Christians Must Confront Scientific Illiteracy

Where science is concerned, responsible Christians are caught in the vice grip of two extremes. On the one hand, there is the defiant and willful ignorance of persons like Congressman Paul Broun (R-Ga.), who famously declared during last fall’s election cycle that “evolution and the big bang theory are lies straight from the pit of hell.” And… Read more »

Why I changed my mind about same-sex marriage

As a matter of public understanding, marriage today can only be grounded on love and commitment, not on procreation. As a Catholic, I still understand marriage in my faith tradition to unite the procreative and affective ideals.

Marriage Equality: How I Changed My Mind

From 2003 to 2009, I wrote a series of historically grounded papers that reached the common conclusion that marriage equality was a radical departure from the western tradition and so, for that reason, should be rejected as a matter of public policy. I have now changed my mind. While there is no question that marriage… Read more »

May supporters of marriage equality receive communion?

I encourage you to read my blogs at the Huffington Post, particularly the latest on whether  a Catholic who upholds marriage equality receive Holy Communion. I’ve included an excerpt below and a link to the entire post for your convenience.

Pope Francis and Museum-Piece Catholicism

Jaroslav Pelikan once called tradition the living faith of the dead and traditionalism the dead faith of the living. I am reminded of this pithy observation as I watch right-wing Catholics react to Pope Francis’ warm-spirited evangelization. The comments on Rorate Caeli (in Latin, “let the heavens fall like the dew”), were frightening in their intensity. Speaking… Read more »

St. Francis, Radical for Love

In today’s world, there is perhaps no more familiar or more comforting saint than the medieval mendicant St. Francis of Assisi. Catholics and non-Catholics alike hold him in reverence and awe. What is it about the actual, historical St. Francis that drives such an enthusiastic response eight centuries after his death? For surely there is… Read more »

White smoke

Pope Francis, 76, appeared on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica just over an hour after white smoke poured from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel to signal he had been chosen to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Black smoke

Tonight we received the first signal from the conclave — black smoke.  We must wait at least another day for a new Pope. It was not unexpected that the first day’s ballot should end inconclusively.  There has not been a time, in recent centuries, where a papal election was resolved on the first ballot. 


There is an old saying, a fat pope follows a thin pope.  What is meant by this saying is that papal styles of governance change.  A pope dedicated to enforcing doctrinal orthodoxy is succeeded by a pope concerned about speaking to the world.  A Vatican leader preoccupied with the great affairs of state is succeeded… Read more »

Anxiety in the College of Cardinals?

When Keith Cardinal O’Brien was forced to resign at the end of February because of sexual misconduct involving the Cardinal’s unwanted advances towards the priests of his Archdiocese, the anxiety level among the cardinals must have risen a notch or two.  Cardinal O’Brien was not an obscure back-bencher.  He had in fact gained some prominence… Read more »