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The Catholic Hierarchy Disappoint Again

The Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. have disappointed Catholics in the past, and they are doing so again, this time on the matter of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration. I recently examined six widely reported hierarchical statements and found only two that met or surpassed minimal standards of reasoned discourse—separating fact from fiction, acknowledging complexity, making careful distinctions, demonstrating fairness, and avoiding rash and fallacious judgment.Read More

 

The Power of Disinformation

Disinformation, 29500751_sFor over sixty years, communists have poisoned world opinion about America so successfully that even many Americans, including elected officials, have embraced the lies. That is the claim made by Romania’s former intelligence director, Lieutenant General Ion Pacepa, in Disinformation.

Unlike “misinformation,” which is simply inaccurate, “disinformation” is deliberately created to deceive people. According to Pacepa, Soviet leader Stalin had the KGB (secret police) create lies and false narratives about their real or perceived enemies and then alter documents and records to support the stories.… Read More

 

The Pharisee’s Confession

Pharisee & Publican 2I know it couldn’t have happened, but imagine that the Pharisee in the famous Gospel parable had gone to confession. No doubt the exchange with his confessor would have gone something like this:

Pharisee: Bless me, Father, for my wife, kids, parents, in-laws, fellow Pharisees and neighbors have sinned. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out. Oh, yes, I’m sure that Publican behind me has sinned, too, probably grievously.… Read More

 

Will America Become Muslim?

Muslim Family BreakfastThe expansion of Islam is already well underway. But if you are thinking, “Let’s strengthen the NSA, CIA, FBI, and the armed services,” forget it. This expansion is demographic and is being carried out by ordinary Muslims, not terrorists. Nevertheless, it does have serious cultural implications.

Simply said, Muslims are out-reproducing Christians and Jews, among others. That is why some analysts already refer to Europe as “Eurabia” and why it is entirely possible that someday “USA” could stand for “United States of Allah”!… Read More

 

A Special Kind of Giving

Holding Elderly Hand (Bing)The Christmas season encourages us to shift our attention from receiving to giving, and that is a blessing because it frees us for a time from the prison of ego. Today’s financial uncertainty, however, curtails the kind of giving that involves spending money, so people need to seek other kinds.

One special form of giving is visiting a friend or relative afflicted with Alzheimer’s or one of the hundred other forms of dementia.… Read More

 

My Favorite Biblical Passage

LordsPrayerTo choose a favorite biblical passage is a difficult task, perhaps even a fool’s errand. A few dozen candidates spring immediately to mind, each with a powerful supporting argument for selecting it.

So it is perfectly understandable to say, “There are so many that I simply can’t choose just one,” and leave it at that. But, truth to tell, I do have a favorite. And though I don’t expect others to make it theirs, I can say why it holds such strong appeal for me.… Read More

 

In Defense Of Guilt And Shame

guiltWhile reading last week’s church bulletin, I came across an announcement for a mini-retreat titled “Letting Go of Shame and Guilt” scheduled to be held at a nearby Franciscan Center. As I read on, I learned that the program concerned “12-Step Spirituality.”

Twelve-step spirituality derives from the Alcoholics Anonymous program that began in the 1930s and continues today. The 12 steps include admitting one’s addiction, turning to God, admitting one’s offenses against others, making amends, and praying for continued guidance.… Read More

 

Valuing Faith And Reason

Thomas_PaineIn the late 18th century Thomas Paine argued in The Age of Reason that reason and revelation are in opposition and reason is superior. Those who agree with him have often been even more disparaging of religious faith. Nietzsche wrote, “Faith means not wanting to know what is true.” Mark Twain claimed, “A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.” And Ernest Hemingway, with characteristic brevity, declared, “All thinking men are atheists.”

That atheists denigrate faith is no more surprising than that Christians extol it.… Read More

 

Holy Week And Man’s Search For Meaning

frankl3-2-276x300I am writing this essay at the beginning of Holy Week, a time that recalls the Last Supper, the agony in the garden, the arrest and trial, the pain and humiliation of the scourging and crowning with thorns, and the terrible journey on the via dolorosa that ended with Jesus suffering and dying on the cross. More simply said, it recalls the incomparable sadness that preceded the inexpressible joy of the Resurrection.… Read More

 

American Catholics And Social Justice

Leo-XIII“Social justice” is at the center of most political activism in contemporary America. It has provided arguments for the expansion of entitlement programs, for making the affluent “pay their fair share,” and more generally for “redistributing wealth.” It has also become the rallying cry for demonstrations and encampments such as Occupy Wall Street. Liberals tend to see social justice as an affirmation of human rights and the biblical command to love one’s neighbor; conservatives tend to regard it as a Marxist notion that is inimical both to Christian values and the democratic tradition.… Read More