“I am a cradle Catholic and my husband of eight years just went through RCIA this Easter. Praise the Lord! His conversion was due, in large part, to your show and the awesome answers of Tim Staples, Jimmy Akin, and the rest of the gang. Your show has helped me, my now husband, grow deeply in love with the Church.”
It all started with a clickbait headline in my Facebook news feed. Sandro Magister, a Vatican expert writing in Rome, declared, For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict. Magister reported, in the tabloid fashion typical of Italian journalism:
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.
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.
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...
~ Oliver Plunket, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland, Saint; after being sentenced to death, he joyfully declared "Thanks be to God" in front of all; on July 11, 1681, Pluncket was the last martyr at Tyburn, victim of the notorious Lord Shaftesbury and his chief perjured witness, Titus Oates, both of whom were subsequently thrown in jail.