“I love the ‘Open Forum for Non-Catholics’ shows. I have learned so much from these programs, and they’ve helped me to not be caught off-guard when I'm called to answer friends, family members, and co-workers who question the teachings and doctrines of 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:
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...