Friendly Dragons? 10 Things to Know and Share

08/17/2016 Comments (9)

Is it ever okay to depict friendly dragons? Here are 10 things to know and share . . .

The recent remake of the movie Pete’s Dragon has prompted some discussion on the Internet of whether it is ever permissible, from a Christian point of view, to depict dragons as friendly, which happens in the movie.

Some, pointing to comments made by novelist Michael O’Brien in his book A Landscape with Dragons, have answered that they should not be.

Here are 10 things to know and share . . .


1) No Church teaching

Regardless of what one thinks about friendly dragons, it’s worth bearing in mind that there is no Church teaching on this subject.

You’re not going to find a papal or conciliar document that says, “Dragons may never be depicted as friendly.”

The matter is thus one of...READ MORE

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The Assumption of Mary: 12 Things to Know and Share

08/13/2016 Comments (6)

Monday, August 15 is the Assumption of Mary. Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

August 15 is the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.

In the United States, it is a holy day of obligation (in years when it does not fall on a Monday).

What is the Assumption of Mary, how did it come to be defined, and what relevance does it have for our lives?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .


1) What is the Assumption of Mary?

The Assumption of Mary is the teaching that:

The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory [Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus 44].


2) What level of authority does this teaching have?

This teaching was infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on...READ MORE

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Two Unsuccessful Arguments for Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki

08/08/2016 Comments (40)

St. Mary's Urakami Cathedral sat less than half a mile from the hypocenter of the explosion that destroyed Nagasaki, the Christian heart of Japan. Most of the city's 12,000 Catholics were among the tens of thousands of civilians killed in the blast on August 9, 1945.

Every year in August, people take to the blogosphere to debate the morality of the U.S. nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which took place in August of 1945.

This year, physicist Tom Hartsfield has a piece on Real Clear Science in which he argues that dropping the bomb on these cities was the right thing to do.

He makes two arguments, neither of which works.


The Numbers Argument

Hartsfield’s first argument is that nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki was morally justified on the grounds that it prevented higher numbers of casualties. He writes:

The two atomic bombs killed roughly 200,000. Japanese military officers estimated that as many as 20,000,000 Japanese would have lost...READ MORE

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Pope Francis on Apologizing to Gays (And More): 6 things to know and share

06/28/2016 Comments (72)

Pope Francis recently weighed in on the question of whether Catholics should apologize to gays--and several other issues. Here are 6 things to know and share . . .

During his recent plane flight back from Armenia, Pope Francis gave a press conference in which he discussed a number of issues, including the question of whether Catholics should apologize to homosexuals.

Here are 6 things to know and share . . .


1) Where can I read the full text of the press conference?

You can read it here.


2) What did the pope discuss during the press conference?

He answered questions dealing with:

  • His impressions of Armenia and his hopes for it.
  • What he plans to do in a forthcoming trip to Azerbaijan
  • Why he chose to describe the massive Turkish slaughter of Armenians in the early 20th century as a “genocide,” knowing that this word would displease...READ MORE

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9 things you need to know about the prophecy of St. Malachy

06/27/2016 Comments (116)

Who was St. Malachy, what was his mysterious "prophecy of the popes," and what should we think of it?

[Editor's Note: In a recent interview with Paul Badde, Archbishop Georg Gänswein—Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's personal secretary and Prefect of the Papal Household—briefly discussed a collection of predictions purported to have been made by St. Malachy in the 12th century. Due to the renewed interest in the alleged “Prophecy of St. Malachy” that resulted from the interview, the Register is re-running this article, which originally appeared on February 24, 2013.]


With the announcement of Pope Benedict's resignation, many people have been talking about the "prophecy of the popes" attributed to St. Malachy.

Who was he, what is the prophecy, and what should we think of it?

Here are 9...READ MORE

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Pope Francis on Invalid Marriages: 11 Things to Know and Share

06/21/2016 Comments (41)

What did Pope Francis say about invalid marriages and what significance does it have? Here are 11 things to know and share . . .

Pope Francis recently made some remarks regarding invalid marriages, and I’ve received a large number of requests for comment, so here goes . . .


1) When did Pope Francis make his remarks?

During a Q & A session on Thursday, June 16. He was answering questions at the opening ceremony for a diocesan congress dealing with his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (i.e., the document that he released after the two synods of bishops).

His remarks were, therefore, unscripted.


2) What did he say?

Unfortunately, the Vatican doesn’t yet seem to have a full transcript available in English. The Italian, however, is here.

Without an English transcript to quote, we switch over to news...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’s Commission on Women Deacons: 12 things to know and share

05/12/2016 Comments (33)

Pope Francis has agreed to have a commission study the question of women deacons. Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

Pope Francis has agreed to create a commission to study the possibility of women deacons.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .


1) What has happened?

On Thursday, May 12, Pope Francis was meeting with a group of women religious who asked him about the possibility of creating a commission to study the possibility of women deacons, or deaconesses.

Edward Pentin reports:

Speaking to around 900 members of the International Union of Superiors General today, representing half a million religious sisters from 80 countries, the Pope was asked if he would establish “an official commission” to study the question of women deacons.

He replied: “I accept. It would be useful for the Church...READ MORE

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The Pope’s New Document on Marriage: 12 Things to Know and Share

04/08/2016 Comments (40)

What does the new papal document say about Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried?

Pope Francis’s much anticipated document on the family has now been released.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .


1) What are the basic facts about the document?

It is called Amoris Laetitia (Latin, “the joy of love”), and it is what is known as a “post-synodal apostolic exhortation.”

An apostolic exhortation is a pastoral document in which the pope exhorts the Church. Although it contains doctrine, its primary focus is on pastoral care. (Apostolic exhortations are different than encyclicals, which do focus primarily on doctrine.)

When a pope issues an apostolic exhortation in response to a meeting of the synod of bishops (a gathering of bishops from around the world), it is...READ MORE

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to Catholic Answers Magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."