Category Archives: Culture

What is the oldest Catholic church in the United States?

It’s older than the oldest Puritan meetinghouse in Massachusetts.  It’s older than the oldest Episcopalian chapel in Jamestown, Virginia.  In fact, it’s the oldest American church of any denomination, period. It’s the San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Founded in 1610, ten years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, the San Miguel [...]

Cast Your Nets

One of the themes to emerge from the debates and discussions surrounding the Synod on the Family is the counter-cultural nature of traditional values. Yuval Levin, writing in First Things, takes up one strand of this thought, writing about the decentralization and polarization of our society–which he notes is not necessarily a bad thing. Individuals [...]

Or Just Don’t Get Divorced

One of the dynamics that emerged during the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family was the apparent competition between two views of the marriage crisis and what was needed to address it. On the one hand, there was the view that the primary issue confronting the Church when it comes to marriage is the subset [...]

Christianity Implodes in Alabama–Not

Today, Real Clear Religion features a startling headline: “Nones Now Majority in Alabama.”  This is really shocking.  Is it possible that people of no religious faith are really now a majority in Alabama?  Did Christianity shrink to just a fraction of its former self in a region of the country in which it has traditionally [...]

Lord, Have Mercy

In the Synod on the Family, there is a lot of discussion about mercy. As Pope Francis said a year ago, the Catholic Church is a “field hospital” for sinners. He also said, “In pastoral ministry, we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds.” In this interview, he was already alluding to the [...]

Marriage, Doctrine, and Lived Experience

There is a lot of discussion going on about the document produced at this stage in connection with the synod on the family.  The document suggests that we need to attend to the lived experience of couples who are in situations that the Church has taught involve sin–that is, who are in unions that the [...]

UPDATED Houston Has a Problem: City Subpoenas Preachers’ Sermons over Equal Rights

Earlier this year, the city of Houston, Texas passed an equal rights ordinance which bans, among other things, discrimination based on gender identity. The ordinance’s greatest champion was Houston’s openly lesbian mayor, Annise Parker. The ordinance was opposed by many, including many local Christian leaders, who think that granting “gender identity” legally protection on par [...]

Prayers For Hunting

Autumn is in full swing, and that means a lot of good things are happening:  football and tailgating…raking leaves and wearing sweaters…hot cider and cinnamon donuts. Mmm, donuts. And for millions of Americans, autumn means something else besides the cranberry scones and the pumpkin spice lattes. It means hunting season. Books could be written (books [...]

Inconceivable? John Paul II Was a Princess Bride Fan

The New York Post today reported on Cary Elwes’ new book. He’s the actor who played the Wesley in The Princess Bride, and the book recounts his meeting with a surprise fan of the movie: St. John Paul II. Reported the paper: Of all the fans who have professed undying love for “The Princess Bride,” [...]


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