Ten Things to Remember About Married Catholic Priests

Pope Francis has said that he may consider the ordination of some married men. There is lots of room for confusion here. So here are ten things to remember about this matter: Celibacy for priests is a discipline not a doctrine – The Pope can’t change doctrine. He can change discipline. A discipline is something [Read More…]

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Are Married Priests the Magic Bullet?

People have asked my opinion about Pope Francis’ suggestion that maybe ordaining older married men would help. Really. I’ve written about the topic of married priests so much already. Go here and here and here and here and here and here and there’s more. Just search my blog for “married priests.” If you want to know what I think. Click away! [Read more…]

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Is Eternity Forever?

Someone wondered the other day why hell had to last for all eternity. Wasn’t that extra cruel of God? Why couldn’t the damned simply be eliminated, crushed, annihilated? Another person commented that he didn’t think heaven was such an attractive idea because he thought he would probably get bored. Hmmm. One first has to deal [Read More…]

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Slubgrip on Individualism

My Lent book, Slubgrip Instructs is laid out with one reading per day from Shrove Tuesday through Easter Monday. In it the demon Slubgrip is teaching Popular Culture 101 (known in the slang of Bowelbages University as Pop Cult 101) For a taster, here is today’s reading, in which Slubrip lectures his unruly class on Individualism. Chamber [Read More…]

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Catholic Schools and Dante’s Deep Divide

C.S.Lewis’ friend Dorothy Sayers was one of the great translators of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Her version includes excellent notes and a memorable map of hell. Sayers’ map of the nine circles of hell makes visual one of the most important teaching points of Dante’s great vision. Dante categorizes the sins with an inexorable logic. The sins of lust, [Read More…]

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Jiminy Cricket Theology

The other day I had a conversation with an intelligent, well educated young woman who was questioning the Catholic Church’s moral teaching. She said about the church’s teaching on same sex attraction, “But I don’t know if I really accept that.” Now, I don’t really object to a person who rejects the teaching of the [Read More…]

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Puppies, Kittens and the Circles of Sin

It occurred to me that one of the reasons so few Catholics go to confession is that they don’t really think they have done anything wrong. Then when they do come to confession many of them make very poor confessions and the first thing they say is, “I’m not really sure why I’ve come to [Read More…]

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A Schism in the Catholic Church?

Headlines last week were proclaiming that a group of cardinals believe Pope Francis should step down to avoid a catastrophic schism in the Catholic Church. Schism? What schism? In fact, the modern Catholic Church is already in schism, but it is an internal schism, hidden to most people. The divide is very clear and yet [Read More…]

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The Struggles of Our Parish School

The National Catholic Register reports on President Trump’s visit to a Catholic school here along with his Education Secretary, Betsy deVos. Let me share what it is like being the pastor of a small parochial school in Greenville, South Carolina. Our parish is just 500 families. That is small for a Catholic parish. We have a [Read More…]

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The Power of Simple Authenticity

Why am I a Christian today? Why am I a Catholic today? It is because of the witness of authenticity. Put very simply–I am a Christian today because of the lived witness of my parents and I am a Catholic today because of the lived witness of two remarkable women–a mother and daughter. I am [Read More…]

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Go to Hell!

OK. I admit it. The headline was an attention grabber. But during Lent a good read is Dante’s Inferno. My favorite translation used to be Dorothy Sayers, but I’ve been converted. I am really enjoying Tony Esolen’s translation. You can find it here. I’m sorry I first bought Esolen’s books in paperback. They are already coming apart. [Read More…]

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Dante’s Inferno and Moral Judgements

People seem so confused about morality. Especially sexual morality. I’m reading Dante’s Divine Comedy as Lenten reading and when he encounters Francesca and Paolo in the second circle of hell where the lustful are swept around by endless whirlwinds–because they were swept away by the whirlwind of lust. Tony Esolen notes that it would have been easy [Read More…]

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What Does it Mean the Church is “Apostolic”?

One of the lines I love most about the first Eucharistic Prayer is the prayer for the Catholic Church and all bishops who ‘preach the Catholic faith that comes to us from the Apostles.’ In the creed we profess “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic” Church, and in my discussions with non-Catholic Christians from Reformation communities, [Read More…]

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Top Jesuit Being Jesuitical

The term “Jesuitical” was rooted in the Jesuits’ reputation during times of persecution for prevarication. They became experts in saying one thing and meaning another. It seems their reputation for intentional ambiguity, “nuanced” language and communication that resembles a smoke and mirrors conjuring act is stronger than ever. I’m not a fan of LifeSite News, [Read More…]

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Conservative Anglicans are like ISIS??

A reader has alerted me to a statement by a British MP in which he equates conservative Anglicans to the Muslim terror group ISIS. In this article Tory politician Michael Fabricant thinks the Anglican church should get with the times. The longer the Anglican Communion shies away from modern liberal values, the greater the chance that [Read More…]

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Romancing the Religion

OK. Here’s another book suggestion for Lent. My book The Romance of Religion picks up on the idea that religion is a great adventure. It is not pious or puritanical or pusillanimous or pussyfooting around. It is the stuff of all the great romances, the great adventure stories. It is full of great risks and great [Read More…]

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Critiquing the Trump Cult

During the election cycle I was pretty outspoken in my dislike of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Since Trump’s election I’ve commented in (I hope) a balanced way here and here. One of the most disturbing things about Trump’s presidency is not Trump himself, but the seeming inability we have to treat the situation [Read More…]

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Fifty Days With the Devil

Gargoyle Code tracks the emails between a senior tempter and his juniors, but the idea is updated and applied to Catholics. The letters also go from Shrove Tuesday to Easter Day so it makes a great Lent Book. Slubgrip Instructs is the sequel. The demon Slubgrip has been demoted to teach Popular Culture 101 in Bowelbages University. [Read More…]

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Chasing the Creed

St Benedict says you should read a good book for Lent, and I agree. Therefore in these days  which run up to Lent I’ll be reminding you of some of my books which are available The Quest for the Creed is twenty short chapters on the Apostle’s Creed. It is written in an upside down Chestertonian [Read More…]

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Ten Positive Pro Life Actions the Government Could Take

Pro life warriors are right to continue to campaign for the repeal of the disastrous Roe v Wade decision. I don’t think the government should try to solve all our problems, and the local community is the first place to get things sorted out, but there are some actions the government–at both the state and [Read More…]

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Pope Francis and Fozzy Bear

This article explains how Pope Francis, in a recent meeting with religious superiors expressed his dismay at the growth of vocations among “restorationist” religious orders. He’s worried that they are too “rigid”. “The decline of religious life in the West worries me,” Pope Francis said in an exchange with superiors of men’s religious orders. Nevertheless the [Read More…]

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Why Do Priests Wear Fancy Robes?

My latest blog post for National Catholic Register poses the question from a Protestant, “Why do you Catholic priests wear those fancy robes? Go here to read the answer. Image Wikkimedia [Read more…]

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