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Father Jacques Hamel and the Faith of Europe

Father Jacques Hamel

Another Islamic massacre, this time of an octogenarian priest, Father Jacques Hamel, saying Mass in a church in Saint Etienne de Rouvray in the northwest of France.  ISIS has claimed responsibility, with promises of more attacks 'on churches':  These Islamists are nothing if not symbolic, with their own form of 'liturgy', working on behalf of their distorted image of God and His law. Francois Hollande, Le President of the Republic, has vowed 'war on ISIS', denouncing such random and absurd ... (Continue reading)

Faith Flicks: Sources of Inspiration or Despair?

catholic cinema

It seems that there is something stirring in the movie-making business of late. Namely, religious themes are reappearing on the radar in a more positive light to appease the niche counter-cultural audience that has proven it still carries some clout at the ticket booth. Even if it’s just a matter of throwing them a bone for cash rewards, the effects are still perceivable in the long view from the bleachers. As a Catholic Christian myself, I would be inclined to welcome ... (Continue reading)

Calum and Tina’s Childless Choice: A Reflection on Parenthood

childless

From: The National Post, July 16 2016. The headlines proclaimed it, in a his and her perspective, on why a young-ish, urbanite couple plan never and, they mean never, never, never in the Taylor Swiftian sense, to have children.  The mother, excuse me, the 'wife', Tina Marsh tells her side, then the 'man', Calum, his.  Yes, I use scare quotes, since he in particular mans not up to his station ... (Continue reading)

Winter of the Soul: A Spiritual Analysis of the Game of Thrones Pop Culture Phenomena

game of thrones

Game of Thrones, the wildly popular HBO series based off of George R.R. Martin’s high fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire, is a presently unavoidable part of popular culture. Praised for its high production values, including acting, costuming, setting, and cinematography, and dubbed one of the “epic sagas of our times”, the program has sent fantasy-lovers flocking to it in droves, in spite of (or unfortunately, perhaps because of) the fact that is also infamous for its X-rated ... (Continue reading)

King Henry’s Anglicanism Gone Awry

Anglican same sex

The headline the other day read that the Anglican 'Church of Canada' had rejected same-sex 'marriage' in their recent synod by one measly vote. Now, just yesterday, lo and behold, what some might consider by a Deus ex machina recount, they realize that, in fact, some votes were not counted properly, and they have indeed endorsed same-sex marriage by the slimmest of margins. The vote likely won't matter all that much.  Many delegates declared that they would have gone ahead ... (Continue reading)

Potty Mouth: A Reflection on ‘Swearing’

swearubg

I have been asked to write about what is euphemistically, and rather incorrectly, known as 'swearing'.  We have all perhaps heard our younger siblings yell, "Muuuum! Jimmy swore!". Yet Jimmy did not really 'swear', unless he is beyond his years, or brought into a court of law.  Swearing literally is taking a solemn oath, only permitted, as Scripture and Saint Thomas make clear, under the most serious of circumstances. One swears by something higher than oneself, as Christ said, often by ... (Continue reading)

Saint Benedict: Ora et Labora

saint benedict

Today is the feast of Saint Benedict (ca. 480-547), the father of Western monasticism and one of the main forces in preserving Western culture through the tumultuous years of post-antiquity. His retreat from the world, paradoxically, is what saved the world, as he and his monks, guided by Benedict’s wise and prudent regula or rule (well worth a persual even by laymen), worked and prayed, copying manuscripts, turning arid soil into fruitful farmland, developing Gregorian chant (not just the most ... (Continue reading)

The Collapse of the Rule of Law

philanod and aaron

Another day, and more mayhem, with no end in sight.  Five police officers assassinated, others wounded, by snipers at a Black Lives Matter protest, after two black men were killed recently in dubious circumstances by (white) police officers. And, of course, dozens have been killed by bombings in the Middle East, Sunni versus Shiite, and those are just the ones that make the news over here.  As you may be aware, most Islamic terrorism is committed against other Muslims, based ... (Continue reading)

The All-Too Hidden Strength of the Catholic Church

church strength

We Catholics sell ourselves short.  As individuals, often; that will vary from person to person. But more importantly, we underestimate ourselves as a Church, founded by Christ, a divine institution of supernatural, near infinite, power, which we sorely, and sadly underutilize and underestimate. We are not what we are meant to be, which is why the Church is so apparently ineffectual in its attempt to evangelize, to be the leaven in the world, and to shape and influence the culture ... (Continue reading)

A Catholic Approach to the Papacy

Pope Francis

On this solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, celebrating their respective life and martyrdom, it is beneficial to dwell a moment upon the papacy (and by extension, the episcopacy), as we make our way towards eternity in these confusing times. It is no secret to readers of these columns that I share with many other Catholics certain reservations about the current Pope, or at least, how he exercises his papacy, and particularly some of the things he says and writes. I ... (Continue reading)

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