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July 29, 2013

The assumption that religion is at the root of most of the major conflicts in human history seems to be ingrained in our society. But is this assumption correct? How can a Christian respond to it?

Just the Facts

According to the Encyclopedia of Wars (Phillips and Axelrod), of the 1,763 major conflicts in recorded history, only 123 of them can be classified as having been fought over religious differences. That’s less than 7 percent.

The...

July 25, 2013

As a new Catholic many years ago, there were two rituals during the Mass that particularly appealed to me: holding hands during the Our Father and extending the sign of peace. Now I go out of my way to avoid the former (head bowed, hands folded) and oftentimes find myself gritting my teeth during the latter (not feeling peaceful at all, to be honest). For the purpose of this post, I'll focus on the sign of peace.

The...

July 24, 2013

Two days ago, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that all British users of broadband Internet would have pornographic content blocked at the source. Those wishing to access such content will have to opt in.

Such censorship is a novelty for the modern West, where the enshrinement of freedom—or license—has trumped old notions of public morality. Our obscenity laws are gone or disregarded, our entertainment codes...

July 23, 2013

A correspondent writes:

"Can you point me to a good reference for why women are no longer required to wear a head covering during Mass?"

Throughout history it has been common for women to wear head coverings. This is something that has precedent in St. Paul’s epistles (see 1 Cor. 11:2-16).

It was mandated in the 1917 Code of Canon Law. Canon 1262 states:

1. It is desirable that, consistent with ancient discipline, women be separated from men...

July 22, 2013
Socotra is one of the most isolated landforms on Earth.

Off the coast of Africa near the country of Yemen there is an island called Socotra. According to tradition, St. Thomas the apostle was shipwrecked there and used the remnants of his boat to build a church. The evidence that Thomas may have traveled there appears to be strong, but regardless of who founded the first Christian community on the island, by the tenth century virtually all of the inhabitants had been converted.
 
Through an unfortunate series of events in the sixteenth...