The Tuesday Pillar Post: In the news, Canada, and St. Matthew’s genealogy...
When Juliana Taimoorazy was smuggled out of Iran as a teenager, she probably didn’t expect to spend her adult life advocating for the religious freedom of women in neighboring Iraq. But — thanks to the invitation of Cardinal Francis George — that’s what she’s done. And now she’s nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Pillar’s Michelle La Rosa talked with Taimoorazy about her extraordinary life story, her work with women in Iraq, and what she’s now asking of the Biden administration.
Does Jesus have an arc?
When I was growing up, my dad read a lot of science fiction novels and he once made an observation that I’ve remembered ever since. He noted how science fiction stories always feature some futuristic thing (like cloning, time-machines, or space travel) but if a sci-fi story only talked about the technology, it would be boring...
Karma may be trendy, but it’s also a lot darker and less hopeful than people realize...
You know, it’s really common among young people — if you hadn’t noticed — to rebel against their parents. As part of that, they adopt phrases or images from other religions, as if they’re kind of cool. But Christian phrases and images aren’t. You go to the typical teenage store, and despite the fact that there are almost no young people in America who are really sincere Buddhists...
Francis knows the Church is in a rut. But does he know why?
I haven’t written much about Pope Francis’ bizarre pontificate for a long time, but I am moved to do so now by the decision to focus the next General Synod of the Church on synodality. In this, clearly, Pope Francis hopes for a vibrant response which will pry the Church out of what we might call the “same old rut” (however defined) so that it becomes more actively evangelical (however defined)...
2023 synod faces a credibility and practicality gap...
Six weeks before the Catholic Church-wide consultations for the 2023 synod on synodality are set to begin, the Vatican released a vademecum, or “handbook,” that will guide a process that is supposed to occupy every single diocese in the world from October 2021 to April 2022. The most massive set of meetings ever conducted in the history of the Catholic Church was announced only four months ago...
Is it mortally sinful to stay silent about sin?
Let’s look at your two scenarios. In the first, you overheard remarks suggestive of erroneous thinking about expressing gender. In the second, you overheard remarks indicating that a girl dressed in a sexually suggestive way for Halloween. You obviously believe that gender and modesty are important or you wouldn’t have asked this question...
Francis tacks again: Did press catch the Pope’s entire message on abortion and Eucharist?
How does a ship’s captain sail against a headwind? The maneuver is called “tacking” and it consists of steering the ship back and forth, at roughly 45 degree angles across the chosen course. The question — with all the left and right turns — is this: What is the course that runs through the middle? Where is the captain trying to go? It’s impossible to figure that out...
This Sunday, Jesus give us a shortcut to greatness...
If serving children makes you great, then a mom is greater than a CEO, a faithful father is greater than a billionaire; and what we do at home far greater than what we do in the office. If what Jesus says is true, it makes openness to life true greatness and makes contraception and abortion our nation’s great refusal of God himself.
Will the blood of St. Januarius turn to liquid this Sunday?
Once again on Sept. 19, thousands of people will be waiting to see if the blood of fourth-century martyr St. Januarius will liquefy on his feast day, as it has done almost ceaselessly for hundreds of years. People in Naples, where the saint’s body and head along with his blood have been kept for centuries...
Pope St. John Paul II brought God into my suffering, just when I need Him most...
It was hot in Phoenix when I got there, mid-September, 1987. Sunny, hot, and dry — just the way I like it. But I wasn’t there for the climate or a tan. I was there to see Pope John Paul II on his swing through the southwestern United States — a Catholic convert’s pilgrimage to honor the Vicar of Christ, but also a pilgrimage of healing after a string of personal misfortunes.
Catholic apologetics begins at home...
Atheism is clearly on the rise—a point brought to light recently when Harvard University appointed an atheist as the school’s chaplain. This should not come as a surprise. Atheism has good marketing. Like cigarette smoking in the 1950s and 1960s, atheism is marketed as cool. After all, who doesn’t want to be more like atheist Ricky Gervais (comedian)? Or Penn Gillette (famous magician)? Or Daniel Radcliffe (guy who plays a magician on TV)?
The politics of being pastoral, and the overview effect...
The Pope’s most recent in-flight press conference caused a bit of a stir. Francis rather directly addressed the issue of abortion - again. He compared it - again - to “hiring a hit man to solve a problem.” Calling the concept of legal abortion “daily homicide” the pope made it clear that Catholic politicians who adance abortion are “outside” the community of the Church.
The worst prayer you’ve ever seen...
It’s a bad, bad prayer. A servant girl found it clenched in John Ward’s hand after his death in the mid-1700s. You will never have heard of him. He did nothing notable in life, though he seems to have tried very hard to make money any way he could. What fame he has is as the writer of a horrible prayer. The English writer Edith Sitwell quotes the prayer in her book English Eccentrics...
Get this entire Catholic website as an instant digital download...
The full contents of the New Advent website are available as a digital download. It includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more and it's only $19.99...
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