484 results
February 21, 2013

Unlike most converts from various strains of Protestantism, I never had much of a problem with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Perhaps it was because my Christian background was more or less nominal and lacking a good deal of Christian catechesis. In that void, in which there were no misapprehensions about Christianity to be overcome, I readily accepted the Blessed Virgin's role in the Christian life. Or perhaps it was because I had a natural attraction to the idea of saintly intercession and the...

February 21, 2013

Since the new musical film adaptation of Les Misérables hit theaters last Christmas, there has been no shortage of praise from Catholic reviewers (and some whiny criticism from the seculars) for director Tom Hooper’s decision not only to retain the religious themes baked into the libretto but to double down on them: lovingly filling frame after frame with crosses, candles, altars, vestments, chanting nuns, and every...

February 20, 2013

I admit it. I’m eBook phobic. Thin metal tablets that can hold hundreds if not thousands of books scare me. It’s not the technology that I find so scary; it's our obsession with it. For most of us, our need to carry around a small library in a container the size of a small book is not so much out of need but just because we can.

No, I’m not a Luddite; I have electronic stuff. I also recognize and...

February 20, 2013

How should one respond to the old schoolboy retort, “If everything needs a cause, who caused God?” 

First, philosophers and theologians do not maintain that whatever exists needs a cause. Instead, they propose that certain things need causes, such as things that have a beginning or things that don’t have to exist.

If something came into existence at a certain point in time—that is, if it had a beginning—then there needs to be a cause, an explanation, for why it came to be. But...

February 20, 2013

The Inquisition!

The Holy Office!

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith!

Whichever name it has used, this is the arm of the Vatican that oversees the doctrinal integrity of the Faith. It watches, with eagle eyes, the goings on of theologians and other suspects around the world.

Its staff is omnipresent, with sub-offices in every country and in most major dioceses. Its minions send daily reports to headquarters, where countless clerical workers do nothing...