Victorian birth control propaganda
August 20, 2014

Did you know there is such a thing as National NFP Awareness Week, recently sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops? Neither did I, until the World Wide Web told me so. Fine, you say, so what could a single, Catholic, 40-something woman have to say about Natural Family Planning? Especially when you could instead be reading the work of a Catholic married woman and mother of nine (...

August 15, 2014

There are two texts of Scripture most commonly used to “disprove” the Assumption of Mary.

1. John 3:13:

No one has ascended up to heaven, but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. 

If “no man” has ascended into heaven, wouldn’t that include the Blessed Virgin Mary?

2. I Cor. 15:22-23:

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

If no one except Christ will be resurrected bodily before the Second Coming of Christ, would that not eliminate the possibility of Mary having been bodily assumed into heaven?

The...

August 13, 2014

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of Sts. Hippolytus (170-235) and Pontian (r. 230-235)—a most interesting pair of early Christian men who were at first enemies but now share eternal glory. 

In its first several centuries, the Church dealt with crises both external and internal. Externally, the Church suffered for nearly 250 years under the violent persecutions of Roman emperors, begun under mad Nero in A.D. 64 and finally stopped under Constantine in 313. Internally, the Church wrestled with heresies, schism, and matters of discipline. One of the main issues of disagreement in those early centuries concerned the treatment of the faithful who committed serious sins or who apostatized during the persecutions. Two camps emerged within the Church: those who advocated mercy...

August 13, 2014

I was flipping through the National Catholic Reporter recently, and paused when I came to the Letters to the Editor (July 18–31). While NCR is a good source of reporting on Catholic affairs, its editorial slant very much leans leftward and the readership oftentimes reflects that perspective. Sometimes the letters can be quite entertaining, and this time was no exception—at first glance anyway.

A reader wrote in response to a previous issue's article on "the excommunication of leaders of We Are Church in Austria (NCR, June 6–19)," the excommunication levied because ...

August 12, 2014

In a previous post, I looked at the hypothetical document Q, which most contemporary Bible scholars think was used by Matthew and Luke when they composed their Gospels.

The reason they think this is that there are 235 verses in Matthew that are paralleled in Luke but not in Mark or John.

The proposal is that there was a document in the early Church that contained (roughly) these 235 verses and that both Matthew and Luke copied from it.

That proposed document is commonly called Q.

 

Hypothetical vs. Lost

Previously, I pointed out that the Q document is not simply lost.

There are lots of documents...

August 8, 2014

As a father of eight (two in heaven, and six on earth), I have the perfect excuse to watch children’s movies. “I just happened to be nearby and just happened to see…”

Actually, some of the kids’ movies we have are really good. And among my favorites are the Veggie Tales series of movies and television shows. The characters are all vegetables of differing sorts, e.g., celery, broccoli, etc., and the themes are always Christian with a moral to challenge young people to walk with the Lord in their everyday lives. There is no doubt that the writers of the series knew parents would be watching because there is no lack of humor mixed in that is obviously aimed at an older audience, but overall these episodes are extremely well done and my kids absolutely love them....

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