November 23, 2015

The ancient Liber Pontificalis (Book of Pontiffs) gives brief lives of the first 108 holders of the see of Rome. Only recently has this important work been translated into English, allowing those of us whose Latin is less than fluent to browse at will.

The fourth pope listed is Clement, known to history as Clement of Rome and the author of an epistle, addressed to the Corinthians, that is used by Catholic apologists to show the early exercise of papal authority. It seems that the Corinthians had called on Clement to settle a dispute. (The poor Corinthians were still troubled, long decades after Paul had tried to straighten them out—apparently with insufficient success.) The last surviving apostle, John, lived much closer to them and would have been the logical...

November 20, 2015

Pope Francis recently answered a Lutheran woman’s question regarding the possibility of her taking Communion with her Catholic husband at Mass.

His remarks, which he made at an ecumenical meeting in a Lutheran church, have raised eyebrows.

You can read them online here. Another translation is here. You can also watch the exchange in Italian here.

What the woman asked

This is what the Lutheran woman said:

November 19, 2015

There is a lot of debate right now about how to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis. In September, when photos surfaced of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned off the coast of Turkey, there was an outpouring of support. Pope Francis even asked every parish, religious community, monastery, and sanctuary in Europe to take in one refugee family.

But the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and the possibility that the terrorists operated under the guise of being Syrian refugees, have moved some...

November 18, 2015

This post is the sixth in a series on the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them.

The world reacted in horror at the despicable and evil Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.  It is natural, in the face of such evil, to ask why. Why did these attacks occur? Why are some Muslims drawn to groups like ISIS, and why are they willing to kill innocent people in the name of religion? Many believe  economics, Western foreign policy, or religion is to blame. Some believe that history—or, more specifically, certain historical actions—provide the answer.

ISIS, in a ...

November 16, 2015

Apologetics is loaded with opportunities to err. Like ice cream, the errors come in a bewildering assortment of flavors. Some are as mild as vanilla, others as shocking to the palate as chunky raspberry-lemon. You can commit vanilla errors endlessly and never be tripped up by them (and seemingly never trip up others), but a single chunky raspberry-lemon error can throw you off track, can throw your listeners into the ditch, and even can sink your career.

There never has been an apologist who hasn’t bungled. The tradition started early. Peter, visiting Antioch, must have been embarrassed when he realized he undercut his own principles when he removed himself from the table of the Gentiles. Surely he was doubly embarrassed when Paul upbraided him for throwing a stumbling block in...

November 12, 2015

Pope Pius XII effectively summarized the core reasons Christians ought to honor Mary with the title of Queen of Heaven and Earth:

According to ancient tradition and the sacred liturgy the main principle on which the royal dignity of Mary rests is without doubt her divine motherhood. In holy writ, concerning the son whom Mary will conceive, we read this sentence: “He shall be called the son of the most high, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end,” and in addition Mary is called “Mother of the Lord,” from this it is easily concluded that she is a queen, since she bore a son who, at the very moment of his conception, because of the...

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Absolute Relativism: The New Dictatorship And What To Do About It
In his best-selling booklet Absolute Relativism: The New Dictatorship And What To Do About It, Chris Stefanick tackles all the tough qu...