May 19, 2019

Enchantment as the Path (What Really Matters, VIII)

I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. — Revelation 21:2, NEB A theology professor used to ask his seminary students to tell the story of the whole Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, in one […]
October 12, 2018

Does Pope Francis “Get It”?

I have a great deal of respect for our Holy Father, and as a Catholic and a priest I owe him (and give him) great deference – to him personally, not only to his office.  But it’s quite legitimate to ask whether he truly understands the gravity of the situation […]
October 7, 2018

Waiting for the Proof of the Pudding

It’s “in the eating,” as the old proverb says.  But in the midst of the ongoing scandal of sex-abuse coverup in the church I want to point to a few people in high places who I think “get it” and are saying so.  We need to wait and see if […]
September 30, 2018

The Ongoing Disaster

– of the sex abuse scandal and its coverup is effectively destroying the credibility of the Catholic Church.  (“Disaster” is not my word: It’s Cardinal Dolan’s; but I couldn’t agree more.) And as for impact on the church’s ability to do its job, consider these figures from a recent (Sept. […]
September 16, 2018

Actions, not Words

There have been a lot of calls for “prayer (and fasting, sometimes)” since the revelations of clergy sex abuse, its coverup, and too-frequent leadership incompetence that began (again!) last July.  I think prayer and fasting are important in the midst of this mess, and have said so; but there’s something […]
September 9, 2018

No Way to Run a Church

The still-unfolding (as I write) mess in Catholic Church leadership is drawing unfavorable attention onto our church from every direction.  Ideological groups left and right, inside and outside the church, are trying to use it to further their agendas, to no one’s long-term benefit.  And it has created doubt in […]
August 26, 2018

Physicians in a Time of Plague

(I’m writing this two days after the release of the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse and its coverup in Pennsylvania, and in the wake of the earlier reports of the sordid activities of former-Cardinal, now Father Theodore McCarrick.  I usually don’t write my column during the summer and […]
June 24, 2018

Abuse of Scripture

The U. S. Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, was widely reported last week as having said, in the context of administration policy that separates children from their parents at border crossings: I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to […]
June 17, 2018

The Church Visible

I usually have some fun with my final columns of the year before summer, so today I’m going to tackle a summer-y issue: Dress in church. Let’s get started: #1: How we dress communicates.  Any parent of a teenager knows this – but it’s no less true of adults.  We […]
June 10, 2018

Taking the Satan Seriously

Talking about the Satan makes people (including me) uncomfortable.  It’s unfashionable, certainly; who “believes in” the Satan anymore? Except the Holy Father, who talks about the Satan regularly; and not a few people who have faced square-on the nearly-incomprehensible sorts of suffering that humans all too often inflict on other […]