September 25, 2013

I love our pope. Not just because he is pope, but because of the kind of pope he is. I love his focus on the poor and on poverty of spirit, his emphasis on the radicalness of the gospel, and his back-to-basics approach to evangelization.

As someone who has worked for the Church for twenty years and can be prone to both myopia and cynicism, I feel personally convicted by his warning against becoming a “self-referential Church.” He reminds me that our task is not to spend our...

September 23, 2013

In my last blog I began to investigate the claims of Frank Zindler, former editor of American Atheist Magazine, who believes that the office of the pope is really an extension of the Pater Patrum (Father of Fathers) who presided over the Roman cult of Mithras.

I’ve already addressed the weakness of Zindler’s claim that the Chair of Peter once belonged to the supposed Mithraic...

September 23, 2013

One of my favorite films is The Mission (1986), directed by Roland Joffé, screenplay by Robert Bolt. Bolt also wrote the screenplay for another favorite, A Man for All Seasons...

September 20, 2013

When the Archangel Gabriel visited Mary and declared unto her that she was called to be the Mother of God, as we see recorded in Luke 1, her response would become the cause of the spilling of a whole lot of ink over the centuries: “How shall this happen, since I know not man?” (v. 34, Douay Rheims, Confraternity Edition).

For Catholics this is an indication of Mary’s vow of perpetual virginity. It’s really quite simple. If Mary and Joseph were just an ordinary couple embarking on a...

September 18, 2013

Some people balk at the use of liberal and conservative in a religious context. They argue that these are political terms only, and that questions of religious belief and practice are too varied, too nuanced, to capture with broad-stroke labels.

I’m not one of those people. Words can have different senses in different contexts, so there should be no problem re-purposing them from one to the next. And, sure, I agree that beliefs can be complex and so labels are...