The Catholic Church teaches that the Apostles were given the ability to forgive penitents of their sins. One of the frequent objections to this is that "It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7). Ironically, that objection originally comes from the Scribes and Pharisees, and Jesus' response explains precisely how we can know that the Apostles were given authority to forgive sins.
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?
Zbigniew Kotyłły, John Paul II (2012) This year, Holy Thursday falls on the tenth anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II. Each year on Holy Thursday, the saintly pope would write a letter to his priests, in honor of Christ’s institution of the priesthood at the Last Supper. The last of these letters, […]
Women’s ordination has been in the news twice this week. The major story was that the Anglican Communion, which has allowed women to be ordained priests for some time now, has just announced that they will start ordaining female bishops. On this side of the Tiber, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley caused something of a stir […]
St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) is one of the most well-rounded Saints in Church history, and he played a major role in returning tens of thousands of Calvinists to the Catholic Church. You’ll often find a Saint who was accomplished as a theologian, or as a mystic, or as an apologist, or as a devotional […]
On Saturday, the Eastern Province Dominicans announced their 2013 Novitiate Class, including my good friend Shane Dunlevy. Here is Shane’s vocation story: Shane Dunlevy I was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised 30 minutes south east of the city on 2-1/2 acres surrounded by cornfields and forests. As the youngest, I would often adventure off […]
The courses are complete. The vestments are ready. The chalice sits waiting for its sacred duty. Six years in the seminary have finally led to this: ordination to the Sacred Priesthood. Since Joe has been fraternally nudging me to post more, I thought I might take a moment and give a glimpse into what it […]
Archbishop Naumann is preparing to ordain four of my brother seminarians to the priesthood at 10:30 a.m. on May 25 at St. Matthew Parish in Topeka. One of them, Deacon Nathan Haverland, was highlighted recently in The Leaven (and The Deacon’s Bench) for his unique life story: growing up without religion, he discovered God while […]
One of the things that has most impressed me about Pope Francis is that he talks about sin, and about the devil as if he actually believes that sin and the devil are real. In his first homily as pope, Pope Francis made this stunning claim: When one does not profess Jesus Christ – I […]
Here’s a viral video on the process of how a man becomes the pope. In the past two days, it has received almost 700,000 views: After last week’s Q&A on papal resignation, a blogger by the name of C. G. P. Grey wrote me, asking if I’d look over a script he was preparing on […]