June 24, 2015

In a courtroom recently, families of victims forgave the unimaginable crimes committed against them and their loved ones, and pleaded with a vicious murderer to repent and find God: “You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you. . . . You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. May God forgive you. And I forgive you.” “I forgive… Read more

June 3, 2015

Patheos’s Catholic bloggers are currently holding a symposium on Why I Am NOT Leaving the Catholic Church, and I decided to throw my two cents into the discussion. Before I get to explaining whether or not I will remain Catholic, first I’d like to look at a few reasons I find insufficient (in themselves, at least) for staying in the Church. Catholicism is true. Yes, well, so is gravity. And, yet, every year, knowing gravity is true, men insist on… Read more

May 19, 2015

Have you ever wondered why it can sometimes be so much easier to find common ground in discussion with non-Catholics than it is with fellow Catholics? Some months ago, I encountered a Traditionalist Catholic and a Planned Parenthood activist on the same day, and came away asking myself that very question. The day began when I was catching up on the latest on dits in the Catholic blogosphere. I was surprised to find mention on the Traditionalist Catholic news site,… Read more

May 11, 2015

Call me cynical, but the moment I saw in my Facebook newsfeed that Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, was thinking of returning to the Catholic Church, I knew that it would not be a cause for joy for many American Catholics but an opportunity for kveteching. First, let’s take a quick look at the story that’s been making the rounds today: President Raúl Castro said the teachings of Pope Francis had persuaded him not only to take a softer line on religion, but… Read more

May 8, 2015

Over the last week, my Facebook newsfeed has been filling with posts about Mother’s Day. I think it started when someone posted this article, an open letter from a “non-mom” to pastors. Non-Mom had some very good points, including this one: Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day. A pastor asked all mothers to stand. On my immediate right, my mother stood and on my immediate left, a dear friend stood. I, a woman in her late 30s, sat. I… Read more

May 7, 2015

It seems strange now that I don’t remember the word I spelled to win the school spelling bee when I was in sixth grade. You would think that moment would be bronzed in my long-term memory bank. Instead, I remember two other moments from that spelling bee with crystalline clarity. The first moment was sitting on the stage, looking over at the judges’ table, and seeing the trophy that would be presented to the winner. “I’m going to win that,”… Read more

May 4, 2015

When I was about 15 or 16, I noticed a small black-and-white advertisement in the back of one of those now rapidly-disappearing oddities called a “magazine.” No, the ad wasn’t seeking mail-order brides or offering unmentionables to be shipped in brown-paper packages. It was an offer of a free correspondence course on Catholicism from the Knights of Columbus. As an unbaptized “cultural Christian,” more or less, I only had a vague idea of what the Knights of Columbus was, but… Read more

April 30, 2015

. . . it’s one or the other, and I’m laying down my money on climate change. Many residents of my hometown, San Diego, California, come from somewhere else. I am a native and lifelong resident. So, let me tell you something about my hometown. We may have perpetually-losing professional sports teams, we may have a cost of living that would strain the finances of an exiled European monarch who fled the old country with a stash of Faberge eggs,… Read more

April 29, 2015

Let’s play a quick game. I’ll offer you three controversial quotes. You choose the one quote that you think ought to be taken absolutely literally, okay? Ready? Here we go: Quote 1: “Come on! Enemies who would utterly annihilate America! . . . They who’d obviously have information on plots, say to carry out jihad. Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable—not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding… Read more

April 28, 2015

When Jorge Mario Bergoglio received sufficient votes in the 2013 conclave to be elected pope, he was hugged by his friend, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who told him, “Don’t forget the poor.” So, he chose the name Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, to remind himself always of the poor. And since then he has worked hard to remember the poor (e.g., appointing a hands-on papal almoner, building showers for the homeless in the Vatican, etc.) Pope Francis once… Read more

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