Author: Daniel Amiri

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The Forces of Evil Induce Us Not to Change

In a recent article for First Things, George Weigel makes a fundamental error when he criticizes the notion, recently repeated by Pope Francis (quoting the late Cardinal Martini), that the Catholic Church is “behind the times.” His analysis–based on the erroneous inference that being “behind” implies a desire for the Church to “play catch-up” with the most harmful ideologies and trends of the last two centuries–is a critique of a false premise. He correctly explains...

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Catholicism Is Always Right and That’s Why Catholics Are Often Wrong

If you’re reading this, my guess would be that you have a certain level of theological education (formal or not), intellectual curiosity about the faith, and a desire to debate and discuss that faith with others. But this post-modern era is the time to put aside debate that aims exclusively for the head and instead reach for the heart with the Gospel’s perennial message of mercy. On the internet or at least facilitated by online...

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Evangelization in an Election Year

It is now officially 2020. Political junkies rejoice!  For the rest of us, the heightened level of negativity and emotion that elections bring typically means many of us won’t be too eager to engage with others on anything that can become an opportunity for debate. For Catholics, the notion that this election year could be an opportunity for evangelization is likely far from our minds.  It is both possible and absolutely necessary to share our...

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Pope to Curia: We are no longer living in a Christian world

On December 21, 2019, Pope Francis addressed the Curia in a Christmas message. Unlike many papal homilies, speeches, and addresses that slip silently into the Vatican’s online archives, this address received significant attention from the secular news media. Not surprisingly, these reports contained a mix of helpful factual information interlaced with unhelpful and misleading oversimplifications. The Associated Press published a short article on it, and Francis X. Rocca wrote an article about it for the...

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Christianity Without Guardrails

Fr. Dwight Longenecker finished reading Rusty Reno’s new book and is now ready to declare that we are heading for World War III. But Longenecker’s article illustrates that a world war, spiritual in nature, is already upon us. Longenecker’s review of Reno’s book details some of Reno’s core arguments. In his reading, there was a post-war consensus that has led influential actors across disciplines to “get rid of dogma,” to dispel with the idea that...

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Catechesis Is Not the Answer

What figure best shows how dire the Church’s situation is in the West? Is it Mass attendance among youth? Perhaps it is polls of self-professed Catholics that reveal little connection between the Church’s teachings and common practice? We know the Church is in decline, but sadly the Church’s response (and by Church I mean myself included) has been haphazard and a little sad. We look to bishops to be prophets, speaking out boldly for the...

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On Capitalism: American Catholics Have a Choice to Make

The debate touched off by Senator Marco Rubio’s recent speech at the Catholic University of America reveals major fault lines within current Catholic thinking in the United States. What Rubio, who is Catholic, pointed out in his speech seemed straightforward enough: capitalism has led to a growing inequality. Many, especially the young, feel left out of a system that primarily benefits only a few and the already wealthy. Unemployment is at a record low, but...

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Growth Requires Strong Roots

America is a melting pot of various cultures and traditions. As American Catholics, we have a unique perspective on both the benefits and the challenges that this can bring as we seek to evangelize in our schools and communities. Multiculturalism, as Pope Francis describes it in several different speeches and letters, can help to bring people together in a new, enriched harmony but Francis acknowledges that it very easily can create a feeling that one...

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Memory of a Promise

The Christian is one in whom the past and future meet in the present and unfold into a new vision, a new life. In Advent, especially, the Church invites us to reconsider our lives as the intersection of our history and our future. We remember the birth of Jesus and live in hope of his coming Kingdom.  Related to this Christian theme, in A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens puts Ebeneezer Scrooge into contact with his...

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Not Mercenaries, but Missionary Disciples

“A missionary disciple is not a mercenary of the faith or a producer of proselytes, but rather a humble mendicant who feels the absence of brothers, sisters and mothers with whom to share the irrevocable gift of reconciliation that Jesus grants to all.”  –Pope Francis Homily at Holy MassSupachalasai National Stadium of Bangkok During his first full day of events in Thailand, Francis spoke to thousands during Mass in Bangkok’s national stadium. In his homily,...

