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Category: Reflection

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Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Quest for Peace

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagaski are infamous examples of mass destruction of human life during wartime. Two dates this month—August 6 and August 9—mark the 75th anniversaries of the bombings. On the first of the two anniversaries I...

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Peter exercised his authority from the beginning

“From the Church’s beginning Peter exercised decisive authority at the highest level. This exercise, accepted and recognized by the community, is historical confirmation of the words Christ spoke regarding the mission and power of Peter.” — Pope Saint John Paul...

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Smiling with Pope Francis

Friend of WPI, Jose Rodriguez, recently had me on his podcast, Conversation on Tap, to talk about our mutual love of Pope Francis. It was a joy being able to share what I find most compelling about Francis without getting...

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Warrior Nun: When Catholic Motifs Meet Pop Culture Vacuity

I had never heard of Warrior Nun until my fellow Where Peter Is contributors started talking about it earlier this month. I watched the trailer (language warning) and it looks utterly absurd. People dressed like nuns and priests, and a...

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Do You Understand These Things?

A reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday, July 26, 2020. One of the dialogue lessons in my Spanish learning app is the story of a girl who, while looking around in the attic, accidentally discovers an antique lamp. As...

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“Whoever succeeds to the Chair of Peter”

Tomorrow, July 18, 2020, marks the 150th Anniversary of the promulgation of the 1870 document Pastor Aeternus, the First Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ. This document formally spelled out the Church’s teaching on the nature of...

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“Fargo” and the Problem of Evil

Last summer, I took it upon myself to watch as many great films as I could, based on several “best movies” lists. No matter the decade or the genre, I wanted to immerse myself in the most celebrated movies of...

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The Sower and the Seeds: A Timeless Parable

A reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday, July 12, 2020. If Jesus walked among us today, I wonder what parable he would preach? Amidst the pandemic, the social unrest, the racial inequalities, the dehumanization of the human person, the...

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To Preserve Culture Is To Kill It

To attempt to preserve a culture is the surest way to kill it. Like a flower that is pruned so it can be put on display, cultures begin to die when they are removed from their roots. The Catholic culture...

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Gnosticism: When Is a Mystery Not a Mystery?

In my last essay, I took aim at Pelagianism, a heresy from Late Antiquity, which Pope Francis has frequently targeted in its perceived modern forms in his teaching. In this essay I will discuss Gnosticism, the other major heresy whose...

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Statues and Living Stones

A culture can grow barren when it “becomes inward-looking, and tries to perpetuate obsolete ways of living by rejecting any exchange or debate with regard to the truth about man.”  — Pope Francis Querida Amazonia 37 (quoting St. John Paul...

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Peter is the Church’s source of unity

Today is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, so obviously we could not let today go by without mentioning the patronal feast for our website! Pope Francis delivered a wonderful homily today, recalling how today’s First Reading, from the...

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Pelagianism: A Heresy for All Seasons

In the late fourth and early fifth centuries AD, a monk and theologian known to history as Pelagius advanced a novel understanding of the relationship between free will and grace. Pelagius, who hailed from somewhere in the British Isles and...

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The Ongoing Pandemic of Child Abuse

The COVID-19 pandemic is easing in some areas, increasing elsewhere, and settling into an ongoing reality everywhere. At the same time, the United States is facing a reckoning with our terrible legacy of racism following the killing of George Floyd...

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Pope Francis, Thomas Merton, and the false self

In his address to the US Congress in 2015, Pope Francis mentioned the prominent American Trappist monk Thomas Merton, describing him as “a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for...

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Catholic women: witnesses of peace

“Even in the face of serious social discrimination, holy women have acted ‘freely,’ strengthened by their union with Christ. …In every age and in every country we find many ‘perfect’ women (cf. Prov. 31:10) who, despite persecution, difficulties and discrimination,...

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Richard John Neuhaus on obedience to the pope

One of the alarming aspects about the sometimes overwhelming resistance by conservative Catholics against Pope Francis is that they are not only putting their political and religious ideologies above the Church, but they are—unwittingly or not, and apparently without awareness...

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A cloud of witnesses: the fulfilled life of a remarkable priest

Somewhere in what we have come to call the cloud, a joyful ninety-two-year-old priest is blogging from the dead. Father John Jay Hughes, who died June 3 after a brief illness, lived a remarkable life. Descended from John Jay (the...

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May we be profoundly shaken

For the past couple of weeks I have taken up Pope Francis’s recent encouragement that we read his encyclical Laudato Si. I’m ashamed to say that I’d never read it before, but I decided that now is as good a...

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In the Holy Spirit, there is harmony

The Lord comes to meet us with his promise: I will send you the Spirit, the Comforter, the One who speaks to you in the depths of your being. I will send you the Holy Spirit. This is obviously an...

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