Author Archive

Scandal and Inspiration

Some stories are scandalous, others inspirational, but seldom does the same story merit both adjectives. “The Lavish Homes of American Archbishops,” does. First the scandal. The story notes, with vivid pictures, that 10 out of 34 U.S. Catholic Archbishops live in homes valued at over $1 million. For example: New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan lives […]

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Politics And The Pulpit

The question of whether politics should have a place in the pulpit has been with us for decades. At times dormant, it has arisen again as the 2014 elections draw near, and it poses a dilemma for religious leaders. The IRS rules forbid religious groups from direct or indirect involvement in political campaigns or for […]

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What Happened To Catholicism?

Catholics old enough to remember how different the Church was fifty or so years ago often wonder what happened to change it. The most common answer is the Second Vatican Council happened. But that answer raises more questions: What happened at that Council? What changed as a result? And were those changes theologically and/or philosophically […]

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Catholic Bishops and Immigration

In June, 2014, speaking for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop Mark Seitz testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the undocumented immigration crisis. In published form, that testimony runs 15 pages. Criticizing a document focused on moral theology is risky because the critic can all too easily be dismissed as irreligious, unenlightened, […]

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Christians and Karma

Christians are not noted for learning from people of different faiths. In fact, many Christians seem to believe that even considering a perspective that differs from their own is borderline sinful. That is unfortunate because examining others’ views can often deepen our own. A good example of this is the concept of karma. Karma is […]

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The Cognitive Dysfunction Epidemic

Have you ever seen an ad for Cognitive Dysfunction (CD) like the ubiquitous Erectile Dysfunction (ED) ads? It might feature a man getting his truck stuck in the mud while the announcer intones, “You’ve learned a thing or two—now it’s time to get your brain working.” Or a man and a woman gazing at each […]

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“American Exceptionalism”

I am troubled by the term “American exceptionalism.” Those who know me will find this odd because I love my country, my eyes still fill with tears when I hear the national anthem, and I thank God that I was born here. What is more, I believe no other nation has done more than America […]

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The Real Media Scandal

I have often mentioned an important news story to dedicated news watchers, only to have them respond, “I didn’t know that.” They no doubt assume that if something important happens, it will be reported. Years ago that assumption was warranted. It no longer is. Many of today’s news organizations ignore stories that are unfavorable to […]

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Refusing To Listen Can Be Costly

When little children don’t want to hear what they are being told, they put their hands over their ears and repeat, “I’m not listening” to further drown out the unwanted message. Such behavior is not very charming in children and much less so in adults, particularly in people who hold important positions. Recently I was […]

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Critical Thinking and Common Core

The designers of Common Core claim that critical thinking is an important part of the program. As someone who has been involved in the Critical Thinking Movement for well over forty years, I seriously doubt that claim for several reasons. First, the authors of Common Core’s statement on critical thinking seem not to understand critical […]

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