Letter Number Two

As a general rule, LETTERS FROM THE SYNOD will not burden readers with lengthy texts. When a major text of exceptional thoughtfulness and importance comes our way, however, we’ll bring it, in full, to our readers’ attention. Continue Reading »

Synod 2015 Hopes

The XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family begins with Mass in St. Peter’s on October 4. No synod in modern Catholic history has drawn such worldwide press attention or generated such controversy within the Church (with the possible exception of the special synod . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter Number One

In summoning last October’s special meeting of the Synod of Bishops and the regular session of the Synod that will begin its work on October 5, Pope Francis called the entire Church to an open, wide-ranging, and honest discussion of the crisis of marriage and the family in the 21st century, and to a Gospel-centered exploration of what the Catholic Church might do to respond to this crisis with greater pastoral impact, thus renewing the vocation of marriage and restoring its luster. Continue Reading »

Catholic Census

I never got closer than a football field to Pope Francis when he visited Washington D.C., but it was enough to be around all the people who had also come out to be as close as we could to the pope. My friend from church spotted me and ran over to pray together, I exchanged names with a pair of . . . . Continue Reading »

Close Reading in the Classroom

Too often, the teaching of English literature lacks the developmental sense that other disciplines have. As you go from a basic English course to an advanced one, it isn’t clear how one step builds on the other. Each math course, for instance, presumes knowledge developed in previous courses, and other humanities fields have a graduated curriculum.

Sporting Transcendence

Recently I got quite caught up in a football game on television. It was a close match right to the very end. And in a dramatic finish the college team I was rooting for pulled off the victory. Watching it was a good way of spending a few hours. I did not experience any self-transcendence, however. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Folly of Lifestyle Ecumenism

Lifestyle Ecumenism” is the view that Catholics should practice today a kind of “ecumenism” towards persons in living arrangements other than marriage, such as cohabitation, common law marriage, and same-sex relationships. In dealing with other forms of Christianity we accept that we should . . . . Continue Reading »

St. Paul and Consumer Society

According to many contemporary scholars, the apostle Paul didn’t object to “Judaizers” because they taught that salvation is achieved by works. He objected because Judaizers tried to reverse history by imposing the requirements of the old Mosaic covenant on Gentile Christians. Circumcision, . . . . Continue Reading »

Trashing Luther

Theological hobbyists of a hyper-Catholic sort continue to misconstrue Luther’s “errors.” Oh, I hardly think he was error-free, but (having recently been one) I know Lutherans who pretty much think he was essentially infallible. But I also know Catholics (me having recently become one) who . . . . Continue Reading »