Taming “The Constant Francis”

francis in the rain

Seriously, I'm beginning to feel like all I do is read, write, and dialogue about Francis, all day long and all night; other work is slipping deadlines -- book reviews; interviews; transcriptions; writers who need beatings; editors who also need beatings -- all because of The Constant Francis whose impact on American Catholics is overstuffing my in-boxes, my comboxes, my social media threads. I will need to tame this Constant Francis or I'm never going to get anything else done. I literally … [Read more...]

It’s really OK to admit that the Church has gotten better…UPDATES

Rouault The Crucifixion 1920

So, in response to many "professional Catholics" taking exception to one of his recent videos (I wrote about it, here), Michael Voris has released a new video that clarifies his meaning, which is an acknowledgement, I guess, that his first video had gotten so caught up with salary and retirement details that it obscured his point, which was apparently -- at bottom line -- that Catholic mediafolk who are earning livable wages might (because they need to support their families) be too afraid to … [Read more...]

The Worker is Worth his Wages. And Perhaps Retirement, Too – UPDATED

CathPT_PracticeofLaw_1

"Oh, God, no...." When I saw the title of this piece by Father Dwight, those were my groaning sentiments. I've been trying to focus on a book project all week, and as soon as I saw it, I knew...there goes another day where I won't get it done. This is one of those crappy issues I hate to comment on, because it's ridiculous and small, and also because in eight years of blogging I have made a point of not speaking of other bloggers/new media folk unless I could do so positively. I'm not … [Read more...]

Everyday in Every Way the Days are Gay & Gay & Gay

gayweddingcake

That headline is too cute by half, and I know it, but given all the First Things columns I've written trying to wonder-out and puzzle-out and anticipate the subject of Modern Concepts in Sexuality (and where and how the Catholic Church's teachings soar or fall flat, largely depending upon how they are taught), and the recent Supreme Court DOMA decision, it does seem like for any story I read -- about anything -- I read five touching on an aspect of homosexuality and faith, and most especially, … [Read more...]

Putting Away the Labels to Hear/See Each Other

bodyofChrist

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 … [Read more...]

Talking with Matthew Bunson: Sherlockian and Catholic Scholar

CPA 13 Bunson

One of the loveliest moments of my career occurred in Pittsburgh, during the 2011 Catholic Media Conference, when Dr. Matthew Bunson strolled up to me and wondered if I wanted to get a cup of coffee. I did, and our conversation was a delightful and unusually frank first chat between strangers. Matthew Bunson wears many hats; he is Senior Correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor and a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and serves as editor of The Catholic Answer magazine, … [Read more...]

Girls and Guillotines: Glorifying God

CarmelCompiegne

If you're not subscribing to The Catholic Answer Magazine (which you should because it's a little six-times-a-year gem of Catholic information on scripture, doctrine and tradition, but I won't scold!) I hope you're at least liking the OSV Twitter account so you can click on to some of its goodness! The July/August edition is particularly rich, as it examines Eucharistic Adoration, Concupiscence, the Eastern Churches and the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne. Much of that is behind the paywall … [Read more...]

Catholicism and Nationalism Do Not Really Mix – UPDATED

cross in flag

The neighborhood where I grew up was a block of "mutts", and my own family boasted Irish-Italian-English-Scots-German muttage, but if you asked any of us "what are you?" the answer, our answer would have been "Catholic" and our Catholicism precluded all of our other labels, including "American." Our culture was American, yes, but it was first-and-foremost "Catholic". We didn't have a flag hanging out the door, but we had a Saint Jude on the doorstep, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the kitchen. … [Read more...]

When a 375 Word Rebuttal is just not Enough – UPDATED

shutterstock_124029454 (1)_headlines

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com A few days ago I received an invite from a major US newspaper (one I like and even count among its contributors a friend or two) asking if I would be interested in writing a 375 word rebuttal to an editorial; its publication next week will apparently identify the problems within the Catholic church, as this editorial board sees them, and would proceed (I presume) to make its recommendations as to what the church should do in order to (again, I presume) get … [Read more...]

An Exclusive Look at a new Word on Fire Project!

cathnewevangel

Do you remember how I sang the praises of (and gave near-constant recommendations for) Father Robert Barron's book, Catholicism; A Journey to the Heart of the Faith, and his Catholicism Series? Do you remember how much you loved the book, and then the DVD series, which was so beautifully shot and so richly informative that PBS eventually picked it up? Do you remember how much you wished the project would keep going, because it fed the faith intelligently and brightly, but in an accessible … [Read more...]


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