Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Musings

Random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

Not much to say today... Just a reminder to show your support for traditional marriage by eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August 1. If you've been living under a rock you may not realize that the CEO of Chick-fil-A made comments recently expressing his support of traditional marriage. Those comments have sparked a firestorm of hate from the Left. They have called for boycotts and some elected officials have even threatened to block the restaurant chain from doing business in their jurisdiction. So to counter this anti-Christian hatred please show your support by eating at Chick-fil-A as often as possible, but especially this Wednesday, which is the agreed upon date for a national show of support.

+        +        +

Continuing this theme here's an excerpt from a piece written by Pat Archbold over at National Catholic Register:

The mark of the beast (public allegiance to a faith opposed to truth who is Christ) as requirement to do business is not some far off prediction of the bible, it is today's reality. It is reality in Chicago, Boston, and so on.

If you believe in the Church's teaching on traditional marriage and by saying so publicly you foreswear that secular religion (which is opposed to Christ) which demands your allegiance, in the view of many people in and out of government, you forfeit your right to do business.

If you believe in the Church's teaching on abortion and contraception and you are inconveniently still breathing, you are no longer able to run your business in a way compliant with that belief.

All in the name of tolerance, of course.
The piece is titled The Mark of The Beast and Chick-Fil-A, and as usual for this author it is spot on. The whole post can be read here.

+        +         +

In case you forgot:

Friday, July 27, 2012

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Pro-Life Encyclical Humanae Vitae Celebrates Its 44th Birthday - "You may be forgiven for not knowing that July 25 is the 44th anniversary of encyclical Humanae Vitae. Who, after all, is going to remind you?"

The Campaign for Humanae Vitae - [An interesting little history of the document.]

Natural Family Planning Builds a Culture of Life - "In our secular contraceptive culture, it is assumed that a married couple will, as a matter of course, avoid pregnancy. Only for very narrow windows of time does a couple welcome the conception of a child, if they do at all. Contrast this with the Catholic marriage that makes openness to life the default position."

A Religious Response to the Colorado Killings - "The following are some of the things that should have been heard in America’s churches this past Sunday..."

The Church and the End of the Welfare State - "A new generation of bishops is not quite as sure as its predecessors that 'social justice' always equals 'government program.' The rise of aggressive secularism within both state and federal social welfare agencies has also been a sobering experience..."

Are You a Hater or a Bigot? Or Are You Just Intolerant? - "Does being against Gay Marriage automatically make me a hateful person or oppressive person?"

For more on the Chick-fil-A controversy click here... and don't forget to show your support for traditional marriage by eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August 1.

Why I Don’t Call Myself a Gay Christian -  "I refuse to identify myself as gay because the label 'gay' does not accurately describe who (or what) I am. More fundamentally, I refuse to use that label because I desire to be faithful to the theological anthropology of the Church."

A Catholic Reply to “How to Suck At Your Religion” - [This is a really well done rebuttal to a very dumb, anti-Catholic cartoon. I think it's a great example of how intelligent the Catholic response can be compared to the ignorance of our enemies.]

Crash Course on the Crusades - "It is worth our time to be versed in the facts and especially to recall the tremendous faith, sacrifice, and courage that inspired the vast majority of the Crusaders to act in defense of Christendom."

"Pro Multis." The Pope's Translation Is Gaining Support - He has ordered that it be translated 'for many,' instead of 'for all.' Against the view of the Italian bishops. But now, from none other than Italy, two scholars of the Bible and the liturgy are agreeing with Benedict XVI, although with a few distinctions."

Why Does God Allow Misfortune to Fall on Us? - "God is sovereign and He orchestrates these annoyances so that we might grow in virtue on earth and glory in Heaven. This is a hard teaching. It's much easier to blog about than it is to pray about when one is in the midst of frustration, sickness, or pain."

American exorcist-in-training shares his experience - "...he is one of a new generation of exorcists-in-training following a decision by the U.S. bishops in November 2010 to vastly increase the number of exorcists, which might number as low as 50 in America."

A Mainline Collapse: The Twilight of Liberal Christianity? - "In 2006, the Episcopal Church's presiding bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori, told the New York Times that Episcopalians were not interested in 'replenishing their ranks by having children.' Instead, the church '[encouraged] people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.'" [That's funny, I seem to remember God saying, "Be fruitful and multiply." Could it be that the Episcopal Church does not speak God's Word?]

