Christianists, Proselytizing and the Encounter with Christ

Image shamelessly cribbed from Frank Weathers

Recently there was a dust-up among some Catholics who wondered what exactly Pope Francis meant when he, during an interview with La Repubblica editor Eugenio Scalfari said that proselytizing was a "solemn nonsense".Clearly, what he meant was that preaching at people doesn't work; while being a reflection of Christ among us is powerful evangelization.If anyone needed the proof of it, recall the ill-reception proselytizing Christians received in 2008, when -- instead of living and working … [Read more...]

Triage in Francis’ Field Hospital: Room for Sarah?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Antonio Spadaro, SJ is one of the nicest, most humbly centered and joyful men I have ever met, and his remarkable interview with Pope Francis is, almost a week after its publishing, still dominating conversations among Catholics and even non-Catholics. Bravo, Antonio!The talks that are happening are remarkable, even among people who we may presume have discussed an issue many times, and perhaps have reached an impasse, or simply not known where else to go with it. Check out this affecting … [Read more...]

Miley Cyrus, Syria and the Head of Saint John the Baptist

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A great deal has been written this week about 20 year-old Miley Cyrus and her maniacally over-the-top performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. As Mark Shea points out, as the world stands on the brink of something dire and deadly the public seeks only bread and circuses, which the bottom-line-obsessed press serves up with such alacrity that satire cannot surmount it.The headlines are grim, but they're bare blips within our awareness. Who wants to read about constitutional ethics, war … [Read more...]

So, what IS the “new evangelization?” – UPDATE

JPII, Benedict, Francis--Faith, Hope, Love (1)

In Catholic circles, everyone talks about "The New Evangelization", but explaining what exactly it is, is not always easy. In my column in this issue of The Catholic Answer Magazine, I more or less "go to the sources" to help give solid examples of The New Evangelization, in Theory and Application:Weeks before his death in 2005, Pope John Paul still appeared at his apartment window and, unable to speak, showed his faithful attention to the people and received theirs in return. His mere … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Allows Gay Priests to Exhale – UPDATES

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Lots of exploding heads on the internet today, thanks to this headline, which will, naturally, be over-emphasized by the press. But it is certainly worth noting:Pope Francis says he won't judge gay priestsPope Francis reached out an olive branch to the gay community Monday, saying that he won't "judge" gay priests."If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"The pope's predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, authored a document that said men with … [Read more...]

Papa and Pop-Pop, Side-by-Side as Christians

Papa and Pop-Pop

What a day it is! With the release of Lumen Fidei and the announcement of canonizations of Blessed Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, today is all about continuity, cohesion and co-operation: the announced canonization of two modern popes; the release of an encyclical composed by two modern popes, "written with four hands" but with one heart; an unexpected moment when two modern popes sit side-by-side and ask our great angelic warrior, Saint Michael the Archangel, and the most humble of … [Read more...]

Putting Away the Labels to Hear/See Each Other

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Under it's new editor, Matt Malone, S.J., America Magazine is doing a very good thing:America aspires to nothing more than to live up to the fullest meaning of our motto, to pursue the truth in love, for as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written,“The only strength with which Christianity can make its influence felt publicly is ultimately the strength of its intrinsic truth.” The fundamental truth of Christianity is personal, the person of Jesus Christ, the one for whom love and for … [Read more...]

Hated the Red Shoes, but Pink Sneakers are to Die For!

Mizuno Sneakers worn by Wendy Davis Eric Gay, AP

When Pope Benedict XVI abdicated his papacy and was succeeded by Pope Francis, one particular fact seemed to delight the press -- and Benedict-haters -- more than any other: Francis was not wearing the red shoes!Google his red shoes (once incorrectly reported and forever incorrectly misunderstood to be Prada-made) and it feels like more was written about them than Benedict's encyclicals, his books, his travel, his kissed babies. Those red shoes drove secularists, and some Catholics crazy, … [Read more...]

“Pope Francis” a snapshot and keepsake of a historical moment – UPDATED

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One of the pleasures of writing for Our Sunday Visitor, either as a freelancer (or pamphleteer!) or as a columnist for The Catholic Answer has been getting to know the great people who make up their editorial staff. Catching a meal with Greg Erlandson in Rome (or a papal audience with Sarah Hayes) only made them more memorable, and working with Dr. Matthew Bunson, who edits TCA is a joy. I haven't fully made a deadline yet, and he's been a very patient fellow about it, indeed!But even if he … [Read more...]

Happy Easter! Let Us Stop Throwing Each Other Away

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Happy Easter. Christ is risen, and all things are made new!It's a time to break the chains of old habits, old thoughts; time to unwind and finally toss old tapes; he is risen: "I am doing something new..."On Wednesday, traipsing through my archives, I came upon this post from last year -- the image of a full-term baby tossed into the trash, and my thoughts about it.Upon re-reading it, I thought about how easily we throw people away, everyday, in less dramatic fashion. We throw … [Read more...]


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