’s recent extension of mercy to those who committee abortion. “Is this something new? Weren’t Catholics forgiven for abortion before?” I explained that Catholic were always able to be forgiven for abortion, but because of the extra seriousness of the crime, [Read More...]

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The Donald We Deserve

trump

It’s been said before: we get the leaders we deserve. Take a look at Donald Trump and take a look in the mirror. This is you America: Like Donald you are a strutting, bloated, obscenely rich egomaniac. Like Donald you are an immoral twice divorced, thrice married unrepentant lothario Like Donald your fake tan, fake [Read More...]

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