A Reader Asks about Catholic Failure to Catechize

Sunday, October 20, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (64)

He writes:

Thank you for the great work you are doing in explaining and defending the Catholic faith.

I have a question for you concerning some remarks by Fr Raniero Cantalamessa back in 2005 (3rd Advent sermon to the papal household). These remarks have been discussed on Catholic discussion boards and forums. However, I am still trying to understand some of the pastoral and theological implications of these remarks.

The relevant section of the homily is the following:

"I was saying in the first meditation that there currently exists a need for kerygmatic preaching, suitable to incite faith where it has never existed, or where it has died. Gratuitous justification by...READ MORE

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Fr. Robert Barron on Protestantism and Authority

Friday, October 18, 2013 12:47 PM Comments (118)

Readers familiar with me will know that I think the world of Fr. Robert Barron's creative and intelligent witness to the Faith. Here he is addressing the problem of the Protestant approach to authority as it is articulated by one of its smartest representatives, Alister McGrath:

It will not come as a shock to know that I agree with Fr. Barron on the problems inherent in sola scriptura and, in fact, have had more than a little to say about that myself:

But beyond the common and extremely-hard-to-deny point being made about the need for an umpire or referee in the "game" of the Christan faith (the core point made by apologists for the Catholic Faith like Yr. Obdt. Svt.) I think...READ MORE

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Latest Real Jesus Shakes Christianity to Its Very Foundations!

Sunday, October 13, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (50)

So somebody named Joseph Atwill, a self-proclaimed "Bible scholar" has spent 8 years (at least) peddling his theory that Jesus never existed and was invented by some complicated Roman cabal to pacify Jews (or something).

Turns out that even other "Jesus never existed" quacks think he's a quack.

It’s another Latest Real Jesus. Anybody with a keyboard can claim to be a “Bible scholar”. If there is any proposition in the history of the world that is doomed, it is the proposition that Jesus never existed. Every Latest Real Jesus is a reflection of the culture that concocts him. A while back Jesus existed and was the first Communist.  Then he was gay.   Then he was married to Mary...READ MORE

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Question About Fatima and Hell

Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (95)

A reader writes:

One issue I keep struggling with has to do with one of the Fatima message: "many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them."

Why would an all loving and merciful God let souls be lost forever because of the lack of charity from others?

I realize God wants to share the credit for salvation with everyone of us, but to let souls go to Hell because of our inaction is difficult for me to reconcile with God's infinite love for all souls.

Your views would be appreciated as I very much respect and appreciate your blog.

There's a couple of things to understand about private revelation. 

First, of course, is that it is...READ MORE

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Why People Were Wrong and Right to Be Outraged by the Priest Scandal

Thursday, September 26, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (101)

People were wrong to be outraged by the priest abuse scandal if the reason for their outrage was the notion that there was something singularly sick and weird about priests that made them and them alone commit crimes against children, or if they believed there was something unique to bishops in possessing an institutional instinct to cover up the crimes, circle the wagons, and perpetuate the victimization by attacking the victims as boat rockers, etc.  As our school system keeps demonstrating, there is nothing uniquely Catholic about this.  All institutions behave this way.  And it ain't because teachers are celibate or teaching is a male-only institution.

On the other hand, people were...READ MORE

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Is God a Consequentialist?

Sunday, September 22, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (88)

A reader writes:

I have followed with interest your recent discussions regarding consequentialism.  I am in a pickle after a friendly argument with a utilitarian friend.  How can we distinguish the problems of consequentialist thinking from the sacrifice of the cross?  Catechism 601 states,

"The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of 'the righteous one, my Servant' as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin."

If "the righteous one" mentioned here is also the "spotless lamb" (1 Peter) and therefore perfectly innocent, are we being consequentialists if we accept the...READ MORE

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An Atheist Reader Writes…

Friday, September 20, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (9)

to say he rejected the Faith when he read the Old Testament and discovered it contradicted the Christian reading of what a Messiah should be.  Sez he (quoting a website):

Here is a sampler of those requirements from Judaism 101:

"Before the time of the mashiach, there shall be war and suffering (Ezekiel 38:16)

The mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple...READ MORE

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A question about Jesus and the canon of Scripture

Sunday, September 15, 2013 11:59 PM Comments (30)

A reader writes

I saw your article on Five Myths about Seven Books and wonder if you think that the question posed to Jesus in Mark 12 about the resurrection is rooted in Tobit 3 and confirms that this book is part of the Canon?

I don’t think Jesus is really particularly interested in arguing the question of whether Tobit is inspired or not, so I’m skeptical that approaching this story as a coded affirmation of Tobit’s inspiration is a wise way of reading it.  Jesus' habit is not to argue about canonicity issues, but to simply deal with people where they are.  The Sadducees rejected the resurrection because they only believed Torah to be inspired and ignored the rest of Tanakh as...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.