Becoming Peter, on Betrayal and Faith

Jesus entrusts his flock to St Peter

In an aptly-sad, darkly-hopeful, meditation of an essay over at On Faith, Tim O'Brien confesses his sympathy for Judas. “Yes, that Judas," he writes, "Judas Iscariot. The betrayer. The Lost One. The bad guy who rivals only Satan in the collective Christian imagination."Confession made he turns quickly to the main question: just what is the difference between Judas and Peter?He’s right to ask. These Holy Week readings place precisely that question - and a number of others as well - right i … [Read more...]

What Martyrdom Means

Fr. Frans by Tony Homsy, S.J.

Editor's Note: A Jesuit, Fr. Frans van de Lugt, S.J., was martyred in Syria one week ago. In an effort to understand what happened and what it means Paddy Gilger, S.J. wrote the following for America Magazine. The beginning of that article is excerpted here. Fr. Frans van de Lugt, S.J.—who on April 7 was shot in the head, twice, in front of his home in the city of Homs, Syria—had been living under siege for twenty months when, in January, he recorded a video message challenging the o … [Read more...]

Why Is the Religious World Quiet on the Keystone XL Debate?

Alberta Tar Sands

Why is the religious world quiet on the XL Pipeline debate?Editorial note: This post was previously published on Saturday, March 22. On Sunday morning, March 23, the post was deleted due to a technical error. Unfortunately, all of the reader's comments were also deleted at this time. We are working to restore those comments. For more details and summaries of the comments please check the note at the end of the post.***As Catholics, we are likely aware of statements that have … [Read more...]

Loving Your Enemies: Finding Mercy for Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps Sr. image courtesy Wikimedia user Nicke L.

Most of us are by now aware that Fred Phelps, Sr. has died. In his role as pastor of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church Mr. Phelps has been widely vilified, and his death even eagerly anticipated. Over at TJP's main site, and in light of Mr. Phelps death, Jason Welle asks how deep our call to love our enemies runs. Many people would like to see Fred Phelps, Sr. dead.More, they’d like him to suffer while he dies. He, along with Westboro Baptist Church that he founded, has caused real hurt a … [Read more...]

“Jesus: A Pilgrimage” — Exclusive Excerpt from Fr. James Martin’s New Book and More

Cover of Jesus: A Pilgrimage

At the main TJP site, we have an exclusive excerpt from Fr. James Martin, SJ's new Jesus: A Pilgrimage, released today: As I stood under the broiling sun, I was gobsmacked to see rocks, thorns and fertile ground. No one planted the thorn bushes, carted in topsoil or arranged the stones to make the locale look as it did in Jesus’s time, as if we were in a theme park called Jesus Land. They were just there.It dawned on me that when Jesus used objects from nature to convey his message—seeds, ro … [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...]