Will They Really Fix the Offensive John Paul II Statue?

01/13/2012 Comments (20)

I’ve blogged before about the UGLY John Paul II statue outside Rome’s main train terminal.


Now Catholic New Agency is reporting that an effort is underway to fix it:

“I made a design for the sculpture that wasn’t executed well in the foundry,” explained the creator of the artwork, Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi.

“It is not that we have come up with a new statue,” he told CNA on Jan. 10. “We’re correcting those details that weren’t executed well” so that “it will be more faithful to my original idea.”

The redesign will involve replacing the head, modifying the Pope’s cape and touching up the outer coating of paint, since the bronze has oxidized to a...READ MORE

Filed under art, john paul ii, john paul ii statue, statue

Sin & Baptism; Taxes & Abortion; Mary & Communion; Dungeons & Dragons

01/07/2012 Comments (7)

What happens if you forgot to repent of a sin before baptism? Will you still be forgiven? How can you fix the situation?

Is it okay to pay taxes knowing that the government will use some of the money to support Planned Parenthood and abortion?

Did the Virgin Mary ever receive Communion? If not, why not? If yes, why did she need to?

Is it okay to play Dungeons & Dragons? How about other role-playing games (RPGs)? What are we to make of them?

These are among the questions we explore in this week’s episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast!

Click Play to listen . . .

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Should Catholic Sex Abuse Documents Be Withheld from Courts?

12/29/2011 Comments (33)

David Clohessy of SNAP

That’s a very good question, isn’t it?

How many times during the course of various sex abuse news cycles have we read about lawyers using various legal maneuvers to try to keep official, confidential documents pertaining to priestly sex abuses cases out of the hands of courts?

These instances only reveal what scoundrels both the lawyers are—*and* their clients. I mean, the *only* reason to try to keep a document out of the court’s hands is if you have something to hide, and that shows that you are acting in bad faith, trying to stop justice from being done.

Consider this story on the web site of the National Catholic Reporter (*not* Register):

SNAP director may be forced to testify in...READ MORE

Filed under ann mesle, david clohessy, michael tierney, missouri, priestly sexual abuse, repressed memory, sex abuse, snap

The TWENTY-PLUS Days of Christmas???

12/29/2011 Comments (29)

As many are aware, it’s still Christmas. The Christmas season only begins on Christmas.

But when does it end?

If you go by the famous phrase “the twelve days of Christmas”—immortalized in the well-known song (which really *is not* a crypto-catechism after all; sorry.)—then you might guess they end on January 5, the eve of Epiphany, counting Christmas Day as the first day. Or if, according to some versions, you count the day *after* Christmas Day as the first day then the twelfth turns out to be January 6, the traditional day of Epiphany.

Ahhh. . . . Things were so uncomplicated in former centuries. Twelve days. Two options. Easy!

But as the Church’s liturgical cycle get modified over...READ MORE

Filed under christmas, liturgy, twelve days of christmas

Herod the Baby-Killer

12/28/2011 Comments (16)

Today is the feast of the Holy Innocents—the baby boys that Matthew records were slain on the orders of Herod the Great in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus.

Did he really?

Sometimes we hear skeptics dismiss the idea by saying that we have no record of him doing so.

But it’s not exactly like we have the complete records of what Herod did in his reign. So much has been lost that this kind of argument from silence is the logical fallacy they teach it to be in beginning philosophy classes. Just because we don’t have a record of Herod doing something doesn’t mean he didn’t do it.

And, after all, don’t we have a record in this case? Matthew mentions him doing it. That’s a record, right?...READ MORE

Filed under bible, herod, herod the great, history, holy innocents, infancy narrative, matthew, slaughter of the innocents

Merry Christmas! (Pictures from Bethlehem)

12/25/2011 Comments (1)

I’m not in Bethlehem, but like everyone, Bethlehem is in my thoughts these days.

I wanted to share with you a couple of pictures from Bethlehem, from the Church of the Nativity, and explain their significance.

A few days ago I ran across the following picture, which is of a nun praying in front of the shrine in the grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Although we often imagine Jesus being born in a barn, that image comes more from Christmas cards. In ancient Israel, animals were often sheltered in caves, and since extremely early times it was held that Jesus was actually born in a grotto. St. Jerome had his study in a neighboring grotto (so close it’s part of the same church complex), and...READ MORE

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The Apologetics of Christmas (pt. 2)

12/22/2011 Comments (5)

Joseph and Mary had to stay in a stable, right? Was it uncommon for some people to sleep in the stable of an inn during busy times? 

What was the Star of Bethlehem? A conjunction of planets, meteor, comet, supernatural event? What does the Church or Church Fathers say about it? 

What is significant about gold, frankincense, and myrrh? 

How did the birth of Jesus come to be celebrated on December 25? 

Why do Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas on January 7?

What light does the Ark of the Covenant shed on Mary’s perpetual virginity, and what evidence do we have for her perpetual virginity?

These are among the questions we explore in this week’s episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast!


Filed under bethlehem, christmas, holy spirit, jesus, joseph, mary, paganism, star, star of bethlehem

The Apologetics of Christmas (pt. 1)

12/18/2011 Comments (4)

Should Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus? There is no evidence the apostles did. When did it become a feast day? Weren’t birthdays a pagan thing?

Why was he named Jesus when, as stated in Matthew 1:23, the Messiah was to be called Immanuel?

Matthew 1:23 quotes Isaiah 7:14 as “a virgin will conceive” from the Septuagint, but the original Hebrew uses the word “almah” meaning “young woman of marriagable age.” Was Matthew wrong to quote this?

What does Joseph’s reaction, in Matthew 1:19, to the news of Mary’s pregnancy tell us about his character?

Why would Joseph take a 9-month pregnant Mary to Bethlehem instead of taking her earlier? Why did he take her at all? Couldn’t he have just...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, bethlehem, christmas, fundamentalism, jesus, joseph, mary, nativity, pagan

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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."