25 June, 2019

As Brazil debates criminalization of 'homophobia', bishops worry about religious liberty

As Brazil debates criminalization of 'homophobia', bishops worry about religious liberty

12 Ways to alleviate wedding day stress

12 Ways to alleviate wedding day stress -- Aleteia

18 June, 2019

Rosica resigns from Salt and Light in wake of plagiarism revelations

Rosica resigns from Salt and Light in wake of plagiarism revelations

Andrew Coyne: Will leaders tolerate religious segregation just because it’s Quebec?

Andrew Coyne: Will leaders tolerate religious segregation just because it’s Quebec? | National Post

Understanding the debate over married priests at the Amazon synod

Understanding the debate over married priests at the Amazon synod

Survey results: Are Catholics dog or cat people?

Survey results: Are Catholics dog or cat people?--Aleteia

Figuring Out Social Isolation

Figuring Out Social Isolation | Convivium Magazine

Harvard’s False Path to Wisdom: Sometimes sin is an opportunity for redemption.

Opinion | Harvard’s False Path to Wisdom - The New York Times

Is the Religious Right Privileged?

Opinion | Is the Religious Right Privileged? - The New York Times

17 June, 2019

Fears of 'secularism police' raised by CAQ's last-minute changes to religious symbols bill

Fears of 'secularism police' raised by CAQ's last-minute changes to religious symbols bill | CBC News

Purity culture: Its collapse has left a void for those of us looking for guidance in our intimate lives.

Opinion | How Should Christians Have Sex? - The New York Times

Quebec adopts secularism bill that bans religious symbols for state workers

Quebec adopts secularism bill that bans religious symbols for state workers | National Post

Blue ribbon Canadian panel proposes guidelines for euthanasia and organ donation

BioEdge: Blue ribbon Canadian panel proposes guidelines for euthanasia and organ donation

Russian scientist plans to edit human genes in embryos

BioEdge: Russian scientist plans to edit human germline

15 June, 2019

Fathers Day in the Land of Nod

Fathers Day in the Land of Nod

Retired Bishop of Alberta's Powerful Talk to Scholars on Keeping Faithful in a Post-Christian Society

Catholic News World : Retired Bishop of Alberta's Powerful Talk to Scholars on Keeping Faithful in a Post-Christian Society

On Religion: Anger in Catholic pews

On Religion: Anger in Catholic pews – Times-Standard

10 steps US Catholic bishops promise to take to finally end sexual abuse crisis

10 steps US Catholic bishops promise to take to finally end sexual abuse crisis | | kctv5.com

Clergy Sex Abuse Has Changed Since 2000 — and Why It Matters

Clergy Sex Abuse Has Changed Since 2000 — and Why It Matters

Pope Francis is wrong to rewrite the Lord’s Prayer

Pope Francis is wrong to rewrite the Lord’s Prayer | Coffee House

What is a seminary and who goes there?

What is a seminary and who goes there? --Aleteia

12 June, 2019

Worsening priest shortage signals another challenge for Catholic Church

Worsening priest shortage signals another challenge for Catholic Church

Catholic Church should focus on getting 'nones' back, Bishop Barron says

Catholic Church should focus on getting 'nones' back, Bishop Barron says

Southern Baptists vote overwhelmingly to amend their constitution to address sex abuse

Southern Baptists vote overwhelmingly to amend their constitution to address sex abuse - The Washington Post

Faith: Should churches be a safe place?

Faith: Should churches be a safe place? | Pembroke Daily Observer

U.S. bishops will consider several actions for combating sex abuse. But will Pope Francis get in the way again?

