A Proposal for the Catechism on the Death Penalty

A while back I posted a complete transcript of remarks by Pope Francis on the death penalty.  While a speech is not as authoritative as an encyclical or apostolic letter, a prepared text such as this seems to give a pretty concrete summary of his views on the death penalty.    I had hoped to follow [Read More…]

Parsing Papal Popularity, Part I: Good, Bad and In-Between Reasons for Loving Francis

As Pope Francis’ pontificate passed the six-month mark, it was observed with a level of enthusiasm that shows a large-scale honeymoon still going strong.  His ongoing popularity contains tremendous opportunities for the Church in both its internal life and its proclamation of the gospel.  These opportunities, however, are not quick fixes but require a good deal of collective [Read More…]

Choose This Day

A few days before Pope Francis’ heartfelt plea for peace in his Sunday Angelus message, President Obama took a break from gearing up for yet another Middle East conflict – audaciously being called a “humanitarian intervention” – to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic March on Washington with these words in tribute to the unsung heroes of the [Read More…]

A Double-Edged Defense of the Consistent Life Ethic

Kudos to Nick Neal, a board member for the Consistent Life network, for combating the nonsensical and utterly counterproductive notion that to defend life in one arena requires opposing it in another.  He previously did so in response to David Pakman’s hasty claims of correlation between maternal death rates and the outlawing of abortion, as well [Read More…]

The Armaments Factory Worker – A Poem by Karol Wojtyla

I cannot influence the fate of the globe. Do I start wars?  How can I know whether I’m for or against? No, I don’t sin. I only turn screws, weld together parts of destruction, never grasping the whole, or the human lot.   I could do otherwise (would parts be left out?) contributing then to [Read More…]

Friends With Benefits and Robert Barron on the Theology of the Body

Please be warned that the first video is not suitable for all audiences. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoKigdXnJzU] [Read more…]

Is “Sexual Compatibility” a Myth? Some Thoughts on Cohabitation

I recently returned from Twickenham, England, the home of Catholic satirist Alexander Pope, where I gave a workshop titled “How Far Can We Go?  Talking to Young People about Physical Intimacy,” at the 3rd International Theology of the Body Symposium.  It was a very fruitful experience.  Apart from making all kinds of interesting connections with other [Read More…]

“May Christmas help to strengthen and renew…”

May Christmas help to strengthen and renew, throughout the world, the consensus concerning the need for urgent and adequate measures to halt the production and sale of arms, to defend human life, to end the death penalty, to free children and adolescents from all forms of exploitation, to restrain the bloodied hand of those responsible [Read More…]

Critiquing Christopher West

As a long time “chastity speaker” and recent author (How Far Can We Go?  A Catholic Guide to Sex and Dating, Novalis 2009, Paulist Press 2011), I am often asked my view of other, better known, workers in this corner of the Lord’s vineyard.  Christopher West is inevitably at the top of the list.  In [Read More…]