A Church with Blades Drawn!

My column at First Things today talks about the ongoing tension between Catholic "Right and Left", and the conceit behind it:There exists an undeniable tension between left-leaning “social justice” Catholics and the right-leaning “pro-life” side; they share a conceit of primacy—one side sees itself as more compassionate; the other as more obedient. I personally know “social justice” Catholics who will pretend pro-lifers care nothing for the poor. And I certainly know pro-lifers who think the … [Read more...]

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A Divided Church and a Movement with Momentum

(Image courtesy of shutterstock.com)Over at Egregious Twaddle, Joanne McPort asks (and answers) whether the church can survive the times:The received narrative paints a Church disproportionately and irreconcilably divided between The People, a vast international sea of those who reject doctrinal pronouncements, tradition, and authority in favor of relevance, inclusivity, and individual conscience, and The Bishops (among whom the Pope is just one of the boys), a tiny aged and withering … [Read more...]

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BREAKING: Feds Halt HHS Mandate Enforcement on Small Business Owner

The Newland Family employ about 250 people in their small business, and they try to live out their consciences as Catholics, which means they offer a health insurance plan, that does not include coverage of sterilization or contraception. And the Obama administration's Department of Justice did not like that.Now, they have a "stay" of sorts, on the ruinous (and I believe unconstitutional) "contraception mandate" ordered by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as part of Obamacare.DENVER — A f … [Read more...]

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Building on what you’ve built: A GREAT Story

My Patheos colleague Tim Dalrymple has a story and video that really should make everyone stop in their tracks and think about what we all mean when we say (or sneer) at each other: "success", "capitalism", "share", "evil corporations", "collectivism" and "church."We get caught up in words like those -- particularly in an election year where, suddenly, words like "hard work", "build", "success", "welfare", "human dignity", "profit", "business", "hand-outs", "hand-ups" and "community" are … [Read more...]

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Are Catholics Tiring of Apologizing to the Culture?

I think so. Joanne McPortland continues to say the stuff I want to say but so much better than I can say it:Conservative critics, especially of academia, have made much over the years of the Tyranny of Tolerance, the ways in which thoughtful exchange among those who differ is purposely derailed by accusations of privilege and claims of victim status, examined for evidence of political incorrectness with a scrupulosity usually reserved for clerks of the Spanish Inquisition. I am not a … [Read more...]

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Wounded, Split in Two, Still Flourishing

Margaret Rose Realy is a master-gardener, and I like to read her stuff, because it seems to me she's managed to glean some gentle wisdom while out there among the seedlings, weeds and flowers. Today, she writes of a tree she encountered along a lonely road:As I neared I saw the tree had been broken in two. The sight of a tree split in half is not uncommon, but to see one split like this and flowering profusely was a reason to stop. The shattered tree was not fully … [Read more...]

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Chiara Corbella: Dying for love, “wonderful love that grew more and more…”

Photo image at Source28 year-old Chiara Corbella has died and at her funeral in Rome, there was joy amid the sorrow. In fact, there was a kind of triumph, of love over life and life over death -- one of those contradictory signs that makes no sense to an efficient world but is transcendently reasonable to the mind of faith:Chiara was happily married to Enrico Petrillo. They had already suffered the loss of two children [born with birth defects] in recent years. . .The couple became … [Read more...]

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Good Reads and Dawn Eden’s Latest! – UPDATED

Over at Aquinas and More they're sponsoring the Catholic Summer Reading discussion, and I am really pleased to see several books I have liked and recommended up on the list of recommended adult reading. You can vote for adult and teen titles you recommend. Happily, the list includes Sigrid Undset's Stages on the Road, about which I cannot say enough good things, and also Amy Welborn's Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope and Hallie Lord's Style, Sex and Substance.One book that … [Read more...]

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Humanae Vitae Will Bring Us Together UPDATED

Many Catholics have long regarded Pope Paul VI's little-read-but-much-despised encyclical letter Humanae Vitae as prophetic. Even some who, perhaps, had not previously thought so are admitting that "Humanae Vitae in its entirety reads better, and more presciently, every year."A few months ago, while I was in the middle of a rant, I wrote as an aside:I have come to believe that Humanae Vitae is going to eventually be seen as a powerfully unifying document between Evangelicals and … [Read more...]

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A Church Where Sheep May Safely Graze

Imagine you're pregnant, unchurched and addicted, and you want to step out of the darkness and into the light. What sort of hand will you trust to lead you out?My first child was conceived out of wedlock. I was, at the time, not only unmarried but also a crystal meth addict. I was not Catholic but some strange combination of agnostic/lapsed Protestant; my boyfriend and the father of my child was a Catholic. Obviously neither he nor I were living virtuous lives at the time, but the reality … [Read more...]

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