U.S. bishops will consider several actions for combating sex abuse. But will Pope Francis get in the way again? - The Washington Post

Tim Busch, conservative activist-philanthropist, rejects anti-Francis label

Tim Busch, conservative activist-philanthropist, rejects anti-Francis label | National Catholic Reporter

Harvard Study Reveals Religious Upbringing Better for Kids’ Health, Well-Being

Harvard Study Reveals Religious Upbringing Better for Kids’ Health, Well-Being | The Stream

A Documentary Interview with Father Gordon MacRae

A Documentary Interview with Father Gordon MacRae

Amazon Prime's 'Good Omens': God is conspicuous in his absence

Amazon Prime's 'Good Omens': God is conspicuous in his absence

10 June, 2019

Sex abuse crisis the focus as US Catholic bishops convene

Sex abuse crisis the focus as US Catholic bishops convene

Vatican Rejects Notion That Gender Identity Can Be Chosen

Vatican Rejects Notion That Gender Identity Can Be Chosen - The New York Times

Her Evangelical Megachurch Was Her World. Then Her Daughter Said She Was Molested by a Minister.

Her Evangelical Megachurch Was Her World. Then Her Daughter Said She Was Molested by a Minister. - The New York Times

Reading Into Changes To The Lord's Prayer

Reading Into Changes To The Lord's Prayer : NPR

Archbishop Viganò called on Pope Francis to resign. Now he's in an undisclosed location.

Archbishop Viganò called on Pope Francis to resign. Now he's in an undisclosed location. - The Washington Post

The Museum of the Bible brings to live biblical sites in VR

The Museum of the Bible brings to live biblical sites in VR

08 June, 2019

Pentecost: God's gift of friendship

On Pentecost, we celebrate the promised gift made by Christ to his disciples, and by extension to the entire Church, of the Holy Spirit.   A divine presence that would remain with us until his return in glory to help us remember, comprehend, and fulfill our obligation of love to God and between each other. In other words, the Holy Spirit is the continuation of the incarnation of God, except this time instead of taking the form of one human man, he enters into each one of us through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. In this way, God extends a great act of friendship to those who claim and desire redemption through Christ. So to understand the awesome power of Pentecost, we need to comprehend what is a ‘friendship’ so that we can better take advantage of this great gift.

Friendship is defined as a relationship with ‘another self.’ It is a relationship, or better put a variety of relationships in which we find another who resonates with the same frequency that vibrates within us. Since we are all individuals who march to the beat of our unique drummer, it isn’t possible for us to say that everyone is our ‘friend’ even though we strive to be ‘friendly’ with all.  The fact is that not all vibrations are harmonious with others.  Some are downright discordant when they come together.

As a pastor, I live this reality all the time. So do all the lay members of our Church.  Most parishioners are old enough to have been served by different clergy over the years, some of whom they liked better than others. This difference has little to do with the talent or skill of the pastor so much as it’s about with how we connected with something in their character; some admirable quality that we could admire and want to emulate in our own lives.  Just as we are pleased when we happen to have a pastor who fits that bill, so too can we become discouraged when one arrives who doesn’t. In either case, it’s not the pastor that is the critical partner in that assessment. Instead, it’s how he resonates with each parishioner that is the determining factor. And for better or for worse the fact remains that parishioners have virtually no say in who is to be their pastor. Even the priest has very little influence in that decision. The authority to make that decision rests exclusively with the Bishop. Thus in every parish, the pastor and his parishioners must strive to do the best they can to arrange their different unique vibrations to produce the ‘music’ that is pleasing to God and each other.

Thankfully, we don’t have to make this music entirely thanks to the gift of the Holy Spirit first poured upon believers at Pentecost. When we accept his direction, he becomes the conductor who helps us to produce spiritual music pleasing to God. Just as choir directors lead and keep the various members of a choir singing harmoniously and productively, the Holy Spirit guides us in singing God’s praises both when we gather together and when we leave the Church to return to our daily lives.

There is however an important question that needs to be asked: If we have God himself as our spiritual conductor, why do we so often sound more like some amateur garage grunge bad that produces little more than loud, unpleasant noise instead of the beautiful strains of the celestial music he desires us to create? I believe that the answer has to do how we see and respond in friendship to the Holy Spirit and with each other. Do we insist that everyone has to sing to our tune or are we more concerned with the respecting the notes coming from our spiritual friends, ‘our other selves’? Are we willing to let our friend lead us, or do we insist that we have the right to sing in whatever key we think is most pleasing to our ear? God gives us the power to accept or reject his guidance in making that decision.

