July 30, 2014

It's become something of a genre for advice columnists: What not to say to: a pregnant woman, a grieving parent, someone who has cancer. Those are the times when unconsidered words can cause either distress or deep pain for someone who is already experiencing anything from stress to abject grief. Then there are also other primers on how to get ahead by not saying the wrong thing...

July 25, 2014

In my new book, Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines,which is now available at a reduced price if you pre-order before the October release date, I spend most of its pages in classic apologetic defense of Mary as Mother of God, defending her immaculate conception, perpetual virginity, assumption into heaven, her Queenship, and her role in God’s plan of salvation as Co-redemptrix and Mediatrix. But perhaps my most important...

July 25, 2014

Worldwide attention is focused on the crisis in Iraq as Sunni Muslim militant forces from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sweep through the region killing and rampaging unimpeded.

A recent Washington Post article highlighted ISIS’s destruction of the purported tomb of the Old Testament prophet Jonah. The author did a good job describing ISIS's motives (basically, if it’s not Sunni Muslim it’s bad) and correctly noted that militants destroying sacred places in the name of religion is not a new historical phenomenon. The article noted the Roman army’s...

July 24, 2014

I have a plane trip coming up, and with it, my standard pre-flight anxiety.

It’s not fear of flying (I don’t love hurtling through low orbit, separated from death by a few inches of aluminum and plexiglass, but I tolerate it)—it’s fear that God may put someone in the next seat for me to evangelize.

Some people—extroverts, probably—relish the opportunity to witness, but not me. I’m just no good at it. Give me a theological point to argue, an enemy of the Faith to fight, and I’m your man. But I can’t seem to work up the gumption to lean over to a stranger and say, “Hello there. Can I tell you about Jesus?”

Nor am I particularly good at explaining the very basics of what I believe and why. I remember once in high school getting into a lunchroom argument with...

July 24, 2014

According to the Catholic News Agency a priest in Louisiana may be forced to reveal what was said during a confession when he testifies in an upcoming civil suit. The article says,

 

In May, the state Supreme Court ruled that the priest in question, Fr. Jeff Bayhi, may be subject to mandatory reporting laws regarding sexual abuse, and cannot invoke the privilege of confidentiality regarding an alleged confession made to him about sexual abuse by a young girl.

The diocese explained that a priest is under the gravest of obligations not to reveal the contents of a confession or if the confession even took place. He cannot do so...

July 23, 2014

In the modern Jewish tradition, converts to Judaism are often called Jews by Choice, which indicates that they were not born to Jewish families but chose to become Jews. A few years ago, I listened to a roundtable discussion on conversion to Judaism by Jewish converts. One gentleman participated in the discussion only very reluctantly and after concerted effort by the organizer to persuade him to attend at all. His ordinary practice was to refrain from mentioning to anyone that he was a convert to Judaism, to such an extent that he had a ready response for whenever a fellow Jew would remark that his surname did not "sound Jewish." In the years since his conversion, he had...

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Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves
In Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves, nine such Catholic women -- varying widely in age, occupation and experience -- shar...