True Authority

Why am I a Catholic? It’s all about authority. The Pope. The Chair of Peter. If you are looking for an authority to help decide the crucial questions what criteria would you set for that authority? There are fourteen things you would look for, which come in seven pairs. The authority would be historical – [Read More...]

Official Papal Visit Site.

Here is the link to the US Bishop’s Papal Visit site. View the Pope’s address to the American people recorded before his visit. [Read more...]

Longenecker in London

Here is my article on the Pope’s visit to America in The Times of London. If you’re a blogger (especially a British blogger please post a link to the article. It helps all in the blogosphere to link to the big papers. [Read more...]


London’s Daily Telegraph has a feature on Ave Maria town here [Read more...]

Pope Benedict XVI Visits America

America welcomes Pope Benedict XVI tomorrow. I’ll be writing about the visit for The Catholic Herald and The Time in London, have an article in National Catholic Register and will comment here and at InsideCatholic. For research I have been following the different news outlets, and I fear most of them are predictably boring. They all have to [Read More...]

New Poem

Organ Recital for Adam The whole world of music was there beneath  your dancing fingers and your flying feet. I heard tubas, trombones, foghorns, bells and flutes, whale songs, birdcalls, clarinets and lutes. Bassoons, sackbuts, wolves howling at the moon; The plaintive cries of oboe, owl and loon.   The diapason rumblings deep to deep  [Read More...]


What is shame? I think shame is the emotion we feel when we have done something that falls below our standards for ourselves. We feel ashamed, and when others find out they should make us feel ashamed as well. Our society doesn’t do shame real well. We think it is hurtful and no one should [Read More...]

Gothic Frankfurter

Chust for nice (as the Pennsylvania Dutch would say) h/t Roving Medievalist [Read more...]

Love and Marriage…

…go together like a horse and carriage… (or even a surrey with the fringe on top?) In a thread on the lesbians next door I said they were living a lie, and my observation evoked this comment:  Father, with due respect, in the couple’s eyes, it’s not a lie at all. They believe (one would [Read More...]

Moral Mess 2

One of the problems facing Catholics in the present moral mess is how to deal with the friends, family members, neighbors and acquaintances who are in, err… irregular relationships. We’re not supposed to be judgmental and self righteous. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and all that. At the same time, we have [Read More...]


I’m off tomorrow to St John’s Edmond, near Oklahoma City. I’ll be speaking at their Catholic outreach conference on Saturday morning. I’ll be relating my conversion story, then speaking on the seven pairs of criteria that authenticate Catholic authority before discussing apostolic succession. Come on over if you’re in the area. They’ll be taping the [Read More...]

Moral Uncertainty

Moral Theology Question of the Day: If an Episcopalian bishop is allowed to leave his wife and family to live with his boyfriend, why is a Mormon bishop not allowed to have more than one wife? Seems unfair to me. [Read more...]

Good Things from Facing the Lord

After celebrating Mass facing the Lord I can report these favorable effects from the priest’s point of view: I don’t have to worry about where to look I don’t have to worry about what my face looks like I can weep at the beauty and wonder of it all without concern I can worship more [Read More...]

Moral Mess

Today at school I was asked what one of our middle school girls should do: a neighboring lesbian couple have had a baby by artificial insemination, and they would like the girl to babysit for them. I’m sure every reader has a modern moral nightmare within their own circle of friends and family. The worst [Read More...]

Facing the Lord

Last week I began saying Mass in our daily Mass chapel at St Joseph’s Catholic School facing East. I do so on two days of the week, while facing the people on the other three days. I’m also taking time to explain the change and what it means and why we are doing it. We [Read More...]

St John Baptist de la Salle

I love getting to know new saints, and as a priest, you have to meet them as you work through the church year–observing the different feasts and memorials. I had known of St John Baptist de la Salle and the Christian brothers, but didn’t know the details. It seems in every age God raises up [Read More...]

Favorite Churches Meme

Well, there’s my ten favorite churches. I nominate the Roving Medievalist, Fr Christopher at Atonement Online, and Fr Ray at St Mary Magdalene, Brighton. [Read more...]

Basilica de Sacre Coeur

The Basilica de Sacre Coeur is the first Catholic Church I ever entered. I was on a mission trip to France the summer of my senior year in high school. We went to Paris as tourists and ended up roaming the little streets and alleys of Montmartre. Suddenly we came on the Basilica. I had [Read More...]

Mont St Michel

I first visited the monastery at Mont St Michel the summer of 1987 when I did a hitch hiking pilgrimage from England to Jerusalem. I stayed with the monks, and grew to love the place. When I went to live on the Isle of Wight it was a short hop across the channel from Portsmouth [Read More...]

Downside Abbey

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Bradford on Avon

The ancient Saxon church in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. I first visited this church as a student at Oxford, while on Easter break. Little did I know that I would come to live in Chippenham–just a ten minute drive from Bradford on Avon some years later. On my way to Downside Abbey on retreat, I [Read More...]

St Mary’s Brading

The country church on the Isle of Wight where I was vicar. The present church was built in the eleventh century after the Norman invasion, replacing a wooden structure which was probably built on a pagan worship site on top of the hill. Brading was a harbor in the middle ages, and legend has it [Read More...]