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

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...]

Talking with Matthew Bunson: Sherlockian and Catholic Scholar

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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

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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

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...]

Nuns and Bishops and Popes, Oh My! – UPDATES

The sisters are all Joan of Arc and the Bishops are all Don Giovanni!Allow me to clear my tabbar of these numerous links touching on the Sr. Margaret Farley story, the LCWR leadership meeting with Rome story and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad menfolk -- offering "the contorted thinking of celibate men" -- who just don't appreciate the linear and perfect thinking of the celibate women.I guess female celibacy is superior to male celibacy and therefore confers credibility on … [Read more...]

Americans and Obedience: Oil and Water

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It's a rare thing when Julie Davis climbs up on a soapbox; she is the most genial of ladies, and not one to kick up a fuss, but she's got something to say, today and it's worth hearing and pondering:Why did God highly exalt Christ Jesus? Why did God bestow on him the name above every name, that at that name every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth? Why shall every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father?Obedience.He took the … [Read more...]

The LCWR, Reform and the Persistence of Memory – UPDATED

My plan was to end the night with a linking round-up of reactions, thoughts and analysis of how the story of the Vatican's call for a reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious was falling out. And I may still do that -- when do I ever shut up? But for tonight, I can't think of a better read for anyone interested in this story, than Max Lindenman's brilliant, heartfelt and almost lyrical piece that reads like the turn of a long, last loving look and a deep sigh into tomorrow:So … [Read more...]

“A House of Prayer; a Temple of Intercession”

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Would to God that . . . all men could know how very easy it would be for them to arrive at a high degree of sanctity. They would only have to fulfill the simple duties of Christianity and of their state of life; to embrace with submission the crosses belonging to that state, and to submit with faith and love to the designs of Providence in all those things that have to be done or suffered. . . This is the spirituality of all ages and of every state." --Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, … [Read more...]

The Healy Brothers; a Thrilling, Shameful Story

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February is Black History Month, and to kick it off historian Dr. Pat McNamara brings us a fascinating story that thrilled and shamed me. What a remarkable family of faith existed in the sons and daughters of Michael Healy and Eliza Clark; they became priests, nuns and even a bishop emerging from their home in Georgia, where mixed-race children were called "slaves." But none of it came easily or peacefully in 19th century America:By any standard, the Healys were an impressive family. … [Read more...]

Buster, Gratitude, Hillbilly Thomism UPDATED

When Buster was pretty small, perhaps three or four years old, a priest asked a rhetorical question during his homily--I don't remember the question; it might have been "why are we here, today" or something like that--but the boy was determined to answer it, and his hand shot up and remained there, like one long skinny flagpole wavering, while the priest tried to ignore him.After a while, Fr. Patient--who had baptized Buster and knew him well--sighed and said, "okay, Buster, what's your … [Read more...]


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