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April 4, 2016
Cardinal Robert Sarah

We were gathered around a campfire high in the Sierra Nevada. This was a Catholic backpacking trip, so talk naturally turned to goings on within the Church. After we discussed several topics, there was a lull.

I poked at the fire with a stick, sending a plume of sparks into the air, and looked at the priest to my left. His illuminated face looked Mosaic. A man with extensive contacts in Rome, he knew many of the “players,” so I asked, “When the next conclave comes around, who is on...

December 21, 2015

The year 1939 saw many milestones. Most critics say it was the best year for movies (Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Ginga Din, Stagecoach, for starters). For the Polish people, however, all the attention was on the terrifying sight of Hitler's tanks and shock troops rolling into their homeland. In Spain, the civil war ended and the rule of Franco began. I could go on.

In Toronto, Canada, on Saturday, June 3, 1939, young Vincent...

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 9, 2015

The other day, a childhood friend contacted me through Facebook. She had been raised Catholic but now does not believe in God. She knows that I am a convert to Catholicism who writes on religious subjects and wanted to know what drew me to Catholicism and how I could remain Catholic. She wasn't arguing against belief in God; she was simply curious how I could affiliate with a religion that, for many people, does not seem to value women and that many are leaving.

The question about how...

November 9, 2015

I received a report of what a recent and devout “revert” (a one-time Catholic who has returned to the Faith) suffered through when assisting at Mass in a large Midwestern diocese she was visiting.

To me the most annoying thing wasn’t that none of the parishioners she spoke with knew where the tabernacle was located (hint: not in full view within the church, which is what the regulations insist on). And it wasn’t that the priest skipped the introductory rites and ad libbed his way...