April 7, 2016

Pope Francis’s much-anticipated document on the family has now been released.

Here are 12 things to know and share.

1. What are the basic facts about the document?

It is called Amoris Laetitia (Latin, “the joy of love”), and it is what is known as a “post-synodal apostolic exhortation.”

An apostolic exhortation is a pastoral document in which the pope exhorts the Church. Although it contains doctrine, its primary focus is pastoral care. (...

April 6, 2016
Matthew McConaughey (left) and Woody Harrelson in "True Detective"

I'm sitting in my family room watching the first episode of the HBO series True Detective. It stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as Rust Kohle and Marty Hart, homicide detectives for the Louisiana State Criminal Investigations Division. The two are driving along the highway, getting to know one another, and suddenly I'm presented with what must be the most philosophically interesting conversation I've ever witnessed on screen. 

Here it is, edited slightly for...

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...

April 1, 2016

On Wednesday Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump made waves in the mainstream media (even by Trump standards) when he took part in the following exchange with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?

...
March 31, 2016

When the image at right showed up yesterday in my Facebook newsfeed, I imagined the groans and eye rolls of some of my Catholic friends. (And it wasn’t long before the responses—“Very Protestant” said one—started popping up.) According to the Catholic News Service story, members of EWTN’s Rome bureau brought a photo of Mother Angelica, the network’s founder, who died on...