Dominion, Stewardship and Smallpox

I want to return to a post I wrote six years ago, on the question of what to do with the last remaining samples of smallpox.  In that post I was wrestling with the distinctions between dominion and stewardship, using smallpox as an extreme example.  Under a dominion model of creation, we have an absolute right to destroy smallpox both in the natural environment and the last remaining samples–a question which continues to be debated.  Under the stewardship model, I… Read more

Opposing Universal Basic Income

Resolved:  Catholics should oppose plans for a universal basic income as being contrary to Catholic Social Teaching. This resolution can be read in a lot of ways, so let me clarify:  I am not opposing disability insurance, welfare payments or unemployment benefits to support those who cannot find work or are unable to work.   Rather, I am thinking of the recent proposals which have arisen, partly out of Silicon Valley types, that the increase in automation and the expansion of… Read more

What “Fake News” Doesn’t Mean

If there’s one thing I have to credit The Donald for, it’s his marketing savvy. Case in point: what comes to mind when you hear the term “fake news”? At its (still recent) origin, let us remember, the term referred to articles made to look like legitimate news stories that were in fact entirely fabricated – that is, not the work of actual journalists from actual news outlets – many of which, ironically, benefitted the Trump campaign. I say “ironically”… Read more

Happy and Blessed Feast of the Assumption!

Our choir at mass this evening really got into Hail Holy Queen, and so, in honor of our Blessed Mother, I want to share with you the most rocking version of all, from Sister Act: This version is by the Cancioneta Praga.  Peace and all good! Read more

How I Became a Racist

Note: This piece is being reposted, with a few minor edits, from another blog I occasionally contribute to, Broadway Fillmore Alive, based in my first hometown of Buffalo, NY. You can see the original piece here: http://broadwayfillmorealive.org/2.0/2017/08/how-i-became-a-racist/ This is an essay I have been meaning to write for a long time. It is also one that I have avoided writing, possibly for fear of the criticism I know I’ll receive, but mostly due to the difficulty of facing unsavory truths… Read more

Did Your Pastor Say Anything Today about Racism?

It is all over the news, of course:  one dead and 19 injured during a riot by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Between 500 and 1000 white nationalists, neo-Nazis and alt-right supporters, all heavily armed, descended on Charlottesville to “protect their heritage” in the form of a statue of Robert E. Lee that is slated for removal from the newly renamed Emancipation Park.  There were a large number of counter-protestors; details remain sketchy, but it appears that while a few… Read more

Competing Visions

There are two competing visions of what America will be going forward. One of those visions is the more traditional one (I’m being descriptive here — not endorsing it. I think the evidence of history supports overwhelmingly that this vision has been the predominant one for most of that history.) Under this “traditional” vision, The United States was begun by, and has been run for, the benefit of white Europeans, from long before it was an independent nation. The human… Read more

TF46: Hospitality and Transforming Truth

This week Eric and Brett discuss the relationship between Hospitality and the Transforming Truth of the Gospel. Are name tag Sundays, handshakes at the door and coffee after Mass the ‘magic bullets’ of evangelization? Do we need to be wary of sharing the truth of the gospel for fear of scaring off potential seekers? We’ll look at the place of an authentic Christian Hospitality in the Church’s evangelizing mission and share a couple of our own transforming encounters with Jesus… Read more

TF45: The Archdiocese of Regina Lay Formation Program – A Homily from Archbishop Don Bolen

This week we have a special treat for your summer enjoyment – a homily by our Archbishop Donald Bolen delivered on June 10th at the 34th graduation Mass for our Archdiocese of Regina Lay Formation Program! As you may or may not recall, host Eric Gurash has been coordinating this program for the past two years. It’s a program that seeks to give an answer to a great need, expressed by Pope Francis for “well-trained lay people animated by a… Read more

St. Mary Magdalene and John Rutter’s Gloria

When I was in high school, our choir performed a joint concert with a local community choir of two musically contrasting settings of the Gloria: the somewhat darker and gothic arrangement of Francis Poulenc (which is also beautiful and haunting and worth a listen in its own right), and the majestic, fanfarish arrangement (including brass ensemble accompaniment) of John Rutter. The contrast sparked my imagination, as I pictured the two Glorias as a sort of soundtrack to, respectively, the crucifixion… Read more

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