Ed Morrissey’s Reasonable Talk on Catholic Reasons

A point I frequently try to make, around here, is that Catholicism is too large, too wide, too nuanced, too small-c-catholic to permit ideological purity. Catholic politicians or ideologues who manage such "purity" have always had to betray a tenet of Catholicism to get to that place.And that, to my way of thinking, is actually one of the best arguments for Catholicism, and Catholic Orthodoxy, in the world. It brings reasonable resistance against sophist trends and the sentimentalist's means … [Read more...]

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The Timely Reissue of Sigrid Undset’s Bios

I mentioned this book briefly in this round-up of great reads from last month, but today's column at First Things tells you why Ave Maria Press' reissue of Sigrid Undset's Stages on the Road is so very relevant, and why Undset can speak effectively to our age:Raised by progressively-minded atheists, Undset realized while still a teenager that ideologies and their accompanying “isms” gave inadequate measures of the world and humanity, always narrowing truth precisely at the point where what i … [Read more...]

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Welcoming Eve Tushnet to Patheos

She's been writing and I've been reading her for a long time, but I think Eve Tushnet's name became much more widely known in 2010, when the New York Times profiled her, identifying her in the opening graph as that (to them) most exotic of all creatures, a "the celibate, gay, conservative, Catholic writer".My goodness, these labels, categories and pigeonholes -- our increasingly polarized world loves them, because they tell us who we should read or not read, hate or not hate in the blink of … [Read more...]

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Catholics: Talking Homosexuality without Sentimentality UPDATED

I've been called a few names for suggesting that sentimentality is a kind of soft tyranny. So be it. I concur with Flannery O' Connor that when we swim in the sticky syrup of sentimentality, we lead ourselves to ovens and gulags.Feelings are wonderful things and I am glad we have them, but they are often irrational things, as well. Think of the things you "love" and "hate". Often your passion is irrational to your friends, and -- if you're honest -- even to yourself. Because they are … [Read more...]

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When Marriage is an “Office” Not a “Right”

Over at First Things, I'm wondering if perhaps we have been thinking about marriage, and about all of our roles as human beings, in the wrong way. What if we thought about life in terms of Office; can we comprehend equality -- all quite natural and unforced -- then?While all offices are equal, the Office of Marriage is one of especial humility and sacrifice. The essentials of procreation residing within us are so powerful that unless one ardently works to prevent it, new life will come (a … [Read more...]

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Pelosi Tries to Give Talking Points to Catholics – UPDATED

Right on schedule, Nancy Pelosi tries to do what Ted Kennedy and Mario Cuomo have done before her: give talking points to Catholics who wish to hop on to policy that flies in the face of church teaching.You'll recall it was Kennedy (and later Cuomo) who gave voice to the corkscrew notion that one could be “personally opposed” to abortion but too broad-minded to “impose my views on others.”Because, as you know, modern-day liberals would never presume to impose their views on others, not a … [Read more...]

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Are sensitivity and tolerance one-way streets? – UPDATED

I read this story over at Deacon Greg's earlier today and it annoyed me but I was too busy to write about it. My first thought was, "so, you friends at Catholic high school have supported you as you came out and by your own admission, always been respectful, and the school was fine about your bringing a boyfriend to prom, and you're going to reward them by making commencement all about you? Why all the taking and no giving?"I think you do nothing to build goodwill when you say, "your … [Read more...]

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Another vowed Domincan nun! – UPDATE

Last December, I had the privilege of attending the first profession of Sister Mary Magdalene of the Immaculate Conception, OP. I don't know if I will ever forget how powerfully resonant was her quiet but obvious deep and joy as she received her black veil. I have seldom encountered such a punch of supernatural serenity.Just six months later, the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ are celebrating again as another young nun pronounces her first vows and becomes Sister Mary Cecilia of the … [Read more...]

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The Talking, Thinking and Wondering Will Continue

There is a saying attributed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, that I used to keep up on my header: "Ideas lead to idols; only wonder leads to knowing."I wonder about that phrase often, and continually draw new understanding as I apply it to different subject matters. It reminds me that I am not only free to ponder, but that as a Catholic, I am (quite contra-CW) required to think. Not to give in to the soft tyranny of sentimentalism until I'm so busy feeling that thinking is dismissed; not to … [Read more...]

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“I don’t have to think; Hollywood does it for me!”

And here is what Hollywood tells me to think: Catholics who take their church seriously are foolish, hypocritical and failures in love.Normally, since there is a movie trailer involved, I'd just send you over toward the Deacon's place, to watch it, but since I have something to say, I'll post it here:By the way, we often are foolish, hypocritical and failures in love but that's part of the human condition and nothing exclusive to Catholics.Knowing nothing about this film beyond … [Read more...]

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