Pope Francis Lectures the Europeans

Today's article for Aleteia sees Pope Francis' recent speeches to the European Parliament and Council of Europe in the light of his interest in end times. Most of all, Pope Francis engaged the Europeans with the underlying spiritual malaise of the developed world. Noting the cynical and weary attitude of Europeans, said there is a “great vacuum of ideals” in the West. An essential forgetfulness of God will lead to an ideology of uniformity in which human uniqueness and individual strengths will … [Read More...]

Sir John Gielgud as Pius XII

Movie Popes

 My article for Aleteia this week catalogues the various portrayals of popes on film--from Jeremy Irons' Alexander VI to Alec Guiness' Innocent III Struck by the underlying drama of the papacy (and being somewhat of a movie buff), I began to explore the portrayal of popes on film. Some of the world’s finest actors have donned the white soutane. The wonders of the internet mean you can click on my links to watch some of their performances. One of my favorites is the cameo p … [Read More...]

The General Thanksgiving

I do sometimes miss the Church of England and the Book of Common Prayer. For Thanksgiving Day here is Cranmer's "General Thanksgiving"Have a great day! ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and l … [Read More...]

Thanksgiving and Puddleglum

One of the simplest bits of evidence for the existence of God is the human instinct to give thanks.What is this strange impulse in the human heart to thank someone?We stop and pause on  the mountaintop and view the expansive sky  and we are swept with wonder and want to give thanks.We s … [Read More...]

The Fires of Ferguson and the Dynamic of Blame

The violence erupting in Ferguson, Missouri is not really about racial tension or socio economic inequality. It's not about class struggle or police brutality or social injustice.It's a symptom of a much deeper poison which I call the Dynamic of Blame.Rooted within every human heart is the … [Read More...]

The Pros and Cons of a Married Priesthood – 2

My problem in researching the married priesthood is that whenever I find a good argument against, I immediately come up with an equally good argument in favor.Here's an example: "The married priest will not be able to devote himself exclusively to his vocation as a priest. He will either be so … [Read More...]

A Married Priest on Married Priests – 1

What are the pros and cons of being a married priest? I'll be writing on various aspects of this question over the next few days.Firstly, we need to get some huge red herrings out of the way.People say, "A married man will understand married people's problems better than a celibate … [Read More...]

Anglicans Wonder Why No One Comes to Church on Sunday

 An article in the Daily Telegraph ponders why the number of people attending parish churches in England continues to plummet.While attendance at cathedral worship is up, the number of worshippers in the local churches is in free fall.The Anglicans, of course, are not the only … [Read More...]

A Married Priest on Married Priests

Last week I was asked by an editor at the New York Times to contribute a very short article as part of a forum on the issue of married priests in the Catholic Church. She asked me specifically to outline some practical reasons against having married priests.I did so, and thereby received a fair … [Read More...]

The Radical Vision of the Christian Family

I was asked to comment on the marriage-family crisis in our society.This interview was published elsewhere last week. I thought it would combine to make a good blog post. Enjoy.Is there a marriage crisis in the United States? How would you characterize it?“Crisis” is a good word to use be … [Read More...]

CSL and JFK – Two Jacks

Today is the fifty first anniversary of the death of C.S.Lewis.He died, of course, on the same afternoon that JFK was gunned down in Texas.Both men were nicknamed "Jack" and that's pretty much where the similarity ends.The two Jacks symbolize two different ways through the world.Jack … [Read More...]

Padre in the NYT

 I was asked to contribute this small piece to the New York Times on the subject of priestly celibacy. Catholics may think it nice and easy to support a married man with two children. But if the man and his wife are young and fertile, can Catholics support a large clerical family? Do … [Read More...]

Is “I Am Legend” a Christian Film?

My article for Imaginative Conservative this week is an analysis of the Christian symbolism and themes in the sic fi horror film I Am LegendThe film conveys the tense dread of living alone in an abandoned city inhabited only by humans who have turned into monsters. The atmosphere of a New York … [Read More...]

Living in the Past in the Present

Part of being a Catholic is to live in the past in the present.What I am getting at is the idea that the universality of the Catholic faith means that it transcends not only particular cultural circumstances and particular locales, but it also transcends time.Think about it. At Mass the … [Read More...]

Are US Bishops Attacking Pope Francis?

My article for Aleteia this week asks whether conservative Benedict XVI appointed bishops are out to get Pope Francis. In a highly biased report, radical progressive Michael Sean Winters twisted the Archbishop’s comments into criticism of Pope Francis. Archbishop Chaput replied, “There are people wh … [Read More...]

Is There a List of Mortal Sins?

One of the strengths and weaknesses of the internet age is that people write to strangers with personal problems which are often complex, but there is no context or background.So I'll get an email out of the blue from someone I don't know asking "What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Why … [Read More...]