April 28, 2014

Since I seem to have a predilection for controversial topics, and for no particular reason other than this is a frequently recurring topic (see just yesterday) and I want to have a place to point people to when they ask me about it, here are some confused thoughts about whether the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church should allow married priests as a matter of course. (EDIT: my Patheos co-blogger Fr Dwight Longenecker, who’s a married priest, and awesome, has… Read more

April 27, 2014

Today is not only the canonization of two Popes, it’s also Divine Mercy Sunday. Prompted by recent news hyperventilation, and Ross Douthat’s column today, I thought it might be a good idea to run a thing I wrote a long time ago. My own thoughts on the issue are a muddle, and so this shouldn’t be read as an argument for a position so much than an argument for the idea that it’s possible to reasonably disagree on this issue… Read more

April 25, 2014

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in Modernity. I believe, when properly understood, it is thoroughly Christian. I believe the concept of human rights is fundamentally important. But I sometimes cringe when Christians, and particularly the highest authorities of the Church, defend positions using the rhetoric of human rights. This rhetoric is entirely appropriate in many cases, especially when talking to people who value the rhetoric of human rights highly, but still. First of all, there’s a rhetorical reason: when… Read more

April 25, 2014

Simone Weil was a French Jewish Christian mystic and philosopher. This is an extract (translated by me) of a letter she sent to a priest: The intellectual obstacles that had stopped me at the threshold of the Church, I can look at them as gone, as long as you do not refuse to accept me as I am. Yet obstacles remain. After some thought, I think they come down to this. What I am afraid of is the Church as… Read more

April 24, 2014

A good, properly Catholic theology of the economy must start with a good anthropology. A good anthropology must have a healthy understanding of original sin. As we saw in the previous column, in the economic realm, a healthy understanding of original sin leads us to prefer markets as a mode of economic organization, since markets work by and through human limitation. What else does Scriptural anthropology tell us about human nature ? In the Genesis creation accounts which form the… Read more

April 23, 2014

A story: much of my family is Traditionalist Catholic. One of the many things Trads hate is receiving communion in the hand. Truth be told, I’m not a fan either. Anyway, there I was, at a wedding of one of my family members. At the reception, after the Mass, one of my aunts sought me out, and said something like, “Oh, so you think the Body of Our Lord is like a piece of gum?” Indeed, at the wedding Mass,… Read more

April 18, 2014

Lord, we adore Thee and we bless Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now, and at the hour of our death. “Look, I am making all things new!” Read more

April 17, 2014

God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob God of Fire You who are the first, You became the last You who are everything, You became nothing Gratuitously, just for love, because You are love You kissed the feet of those who would abandon you You blessed your muderers–yes, that’s me You want to join us and enter us and be part of us As humble bread and wine This is Your throne, Your scepter, Your host: Simple, humble… Read more

April 16, 2014

I know you’re not going to believe this, but The Brothers Karamazov is, like, a really really good book. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the first Christian to say it’s really influenced him. One of the central characters of the story is the Starets Zosima (a starets, or elder, being a senior monk who is widely followed for his spiritual guidance). And I keep coming back and coming back and coming back to this one quotation as the necessary lodestar… Read more

April 15, 2014

My good friend Alan Jacobs has been a bit miffed lately at all the grief I give to Protestants, and I have to admit that, even though I believe talking about our differences is important, he has a point. It’s a lot easier to sin by lack of charity than by an excess of it. So I’ve decided to spend this Holy Week (it’s already Tuesday!) praying for Christian unity. And I’ll try to write nice things about our separated… Read more

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