Category: Uncategorized

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Printable Rosary Guides – Full Page and Wallet Sized

As those who have been following our site know, Pope Francis has called for all to pray the Rosary every day during the month of October, as well as the Prayer to St. Michael and the Sub Tuum Praesidium. For those who would like to join in this prayer with the Holy Father but might be a little out of practice with praying the rosary, I’ve laid out a few printable resources that can assist you...

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Perspective on the China/Vatican deal

On Saturday, September 22, a long-anticipated “provisional agreement” between the Chinese government and the Vatican was announced regarding the process of appointing bishops in the Catholic Church in China. Officially, this agreement puts an end to the decades-long division between Chinese Catholics who worship in state-sanctioned churches whose bishops are appointed by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), and the “underground” Church whose bishops have Vatican approval. In reality, the situation is much more complex....

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The Heart of Francis

The modern western world claims to be thoroughly empirical, so it is a wonder that our culture still clings to fanciful concepts like the “heart.” In this case, I don’t mean “heart” in any biological sense, of course, but rather in its more spiritual connotations.  A pop singer on The Voice might talk about “giving their heart” or “protecting their heart”.  And how can we forget that Black Eyed Peas hit, “Don’t Phunk with My...

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Episcopalis Communio gives the Synod Of Bishops teaching authority

Wake up and smell the newest apostolic constitution from the Holy Father: Episcopalis Communio. Released Tuesday morning, it re-writes some of the rules for the Synod of Bishops. The stand-out feature is that it for the first time invests the Synod with formal teaching authority. Instead of simply submitting recommendations to the pope (usually but not always publicly), the Synod will produce a final document, co-signed by the pope, that will of itself constitute “ordinary...

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Fake news and seething contempt for Pope Francis

Some Catholics disagree with much of what Pope Francis says and does — this is undeniable. Believe it or not, I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with criticizing a pope on prudential matters, at least when done thoughtfully and when consideration is given to the context and circumstances around the pope’s decision or action. In recent months, however, I have noticed that some papal critics appear to respond immediately to anything he says...

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Out of the Garden

To live in the freedom of Christ is to live in hope, peace, and joy. Yet, during our earthly life, our Christian freedom is constantly in danger, through our own sinfulness, the temptations of the world, and our own human weaknesses.  Some can have confidence, through various signs, that their lives are permeated with the grace of God, but all risk creating in themselves attitudes of self-assuredness through pride. We cannot claim to “possess” what...

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Polarized over the pope, Viganò style

More than two weeks after the release of the sensational “Testimony” of former US apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in which he calls for the resignation of Pope Francis, the Church finds itself in a period of intense polarization that’s difficult to assess. First, if you haven’t read it, I wholeheartedly recommend Greg Daly’s recent piece in the Irish Catholic, in which he heroically attempts to parse out what we know and what we...

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Yes, the background is relevant: Behind Viganò’s “Testimony”

Two important stories broke on Saturday night (or Sunday morning, depending on where you are), and journalists and commentators around the globe have weighed in from all angles. There’s the story, and then there’s the story of the story. The first story is the most readily obvious: an 11-page “Testimony,” authored by retired Archbishop and former US Nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò, was released on the eve of the closing Mass for the World Meeting of...

Walford presents Francis with a Southampton football jersey. 1

Interview with Catholic author Stephen Walford, Part 2

(Click here to read Part 1) Today we continue our interview with Stephen Walford, author of the upcoming book Pope Francis, The Family and Divorce: In Defense of Truth and Mercy, which will be released by Paulist Press on August 28. In part 1 we discussed the abuse crisis, Walford’s background as a musician and a writer, and began to discuss the division in the Church that has followed Pope Francis’s teaching on marriage and the...

Walford with the pope 2

Interview with Catholic author Stephen Walford, Part 1

Ever since he burst onto the the scene in January 2017 with a 5000-word essay in La Stampa entitled “Amoris Laetitia: Where Truth and Mercy Embrace,” Catholic writer Stephen Walford has found himself at the center of the often heated debate in the Church over Pope Francis and his teachings. Coming on the heels of the publication of five questions (or dubia) from four cardinals who have openly challenged the orthodoxy and authority of the...

Field hospital in WWI 10

The wounded in need of a field hospital

If the American Church ever needed to resemble the field hospital that Pope Francis described in the early days of his pontificate, that time is now. The scope of the horrors inflicted upon over 1000 victims described in the Pennsylvania grand jury report released yesterday and the amount of negligence and deliberate cover-up by Church leaders in the past 70 or so years is staggering. In 2002, we thought the worst was over. Sixteen years...

Rawlins Brothers 0

The death penalty and the mystery of mercy

Regarding the death penalty, I owe my existence to the last-minute commutation of a death sentence and the eventual pardon of my great-grandfather, who murdered a child in 1904. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, my great-great-grandfather, Joseph “Crazy Joe” Rawlins, was engaged in a feud in South Georgia with a man named William L Carter. Rawlins was a farmer and a former Baptist preacher with five children, while Carter (also a farmer...