98 results
December 14, 2015

The Church Comes Home is a book about the ultimate in atomistic Christianity: starting your own church in your own home. The authors are Robert and Julia Banks. I found an advertising blurb used to promote the book to be unintentionally instructive:

“Home churches are as old as the New Testament, and now the Bankses help you carry on the tradition in your community of faith! Discover how to start a home church of your own, determine doctrine, form a network with...

December 7, 2015

A friend, a late vocation, left town for a distant seminary. Wanting to travel light, he donated a box of old books to the Catholic Answers library. Among them were six volumes comprising The Book of Catholic Authors. The first bears a copyright date of 1942; the sixth, undated, seems to have been published around 1961. The editor of the series was Walter Romig, who produced a book I have in my home library, The Catholic Bookman.

Of the sixty or so writers profiled...

November 29, 2015

 “Out of the mouths of babes— and dissident priests.” Or something like that.

Rummaging around, I came across an old newspaper column that amused me when I first read it and amuses me still. I never thought I would find the late Fr. Richard P. McBrien (1936–2015), longtime head of the theology department at Notre Dame, giving a coherent argument in favor of priestly celibacy; but he did, right in the pages of the National Catholic Reporter.

In fairness I should note...

November 23, 2015

The ancient Liber Pontificalis (Book of Pontiffs) gives brief lives of the first 108 holders of the see of Rome. Only recently has this important work been translated into English, allowing those of us whose Latin is less than fluent to browse at will.

The fourth pope listed is Clement, known to history as Clement of Rome and the author of an epistle, addressed to the Corinthians, that is used by Catholic apologists to show the early exercise of papal authority. It...

November 16, 2015

Apologetics is loaded with opportunities to err. Like ice cream, the errors come in a bewildering assortment of flavors. Some are as mild as vanilla, others as shocking to the palate as chunky raspberry-lemon. You can commit vanilla errors endlessly and never be tripped up by them (and seemingly never trip up others), but a single chunky raspberry-lemon error can throw you off track, can throw your listeners into the ditch, and even can sink your career.

There never has been an...