81 results
March 14, 2013

In 2005, I was in a colleague's office when another colleague came running down the hall, breathlessly announcing, "There's white smoke!" I ran for a radio in my office, but an announcement came over the intercom. "We're gathering in the conference room!" Table and chairs were shoved aside, people stood or sat on the floor, all eyes were glued to a tiny TV set that had very poor reception. 

When "Josephum" was announced as the new pope's first name, I sucked in my breath. At the word...

March 11, 2013

I was interested in Catholicism long before I chose to become Catholic. But my interest wasn't always benign. For quite a while what I was interested in was anti-Catholicism. As a teenager, I found an advertisement in the back of a magazine for a course in Catholicism from the Knights of Columbus. When the course materials arrived, I was intrigued to see that they also offered pamphlets on the Catholic Faith. I sent away for...

March 7, 2013

For at least a couple of decades, there has been a trend going around Catholic circles to "explore our Jewish roots." If this exploration was limited to interfaith dialogues between Jewish and Catholic theologians, or even to friendly discussions between Jews and Catholics, there wouldn't be a problem. Dialogues and discussions can be helpful, even praiseworthy. The trouble starts when lay Catholics decide to "try out" Jewish ritual.

The questions we've gotten at Catholic Answers have...

March 5, 2013

In his memoirs, Treasure in Clay, Bishop Fulton Sheen (1895–1979) tells of giving instructions in the Catholic Faith to a young woman. During the lesson on confession, the young woman suddenly jumped from her chair and yelled at Bishop Sheen that she would never become Catholic because of what he had told her about confession. Sheen waited for her to...

March 1, 2013

In the Q&A department here at Catholic Answers, year in and year out we get what I like to think of as the seasonal questions. At Christmas someone will ask "What time is the midnight Mass?" (No kidding, and not as obvious an answer as you might think in many American parishes.) At Halloween, someone will want to know if the holiday is pagan. And, at Lent, not just "someone" but everyone seems to ask "Why do Catholics eat fish on the Fridays of Lent?"

The short answer has...