When Better Than the 4th of July to Talk About Religious Liberty

Thursday, July 03, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (98)

A reader writes:

First I love your blog and your common sense take on politics. It may seem strange but I was raised in an adamantly right wing household and it never occurred to me until I was well into my 20s that I didn't "have to" align myself with one political party or the other and accept whatever the "lesser evil" happened to be. Thanks for being a voice of reason in the midst of all the polarity.

I have a question about "freedom of religion" that has been nagging at me. If you have the time and/or inclination, I'd appreciate your thoughts. I have a very good, very conservative Catholic friend who adamantly believes that our country was founded on a Christian belief system and only...READ MORE

Filed under exalted felicitations of the day, mailbag

PCUSA Refugees Welcome!

Thursday, June 26, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (59)

So the Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to pretend that there is not only such a thing as gay "marriage" but that PCUSA members can undertake that pretense in PCUSA sanctuaries with PCUSA ministers facilitating the pretense.  It has also voted down a measure that would have endorsed protections for infants born alive after a failed abortion, thereby effectively endorsing the worship of Moloch.

In fact, of course, there is no such thing as gay "marriage" and there is such a thing as the sanctity of human life.  But because we live in a culture where consent is the sole criterion of the good, consequences are somebody else's problem.  So as long as two (or more) consenting organisms (or...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church

A reader struggles with despair over quarrelsome Catholics

Sunday, June 22, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (146)
Long time reader. Maybe you've addressed the issue, but I was wondering if you had any insight on a potential source of despair - infighting between groups of Catholics on forums and blogs.

I see lots of references to folks thinking Satan worked his way into the church and that only a small remnant will end up being saved. That seems counter to the gospel message to me, and it seems difficult for me to believe that God would want to make it difficult and obscure (e.g, knowing that you had to somehow be more like a FSSP/SSPX type of Catholic to truly be saved.

I came back to the faith when I was 17 (I'm now 34) and I feel like in the good old days, when I was really only aware of blogs like...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

A reader has a question about conscience vs. bishops

Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (29)
I greatly enjoy your work and own several of your books. I have a question that I hope you can answer. Is there a duty or virtue of obedience to our priests, bishops, and the pope? I understand that we sin if we deny dogma or have a certain level of doubt as to dogma, but what should our attitude be towards matters that are not dogmatic? To what degree should we give our bishops the benefit of the doubt?

Here's an example. In my state, the bishops of each diocese strongly opposed a legislature measure to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. While I understand their position, I think they are wrong. In short, I think that if we are asking homosexuals to adopt the heavy...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Bravely Facing the Applause

Monday, June 16, 2014 12:01 AM Comments (18)

So there's this new romantic comedy out, promoted by Planned Parenthood, called Obvious Child in which the heroine "bravely" kills her child so as to counter the pernicious message of life and joy in children that marred such films as Juno and Knocked Up. The tragic decision of these two films to welcome a baby instead of tear it limb from limb or jam scissors in its brain is atoned for by this story in which, as a friend of mine put it, "everyone is so brave in the movie, according to the reviews. The woman doesn't tell the father. Which is very brave. She "never wavers" in her choice to abort. Brave again. She apparently has no remorse, which is yet more evidence of her bravery. It's a...READ MORE

Filed under at the movies

A Reader Wonders about Generational Healing

Thursday, June 12, 2014 11:58 PM Comments (29)
Wondering if you know anything and have some insight into the 'generational healing' movement?
This phrase is making its way around a circle of friends and it is new to me. What I am reading on-line gives me pause for concern not to mention one friend talking about 'family curses'. The words of Jesus from John 9 come to mind for me. But I'm the first one to admit that I don't know everything.

I suspect there is something to it, within reason. The interconnectedness of persons is an integral part of our faith, or both original sin and the redemption are nonsense, since both our fallenness and our salvation depend on the choices, merits, and sin of others redounding to us in many complex...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

James on Dividing and Conquering

Sunday, June 08, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (89)

One often sees memes floating around on the web: graphic illustrations of this and that. Some of them are short and pithy.

Some are funny (at least to some of us):

Some claim to represent information that you need to know. Lots of these should be taken with caution. Why? Because lots of them are often conceived, not to inform, but to manipulate.

Case in point:

What is the message of this meme?

While you ponder that, here's another with the same message stated more clearly:

What do we notice about the structure of each meme?

In both memes we are invited to notice heroes and villains. In both, figures like soldiers, cops, firefighters, and EMTs are the heroes, valiantly saving...READ MORE

Filed under rich and poor

A More Accurate Title Would Be…

Friday, June 06, 2014 12:01 AM Comments (32)

"What *Some* Social Justice Catholics Get Wrong About Social Justice". Catholics such as this:

It's not complicated. If you support the murder of innocent human beings, you are not a Social Justice Catholic.

Then again, if you make opposition to abortion the basis for heaping contempt on almost the entirety of the rest of the Church's social teaching as "Kumbayah Catholicism", you are also not a social justice Catholic--nor an orthodox one. Here's reality: the Church's teaching on abortion and the rest of the Church's social doctrine are not opposites but complementary.

My suggestion: Just embrace the whole of the Church's teaching and not the bits you like. It can be done, as the good...READ MORE

Filed under catholic social teaching

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About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.