February 11, 2013

In the coming days there will be plenty of comments about Pope Benedict XVI's stunning announcement. Some of those comments will appear in the Catholic Answers Blog. For now, let me make a few points:

1. Yes, popes can renounce the Petrine office. A few popes have done so, the most famous being St. Celestine V in 1296. (More on him another time.)

2. Benedict XVI hasn't "resigned," as that word commonly is used. A resignation implies informing one's superior about one's decision...

February 11, 2013

A colleague told me not long ago of a priest he knows who attended the installation of a new bishop in the diocese in which the priest resided. This was a diocese in which the incoming bishop might have been expected to have a difficult row to hoe in cleaning up some of the liturgical funny business his predecessor chose, for whatever reason, not to crack down on. As I understand it, the priest walked out of the bishop's installation Mass during the consecration, when the large amount of...

February 11, 2013

In this post we will look at how one might respond to five self-referentially incoherent things people say about truth.

Self-referential incoherence is a logical fallacy in which some claim is made that, upon being applied to itself, refutes itself.

1. “There is no such thing as objective truth.” Really? Is that statement objectively true? If so, it is objectively true that there is no objective truth.

2. “Only that which can be proven...

February 10, 2013

Guns have been much in the news lately. So have silly regulations, which always seem to be in the news, perhaps because of their inscrutability.

A few days ago I read a comment at another blog. The writer was a man who took two of his great-grandchildren on a visit to Wyoming's capital city, Cheyenne. While there they visited a gun show. The man almost bought "a very pretty competition barrel Dan Wesson .357, but that would have meant crossing a state line with, for that state, an '...

February 9, 2013

For years a friend of mine has hosted an annual Shakespeare party. It used to be held around William Shakespeare's birthday (April 23), but usually it is now held just before Lent, when the weather is more amenable to wearing heavy costumes. It also serves as a final farewell to the Christmas partying season. The party includes music and skits prepared by the guests, either from Shakespeare or evocative of his time.

This year's Shakespeare party will be tonight. It's not often that...