Pope Benedict on Mystical Experiences

12/02/2010 Comments (276)

Right now in his weekly catecheses, Pope Benedict is giving a series of meditations on female saints from the Middle Ages. Many of them are mystics, and in the first meditation—on St. Hildegard of Bingen—he offers his thoughts on some of the marks of a genuine mystic.

He states:

During the years when she was superior of the Monastery of St Disibodenberg, Hildegard began to dictate the mystical visions that she had been receiving for some time to the monk Volmar, her spiritual director, and to Richardis di Strade, her secretary, a sister of whom she was very fond. As always happens in the life of true mystics, Hildegard too wanted to put herself under the authority of wise people to...READ MORE

Filed under benedict, benedict xvi, commission, hildegard, medjugorje, mysticism, pope benedict, pope benedict xvi, private revelation, visions

New Developments on the Pope and Condoms

11/23/2010 Comments (149)

Each new day seems to bring several new twists to the pope/condom story, so let’s look at what’s happening now. (PART I OF THIS SERIES, PART TWO.)

First, here are some web resources to check out:

* Ed Peters’ trenchant remarks on L’Osservatore Romano’s PR debacle

* Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi’s initial clarification of the Pope’s remarks

* Reportage on Lombardi’s second clarification

* An interview with Archbishop Burke for his take on what the pope was saying

* Damian Thompson’s latest posts (first post, second post, third post)

I don’t want to unduly pick on Thompson, but blood-crazed ferret that he is, his latest posts continue with a rather snarky, triumphalistic tone...READ MORE

Filed under aids, condoms, contraception, damian thompson, ed peters, federico lombardi, homosexuality, peter seewald, pope benedict, pope benedict xvi

Understanding the Pope's Dilemma on Condoms

11/21/2010 Comments (79)

In yesterday’s post on Pope Benedict’s remarks concerning the use of condoms in AIDS prevention, I promised there would be more to follow, so here ‘tis.

For those who may not be aware, there is a new, book-length interview with Pope Benedict in which he made remarks that were sure to—and were—widely misunderstood and misrepresented in the press. “Press gets religion story wrong” is about as common a narrative as “Dog bites man” or “Sun rises in east.” Go figure.

Anyway, it’s a fascinating book. YOU CAN ORDER IT HERE.

It was inevitable that the press would parse the Pontiff’s comments along the lines of the Pope “modifying the Catholic Church’s absolute ban on the use of condoms,” as...READ MORE

Filed under aids, birth control, condoms, contraception, damian thompson, homosexual, peter seewald, pope benedict, pope benedict xvi, prostitute

The Pope Said WHAT about Condoms???

11/20/2010 Comments (196)

Pope Benedict’s new book, Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times, isn’t even officially out yet but is already at the center of an online media controversy.


The controversy erupted Saturday morning when L’Osservatore Romano unilaterally violated the embargo on the book by publishing Italian-language extracts of various papal statements, much to the chagrin of publishers around the world, who had been working on a carefully orchestrated launch for the book on Tuesday.

Among the extracts was one dealing with the use of condoms in trying to prevent the spread of AIDS, and the press immediately seized on this (e.g., Reuters, Associated Press , BBC...READ MORE

Filed under aids, benedict, condoms, light of the world, media, pope benedict, seewald

Prejudice in America—Part II! . . . (Moral Values)

10/26/2010 Comments (132)

In my previous post we talked about whether anti-Catholicism is the last socially acceptable prejudice remaining in America, as is often claimed.

We saw that, while what counts as “socially acceptable” can be debated, there are a number of easily namable prejudices that are quite acceptable in America, including prejudices against conservative Protestants (Evangelicals and Fundamentalists), against organized/western religion as a whole, and against Muslims (in the sense of actual undue hostility, not just prudent caution due to 9/11). (There is also, of course, some anti-Semitism, but it is not socially acceptable in general American culture.)

Contemporary America’s socially acceptable...READ MORE

Filed under america, birth control, discrimination, environmentalism, global warming, green, homosexual "marriage", homosexuality, large families, prejudice

The Last Remaining Prejudice? Not Hardly!

10/25/2010 Comments (156)

You sometimes hear Catholics express the opinion that anti-Catholicism is the last remaining socially acceptable prejudice in America.

For example, in a recent piece defending Archbishop Dolan, James Farrell of Irish Central writes:

Archbishop Timothy Dolan has come out swinging against The New York Times, accusing it of anti-Catholic bias in two recent articles.

He is right.

Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice it seems to me in America. If the same comments that were made about Catholic religious figures were aimed at Rabbis, immams [sic] or Dali Lamas there would be widespread outrage.

The substance of what Farrell says is quite true, and I’m glad to see him stepping...READ MORE

Filed under anti-catholicism, bigotry, evangelicalism, fundamentalism, islam, prejudice, thomas nast, timothy dolan

Will You Be Forced To Participate In Homosexual Pride Celebrations?

10/17/2010 Comments (251)

Or will your children or grandchildren?

Before you scoff at the possibility, recognize that it has already been happening to people.

The homosexual lobby is relentless and is not seeking tolerance. It is seeking coerced social approval of homosexual behavior.

That includes forcing non-homosexuals to participate in homosexual “pride” celebrations.

It happened right here in San Diego, where four fire


men were ordered to participated in the local “San Diego Pride Parade” (notice how even the word “gay” is missing from the name of the event? That’s evidence of what linguists sometimes call the “euphemism treadmill”—where a euphemism for something viewed negatively eventually takes on...READ MORE

Filed under firemen, free speech, gay pride, homosexuality, parade, san diego, sexual harassment

Are the 15 Rosary Promises Reliable?

10/14/2010 Comments (79)

A correspondent writes:

I was wondering if you could comment some time about some of these spiritual promises that allegedly attach to certain prayers or devotions.  The 15 promises of the rosary seems to be the most common example, but of course there’s more.

There are more—and the reader goes on to name some—but for this post let’s look at the alleged 15 promises regarding the rosary.

First, here is a commonly given text of them.

Before we go further, I should comment about a phrase that occurs in the very first promise, because it is not in common use today and startles everybody who runs across it for the first time. According to the first promise, those who pray the rosary...READ MORE

Filed under 15 promises, alan de rupe, imprimatur, mary, nihil obstat, private revelation, promises, rosary, st. dominic

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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."