July 25, 2018

I have seen surprisingly little homophobia in the McCarrick scandals, but then again I’m selective in my reading.  Rod Dreher’s piece on the response of the bishops, “Among the Apostolic Bureaucrats”, gives a hint of it in one of the preserved comboxes he shares.  I’d like to take a moment to talk about sane Catholic thinking where same-sex attraction and clergy corruption intersect. Begin by reading Humanae Vitae, which turns 50 today.  Happy birthday to a short and user-friendly encyclical. … Read more

July 18, 2018

The New York Times has come forward with the first round of investigative reporting on Cardinal McCarrick.  Points to note: The victim interviewed by the Times is Robert Ciolek, one of the two priests who were previously bound by confidentiality agreements as part of their settlements with the dioceses they sued for sexual harrassment.  So this is not a case of previously-silent priests or seminarians coming forward. It is good that the dioceses have lifted the confidentiality agreements.  Hardly a deluge of… Read more

July 2, 2018

Rod Dreher has a McCarrick follow-up post sharing e-mails from priests who have contacted him to say We want to end this corruption, but we don’t know how. Your bishop won’t listen to you. You have no place to go if your clerical career is ruined. Your friends and family may not believe you, since widespread denial is part of the problem. Dreher writes: Even after all that the public has learned since 2002 about what’s behind the façade of the… Read more

June 24, 2018

This morning I had the pleasure of being present when Bishop Robert Gugliemone announced the creation of (yet another) St. Peter’s Basilica, suitably proclaimed on the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the diocese of Charleston’s patron saint. Updated to share a link to the proclamation: And Bishop Gugliemone’s homily: Here are a few quotes from the bishop’s homily, pulling inspiration from the example of St. John the Baptist.  On the miraculous conception of the saint, but… Read more

June 23, 2018

In response to the McCarrick case, Fr. Longenecker, with whom I generally agree, writes something I think is horribly mistaken.  He describes McCarrick’s behavior as “sex games,” which he attributes to sexual immaturity.  Fr. L. is correct in saying that sexual immaturity  is a problem; I think he is wrong in asserting that McCarrick was not being predatory. We are both, of course, basing our analysis on the publicly-available allegations against the cardinal, and may be lacking crucial additional information. … Read more

June 22, 2018

Bishops and bloggers live at opposite ends of the talking jobs.  Bishops are charged with being perpetually diplomatic, and bloggers . . . well, I’m going to do my end of the job now: There’s a reason we can’t have good things like religious freedom, and that reason is all the people who played nice about Cardinal McCarrick. At this point the allegations about the cardinal’s predatory harassment and molestation of seminarians are still just allegations.  There’s a reason for… Read more

June 21, 2018

There’s a group in my region that provides help to women feeling they have no choice but to abort.  They pray at the local Planned Parenthood, and on mornings when abortions are performed, they are available in the immediate vicinity to assist any parent who asks for their help. In the past few weeks they’ve helped a young man who wanted to support his girlfriend through her pregnancy, but she was feeling like abortion was the only option.  They’ve helped… Read more

June 19, 2018

In light of Australia’s new law requiring priests to break the seal of confession, a friend asked for some tutorials on the sacrament for sharing with those who don’t really understand what the issues are. Starting with the basics, here is Catholic TV’s primer on How to Go to Confession.  Catholics Come Home has this excellent collection of resources on why we go to Confession and how it’s done. Did Catholics just make this stuff up?  (“Medieval invention” maybe?) By… Read more

June 18, 2018

In the present debate over what to do with illegal immigrants and their children, there seem to be two main camps: Those who see innocent people in a desperate situation, who deserve to be treated with as much kindness and help as possible. Those who see law-breakers, albeit in a desperate situation, who must be dealt with firmly, no differently that native-born criminals must often face harsh consequences. Call it: Why do you hate families? vs. Why do you hate… Read more

June 13, 2018

The latest in the Ideological Purity Wars is the public shaming and repentance of Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey for the sin of posting that he’d gotten a discount at Chick-fil-A, this month of all months.  As I understand it, the reason for his tweet was to promote his company’s “boost” cashback reward program.  The trouble is that obviously the man has been eating all the wrong chicken. Why would someone as woke as Jack Dorsey eat ideologically unsound… Read more

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