Pope Francis Affirms there is “Dictatorship of Relativism”

We are still getting to know Pope Francis, studying his actions and his words as we try to gauge the man and what sort of papacy we might expect of him, where his stylistic differences with his predecessors end and the substantial differences (or similarities) kick in. I expect a couple of heads will explode upon reading this in his remarks, today, to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See:After the example of Francis of Assisi, the Church in every corner of the globe has always … [Read more...]

Elizabeth Scalia: Intrinsically Disordered Human Being

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So, basically, I realized something about myself over the last few days, and over at First Things I'm just putting it out there, because, why not?I yam what I yam:Up to now I have done a very poor job of dealing with it, largely because until that moment of clarity, I had not recognized the disorder. Like most same-sex attracted persons, I had thought of my battles and defeats in terms of weakness, shame; discipline, programming, and willpower; there was no connection to the … [Read more...]

Political Narratives or the Pope? Dross to Gold.

Benedict Last Mass Consecration

Immersion in Benedict resignation news, I find the worldly political stories to be stale theater in comparison to the richness of the words I am reading and the authenticity of the pope and the faithful as they meet. Dross to genuine gold.In what is likely his last public homily, Benedict today said: "he reward of the righteous is God Himself, to be united to Him, here, on a journey of faith, and at the end of life, in the peace light of coming face to face with Him forever." Part of me is … [Read more...]

Talking Benedict with Kathryn Lopez and Ed Morrissey – UPDATES

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If you're free from about 4PM Eastern you might want to turn your online radio dial to Ed Morrissey's daily show, where I will join Ed and Kathryn Jean Lopez in discussing today's startling news out of the Vatican:The Ed Morrissey Show and its dynamic chatroom can be seen on the permanent TEMS page. Be sure to join us, and don’t forget to keep up with the debate on my Facebook page, too!What's a plug among friends.Check back for more linkage and updates, but if you have a spare m … [Read more...]

Jesus and the Hemorrhagic Woman: Accountability and Thanksgiving

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Today's Gospel reading (Mark 5:21-43) tells us of Jairus' plea to Jesus, that he go to his sick little girl, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”Oh, that spoke to me; on a snowy, cold morning, with the arthritis screaming, I read that and thought, "me too, that I may move!"Along the way to Jairus' home, we read what is (for me, anyway) one of the richest and most powerful stories of Christ's healings:There was a wom … [Read more...]

The Good Wine is the Life of Faith in Christ Jesus

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"Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” -- John 2:10Eventually, no matter how much we think we want something -- be it a relationship, a child, a job, a vacation, a house, a car -- the "new" wears off. Like wine at the beginning of a celebration, we partake deeply of what is new and good; we enjoy it and we give ourselves over to it.Soon enough we are benumbed to it. You still love your s … [Read more...]

Of He-Men, Fathers and Popes who Do Not Swagger

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If you are not subscribing to The Catholic Answer, you're missing a lot of good stuff. My column for the Jan/Feb issue jumps off an interesting piece on the Feast of the Throne of Peter, to ponder why it is that the Vicar of Christ--beginning with Peter, himself--does not swagger:For competitive purposes, our fathers were invested with outsized swagger, but, in truth, we held them in a bit of awe and wonder. If our mothers were so familiar to us that we went running to them interchangeably … [Read more...]

Rescuing Devotional Babies from the Bathwater…

CSP Book Club

Over at the Patheos Book Club, there's an interesting selection being discussed, a slim volume simply entitled Catholic Spiritual Practices, Edited by Colleen M. Griffith and Thomas H. Groome.I'm going to confess right now, I did not get to read this book, but that wasn't due to lack of interest. In tidying up for Thanksgiving the thing was accidentally donated to my parish along with a slew of other books -- but I figure that was the Holy Spirit getting into hands that needed it. I was … [Read more...]

My Prayer at Adoration

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When I go to Adoration, it is such a privilege and such a humility. I go there in poverty -- unworthy of anything, but willing to be open, because I trust that all God wants of us is our willingness. Always with the reminder jangling in my brain: Weakness is sown, strength rises up.It is part-and-parcel of the great paradox: when I am weak, then I am strong.I am weak, often at my weakest, when I go to Adoration. But I know my prayer there -- even though I have nothing of myself, am … [Read more...]

Effective Evangelization Ought to Persuade, not Provoke

A few weeks ago Deacon Greg posted this video, and people are still visiting it and many of them are sending it on to me, believing I must not have seen it, and wondering what I think about the "tolerance double standard" it reveals.Well, here's my response to that, over at First Things:There is no denying that the notion of “tolerance” has become somewhat fluid in the United States over the last decade, or that double standards apply to its application. Just last week, the Boston Globe … [Read more...]


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