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Showing posts from July, 2016

Where Do Methodists Go From Here?

About a year ago I wrote an essay entitled "Where Do Episcopalians Go From Here?" It chronicled the demise of The Episcopal Church (TEC), the American branch of the Anglican Communion, which centres around the issue of acceptance of homosexuality. Early in this century, 2003, The Episcopal Church made history by consecrating its first open and practising homosexual man as a bishop. This particular man, Gene Robinson, left his wife and children to eventually "marry" his same-sex partner. Some years later, 2010, The Episcopal Church would make history again by electing its first open and practising lesbian woman as a bishop -- Mary Glasspool. These acts, combined with the general liberal trajectory of The Episcopal Church over the last four decades, have gutted the denomination of its membership, and ultimately resulted in some disciplinary action from the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Now, so it would appear, the United Methodist Church (UMC) has embarked on the sa…

The Only Good Catholic is a Bad Catholic

Let me tell you how it is really is in America. I converted to Catholicism in 2000 for very strong religious convictions, and those convictions cause me to believe what the Catholic Church teaches is true. That belief causes me to try my best to act in accordance with Church teaching, and that belief means that I don't try to change Church teaching to accommodate my own personal vices, or my own personal gain. This is what it means to be a "good Catholic." Notice I didn't say "perfect Catholic." I said "good Catholic," and that means one who sincerely tries to live by the faith, confesses when he fails, and never, EVER tries to change or twist the Church's teachings to accommodate his own personal vice or gain.

Early Colonial America was a rough place for Catholics in the 16th through 18th centuries. It wasn't nearly as bad as Britain of course, which is why so many English and Irish Catholics gave up everything to move to this continent.…

AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY

How do you know the church you attend is really the Church Jesus Christ established? Many Christians believe in this nebulous idea of the "invisible Church," which is a notion that there really is no visible Church in the world today, but rather, all "true" Christians are bound together in an invisible way, via the Holy Spirit, and only God knows who belongs to this "invisible Church." This is how most Christians deal with the fact that there are so many different denominations, and each one teaches different things. In a way, the "invisible Church" notion has an element of truth to it, but it is not "the truth" in total. To rely on it entirely is a cop out. It's a way of saying that there is no answer, and we just have to settle with the idea that there is no visible representation of the Church of Jesus Christ.

But is that true?

Could it be we're missing something? The Bible says that Jesus Christ founded just one Church -- n…

A Catholic Vote 2016

This is a private opinion blog of one Catholic. On this blog, I don't represent the opinion of any diocese, jurisdiction or parish. I just represent one opinion -- my own. The title of this essay is "A Catholic Vote" not "The Catholic Vote" because I speak from the Catholic community not for it. Nevertheless, my voice has just as much a right to be heard as anyone.

Truth be told, there is no such thing as "THE Catholic Vote," because "THE Catholic Vote" has been so divided for a generation now. The truth is, most Catholic Americans vote right along with the general public, split almost to the same proportion, and in my opinion, that is an indictment and nothing to brag about. It means that rather than the Church influencing the culture, the culture has influenced the Church, and most dioceses across the United States have become little more than public institutions that reflect popular opinions on politics, rather than Catholic teaching.

Th…

The Missouri State Flag

I've always been a flag person. I suppose one of these days I'll get a full size flag pole and mount it in my yard somewhere. For now, however, it hangs from my back porch. I like different kinds of flag, and the more unusual or rare, the more likely I am to fly them. For now, I'm flying the Missouri state flag, because we're honouring it this month.

Being the kind of flag guy I am, I tend to be a little picky about them. I personally think a flag should be simple and uncluttered. The colours should be plain, and not noisy. In my personal opinion, the message of a flag should be conveyed with symbols and not words. That's part of the fun of deciphering their meaning. Keeping all that in mind, here is the current Missouri state flag...


It's nice, but I see a few problems, and apparently I'm not the only one. In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association surveyed its members on the designs of the 72 U.S. state, U.S. territorial and Canadian provincia…

Toward the East

What you're witnessing in the video above is Pope Francis celebrating the regular Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) mass, ad orientem (facing east). Yes, that is Pope Francis, and yes, he is celebrating a regular mass, and yes, he is facing liturgical east, with his "back to the people." Gasp! Oh, the horror! Oh, the humanity! In all seriousness though, this is legit, and Pope Francis has a lot more planned. Just listen to the man he appointed as the liturgical chief for the entire Catholic Church. Cardinal Robert Sarah, from the West African Republic of Guinea, had the following to say...
I want to make an appeal to all priests. You may have read my article in L’Osservatore Romano one year ago (12 June 2015) or my interview with the journal Famille Chr├ętienne in May of this year. On both occasions I said that I believe that it is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction—Eastwar…