You will find conversations and teachings from a host of teachers, authors, religious and others who have gathered to discuss everything from Church History, Apologetics, Conversion Stories and answers for the Atheist, the Darwinist and everyone else.
The figure of Ephrem is still absolutely timely for the life of the various Christian Churches. We discover him in the first place as a theologian who reflects poetically, on the basis of Holy Scripture, on the mystery of man’s redemption brought about by Christ, the Word of God incarnate. His is a theological reflection expressed in images and symbols taken from nature, daily life and the Bible. Ephrem gives his poetry and liturgical hymns a didactic and catechetical character: they are theological hymns yet at the same time suitable for recitation or liturgical song. On the occasion of liturgical feasts, Ephrem made use of these hymns to spread Church doctrine. Time has proven them to be an extremely effective catechetical instrument for the Christian community.
Ephrem’s reflection on the theme of God the Creator is important: nothing in creation is isolated and the world, next to Sacred Scripture, is a Bible of God. By using his freedom wrongly, man upsets the cosmic order. The role of women was important to Ephrem. The way he spoke of them was always inspired with sensitivity and respect: the dwelling place of Jesus in Mary’s womb greatly increased women’s dignity. Ephrem held that just as there is no Redemption without Jesus, there is no Incarnation without Mary. The divine and human dimensions of the mystery of our redemption can already be found in Ephrem’s texts; poetically and with fundamentally scriptural images, he anticipated the theological background and in some way the very language of the great Christological definitions of the fifth-century Councils.
Ephrem, honoured by Christian tradition with the title “Harp of the Holy Spirit”, remained a deacon of the Church throughout his life. It was a crucial and emblematic decision: he was a deacon, a servant, in his liturgical ministry, and more radically, in his love for Christ, whose praises he sang in an unparalleled way, and also in his love for his brethren, whom he introduced with rare skill to the knowledge of divine Revelation.
For more visit Vatican.va
Dr. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is one of the United States’ leading authorities on the papacy and the Church.
His books include: The Encyclopedia of Catholic History; The Encyclopedia of Saints; Papal Wisdom; All Shall Be Well; Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire; and The Angelic Doctor: The Life and World of St. Thomas Aquinas; The Pope Encyclopedia; We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, the first Catholic biography of the Holy Father in the English language; the Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History; Pope Francis. His also the editor of OSV’s “The Catholic Answer” magazine.
Have you ever heard of “The Catholic Truth Society”? Well thanks to Ignatius Press, you are about to. In this edition of “Inside the Pages”, I talk with Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press and whois one of the leading Catholic apologists in the country (he’s also a really nice guy as well). Ignatius Press is bringing the booklets, leaflets and tracks from the Society to America, and they’re fantastic. The authors found on these booklets are enough to crow about, but the titles are so good…wow…beyond excellent. You don’t want to miss them. Take a look HERE! In this episode we talk the new evangelization, saints, history, apologetics…you name it.
What a fascinating subject: The Natural Law! It’s made utterly exciting when talking with Prof. J. Budziszewski. He is such a great thinker, and, what’s even better, he helps us to become better thinkers as well. In “What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide“, Prof. Budziszewski makes the argument for the existence of absolute values of right and wrong and that are embedded in the conscience of every human being. And he uses the Ten Commandments as a spring board for various aspects of the discussion. His book is highly readable and just as HIGHLY recommended! I can’t wait for his next book.
Find out more here
Fr. Robert Barron’s “Catholicism: a journey to the heart of the faith” is wonderful. A beautiful exploration of the Roman Catholic faith and it’s gift to the world and to culture.
What is the Catholicism? A 2,000 living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? In Catholicism Father Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, seeking to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith.
Starting from the essential foundation of Jesus Christ’s incarnation, life, and teaching, Father Barron moves through the defining elements of Catholicism – from sacraments, worship, and prayer, to Mary, the Apostles, and Saints, to grace, salvation, heaven, and hell – using his distinct and dynamic grasp of art, literature, architecture, personal stories, Scripture, theology, philosophy, and history to present the Church to the world.
Paired with his documentary film series of the same title, Catholicism is an intimate journey, capturing “The Catholic Thing” in all its depth and beauty. Eclectic, unique, and inspiring, Father Barron brings the faith to life for a new generation, in a style that is both faithful to timeless truths, while simultaneously speaking in the language of contemporary life.
Find out more about the book Fr. Barron’s website : wordonfire.org
Michael Novak is a shining witness of what occurs in the soul when the head makes the journey to the heart. What a gift he is to all of us and what a profound sage of wisdom…when he so-gently speaks, I listen….we all should! In “Living the Call: An Introduction to the Lay Vocation“, Michael, along with his co-author William E. Simon, Jr, establishes, in Part 1, of the book, the need for the lay vocation in the Church today. They chronicle that need with a national and global perspective. They also present how “living the call” looks in the lives of nine committed lay faithful working in parish life today.
