Gimme That Ole Time Religion

I'm not too concerned about getting the Catholic religion up to date for people.That's because the Catholic religion transcends time.Oh yes, we can tinker with this and that, use modern methods of communication and so forth, but no sense tinkering with the religion itself.If it ain't broke, don't fix it.Sure we can tinker with how we help people, we can try to do better where we've failed as humans.Why do we want to reform the Catholic religion when we can't reform … [Read More...]


Pope Francis’ New Way

In this article at Aleteia I assess Pope Francis' regular references to "the God of surprises" and his calls for Catholics to be open to new ways of the Holy Spirit At the close of a tumultuous two weeks Pope Francis has called the church to be open to “the God of surprises.” Back in January of this year, the pope preached at length about the fresh and surprising dimension of the gospel. Then in his homily at Mass last Monday, Francis reminded Catholics again that they worship a “God of surprise … [Read More...]

On Surveying the Cross

I am in Kentucky conducting a parish mission this week, and praying before the evening session I found myself gazing at a beautiful, simple, life sized crucifix--the dominant image in an old church.I can't say what I experienced because it was really beyond words, but I can try.What I felt … [Read More...]

Welcoming Gays: How Do I Do That?

The buzz word in the synod this month, and in the general discussion about homosexuals is the word "welcome"We are to "welcome homosexuals".The problem is, no one is really explaining what this means.I hope those who feel strongly about this matter--who have responded with visceral … [Read More...]

Book Review – Making Sense of the Saints

One of the joys and problems of writing this blog is that I receive far too many books to review. I feel guilty because I like my books to be reviewed, and I wish I had the time to read them all and write a review. I don't. Therefore the pile of worthy books to be reviewed grows ever higher. I have … [Read More...]

New Guest Blogger Flora Harper

Flora Harper joins the stable of Standing on My Head's famous guest bloggers. Flora writes the Spirituality column for the Los Angeles Cosmos. She has published articles for the FemToday website, writes an advice column for Blondie and is working on her first book, "Get Your Inner Goddess Out Girl!" … [Read More...]

The Disconcerting Synod

Some Catholics are unhappy with Pope Francis.Conservatives read his closing speech to the Synod on the Family with relief and gratitude, but after the events of the last two weeks they are diconcerted. disoriented and disturbed.Damian Thompson observed here that the final result may not have … [Read More...]

Religion Without Dogma…

…is like playing tennis without a net.It results in a certain formlessness, the reduction of an intellectually vigorous and astringent faith to something sentimental and shallow–nothing but a religion of ‘spirituality’ and good works.Pope Francis criticized this type of religion in his recent … [Read More...]

Media Mutterings About the Synod

What is most frustrating in reading the media mutterings about the synod is the superficial experience of church life that most journalists have.Christina Odone is one who should know better. She is a lifelong British Catholic, a former editor of the UKs Catholic Herald and a longtime … [Read More...]

Todd Unctuous on the Synod of Bishops

Guest blogger Todd Unctuous is top commentator for MSM. With a degree in Media Studies from Scranton Community College, Todd writes for many papers and websites, and is known for his incisive writing, objective reporting and razor sharp comment.It has been interesting over the last two weeks … [Read More...]

A Jewel on the Buckle of the Bible Belt

 My article this week for Imaginative Conservative website features a surprising oddity of the American South--the Museum and Art Gallery at Bob Jones University.The American South is full of obscure oddities, unexpected eccentricities and disconcerting delights. Here the farmhouse … [Read More...]

Beautiful Balance in the Pope’s Final Speech to the Synod

Here are excerpts from the Pope's final address to the synod with my observations in red. Read the whole speech here. And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatig … [Read More...]

Wrangling in Rome – What Good is It?

What good has come from all the bishops boxing--all the wrangling in Rome?Now that the Synod of Bishops has ended with a beautiful, but bland final message from the bishops, Damian Thompson reports on the week's drama here at the Spectator. ‘Thanks be to God’, as we Catholic children used to say … [Read More...]

The “Warm Welcome” I’ve Received From Catholics

It has been interesting to see the comments that have been posted at the CRUX website and elsewhere about my article this week asking the Holy Father to clearly defend and define Catholic teaching--a remark, which seems pretty much in line with the wishes of a majority of the bishops at the … [Read More...]

Allen on Kasper on the Africans

John Allen springboards in this article from the hoo-ha over Cardinal Kasper's anti-African comments to Edward Pentin to teach us more about the influence of Africans on the Vatican and what the future church looks like: it's African.If someone were to write a book about the 2014 Synod of … [Read More...]

Take Up Your Crux

My article published previously this week at Crisis Magazine is now re-published at Boston Globe's Crux website.The ambition of the editors at Crux is simple.John Allen described American Catholicism as being "tribalistic"In other words, the liberals have their colleges, newspapers, … [Read More...]