Change in the World of Catholic Music - "There is more talk of chant, more emphasis on Mass propers, a greater degree of willingness to rethink prevailing practices."

Our Lady of Quito prophesied that in the 60s there would be spiritual catastrophe in the Church; then, through the faith of the just, a ‘complete restoration’ - [I just found this interesting...]

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Male-Only Priesthood, Part 2

Last week I introduced this series of reflections on the male-only priesthood. This is not intended to be a scholarly or thorough treatment of the topic, but merely a few brief thoughts on the subject as I have been pondering the issue over the last few weeks.

Last week I posted some thoughts on the Catholic practice of calling priests "Father." The idea of "fatherhood" as it relates to the priesthood, I think, is a key to understanding the male-only nature of Holy Orders. In other words, we call priests "Father" because there are certain aspects of the priestly ministry that point to a fatherly role (rather than motherhood). For example, a priest as "Father" compliments the "Motherhood" of the Church: at baptism, we are born into the Church - the Church becomes our Mother and this birth is witnessed by a Father/priest.

But more than a symbolic "father-figure," the priest as minister of the Church, represents Jesus Himself. Those who have received the Sacrament of Holy Orders embody the very priesthood of Christ. As the Catechism states:

In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:
    It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).
    Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.
Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father. (1548-49)

So the priest acts "in the person of Christ" and is like a "living image of God the Father."

This does not mean that the priest becomes God. He is still very much a human being, capable of sin and in need of God's grace. But ordination does bring about a change...a real change in the very essence of the one receiving ordination. It is a change that permanently alters the individual:

This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ's instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet, and king.

As in the case of Baptism and Confirmation this share in Christ's office is granted once for all. The sacrament of Holy Orders, like the other two, confers an indelible spiritual character and cannot be repeated or conferred temporarily
 It is true that someone validly ordained can, for grave reasons, be discharged from the obligations and functions linked to ordination, or can be forbidden to exercise them; but he cannot become a layman again in the strict sense, because the character imprinted by ordination is for ever. The vocation and mission received on the day of his ordination mark him permanently. (Catechism, 1581-83)

Just as biological fatherhood cannot be undone, so too priestly fatherhood is a new state of being that cannot be undone for an ordained priest. The question is, can a woman receive this change? Can a woman be a true embodiment of Christ?

Many who argue in favor of female ordination would insist that women are fully capable of doing what a male priest does: women can preach, hear confession, say the words of consecration, officiate at ceremonies, etc.  And this is all true - a woman can do all of those things. But priesthood is not just about doing these things. It is about being...

To be continued.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’ Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven? ‘Whose sins you shall forgive,’ he says, ‘they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.’ What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven."
- John Chrysostom

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

So I was thumbing through our hymnal at Mass on Sunday, trying to find the hymn that we were on (I was caught totally off-guard and it took me until well into the second verse to find the right page), when I came across hymn #666. Now I must admit that I have rather specific taste in church music. I have many times closed the book in silent protest when I hear a song that was published post-Vatican II that captures that "spirit of the age" that so many guitar-strumming folk artists have passed off as hymns in recent decades. So I was pleased to see that hymn #666 was exactly that type of song! I forget the title, but it was something about dancing with the Lord, and I think hand-clapping may have been mentioned more than once in the lyrics. Anyway, it was the perfect song to receive the designation 666. When I did finally find the correct song (O Latin!) I sang it with a smile on my face.

+        +        +

Speaking of O Sanctissima... Here's a great version for your listening pleasure (including pictures and the Latin text).

+        +        +

Since O Sanctissima is a hymn of the Blessed Virgin then in keeping with that Marian theme the picture of the week:

A couple of final thoughts: Keep in prayer this week those who were killed in the theater shooting in Colorado. Also remember farmers who have been affected by the drought.

Friday, July 20, 2012

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Denver Bishops Mourn With Community Over Theater Tragedy - "We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters cast into that darkness. They do not stand alone. As Catholic bishops, we 'weep with those who weep,'”

Some Healthcare Questions to Ponder - "...why should an x-ray cost $1,100? Why should a night in the hospital cost thousands? Why should a 15 minute office visit to the doctor or specialist be $90-180? I wonder if market forces had predominated all along, would prices would be this high?" [He asks some great questions...and a John Stossel video at the end - can't go wrong there!]