Part 2 is worth it’s weight in gold! It outlines the absolute necessity of growth in the interior life of the laity. How essential it is to deepen the spiritual life . They give voice to the need to appreciate the desert experiences of our lives as an opportunities for greater unity with Christ; such periods provide the fonts of grace which nurtures the work in ministry. For anyone who severs in ministry of any kind, either as an employee or as a volunteer, if you pass this indispensable book by, you do so at your own peril!
“This is the book that countless Catholic laypeople have been waiting for as they ponder how to respond to Vatican II’s challenge to take more active roles in the life of the Church and to bring Christian principles to life in the secular world. It’s a gem of a book that speaks to laypeople in all walks of life and at all stages of their earthly journeys.”
Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University
Michael Novak’s website can be found here
You can find “Living the Call” here
It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Robert Spitzer! With his latest book , “Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues” he has brought solid philosophy that is easy to read and understand. Not just for those who are interested in a prolife discussion, the “Ten Universal Principles” is perfect for anyone who wishes to grow in the use of faith and reason. Fr. Spitzer addresses many questions including: How do we make sense of life? How should we treat others? How should we reasonably be expected to be treated by others? When human life is at stake, are there reasonable principles we can rely on to guide our actions? How should our laws be framed to protect human life? What kind of society should be built?
The Four Levels of Happiness described in the last section is worth it’s weight in gold.
The Four Levels of Happiness®
Happiness is the only goal that people pursue for its own sake, which makes it an ideal lens for explaining why people and organizations behave as they do. The Four Levels of Happiness model shows leaders how to elevate the powerful drive for happiness and direct it toward shared goals, strong ethics, and great performance. Click here for a full description of the Four Levels.
You find the book here
“The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet” is a must have for anyone who ventures on the internet. Brandon Vogt offers us a fascinating exploration of the many aspects of New Media; opening our eyes to the exciting opportunities and many of the dangers which occupy those who travel the “digital sea”.
”The Church and New Media is the best kind of reading: timely, vivid and rich in valuable information. For anyone seeking to understand and use today’s new technologies in advancing the Catholic faith, this book is an unsurpassed resource.”
Archbishop Charles Chaput,Archbishop of Philadelphia
Having the chance to sit down with the one and only Al Kresta and ask him questions is one of my ”moments of grace”. Al is extraordinary, and combined with the talent of Nick Thomm, special moments happen. We hear that every day on “Kresta in the Afternoon”. But now Al and Nick reveal the hidden gems of grace contained in the lives of some ordinary people, who have gone on to do extraordinary things because of “moments of grace”. More than just individual stories (which on their own are wonderful), but include AL Kresta’s guidance and commentary, they become very special testimonies to guide and inspire us all.
Al and Nick’s book can be found at www.servantbooks.org
and don’t miss “Kresta in the Afternoon”
It’s great to be joined once again by Mark Brumley! This time we discuss YOUCAT, an engaging a catechism designed for a youthful audience. I say “youthful” because it appeals to seekers in all age groups. Bright in design, filled with questions and answers, and thoughtful in its presentation of doctrine, YOUCAT, on every page, brings the faith alive. A fantastic resource for every home…a perfect gift for confirmation kids and adults alike. Especially in the light of the challenges facing the Catholic faith in today’s world, we talk with Mark the need for this particular resource.
You can find out more here
What Pope Benedict XVI has to say about the YOUCAT project:
“Study this Catechism with passion and perseverance. Make a sacrifice of your time for it! Study it in the quiet of your room; read it with a friend; form study groups and networks; share with each other on the Internet. By all means continue to talk with each other about your faith.”
Leave it to the wonderfully thoughtful Mike Aquilina to bring us the lives of just some of those glorious maternal nurturers we call “the Mothers of the Church”. From the well known Sts. Perpetua and Felicity and St. Monica to lesser known “mothers” like Proba the Poet and St. Olympias, Mike, along with his co-author Christopher Bailey, share their inspiring stories. Mike Aquilina’s sincere love for these women and the witness they have provided us in our present age helps us to appreciate, once again, what God can do with ordinary people who are open to His extraordinary grace.
You can find Mike’s book here
The Mothers of the Church include:
Holy Women of the New Testament
–St. Perpetua and St. Felicity
–St. Agnes of Rome
–Proba the Widow
–Egeria the Tourist
The story of a modern day St. Augustine. Fr. Donald Calloway would blush at the comparison, but the power found in his story of conversion and transformation is life changing for many who hear or read about it. And add in the influence of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary and watch out, you to may be drawn deeper into the heart of Christ and His Divine Mercy. A great read and a wonderful interview, with Fr. Calloway there is “No Turning Back”!
Find Fr. Donald Calloway’s book or for more information go to www.fathercalloway.com
I have read many fine Catholic Apologetic books over the years, but I have to say “How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice: Civil Responses to Catholic Hot Button Issues” is the BEST! Dr. Austen Ivereigh, along with the Our Sunday Visitor Editor in Chief John Norton, have compiled the “must have” text for any and all Catholics who desire to respond to the call for the New Evangelization. More than answers to just about any issue that could come forward in a discussion about the Catholic Church and the faith we profess, their work encourages us to respond with reason based on the fundamentals of Catholic Social Teaching and decorum befitting virtue driven discourse. Once again, this is a MUST HAVE. Check out Austen’s article in the OSV weekly entitled “How to Defend the Faith“ for just a taste of what can be found in the book.
