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The Church's Dark Side


Michael Voris used to air a program called "Real Catholic TV." As one bishop friend told me, "The funny thing is that it is not real, it is not Catholic, and it really isn't TV." Now, Voris has renamed his venture "" and the change in name has not altered the content. Vile, hateful, meandering, paranoid, ignorant, bigoted, these are the adjectives that come to mind. I have to ask: If the Church has the time to investigate the LCWR, it has the time to investigate this, no?

To Show People How to Love


Over at, a beautiful essay from Paul Gondreau, a theology prof at Providence College who is in Rome for the year at that school's Rome campus. His son, who has cerebral palsy, was the young man that Pope Francis picked up and kissed in the crowd as the popemobile made its trek through St. Peter's Square on Easter Sunday, a video that has gone viral. Professor Gondreau writes so beautifully about what it means to have a special needs child.

Rev. Leon and Prophecy


Controversy has erupted over the remarks of the Rev. Luis Leon, pastor at St. John’s Episcopal Church, during his Easter homily. On this most holiest of days, Rev. Leon spoke about the religious right, saying that they wished to put blacks back in the back of the bus, women back in the kitchen, gays back in the closet and immigrants back on the other side of the border. The remarks would probably have received no attention except for the fact that the President of the United States was sitting in the pews listening to the harangue.


Rosshirt on Dr. Ben Carson


Tom Rosshirt, in this essay, beats me to the punch of tackling the strange phenomenon of interest in one Dr. Ben Carson who has emerged in certain conservative circles as a kind of anti-Obama icon. His rise to prominence was a little scary to me because he preaches the kind of homespun populism that brings to mind images from "All the King's Men." I was relieved to learn from Rosshirt that Carson is mostly about making money.

What's Wrong With Planned Parenthood?


I am not shy about criticizing the libertarianism of the right. Here is an instance of goofy libertarianism on the left, an official with Planned Parenthood who just can't bring herself to state that a child born alive after a botched abortion is a patient deserving medical attention. Shocking and sad at the same time. This is what happens when you convince yourself that the unborn child is not really a child and that only the volition of the mother should count.

A Real Threat to Traditional Marriage


Yesterday's "Outlook" section of the Washington Post featured an essay by Donna Freitas detailing the "hook up culture" on college campuses, including our Catholic college campuses. Last week, Archbishop Cordileone, chair of the USCCB subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, led a prayer vigil outside the Supreme Court during oral arguments on same sex marriage.

Pope Francis & the Washing of Feet


Last Thursday, I called attention to a comment by a young priest at one of the blogs for traditionalist Catholics. The young priest wrote he was bewildered by Pope Francis’ washing the feet of women as well as men during the Mandatum rite at the prison for young offenders where the pope celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. I noted that the priest’s comment was sad, but the tone of my post was snarky. I apologize for that. The issue here is quite serious and deserves better than snark.


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In This Issue

October 21-November 3, 2016

  • Reformation's anniversary brings commemorations, reconsiderations
  • Picks further diversify College of Cardinals
  • Editorial: One-issue obsession imperils credibility
  • Special Section [Print Only]: SAINTS