February 7, 2013

On this day in 1878 Bl. Pius IX died. Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferreti was the second-longest reigning pope in history, after St. Peter. He oversaw the First Vatican Council (1869-1870), defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854), and became the "prisoner of the Vatican" when the Papal States fell to the army of the new Italian state. He was beatified in 2000. He commonly is said to have been a liberal when he ascended the papal throne in 1846 but became a conservative as he aged....

February 7, 2013

Hebrews 6:4-6 reveals a rather unsettling truth: We can lose our state of grace and fall away from the Lord.

For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly ...

February 6, 2013

Lent is just around the corner. In fact, Ash Wednesday is one week from today. Lent is chosen by many parishes as the ideal time to offer retreats, parish missions, and workshops. If you are planning such an event, I have a suggestion: Invite a Catholic Answers speaker to give talks on Vatican II and the Catechism. Doing so could have the added bonus of a plenary indulgence for attendees.

The Apostolic Penitentiary, which issues indulgences...

February 6, 2013

On a recent Sunday, the readings included the Apostle Paul's description to the Corinthians of the functions of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-30). In his homily at the Mass I attended that day, the pastor reflected on the appropriateness of St. Paul's choice to liken the relationship between Christ and the members...

February 6, 2013

As many of you are aware, I recently joined the staff of Catholic Answers and its team of gifted apologists. In the process of sharing the news with relatives and friends, I have noticed a common pattern in their reaction. “So, you’re a Catholic Apologist?” “What exactly is that?” “Does that mean you go around apologizing to others for being Catholic?”

It is clear to me that this is somewhat of a downside to being a professional apologist. Sadly, most people just aren’t familiar with...