Church of Nice or Church of Nasty?

Maybe we should change terminology and talk about a church that is Tough and Tender. [Read more…]

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God in the Details

The Catholic Church will sometimes seem to you to be full of human failure, incompetence, futility, fighting and frailty. But there is great treasure hidden in that muddy field. [Read more…]

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When is Apostolic Succession Valid?

Apostolic succession is more than the paperwork. [Read more…]

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Cardinal Coccopalmerio on Anglican Orders

Deacon Kandra reports here that Cardinal Coccopalmerio has suggested that Anglican orders may not be “absolutely null and utterly void” as declared by Pope Leo XIII. In a recent book he writes, “When someone is ordained in the Anglican Church and becomes a parish priest in a community, we cannot say that nothing has happened, that [Read More…]

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Fatima and the Rosary

Did you know that the full title of Our Lady of Fatima is “Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima”? This is why at Our Lady of the Rosary Church we will be marking this year with special Masses and prayers. The Holy Father has granted the opportunity for  plenary indulgences for all those [Read More…]

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How to Be a Catholic Tree Hugger

The Holy Father Pope Francis exhorted us all to be better stewards of the earth’s resources, and that is not only good Catholicism. Its good common sense. However, has anybody else noticed how Catholics who are keen on Earth Day seem to be taking their cues not from our Catholic tradition–which has a pretty good [Read More…]

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Renewal, Roots and Rain

“Mine O Thou Lord of Life. Send my roots rain.” wrote G.M.Hopkins in a poignant sonnet that voiced his disappointment with life. It’s here and worth a read. It came to mind when I was pondering from where true renewal comes in the Church. I’m now in my sixties and I’ve seen a new idea, [Read More…]

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Reformation or Revolution?

As we approach the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation there are some voices in the Catholic Church calling us to celebrate this event. I certainly think it is possible, in an irenical spirit to commemorate the event, but what exactly is there in the Protestant Reformation that we, as Catholics, should be celebrating? [Read More…]

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Fideism R Us

There is a funny sort of fideism around which is a popular form of a philosophical error. Fideism holds that faith is superior to reason and special knowledge can be had by faith alone which is superior and maybe even contradictory to that knowledge arrived at by reason. Pope St John Paul II knocked fideism and [Read More…]

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Free Wil…from Debt

Did you know that college debt keeps a large number of men and women from pursuing their call to the priesthood and religious life? Most dioceses and religious orders expect their applicants to have a college degree, but that means the young men and women turn up with both a degree and college debt. Wil [Read More…]

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Is Easter the Religion of the Goddess Ishtar?

The weary old theory that Christianity is just paganism warmed up always circulates around this time of year. Armchair atheists like to point out the similarity between the word “Easter” and the Near Eastern goddess “Ishtar”. The problem is, the myth of Ishtar had nothing to do with resurrection from the dead. She was the [Read More…]

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Why Christianity is Unique

It is fashionable to think that all religions are pretty much the same. They teach people to be good and spiritual and make the world a better place right? Wrong. There are basically four types of religion: 1. Paganism 2. Moralism 3. Spirituality 4. Improvement. The first teaches, “Make sacrifices to the gods and goddesses and they will [Read More…]

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Where Did Judas and Jesus Go?

I remember a sweet story told by an Anglican bishop about Jesus’ descent into Hell. The priest was catechizing the children and he said, “And where did Jesus go after he died?” A little boy thought long and hard and finally he put up his hand and said, “I think he went to the deepest, darkest corner [Read More…]

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My Scene in The Passion of the Christ

If you are watching Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, did you know I am responsible for a scene in the movie? Well now, the tale goes like this: I was living in England and Mel Gibson had completed the rough cut of the movie but was worried that he would not be able to [Read More…]

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National Catholic Reporter Praises Brutalist Architecture!

The tired and emotional progressives at National Catholic Reporter have published a piece which actually praises the brutalist “Catholic” suburban architecture of the seventies and eighties. This article quotes Michael deSanctis a theology professor and church building consultant from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. DeSanctis says, Restoration-minded pastors, most who came of age well after Vatican II, [Read More…]

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Why the Vatican Sounds Increasingly Anglican

When I was a priest in the Church of England the authorities introduced a delightfully Anglican phrase, “two integrities”. We were all supposed to embrace “two integrities”. So when it came to the issue of women’s ordination for example, we were supposed to “listen carefully and dialogue with those with whom we disagreed.” We were supposed [Read More…]

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Mary: You Complete Me

When I was in Oklahoma a few weeks ago some good folks from the parish drove me out to visit Clear Creek Monastery. After lunch with the monks I happened to meet the oblate master, Fr Francis Bethel. Bethel was one of the original students of the teacher John Senior at University of Kansas. He [Read More…]

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More Muslim Babies Than Christian…

Wall Street Journal reports here today: Within 20 years, more babies will be born to Muslim women than to Christian women world-wide, the latest sign of the rapid growth that could make Islam the world’s largest religion by the end of the century. As John Allen reports in Future Church the center of Christianity is shifting [Read More…]

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US Court Equates Gay Rights with Civil Rights

This article from Slate outlines the arguments the 7th Circuit Court has made regarding the employment rights of homosexuals. They have formally equated sex discrimination in the workplace with discrimination against homosexuals. On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a landmark decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights [Read More…]

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Ten Steps to Perfect Peace

I’m in Bluffton, South Carolina leading a Lenten parish mission on the topic of sin. The first night I told my conversion story with a perspective on the difference between Catholic and Protestant understandings of sin. Last night the session was a discussion of sin using Dante’s Inferno as a guide for examination of conscience. This evening [Read More…]

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Can a Catholic Support Trump’s Wall?

Over at CRUX John Allen speculates on how the American bishops might push the envelope over immigration reform. He suggests that the American cardinals and Archbishops might make another visit to the Mexican-US border like the one Cardinal O’Malley made in 2014. You might remember the Cardinal took advantage of a photo op and gave [Read More…]

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Waste, Shame and Dante’s Legacy of Hope

In re-reading Dante for Lent I am reminded of the legacy of waste and shame he communicates in his vision of hell. The damned experience the frustration of the waste and shame of their lives. This is terrible enough, but more terrible is the fact that while they have regrets they do not have remorse. [Read More…]

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