This Thanksgiving, just Who are we thanking, exactly?
Is mandatory celibacy extrabiblical? Who cares?
We all know that priests, monks, and nuns are celibate, but why? Is it just an arbitrary Church rule? Is it just for pragmatic reasons, like ensuring that the priest has enough time to minister to the People of God? Or is there a deeper, prophetic meaning to celibacy?
A Protestant website suggests that Jesus hated the Jewish sacrificial system. This claim is obviously false, given that (1) God established the Jewish sacrificial system; (2) Jesus personally participated in it; and (3) the sacrificial system reached its apex on Calvary, when Jesus became our Sacrificial offering.
392 years ago today, Saint Josaphat, an Eastern Catholic bishop in Ukraine, was dragged out of his rectory and murdered by the Eastern Orthodox townspeople that he was trying to lead back into union with the Roman Catholic Church. The Church does not hesitate, in her prayers, to say that he poured out his […]
The Catholic Deuterocanon - the set of seven books accepted by Catholics and rejected by Protestants - clearly teaches the morality of praying to the Saints and praying for the souls of the deceased. But can we trust that the Deuterocanon is canonical? Evidence from Romans 9 -- a favorite passage amongst many Protestants -- strongly points to a "yes" answer.
When we've tried everything we can think of to lead someone to Christianity and it doesn't work, it's so easy to blame ourselves: to think that if we had done everything just so, or found just the right combination of words, everything would have clicked, and they would have accepted Jesus Christ. If we were only a little more compassionate, or a little smarter, or a little more persuasive in our speech. This reaction is discouraging, and what's more, it's often false. It gets three things wrong: grace, free will, and Jesus.
We moderns think of trial by ordeal as proof positive of the irrational dogmatism of our religious ancestors' culture. The idea of determining someone's innocence or guilt by having them hold a red-hot iron seems, well, insane. But new evidence suggests that the process worked... and might provide documentary evidence of a huge number of miracles. That modern researchers refuse to even consider this possibility reveals a great deal more about the irrational dogmatism of our own irreligious culture.
The world has just learned that three more Assyrian Christians have been executed in a particularly barbaric way by ISIS… who’ve promised to continue this murderous campaign if the Christians of the Middle East don’t submit. Pope Francis has repeatedly tried to call our attention to the ongoing genocide of these Christians, and that’s exactly what it is: a systematic attempt to wipe Christians off of the map, permanently. All of this bloodshed is being perpetrated in the name of a radical and expansionist form of Islam. To be sure, this isn’t the only form of Islam practiced, but it is nothing new, either. From the very beginning, there have been groups, beginning with Muhammad himself, who sought to spread Islam by the sword.
Even a number of ordinarily sober-minded Catholics have begun panicking that the Synod on the Family is about to lead the Church into apostasy. While we should always pray for the Church, and pray especially for the Synod, these fears are unfounded... and heretical.