Blessed Paul VI, pray for us

As the celebration of his beatification draws near tomorrow, let us whisper a grateful prayer for the man who 47 years ago authorized the restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order. “Let the deacons, as those who serve the mysteries of Christ and of the Church, abstain from all vice and endeavor to be [Read More...]

In the Kasper-Pentin fiasco, they’re both wrong

Reading over the transcript of the now-infamous exchange between Cardinal Walter Kasper and Edward Pentin, I’m struck by one over-arching point. It’s this:  both men blundered and both men are wrong. In no particular order, some bullet points: 1. First, Cardinal Kasper is no naif. He is a creature of the media, who has done [Read More...]

Synod reaction from a bishop: “The sky has not fallen”

Bishop Robert Vasa, from the Diocese of Santa Rosa, has looked over the relatio, and offers this context:  It is important to recognize this report does not constitute a final report. It is simply a report on what has been proposed by one or more of the participants in the Synod. As such it does [Read More...]

What many Catholics don’t know about divorce and receiving communion

With all the talk lately about divorce and communion, I’ve been reminded of how much we Catholics don’t know what we don’t know. A few months ago, I met with a woman from my parish to help her begin the annulment process. We chatted a bit before we started going over what was involved. “So,” [Read More...]

From the synod: on communion, divorce, living together and more

A working translation from this morning’s session: In the first part, the Assembly continued its reflection on the matter of access to the sacrament of the Eucharist for divorced and remarried persons. Firstly, it re-emphasised the indissoluble nature of marriage, without compromise, based on the fact that the sacramental bond is an objective reality, the [Read More...]

They’re divorced, remarried, barred from communion—and they’re fine with that

The good people at Crux have a look at a movement in Argentina that has garnered support from it’s most famous priest—the Pope: Marcos Fernández of Colombia … represents the kind of divorced and remarried Catholic who’s content with the status quo. Fernández married his second wife, Laura, 19 years ago, in a violation of Church [Read More...]

RIP, Bruce Morton

The forest has lost another redwood.  A great broadcast writer has died:  Bruce Morton, former CBS News and CNN correspondent, died at his home in Washington, DC Thursday. Morton, a Harvard graduate and U.S. Army Veteran, joined ABC News in 1962. He left for CBS News two years later where he would stay for 29 [Read More...]

Writing straight with crooked lines: the winding conversion odyssey of Fr. Paul Chaim Benedicta Schenck

And what a journey it is: I was raised Jewish. My father and his siblings were the first American generation born to descendants of Polish and Austrian Jewish immigrants. My mother was not born Jewish. Her motherwas Catholic and her father Episcopalian. My mother’s mother, only sixteen years of age when she gave birth to [Read More...]

What if your child had Down syndrome? “If he can’t have a shot at becoming president, we don’t want him”

Because, you know, it’s all about getting what we want when we want it. Otherwise, forget it. Details: The abortion rate for Down syndrome babies is tragically high. Some studies put the number at 90%. Our culture puts so much value on independence and individual achievement that human beings who do not “measure up” to certain [Read More...]

The horror before our eyes

With the recent execution of James Foley still haunting the news, The New York Times today takes up the debate about whether it’s appropriate to show gruesome violence in the media: YouTube removed the video promptly after it was uploaded, but to little avail, as new accounts kept posting new versions. Twitter suspended accounts that were linking to the [Read More...]


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