Latest columns
February 20, 2015
The Catholic Church and same-sex marriage
By Russell Shaw

The likelihood that the Supreme Court next June will announce its discovery of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage raises an obvious question for the Catholic Church: What do we do now?

Two steps come to mind. First, press for strong legal protections for individuals and institutions conscientiously unable to cooperate with a legal regime that requires sweeping concessions to the LGBT agenda. Second, give serious thought to the possibility that the Church should quit serving as...

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February 19, 2015
Coptic Christians and the White House
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Pope Francis has called them martyrs, the twenty-one Coptic Christians executed in Libya.  “Jesus, help me,” were the last words of one of the Egyptian migrant workers, all of whom were trying to eke out a living for their families.  This mass butchery was carried out by Isis describing its victims as “crusaders.” In the act, Islamists cursed the cross.  Rome would be their next target. So they warned.

The White House described the slaughtered victims simply as Egyptian...

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February 19, 2015
How priests and deacons should not give homilies
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Fr. John. J. Conley, S. J., a professor of theology and philosophy at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, recently penned an article for the Jesuit periodical America entitled, “How Not to Preach.”

Fr. Conley identifies himself “as a veteran of 60 years in the pews and 30 years in the pulpit.” His description of Catholic preaching is both amusing and disturbing. He sets out three dangers that homilists need to avoid.

1. The homily is all about you, the priest. “Keep the...

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February 18, 2015
'The Picture of Dorian Gray:' A Parable for Lent
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The Lenten spring has come as planting and dying give way to rising and harvest.  If we have been buried with Christ, we shall rise with him (Rom 6:4; Col 2:12). The power of Lord’s death and Resurrection makes us new creations. 

Lent is that time in the liturgical year when Christians journey together, as the Body of Christ, toward Calvary and the empty tomb.  It is as individuals however that we take stock of our relationship with God and with others probing it earnestly and...

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February 16, 2015
The search for wisdom and Christ
By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

Benjamin Franklin holds the great distinction of being not only one of America’s founding fathers, but also one of her most cherished sons. He was statesman, writer, inventor and philosopher. In our age of increasing specialization, the breadth of his contributions staggers the mind. The Franklin stove, the lightning rod, swim fins, the glass armonica, the flexible catheter and bifocal glasses, to name a few.

Franklin has also left behind a rich literary legacy. He wrote essays, books and...

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February 14, 2015
What is truth?
By Scott Dunn

Quid Est Veritas?  What is truth? The words of Pontius Pilate could serve as the defining phrase of our time. It often seems like we live in the age of lies and truth has been lost.

Perhaps the most admired athlete of the last twenty years, Lance Armstrong, with millions of almost worshipful fans, finally admits that he was cheating by using banned substances when he won all of his Tour De France victories.  The top rated network news anchor reveals that his often told story of being in a...

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February 13, 2015
One shade of gray
By Stephanie Gray

“Why?”  It’s a question toddlers teach us to ask over and over again.  I found myself asking that question as movie theatres prepare to roll out 50 Shades of Grey: Why have more than 100 million copies been sold?  Why have presumably 100 million women read this particular story?  Why is it so magnetic?  So I messaged a friend of mine, whose Facebook wall has been filled with a countdown for the film—was she willing to share her perspective? She said she’d call in 15 minutes.


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February 13, 2015
Movie Review: "Kingsman: The Secret Service"
By Carl Kozlowski

Due to the extreme hype, moviegoers might think that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the only new film coming out this weekend. But there is an alternative to that twisted, overrated sex-driven flick, which any Catholic with common sense should know to avoid in the first place.
“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” a teenage James Bond-style escapade on steroids, is a British production that puts American action movies to shame. Packed with great gadgets, hilarious (but at times gruesome)...

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February 13, 2015
Banning altar girls: theologically unsound and pastorally imprudent?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

In a January 26 statement, Fr. Joseph Illo, pastor of Star of the Sea parish in San Francisco, announced a new policy whereby altar girls at Mass would be phased out and thenceforth only boys would serve at the altar.

Fr. Illo gives both practical and theological reasons for the move: “First, in a mixed altar-server program, boys usually end up losing interest, because girls generally do a better job.”

As a long-time parish priest, this has not been my experience. Altar servers--both...

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February 12, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Serra joins the Franciscans
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is parts 1 and 2 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra. More articles will be posted leading up to his canonization in September 2015.

Petra de Mallorca

The Island of Mallorca in the Balearic Isles, an independent kingdom since 1229, had been united to the Spanish crown in 1479. Christianized as early as the first century after Jesus, Mallorcans customarily greeted one another with the words "Amar a Dios I," a salutation subsequently made famous in faraway Alta...

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