A Preferential Option for LGBTQ Persons?

Ever since Vatican II we as a church have been unpacking what it means to have a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. How might this option apply to people in the LGBTQ community?Pope Francis has made comments in recent years that indicate a loving, pastoral approach to LGBTQ persons in the church and in the world. God loves and approves of the human person without condition or exception. There are several factors that hinder this loving response and several elements of church te … [Read more...]

Radicalizing Reconciliation

The movie Romero had a profound effect on me. It's the true story of archbishop Oscar Romero, who was killed for speaking out against injustice in El Salvador. One scene in the film is based on a radio broadcast of Romero speaking at the funeral of his friend, who was assassinated by a government hit squad. Romero is devastated, unable to believe the senseless violence. Knowing that the funeral mass is being broadcast, Romero says he has a message for the people who killed his friend. "To you, … [Read more...]

The New Evangelization of FOCUS

If you haven't heard of FOCUS yet, now might be a good time to find out.The Fellowship of Catholic University Students, in which recent college graduates commit to live and work on (mostly) secular college campuses for a few years, is now among the fastest-growing ministries of the New Evangelization among young people in U.S. Catholicism.Founded in 1998 by Catholic evangelist Curtis Martin and his wife, FOCUS partners with Newman Centers and Catholic campus ministries to share the … [Read more...]

The Harder Task: Talking About Abortion

This evening, at our parish’s regular 5:30 pm Mass, I put on purple vestments, and we prayed for the defense of unborn life and in reparation for the sin of abortion.The occasion, of course, is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which the U.S. Catholic bishops have designated as a day of prayer and penance.Praying for an end to abortion – and an end to the situations which make abortion appear to be the best or only option – seems obvious enough. But the “penance” part is less clear … [Read more...]

America: Leah Libresco’s journey from atheist to Catholic

For those who don't know her, Patheos blogger Leah Libresco is a former atheist blogger and Huffington Post writer who converted to Catholicism in 2012. At that time, she also switched from the Patheos atheist portal to the Patheos Catholic portal, where her blog Unequally Yoked is now very popular among Catholic readers. Leah's first book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer, is now due from Ave Maria Press in May.A Washington D.C.-based school systems analyst and … [Read more...]

Why Christmas Matters for Your Pets, or What Pope Francis Didn’t Say About Dogs

Every Christmas growing up, my family would go caroling at the dairy farms that were about two miles upwind from us.  In deference to the local Holstein inhabitants, we would always change the words of “The Friendly Beasts”  appropriately:  From "I," said the cow, all white and red "I gave Him my manger for His bed I gave Him my hay to pillow His head" "I," said the cow, all white and red to "I," said the cow, all black and white "I gave Him my manger for the night I gave Him my hay to sn … [Read more...]