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Tag: Pope Benedict XVI

The Despair of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

June 19, AD2017 2 Comments
The Despair of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has a host of artistic problems, but its most profound failures are of moral understanding. Whereas the original novels by J.K. Rowling embraced the Christian sanctity of life, understanding that death was an evil, and expressed hope for repentance and forgiveness of sins, this late coming play, written by […]

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Time, Progressivism, Death, and the Liturgical Calendar

March 3, AD2017 0 Comments
Time, Progressivism, Death, and the Liturgical Calendar

Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been Point […]

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Weak Love and Moral Culpability in Shusaku Endo’s Silence

January 28, AD2017 3 Comments
Weak Love and Moral Culpability in Shusaku Endo’s Silence

Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence, of which a film adaptation by Martin Scorsese shall soon be released, is concerned with the deeply unsettling portrayal of a situation in which one’s faith seems to make irreconcilable demands. Set in 1643, after the Japanese persecution of the Catholic Church forced Catholics underground, Silence recounts the story of Fr. […]

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Shusaku Endo’s Silence and the Divine Command to Sin

January 7, AD2017 4 Comments
Shusaku Endo’s Silence and the Divine Command to Sin

Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence is one of the most unsettling novels a Catholic could read. Recounting the story of Portuguese Jesuits facing martyrdom and persecution in seventeenth-century Japan, Endo does not hesitate to pose to his characters – and readers – the most difficult moral dilemmas imaginable regarding persecution and apostasy, and even whether God might […]

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Faith, Doubt, and Analysis Paralysis in The Exorcist

November 8, AD2016 0 Comments
Faith, Doubt, and Analysis Paralysis in The Exorcist

Most stories about exorcism following in the wake of William Peter Blatty’s novel The Exorcist (and its film adaptation) tend to portray the Catholic Church as some sort of Justice League fighting the forces of darkness. They clumsily point to the existence of grotesque demonic forces as proof for God’s existence. Blatty however, shows more sophistication. He […]

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Good Characters in a Culture That Can Only Read Hell

October 7, AD2016 0 Comments
Good Characters in a Culture That Can Only Read Hell

Fr. James Lavelle: I think there’s too much talk about sins and not enough about virtues. Fiona Lavelle: What would be your number one? Fr. James Lavelle: I think forgiveness has been highly underrated. -John Michael McDonagh, Calvary A friend of mine once asked if The Divine Comedy is the greatest achievement in human letters. […]

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Glowing in the Dark: Teens On Fire

September 25, AD2016 0 Comments
Glowing in the Dark: Teens On Fire

  Speaking to tens of thousands of teenagers and young pilgrims at a candlelight vigil in the city of Freiburg, at the end of his Sept. 22-25, 2011 state visit to Germany, Pope Benedict XVI challenged those present with these stirring and unforgettable words: “Dare to be glowing saints, in whose eyes and hearts the […]

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Good Atheists and Bad Catholics

August 22, AD2016 14 Comments
Good Atheists and Bad Catholics

Being Good Without God For Catholics at least, the news that atheists can live a morally praiseworthy life, or people belonging to any other religion, for that matter, is neither all that surprising nor particularly distressing. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said during his 2011 visit to the Bundestag, Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never […]

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Strange Dignity: Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God

July 21, AD2016 7 Comments
Strange Dignity: Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God

Lester Ballard, main character of the novel Child of God, commits murder, necrophilia, sexually harasses women, and is generally considered to be crazy. This being a novel by Cormac McCarthy, the most shocking thing about him is none of these. Rather, it is the suggestion that he might still have dignity, like anybody else, and […]

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Encyclicals on Film: To the Wonder

April 27, AD2016 0 Comments
Encyclicals on Film: To the Wonder

One of the more important contemporary filmmakers exploring Catholic themes is the director Terrence Malick. His film The Tree of Life, though not exactly possessing mass cultural influence, has still earned some recognition as being one of the great films to ponder Catholic themes. His most recent film, Knight of Cups, has also been subject […]

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St. Veronica’s Useless Good Deed

March 2, AD2016 2 Comments
St. Veronica’s Useless Good Deed

I once heard a rather wry joke that said that Christians are optimists because the worst thing that could possibly happen has actually already happened, and things turned out alright afterwards. That worst thing being, of course, that when God revealed Himself directly to us, not only did we reject Him in favor of a […]

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Casting Your Vote as a Faithful Catholic

February 12, AD2016 45 Comments
Casting Your Vote as a Faithful Catholic

Here we are, coming into the backstretch of the quadrennial presidential election cycle. Of course, from here on out, you’re going to have your eyes and sensibilities assaulted by talking heads telling you for whom you should vote — or, at least, traducing and belittling every candidate but the ones they prefer. Many of the […]

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Pro-Life or Social Justice: a False Catholic Dichotomy

February 10, AD2016 19 Comments
Pro-Life or Social Justice: a False Catholic Dichotomy

Right after the March for Life, the USCCB organized the Catholic Social Ministries Gathering. As one of the few who attended both events, I saw many people who were both pro-life and pro-social justice but I also saw a false dichotomy between the two in some. Unfortunately, some at the March for Life show inadequate care […]

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Marriage: The Enigma in the Room

September 26, AD2015 1 Comment
Marriage: The Enigma in the Room

We are indeed a peculiar lot. We evolve and change, push and pull, vote then cheer or sulk. Often the powerful just invent some feature of life that they think would be cool then force the compliance on all. We then suffer as a lot. The powerful have done that notably with slavery and abortion. Slavery […]

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Liturgical Abuse and Moral Corruption – Is There a Correlation?

May 2, AD2014 22 Comments
Liturgical Abuse and Moral Corruption – Is There a Correlation?

Efforts at living an upright, godly life and following the rules don’t always make life easy. We will inevitably encounter those who don’t appreciate compliance to civil or natural law as well as those who have contradictory impulses. We find vehement opposition and slander when we stand in support of our deeply held convictions in […]

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Pope Francis Has Single-Handedly Destroyed Catholicism

September 18, AD2013
Pope Francis Has Single-Handedly Destroyed Catholicism

…or so you’d think if you got all your information about Catholicism from blog comboxes. Not surprisingly, Pope Francis has been in the news lately. The media jumped on his offhand comments about homosexuals, breathlessly reported on a letter he wrote to an atheist, and made much hay over an interview given by the Vatican’s […]

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Pope Benedict\’s True Legacy in Africa

February 19, AD2013 5 Comments
Pope Benedict\’s True Legacy in Africa

Pope Benedict XVI\’s resignation has elicited a lot of reflection and commentary on the legacy of his pontificate on the Church as well as the world. Amidst all these, we have heard some of the unfortunate and unfavourable criticisms in the mainstream media, particularly on his work and mission in Africa. I call them unfortunate […]

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The Catechist Pope

February 12, AD2013 3 Comments
The Catechist Pope

I was planning to write a post today about intellectual virtue, but that plan was postponed when I received word that Pope Benedict XVI had made the historic decision to step down from the Chair of St. Peter at the end of this month. Surely there will be an outpouring of love and gratitude on […]

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Pope Benedict and the Call of Conscience

February 11, AD2013 2 Comments
Pope Benedict and the Call of Conscience

Momentous news this morning—Pope Benedict XVI announced that he is resigning as of February 28, 2013.   It’s the first time in nearly 600 years that a Pope has resigned rather than die while still serving as Pope. In a surprise statement, Pope Benedict announced that, “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have […]

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Pope Resigning

February 11, AD2013 0 Comments
Pope Resigning

  There is a report just in that Pope Benedict is resigning on February 28. VATICAN CITY) — Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end […]

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