Intellectual Fisticuffs: Some Thoughts on the Apologetics Subculture

11/10/2014 Comments (47)

In 1998, I was asked to give a talk at my parish on my conversion to the Catholic Faith.  The local Catholic bookstore set up a table of various materials on the Catholic faith and as I perused them, I was struck by the fact that virtually none of these materials had existed when I came into the Church in 1987.  Today, if I were to walk into that bookstore, I would find, not only the materials under which that table groaned in 1998, but a still greater torrent of books, videos, DVDs and CDs, a vast number of them created by converts.  Clearly there have been some big changes in the past twenty years.  But before I discuss them, let me digress a bit.

On the whole, I'm glad of the boomlet in...READ MORE

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Cardinal Burke to Malta, Mamberti to Apostolic Signatura

11/08/2014 Comments (129)
Edward Pentin

Cardinal Raymond Burke

– Edward Pentin

Pope Francis today appointed Cardinal Raymond Burke, hitherto prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing Cardinal Paolo Sardi who has served in the position since 2009.

Confirmation of the appointment was widely awaited: rumors had been circulating for some time, and Cardinal Burke disclosed the Pope’s decision himself in an interview last month.

The move means that Cardinal Burke, 66, is completely removed from the Curia and holds a purely honorary position without any influence in the governance of the universal Church. Given his age and seniority, such a move is unprecedented and many therefore view it as a demotion.

He will be...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic signatura, archbishop gallagher, archbishop mamberti, cardinal burke, synod

Register Radio - CRS in the Middle East and Fr. Check on Homosexuality & Compassion

11/07/2014 Comments (10)

This week on Register Radio, Jeanette DeMelo talks with staff writer Peter Jesserer Smith about his recent trip with Catholic Relief Services to refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan.  Also, Dan Burke and Father Paul Check—of the Courage apostolate—talk about homosexuality, the Church and what true compassion really means.

Catholic Relief Services in the Middle East, with Peter Jesserer Smith

Peter Jesserer Smith is a register staff writer he recently returned from a trip to refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon with Catholic Relief Services.

Smith was one of four journalists selected to be part of the 2014 Catholic Relief Services’ Egan Fellowship program and see the work of the Church...READ MORE

Filed under catholic relief services, courage international, fr. peter check, homosexuality, jordan, lebanon, peter jesserer smith, refugees, register radio

Synod of the Family Shows Papal Rethink of Petrine Office, Says Cardinal Kasper

11/07/2014 Comment
Bohumil Petrik/CNA

Cardinal Walter Kasper.

– Bohumil Petrik/CNA

WASHINGTON — A project begun by St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to restore the exercise of the Petrine Office to its early Church roots is coming to fruition under Pope Francis, and is being seen in the synod on the family, according to Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s former point-man for ecumenism.

Cardinal Kasper, the president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for  Promoting Christian Unity, spoke at length Nov. 6 about Pope Francis and his theological vision at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he was on-hand to receive the university’s 2014 Johannes Quasten Award.

Cardinal Kasper said Pope Francis’ first introduction of himself simply as the “bishop...READ MORE

Filed under collegiality, early church, ecumenism, extraordinarry synod on marriage and the family, extraordinary synod, extraordinary synod on the family, orthodox church, patriarch bartholomew, petrine office, pope francis

Who Am I to Judge?

11/07/2014 Comments (161)

In comments on my opinion piece for the National Catholic Register and in editorials and news stories in the secular media, I have been taken to task for judging Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old woman with brain cancer who chose to end her own life last weekend with lethal drugs prescribed legally in Oregon.

I did not judge her. I judged the act of suicide, which is wrong even if done for reasons as heartbreaking as Ms. Maynard’s fatal diagnosis. Suicide and its modern-day step-child, physician-assisted suicide, are wrong according to the Church I love and whose teachings I follow.

The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote in the “Vatican Document on Euthanasia” in 1980...READ MORE

Filed under assisted suicide, brittany maynard, euthanasia, janet morana, who am i to judge

King David Among the Super-Righteous

11/07/2014 Comments (24)

If David lived today, I have a feeling not a few modern-day Greatest Catholics of All Time in the Reactionary blogosphere would read something like this:

Psalm 51
For the leader. A psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him after his affair with Bathsheba.

Oh great! Here it comes. A happy-clappy hymn from our Fearless Leaders, designed to make all of us hold hands, sing a little ditty, and forget the corruption at work in our "big happy family" at the very highest levels! Count me out! I am outraged at what this supposed "apple of God's eye" has done and no amount of cheery little campfire ditties from the "Psalmist of Israel" is going to make me forget the way he has frittered...READ MORE

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Same-Sex Marriage Case(s) Heading to U.S. Supreme Court?

11/06/2014 Comments (8)

On Nov.6, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, as expected, upheld state laws that effectively barred same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, reported The New York Times.

Reacting to the news, constitutional experts predicted that the new ruling, which breaks with previous circuit court  decisions on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, will likely prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to hear one or more cases dealing with the issue by the next term, with a ruling likely by June.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the USCCB's point man on this issue, praised the decision

Judge Jeffrey Sutton, writing for the majority in the 2-1 decision, ruled that state laws banning...READ MORE

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NYC Church With Major Artwork Merges

11/06/2014 Comments (1)
Joseph Pronechen

The Crucifixion scene by Brumidi fills the apse in St. Stephen/Our Lady of the Scapular Church in Manhattan

– Joseph Pronechen

The Church of St. Stephen/Our Lady of the Scapular is one of the nine Manhattan parishes that the Archdiocese of New York announced on Nov. 2 are among those to merge with other parishes and then, by Aug. 1, 2015, be used only for special occasions.

The decision is quite understandable yet sad, because this church is adorned with very significant artwork by painter Constantino Brumidi.

In fact, it has the largest number of Brumidi religious paintings done in a single church in the United States — 45 in all.

The major mural is the Crucifixion scene. It’s one of two he painted in Manhattan churches. Both Crucifixion scenes are more than 20 feet wide and 44 feet tall and among the biggest...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of new york, religious art

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