Author: Paul Fahey

5

Mortal Sin: the Consequences of Confusion

A common confusion I see among Catholics is a misunderstanding of mortal sin that conflates mortal sin and grave matter. This misunderstanding has serious consequences and distorts the very heart of our faith.  Concerning mortal sin, the Catechism says: “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to...

12

Modern Pharisees and the Abuse of Freedom

There’s an image that I would like to use as a framework for this article. Imagine the moral life as a garden, an oasis surrounded by a wasteland. We, the persons in that garden, have everything that will make us truly happy, yet we all have this disordered desire to go out into the wasteland. So God set up a fence around the garden, a clear barrier between life and death so that we would...

4

To whom shall we go?

“Do you also want to leave?” That’s the question that Jesus poses to Peter and the apostles at the end of the Gospel reading today. In light of the horrors detailed in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report of the unimaginable abuse of children and systematic cover up by bishops, many Catholics have recently been asking themselves this question. Beyond this present scandal though, this is a question that I would dare to say most Catholics...

8

The Gay Scapegoat, an Exercise in Unjust Discrimination

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has taught that men who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or men who support “gay culture” should not be admitted to seminary. Personally, I don’t have a problem with this (though that’s easy for me to say). It isn’t a ban on all gay men, only those gay men exhibiting deviant or immoral behavior. All men who exhibit or promote abusive, deviant, or unchaste behavior...

0

The Supernatural Vision of Fr. Kolbe

I believe it was sometime in June when I signed up to write the reflection on this particular day. To be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention to what the readings were or the feast day, I just picked a day that worked with my schedule. So I was surprised when I realized after the fact that it was the feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Though I shouldn’t have been surprised, it’s not the first...

4

The Foolish Mercy of Accompaniment

For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25) Step back for a minute and think about what we believe as Catholics. The...

6

Breaking News – Pope Changes Church’s Teaching on the Death Penalty

This is exciting! The Catholic Church has officially changed its teaching on the death penalty. Pope Francis, via the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, updated the Catechism. The Catechism now states: 2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good. Today, however, there...

4

Transgenderism – An Apology

I want to apologize. Back in 2015 I attended a conference hosted by Courage, a Catholic apostolate for persons with same-sex attraction and their families. One of the talks during that conference was by Deacon Patrick Lappert, MD, a plastic surgeon, about the Catholic perspective on Transgenderism and gender reassignment surgery. At the time I was really impressed with his presentation and argument. I took notes and after I got home I found a similar...

1

Judging the Insignificant, Domesticating the Mystery

One of the advantages of working at a parish is that I rarely have a good excuse for not making it to Mass once or twice during the week. This morning the visiting priest reflected on the first reading during his homily and it resonated with what I have read recently from Pope Francis. The reading was from 1 Kings and told the story of God sending Elijah to go stay with a widow who...

4

Everyone’s a Little Bit Gnostic

Have you ever thought that you could convince someone to become Christian or Catholic? Have you ever thought that if you could articulate the best argument for something that people would just have to believe you? Have you ever thought that simply by telling someone a fact that you were adequately showing them the truth? Have you ever thought that apologetics, having the right answers, was all that’s necessary to evangelize someone? Have you ever...