My Wish List for New Catholics, and a Few Thoughts About RCIA

02/26/2016 Comments (11)

Benozzo Gozzoli (1420-1497), “Baptism of St. Augustine”

I am a "double-jump" convert to the Catholic Faith. I was raised Nothing-in-Particular (with a cloudy pagan regard for "the spiritual" and a deep disdain of "organized religion"). Then, at the age of 20, I had a sort of classic "born again" experience after an encounter with the living God revealed in Jesus Christ. Looking around me, I found that the people who had introduced me to Jesus were the non-denominational Evangelicals and charismatics on my dorm floor at the University of Washington. Therefore, putting two and two together, I concluded that this was the Christian community God had given me and that it was my task to learn from them, love them, and receive the love of God through...READ MORE

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The Seven Deadly Sins Really Are Deadly

02/25/2016 Comments (3)

Jacques de l'Ange, “An Old Woman Weighing Gold: Avarice” (1642)

Somebody observed about the current front runner presidential choices, “It seems to be a choice between six deadly sins on the one hand and half a dozen on the other…”

Certainly the current election cycle is disappointing for anyone who is looking for the candidate of personal virtue.  Usually the investigators dig deep to find the hidden scandal and the skeleton in the closet. These days the investigators dig deep to find some evidence not of vice, but of virtue.

The frightening thing about candidates who are not personally virtuous is that all vice ends in violence. Consider the seven deadly sins and how they are deadly.

 In one way or another, if the vice is continued it ends in...READ MORE

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The Devil Hates Faith and Reason Alike

02/25/2016 Comments (1)

Raphael (1483-1520), “The School of Athens”

Could we have a do-over? When looking at the list of candidates running for president, I wish we could stop everything and start over. Why? Because the people of our nation are too easily led like sheep and we listen more to “experts,” spectacles, and impossible promises than reasonable arguments.

What I see in America is the loss of reason and it has become the devil’s playground.

C. S. Lewis frames the situation this way in The Screwtape Letters:

But what with the weekly press and other such weapons we have largely altered that….He doesn’t think of doctrine as primarily ‘true’ or ‘false’, but as ‘academic’ or ‘practical’, ‘outworn’ or ‘contemporary’ or ‘ruthless.’ Jargon, not...READ MORE

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Italian Senate Passes Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill

02/25/2016 Comments (10)

The Italian Senate this evening passed a bill allowing same-sex civil unions, but the legislation does not include a planned measure to allow adoptions by same-sex couples.

The bill passed a vote of confidence motion with 173 in favor, 71 against and none abstaining.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has long promised to pass a civil unions bill, described Thursday's vote as "historic".

But the bill’s sponsor, Senator Monica Cirinnà of the leftist PD party, said the watered-down version of the bill was a hollow victory. She said it was “a very important measure” but legislators now must take “a second step" as "we're halfway up the ladder", ANSA reported.

The bill now goes to Italy’s...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal gerhard muller, cardinal pietro parolin, civil unions, italy, same-sex unions

Please Just Sell Me a Shirt

02/25/2016 Comments (36)

If you blinked, you might have missed the latest tempest in a teapot: Land's End, the venerable clothing company that supplies preppy sweaters to East Coast old money and sturdy uniforms to private school kids, made the ill-advised decision to feature an interview with feminist icon Gloria Steinem in their latest catalogue. The interview was to be the first in a series, presumably spearheaded by the company's relatively new female CEO. The series would be an “ode to individuals who have made a difference in both their respective industries and the world at large." Land's End said, "We honor them and thank them for paving the way for the many who follow.” Land's End also offered the option...READ MORE

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Mary is the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of Mercy

02/25/2016 Comments (3)

Enguerrand Quarton (1410-1466), “The Virgin of Mercy”

Of course you should be thinking – a lot – about God’s mercy during this Year of Mercy. But, there’s something or rather, someone, you might want to consider as well.


In his book, Divine Mercy: The Heart of the Gospel, Dr. Mark Miravalle, theology professor at Franciscan University at Steubenville, quotes Mother Teresa as saying, “Of course [Mary] is Co-Redemptrix, of course. She gave Jesus his body and the body of Jesus is what saved us."


Jesus is Divine Mercy, or Mercy Incarnate. He deserves all honor and glory. In his mercy, he allowed himself to be ridiculed, falsely accused, brutally tortured, and crucified so that you and I might have salvation.

But, who gave him...READ MORE

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Trumping Up a Dispute With Pope Francis

02/25/2016 Comments (11)

Pope Francis aboard the papal flight from Mexico to Rome, Italy on February 17, 2016. (Alan Holdren/CNA)

When I returned home from work a few days ago, I received a number of emails, notes and other messages expressing confusion, perplexity and even anger in relation to a statement Pope Francis had reportedly just made about Donald Trump and immigration.  This statement has gotten a remarkable amount of media attention and has generally been characterized with headlines such as “Pope Francis says Donald Trump is ‘not Christian’.”  I’ve seen numerous expressions of outrage on the political right from people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and glee on the political left from networks like MSNBC regarding what Pope Francis supposedly said about Trump.

But has the media fairly characterized...READ MORE

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Head of Polish Bishops Reflects on Family Synod

In new EWTN Germany interview, Archbishop Stanisław Gadecki discusses meeting’s strengths and weaknesses, dismisses talk of a German-Polish “war”, and recalls that the greatest expression of the Church’s mercy is the Sacrament of Penance.

02/24/2016 Comments (3)

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Posnan, Poland.

– YouTube

KÖLN / POSNAN — As many eagerly await Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the Synod on the Family after a long and tempestuous process, EWTN Germany’s Robert Rauhut sat down recently with Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, president of the Polish bishops’ conference, to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the synod, a “big change” in the return of St. John Paul II’s teaching at the most recent meeting, and the relationship between truth and mercy. The archbishop also speaks of synod fathers’ “astonishment” at the few mentions of the word sin in the synod’s final document, the hype surrounding holy Communion for remarried divorcees, and why bishops must “rectify” exaggerated...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic exhortation, conscience, divorce remarriage, john paul ii, pope francis, synod on the family

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