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Browsing News Entries

¡Bienvenidos Todos Los Pecadores!

Mientras estaba en Georgia, filmando el episodio de Flannery O’Connor para mi serie Pivotal Players, vi un cartel a la salida de una Iglesia que le hubiera encantado a la famosa y escabrosa escritora católica: “¡Bienvenidos todos los pecadores!” Me pareció que era un precioso giro cristiano al lema de acogida que impregna nuestra cultura actual. En un tiempo de casi total relativismo moral, el único valor que todos parecen aceptar es la inclusividad, y lo único que todos parecen aborrecer es la exclusividad. Lo que me gustó especialmente del cartel en Georgia es que nos obliga a hacer ciertas distinciones y a pensar con un poco más de precisión sobre el consenso moral de nuestros tiempos.

Getting out of the Sacristy: A Look at Our Pastoral Priorities

For the past several days, I’ve been with my Word on Fire team, filming for the Flannery O’Connor and Fulton Sheen episodes of our “Pivotal Players” series. Our journey has taken us from Chicago to New York to Washington, DC, and finally to Savannah and Millidgeville, GA. At every step of the way, we have met numerous people who have been affected by Word on Fire materials: sermons, podcasts, YouTube videos, and the “CATHOLICISM” series. Many have told me that their exposure to Word on Fire started a process that led them back to the Church. Now I’m telling you this not as an advertisement for my media ministry, but rather as an occasion to muse about what I consider to be a needful change in the way the Church thinks about its essential work.

Salir de la Sacristía: Una mirada a nuestras prioridades pastorales

Desde hace varios días, he estado con mi equipo de Word on Fire, filmando los episodios de Flannery O’Connor y Fulton Sheen para nuestra serie The Pivotal Players. Nuestro viaje nos ha llevado de Chicago a Nueva York a Washington DC, y finalmente a Savannah y Millidgeville. A cada paso del camino nos hemos encontrado con personas a las que les ha llegado el material de Word on Fire: homilías, podcasts, videos de Youtube y la serie CATOLICISMO. Muchos me han dicho que su contacto con Word on Fire empezó un proceso que les ha traído de vuelta a la Iglesia. Y no les digo esto para hacer propaganda de mi ministerio en los medios, sino como una ocasión para reflexionar acerca de lo que considero debe ser un cambio en la forma en la que la Iglesia piensa acerca de su labor más esencial.

What “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” Gets Right and Wrong

The original “Jurassic Park” film from twenty-five years ago rather inventively explored a theme that has been prominent in Western culture from the time of the Romantic reaction to the Enlightenment—namely, the dangers of an aggressive and arrogant rationalism. But what is bothersome in the latest film, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” is the emergence of a new and much more problematic motif.

The Question Behind the Question

On the afternoon of June 14, a rather spirited, fascinating, and unexpected debate broke out on the floor of the USCCB spring meeting about the use of videos rather than texts. I will confess that as this lively discussion unfolded, a smile spread across my face, for I have believed for some time that the issue of how we communicate is perhaps as important as what we communicate—that is, if we are interested in moving the conversation beyond a very narrow circle.

Sowing the Wind and Reaping the Whirlwind: A Reflection on the Irish Referendum

I will confess that as a person of Irish heritage on both sides of my family, I found the events in Ireland last week particularly dispiriting. Not only did the nation vote, by a two-to-one margin, for the legal prerogative to kill their children in the womb, but they also welcomed and celebrated the vote with a frankly sickening note of gleeful triumph. Accompanying the entire process, of course, was the subtext of the Catholic Church’s cultural impotence, even irrelevance, in the wake of the great crimes of the last several decades. Is there a way forward for Ireland?

Michelle Wolf and the Throwaway Culture

At this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the comedian Michelle Wolf joked about "knocking around" unborn children, in order to abort them. Her shameless endorsement of abortion places her in line with Friedrich Nietzsche, who had a special contempt for the Christian values of sympathy and compassion for the vulnerable and believed all morality was relative. But if Wolf and Nietzsche are right—if good and evil are merely relative states of affairs—then there is nothing to hem in and control the tendency of cultural elites to dominate others. When objective moral values evanesce, armies of the expendable emerge.

The Most Unexpectedly Religious Film of the Year

I went to see “A Quiet Place,” John Krasinski’s new thriller, with absolutely no anticipation of finding theological or spiritual themes. I just wanted a fun evening at the movies. How wonderful when a film surprises you!

Paul Tillich and “The Shape of Water”

The title of this year’s Best Picture winner, “The Shape of Water,” gives away the game, for the one thing that water does not have is shape. Its very essence is fluidity, formlessness, and freedom from structure. But a film that celebrates this freedom—produced by someone who, by his own admission, hates structure—is sadly emblematic, I fear, of a society that is in danger of losing its ontological balance.

A Case for Priestly Celibacy

Everything in this world—including sex, family, and worldly relationships—is good, but impermanently so. But while the non-ultimacy of worldly realities can and should be proclaimed through words, it will be believed only when people can see it. This is why, the Church is convinced, God chooses certain people to be celibate: in order to witness to a transcendent form of love.