Since Sin Requires Awareness, Is Our Clueless Culture Off the Hook?

01/19/2016 Comments (19)

Pierre Jean van der Ouderaa (1841-1915), “Temptation”

Sin has become as ordinary as eating cheeseburgers.  And just as acceptable.  People seem to not even know what sin is anymore.  But wait a minute; in such a case, doesn’t that absolve them from any guilt?  Recall, that in order to sin, one has to know it is a sin and do it anyways. Is ignorance bliss?

Truth is a Stranger

Truth is not only unknown to many, but they aren’t interested in meeting him. Catholic teaching, however, is anchored in eternal truth.  Anthony Esolen, a professor of English at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island explained in his book Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching that the Church provides an understanding for the confusion plaguing society.

He pointed...READ MORE

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Don't Reasons to Become Pro-Life Sometimes Sound Flimsy?

01/19/2016 Comments (14)

(Photo credit: Madcapslaugh Ecografía, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Sometimes the reasons people become pro-life can sound...flimsy? I bring this up because there was some questioning about Donald Trump's commitment to the pro-life cause. Personally I have no confidence in his pro-life credentials at all but I was thinking that sometimes when I'd heard others explain their pro-life conversion, they seemed a little...unimpressive.

Here's Trump's conversion a la The Weekly Standard:

In 1999, Tim Russert asked Trump if he would support a ban on "abortion in the third-trimester" or "partial-birth abortion." "No," Trump replied. "I am pro-choice in every respect." Trump explained his views may be the result of his "New York background." Now that Ted Cruz has...READ MORE

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Did the Pope Ask Atheist Scalfari Really Not To Convert?

Co-founder of 'La Repubblica' newspaper recounts Pope's words, most probably made in jest.

01/18/2016 Comments (42)

The Italian atheist Eugenio Scalfari has told a large audience in Rome that Pope Francis asked him not to convert to the Catholic faith because then he’d have to find another stimulating non-believer to speak with.

Such a task, Scalfari quoted the Pope as saying, would be “a hell of a job”.

Scalfari, 91, who has built up a close rapport with the Holy Father and conducted a number of interviews with him from memory without recording them, was speaking in Rome’s main auditorium Jan. 14 to mark the 40th anniversary of the left-leaning La Repubblica newspaper which he co-founded.

Asked if there is one thing above all during his life that he was most proud of, he answered he had lived a...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, conversion, eugenio scalfari, evangelization, la repubblica, pope francis

'Historic Step' as Holy Face Procession Returns to Rome

01/18/2016 Comments (8)
Edward Pentin/

Replica of the Holy Face close to its former home in St. Peter's basilica, in the former St. Mary's Chapel, where Michelangelo's Pietà stands today.

– Edward Pentin/

Pilgrims from the Italian town of Manoppello, home of the Shrine of the Holy Face, retraced an ancient procession for the first time in 808 years in Rome on Saturday, carrying a replica of the sacred image which scholars believe to be the Veil of Veronica (vera icona "true icon").

Beginning at the end of the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, a hundred or so people including the mayor of Manoppello processed through the Holy Door of Mercy and into St. Peter’s basilica where prayers were recited and hymns were sung. They then carried the Holy Face to the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, a few hundred yards away, heading towards the Tiber, where there was Exposition and Veneration, and then...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop georg gaenswein, holy face, manoppello, paul badde, year of mercy

Almost Like Being in Love

01/18/2016 Comments (5)

We're now in that quasi-Christmas season.  The twelve days are past.  Epiphany's over.  The Baptism of the Lord is past, but in some places Christmas still lingers on to the Feast of the Presentation on February 2.  It's like the Church is still sorting out what the heck happened at Christmas.

That's not surprising. Christmas is weird when you think about it. God becomes a human being after giving centuries of mysterious hints that this is what he plans to do, yet when the moment comes, hardly anybody realizes it. He lives for thirty-odd years among his people, repeatedly telling them "I am going to be killed and rise from the dead." Yet when the moment comes, those closest to him are...READ MORE

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Bart Ehrman Botches a Source

01/17/2016 Comments (9)

It pays to check your sources!--a lesson Bart Ehrman should take to heart.

Bart Ehrman is a smart guy, but he sometimes handles his sources in the most frustrating and misleading manner.

For example, in his book Did Jesus Exist? (where he is on the right side for once), he writes:

Several significant studies of literacy have appeared in recent years showing just how low literacy rates were in antiquity.

The most frequently cited study is by Columbia professor William Harris in a book titled Ancient Literacy (footnote 6).

By thoroughly examining all the surviving evidence, Harris draws the compelling though surprising conclusion that in the very best of times in the ancient world, only about 10 percent of the population could read at all and possibly copy out...READ MORE

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I Once Had an Odd Experience at the Tomb of St. Francis

01/17/2016 Comments (3)

Albert Chevallier Tayler, "St. Francis" (1898)

If there’s an important figure of our faith beloved by Christians and non-believers alike, it is St. Francis of Assisi. Just the number of garden statues proves the point. He loved animals and the poor and it’s the rare and undesirable individual who doesn’t love anyone who loves animals right? Francis even loved animals that were unlovely. Take the surly wolf of Gubbio. Routinely killing inhabitants of that little Umbrian village just north of Assisi, Francis set out to put an end to the mayhem. One day, he rolled up his sleeves and marched out to the meadows to give this wolf the what for. The wolf immediately repents of his evil doing. Flannery O’ Connor summed up the event nicely:


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VIDEO: Author of New Catholic-Jewish Document Discusses Its Contents

01/16/2016 Comments (13)

Salesian Father Norbert Hofmann, secretary of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews, is one of the principal authors of what Jewish groups have called a "groundbreaking" document on Catholic relations with Jews.

The Gifts and Calling of God Are Irrevocable”, which was released last month to coincide with 50 years since the Second Vatican Council declaration Nostra Aetate, is a theological document but not part of the Magisterium. It states explicitly and controversially for the first time that the Church no longer has a “specific institutional mission” to the Jews. 

In this exclusive interview with the Register, Father Hofmann says that the document is meant to...READ MORE

Filed under fr. norbert hofmann, jewish-catholic, nostra aetate

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