Catholic Living

What Cardinal Kasper Really Said About Divorce

A high profile debate is underway in the Catholic Church regarding communion for the divorced and remarried. As in most family quarrels, however, the real point of contention remains unacknowledged. Before pointing out the elephant in the living room, however, a little background is called for. Some Recent Developments Speculation has been growing for nearly … Read more

What Jesus Said About Divorce

Pope Francis concluded his homily during the Canonization Mass of Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II by invoking the intercession of the two new saints as the Church journeys towards the upcoming Synod on the Family. He finished his homily with the beautiful words, “May both of them teach us not to be scandalized … Read more

Sex: Our Greatest Natural Resource

Sexual differentiation is our greatest natural resource. The fact that Adam and Eve are not identical, but corresponding, is not just a part of God’s creation. It is the best part. The fruitful tension between husband and wife, the unity-in-diversity of humanity, along with its vital outcome of children, is how continuity and diversity are … Read more

The Spiritual Stakes in the Marriage Debate

Judges across the country are busy rewriting state marriage laws, overturning democratically adopted measures defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and setting the table possibly for the United States Supreme Court to complete the coup by decreeing the redefinition of marriage in every state. Consequently sexual difference is being erased … Read more

How to Form a Real Conscience

“For all I am of poet,” says the stranger to the two men climbing the mountain of Purgatory, the Aeneid was my mama and my nurse; without it, all my work weighs not a dram. And I’d content to spend an extra year— could I have lived on earth when Virgil lived— suffering for my … Read more

Search for the Secret of Life and Death

Editor’s note: The following column by Stratford Caldecott first appeared May 16, 2014 on his blog Beauty in Education. Why can’t we all live forever? It seems a terrible flaw in the fabric of the world—that death haunts us from the moment we are born, injecting a note of tragedy into everything. And yet how … Read more

A Counterfeit Conscience

Perhaps my favorite recorded conversation in English literature is the short chat between Boswell and Dr. Johnson, when Boswell said he wanted to stand for election to Parliament, and Johnson advised against it: BOSWELL. “Perhaps, Sir, I should be the less happy for being in Parliament. I never would sell my vote, and I should … Read more

Some Compelling Evidence of the Pill’s Harmful Effects

Because of these substances, Lance Armstrong’s cycling victories were taken from him and he was disqualified from further competition; Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire were publicly reprimanded; numerous congressional hearings were held to assign blame regarding their use. We do our best to protect athletes from these dangerous substances while, at the same time, encouraging … Read more

A Manly Voice on Matters Gay and Christian

A gay guy gets up in the morning, does something, and nobody writes about it. Now that would be news. Will we ever see that day when we as a culture do not stare slack-jawed and unblinking—so as not to miss a single thing—at all things gay? There’s an old joke about how many lesbians … Read more

The Reasonableness of Religious Belief

I have always been a believer. Among other reasons, that’s because I think rationality demands it. When I talk about “belief” here, I mean it in a very broad sense, which is not synonymous with “Catholic” or even “Christian”; Sikhs, Hindus and Zoroastrians might all qualify, and I myself was raised in the LDS church … Read more

Redeeming LGBTQ in Christ

For Catholics, sexuality does not start with sexuality. In a fallen world, it starts with the cross—and almost everyone harbors stereotypes when it comes to the cross. Some worry I’m about to get wildly conservative. Others are afraid I’ll be too liberal. Some would like it if I said we were going to find a … Read more

Oh, White Lady: Faith as a Struggle

Faith has always been a struggle for me. Indeed, throughout my forty-six years of life, very rarely have I ever felt comfortable for any stretch of time with my religion or my religious practices. I readily and rather gleefully abandoned almost any faith and religious observance during my teenage years. I’m not totally sure what … Read more

Obedience and the Christian Life

There is no way around it: the Christian’s life is to be one of obedience. “Let him who has ears to hear, hear,” says Jesus. That does not mean that we are beholden only to God, under our own understanding of who God is and what He wants from us. God in His mercy does … Read more

Divorced and Remarried are Called to Heroism…

The universal call to holiness is considered by many to be the most important development of the Second Vatican Council. The main location of this call is the fifth chapter of the Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium: Thus it is evident to everyone, that all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank … Read more

…But Should They Live Together?

The two upcoming synods of bishops on “The Pastoral Care of the Family in the Context of the New Evangelization” needs to discuss many serious topics other than communion for the divorced and remarried.  I hope they revisit the standard recommendation that couples in invalid second “marriages” should “live as brother and sister.” This is … Read more

The Purpose of Sex in Marriage

Marriage requires sex. This seems to be the sine qua non of marriage even in a world where the definition of marriage has been broadened in ways never imagined even a generation ago. And indeed marriage does require sex because sex is unitive in a unique way and marriage is about union. A shake of … Read more

God’s Masculine Names: Misogyny, or Mystagogy?

Why is God a he, not a she or an it? Could Jesus have been a woman? What if the Lord’s Prayer began not with “Our Father,” but with “Our Mother”? Reading modern commentaries, you’d think a female goddess invited Sarah out under the stars and promised she would be the mother of a great … Read more

Remedying the Divorce Culture

Divorce is more common in my extended family than in society at large. My childhood home was a broken home. This experience fostered within me attentiveness to both the often-difficult circumstances faced by couples today and the Church’s teaching related to marriage and divorce. Over the last few months divorce, remarriage, and reception of the … Read more

Will Anyone End Up In Hell?

In Robert Speaight’s The Unbroken Heart, a novel sadly neglected in the long years following its publication in 1939, a character named Arnaldo has just been told of his beloved wife’s untimely death.  His reaction, by today’s standards, seems very strange indeed.  “It does not really interest me,” he confesses, “to know by what accident … Read more

Is God Dead? Have We Killed Him?

Nietzsche isn’t exactly the kind of guy you expect to show up in a papal encyclical. All the more so does it seem odd to refer to him as a prophet. Nonetheless, recent popes have referred to him somewhat often, using him as a referent for our current social and philosophical situation. In one of … Read more

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