Category Archives: Theology

Why I’m Never Leaving the Catholic Church

In 2001, just months before the clergy sex abuse scandals in Boston broke, I came back to the Catholic Church. The timing couldn’t have been better. I had left six years before, although I didn’t really know what I was leaving. At the time, a cute Protestant boy asked questions that my badly catechized self [...]

Old, Good News

Usually, when Huffington Post, The New York Times, and The Daily Beast are giddy with excitement over something the Pope said about abortion, gay-marriage, or contraception, there’s either been a serious misunderstanding or the eschaton is near. For those who haven’t yet heard, America Magazine (and several other Jesuit publications worldwide) has just published a [...]

Atheists Can Go To Heaven? Did Pope Francis Say Something New?

Some folks in the mainstream media are worked up because Pope Francis actually said that an atheist might go to heaven.  His remarks, from an article in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, are being hyped as an example of Francis’s striking out on a new path, one different from that of his papal predecessors.  Here [...]

Through the Looking Glass: Conversion Therapy! Gender-Bending! And Gifs!

Hello boys and girls, welcome to this week’s episode of “Through the Looking Glass,” the exciting reality game show where players try to make sense of the weekly news in the wild and wacky Wonderland of 21st century America. So, what head-pounding, mind-numbing craziness will we attempt to sort out this week? Let’s start with New [...]

The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today is the memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Here are a couple of aids to reflection on this aspect of Catholic devotion to the mother of Our Lord. The Vatican website (which is a treasury of great materials) includes the text of Pope Benedict’s general audience on the Queenship of Mary [...]

Tattoos: Cultural or Catholic?

“You have virgin flesh, don’t you?” I stared at my questioner, a perfect stranger in an airport bar, absolutely aghast. A dozen different responses flashed through my mind in the space of a second, most of them variations on, “In what barn were you raised?” Before I could utter a one of them though, he [...]

Mercy–In Context

One aspect of the recent World Youth Day that has gotten a lot of attention is Pope Francis’s emphasis on mercy, especially in some of his comments in that famous in-flight press conference he gave while travelling back to Rome.  The pope spoke of ours as a time for mercy, and he also made a [...]

What the Church Really Thinks About Women

Pope Francis caused some eyebrows to go up last week when he remarked, in an offhand way, that, “We don’t have a deep theology of women in the church.” I’m not sure if anything is being lost in translation, but, as Pat Gohn pointed out in her Washington Post op-ed today, the real problem isn’t [...]


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