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February 13, 2013

In the third book of his Ecclesiastical History (written around 325), Eusebius says that in the earliest days the Church “remained a pure and uncorrupted virgin, for those who attempted to corrupt the healthful rule of the Savior’s preaching, if they existed at all, lurked in obscure darkness.” It wasn’t long, though, before enemies—internal and external—made themselves known.

“When the sacred band of the apostles and the generation of those to whom it had been vouchsafed to...

February 11, 2013

In the coming days there will be plenty of comments about Pope Benedict XVI's stunning announcement. Some of those comments will appear in the Catholic Answers Blog. For now, let me make a few points:

1. Yes, popes can renounce the Petrine office. A few popes have done so, the most famous being St. Celestine V in 1296. (More on him another time.)

2. Benedict XVI hasn't "resigned," as that word commonly is used. A resignation implies informing one's superior about one's decision...

February 10, 2013

Guns have been much in the news lately. So have silly regulations, which always seem to be in the news, perhaps because of their inscrutability.

A few days ago I read a comment at another blog. The writer was a man who took two of his great-grandchildren on a visit to Wyoming's capital city, Cheyenne. While there they visited a gun show. The man almost bought "a very pretty competition barrel Dan Wesson .357, but that would have meant crossing a state line with, for that state, an '...

February 9, 2013

Have you ever come across one of those Protestant sectarians who, finding heretics on all sides, has reduced authentic Christianity to just himself? Everyone else has it wrong—certainly the historic churches but just as certainly the denominations he used to be part of. One by one he became disenchanted with them, serially leaving one church for an even smaller church, until at length it was just himself and another fellow, whom he discovered to be as foul a heretic as he had ever met.

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February 8, 2013

If you visit the Campo de' Fiori (Field of Flowers) in Rome, you won't be able to miss the statue in the middle of the square (which, by the way, was still a meadow when it received its name in the Middle Ages). The statue is of Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake there. He was convicted on today's date in 1600 and executed nine days later.

Bruno commonly is called a "martyr for science" because he endorsed the same Copernican theory that, through injudiciousness in discussing...