Author: S&P

David’s choice: Falling into the hand of God…

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio – articles – email ) | Apr 30, 2021 Reflecting further on Phil Lawler’s book on the Church’s handling of Covid (see my review of Contagious Faith), I suddenly thought of the predicament King David faced after he took a census of Israel in order to determine the extent of his power. He did this through a significant sin of presumption, so the Lord told the prophe...

Don’t underestimate the importance of last week’s news from Rome …

By Phil Lawler ( bio – articles – email ) | Apr 30, 2021 Don’t underestimate the importance of this week’s news from Rome. The reforms that Pope Francis announced this week may be among the most significant—and best—moves of his pontificate. Early this week, in a a pair of essays, I argued that during his eight years in office, Pope Francis had made little if any headway in eliminating...

China’s ominous new regulations for religious personnel went into effect over the weekend…

ROME – Over the weekend, China’s new regulations for religious personnel went into effect, obliging those who hold any formal role in a religious group, among other things, to pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party and to resist foreign interference. Many Catholic observers have voiced fear the new rules not only violate China’s agreement with the Vatican on bishops’ appointments, but th...

Ways to Grow Through Loneliness

Ways God Grows Us Through Loneliness             “As I sit here in a room filled with hundreds of other Believers, I couldn’t feel more alone. I feel invisible in a sea of faces.  Somehow, I feel very unseen. How did I get here? What did I do to deserve this level of loneliness? How will I ever move forward? My life isn’t going as I plann...

The Song of Redemption

Have you ever stood at the edge of the ocean? Felt the tide lap at your feet? Heard the roar of the water as the waves crash? Maybe you’ve seen the sun slip lower and lower on the horizon, turning from gold to pink to fiery red, fading into purple, and finally the dark blue of night, unable to distinguish water from sky. When I stand and stare at that giant expanse of water, it reminds me that God...

“I’d never been involved in anything as secret as this”: A riveting oral history of the operation to kill Osama bin Laden [language warning]…

Mike Leiter: The three analysts were spread about the likelihood that it was bin Laden: The highest was 70, 75, 80 percent, then there was one who said 60 percent, and then the lowest was 40 percent. Ben Rhodes: That led to this brief debate about who is right, and Obama cut that off with some irritation and just said, “Look, this is inevitably a 50/50 call. We’re just going to have to accept that...

Is love the cause of hatred? The answer may surprise you…..

There is an old saying that the opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference. Indeed, it’s pretty hard to hate or even to have a strong aversion to something or someone we don’t really care about. But when we do love, we care. And the stronger our love, the more intense our concern, anger, or even hatred for what is wrong. But does this mean that love is the cause of hatred? Our instinct is to...

Vatican announces upcoming release of motu proprio ‘Antiquum Ministerium’ on the ministry of catechists…

In his 1990 encyclical Redemptoris missio, Pope John Paul II described catechists as “irreplaceable evangelizers.” VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will issue an apostolic letter next week on the ministry of catechist.  The Holy See press office said May 5 that the papal letter, issued motu proprio (“on his own impulse”), would be presented at a press conference on May 11. It described the apostol...

In Burkina Faso trial, Oxford vaccine proves highly effective at preventing malaria — a disease that kills 400,000 children every year …

A vaccine against malaria has been shown to be highly effective in trials in Africa, holding out the real possibility of slashing the death toll of a disease that kills 400,000 mostly small children every year. The vaccine, developed by scientists at the Jenner Institute of Oxford University, showed up to 77% efficacy in a trial of 450 children in Burkina Faso over 12 months. The hunt for a malari...

What’s the difference between a cardinal priest and a cardinal deacon?

In a consistory of the College of Cardinals yesterday, Pope Francis approved seven new men and women who will be declared saints in the coming weeks.  At the same meeting, eight cardinals formally received a change in rank within the college’s three tiers of seniority.  As of Monday, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Kurt Koch, Cardinal ...

Police called after Argentine priest holds outdoor Mass for First Communion…

ROME – Despite knowing that religious ceremonies that lasted more than 30 minutes and included more than 20 people in his diocese were banned due to Argentina’s second COVID-19 wave, a local priest on Saturday challenged both his bishop and civil authorities by holding a First Communion Mass in an open-air space with close to 100 participants. The incident took place in the Diocese of Lomas de Zam...

Things to know: Cardinals have ranks, abortion debate continues, and the new St. Lazarus…

Hey everybody, Lazarus Devasahayam Pillai was born in 1712, the son of an influential Hindu priest from an influential family, close to the king of the southern Indian kingdom of Travancore. Before he was 30, Devasahayam was an important minister of state in the king’s palace. He was expected to rise even higher, until he met the Dutchman who commanded Travancore’s military. Through him Devasahaya...