On the separation of church and history

On the night he was betrayed, the rabbi from Nazareth gave blunt, by mysterious, instructions about the rite that would forever be at the center of Christian life.The Gospel of St. Luke reports: "He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."These images mystified the faith's Roman … [Read more...]

Columbine, Newtown and our culture of death

Blame it on the guns.No, blame the judges who banned Godtalk in schools, along with most lessons about right and wrong.No, our lousy national mental health care system caused this hellish bloodbath.No, the problem is the decay of American families, with workaholic parents chained to their desks while their children grow up in suburban cocoons with too much time on their hands.No, it's Hollywood's fault. How can children tell the difference between fantasy and reality when they've been … [Read more...]

Commandments for believers who blog

Popes rarely produce viral sound bites, but legions of Catholic bloggers continue to pass around a quote from Pope Benedict XVI in which he openly blessed the passion that drives them to their keyboards."Without fear we must set sail on the digital sea facing into the deep with the same passion that has governed the ship of the Church for 2000 years," he said, in a 2010 Vatican address easily found at YouTube. The goal is to live in the "digital world with a believer's heart, helping to give a … [Read more...]

Cardinal prays with Democrats, too

As the Republican show closed in Tampa, Cardinal Timothy Dolan faced a flock of Tea Party activists, religious conservatives and country-club loyalists and gently addressed the sanctity of life."We ask your benediction upon those yet to be born, and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life," said the shepherd of New York, who also leads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.A week later, Dolan offered the final benediction for a Democratic National Convention in which 25 … [Read more...]

Cardinal praying in a GOP spotlight

Political conventions have always included prayers and, through the decades, legions of preachers, rabbis, bishops and others have stepped to the podium to deliver them -- whether the delegates were paying attention or not.Then Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles faced the Democratic National Convention in 2000. First, he reminded the delegates they were in the presence of God and that true prayers must focus on "moral values, not partisan politics."In his litany, Mahony said: "In You, O … [Read more...]

To SHUSH or not to SHUSH in church

At the altar, the priest extends his hands over the bread and wine, then makes the sign of the Cross and leads worshippers into the most sacred moments of the Mass.The prayer is familiar: "To you, therefore, most merciful Father, we make humble prayer and petition through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord: that you accept these holy and unblemished sacrifices, which we offer you firstly for your holy catholic Church."The atmosphere is reverent, or it's supposed to be.The problem is the … [Read more...]

Seeking the hipster antithesis

Christopher Kerzich is preparing to permanently embrace a truly retro, timeless look.The basics -- black jacket, black pants and black shirt -- will be stark and radical, providing a kind of "this is who I am" vibe. Black fedoras, scarves and long overcoats are optional. For accessories, he'll have a silver cross and a white collar.In other words, Kerzich is a seminarian at the North American College in Rome, preparing for his 2014 ordination as Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of … [Read more...]

So a bishop talks theology in a bar …

"Atheocracy" is not the kind of word that gets tossed around very often in bars.Nevertheless, Bishop James Conley recently defined that term and defended its use while speaking in a pub in the heart of Denver's trendy Capitol Hill neighborhood. The goal, as always, was to use this "Theology on Tap" forum for an informal, frank encounter with young Catholics and others who might be curious."America today is becoming what I would call an atheocracy -- a society that is actively hostile to … [Read more...]


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