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Conspiracies & Catholicism: The Inquisition

August 26, AD2014 5 Comments
Conspiracies & Catholicism: The Inquisition

Bouncing off of last month’s mention that the Spanish Inquisition didn’t burn witches, I decided I’d talk about what “The Inquisition” is and what they did. Mandatory reference: “I didn’t expect some kind of Spanish Inquisition!” “No-one expects The Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise, fear and surprise; two chief weapons, fear, surprise, and ruthless […]

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Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part II

August 19, AD2014 3 Comments
Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part II

In yesterday’s column (Part I), I told you about a Franciscan Friar, Brother Anthony Pham Dinh Tuyen OFM Conv, beginnings and escape from Vietnam as a young person after the fall of Saigon in 1975, his new life in the U.S., eventual poor health, then news of imminent death. Today, I finish this inspiring story. Can I go […]

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Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part I

August 18, AD2014 4 Comments
Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part I

Imagine finding yourself in a hostile land. It has a history of being violently hostile to everything Christian -  person and property. What do you do if you are a Franciscian friar? If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if […]

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Are Catholic Bishops Living Too Lavishly? CNN Says So

August 14, AD2014 15 Comments
Are Catholic Bishops Living Too Lavishly? CNN Says So

Over the weekend, I came across an article that stopped me in my tracks. The CNN Belief blog lists the residences of many of America’s prominent Catholic bishops, noting their size and value, which they define as “lavish.” It made me think about the morality of how a bishop should live. Recently, Pope Francis, who is known […]

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Father Ireland and the Fifth Minnesota

August 12, AD2014 1 Comment
Father Ireland and the Fifth Minnesota

One of the titans of the Catholic Church of the Nineteenth Century in the United States was Archbishop John Ireland, the first Archbishop of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Future blog posts will cover his career as Archbishop. This blog post is focused on his service during the Civil War. Ordained a priest only a year, Father John Ireland, […]

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Conspiracies & Catholicism: Witchcraft

August 4, AD2014 12 Comments
Conspiracies & Catholicism: Witchcraft

This installment of Conspiracies & Catholicism seems kind of redundant after last week’s article on magic, but I’m looking more at the “everyone knows” about the Church and witchcraft. Let me see if I can sum up the archetypal belief: All through the middle ages, single women– especially if they lived alone or practiced some […]

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Scientific Geniuses and Their Jesuit Collaborators

July 31, AD2014 9 Comments
Scientific Geniuses and Their Jesuit Collaborators

Herbert Butterfield, the influential twentieth-century historian, identified the Scientific Revolution as “one of the great episodes in human history,” which, along with the rise of the empires of Alexander the Great and ancient Rome, deserves a place “amongst the epic adventures that have helped to make the human race what it is.”[i] Numerous Catholic scientists, […]

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Catholic Liberal Education Today

July 28, AD2014 5 Comments
Catholic Liberal Education Today

Wisdom and virtue The term Catholic liberal education means an education that is (1) Catholic, as defined by the Catholic Church, and (2) liberal, as in in the liberal arts tradition, the tradition of most Catholic education from the beginning. The two words which together most fully describe the goals of a Catholic liberal education […]

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Creatio ex Nihilo: Theology versus (?) Physics*

July 15, AD2014 20 Comments
Creatio ex Nihilo: Theology versus (?) Physics*

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Gen 1:1-2 (KJV) “The laws of nature themselves tells us that not only can the universe have […]

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Declaration of Independence: A Spiritual Angle

July 4, AD2014 2 Comments
Declaration of Independence: A Spiritual Angle

With the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence upon us, it seems fitting to ponder the price of freedom and the meaning of true independence. Many have paid the ultimate price with their very lives in order to help establish the freedoms that America has enjoyed for so long. The selflessness required of soldiers […]

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The Remarkable Jesuit Chinese Missions

July 3, AD2014 6 Comments
The Remarkable Jesuit Chinese Missions

In late December 1668, in a contest held at the Chinese Bureau of Astronomy, the Jesuit Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-1688) correctly predicted the length of a shadow cast by a vertical rod. The Kangxi Emperor was impressed. But he challenged Verbiest to two additional tests: the prediction of the exact position of the sun and planets […]

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General Longstreet, Catholic Convert, Husband of “The Fighting Lady”

June 17, AD2014 2 Comments
General Longstreet, Catholic Convert, Husband of “The Fighting Lady”

Hattip to Pat McNamara of Patheos for his post on General Longstreet’s conversion which inspired this post. General Lee referred to James “Pete” Longstreet as his “Old War Horse”. One of the more talented corp commanders of the Confederacy, Longstreet’s memory was long blackened in the South after the War due to Longstreet becoming a Republican […]

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The Holy Ghost vs. The Holy Spirit

June 9, AD2014 31 Comments
The Holy Ghost vs. The Holy Spirit

” . . . the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings”. Gerard Manley Hopkins “Your soul is the ship, the Holy Spirit is the wind; he blows into your will and your soul goes forward . . . ” Fr. Francis Libermann, cofounder of the order C.S.Sp (Congregation of the Holy […]

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The Priest of the Confederate Prison in Andersonville

May 20, AD2014 1 Comment
The Priest of the Confederate Prison in Andersonville

I normally take great pride in being an American, but there are passages in our history which all Americans should be ashamed of.  During our Civil War in many prison camps, both North and South, prisoners of war (POWs) were treated wretchedly with inadequate shelter, clothing and food.  The worst by far was Andersonville. The […]

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St. John Paul II’s Rapprochement with Science: A Quest for Common Understanding

May 13, AD2014 0 Comments
St. John Paul II’s Rapprochement with Science: A Quest for Common Understanding

“Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.”  St. John Paul II, Letter to Rev. George Coyne, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory.  “Christianity possesses the source of its justification […]

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Presence Evangelism

April 30, AD2014 7 Comments
Presence Evangelism

I call the new movement of God Presence Evangelism, because it is quiet, subtle and entirely grassroots. The stars have fallen. The big names have grown old. Society is weary of huge, dazzling Christian shows.  People crave reality. They do not respond to the evangelism of the 20th century. Of course God is working through new technology as well, […]

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Father Walter Ciszek: With God in Russia

April 23, AD2014 7 Comments
Father Walter Ciszek: With God in Russia

Perhaps there are braver men than Walter Ciszek, but they don\’t come readily to mind. Hard enough to be brave for a short period when the adrenaline is flowing. Ciszek was brave under often horrendous circumstances for almost a quarter of a century. Born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania on November 4, 1904, the son of Polish immigrants, […]

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