Why Bother With Such a Corrupt Church?

08/27/2012 Comments (331)

A reader writes:

Read some of your blog.  I know their are some good people that are Catholics.  Just don't understand why organized religion becomes perverted and the leadership condones the behavior.  Wait, I do understand, it's all about "power over." The culture of the church is corrupt and sanctions this aberrant behavior.  Puts all the good people in such a bad place, don't you think? The church has had a "power over" relationship with the people for centuries.  Watched this in action during Semana Santa in Sevilla about 30 years back.  It was a disgusting display of "power over" and yet apologists for the church condone and encourage this behavior.

First, thank you for...READ MORE

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Blood Donation is Good

08/24/2012 Comments (13)

A reader writes:

Would donating blood be considered one of the Corporal Works of Mercy?  It seems to, but at the same time doesn't quite fit into one of the 7 listed works.  The reason I'm asking is that I feel spiritually guided to start donating my blood.  To me, the fact that you're giving your own blood - a part of yourself - seems very profound, along the lines of organ donation.

I don't think it matters whether blood donation maps to one of the works of mercy.  It clearly is an expression of the second greatest commandment: love your neighbor as yourself.  When you give your life's blood that another may live you are imitating Christ, who gives us his very blood that we...READ MORE

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A Brief Primer on Conscience

08/20/2012 Comments (38)

The main problem with that work of the flesh which Paul calls "party spirit' (Galatians 5:20) is that it urges people to evaluate Church teaching in light of their sect's pet doctrines instead of evaluating their sect's pet doctrines in light of Catholic teaching.  So, for instance, Calvinists filter Catholic teaching through a few pet doctrines about the sovereignty of God and predestination and original sin, while universalists filter Catholic teaching through a few pet doctrines about the love of God and the hope of heaven. Other pertinent considerations get filtered out.

Party spirit is a major affliction of modern Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic.  And it tends to be expressed...READ MORE

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Healing and the Risen Christ

08/17/2012 Comments (119)

One of the trendier pieces of atheist agitprop is the "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" game.  The way it works is this: the world is chockablock with various accounts of miraculous healings. Lourdes, for instance, has a big database of people who have been healed there, and sundry saints like Padre Pio have all sorts of amazing healings that cluster around them with gobs of documentation.  However, the atheist is an obscurantist who does not fearlessly follow evidence where it leads as a Christian is free to do.  He is, rather, a dogmatist who is constrained to ignore evidence of the miraculous by his creed.  So, in order to weed out all that threatening evidence of the miraculous, the...READ MORE

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"As He Lay on His Deathbed…

08/13/2012 Comments (31)

he groaned, 'If only I had spent more time at the office!' said no one, ever."

I am reminded of this little joke as I contemplate the spectacle of this new work of adoration directed to the glory and praise of the miraculous healing and redemptive power of our Dear Leader:

In the beginning of the 21st century, no one ever thought that an African-American would become the first President of the United States. But it happened, and an entire country celebrated the exceptional efforts pulled off by citizens ready for sweeping change. But this change didn't come without effort. It required a unification of all people from all races and nationalities, which is what "The...READ MORE

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Big Laws and Small Laws

08/10/2012 Comments (18)

Over at the Catholic Vote blog, my friend John Barnes notes this curious development

In case you are wondering, that is a product warning label on a dental floss container, lest you fail to understand how to dispense the dental floss, leading to unforeseen horrors too terrible to describe on a Catholic news site.

I am something of a gourmand of product warning labels and instructions written by giant corporations on the assumption that if any consumer can do the stupidest thing possible with any product, he or she will.  Sadly, some of the best dumb product warning labels turn out to be fakes ("Odor Eaters: Do Not Eat"), but plenty more turn out to be quite real (such as the warning...READ MORE

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A Question About Having Babies

08/06/2012 Comments (63)

A reader writes:

I was wondering if you could help me with a question posed by a friend of mine.  He believes in a sort of utilitarian worldview--now he doesn't practice this, because he finds it rather impractical, but I think it's unhealthy and would like to be able to argue coherently why.  For one thing, he believes that if a person has a genetic condition such as down syndrome or clinical depression, he should not have children so as not to risk inflicting the misery caused by this disease on another human being.  This worldview feels very wrong to me, but I can't quite pin down why, except that life is a blessing and that this view of things seems rather akin to Nazi...READ MORE

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A Question from a Frustrated Reader

08/03/2012 Comments (66)

She writes:

I'm writing to you because I'm a regular reader of your blog at the National Catholic Register, and you often address readers' pertinent questions in it. I'm part of a group of Catholic bloggers, and a few of us have been to Masses recently where the celebrants have made upsetting comments, some of which have even bordered on denying the teaching authority of the church.

I cannot speak to the experiences of the others, but my own experience involved a homily in which the priest said that the Magisterium was not the only legitimate teaching authority in the Church, and that because the Church has changed her positions on matters such as slavery, the lay faithful should...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.