November 10, 2019

I have been asked by the Consistent Life Network to write 800 words on the Bible and the death penalty.  This is to be included in a document that will be some variant of “Consistent Life Answers to Common Questions.”   I readily agreed to do this, but on reflection I am realizing that this is a bit tricky, since I need to be able to speak to this in ways that cross Protestant/Catholic divides and several different ways of interpreting… Read more

November 6, 2019

In his response of the recent document of the Congregation for Catholic Education, “Male and Female he Created Them:” Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education, Fr. James Martin asks the Congregation, and Catholics more generally, to “Listen to the L.G.B.T. person.” It is true that in the section on listening (the first of three sections in the document, the following two being reasoning and proposing), the Congregation is concerned not primarily with the… Read more

November 1, 2019

In a time when fear holds so much sway, when violence is so often touted and life and dignity disrespected, may the witness of martyrs and messages of prophets strengthen us to walk the Gospel Way in the service of the Prince of Peace. For the strength to lay down all instruments of death, giving our first and greatest allegiance to Jesus Christ the eternal king rather than fight the wars of men, Saint Marcellus of Tangier and Saint Martin… Read more

September 27, 2019

To our readers:  just a note to let you know that thanks to your readership, the blog has made a donation to Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. Read more

September 26, 2019

I can’t get the image out of my mind. Ever since her impassioned speech at the United Nations, her tears and rebukes to world leaders, Greta Thunberg has stayed in my mind. In just a year’s time she has gone from an ordinary child to a global icon. A teenager who looks like a child in her unprovocative clothing and slightly untidy braids, she strikes a cutting image – whether protesting outside the Swedish Parliament, sailing across the Atlantic on… Read more

August 24, 2019

The old question of holding hands during the Our Father has erupted again.  Before moving to the heart of this post, a bit of personal history seems in order.  The first time I remember this coming up was in the mid-1980s, at the parish we belonged to in Portland, Oregon.  Some people were for it, some were against it, and I cannot remember if we did hold hands or not.  (My wife says we did.)  The whole parish did it… Read more

August 19, 2019

It started off as another failed art pilgrimage. When I told our tour guide on our first day in Venice that I had come to see Titian’s masterpiece, her face fell. Read more

August 10, 2019

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a church group I am on the mailing list for, one that really set my teeth on edge. (I am going to leave the specific group out of it, as it is not relevant to the point I want to make.)  The email approvingly shared something labeled the Soldier’s Creed of the Catholic Army: I am a soldier of GOD.  I am a warrior and a member of TEAM JESUS. … Read more

August 6, 2019

Dorothy Day said that “I only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” Who do you love the least? For me, there is no question. It is Donald Trump, the most unlovable figure I can imagine. But Jesus loves him … Read more

August 4, 2019

Every time news breaks of another public shooting, I’ve come to have the same sinking thought: “What? No, not another one.” And then I automatically say a Hail Mary, a habit I’ve adopted on hearing news of any violent or otherwise untimely death. I have little more to add, having grown weary of trying to come up with something new to say time after time after time after time. But after a week when the US has been hit especially… Read more

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