The Revised Catechism on the Death Penalty

A Careful Reading

With popular news articles beginning on August 2, 2018, various media agencies have been proclaiming: “Pope Francis has declared the death penalty wrong in all cases, a definitive change in church teaching . . .” (New York Times), “Pope Fran … [Read more...]

On the Relationship Between Merit and Grace

A Thomistic Understanding of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

There is often much confusion between the relationship of merit and grace and how it plays a part in our lives from a soteriological perspective. This confusion, from both non-Catholics and on behalf of some Catholics themselves, has led to … [Read more...]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Second Vatican Council

The most mature and complete fruit of the conciliar teaching.[1. St John Paul II, Homily, 8 December 1992.]   1. The Council and the Catechism This past October (Oct 11, 2017) marked the 25th anniversary of promulgation of the … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict XVI’s Theology of Beauty and the New Evangelization

“I have often affirmed my conviction that the true apology of Christian faith, the most convincing demonstration of its truth…are the saints and the beauty that the faith has generated.”[1. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Feeling of Things, the Conte … [Read more...]

Ora et Labora … and Vacation??

Religious ... are joined to Christ in his poverty, chastity, and obedience by a “total life-long gift of themselves.” For the consecrated religious, then, times of rest are to serve the total gift of self, as the gift is expressed both in  … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

May 2014

Is the Old Testament an allegory, and if so, how far does that extend? Is it true that there is no good argument against gay marriage, and if this is true, why does the Church oppose it? Question: I recently heard a Catholic news … [Read more...]

Finding Jesus in the Catholic Church

Our mission (as Church) is to bring about that meeting that can change lives, that can make disciples.  Then, as a loving mother Church, we are to nurture and guide those disciples into fruitful holiness in Christ. Christ Healing the B … [Read more...]

“Where your synthesis is, there lies your heart.” An Early Look at Pope Francis’ Vision for the Church

Jesus Christ is the center – the driving source – of the entire Exhortation. Those who have been called, and have accepted Christ are sent into their particular life’s world to spread his name, and to do it joyfully. The sentence: “Wher … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

What concerns should a priest have in the weekly homily? “New Evangelization:” What does it mean, and what are its primary focuses?   Question: What concerns should a priest have in the weekly homily? Answer: Priests know that the … [Read more...]

Vanishing Catholics

According to recent demographic surveys, it seems there are presently 30 million people in the U.S. who identify themselves as “former Catholics.” That figure is both surprising, and, for Catholics, disheartening.   Over the past 50 years … [Read more...]

“I Haven’t Killed Anyone!” What Serious Sins Will Exclude Us From the Kingdom of God?

Why aren’t we more concerned about how even many of our fellow Catholics are engaging in behaviors (“lifestyles”), or accepting, or even approving them, in others, that scripture says will exclude them from the kingdom? A soul being res … [Read more...]

The Sign of the Dying Body: How the Theology of the Body Helps Us to Die in Love

Dying—undergoing it, or helping one who is dying—is a privileged space where we see and encounter God himself ... the ensouled body serves as a sign of gift and giving, yielding one’s life to the embrace of God ... a sign that well- … [Read more...]

Knowing Enough History to Defend It: Catholic History and Apologetics

The Church is distinctive among institutions in the history of mankind: it is human and yet divine; perfect, yet in need of reform; holy, yet made up of sinners; infallible, yet led by fallen, fallible humans. While many seem to … [Read more...]

The Latest Book Reviews

Late Summer Reading For August 2013   Reviews for the following books: A MYSTICISM OF KINDNESS: The Biography of “Marie Christine.”  By Astrid M. O’Brien. (Scranton: Scranton University Press, 2010). (Reviewed by Rev. John J. Conley, S. … [Read more...]

Jesus and Marriage? A Theological Response

The celibacy of Jesus, and the Christian response to it, is ultimately a question of love, an intimate relation that is hard to grasp for modern man looking in from the outside.    Early papyrus fragment of "wife of Jesus;" Jesus Christ Pa … [Read more...]