Archives for February 2015

Homilies for March 2015

Second Sunday of Lent—March 1, 2015 The Transfiguration Purpose: This Sunday’s readings focus on the idea of sacrifice. Abraham offers the greatest sacrifice of thanksgiving possible, his only son Isaac. This sacrifice prefigures the … [Read more...]

Revisiting the Rabbits

He said it. I wish he hadn’t said it, but he said it: “God gives you methods to be responsible. ... Some think that—excuse the word—that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits. No.” Pope Francis’ unguarded line about an … [Read more...]

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some 20 years earlier he … [Read more...]

“We Will Be Judged by Love”—and Other Insights of Jorge Bergoglio

We are still trying to figure out the thought of Pope Francis. Examining several insights in his collection of writings and talks, entitled, Only Love Can Save Us, will help. Embedded in letters, homilies, and talks he wrote between 2005 … [Read more...]

What Does Authority Have to Do with Religion?

“Authority” is generally used as a derogatory term in our world. Nazism gave the word a bad name as German officials, one after another, at the Nuremburg war trials sought to excuse themselves by claiming that they were just obeying a … [Read more...]

Jansenism and Ireland

Too often, writers claim that classic Irish religious culture was “Jansenistic,” or pessimistic, and that Ireland was nothing more than an island with a dark and dreary religious history. Harsh critics point to the recent “scandal” in … [Read more...]

Winter Reading for February 2015

Masters of Preaching: More Poignant and Powerful Homilists in Church History, Vol. 2. Ray E. Atwood (Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books/University of America Press, 2014) xiv + 469 pages. (Reviewed by Fr. David Vincent Meconi, … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church

The following letter was sent in by a reader in response to several articles on HPR, like "Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance" and "Accusations against Priests: The Need for More Justice and Psychological Science". As with all … [Read more...]

Rediscovering Preaching within the Liturgy of the Hours

For most Catholics in the United States, the terms “homily,” “sermon,” and “preaching” nearly exclusively evoke the occasion of a priest or deacon preaching as part of Mass.[1. The use of the specific terms, “homily,” “sermon,” and … [Read more...]

Reclaiming the Fifth Way

“New Atheists” such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris utilize evolution’s supposed purposelessness to cast doubt upon God’s existence, and draw atheistic conclusions about morality, ethics, and human nature.[1. See, for … [Read more...]

The “Sanctus”: A Catechetical Signpost for the Mass

The Eucharistic Liturgy is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”[1. CCC 1324; Cf. Lumen Gentium 11. ] Active participation in these mysteries constitutes the “foremost and indispensible font” for acquiring the Christian Spirit.[2. … [Read more...]

Preaching, Music, and Acoustics

The work of the New Evangelization is identical to the work of evangelization in every age: to communicate to those who are unaware of the saving work of the Son of God those things that will bring them to accept the gift of faith, and come … [Read more...]

The Primacy of the Pope As Viewed in Dissident Byzantium by Symeon of Thessalonica (1416/7-1429)

Acknowledging that the primacy of the pope is the greatest dogmatic obstacle to the reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the Greek Orthodox scholar Demetrios Bathrellos has attracted attention to the view held by the dissident … [Read more...]

Witness “Begets” Witnesses

Introduction[1. The “witness” section of this paper (Part III) was given verbally to visiting seminarians from Minnesota as part of an Introduction to the RCIA at the Maryvale Institute, 2/22/2014 and the rest of this paper was given in … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

What are the arguments against giving Holy Communion to divorced Catholics who are remarried outside the Church? I have heard that the Eastern Church permits this practice. Same-sex marriage is being approved on a vast scale in many … [Read more...]