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February 23, 2016

There are many matters involving faith and morals where there is room for legitimate differences of opinion among Catholics. As an apologist, I often get this question, especially now that we are in an election cycle: “What about the death penalty? What about war? What about immigration? Climate change? What about the right to health and education?” In fact, whenever these issues come up in dialogue, it always reminds me of an encounter I had some years ago.

I was giving a parish...

February 16, 2016

A year or so ago, after I gave a talk on God and science, a gentleman expressed his doubt concerning the principle of non-contradiction.

The principle of non-contradiction is a self-evident first principle of reason upon which all knowledge is built. It states something cannot be and not-be in the same respect at the same place and time. Aristotle identified this principle as “the most certain of all principles” (Metaphysics IV.3).

The gentleman’s doubt exemplifies a...

February 15, 2016
Steven Avery addresses Judge Patrick Willis during his sentencing June 1, 2007.

My wife and I recently were binge-watching the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer when we noticed something. I’ll get to the something in a moment. If you haven’t seen Making a Murderer, chances are good you’ve heard about it.

It's a ten-episode documentary that tracks the story of Steve Avery, who belongs to an extended family living in and around Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. The Avery clan comes from the wrong side of the tracks: a bad local reputation, many run...

February 12, 2016
Pope Francis embraces Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Havana, Cuba, Feb 12.

Today Pope Francis met with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Havana, Cuba, with the hope of bettering relationships between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. According to NBC News:

"Finally!" Francis exclaimed as he embraced Kirill in the small, wood-paneled VIP room of Havana's airport, where the three-hour encounter was...

February 10, 2016
Lucca, Italy

I’m in Lucca, the walled city.

I arrived yesterday afternoon from Florence. From the train station it was a fifteen-minute walk to my hotel, the San Luca Palace, located within the walled historical center near the westernmost gates, Porta Sant’Anna and Porta San Donato. The hotel is one of the nicest I’ve seen in Italy: an elegant breakfast room, fine parquet flooring along the hallways, and everything new and clean. My room is oversized, with a shower so large I can turn without...