Homosexuality, Celibacy and Partnership: An Awkward Question

man_leaning_on_big_red_question_mark

I don’t need to tell anyone that the Catholic Church’s relationship with gay people has been a fraught one.But I don’t think it’s pollyannaish or foolishly optimistic to say that there are intimations, signs, and beginnings of a better approach to the whole question, one that is consistent with both orthodox teaching and the lived experience of gay people.It’s been led by a group of gay Catholics – like Eve Tushnet, Aaron Taylor, Gabriel Blanchard, and Melinda Selmys –, and Christians of … [Read more...]

Changing Hearts, Minds, and ‘Senses’

I've photoshopped the text to read "let all the uncool be gone from here."

In the last post, we talked about ‘senses’, the gut feelings, unquestioned assumptions, and ‘unknown unknowns’ that frame our thoughts and beliefs, often deciding what we choose to accept and reject.We concluded by posing some questions: How do people form and change their narratives, their “senses”, their social imaginaries? Can it even be done? How can we know our unknown unknowns, anyway? And aren’t Catholics as sense-bound as the next guy? Not being Damon Lindelof, I try to make a habit … [Read more...]

Benedictine Hospitality in Israel

Entrance to the Abbey of Saint Mary of the Resurrection, Abu Ghosh

Thanks to an oxygen-depriving case of pneumonia that cut the trip short, too many of my memories of Israel reside in a nebulous haze that has prevented me from writing about my experiences there. On this great feastday of Saint Benedict of Nursia, however, my Oblate's heart cannot help but share with you the experiences of Benedictine hospitality with which I was blessed and graced, even during so short a visit.The first occurred in Tabgha, at the Church of the Heptapegon, ("The Church of … [Read more...]

‘Sense’ and Sensibility (In Defence of Donald Rumsfeld)

Serving as a human hook for discussions of epistemology since

I don’t know the man, but I’d wager that Donald Rumsfeld treasures “Top 10 Dumbest Political Statements” articles rather more than the average retired politician.Because, of course, “Top 10 Dumbest Political Statements” pieces have a reasonable chance of including Rumsfeld’s memorable declaration on 'unknown unknowns – and thus of reminding Rumsfeld that despite everything, on this particular point he was considerably smarter than his critics.Every single time I read someone dismiss the “ … [Read more...]

Outwitting the Language Assassins (SYNOD)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

Greetings to one and to all! Guest blogger Ben Conroy here. First of all, a go raibh míle maith agat to the magnificent Anchoress that is as heartfelt as it may be cheesy. It’s an overwhelming honour to be posting here, and I will do my very best to live up to the ludicrously generous introduction Elizabeth has given me.As the Patheos Catholic Channel's Synodal Summer Symposium draws to a close, I keep thinking of the passage from Mary Eberstadt’s How The West Really Lost God that the Sym … [Read more...]

US Bank “Blessing” Brouhaha; Not a Hill to Die On? – UPDATE

All the blessings

Over at Kathy Shiffer's place, she links to a story about a woman who goes beyond "Have a Nice Day!" and is suing US Bank, for her "right" to do so.Except, from the story at Christian Today, it kinda sounds like this woman was making a pest of herself and her faith, not merely wishing blessings but putting people on the spot, too:The former Walton branch employee had worked for the bank for over 20 years. She said that she started saying "have a blessed day" to all of her customers … [Read more...]

The Sickly Anchoress, Getting an Assist from Ireland

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So, this is how things happen, sometimes:Leah Libresco mentioned on Facebook that she would be heading to Ireland with her mother, and wondered if anyone would be interested in having her speak to their group while she was there.Naturally, because she is an endlessly interesting young woman who has countered the culture in a most public way, people did want to engage as you can see here.I am not her agent but one young Irishman, seeking to book her in Dublin, wrote an inquiring … [Read more...]

Noonan Sees It: Obama Past Caring. Happy Independence Day!

burning bush mosaic

Peggy Noonan has written an excellent, some might say worrisome piece re Barack Obama's historically rather perverse presidency. You'll want to read it.I have for a while, now, wondered if the president's disengaged "check-out", and the "so, sue me" smugness -- the absolute lack of concern for anything, including his own legacy or the "future of the party" -- has less to do with a conceit that he possesses the ethereal, above-merely-human-detachment of a godling, and more to do with an … [Read more...]

Marriage! Annulment! Sex! Sacraments! Symposium Roundup Part I

jorisvo / Shutterstock.com

Our Summer Symposium on the Synod is off to a great start (and there will be more to come, through next Wednesday!) and there are enough interesting topics and great pieces to keep you going, even if your holiday weekend is rained out! What you can't find on the symposium landing page you should be able to find on the channel page, and quite a few pieces are embedded within the text of this post, but let me help you out by category, too! Getting Familiar: What is a Synod? What is it … [Read more...]

A Summer Symposium on the October Synod for the Family!

Symposium banner holy family

There is nothing like a Symposium in Summer, or at least that's the way Patheos sees it, and when we've undertaken them, they've been ambitious, thoughtful and fun.This year, scaling back a little and trying something different, Patheos has devised a Summer Symposium utilizing the Public Square section of the site, and leaving each channel manager to choose a topic. Given the enormous (and it must be said, often unrealistic) expectations being placed upon October's Extraordinary Bishop's … [Read more...]


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