The Heresy of President Obama - "President Obama’s recent and much-discussed remark to business owners – 'If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.' – reflects a heresy bent out of shape at the unfairness of life."

The above article brings me to my second "picture of the week":

[Do a search for "You didn't build that meme" and you'll find a ton of these.]

The Uniqueness of Christianity - "...if you confess that you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, you will find yourself suddenly alone, with a distinct chill in the air. Here are twelve of the commonest forms of this objection, the odium of elitism, with answers to each."

How Many Souls will be Saved? - "The answer to this question has been argued in the Christian era for 2,000 years. Why is that? Did not Jesus answer that question? Do not the Gospels of St. Luke and St. Matthew record his answer? Well, let us see."

Do Women Need to Wear Head Coverings at Mass? - [An interesting question for me since my daughter recently expressed an interest in this practice and we have seen a few young women and girls at our parish wearing chapel veils.]

Lying to Your Kids and 7 Other Catholic Parenting Notes - "...I thought I’d share a few of the lessons I’ve learned that other Catholic parents could use.  These are especially helpful if you are expecting for the first time."

Is It Possible to Raise Your Kids to Be Open-Minded About Religion? - "To take it a step further, I would encourage modern parents to shun the concept altogether, and embrace the search for objective truth instead."

Three Lessons from the Decline of Mainstream Protestantism - "The two words most often used to describe mainline Protestantism in North America are 'crisis' and 'decline,' both of which seem justified in light of recent trends."

Book Review: “The Singularity is Near,” A Transhumanist Manifesto - [The stuff of science fiction nearer than we think?]

And now a little piece of culture, just to liven things up.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Male-Only Priesthood, Part 1

Recently a friend asked a question that has been asked many times before, but always deserves a fresh response: “Why do Catholics call their priests ‘Father’? Didn’t Jesus tell us to call no one on earth ‘Father’?

I briefly replied:

Yes, Jesus did say, “Do not call anyone on earth ‘father.’” (Matthew 23:8-11) This passage is often used to “prove” that Catholics are disobeying Christ and that we are un-Biblical. I would answer by pointing out that in this same passage Jesus also tells us to call no one “teacher.” So if we are supposed to follow Jesus’ words here literally, then any time we call someone “teacher” we are likewise disobeying Jesus. Obviously no one believes that Jesus was forbidding the use of the word “teacher,” and so it stands to reason that He was also not forbidding the use of the word “father.

Catholics do not see this command of Jesus as a literal ban on the word “father.” In fact there are examples of Christians in the Bible using the term “father” to describe spiritual leaders.  And even Paul calls himself a “father” to Christians. He writes: “For if you were to have countless teachers in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.” (1Corinthians 4:15) If Jesus commanded us to call no one on earth “Father” then why would such a verse appear in Scripture?

During the course of this exchange between me and my friend, we discussed what it means to be a priest in the context of “fatherhood.” I gave my friend a few points to ponder on this subject:

-Your father (your parent) is the head of the household and represents the primary authority for your family. Your parish church is like a family (we are all brothers and sisters in Christ) and the priest represents the head of that parish family. So we call him “Father” to show that we see him as the head of the family.

-When we are baptized a priest is the ordinary minister of baptism, and so he receives us into the Church when we are “born again” in the waters of baptism. The priest is present beside us as we emerge from the waters just as our biological father is present as we are born from the womb. The Church is often called our “Mother” – she gives birth to us in baptism – and the priest is a “Father” to us because he instructs us and guides us and works with the Church, just as a mother and father would work together to raise a child.

-You might object by saying that GOD is our “Father” in baptism…not the priest. And that is true. A priest is only a pale comparison to God. He can only really be a “step-father” of sorts. But even Jesus had a step-father. He loved and obeyed Joseph and lived under his authority as any son would a father. So a priest can rightly be called a father in the same sense that Joseph was a father to Jesus. We certainly recognize God as our true Father, but just as Jesus accepted Joseph as a father, we accept the earthly “father” that God gives us – the priest.

-We have a custom in the United States of calling people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson our “Founding Fathers.” Likewise in the Church we have a custom of calling the ancient Christian leaders the “Church Fathers.” People like Saint Clement, Saint Ignatius, Saint Irenaeus, and Saint Augustine are all called “Fathers.” This term “Father” came to mean someone who taught authentic doctrine through their writings and the examples that they made of their lives. It became a term of respect for someone who represented the truth of the faith in ancient times. At some point in history the term Father was also used by Christians to refer to any man who received ordination and became a primary teacher of the faithful. Just as the early Church Fathers were great teachers, so too a priest is called to fill such a role.

