Author: Paul Fahey

11

The Pope Francis Generation

I’m too young to have known John Paul II. He died before I cared about Jesus, let alone the pope. Benedict was pope during my conversion at the end of high school and during college. But I was too deeply entrenched in culture war stuff to care much about what the pope had to say. Back in college I binged listened to Catholic Answers. I read The Catholic Thing pretty much daily. I regularly read...

0

The Unprecedented God

My oldest son, Simon, turned six earlier this month. I remember the afternoon we were getting ready to take him home from the hospital. I stood there holding him, absolutely terrified that the nurses would actually let us leave the hospital with this baby. My wife and I had no idea what we were doing. Simon was so helpless, so vulnerable, so dependent on us for everything, and they trusted us to take care of...

7

The Stupid Shepherd

What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little...

17

We do not Possess the Truth: How the Church Changes Her Teachings

“We must move toward an idea of truth that is evermore inclusive, less restrictive; at least, if we are thinking of the truth of God and not some human truth, however solid it may appear to us. The truth of God is inexhaustible; it is an ocean of which we can hardly see the shore. It is something that we are beginning to discover in these times: not to make us slaves to an almost...

0

The Harlot and the Bride

In the first reading today, John describes the apocalyptic fall of the great city of Babylon. While there’s debate among Scripture scholars over whether John’s vision of Babylon represents Rome or Jerusalem, for my purposes here I want to focus on Babylon being identified as “the great harlot.” The harlot in Biblical imagery is the unfaithful one, the adulterer, the idolater. Harlotry, then, is the love of earthly goods to the detriment of love of God...

9

Yet another reason to mistrust the pope

Over the weekend I saw many people speaking out in frustration over Pope Francis putting Cardinal Cupich of Chicago on the planning committee for the February meeting in Rome addressing the abuse crisis. Those critical of this appointment are, unsurprisingly, conservative American Catholics who generally distrust the pope already. They are presenting Cupich’s appointment as yet another reason to doubt the pope and this upcoming meeting. This mistrust of Cupich largely rests on three recent...

2

#USCCB18 and the McCarrick Documents

During the US bishops conference this week, my bishop, Bishop Boyea, put the following proposal to vote: “Be it resolved that the bishops of the USCCB encourage the Holy Father to release all the documentation that can be released consistent with canon and civil law regarding the misconduct of Archbishop McCarrick.” After around a half hour of debate this proposal was voted down 83-137. You can read about the debate over this proposal here or...

7

The Virtue of Not Being Weird

The Christian ideal will always be a summons to overcome suspicion, habitual mistrust, fear of losing our privacy, all the defensive attitudes which today’s world imposes on us. Many try to escape from others and take refuge in the comfort of their privacy or in a small circle of close friends, renouncing the realism of the social aspect of the Gospel. (Evangelii Gaudium 88) Recently I was talking with a friend of mine about different Catholic...

3

Bishop Barron on Amoris Laetitia and the JPII Generation

I love Bishop Robert Barron. I just listened to his talk from the World Meeting of Families last month in Ireland where he spoke on chapters seven, eight, and nine of Amoris Laetitia and I noticed two things. First of all, in an hour long talk he spends all of five minutes on chapter eight because he sees it as obviously non-controversial. Bishop Barron explains the most contentious teaching in Amoris in his book, “To...

6

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...

13

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...

5

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...