Church Works of Mercy and Federal Funding

02/27/2012 Comments (18)

A reader writes:

A few other converts to the Catholic faith and I read and discuss your blogs frequently, and I was hoping you could write yet another. Could you answer the question as to whether or not it is right for the state to pull funding from the Catholic Charities in Illinois based on the fact that the Catholic Bishops do not allow homosexual couples to adopt the children they protect? The article can be found here. In other words, is the state violating the First Amendment when it pulls funding for a religious group based on said group’s convictions? Also, how would you answer the objection that the First Amendment has not been violated by the state in regards to the Illinois...READ MORE

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The Church Must Embrace and Fund My Trans-Fatty Identity!

02/24/2012 Comments (48)

Sometime back I “came out” as a Jolly American (you can read about it here, here, and here) and graciously instructed the temperanormative bigots of the Catholic Church on their obligation to affirm me in my okayness or face merciless and draconian punishments to teach them tolerance.  So-called “loving” Catholics—living by the “orthodox” ethics of guilt and shame which keep people like me from being able to indulge my appetite for whatever I want, whenever I want it, in whatever quantities I want—have long denied Jolly Americans their dignity.  But no more!  We’re Out and We’re Stout and you can’t keep us in the Pantry any more!

Naturally, my courageous stand against the hierarchy and the...READ MORE

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A bit more on demons

02/22/2012 Comments (11)

After my piece on the development of the understanding of demons ran on Monday, a number of people had some interesting questions in the comboxes:

Baruch and Tobit are the only OT books that mention demons, and they are part of the Deuterocanon and are very late in OT history

Hi Mark, I realize this is sort of off-topic, but I wanted to ask you a question about Tobit. As you probably recall, I’m a Protestant, but I’m starting to take interest in the Deuterocanonicals as I’ve become aware of their history, and of how the Church Fathers accepted them as inspired.

In the case of Tobit in particular, I read on Catholic Answers that the question the Sadducees asked Jesus about a...READ MORE

Filed under development of doctrine

When Do Demons First Show Up in Scripture?

02/20/2012 Comments (28)

A reader writes:

My husband and I were discussing the Gospel reading and he asked why demons aren’t mentioned in the OT when they’re all over the New.  Me:  huh?  They aren’t mentioned?  While frantically trying to remember my studies of Genesis and Exodus and not finding any demon references in them.  He said he’d tried to dig out references and there were hardly any from the OT.  Me:  maybe it grew it up in the inter-testamental period.  Him (dubious).  So… assuming he’s right, where does the concept of ‘demon’ come from that by NT times, everyone knows what they are?  Do you know as a former Bible only Christian, or can you or your readers points to some reference material on this?

The...READ MORE

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Fr. Robert Barron on Obama's Secular Totalitarianism

02/17/2012 Comments (89)

One of the great things about America is that you have the option to dissent from the mainstream on issues of great moral moment—using your wallet as a kind of vote.  So, for instance, if you don’t like the fact that your telecom company supports Murder, Inc. (aka “Planned Parenthood”), you can sign up with the Sienna Group, a prolife Catholic company and they can provide your long distance tech instead.  If you don’t want your dime going to the evil Nestle corporation (and, yes, they are evil), you can get your chocolate from some Fair Trade group that helps, rather than murders and enslaves, innocent people in Third World countries.

For exactly the same reason, in a free society,...READ MORE

Filed under resist the tyrant

The Real Story of History

02/15/2012 Comments (13)

There’s this famous story of Abraham dickering with God in Genesis 18:

Then the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me; and if not, I will know.” So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham still stood before the LORD. Then Abraham drew near, and said, “Wilt thou indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt thou then destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with...READ MORE

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Did Matthew Invent the Idea that Jesus Founded a Church?

02/13/2012 Comments (34)

A reader writes:

I am debating with a semi-atheist acquaintance.  Among his many arguments, one was that Jesus did not establish a church, his followers did.  I came back with Matthew 16, to which he responds, “Jesus didn’t say that.  Matthew did.”  Any ideas on how to respond to such certain uncertainty?

I think “Prove it” is a good argument.  If Matthew is the only apostle who thinks Jesus commanded the founding of a Church, it is rather hard to explain why all Jesus’ apostles, everywhere they went, founded churches.  “Church” = “ecclesia”, which is simply the Greek translation of the Hebrew word meaning “assembly of the people”.  It’s a thoroughly Jewish concept because no ancient...READ MORE

Filed under the lastest real jesus

God Cares about Modesty, Not Fashion

02/10/2012 Comments (33)

A reader writes:

I have a question concerning the cut of a woman’s hair. Does the Church discourage or forbid short hair, especially pixie cuts similar in length to men’s hair, on women? I have heard all sides on the argument, and I was wondering your opinion. Much thanks.

No.  The Church does not concern itself with matters of fashion except to say that we should aim for modesty.  How that looks in different cultures varies with the place and time.  A perfectly modest person in period of history might be seen as a wild profligate in another.  It depends on the “grammar” with which our clothes and hair speak.  So, for instance, a perfectly modest and chaste member of a Kalihari tribal...READ MORE

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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.