August 31, 2015

That Saturday was blustery, filled with persistent showers and a low overcast. I saw our weekend plans running into the storm drains. Late at night I woke, peeked out the bedroom window, and saw stars—a good sign. The storms were passing and with them the winds. Sunday dawned cloudless, the air almost still. It would be ideal weather for our flight into Big Bear City for lunch.

After preflighting the motorglider, I settled into the left seat and my non-pilot friend got into the right. We flew north from San Diego, skirting Mt. San Gorgonio, the tallest peak in the coastal range. To the west spread the Los Angeles basin. Despite the rain, it still wore a blanket of smog. To the east, through the Banning Pass, lay Palm Springs and the desert, where the air was clean and the...

August 28, 2015

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, in paragraph 2051, that apart from the teaching authority of the Church, it is impossible to maintain the “saving truths of the faith:”

The infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed.

Too many Catholics take for granted the great gift of the Magisterium of the Bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome that has safeguarded the truth of the Faith for 2,000 years. In fact, there is no human way to explain the reality of “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5) that we have experienced in the Catholic Church for two millennia apart from this...

August 24, 2015

Evangelical Protestants say that infants are not fit candidates for baptism because they are unable to manifest a desire to “accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.” Baptism, they say, is not regenerative—it does not do anything to the soul but is only a public sign to other Christians that the new believer believes.

In contrast, the Catholic Church (like the Eastern churches and “mainline” Protestant churches) always has taught that baptism forgives sins, infuses grace, and marks one’s entrance into the Faith, and baptism can be conferred on infants validly.

Our Lord said that only the baptized can enter heaven (John 3:5). His words can be taken to apply to anyone capable of having a right to his kingdom. He asserted such a right for children: “Let the...

August 21, 2015

NOTE: This post adapted from chapter seven of my book Answering Atheism: How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity.

UPDATE: William Rowe, a philosopher mentioned in this article, passed away on August 22, 2015. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Once my wife and I attended a baseball game where our home team was ahead by eight runs in the top of the ninth inning. We decided to leave so we wouldn’t get stuck in the parking lot during the mass exodus after the game. When my wife’s mother called and asked if our team had won, we said it had, but we didn’t know the final score, since we had left early. “...

August 18, 2015

Today marks the 862nd anniversary of the death of one of the most important and influential saints in the history of the Church, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153). This great saint was the third son of seven children (six boys and one girl) born to a noble family near Dijon in the Burgundy region of France. Bernard was brilliant and handsome, although his severe ascetic practices left him frail and in ill health for most of his adult life. Bernard loved the Church and had a special and intense reverence for the Blessed Mother that had been inculcated by his mother during his childhood. During his lifetime he was known as an exceptional preacher and inspirational speaker....

August 17, 2015

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a new pope a year from now. I’m not making a prediction—my prognosticational abilities are not sufficiently developed. I’m just bringing up a possibility, one that I think isn’t farfetched.

Let me begin by turning back the calendar a few pages, to 1292. Pope Nicholas IV, who had been reigning since 1288, died that April. He had been elected only after a long impasse among the papal electors. As it turned out, his successor was elected after an even more protracted interregnum. For two years following Nicholas’s death the cardinals were unable (or maybe unwilling) to elect a new pope.

Their dithering scandalized Christendom. It particularly scandalized an old Benedictine hermit who lived in a cave in the Abruzzi region of central Italy...

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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...