53 results
March 3, 2015

Many Catholics are aware that Jesus “opened the gates of heaven” and allowed the righteous dead to go there.

The Catechism even says it:

CCC 637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him.

This leads to a question that comes up periodically: What about figures like Enoch and Elijah, who seem to have been assumed...

January 22, 2015

Recently, I appeared on the local PBS radio and television affiliate (KPBS) to discuss a new assisted suicide bill that has been introduced in the California legislature.

Although the station representatives weren’t initially aware of it, both I and the gentleman taking the opposing view were widowers who lost our wives to cancer.

They were surprised and supportive when this turned out to be the case, and it helped balance the discussion since we both had very moving personal...

November 18, 2014

There is a persistent claim that the early Christians were pacifists—in the strong sense of being opposed to all use of violence—and that it was not until the time of the Emperor Constantine that this began to change.

After Christianity became the official religion of the empire, the Church embraced the use of military force, with St. Augustine playing the part of the enabling villain, who came up with the idea of the just war.

This story plays with well-worn tropes: the fall...

November 11, 2014

It’s getting near Christmas, and you know what that means. That’s right! It’s time for another book to be released telling us the sensationalistic “truth” about Christianity.

This time we have The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus' Marriage to Mary the Magdalene by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson.

You may remember Jacobovici from his involvement in previous biblical-archeological shenanigans like the discredited...

November 4, 2014

Suicide is a delicate and disturbing subject.

After the recent suicide of Brittany Maynard, many people are discussing it, and some are asking perennial questions, like whether those who commit suicide are automatically lost.

While suicide can be a mortal sin, it is not always one, and the Church both prays for those who have committed suicide and encourages us not to despair of their salvation.