A Reader Has an Epiphany

05/11/2011 Comments (13)

Last week, I wrote a little piece about the Church’s (and the Pope’s) charism of infallibility and, in the course of it, mentioned that the task of the Magisterium is to both conserve and develop the Tradition (since the Church not only holds fast to the Tradition handed down to it by the apostles but, under the guidance of the Spirit, is tasked with going into mortal combat with the Prince of this world, defeating him and liberating occupied territory under the dominion of the devil). A reader writes me excitedly:

I had heard this argument by Scott Hahn before. Eliakim, King David’s chancellor (bearer of the keys of the kingdom), in the OT is the pre-figuration or a type of Peter,...READ MORE

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The Richness of Scripture

05/09/2011 Comments (10)

Last week, we had a little discussion of the Miracle of Caring and Sharing, the tedious notion that the True Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes is that Jesus’ warm fuzziness prompted everybody to share their lunch. I have nothing but derision for the notion that this account replaces the traditional view that Jesus miraculously multiplied loaves and fishes, as a sign of the coming bounty of the Eucharist. However, reader Ye Olde Statistician makes an interesting (and completely orthodox point) by writing:

Still … If the Gospel is a living thing, as we like to think, it may be no coincidence that this notion — that the miracle was one of inspiring-others-to-share — has become popular in OUR day...READ MORE

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What May Catholics Think About Climate Change?

05/06/2011 Comments (59)

A reader writes:

I was on your site where people were discussing climate change, and I recently received some emails from some who expressed concern about a Catholic Vacation Bible School Program with a section on “climate change.”  I have no idea why that would be in a VBS program, but I looked at your website discussion about Climate Change and just wondered about your thoughts on this.

The emails expressed concern about teaching “Climate Change” (I am not sure why that would be introduced in a VBS Program –- we have such little time to teach our faith).

As you probably know, I’m skeptical of the Global Warming hype, not least because its marketers and packagers keep changing the name....READ MORE

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The Miracle of Caring and Sharing

05/04/2011 Comments (36)

A reader writes:

The Director of Religious Education at my parish in PA just told me yesterday that Jesus may not have multiplied the loaves and fishes. First, I was told this by a women in my rosary group, so I went to the DRE because the women told me the DRE would agree with her and I was incredulous. My world was rocked because she did agree with her. I believe he did multiply the loaves and fishes and it was a miracle. Do you know what the current teaching is on this? I can’t imagine the DRE is teaching something she knows to be false. Was it taught at one time? In 2011, what is the Church’s stand on that miracle or lack there of. Please help!

Argh.  Give me strength! This dumb reading...READ MORE

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Question About Infallibility

05/02/2011 Comments (7)

A reader writes:

I just read your article about Infallibility. Of course, you didn’t write the article to address my specific question, so it would be unfair of me to expect too much from it—but I get the impression from your article that it all comes down to Peter being the Rock of the one and only institutional Church. But it appears that this phrase, while loosely grounded in Matthew 16, is really an article of faith that must be accepted. Once you accept the idea that Peter (and every one of his successors) leads the one and only institutional Church, then the Catholic Church is the place to be. And I would agree with you, if I give you that article of faith.

Do you have any other...READ MORE

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News of This World and the Next

04/25/2011 Comments (90)

Big Sis Defends Marshalling the Forces of the Empire to Grope This Little Girl:

It was “professional”—and as anybody can see, she could well have been a terrorist.

The People’s National Security State: Keeping Us Safe from our Ourselves and Wrestling Us to the Ground and Cuffing Us if We Resist!

Meanwhile, wingnuts led by Donald Trump (whose significant poll numbers on the Right are a complete indictment of the Thing that Used to be Conservatism) are getting het up about Birtherism—again.

Ahem. Unless you believe in time-travel conspiracy theories to alter Hawaiian newspapers, the dude was born in Hawaii. Get over it. Oh, and the World Trade Center was destroyed by al Quaida, not by...READ MORE

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By a Curious Coincidence

04/22/2011 Comments (15)

Good Friday and Earth Day happen to coincide. Recently, the UN outdid itself in sheer pagan silliness by hitting the headlines with some nonsense about giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as human beings.

The notion of treating nature as a person is, in this context, just pure political scam artistry of a particularly ham-fisted type, of course. It is a classic watermelon tactic: green on the outside, red on the inside. An excuse for some bureaucrat to seize draconian power over human beings by pretending to be a Lorax and speaking for the trees (who, for persons, are quite taciturn and not at all demonstrative about their supposed equal rights). That’s the problem with Voiceless Nature:...READ MORE

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Just War Doctrine Question

04/20/2011 Comments (37)

A reader asks:

Was pondering something a while back with our third War for Freedom, or to Save Civilians lives, or something ... and I was wondering:

Is Just War Theory “binding” in the sense that the Resurrection is “binding” on the faithful? I wondered, given that it is Just War “Theory” after all. I don’t ask lightly or to look for a way to deny it (a moral theory that is 1,700 years old probably has something going for it), but I was curious as to where this falls on the spectrum of De Fide vs. pious opinion.

Just War Theory is a synthesis of the Church’s best good faith effort to apply the basic principles of its moral teaching in a fallen world. It is not de fide and thus not...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.