Image Credit: Osservatore Romano 0

Ivereigh’s Wounded Shepherd: Revealing the essence of this papacy

Life is not simply a bare succession of events, but a history, a story waiting to be told through the choice of an interpretative lens that can select and gather the most relevant data. In and of itself, reality has no one clear meaning. Everything depends on the way we look at things, on the lens we use to view them. If we change that lens, reality itself appears different. So how can we begin...

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False accusations, not the Extraordinary Form, are toxic

The National Catholic Reporter recently published an opinion piece entitled “The Latin Mass becomes a cult of toxic tradition,” written by Zita Ballinger Fletcher. In the piece, the author attempts to show, based on “facts and personal experience,” that the Latin Mass, henceforth properly called the Extraordinary Form or EF for short, per se endorses sexism, clericalism, etc.  This piece wildly misses the mark. Liturgical preference for either the EF or the OF does not...

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Do Something Truly Radical: Get Off the Internet

Connection. Connection was the pretext under which millions and millions of millennials such as myself flocked to the Internet in the 1990s. But as we have become more connected, we are becoming ever more distant IRL (in real life). This has had lasting impacts on the Church and efforts at evangelization.   The West is nearing peak virtuality. Some of our closest friendships may be with people we’ve never even met. Some are friends, perhaps exclusively,...

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The Church of Discomfort

Those who grew up without access to the internet, cell phones, or a host of screens on demand are familiar with the experience of boredom in a way that many young people today are not. Long ago we would whine to our parents about how bored we were. Even if our parents wanted to ease our all of our burdens and concerns, however insignificant, they would have found it difficult to do so. There’s likely...

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Grief and Miscarriage

We just lost our baby. At 22 weeks. Grief is one of those primordial human emotions, along with shame, that was born in the darkness of sin. Like shame, grief has its positives and negatives. I truly and deeply feel the loss of our child; the pain and emptiness is pervasive and life-altering.  But I must ask myself, why am I grieving? Just as shame can only exist in reference to a true good–that is,...

Catholics Are Irrelevant

I wonder if Catholics realize how irrelevant we have become. Actually, it’s worse than that. I wonder if Catholics realize how irrelevant we have made the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While the sowers of the Gospel all locked inside the walls of an insular Church, the devil is ravaging the fertile soil that could have borne fruit. The countryside is being choked by thorns and and we seem content to argue with each other about...

Consider the Man

If you follow the news, especially Church news, you likely understand that there are few places on the internet or in the public square where faithful, orthodox Catholics can find respite. Anecdotally, it appears that there is a growing sense of discontent or even of despair. Pope Francis seems to be addressing this tendency in Christus Vivit: “Young people, do not let the world draw you only into things that are wrong and superficial. Learn...

Colleen Carroll Campbell: Finding Perfection in God

The Heart of Perfection: How the Saints Taught Me to Trade My Dream of Perfect for God’s, Colleen Carroll Campbell’s new book, correctly diagnoses a spiritual problem afflicting millions and millions of Catholics, especially in the United States where rugged individualism is prized. In the book, she describes a crippling pathology of control, that she calls “spiritual perfectionism,” that manifests itself in common attitudes such as hurriedness, impatience, and pride. Spiritual perfectionists are perhaps best...

The Rights and Responsibilities of Christians

This past Sunday, Church-goers heard one of the most well-known Christian tales, the story of the Good Samaritan. Like all of Jesus’ parables, each layer of meaning contains a wealth of wisdom about the faith and our relationship with God and each other.  For his part, Pope Francis, in his Sunday Angelus, chose to reflect on one aspect of this story that’s worth highlighting here.  Francis said, “[Jesus] brings about a reversal in regard to...

False News and What We Can Do About It

Where do you get your news? It’s funny how the answer to a seemingly innocent question can reveal so much about the person we’re talking to. Whether you read Vox, The Atlantic, or National Review; watch MSNBC, CNN, or Fox; or read the National Catholic Reporter, Catholic News Agency, or LifeSite News, revealing what sources you turn to can be like opening up a window into the soul.   In some ways, the media companies...