April 19, 2021

Imagine, if you will, that you are a woman in her seventies, happily married for over forty years. Your 70-something husband has been very considerate of the physical issues that arise with advancing age—not only agreeing that marital intercourse isn’t possible (for whatever private reasons the two of you have presumably assessed) but to separate bedrooms so you both can get a good night’s sleep. Then, one fine evening, you’re happily kissing your husband good night when he takes you… Read more

January 28, 2021

No, I’m not going to offer expressions of remorse for outing myself in Why I’m a Pro-Choice, Pro-Life Catholic. I was a professional Catholic apologist for seventeen years, working for the apologetics apostolate, Catholic Answers. For me, “apologizing” often meant “explaining and defending” a position. In this essay, I don’t intend to express remorse for what I said, but I will take a closer look at a couple of concerns my public acknowledgment that I’m pro-choice (and pro-life) inspired and… Read more

January 27, 2021

About a week ago, Joseph Strickland, the bishop of Tyler, Texas, and an active tweeter, took to his social media soapbox to once again agitate against the COVID-19 vaccines on the erroneous basis “that ANY vaccine available today involves using murdered children before they could even be born.” He’s taken this stance despite confirmation from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that “it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses… Read more

December 14, 2020

Joe Biden is the second Catholic to be elected President of the United States, a fact that has added fuel to a longstanding debate in the Church in the United States. Many conservative American Catholics prefer to frame the debate as a matter of canon law. Should American bishops enforce canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law? If so, how should that be done? To review, canon 915 states: Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has… Read more

December 11, 2020

Welcome to Advent, that time of year when Christians ponder the deep mysteries of the birth of Christ—and start arguing about the Virgin Mary. Protestants and Catholics usually bicker over whether the Virgin and St. Joseph had other children after Christ was born. Catholics argue among themselves over the details of Christ’s birth, in particular how he was born. Was he born in the same manner most humans are born, via natural childbirth, or was his birth in some way… Read more

November 30, 2020

Some years ago, the big Christmas news story was that churches were closing for Christmas. No, there wasn’t a pandemic sweeping the globe, nor was there a polar vortex expected to hit on Christmas Day. What calamity was causing churches to lock up and tell the faithful to stay home that year? Christmas would fall on Sunday. This Christmas [in 2005], no prayers will be said in several megachurches around the country. Even though the holiday falls this year on… Read more

November 25, 2020

I bit back a smile when I saw a new essay pop up on Catholic Answers’ web site today. David Dashiell, a freelance writer and lecturer at Franciscan University of Steubenville, wrote on “the sin of scandal—and how not to commit it.” I couldn’t help but think about my own recent essays outing myself as pro-choice and struggling with the faith. It had taken me a considerable amount of soul searching before writing on such intensely personal topics, but I… Read more

November 19, 2020

When I was preparing to write a booklet for Catholic Answers on New Age beliefs and practices, my editor had a concern to share. He wanted me to be careful not to “humanize” New Age practitioners as I’d tried to do in my earlier booklets on witchcraft and Judaism. What he meant by this directive was that he didn’t want me focusing on helping readers understand why non-Catholics believe as they do; rather, he wanted me to focus on Pure… Read more

November 7, 2020

To say that my transition from a staff apologist at Catholic Answers to a freelance writer has been a bumpy one is an understatement, to say the least. Perhaps one of the more difficult aspects has been trying to navigate Twitter. On the one hand, freelance writers need Twitter to keep their names out there, to draw in readers for their work. That requires involving oneself in discussions, and doing so in a forceful, punchy style that draws interest. For… Read more

November 4, 2020

A recurring topic on “Catholic Answers Live,” a radio show produced by my former employer Catholic Answers, has been “Why are you pro-choice?” Hosted by the apostolate’s specialist in pro-life issues, my former colleague Trent Horn, the premise of the show is to invite people who are pro-choice to call into the show and talk with Trent about why they’re pro-choice. I have to admit that I didn’t bother to listen to “Catholic Answers Live” very often, so I can’t… Read more

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