A Question from a Reader…

11/21/2011 Comments (129)

who writes:

My question is this: What is it specifically about homosexuality and, by extension, homosexual “marriage” that makes it such a widespread cause celebre in contemporary Western society? I ask because I know many, many people, people who are otherwise thoughtful and intelligent, indeed who could even be called “conservative” in the broad, non-political sense of the term, who uncritically accept the notion that the denunciation of homosexual activity is the moral equivalent of race prejudice and that there is no good cause to oppose expanding the legal definition of marriage to include members of the same sex.

I find this baffling. I can only assume that many people have simply...READ MORE

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Some Questions from a Person Pondering Conversion

11/18/2011 Comments (65)

I’ve been reading your blog semi-regularly for several months now, and I enjoy it very much. It’s been quite helpful to me; I’m a lifelong Protestant seriously thinking about crossing the Tiber. Insofar as I am on the road to Rome, however, I am traveling more cautiously than many others might. My wife does not get the appeal of the Catholic church (for her, arguments about apostolic succession and Roman primacy take a back seat to what she perceives to be rampant and intolerable spiritual apathy among the Catholic laity), and I think I owe it to her to refrain from entering full communion unless and until God makes it clear to me that I must do so.

Anyway, I have two questions (unrelated...READ MORE

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Since I've Also Been Denounced as a "Paulbot"

11/16/2011 Comments (79)

I thought it only fair you have a little peek at some of my correspondence. A friend writes:

I would like to personally challenge you to read, or even skim, the book Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, by Ron Paul (it is not even ghost written). It is not a long, nor a complex read; fifty chapters, one per issue, usually about 5-7 pages per issue, in alphabetical order from A (Abortion, he’s opposed to it), to Z.

Actually, I’ve looked at it and, as usual, I find myself liking Ron Paul as a human being (he’s the only member of that Parliament of Whores called Congress I would trust with my wallet or my granddaughter), but not really persuaded that his philosophy is...READ MORE

Filed under politics and other evils

Chesterton Famously Said…

11/14/2011 Comments (29)

“Break the Conventions. Keep the Commandments.” I am reminded of that as a reader writes:

The Boston Pilot, the diocesan paper, pulled the following article from its web pages. From various reports about this, it seems that the editors of the Boston Pilot believe Daniel Avila made a theological error in supposing that the devil had a hand in same-sex attraction. I fail to see how this is an error.

It seems to have direct bearing on the problem of evil. Does God cause tidal waves, and earthquakes? Does God create blind people, deaf people, or people with same-sex attraction? Does God cause cancer? I do understand that human nature was corrupted by the Fall, so by this it’s not necessary for...READ MORE

Filed under break the conventions. keep the commandments.

Transubstantiation: Change We Can Believe In

11/11/2011 Comments (211)

A reader wrote:

My son has a facebook page.  Recently, he put up a little quip about transubstantiation: “Change we can believe in”.  His uncle commented that it could be proven to still be bread and wine at the molecular level, after consecration.

Is there a short answer for this?

I fielded the question to the able Mike Flynn, who eats a Summa for breakfast each morning and then spits out great novels like Eifelheim each evening.  He replies in his inimitable fashion:

Sure.  Accidents and substantial form. 

The Church has always taught that it remains bread and wine “at the molecular level.”  The error lies in supposing this to be the only level. 

Consider Darwinian evolution.  Once...READ MORE

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Readers helpfully illustrate my point

11/09/2011 Comments (182)

...in two ways.

First, one reader responds to Monday’s column with a standard piece of boilerplate:

I am surprised that ncregister has a Pharisee writing for them.There is no comparison between waterboarding the mastermind of the 911 terrorist attack in order to try to prevent another terrorist attack and the mass murder of babies by abortion on demand.  If Mark Shea cannot distinguish between the two he needs to be committed.

Is there a comparison between beating an innocent man to death as we did to Dilawar and tearing an innocent baby apart in the womb?  How about handing an innocent man over for ten months of torture in Syria as we did to Maher Arar and torturing a baby with a failed...READ MORE

Filed under consequentialism on parade

Wanting to Attain Heaven and Avoid Hell is Normal Catholic Faith

11/07/2011 Comments (137)

I have periodically made clear that, for myself, I will not support any candidate who asks me to support grave and intrinsic evil.  That, naturally, thins out the field pretty fast, since virtually all our candidates on both sides of the aisle support grave and intrinsic evil, whether it be abortion, torture, or embryonic stem cell research.  Many Catholics, animated by the heretical new theory that opposition to abortion taketh away the sins of the world, get upset with me when I voice this view.  Some ask whether it is a greater mortal sin to vote Democrat or Republican.  Others, amazingly, tell me I am a prima donna with impossibly high standards and beg me to go along with them, for...READ MORE

Filed under politics and other evils

Heresy and Orthodoxy, Sterility and Fruitfulness

11/04/2011 Comments (14)

Jeff Mirus has an interesting piece up on how dissenting (that is, heretical) religious are wheezing into geezerdom with not a lot of fruit to show for their efforts.  The Church has lived 45 years since the Council, while the dissenters have lived the same year 45 times.  Result: not much.  They aren’t making disciples.  Send a Richard McBrien out with his message of decrepit dissent and you won’t even get enough people to fill up a wine and cheese soiree where Matthew Fox can do selected readings of his Mystical Magical Bear Spirituality.  Meanwhile, 2 gazillion youth show up to hear the allegedly irrelevant old guy in Rome call them to fidelity to the ever ancient ever new gospel of the...READ MORE

Filed under chestertoniana

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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.