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As we survey the dismal inability of so many Americans to bring themselves to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the language is very much about “my right” to choose yea or nay. This is just one instance of the way rights language is despoiling the earth, as I exercise “my right”... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Go, Rebuild My House
These are sorrowful times for the Catholic Church in Canada. The discovery of more than a thousand unmarked graves on the sites of former residential schools run for Indigenous children by Catholic religious orders and dioceses—with the certainty that more will be found—is shining renewed light on one of Canada’s... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
In March, I wrote “Bishops’ Conference Should Look Toward Rome,” about the sad situation at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in their foolish attempt to browbeat President Joe Biden on the issue of abortion and their beyond foolish qualms about the Covid-19 vaccines. Their June meeting did... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
The U.S. failed to achieve at least one vision for independence this year. President Biden set an ambitious goal for vaccination against COVID-19: to administer first doses to 70% of eligible Americans by the Fourth of July. But that date came and went without success. And, despite scorching temperatures in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
The Church entered the COVID-19 pandemic in a wounded state from revelations of the clergy sexual abuse crisis and new awareness of the harms of colonialism and residential school abuse of Indigenous persons, sexism and racism in the Church itself. The grand narrative of the Church as a place of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
For comic relief or abject disgust, depending upon your personal faith perspective, the U.S. Catholic bishops continue to embarrass themselves. Their duplicity of self-righteousness is only surpassed by their delusional self-importance. Last week as the bishops gathered for their virtual meetings – somewhat like teenagers for electronic war games –... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
Pope Francis is concerned about priestly formation. Last week, my colleague Gerard O’Connell broke the news that the pope had ordered a review of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, which oversees priests and, perhaps more importantly, seminaries in the church’s non-mission dioceses. Ordering an apostolic visitation of a Vatican office... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
In a recent letter, Pope Francis made this comment about the Pandemic, “We never come out of any crisis the same: either we come out better or worse, but never the same; and that will depend, to a large extent, on our capacity to cultivate—especially in the younger generations—an imagination... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
When it comes to Roman Synods, the 1985 one is singular in a number of ways. First of all: it was an Extraordinary Synod, falling between the schedule for the Ordinary Synods, on average held every three to four years. Secondly: it was specifically focused on the Second Vatican Council... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
In his new book, Let Us Dream, in the section “A Time to Choose,” Pope Francis writes, “Coronavirus has accelerated a change of era that was already underway … The categories and assumptions that we used before to navigate our world are no longer effective … It is an illusion... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
…For out of the old fieldes, as men saithe, Cometh al this new corne fro yere to yere; And out of old bookes, in good faithe, Cometh al this new science that men lere… ~Chaucer, The Parliament of Fowles (l. 22-25) This past spring semester, I had the good fortune... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
Can good news still be of interest?! In a statement after their March 2021 spring meeting, the Irish Catholic bishops formally announced that they had “decided to embark on a synodal pathway for the Catholic Church in Ireland leading to the holding of a National Synodal Assembly within the next... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
Months of isolation, online classes, meetings, family gatherings and reduced social contact have shrunk the breadth of our horizons considerably. The monotony of the routine is seeping in: pray, work, eat, sleep, repeat. And while the availability of vaccines represents a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel,... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
The confounding state of discourse in society, and in the Catholic Church as an extension of that society, is never far from my mind these days. How could it be? What is so frustrating is the lack of any nuance or ambivalence in our arguments. Instead we are afflicted by... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
He is Risen! The most powerful Christian proclamation: the triumph of Love over sin; the victory of Life over death. This overwhelming proclamation of the Good News, although celebrated at this time, too often takes second place to our predilection to focus on sin and judgment. The result is a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
The Easter season is traditionally a joyful time for Catholics both because it commemorates the most important mystery of our faith and because the Easter Vigil and its liturgy of baptism welcomes many new Catholics to the fold. There was particular joy this year for many who were able to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
I knew that I would be courting controversy when I agreed to review Abigail Shrier’s provocative book, Irreversible Damage: Teenage Girls and the Transgender Craze, for The Tablet. The book had been positively reviewed by respected journals such as The Economist and The Sunday Times, and slated by no less... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
Once again, Christians around the world have observed the liturgical season of Lent under numerous restrictions imposed by efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Measures to prevent the spread of the disease have varied from nation to nation and even among regions, states and cities of each particular country. But... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
The Vatican’s declaration that priests may not bless same-sex unions is not surprising. What is deplorable is the explanation that this cannot happen because “God can’t bless sin.” It does make you wonder what Rome sees when it sees a same-sex couple. Like heterosexual couples, the distinguishing mark of their... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
When the parable of the great church reopening is told, what will we learn from it? A parable by nature is a teaching tool, and the rupture caused by the pandemic in the ability to participate in in-person liturgies, to receive the sacraments—even to gather for coffee in the church... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
What do you do when your national bishops’ conference goes bonkers? That is not a question I ever imagined needing to ask and answer when I attended my first plenary meeting of the U.S. bishops’ conference as a journalist many years ago. It is a question that has forced itself... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
My calendar reads “March 2021” in a way that feels like yet another season of a well-worn television programs. Familiar characters and storylines and more of the same. Sure, this March will have more madness than the last one, and some of us can be proud at accrued mastery for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
In just one week in January, it seemed as if all the grief and shame was unleashed again. Every media outlet was covering one story after another about the Catholic Church and the cumulative effect was dispiriting and demoralizing. There was the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, which... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
Pope Francis’ appointment of Xavière Sister Nathalie Becquart and now-bishop-elect Luis Marín de San Martín to the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops is only the latest step in his efforts to push the global church toward a synodal model of leadership. That is, a model in which bishops and lay people... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House
There really are Catholic anarchists hoping for the end of Pope Francis. They find something wrong with everything he says, even though his every word is rooted in the Gospel and the writings of his predecessors. Don’t be fooled. Another target of the agitators is the Second Vatican Council. That... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2021 at Go, Rebuild My House