Aelred of Rievaulx, a 12th-century monk, took it upon himself to write a short book (Spiritual Friendship) in which he instructed his brother monks on this subject. Drawing upon earlier works by Cicero, Aristotle, and Augustine, he explained that there were three types of friendship, but only one that correctly cooperated with the direction of the Holy Spirit. The two that failed he called ‘carnal friendships’ and ‘friendships of utility.’ The former is a relationship that leads both parties to self-satisfaction and mutual sin (think of two alcoholics who regularly go out drinking together) whereas the latter is a relationship in which each party is concerned only with what the other can do for them. Neither one of these friendships is capable of bringing us closer to God, and he warned his fellow monks to be wary of becoming deluded into thinking they were of any real benefit.

But the third type of friendship, which he called ‘spiritual friendship,’ is one in which both parties are primarily concerned with helping the other attain salvation by cooperating with God in their lives. This type of relationship is one where one is not afraid to offer correction to a friend since the goal of such counsel is for the highest good of the other. Thus, if the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God’s great act of friendship to us, it would serve us well to be willing to heed the prompts of conscience he inspires that keep us from sin. It is by striving to grow in ever more profound friendship with the Spirit that we can be brought back into a correct harmony and play our proper role in God’s symphony of life.

How public opinion on gay rights moved so far so fast

Stonewall at 50: How public opinion on gay rights moved so far so fast - The Washington Post

Pope Francis Forgets?

Pope Francis Forgets | Dan Hitchens | First Things

Cardinal Pell Supporters Optimistic About Appeal Hearing

Cardinal Pell Supporters Optimistic About Appeal Hearing

Cardinal Pell awaits the result of his appeal

Cardinal Pell awaits the result of his appeal

05 June, 2019

Restoring, and strengthening, episcopal credibility

Restoring, and strengthening, episcopal credibility | George Weigel | First Things:

House Committee Debates Ban on Editing Human Genes

House Committee Debates Ban on Editing Human Genes

In Opening Arguments, Cardinal Pell’s Lawyers Set Out Case for Appeal

In Opening Arguments, Cardinal Pell’s Lawyers Set Out Case for Appeal

Pro-Life Laws Are ‘Extremist Hate,’ UN Official Says

Pro-Life Laws Are ‘Extremist Hate,’ UN Official Says

Planned Parenthood’s false stat: ‘Thousands’ of women died every year before Roe

Planned Parenthood’s false stat: ‘Thousands’ of women died every year before Roe - The Washington Post

22 Ways to Respond to Common Abortion Questions

22 Ways to Respond to Common Abortion Questions

Father Gordon MacRae: The Heart of a Priest in Hindsight

Father Gordon MacRae: The Heart of a Priest in Hindsight

04 June, 2019

Dutch girl, 17, legally ends her own life at euthanasia clinic

Dutch girl, 17, legally ends her own life at euthanasia clinic | Daily Mail Online

Catholic & Evangelical Divide in Conservatism

Catholic & Evangelical Divide in Conservatism | National Review

Argentina gripped by abuse crisis, Gaucho saint row and pope visit buzz

Argentina gripped by abuse crisis, Gaucho saint row and pope visit buzz

Pope's latest press conference a study in the dog that didn't bark

Pope's latest press conference a study in the dog that didn't bark

Pope Francis Approves Change To Lord’s Prayer

Pope Francis Approves Change To Lord’s Prayer | Daily Wire

JP II’s biographer: Viganò told me 6 years ago he had advised Pope Francis on McCarrick

JP II’s biographer: Viganò told me 6 years ago he had advised Pope Francis on McCarrick | News | LifeSite

03 June, 2019

Francis criticizes traditionalist Catholics who 'safeguard the ashes' of the past

Francis criticizes traditionalist Catholics who 'safeguard the ashes' of the past | National Catholic Reporter

The crusading bloggers exposing sexual assault in Protestant churches

What do you know, eh?  We Catholics weren't the only denomination guilty of mishandling sex abuse cases that are reported to them. It appears some of 'separated sister' churches have had some problems exposed in public just as happened to us.



