Physicist Stephen Barr discusses faith and science


Dr. Stephen M. Barr, professor of physics at the University of Delaware, recently shared his thoughts with me on why science and the Catholic faith are "profoundly in harmony." His insights on the big bang and theory of evolution are worth reading. In our America magazine interview, he shared the following hope for his readers: I hope they come away with the realization that the church has never been an enemy of science, but rather a great patron and friend of science, and that scientific … [Read more...]

This Is What Authority Looks Like: Francis Bows Again

Francis Receives a Blessing from Bartholomew

This is what authority looks like: like bowing and asking for a blessing.I woke this morning to this stunning image in my Facebook feed, courtesy of the Deacon’s Bench. As I’ve spent much of the morning driving back from seeing my family for Thanksgiving, it’s kept coming back to mind, as if it had something more to say.The context for the photograph is Francis’s visit to Turkey, and meeting with Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch. In addition to being the first Sunday of Advent th … [Read more...]

Between Mercy and Cheap Grace: Martin and Douthat on the Synod

In between … Photo: "in the gutter" by Len Matthews (Flickr/Creative Commons)

As a newly appointed associate pastor, I found the e-mail conversation that took place recently between Ross Douthat and Jim Martin at America Magazine to be a breath of fresh air, both for its openness and honesty and for the sights I can glean from it.  Perhaps surprisingly, I found Douthat’s “less” pastoral approach more pastorally helpful than the “more” pastoral approach of Jim Martin.  Let me explain briefly.I was struck by Douthat’s perspective on how apparent mercy can sometimes work … [Read more...]

There’s More to Man in Interstellar and The Giver


Memory, like sleep, hath powers which dreams obey, Dreams, vivid dreams, that are not fugitive: How little that she cherishes is lost! –Wordsworth This article contains plot spoilers.What does the “science” in “science fiction” signify? I would propose that it is not astronomy or physics or biology, but anthropology: good science fiction explores the science of what it is to be human. I am reminded of this by two recent films that explore how our culture and memory shape our humanity. … [Read more...]

Breaking the Internet; My Heart

(c) Paper Magazine

 I have spent more time than I care to admit - by which I mean any time at all - looking at this photograph of Kim Kardashian and feeling annoyed. It took me a few moments of that time to figure out why, but here it is: I felt annoyed because I felt controlled, manipulated. And I didn’t like it. … [Read more...]

How Should I Die?


Brittany Maynard’s decision to euthanize herself has recently garnered much attention. A perhaps lesser-known but somewhat similar story was documented across the Atlantic on the Guardian. In the article, Paula Cocozza wrote about the relationship between Annie the palliative nurse and Jo the dying patient. Jo had planned to take the route of euthanasia, but the time spent with Annie seemed to have given her second thoughts. This is not a picture-perfect case. Jo hadn’t completely closed the doo … [Read more...]