Remembering 9/11 with a Gospel that Preaches Itself

9/11 Cross — "I Remember…" by Rachel Titiriga via Flickr (Creative Commons)

To you who hear I say, love your enemies, Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, Pray for those who mistreat you. Sometimes, the lectionary provides us with a reading that preaches itself. As we remember 9/11 today, Thursday of the 23rd Week of Ordinary Time offers us eleven profoundly challenging verses from chapter six of Luke's Gospel.And if I'm being honest, I have to say that as painful and sad as the memories are, I don't struggle to remember 9/11. And I'm … [Read more...]

Facing Failure: Why the Seal of Confession Is Inviolable

Confession — Picture by Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP via Flickr (Creative Commons)

I try not to make a habit of wading into swamps, but there’s something going on in Louisiana that should not be ignored.[1. A few other contributors in the Patheos Catholic channel suggested a Jesuit might take look at this situation, in particular explaining from a Catholic viewpoint some of what’s being discussed over on the atheist channel.] The state Supreme Court ruled that, once a penitent has waived confidentiality, what was discussed in the sacrament of confession can be fair game in cou … [Read more...]

“So Great a Cloud”: Virtual Choir & Real Gift


Is there a real relationship between faith and technology, or is it just a matter of one using the other? Is the Church’s task with respect to the internet just to learn how to get its message out, or do we actually have something to learn from it? And do we have anything to offer back about technology, beyond moralizing about its proper use? Can we go beyond talking about how to use technology to talking about what it is really for?Here’s a potential answer to these questions: a beautiful vi … [Read more...]

Must Read: Bishop Caggiano Interview on “Church Reform from Below”


The Deacon's Bench pointed this interview out a few days ago, but the interview is such a great illustration of some of the themes I posted about earlier this week that I'm going to point to it again.Sean Salai, SJ a Jesuit in formation who's working as a summer intern at America magazine, has been posting a number of great interviews over there, including one with the Patheos Catholic Channel's own Eve Tushnet. But as far as I'm concerned, the must-read Catholic interview of the summer is t … [Read more...]

Be Not Afraid: Francis and the 15th Annotation

Ignatius - Head from Rubens Portrait

“There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves entirely into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace.” St. Ignatius, whose feast we celebrate today, wrote that in 1543. Four hundred and seventy-one years later, that fundamental Ignatian insight that God is far more active than we are often willing to notice or trust is still valid — and, inasmuch as it has formed the current successor of Peter, very much at work in the Church.A cou … [Read more...]

Well Worth Reading: CNN’s Belief Blog on Finding the “Francis Effect”

Pope Francis kissing a child

There's an excellent new piece by Daniel Burke up at CNN's Belief blog, "How to really measure the 'Francis effect'." (Full disclosure: I was interviewed along with some other Jesuits for the piece, and am briefly quoted in it — but don't let that count against it. It really is a great piece.) Despite the immense popularity the aged Argentine has won since his election last year, not a jot of doctrine has changed, nor has the Catholic Church swelled with American converts. … [Read more...]