Climate Change, Planned Parenthood and Importance of Laudato Si’

It's a now-infamous video: a female doctor contentedly munches on her salad while describing her method of carefully using "grabbers" to insure that, when she is crushing the limbs of a baby in utero, valuable organs like the heart and liver are not shredded, because people will pay good money for those.“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know [that they are marketable], so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I … [Read more...]

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Old Altar Boys at Mass: A Bold Witness

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 6:25 AM: In the palest light, I follow footprints left in the season’s first frost, just a few minutes behind the regulars. The church’s glaring overhead lights are softened by the flame-glow of a few dozen candles --real wax, seven-day candles that burn a constant supplication --and by the shimmer of one gloriously large and eye-catching Icon of the Crucifixion scene. I wait to stand my candle as a slope-shouldered older man first places his own and then remains a few mom … [Read more...]

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Of Otherness, Gay Marriage, Rights and Offices

The headlines of the past two weeks have given me a lot to process, and this weekend is a good time to think on things. Since the Obergefell decision, there are fights breaking out all over the internet, between Gays and Straights and Christians and Other Christians, and even between Catholics and Other Catholics.The idea of the "Other" got me thinking about a piece I'd written a while back at First Things, one that -- to my surprise (but then I never know how groups of people are going to … [Read more...]

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Why Proselytizing Doesn’t Work, in One Photo

Once before I wrote that Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Dolan were right, when they said that proselytizing was folly, and that "you're going to hell if you don't straighten up and fly right", was not the best way to greet people.That made a lot of people mad. So mad, that I lost a few regular readers over it because they were convinced I was spouting heresy.But here, in one photo -- a grab from a you tube video, but believe me, it's going to quickly become an iconic photo -- … [Read more...]

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Gay Marriage and What We’ve Been Saying

This past week I got to spend some time with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, the Catholic sister who takes in girls who have been brainwashed, made to kill, been held captive, raped and left to raise the resulting children on their own. She teaches them skills, and helps them to become self-sufficient. As I watched a short documentary about Sister Rosemary and heard these girls talking about what they have been through, I couldn't help but to think how, in comfortable America, we're busy carrying on … [Read more...]

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Laudato Si’ and the Influence of Romano Guardini

Enjoy one of the best commentaries I've yet read on "Laudato Si'", via guest Father Robert Barron Laudato Si' and Romano Guardini by Very Rev. Robert Barron In 1986, after serving in a variety of capacities in the Jesuit province of Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio commenced doctoral studies in Germany. The focus of his research was the great twentieth century theologian and cultural critic Romano Guardini, who had been a key influence on, among many others, Karl Rahner, Henri de Lubac, and … [Read more...]

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Does Bringing Back Meatless Fridays Sound Good?

In her stupendous novel In This House of Brede, author Rumer Godden chronicles the pre-and-post-Second-Vatican-Council journey of a successful English professional woman who becomes an enclosed Benedictine nun. When the novel’s main character, Philippa Talbot, is asked by a co-worker, “but will you be able to be obedient, a stiff-necked creature like you?” she responds rather naively, “I shall find it restful.”For the most part, she does. After a lifetime of settling and deciding matters for … [Read more...]

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Pew’s Numbers Wrong? They Won’t Be for Long!

Guest blogger Russell Shaw takes a look at the Pew Study, and the realities before us. Something to sharpen our thinking about "Why We Remain Catholic" - ESby Russell Shaw The first and arguably most important thing to say about the Pew Research Center’s new overview of American religion is that it offers no grounds for either complacency or panic. What it does instead is invite -- perhaps demand -- that it be taken very seriously by responsible church people.In its first “religious lan … [Read more...]

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Hating God Was So Much Worse Than Being Catholic

On social media, people are still responding to our invitation to explain why the heck they remain in this challenging, counter-cultural, sometimes counter-intuitive-seeming church.Here at Patheos, a couple more bloggers have answered the question, as well, and today we hear from two surprising sources who speak of having hated the whole notion of belief. Margaret Rose Realy gives a searingly personal account:At ten I stormed through a darkened church, past the communion rail and, … [Read more...]

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