Roadside America


In a piece first published  a few years ago, Anthony Esolen immortalizes Roadside America– a little slice of Americana from Berks County Pennsylvania–where I grew up. On a dead-end stretch of what was once U.S. Route 22, in a small village with tacky-friendly billboards boasting “Genuine Dutch Cooking,” where old folks and even some of the young [Read More...]

Poor Ole Hillary Clinton

She Who Must Be Obeyed

  This critique of Hillary (She Who Must Be Obeyed) Clinton at LifeSite News is okay, but the author doesn’t really get it. She Who Must Be Obeyed said that she found the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case “deeply disturbing.” Clinton added  “it’s very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception, which is [Read More...]

Hobby Lobby Case – It Should Have Been 9-0


Monsignor Pope opines here that the Supreme Court judges should have passed on a unanimous decision in favor of Hobby Lobby. Here’s why: But here’s a concern: why didn’t the Justices vote 9–0?To be even more clear, if religious liberty, a right given us by God and legally enshrined in the First Amendment, prevailed by [Read More...]

I Knew a Priest Who Could See the Dead


I’ll call him Father John. He was charismatic Anglo Catholic priest. A friend of my brother Daryl’s we’ll call Henry died suddenly in a plane crash and he was upset because although Henry was a believer he was away from God when he died. So Fr John said, “We have to have a requiem Mass [Read More...]

Pope Francis Evangelical Catholic


Here is my latest article for Aleteia – reporting on Pope Francis’ meeting with Anglican bishop Tony Palmer and Charismatic televangelist Kenneth Copeland and other Evangelical leaders. For some time now the real division in Christianity has not been between Catholics and Protestants. It has been between those Christians who believe in a revealed religion [Read More...]

The Most Effective Form of Contraception…

Modest Swimsuit...

I posted a comment on Facebook this morning that has proven quite popular: If a woman’s chosen form of contraception is to keep her clothes on does her employer have to pay for her wardrobe? It reminds me of the British slang for the rather sturdy form of women’s underwear: They call them “Passion killers.” [Read More...]

Gals Wrestle Over Hobby Lobby Decision


I am late to this game. Instead of staying up last night to write an wise, stunning and insightful post about the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision I slouched around with the boys watching a movie. Everybody else has already commented and as we all know, men are supposed to be quiet about this issue. [Read More...]

Mass Has Ended in Mosul. Do Not Go in Peace.

Iraqi Christians

Mass has ended in Mosul. This article chronicles the horror facing Christians in Northern Iraq as the Muslim terrorists seek to create an Islamic Caliphate across Northern Iraq and Syria. Last Sunday, for the first time in 1600 years, no mass was celebrated in Mosul. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized Iraq’s second largest [Read More...]

Peter and Paul: Brains and Brawn

SS Peter and Paul

You can look at St Peter and Paul as the twins who founded the new Rome–the new Romulus and Remus if you like, but another way is to consider the balance between the body and the mind. In other words, we need both a muscular Christianity and an intellectual Christianity. Too much action without thinking [Read More...]

Is There Mercy for Muslims?


When faced with the horrors of Islamic terrorism it is mighty difficult to step back and ask whether there is mercy for Muslims. Can there be mercy for those who have no mercy? When a horde of fanatical thugs burn churches, behead their enemies, rape nuns, murder priests and threaten mass murder it is not [Read More...]

Anglican Memories Anglican Orders

Yaverland Church, Isle of Wight

Today is the thirtieth anniversary of my ordination as an Anglican priest in Eastbourne in the Diocese of Chichester. I served as an Anglican priest for ten very happy years, first as a curate at St Peter’s, Bexhill on Sea, then for two years as chaplain to Kings College Choir School in Cambridge and then [Read More...]

I’ll Forgive You If…


My latest article for Integrated Catholic Life discusses where we get to power to forgive. What I am more likely to find authentic is the person who says, “Father, that person offended me badly and I feel awful because I just can’t forgive.” “Exactly!” is my reply, “The Pharisees were right when they said, ‘Who [Read More...]

The Vatican Stance: Affirmative Orthodoxy


John Allen writes week and positively here on the events in the Vatican this week. The most interesting section is on the Vatican’s stance on sex and family life. Allen calls this “affirmative orthodoxy”. That is, we are trying to communicate what is beautiful, good and true rather than condemning what is lacking. Some years [Read More...]

Dying Naturally


Wesley Smith writes here about some of the creepy new “funeral” services in a secular age. A recent front page story in the New York Time reported on a new funeral fad during which the recently deceased are posed as if still alive and engaged in a favorite activity…Those who don’t want burial but wish to dispose of [Read More...]

Francis’ Honeymoon is Over – Another Liberal Bites Back


Last week Salon ran a hatchet piece on Pope Francis by Anna March. In one of the most ludicrous article I’ve ever read it was suggested that Pope Francis’ nice guy image is nothing more than a PR stunt run by a sinister conservative member of Opus Dei… I commented on March’s piece here. Today [Read More...]

Clarity and Charity in the Liturgy Wars


I found it interesting how people understood yesterday’s post about the Cain Syndrome. It was meant to be an observation about a general trend within human nature and especially within religious behaviors. Some readers, however, interpreted as being only about the liturgy wars. By liturgy wars I mean the traditionalists who believe only the Latin Mass [Read More...]

T.S.Eliot Lived Here


T.S.Eliot’s boyhood home in St Louis. This is in Westminster Place just two blocks behind the Catholic Cathedral. The Cathedral would have been under construction in the last years of Eliot’s time here. It was completed in 1914–the year Eliot moved to England. [Read more...]

Eliot’s Mississippi

The Mississippi at St Louis

Today I stood outside the house in St Louis where T.S.Eliot spent his teenaged years. Then I saw the Mississippi. Here are the lines from Eliot’s Dry Salvages about the great river. I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river Is a strong brown god – sullen, untamed and intractable Patient to [Read More...]

Cain Lives: The Demonic Dynamic in Religion

Cain and Abel

One of the most discouraging things about religious life is to witness brothers fighting one another. Why do so many religious people feel they have to attack their brothers in the faith? Because there’s something sick going on within a lot of religious people and religious groups. I call it the Cain Syndrome. Remember when [Read More...]

A Literary Lament for Lost Love


Here is my review of one of the best books I’ve read this year: Anthony Esolen’s Defending Marriage. Professor Esolen uses his literary references not to prove a point or even to illustrate a point, but to evoke within us a different and more beautiful understanding of what it means to be male and female, [Read More...]

Read Romance of Religion


National Catholic Register has a nifty review of Romance of Religion here. The modern world is post-Christian and, in many ways, post-rational. Appeals to reason and morality convince almost nobody thes e days, and of the Big Three — Goodness, Truth and Beauty — Beauty is the only thing left with which to convince modern [Read More...]

On Praying and Smoking


Sister Mary: Why are you smoking? Did Mother Superior give you permission to smoke? Sister Aquinas: (puffing away) Yes. Sister Mary: But she didn’t give me permission to smoke! It’s not fair! Sister Aquinas: What did you ask her? Sister Mary: I asked permission to have a cigarette while I am praying.” Sister Aquinas: Ah. [Read More...]