My Memories of Fr. Benedict

My memory of Fr. Benedict Groeschel goes back to 1964, when he was the Catholic chaplain at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, New York where my wife and I lived for a year right after I was appointed Religion Editor of Newsweek. Friends told us we should attend his masses there if we wanted to hear good preaching. The children, orphans all, loved him, of course. But what I remember are the times when Benedict would clear the altar of its Catholic liturgical artifacts and preach the Protestant service as well whenever the Protestant chaplain was unable to do it himself. When our new house was finished, Benedict spent a day helping us move our furniture. Continue Reading »

Who Has the Authority to Write Theology?

We live in an age of unprecedented theological production. At no point in church history have so many people written so many books and articles, not to mention blogs, wikis, and e-newsletters, about the Christian faith. Twenty-seven years ago, when I began my college teaching career, publishing a book was a notable accomplishment even for scholars at prestigious universities. Nowadays, it is incumbent on every professor no matter where they teach (or what they have to say) to write for their supper. Not only has the oft-predicted collapse of the academic book market not materialized, but the web has revolutionized the very nature of authorship. The Protestant Reformers wanted every believer to be a priest, but they couldn’t have anticipated that anyone with an Internet connection could be a theologian. Continue Reading »

Catholic Capitulation on Marriage

Fr. Timothy Lannon, President of Creighton University, my former employer, has announced that starting in 2015 the school will provide benefits to legally married same-sex spouses. Most Jesuit universities already do so, as will Notre Dame, which recently announced its new policy that also will take effect in 2015. Continue Reading »

My Plea

The day my soul became Catholic was the day I found out that as a divorced and remarried woman I could not receive Communion. Tears of sorrow and joy flowed. Sorrow because I had by then grasped the truth of transubstantiation, only to find I couldn’t consume, and joy because at last we found the ground of real authority—His Church, the one He founded, the one tasked to keep all He taught Her Apostles. Continue Reading »