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March 12, 2014

There were twelve apostles, right?

Actually, it’s more complicated than that.

An initial complication is the fact that Judas Iscariot died and was replaced by Matthias (Acts 1:12-26).

You could look at that and say, “Okay, there were thirteen apostles, total, but only twelve at one time.”

What about Paul?

Some (at least some in the Protestant community) have suggested that, since the New Testament doesn’t record...

March 12, 2014

Many people dislike platitudes. Just the other day, I was part of a conversation on Facebook in which the original poster was complaining about the silliness of saying, "Count rainbows, not thunderstorms, and walk on." The thread participants all riffed on this platitude, and my contribution was that paying attention to the rainbows instead of the storm while walking is a great way to ...

March 7, 2014

In an earlier blog post, I made the point that the role of St. Peter and his successors is made remarkably clear in Matthew 16:18-19 and its immediate context:

And I tell you, you are Peter (Gr.—petros—‘rock’), and on this rock (Gr.—petra‘rock’...

March 6, 2014

Last week Governor Jan Brewer vetoed Arizona Senate Bill 1062 after a national backlash that described the legislation as being “anti-gay.” The bill would have allowed Arizona businesses to refuse, on religious grounds, to offer their services to anyone who did not belong to a particular “protected class” (e.g., race, ethnicity, sex, religious groups, etc.).[i] Since Arizona state law...

March 5, 2014

The other day I was visiting with some friends at a party. One of them, a Catholic, mentioned that she and her husband had recently embarked on a cleansing diet, and had good results. Then she remarked, "It's amazing how much easier it is to avoid certain foods when you are not doing it for spiritual reasons."

Lent is here, that penitential season on the liturgical calendar when Catholics give up all sorts of things for spiritual reasons. And it is again that time of year when the...