Notes on Tony Palmer’s Funeral

Tony Palmer

It seems that there are some Catholics who are upset that the Pope’s friend Bishop Tony Palmer was given a Catholic Requiem. Go here and here. They shouldn’t be. We can pray for the repose of the soul of anyone, and a requiem Mass is simply the prayer of the church for the repose of [Read More...]

Good Non-Catholic Christians – Is There Salvation Outside the Church?


The sudden death of Tony Palmer–the friend of Pope Francis–has raised the question whether he could be saved even though he never converted to the Catholic faith. Some Catholics would shake their head sadly and quote the famous phrase, Extra Ecclesiam nulls salus- Outside the Church, No Salvation. Does this mean that everyone who is not a [Read More...]

The Demon Wolves of ISIS: Ancient Assyria Reborn


Lord Byron’s poem The Destruction of Sennacherib begins with the line, “The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold.” My friend Paul Thigpen makes the link between the warlords of the Islamic State (IS) and their historic predecessors, the warlike Assyrians. Two ancient civilizations jockeyed for power in what is now the nation of [Read More...]

Tolkien-Lewis Movie in the Works


They’re making movie about the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis. Go here. This page gets silly about who should play the two writers Ideas to the combox on who should play the lead roles… My casting: Tolkien – Ian Holm Lewis – John Rhys Davies [Read more...]

Tony Palmer: The Case for Conversion

Bridge Across the Tiber

Before you make any comments on this post please read the whole thing…both pages. Thanks. Fr DL Can you disagree with the Pope? Sure. Last week I posted about some traditionalist Catholics who do nothing but correct the Pope. These extremists correct Pope Francis, Pope Benedict, Pope St John Paul II, Pope Paul VI and Pope St [Read More...]

The Silence of Peaceful Muslims

Saudi Royal family

While Muslim extremists fire missiles at Israel, persecute and expel Christians and Yazidis from the ancient homes, slaughter their opponents in Syria and Iraq, slaughter Christians in Nigeria, kidnap schoolgirls, torch Christian churches, sentence to death and imprison a pregnant American citizen, persecute Coptic Christians in Egypt, oppress women and wage barbarian terror wherever they [Read More...]

The Inseparable Four Marks


I get an increasing number of requests to assist Protestants who are interested in the Catholic Church. One came in today in which a Presbyterian has come to believe in the Apostolic Succession but wonders if that necessarily means he must become Catholic. In the creed we profess the four marks of the Church: that [Read More...]

Gambling and False Gods


David Frum reports here on the downward spiral that casinos create for troubled local economies. Outside of Las Vegas—now home to only 20 percent of the nation’s casino industry—casino gambling has evolved into a downscale business. Affluent and educated people visit casinos less often than poorer people do for the same reasons that they smoke [Read More...]

FaithWorks! 30


FaithWorks! my weekly newsletter on the practical practice of the Catholic faith continues this week with a series on the ten commandments go here for the link to the newsletter and go here to subscribe and receive it each week by email. [Read more...]

Traditionalists Reject Divine Mercy


I have known for some time that some traditionalists reject the Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, but I didn’t realize that some of them also reject the Divine Mercy devotion. Their reasons for rejecting the Divine Mercy devotion are laid out in this long article by Msgr. Patrick Perez, and it is posted on [Read More...]

A Flyte of Fancy


Here is my article for The Catholic Thing for this month. It is a few thoughts on the symbolism in Evelyn Waugh’s masterpiece, Brideshead Re-Visited…and here is a piece on Brideshead for The Imaginative Conservative. A friend once observed that Brideshead could stand for the Catholic Church – the  “bride” of Christ who is the “head” of [Read More...]

Avert Your Eyes…from that Cell Phone


Remember that old gospel song, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face…” That’s a good reason to look away from the screen for once. Pope Francis has warned of wasting too much time with our cell phones, laptops, TVs and tablets. Read my article for Aleteia on the subject here. What [Read More...]

Denim, Demons and Denominations

Bishops of the Charismatic Episcopal Church

More than once I have made a Freudian slip of the fingers when typing and written “demonination” instead of “denomination”, and with more and more hip hop pastors wearing jeans and T-shirts maybe I should write “deniminations”…or maybe just get over it all and call them all “abomination” Catholics apologists are fond of throwing out [Read More...]

The Murderous Face of Islam

Over here at American Catholic Donald McCleary has problems with Islam. I sympathize. He quotes Pope Francis on the need for dialogue with Islam: In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so [Read More...]

Genocide in Iraq


Elizabeth Scalia writes from the heart here about the increasing terror in Iraq. Let’s be blunt: the so-called “Islamic State” is slaughtering people in huge numbers, in a most savagely inhuman fashion and with apparent impunity. The West continues to be all-but silent. The United States, no longer a voice for human rights, except as [Read More...]

Pittenger and Lewis


  This week’s article for The Imaginative Conservative recounts a meeting I had while chaplain at Kings College, Cambridge with the theologian Norman Pittenger. One afternoon I was sitting in my room reading an essay by C.S. Lewis called “A Rejoinder to Dr Pittenger”. Norman Pittenger was an Anglican theologian famous for being a proponent [Read More...]

American Christianity: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism?

The "Perfect" Church

Some time ago I read a blog post identifying the degradation of American Christianity into what was termed Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. It’s given me much pause for thought and the analysis seems to me to be spot on. Today’s post is a further speculation on this analysis with a long contribution from a regular reader [Read More...]

Guardians of the Galaxy – Too Much of a Good Thing?


My fifteen year old son is the one who encourages me to see superhero and science fiction films. Really. So today on my day off we tootled off together to munch popcorn and enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy. Think Star Wars meets The Avengers. It was corny, but the corn popped. In other words it [Read More...]

Maleficent not Magnificent


I’ve started contributing to American Catholic website and blog. Go here to read my review of Disney’s Maleficent  Not only is the feminist reading of the film clear but the lesbian sub text is also not too subtle. Sleeping Beauty does wake up to the kiss of true love, but it’s not Prince Charming, but Maleficent who learns to [Read More...]

The Ebola Virus – Apocaplypse Now?

The Danse Macabre

The outbreak of the deadly  Ebola virus in West Africa summons up fear of an apocalyptic style plague.  For the first time the virus is showing up in urban areas where isolation and identification is much more difficult. The virus, for which there is no cure, has a mortality rate of about 50%-90%. CBS reports that [Read More...]

Did I Experience a Miraculous Multiplication of Food?


When I was a young Anglican minister I lived in an apartment with my younger brother. I complained to him one day that when I was a theology student I lived by faith. I really had no money and was living from hand to mouth with the little I could earn while I studied. Now [Read More...]

Let Me Out of My Cage!


One of the joys of being a Catholic is that we should be able to open up to the strength of many different Christian traditions. When somebody leaves the Catholic church looking for some other spiritual good we have failed them because all the good things in all the other religions and all the other [Read More...]