Questions Answered – October 2022

Church Teaching and the Theological Ethics of Life Question: There has been much talk about the Church changing her teaching on Humanae Vitae. This apparently is due to a recent document from the Pontifical Academy of Life: Theological … [Read more...]

Conscience and the Service of Authority

Drawing Pastoral Insights from Joseph Ratzinger

There is, at present, a crisis of authority within the Catholic Church, expressed no more clearly by the clamor for democratization outfitted by the various movements of protest which attempt to raze the “old guard” of bureaucratic est … [Read more...]

What’s Going to Bring Me Happiness?

The Implications of a Shift from a Morality of Obligation to a Morality of Happiness

“ ‘What will bring us happiness?’ many say. Lord, let the light of your face shine upon us.” ~ Psalm 4:6. Do you ever feel like you are just going through the motions, checking off the good deed box because you feel obliged to do so? Do you … [Read more...]

Conscience: Christ’s Whisper in Our Moral Life

Elijah, who is “very jealous for the Lord” (1 Kgs 19:4, 14), meets the Lord on Mount Horeb. On the mount, a powerful wind blows, then an earthquake shakes the ground, and then a fire erupts; however, the Lord is not in these great “voices.” … [Read more...]

Should Catholics Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine?

On January 30th, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern in the wake of the rise of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.[1. “IHR Emergency Committee on Novel Coronavirus (2019-NCoV).” Acc … [Read more...]

Newman: Conscience as an Ongoing Activity

St. John Henry Newman eloquently presents his idea of conscience as something actively engaged both with the realities of lived experience and with direct apprehension of a particular situation. Logic is part of one’s assessment of the s … [Read more...]

On the Problem of Mental Reservation

Should we lie when the Nazi stands at the door and asks us his infamous evil question? Traditional proposals about how to solve this problem by means of what is called “mental reservation” tend to be unsatisfying, because they are based on t … [Read more...]

I Will Give You a New Heart

It was not until after I finished my undergraduate degree in theology that I was explicitly introduced to the idea of theosis, the doctrine of God making men sharers in his divine life. Based on my personal experience, as well as my … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – June 2020

Absence of God? Question: Pope Emeritus Benedict published a letter last year in which he attributed the pedophilia crisis in the clergy to an absence of God. Our Church and clergy are wholly dedicated to God, right? Can you explain how … [Read more...]

Jesus Christ Is the Only Answer to Our Totalitarian Sexualized Culture

It is not too difficult to demonstrate that today we live within a culture that dictates acceptable sexual views and behavior. In a very real sense, we are immersed in a kind of totalitarian state, a totalitarian sexual culture. Is this too … [Read more...]

Seeing as God Sees

A Catholic Approach to Pastoral Care for People Affected by Gender Incongruity

Late last December, Homiletic & Pastoral Review ran an article by Stephen Adubato titled “Understanding the Vatican’s Document on Gender Theory and Education.” The document he refers to was released by the Congregation for Catholic Educa … [Read more...]

Fr. Martin, Compassion, and Immigration

The world is full of violence wielded by revolutionaries struggling to overcome unjust structures of oppression in order to introduce a new world order and by conservatives upholding traditional values against forces of chaos and … [Read more...]

Newman‘s Concept of Conscience in His Quest for Moral Truth

The question about truth is vividly present in the teachings of the Catholic Church throughout the ages. The discourse on truth — which resounds in the question posed to Christ, “What is truth?” (Jn 18:38) — has been heard throughout the cen … [Read more...]