Read, Mark and Learn – Day 18


After the astounding signs of the feeding of the 5,000 and walking on the water, Mark bounces us back to Jesus’ conflict with the Pharisees and Scribes. The contrast is remarkable. In chapter 6 Jesus shows through amazing signs and wonders who he really is and now the Scribes and Pharisees get all petty and [Read More...]

Duck Dynasty Doesn’t Duck

The Duck Dynasty stars don’t duck the issues, and here’s why: What the Robertson affair reveals is a remarkable lack of understanding amongst secularists. Those who do not believe in the Christian faith seem to view the church as some sort of club for people who want to make the world a better place–kind of [Read More...]

Pope, President, Power and Poverty

Obama Francis

My comments on the meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama are published here at Aleteia.  A President may talk of “hope and change” and mouth political platitudes about the greatness of his people and their longing for freedom, or he may genuinely want to change the world for the better. Nevertheless, he will have no real [Read More...]

Read, Mark and Learn – Day 17


Like yesterday’s story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, this story is full of deep significance. The Walking on the Water. 45Then he made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.46 And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the [Read More...]

An Offer You Can Refuse


Here is my latest article for Aleteia–about Pope Francis’ telling the gangsters they’re headed downstairs… In The Godfather, Vito Corleone famously told his son to make his rivals “an offer they can’t refuse.” It was an understated direction for the gangsters to use force to get their own way. Speaking at a prayer service for victims [Read More...]

A New Way Forward for Anglicans

Bridge Across the Tiber

Here is my contribution this week to ZENIT in which I discuss the Anglican Ordinariate and its potential to be a bridge across the Tiber for a wider range of non Catholic Christians. This is exactly why the Anglican Ordinariate congregations will become the first light of the new ecumenism. They will not be only [Read More...]

The Table Turning Jesus


Here is my latest article for Catholic Online  Pope Francis has reminded us that the Lord is a God of surprises. The Catholic faith is “ever ancient ever new” because while we have our dogmas and decrees and our rubrics and rules and regulations we also have the Holy Spirit–a Spirit that blows where it [Read More...]

Faithworks! 21

Christ healing the man born blind

Here is the link to my free weekly newsletter. This week there are articles on the works of mercy, lessons from next Sunday’s Mass readings, Points to Ponder, links to resources and an article on reading Sacred Scripture. Notice too, that each week there is a featured painting–usually a piece of art that connects with [Read More...]

Read, Mark and Learn – Day 16


Mark returns to his agenda of revealing who Jesus really is. The signs that Jesus shows are revelations of his identity. The rejection he suffers is also, ironically, a revelation of his identity. Mark continues to use symbols which will resonate with his readers–all of which combine to reveal Jesus as the Son of God. [Read More...]

Romance is Coming to the Big Apple

Romance of Religion cover

If you are in the New York City area I invite you to join me for a lecture and book signing at the HQ of First Things Magazine. I’ll be speaking on Telling Mythical Tales to Evangelize. April 1st from 6:00 – 8:00 –  35 East 21st St. Sixth floor. This is all about my new [Read More...]

Burning Babies for Fuel

In scenes reminiscent of ovens and chimneys in Germany some eighty years ago we learn from this article in London’s Daily Telegraph that the British have incinerated the bodies of over 15,000 babies–either the fetal remains of miscarriages or abortions. The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with [Read More...]

Pope Obama and President Bergoglio?

Over at Get Religion Terry Mattingley dissects a recent New York Times article about the Catholic Roots of Obama’s activism. His post cuts through a lot of the progressive assumptions about Cardinal Bernadin of Chicago, Pope Francis and Obama. Many, but not all, conservative Catholics were truly convinced that the cardinal was a liberal’s liberal through [Read More...]

Fasting and Feasting


Every Lent I am somewhat amused and bemused by the Catholic attitude to fasting. Okay, I’m a convert and I’m still learning, but there seems to be this quaint legalistic game Catholics love to play. So I hear conversations along these lines, “You know I think it is better to take something up than give [Read More...]

Read, Mark and Learn – Day 15


Welcome to day 15 of our Blobble Study of Mark’s gospel. By reading the whole gospel straight through we are able to see how Mark builds the story and how much the whole gospel revolves around the conflict Jesus creates. Every chapter bristles with astounding actions, subversive words and upsetting behaviors. Jesus is unpredictable, dangerous [Read More...]

Read, Mark and Learn – Day 14


Are you still with us? I’m finding it a little bit difficult with my busy schedule to keep up to my daily commitment of reading Mark’s gospel during Lent and providing the Blobble study here. I hope you don’t mind if I miss a day or two! Today I leave for St Thomas Church, North [Read More...]

John Allen’s Vatican Round Up


John Allen is one of the world’s top “Vaticanistas”. He seems to know everybody and like a church mouse, gets into every corner of the church to feast–not on moldy hymnbooks, but on tidbits of news and morsels of information from the engine room of the church. Here is Allen’s usual concise and objective reporting [Read More...]

The Hermit in Me


How do I know that I need a retreat at Belmont Abbey? It’s because the hermit in me starts to rumble. I get antsy and restless. I get fed up with minutiae. I get tired of people. I start dreaming of the great downsizing–that time when we can sell this too large house in the [Read More...]

Read, Mark and Learn – Day 13


We continue chapter five with another longer, more detailed story. We began in chapter one with an introduction to Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. The stories were short and sharp. Almost as if they were preludes or little introductions to the main story. After Jesus’ identity is established Mark now takes the time for more detailed [Read More...]

Fr Ray Ryland R.I.P


Fr Ray Ryland was the second married former Episcopal priest in the USA to be ordained as a Catholic priest. A gentle, scholar, a wise friend, a man full of the Holy Spirit and good humor. He will be greatly missed by his extended family and friends. I first got to know Fr Ryland through [Read More...]

Let’s Get Metaphysical

George Herbert at Bemerton

  Here is my latest article for The Imaginative Conservative–on George Herbert and the metaphysical poets. The “metaphysical poets” were given that name because they wrote paradoxical and pure poems about mysterious  subjects. In their own way they were authors of fairy tales. They were fantasy poets for they wrote not of elves, but angels; [Read More...]

Idol Speculation

guardian angel

Here is my latest published article for Integrated Catholic  Life–on the use of material things in worship. I was brought up in an independent Bible church in the USA, so my first visit to a Catholic church was a big culture shock, and it confirmed everything I was told about Catholics. There were racks of [Read More...]

Fred Phelps – Who Am I to Judge?

Fiery fundamentalist Fred Phelps has gone to his reward as this article in the WaPo reports. Phelps was an outspoken and crude critic of homosexuality. Known for picketing funerals with the family members of his church, he had his rights upheld by the Supreme Court who upheld freedom of speech. Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “Such speech [Read More...]