Get Real Here and Now


I’ve worn out the keyboard on my laptop. Honestly. The keys don’t respond. Maybe my laptop is telling me something. I spend so much time on the laptop because I write, write, write. I’m blessed with lots of ideas so I clutter up the blogosphere, websites and publishers with my tappety tappings. (this is the [Read More...]

Pick Your Villain: Kasper or Chaput

John Allen

John Allen gives his usual distanced and objective analysis here over some recent fireworks involving Cardinal Kasper and Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia According to CRUX’s heavy hitter, Kasper was unfairly attacked by the conservatives and Chaput by the liberals. First, both the Kasper and Chaput controversies illustrate the importance of context in presenting comments from [Read More...]

Providence, Paranoia and Peace


Here is my article for ZENIT this week. Everyone operates with a certain set of assumptions which they rarely examine. On this foundation of assumptions they construct a framework of beliefs which give order and meaning to their life. Even nihilists find a paradoxical “order and meaning” in believing that there is no order and meaning. [Read More...]

The Intellectually Secular Insane


Fr George Rutler has a clever and rollicking essay here at Crisis Magazine in which he twits the twits in the ivory towers of the Ivy League in their ridiculously blind defense of radical Islam Public thinkers have been usurped by practical atheists who are politely styled “secularists.”  Essentially, the secularist is not without religion: [Read More...]

Ten Things That Are Killing the Family

happy family

The Synod fathers this month were trying to address a real crisis in the human race: the disintegration of the family. The problems are very complex and are not simply a matter of people disobeying God’s law and running around with whoever they please. Is promiscuity a problem? Of course. Is divorce a disaster? Without [Read More...]

History, Histrionics and Hysteria


This week’s article at The Imaginative Conservative website chronicles the tug of war in the study of English ecclesiastical history. Which will it be? Once upon a time the people of England were happy Catholics, visiting their holy wells, attending frequent masses and deeply respectful of purgatory and afraid of hell. The lustful King Henry [Read More...]

How Close Is This Church to Reality?

exterior GRV 02.03.2014 SMALL

Readers of this blog have been following the progress of an exciting new church building project at Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville, South Carolina. In the heart of the Bible Belt we are building a church that looks Catholic to proclaim our Catholic faith with vigor, joy and confidence. Why is this [Read More...]

Duane Mandible on Welcoming Grays

Duane Mandible

Guest blogger, Duane Mandible is a contributing editor to The Truth Hurts, a bi-monthly journal of politics, economics and opinion. He also contributes regularly to Freedom Monthly; Illuminations and The Sojourner. Duane is the author of Guns and Knives will Save Your Children’s Lives. He is Vice President of the Sacred Society of St Philibustre, and enjoys hunting rattlesnakes, square dancing [Read More...]

Why Build a Romanesque Church Today?

exterior GRV 02.03.2014 SMALL

When I arrived at Our Lady of the Rosary parish one of my first tasks was to meet with the Building Committee. The folks in the parish had been trying to build a church for about twenty years off and on and for various reasons it simply didn’t get done. Now it was my job. [Read More...]

Conversion or Come to Daddy?


I read a smart comment yesterday: “Conservatives want to convert people by arguing with them. Liberals want to convert people by agreeing with them.” It’s pithy I can see the distinction, but I’m not sure it is merely a “conservative-Liberal” clash. Underlying the tensions within the Catholic Church –which blew up at the recent synod [Read More...]

Gimme That Ole Time Religion

I’m not too concerned about getting the Catholic religion up to date for people. That’s because the Catholic religion transcends time. Oh yes, we can tinker with this and that, use modern methods of communication and so forth, but no sense tinkering with the religion itself. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sure we can [Read More...]

Pope Francis’ New Way


In this article at Aleteia I assess Pope Francis’ regular references to “the God of surprises” and his calls for Catholics to be open to new ways of the Holy Spirit At the close of a tumultuous two weeks Pope Francis has called the church to be open to “the God of surprises.” Back in January [Read More...]

On Surveying the Cross

crucified lord

I am in Kentucky conducting a parish mission this week, and praying before the evening session I found myself gazing at a beautiful, simple, life sized crucifix–the dominant image in an old church. I can’t say what I experienced because it was really beyond words, but I can try. What I felt was that in [Read More...]

Welcoming Gays: How Do I Do That?


The buzz word in the synod this month, and in the general discussion about homosexuals is the word “welcome” We are to “welcome homosexuals”. The problem is, no one is really explaining what this means. I hope those who feel strongly about this matter–who have responded with visceral compassion on the poor homosexual persons who [Read More...]

Book Review – Making Sense of the Saints


One of the joys and problems of writing this blog is that I receive far too many books to review. I feel guilty because I like my books to be reviewed, and I wish I had the time to read them all and write a review. I don’t. Therefore the pile of worthy books to [Read More...]

New Guest Blogger Flora Harper


Flora Harper joins the stable of Standing on My Head’s famous guest bloggers. Flora writes the Spirituality column for the Los Angeles Cosmos. She has published articles for the FemToday website, writes an advice column for Blondie and is working on her first book, “Get Your Inner Goddess Out Girl!” Flora has a degree in sociology and media [Read More...]

The Disconcerting Synod


Some Catholics are unhappy with Pope Francis. Conservatives read his closing speech to the Synod on the Family with relief and gratitude, but after the events of the last two weeks they are diconcerted. disoriented and disturbed. Damian Thompson observed here that the final result may not have been the earthquake John Thavis spoke of [Read More...]

Religion Without Dogma…

…is like playing tennis without a net. It results in a certain formlessness, the reduction of an intellectually vigorous and astringent faith to something sentimental and shallow–nothing but a religion of ‘spirituality’ and good works. Pope Francis criticized this type of religion in his recent speech concluding the Synod on the Family. He spoke of [Read More...]

Media Mutterings About the Synod

Now What?

What is most frustrating in reading the media mutterings about the synod is the superficial experience of church life that most journalists have. Christina Odone is one who should know better. She is a lifelong British Catholic, a former editor of the UKs Catholic Herald and a longtime commentator on church matters. Nevertheless in this [Read More...]

Todd Unctuous on the Synod of Bishops

dumb guy

Guest blogger Todd Unctuous is top commentator for MSM. With a degree in Media Studies from Scranton Community College, Todd writes for many papers and websites, and is known for his incisive writing, objective reporting and razor sharp comment. It has been interesting over the last two weeks to see the celibate old white men [Read More...]

A Jewel on the Buckle of the Bible Belt

Lobby of Bob Jones Art Gallery

  My article this week for Imaginative Conservative website features a surprising oddity of the American South–the Museum and Art Gallery at Bob Jones University. The American South is full of obscure oddities, unexpected eccentricities and disconcerting delights. Here the farmhouse of an eccentric peacock loving novelist, there the country home of a homespun poet. [Read More...]

Beautiful Balance in the Pope’s Final Speech to the Synod


Here are excerpts from the Pope’s final address to the synod with my observations in red. Read the whole speech here. And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, [Read More...]