While 'misery does love company,' I'd rather that none of us, Catholic, Protestant, or of whatever creed were guilty of such crimes and horrors.



God knows that those of us who profess to strive for a 'better way' have wrought more than enough misery to far too many people throughout the years to our eternal shame. One can only hope the bromide that was often given to we Catholics that 'light is the antiseptic cure for evil acts' works for them, and that justice is obtained by any and all legitimate victims. 



The crusading bloggers exposing sexual assault in Protestant churches - The Washington Post

Bishop faces backlash after tweet about Pride Month

Bishop faces backlash after tweet about Pride Month

One Year After McCarrick’s Fall: A Status Report on Bishop Accountability

One Year After McCarrick’s Fall: A Status Report on Bishop Accountability

Here’s What We Know About Cardinal McCarrick, Pope Francis And The Figueiredo Report

Accusations that higher-ups in the Vatican have known about sexual misconduct accusations for years are raising concerns about accountability within the clergy.



Here’s What We Know About Cardinal McCarrick, Pope Francis And The Figueiredo Report | The Daily Caller:

01 June, 2019

Father Raymond J. de Souza: The defeat of evil empires can take different forms

Father Raymond J. de Souza: The defeat of evil empires can take different forms | National Post

Is +Cardinal George Pell a Martyr?

Is Pell a Martyr? | Commonweal Magazine

‘A more open way of being’: Catholics in Kenya rebel against celibacy vow for priests

‘A more open way of being’: Catholics in Kenya rebel against celibacy vow for priests - The Washington Post

Calling the Pope a Liar?

Calling the Pope a Liar | Philip Lawler | First Things

The Ascension is a celebration of two promises

The Ascension is a celebration of two promises

Here's why the Catholic Church loves philosophy: Faith and reason are a happy couple in the Church's intellectual life.

Here's why the Catholic Church loves philosophy --Aleteia

Have guests arrived? Take a page from Abraham and Sarah on how to be a good host

Have guests arrived? Take a page from Abraham and Sarah on how to be a good host

29 May, 2019

One hundred years ago, an eclipse changed physics and made Einstein an icon

One hundred years ago, an eclipse changed physics and made Einstein an icon | National Post

McCarrick Correspondence Confirms Restrictions, Speaks to Wuerl and China

So Archbishop Vigano was telling the truth after all when he said that McCarrick had been sanctioned by the Vatican and that Pope Francis was aware of this fact.



McCarrick Correspondence Confirms Restrictions, Speaks to Wuerl and China - The Tablet

The hierarchy of disagreement: The best and worst argument techniques

The hierarchy of disagreement: The best and worst argument techniques - Big Think

Archbishop Lori calls four new transitional deacons to be ‘gentle in ministry’

Zach Crowley on far left - Evan Ponton on far right


I had the honor of participating in this ordination ceremony as both Zach Crowley and Evan Ponton became friends during my sabbatical stay at St. Mary's Seminary. Any diocese would be blessed to count either of these excellent men as clerics. Baltimore is doubly blessed to have them both. Thank you Zach and Evan for allowing me to concelebrate your ordinations. May you both be blessed with a ministry as rich and fulfilling as mine has been.



Ad multos annos!!



Archbishop Lori calls four new transitional deacons to be ‘gentle in ministry’ | Archdiocese of Baltimore

Parents given chance to use sperm from deceased son to produce male heir raises ethical concerns

Parents given chance to use sperm from deceased son to produce male heir raises ethical concerns | National Post

Pope talks McCarrick, walls, women’s rights, abortion and more in interview

Pope talks McCarrick, walls, women’s rights, abortion and more in interview

Are you being called to be a priest?