- No father on earth is perfect. My dad was a pretty great father, but I know he had his flaws. Only God is a perfect Father. He is the model for all fatherhood. As a dad I am supposed to imitate God’s Fatherhood in my own parenting. By calling a priest ‘Father,’ we are pointing to God as a role-model for the priesthood. We are saying that the priest is called to imitate God’s fatherhood just as my dad and your dad and every man who has children is called to imitate God’s fatherhood. So calling a priest Father is meant to remind the priest of his overwhelming responsibility and to remind him to be humble in that calling.

These are just a few examples that came to mind when answering my friend’s question. It seemed to satisfy his curiosity and so I put the conversation to rest and that was that. Then a few weeks later I came across another discussion in which female ordination was being debated amongst Protestants. This piqued my interest. The Catholic concept of priestly “fatherhood” certainly points to a male-only priesthood and I immediately thought of the before-mentioned conversation on that subject. What I’ve posted above is a good place to start on the issue of male-only priesthood, but in the next few weeks I plan on adding more thoughts and attempt to explore this topic from several angles.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quote of the Week

"A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, 'Do it again'; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."
- G.K. Chesterton

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

Our diocese has been without a bishop for some time now, ever since our last bishop stepped down for medical reasons. Of course we pray for a new appointment, and in the meantime there are certain episcopal duties which must be carried out by visiting bishops who have assisted our diocese in matters such as ordinations and the like. But even in the absence of a bishop, our diocese continues to function. Masses are said, Sacraments are offered, and the bills are paid. We are still the Catholic Church in our region, just as we always were. Being without a bishop does not change what the Church is.

Thinking about this situation in our local church made me remember a rather poor argument sometimes made by Protestants against the papacy. They point to periods in history when the See of Rome was vacant, and they claim that these gaps in the papacy demonstrate a break in the line of Apostolic Succession from Peter down through the line of popes. Supposedly, when the papacy sits vacant too long, the Catholic claim to historic succession crumbles. The Catholic Church ceases to be.

Of course this is ludicrous. Whenever the papacy has been vacant (even for a year or more, due to war or some other impediment), the Church certainly mourns this lack of a shepherd, but no one can claim that the next bishop of Rome is somehow invalidated. The office of bishop may be empty, but the office is still a reality that continues to exist even when vacant - it does not disappear when the man occupying it dies or steps down. And the Church he formerly served does not dissolve upon his demise.

In the case of our local bishop: his successor will not be invalidated by the vacancy that we currently have in our diocese. No one could logically claim that the next bishop is a false bishop simply because we have gone for a year or more without one. We are still the same church, the same flock, awaiting our next shepherd. So too, the bishop of Rome is a shepherd to his flock. And when that post is empty, (no matter how long it is empty), the papacy still stands and always has.

+        +        +

Ha ha!! This picture was pretty funny, especially considering what a mess Anglicanism has been over the past several years. I just had to share:

I think I might start sharing a picture every week, like the one above, in the Monday Musings post, just to break the monotony of so many words.

+        +        +

Last week was a lazy week for me. I am committing myself to post more this week! We'll see if I can do it. ;)

Friday, July 13, 2012

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

[Yes, I know...I've been lazy again this week. I haven't posted anything. I blame it on those long hot days of summer.Maybe next week I'll be more productive.]

Social Justice = Socialism? - "Even if Catholics vote for legislation that forces charity (twisted and presented as 'wealth redistribution') upon all in the nation, they are not following the spirit of God’s law. The spirit of God’s law is always of love freely given, never forced."

Rules for Good Catholic Social Teaching - "Last year’s convention of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars was devoted to 'Catholic Social Teaching and Economics'. The proceedings have just been published, and the lead essay (originally a 'paper' read at the Convention), by Notre Dame professor Gerard V. Bradley" [is summarized in this article.]

The Golden Age Cometh - "Increasingly, the Catholic Church is the only option for serious Christians here. Traditional Protestant denominations are shrinking and Evangelical Christians in many cases are attracted to the sacramental system of the Church and its authoritative teachings. We get their best, and they get our worst..."

Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God? - " does so indirectly, by providing an argument against the philosophy called materialism (or 'physicalism'), which is the main intellectual opponent of belief in God in today’s world."

John Paul I, Paul VI Beatifications Possible During Year of Faith - "Pope Benedict’s Year of Faith is slated to begin on Oct. 11 and will serve to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council."

The Many Disguises of Satan - "Beware, Satan has many disguises and he seldom presents as he really is."

Freedom of Worship’s Assault on Freedom of Religion - "Here's the bottom line. If the freedom of worship assault against freedom of religion succeeds, creed-motivated philanthropic and service organizations...and religiously sponsored schools, hospitals, nursing homes, pregnancy counseling centers, etc., will be forced to choose between acting contrary to their faith and closing their doors."

Catholics and Modernity - "The problem, of course, is that the cowboys-Indians/left-right optic is incapable of grappling with the fact that the Catholic Church is about true-and-false, not liberal-and-conservative." [It's George Weigel - of course it's an awesome article!]

Does it really make no difference if your parents are straight or gay? - "...two studies published online this week in the July issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Social Science Research, put a large question mark over that view of the subject."

Does the Church Hate Persons With Same-Sex Attraction? - "Father Check, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., became director of Courage in 2008, succeeding the late Father John Harvey, who directed the ministry since its founding."

Revision of English “Liturgy of the Hours” to begin

Cardinal Burke cautions against over-use of concelebration - "Cardinal Raymond L. Burke believes that the 'excessive' use of concelebration – the practice of priests saying Mass collectively – can result in their unique role in the sacred liturgy being obscured."

Dead Cardinal Meets White Dove - [Now this is just cool!]

By now, most Catholics who are in-the-know have heard the news that Archbishop Fulton Sheen has been declared "venerable" by the Church. The miracle that made this possible can be read about here. And my wife has pointed out to me that the mother of the child who received this miracle has her own blog 9which my wife now enjoys reading). I highly recommend it. Click here to visit her site.

Friday, July 6, 2012

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday... 

The the Fourth of July landing squarely in the middle of the week, and other family activities keeping me busy, I seem to have a much shorter list than usual this week. If you find any interesting headlines, please add them to the comments of this post...

At Fortnight's Close, "We Belong to God, And Only to God" - [Homily given by Archbishop Chaput.]

Beyond Fortnight for Freedom - "...whatever happens in November, the Fortnight for Freedom ought to have demonstrated that the Catholic Church in the United States is in the fight for religious liberty for the long haul..."

Are We Creatures of the State or Created for Freedom? - " the final analysis, protecting our rights and honoring our responsibilities as creations lies in our hands.  No document can magically limit the power of the government unless we insist that the government obey its provisions."

Beware the Habit of Irony - "I believe that the generations about to reach adulthood have become so saturated in irony -- they have become so accustomed to treating their intentions as if they're entirely independent of their actual actions -- that literally anything is permissible."

Why Not Beautiful Churches? - "...struggling people don’t want everyday things like straw baskets to be used at communion, because they use everyday things, every day. At Mass, Jesus deserves beauty and they want to engage him in beauty."

Paint-by-Number Hymns - "We do have a rich treasury of hymn-poems to read, to sing, and to keep close to the heart.  Some of them are almost as old as Christianity itself."

False Religion and the Olympics - "If it was the bones of St Theresa in procession or the heart of St John Vianney, no doubt the media and sadly many within the Church would complain of reviving medieval superstition for the  gawping masses of the uneducated.  But coming out to line the streets to see a tawdry over-sized cigarette lighter being hailed as the beacon of hope is great community building exercise..."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

Prayers going out to the people affected by the wildfires in Colorado, and to the firefighters who risk their lives there and everywhere to save lives and property in harms way. 

+        +        +

I've been thinking a lot lately about the theology of the priesthood. Having recently read some comments from Protestants about women's ordination, I'm planning to write a few posts that tackle the issue of the male-only priesthood and the Church's insistence that this teaching is a part of the Apostolic faith. I may begin with a brief post I wrote a few months ago (but have not yet published) explaining why Catholic use the title "Father" for priests. I'm not sure when the other posts about male priesthood will be finished, but they are in the works

+        +        +

Happy Fourth of July! (a couple of days early)
Don't forget to continue the Fortnight for Freedom prayer which ends on July 4. Read more here.