Spare Me the Severed Heads

David with the Head of Goliath

Holy Deacon Kandra doesn’t appreciate pictures of severed heads, videos of murders and clips of Iraqis being herded off for extermination. He posts on Facebook One more time, for those who missed it: you post on Facebook pictures of decapitated heads, or videos of people being murdered, or the bloody aftermath of an execution, you [Read More...]

The Rise of Conservative Cafeteria Catholicism

Brothers in Arms

When Benedict XVI and John Paul II were pope the conservative Catholics loved to throw around the phrase “cafeteria Catholic” as a term of derision. It’s a name I used a fair bit to parody those Catholics who would pick and choose what bits of Catholicism they liked and rejected the bits they didn’t like. [Read More...]

All That Really Matters is How Much You Love Jesus?

rembrandt head of christ

When I resigned from my position as an Anglican priest one of the ladies in the parish was very upset. She couldn’t figure out the point of my decision. “Surely!” she cried, “All that really matters is how much we love Jesus?” This is the response from many non-Catholics when faced with the doctrinal claims [Read More...]

The Five Stages of Persecution

"Nazarene" symbol painted on targeted Christian properties in Iraq

Seeing the rise of persecution against Christians in Iraq, the far East and Africa, Mgr Pope has a great archived article here on the five stages that precede outright persecution. Can it happen in the USA – land of religious freedom? Mgr Pope observes the five stages. I. Stereotyping the targeted group - To stereotype means [Read More...]

Playing the Blame Game

jewish

You know the old playground rebuke, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.” Well, that’s a lie. Names do hurt you. Calling other people names is the first symptom of genuine hatred and the first step toward violence against that person. When I disagree with a person the worst [Read More...]

FaithWorks! – 29

Go here for this week’s FaithWorks! – My weekly newsletter on the practical practice of the Catholic faith. Over the summer I’m publishing a series on the Ten Commandments, resources for learning, reflections, comments and quotes If you’d like to subscribe to FaithWorks! go here. [Read more...]

Nice or Nasty?

Does he look nasty to you?

Joseph Pearce analyzes what it means to be nice and what the word ‘nice’ means anyway. You don’t want to be nasty, but do you want to be nice? Or is that setting the bar too low? A few days ago, whilst being driven around Tampa, I noticed a car bumper sticker telling me to [Read More...]

Is Proselytism Solemn Nonsense?

popepassion

Pope Francis has been criticized in some quarters because he has said, “Proselytism is solemn nonsense.” He has also told Evangelical Christians and an atheist interviewer that he “doesn’t want to convert them.” In a meeting last week in Caserto he explained to his priests that their job was not “proselytizing” and he quoted Pope [Read More...]

Richard Dawkins Gets Guts

Damian Thompson has a brilliant piece at The Spectator here in which he points out that noted atheist Richard Dawkins is now attacking feminists and Muslims. Well at least Dawkins has the guts to attack Muslims. Most atheistic secularists have this inexplicably love affair with Islam–calling people out on “Islamaphobia” while overlooking or indulging in [Read More...]

America: Spoiled Rotten

spoiledbrat

This week’s article for the Imaginative Conservative reflects on the spoiling of America. We are so used to being treated like royalty that we get uppity and stroppy when we can’t have our own way. Americans have been subtly conditioned to see themselves not primarily as patriots or serious citizens, but as customers, and if [Read More...]

Francis and the Evangelicals

  Here is my latest article for Aleteia which is a further reflection on Pope Francis’ friendship with Charismatic Evangelicals. His reach to this extreme group brought to mind this quote from C.S.Lewis who said, when he was asked about church re-union: “It seems to me that the ‘extreme’ elements in every Church are nearest [Read More...]

Fr Longenecker’s Conversion Story

I’m really supposed to be on vacation and not blogging, but knowing how the blog is a hungry beast, I thought I would point out to readers that there is a good bit of archived material to be read using the tab “Archived Articles” at the top of the blog home page. These are articles [Read More...]

Pope Francis and the Evangelicals

Pope Francis in fellowship with Evangelical Pastor James Robinson

Sandro Magister reports here on Pope Francis’ outreach to Evangelical Christians. Francis clearly understands that there are real points of contact with Evangelical Christians and Catholics and what interests me in his ecumenical outreach is how he builds relationships with individuals who are not necessarily “big players” in the Protestant world. He has diplomatic meetings [Read More...]

Ten Things to Remember if You Hate Ecumenism

Passionplay Oberammergau 2010 - Premiere

When I was training to be an Anglican minister I remember going to my first “Ecumenical Evensong”. It was in a village church in England in February. The weather wasn’t the only thing damp and cold. The Methodists sat on one side of the church and the Anglicans on the other. For the most part [Read More...]

America Locking Up Americans

behindbars

Did you know that the USA has the highest per capita rate of incarceration of any country in the world? Wee have far more people in prison per capita than any other country. I often hear paranoid talk about America locking up Americans. It is already happening on a massive scale. Many of the prisoners [Read More...]

Obama’s Second Term: A Triumph of Hope Over Experience

U.S. President Obama reacts after missing putt on the first green at golf course on Martha's Vineyard

Matt Lewis at the Daily Telegraph says President Obama is not paying available because he’s on a course….a golf course. He rightly observes that presidential golf comes across as aloof and elitist. Who plays golf? The country club set. This article outlines the international and domestic crises that have blown up over the last few weeks [Read More...]

FaithWorks! – 28

My weekly newsletter started up again  this summer with a series on the ten commandments. Sorry I have forgotten to post the links here for blog readers. We are up to the fourth commandment, and here is the link to the new, shorter and more concise FaithWorks! If you want to subscribe go here. If [Read More...]

Pope Says to Anglicans “Come on Over!”

Come On Over!

Pope Francis has waved a welcome to Anglicans who are still shivering on the banks of the Tiber . They don’t even have to swim the Tiber anymore. They can walk across the bridge called “Ordinariate” In the wake of the Church of England’s decision to ordain women bishops the Ordinariate of Our Lady of [Read More...]

Why is Pope Francis’ Visit to Philly Important?

This report says that while the Vatican has yet to confirm the date, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia has indicated that Pope Francis will visit the city for next September’s World Meeting of Families. If the pope is planning to visit the City of Brotherly Love next fall what’s the big deal? Kathy Schiffer reports here that the [Read More...]

For St James Day – The Botofumeiro

For the Feast Day of St James, here is a video of the famous botofumeiro at the Cathedral of St James Compostella. For those who are not in the know, this is a thurible–incense container that is about four foot high. They put the incense in with shovels and then they swing the thing from [Read More...]

Demonic Infection and Victory Over Sin

depression

Is there a demonic element to seemingly ordinary human problems? Sometimes. While full blown demonic possession is rare, it is much more common for souls to be troubled by what might be called “demonic infection”. In counseling people spiritually I have come to believe that there is a state of demonic influence in our lives which [Read More...]

Meriam Ibrahim and the Obamas

Here is a strange situation. Michelle Obama and her husband have championed the rights of the poor, taken the side of African Americans and profess to be Christians, but on the case of Meriam Ibrahim they have been silent. What gives? My article for Aleteia on Meriam as an icon of Christian suffering is here. [Read More...]


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