Are you being called to be a priest?

Rooting Out the Vermin: Bishop Robert Barron's Letter to a Suffering Church

Rooting Out the Vermin: Bishop Robert Barron's Letter to a Suffering Church

Father Stuart MacDonald, JCL, on Our Battle-Weary Priesthood

Father Stuart MacDonald, JCL, on Our Battle-Weary Priesthood

Friends, colleagues hail Jean Vanier as ‘modern-day prophet’

Friends, colleagues hail Jean Vanier as ‘modern-day prophet’

Did Catholic Relief Services Director Participate in Pagan Ritual?

Did Catholic Relief Services Director Participate in Pagan Ritual? - The Lepanto Institute

Pope Francis Denies He Knew of Abuse by McCarrick

Pope Francis Denies He Knew of Abuse by McCarrick - The New York Times

28 May, 2019

‘She was suffering too much’: Montreal man who suffocated sick wife with pillow sentenced to two years in prison

‘She was suffering too much’: Montreal man who suffocated sick wife with pillow sentenced to two years in prison | National Post

6 months later, gene-edited babies stir new interest, debate

6 months later, gene-edited babies stir new interest, debate | CTV News

Most Canadians think Catholic Church has handled sexual abuse scandal poorly: poll

Most Canadians think Catholic Church has handled sexual abuse scandal poorly: poll | Pembroke Daily Observer

McCarrick correspondence confirms restrictions, speaks to Wuerl and China

McCarrick correspondence confirms restrictions, speaks to Wuerl and China

What is the "Catechism" that some Catholics quote so frequently?

What is the "Catechism" that some Catholics quote so frequently? --Aleteia

A thousand scientists tackle the “science is opposed to faith” myth

A thousand scientists tackle the “science is opposed to faith” myth

Pope Francis: Foster a culture that recognises the value of life

Pope Francis: Foster a culture that recognises the value of life - Catholic Outlook

Ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was allowed to travel in spite of Vatican restrictions over alleged sexual abuse, Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo letters show

Ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was allowed to travel in spite of Vatican restrictions over alleged sexual abuse, Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo letters show - CBS News

27 May, 2019

Parents suing hospital for 'wrongful pregnancy'

Parents suing hospital for 'wrongful pregnancy' | CTV News

Think twice before you argue for the end of the Catholic school system

Smol: Think twice before you argue for the end of the Catholic school system | Ottawa Citizen

Westmeath flooding 2019







Is this damned flood ever going to end? This is what it looked like on the Ontario shore opposite my cottage on May 26th.  The level of damage is just as bad on the Quebec side but we can't even start to assess the extent of the damage until the river level drops below flood levels.

Why it matters 9K churches and religious spaces will close over next 10 years

Why it matters 9K churches and religious spaces will close over next 10 years | CBC News

Archbishop Broglio: Service to Nation is Faithful to the Commandment to Love

Archbishop Broglio: Service to Nation is Faithful to the Commandment to Love

22 May, 2019

‘Riveting and unflinching’ clergy abuse trial film Prey wins $50K Hot Docs audience prize

‘Riveting and unflinching’ clergy abuse trial film Prey wins $50K Hot Docs audience prize | Sylvia's Site

James Carroll's Cover Story Is Wrong About Catholicism : A Priestless Church Simply Isn’t Catholic.

James Carroll's Cover Story Is Wrong About Catholicism - The Atlantic

The Pell Case: Developments Down Under

The Pell Case: Developments Down Under | George Weigel | First Things

Seeing Abortion:Biology and metaphysics be damned: our subjective decisions determine reality—and the result is state-sanctioned infanticide.

