Fullness of Truth Conference

Eating Mexican w Jesse Romero

I’ll be blogging from San Antonio in the great republic of Texas for the next few days. It was great to be met at the airport and to find Jesse Romero grinning from the car, “Hey! Father Longenecker! Thanks for your writing. We use your stuff all the time!” Stopped for a taco with Jesse [Read More...]

Pope Francis Called the Foley Family

This article in the Daily Telegraph suggests James Foley may have volunteered for execution to spare others. James Foley may have volunteered to be murdered to spare the lives of fellow hostages, his family said, as it emerged that his kidnappers had emailed them last week to say they were about to “execute” him. Mr [Read More...]

On Traveling in Clericals and Ecumenical Movement


I am on my way to San Antonio to speak at the Fullness of Truth conference, and as usual I am traveling in clericals. I usually do so when traveling to a speaking engagement because it makes me behave myself… Seriously, I like traveling in clericals because it is a silent form of witness. “Look! [Read More...]

Mary Queen of Heaven: A Quick Apologetic

Coronation of Mary by Velasquez

Nothing is more of a hot button issue in discussions with our separated brethren than Mary. Kimberly Hahn said in her journey to the Catholic Church there are three problems: Mary. Mary and Mary. So how do we dialogue with non Catholic Christians about today’s feast: the Queenship of Mary? NCC (non Catholic Christian) – [Read More...]

ISIS in America

ISIS banner appears in Ferguson MO

We should not ignore this chilling warning from the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul: The Italian journal, Corriere della Sera, published August 9 the statement of the exiled Chaldean Archeparch of Mosul, Amel Nona. The statement is brief and exceedingly powerful. “Our sufferings are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer [Read More...]

The Psychology of Savagery

How can the brutal armies of ISIS perpetrate such crimes? This fascinating article explains the psychology of savagery. War bonds people together in their groups and this bonding assuages some of the terrific fear and distress the individual feels when the state breaks down. It also offers self-esteem to people who feel humiliated by their [Read More...]

Who Will Stop ISIS?

Vladimir Putin

The brutal beheading of photojournalist James Foley by the terrorists of ISIS is reported here in London’s Daily Telegraph and across the world media tonight. The demon possessed murderers of ISIS will continue their barbaric onslaught and expand their reach until someone eventually decides to stop the horror. I have written here of the underlying [Read More...]

Old Monk on Madness


The time is coming when men will go mad, a time when if they will see someone who is not mad they will attack him saying, “You are mad because you are not like us!” [Read more...]

FaithWorks! 31

Here is the link to this week’s issue of my weekly newsletter on the practical practice of the Catholic faith. A series on the Ten Commandments is featured this summer. Along with the feature article there is Catholic art, some links to good resources, prayer pointers and ideas for putting your faith into practice. Go [Read More...]

Will This Be A Short Papacy?

Vatican Pope

On the plane back from Korea Pope Francis spoke of his struggles to keep up with the pace of the papacy and suggested that he may only be in office for another two or three years. The Daily Telegraph reporting here: When asked how he was coping with his huge popularity, the Pontiff replied: “I [Read More...]

Cardinal Newman’s Prayer

Bl. John Henry Newman

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes… I have a part [Read More...]

The Pope on the Plane


To get a feel for the genuine open-ness, warmth and humanity of Pope Francis take time to read the transcript of his interview on the plane back from Korea. I liked this question and answer about China. It shows Pope Francis’ enthusiasm and zeal for evangelization My question is about China. China allowed you to [Read More...]

The Appeal of the Country Parson

Brading Church, Isle of Wight

  This week’s article for The Imaginative Conservative recounts my discovery of the great tradition of country priests: George Herbert, Parson Woodeforde, Francis Kilvert: Kilvert’s three volume diary is a beautiful, touching and personal portrait of life in the English countryside in Victorian times. Writing in a poetic and high romantic style, Kilvert offers intimate [Read More...]

Angels, Anointing and Peace at the Last

Extreme Unction

Twice in the last three days I have had the privilege of attending the death bed of an old woman. In both cases the dear souls were surrounded by loved ones, and in both cases they were struggling in the final stages of their lives. Mostly  unconscious, they were moaning and their facial expressions indicated [Read More...]

Scapegoating and Social Violence

Violence in Ferguson, MO

The violence in Ferguson shakes up a whole nation and we immediately look for people to blame. That’s the problem. The mark of Cain in the human condition is that we always, instinctively look for someone to blame: someone else. Anyone else. If there is a problem on an individual level or community level we [Read More...]

Some Catholics and the Canaanite Woman

Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

The Pharisees considered themselves to the be the chosen people. They were clean.  The Gentiles were filthy. They were the children of God. The Gentiles were dogs. Curs. Scum dogs and slum dogs.The Pharisees were the elect. They were inside. If you were not in you were out. If you were a Gentile you were definitely out. [Read More...]

10 Things to Remember About the Assumption of Mary


During the twenty years it took me to convert from a Bob Jones University student to a Catholic I considered many of the Marian dogmas to be pious opinions. It was okay for Catholics to believe them, but why did they have to go and make them dogmas and therefore make it more difficult for [Read More...]

Witness in Words and Works…Or Else!

The Parable of the Good Shepherd Separating the Sheep from the Goats

Oh how people love that quote attributed to St Francis: “Preach the word at all times. Use words if necessary.” It has become one of those religious bromides alongside “To travel well is better than to arrive.” While the little quote is certainly true, and a cleverer way of saying “Actions speak louder than words” [Read More...]

Robin Williams, C.S.Lewis and the Demons That Drove Him


Could you not like Robin Williams? He’s one comedian and actor who always let you know he was on the edge, that there was a dark sadness beneath the zaniness. In this memoir British comedian Alexi Sayle recounted how Williams had the ability to switch from comedy to pathos in a moment: On top of [Read More...]

Bye Bye Combox


The comments section of this blog has been closed down. Here’s why: I tried having a combox that was completely open, but too many crazies and aggressive types gained entry. Moderation was needed. However, my readership is snowballing. This also means more comments which takes more time for me to moderate. My readership is changing. [Read More...]

Understanding Iraq

  Today’s post for Aleteia explains the situation for Christians in Iraq–outlining who the different groups are and explaining a bit of their history. In 2003. Christians in Iraq numbered about 1,500,000 and represented just over five percent of the population. Their percentage had fallen since 1987 when they were 1.4 million, or eight percent [Read More...]

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...]