February 14, 2013

Leave it to the bizarre imagination of retail America (merchants and consumers alike) to turn the celebration of the moment when an angel of almighty God handed the palm of martyrdom to a third-century Roman priest into an opportunity to boost the bottom lines of candy manufacturers and lingerie vendors. It’s a pretty easy guess with what kind of judgment Valentinus would react.

Let’s bring the commemoration back into focus.

According to the 1962 Missal, St. Valentine was...

February 14, 2013

I sometimes wonder what the real St. Valentine, probably a third-century Roman martyr but no one knows for certain, would think of what's become of his feast day. Not only is the tradition of celebrating romantic love tenuously connected to what is told about this saint, but the day's name is often stripped of its sanctity. We never refer to March 17 as "Patrick's Day," but somehow February 14 became...

February 14, 2013

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is the senior religion editor for the Huffington Post and a minister in the American Baptist church, a theologically liberal mainline denomination. In a February 11 article he reflects on the papacy of Benedict XVI, whom he doesn’t much approve of.  

From the first, Raushenbush says, he knew that Benedict “was going to continue the more...

February 13, 2013

Well, not "all," but something, since Lent begins today and confession is good for the soul.

Like Tim Staples, I love my job. It is a privilege to be trusted with the responsibility to find information for Catholics and non-Catholics on the Catholic Faith. Whenever I learn that I in some way helped someone to better understand what Catholics believe and why, I am grateful once again to be...

February 13, 2013

In the third book of his Ecclesiastical History (written around 325), Eusebius says that in the earliest days the Church “remained a pure and uncorrupted virgin, for those who attempted to corrupt the healthful rule of the Savior’s preaching, if they existed at all, lurked in obscure darkness.” It wasn’t long, though, before enemies—internal and external—made themselves known.

“When the sacred band of the apostles and the generation of those to whom it had been vouchsafed to...