Seeing Abortion

Thou Art a Priest Forever: An answer to James Carroll's call to abolish the priesthood

Thou Art a Priest Forever | Paul V. Mankowski | First Things

Infecting People Isn’t a Religious Right

Opinion | Infecting People Isn’t a Religious Right - The New York Times

15 May, 2019

Appeal court says doctors have to give referrals for services they oppose

Appeal court says doctors have to give referrals for services they oppose | CTV News

New Priests Post-McCarrick: Saddened, Angered, Determined to Be Faithful

New Priests Post-McCarrick: Saddened, Angered, Determined to Be Faithful

The Work Respect Gap: We need to recover the idea of the intrinsic dignity of any kind of honest work.

The Work Respect Gap

Make Fidelity Great Again

Make Fidelity Great Again

Was Cardinal George Pell Convicted on Copycat Testimony?

Was Cardinal George Pell Convicted on Copycat Testimony?

Catholic women divided over pope's remarks on female deacons

Catholic women divided over pope's remarks on female deacons

08 May, 2019

The Difference Between Happiness and Joy: The latest from David Brooks of The New York Times

Opinion | The Difference Between Happiness and Joy - The New York Times:

We Are Taking Religious Freedom Too Far

We have a right to practice our beliefs, but we don’t have the right to discriminate against others, or endanger their lives.



Opinion | We Are Taking Religious Freedom Too Far - The New York Times:

The Seal of the Confessional Is Under Attack in California

The Seal of the Confessional Is Under Attack in California:

Pope says study of ordaining women deacons so far inconclusive

Speaking to journalists on board his flight from Skopje to Rome Tuesday, Pope Francis offered an update on the debate over women deacons, telling journalists the study he launchd two years ago is inconclusive, and the topic needs further study.



Pope says study of ordaining women deacons so far inconclusive:

'On the Composting of Thee and Me' from George Weigel

Radical environmentalism in the form of human composting leads to ecological nihilism.



On the Composting of Thee and Me | George Weigel | First Things:

07 May, 2019

Jean Vanier, Canadian philanthropist and Catholic hero to developmentally disabled, dies at 90



'He felt a calling to defend the most marginalized. He gave them a voice'



Jean Vanier, Canadian philanthropist and Catholic hero to developmentally disabled, dies at 90 | National Post:

Our politicians may not care, but Christians are under siege across the world

An Italian study calculates that in 2016 a Christian was killed for his or her faith every six minutes, and the trend is accelerating.



Barbara Kay: Our politicians may not care, but Christians are under siege across the world | National Post:

Support Freedom of Conscience for Our Doctors

Ever since the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2016, there has been a growing political pressure on medical professionals to participate in these unconscionable acts. Many worry that they will lose their jobs or suffer discrimination if they refuse to actively kill their patients – or if they refuse to refer a patient for killing.



Support Freedom of Conscience for Our Doctors | CitizenGO:

Benedict’s Essay Broadens Conversation on Causes of Crisis

COMMENTARY: The pope emeritus’ essay invites examination of three particular causes of the sex-abuse problem that has plagued the Church.



Benedict’s Essay Broadens Conversation on Causes of Crisis:

With death of Jean Vanier, Catholicism loses a living saint

Jean Vanier, who was 90, died from cancer Tuesday morning in a facility in Paris run by the L’Arche community that he founded in 1964.



With death of Jean Vanier, Catholicism loses a living saint:

Is Pope Francis a plagiarist or does he have a ghost writer?

It turns out that the most important footnote in 'Amoris Laetitia' may be one that's not there, because a key passage of the document is lifted almost verbatim from a 1995 essay in theology by Archbishop Victor Fernandez -- raising troubling questions about Fernandez's role as ghostwriter, and the magisterial force of his ideas.



Ethicist says ghostwriter's role in 'Amoris' is troubling:

06 May, 2019

For people with dementia, a fight for the right to die

 The Alzheimer Society of Canada is reconsidering its position on advanced requests for assisted death, amidst a difficult debate about the rights of those with dementia.



For people with dementia, a fight for the right to die - Macleans.ca: