Baltimore Catechism

Kids in Defense of the Culture

The shock troops against Conservatism, Inc. have arrived. Witness the rise of the groypers. These cowboys sent people ducking beneath barstools the moment they set a spurred boot in the Culture War saloon. It has been amusing, to say the least, but not everyone is laughing. Some have even warned that the pale rider of [...]

Can the Catechism Get It Wrong?

In the wake of the amusements surrounding the Vatican’s Amazon Synod, Pope Francis made an important statement at the conference of the International Association of Penal Law on November 15. Thereat the Holy Father declared: “We should be introducing—we were thinking—in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, ecological sin against the [...]

Love and Dogma

A certain gentleman I know told me that his young son is attending a private Catholic school that is run independently of the diocesan or religious order systems. He and his wife were evidently happy with the school: "It is a much more loving place, no Baltimore Catechism sort of thing." Aside from the fact that [...]

Remembering Abita: Life and Faith in a Southern Town

Because my parents' marriage failed early, I spent my childhood with my great-aunt Mamie Schlumbrecht and her husband, Albert, on a five-acre chicken farm outside Abita Springs, Louisiana. Abita, which is about 35 miles north of New Orleans in St. Tammany Parish, is now a chic town -- the famous home of an excellent microbrewed [...]

Boomer Religion

  For anyone who strongly identifies with traditional Christianity, the October 6-9 series on Fox News's Hannity, with Sean Hannity interviewing Michael Moore, was rich in irony and vaguely distressing. The occasion was Moore's new film, Capitalism: A Love Story.   Two bright, likable, and deeply sincere married men of middle age passionately argued the [...]

Silly Love Songs

"Cree-yate in meeeeee a cleeeen heart, Oh Gahhhhhd!" That's the responsorial my parish sang every Sunday of Lent, until the events of Holy Week moved us to Passion. No "Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!" for us. Too drastic a proposition for our music minister, I guess. Whether it suited the [...]

An Epiphany

In most years, Epiphany marks the real beginning of winter here in northern Illinois. November and December roll along, as temperatures drop and the days grow shorter, but the weather that we normally associate with the Upper Midwest -- days-long snowstorms, blowing winds, bitter temperatures -- make their appearance about the same time as the [...]

Quodlibets: Going Home

Late spring and summer become, with age, times of commemoration. Class reunions, anniversaries of one graduation or another and, for many, a visit to the town where we grew up. Some move from a small town to the city, but I went from Minneapolis — which, together with St. Paul and the swarming suburbs, makes [...]

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