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December 3, 2013

Many Protestant churches—including some of those I attended before I became Catholic—are of the view that God no longer gives visions.

“The age of prophecy is over,” they say.

Other Protestants—notably those in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements—think otherwise. So does the Catholic Church.

Catholic theology commonly distinguishes between what is known as public revelation and private revelation. Public revelation—which is the kind of revelation we find in...

November 26, 2013

Now that we’re entering the last part of the year, the familiar sight of Salvation Army bell-ringers has returned.

The bell-ringers are volunteers or employees of the Salvation Army, and they stand in public places, such as in front of supermarkets, ringing bells and soliciting donations, which are placed in large red kettles (or buckets).

In other times of the year, people drop off donations—often of clothes, furniture, and other used items—at Salvation Army drop boxes or at...

November 19, 2013

According to 1 Peter 3:21:

“Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

In keeping with this language, the Nicene Creed states:

“I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”

And the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms:

“The Lord himself affirms that...

October 29, 2013

If you read magisterial documents written in the last fifty years, you’ll occasionally run across a statement that talks about man being revealed to himself.

Sometimes, the statement will say that God reveals man to himself.

Other times, it will say that Christ reveals man to himself.

What do these statements mean?

Two types of revelation

We’re familiar with the idea of divine revelation—that God discloses or reveals certain things to us....

October 21, 2013

Pope Francis recently raised eyebrows by saying, in an interview, that “proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense.”

This could sound strange since, historically, the word “proselyte” has simply meant a convert, and proselytism has simply meant making converts.

Yet the pope was not dismissing the idea of making converts. In fact, evangelization is high on his priority list.

How can we square these two things?

Francis on Proselytism

A...