September 2, 2014

An article titled 5 Reasons to Suspect that Jesus Never Existed was posted yesterday at Salon.com and was featured in the Yahoo news feed. The article itself does not contain anything groundbreaking to anyone who follows this debate, but it presents the most common objections.

Below are five reasons author Valerie Tarico gives, and how to answer them.

1. No first century secular evidence whatsoever exists to support the actuality of Yeshua ben Yosef.

Tarico uses only an extensive quote from skeptical Biblical scholar Bart...

August 29, 2014

Catholic apologists keep very busy clearing up common misconceptions about the Faith: explaining how the Church’s teaching, practice, and history are misunderstood—or willfully misrepresented—by its opponents.

Islam, too, has its apologists. They also claim that many critiques of the Muslim religion are based on ignorance or animus, and insist that the record must be set straight.

One such apologist is Princeton University Muslim chaplain Sohaib Sultan, whose recent piece in Time, “ISIS Is Ignoring Islam’s Teachings on Yazidis and Christians,” would seem to be something that every Catholic, and indeed every free person, should welcome. Sultan condemns the Islamic State (...

Image Credit: Eva Rinaldi
August 28, 2014
Two weeks ago I posted the following social media status after learning about the tragic death of Robin Williams:
The rules for talking about Robin Williams: Don't say where he is now, don’t promote your own cause/message, do pray for him and his family.
...
August 28, 2014

Everybody agrees that the moral-quality state of movies and television is at an all-time low. If I listed all the objectionable shows and movie titles out there, this would be a very long post. Not all of Hollywood's product has that fetid character, of course. There are some outstanding dramas on television, and each year the occasional drop of golden sun hits the big screen; and, for a time, we sigh and are happy.

But most of the time we’re sick of the uncreative garbage that gets cranked out—year in and year out—by an industry that seems more interested in lauding its own “creative courage” (read: politically correct agenda) than in making money for its investors. It’s not called "show art"; it's show business.

Many Catholics think the answer is “more Catholic...

August 27, 2014

The day before the Independence Day holiday weekend, the Catholic Answers staff headed up to Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, California, for a retreat. It was led by a Norbertine priest from St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, California. The priest chose Divine Mercy as his topic for the retreat.

As part of his talk, he told us a story from the private revelation allegedly given to Maria Simma. I don't know much about Maria Simma, except that she was a mystic who died a decade ago. According to our retreat master, her visions of visits with the holy souls in purgatory, as recorded in her book ...

August 26, 2014

In 2003, then Cardinal Ratzinger told to the editors of 30 Days that neither he nor the man to whom he reported believed that the American invasion of Iraq passed the just-war test. He emphasized the condition of proportionality, that is, the hoped-for good must outweigh the anticipated evils:

The Pope has very clearly expressed his thoughts, not only as the thoughts of an individual, but as the thoughts of a man of conscience occupying the highest functions in the Catholic Church. Of course, he has not imposed this position as a doctrine of the Church, but as the appeal of a conscience enlightened by the faith. This judgment of the Holy Father is convincing from a rational point of view also: reasons sufficient for unleashing a war against Iraq did not...

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History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium
The history of the Catholic Church is long, complicated, and fascinating, and in History of the Catholic Church: From the...