Of Marriage and Orthodox Priests

If anyone had asked me what I thought about Eastern Orthodoxy before I converted, I would have said it was basically a popeless Catholic Church, except that its priests can marry. My presumption was mostly wrong. While there are certainly important similarities between the theologies of world’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

BARTH'S LEGACY I am grateful to Phillip Cary for his admirable review of my book Reading Barth with Charity (April). I have only one demurral. I would simply like to enter a plea for greater historical consciousness. After all, it has not yet been fifty years since Barth’s death. It seems . . . . Continue Reading »

Dismantling the Cross

Generally speaking, there are two principal vocations in the life of the Catholic Church: marriage on the one hand, and celibate priesthood and religious life on the other. Both are expressions of conjugal love. In the normal calling of marriage, an individual binds himself for life to another human . . . . Continue Reading »

The Way God Conducts Us

At an academic conference not too long ago, I delivered a paper on St. Paul’s view of marriage and celibacy. In my paper, I took Paul’s side, extolling his vision of marriage and celibacy as interlocking, mutually reinforcing Christian vocations. On the one hand, I said, marriage can be a melody hummed by any pedestrian Christian couple that still calls to mind the full grandeur of the symphony of Christ’s love for the Church. Likewise, the Christian celibate can bear witness to that same love. By giving up the solace of an earthly spouse and the prospect of birthing heirs, the celibate gestures with her very body to a future time when “they neither marry nor are given in marriage . . . because they are equal to angels” (Luke 20:35, 36). Continue Reading »