You can find the book here
From the book description (and it’s 100% accurate):
It is about winning friends, not arguments. It is about shedding light, not heat. It’s about reframing the argument so hearts can be opened and minds can be inspired.
How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice is a new sort of apologetics. It is for those moments when you are thrust into the spotlight as the token Catholic whether the spotlight is simply at the office water cooler or whether it is front and center at the in-laws Thanksgiving celebration. How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice gives Catholics a fresh way of explaining the Church’s teaching on contentious issues humanly, compellingly, and succinctly.
But this book does not pretend to suggest it is as simple as memorizing a speech. Every conversation is different. Every day’s news cycle will bring new arguments and new challenges. Instead, it is a book about what the issues really are and where the criticisms are coming from so you can understand and communicate effectively.
It is the fruit of a group of speakers and experts brought together by a single idea: to make sure that Catholics and the Church were represented properly in the media when Pope Benedict came to visit the UK in 2010. Their original and thoughtful approach helped make that visit a triumph and now it can be expanded for a much broader use.
Whether read in groups or alone, studied in schools or parishes, How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice offers the same thorough briefings on hot topics and the same top tips for effective communication which helped make the project such a success.
Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J. has such an incredible depth of knowledge and experience, that it is gift to discuss any topic with him, but it is especially wonderful to reflect with him on “the language of the liturgy.” In this episode we discuss 2 books published by Ignatius Press, “Benedict XVI’s Reform” by Msgr. Nicola Bux and “The Voice of the Church at Prayer” by Fr. Uwe Michael Lang. We discuss the primacy of place the Sacred Liturgy holds in our lives and the importance of offering it worthily. Fr. Fessio helps us to understand the history of the reform, especially in its expression through our language. We also discuss the importance of elevating our understanding and action as opposed to “dumbing it down”. We also look at the important role the use of Latin plays in enhancing the sense of the sacred in our sacramental expression. Msgr. Bux’s book does an incredible job of closely examining the nature of liturgical reform nurtured by Pope Benedict XVI, while Fr. Lang’s book offers a fascinating history of the language used in our celebrations. Not just for scholars, these works offer invaluable insight into the heart of the liturgy we participate in.
You can find it at ignatius.com
Nicola Bux is a priest of the Archdiocese of Bari and a professor of eastern liturgy and sacramental theology. He has studied and taught in Jerusalem and in Rome. He is a consultor to the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for the Causes of Saints and consultant of the international Catholic theological journal Communio. He was recently named a consultor to the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.
It also can be found here
Uwe Michael Lang, a native of Germany, is a priest of the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in London. At present, he is a staff member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and teaches at the Pontifical Institute for Christian Archeology and at the Master’s program in “Architecture, Sacred Art and Liturgy” at the UniversitÀ Europea di Roma. In September 2008, he was appointed a Consultor to the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. His book Turning Towards the Lord (2nd edition, Ignatius, 2009), with a preface by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, has been published in several languages. Most recently, he has edited and contributed to the volume The Genius of the Roman Rite: Historical, Theological and Pastoral Perspectives on Catholic Liturgy (Hillenbrand Books, 2010).
What a great read and so very timely! Author Nigel Cliff’s fantastic “The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama” is now available in QP. Nigel chronicles the clash of the Islamic East and the Christian West in a way I that I had not experienced before. Tracing the roots of the Islamic experience and it’s occupation of the Iberian Peninsula helps with the needed background for this story. Then he takes us on the thrilling adventures of the 28 year Portuguese explorer who set out for the elusive sea-based trade route to the east which would not only allow Christendom to penetrate into the heart of India, but would allow a Crusade to halt the economic grip of the East from crushing the West in Europe. A contemporary of Christopher Columbus, it seems as though the tale and accomplishments of Vasco da Gama are mostly overshadowed today…but no longer thanks to the work of Nigel Cliff. A terrific non-fiction historical read that illuminates the events of today.
You can find the book here
“A useful addition to a continuing lively discussion of Christianity and Islam, situated both in respect of religions and culture, as well as empires and trade.” (Kirkus )
“The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction about Catholicism” by Dr. Christopher Kaczor is a must have resource for Catholics!
The misconceptions about our faith are so prevalent in today’s society that is almost guaranteed that you will encounter at least one of these myths in daily conversations with friends, co-workers, and sadly to say, family members. To have the peace of mind, in order to answer the objection, is invaluable, especially when we are called to the New Evangelization. But even more than that, Dr. Kaczor helps us to give a reason for our hope…the presence of Jesus Christ and His saving grace and mercy found in our Roman Catholic faith.
You can find the book here
The Seven Myths:
The Church Opposes Science: The Myth of Catholic Irrationality
The Church Opposes Freedom and Happiness: The Myth of Catholic Indifference to Earthly Welfare
The Church Hates Women: The Myth of Catholic Misogyny
Indifferent to Love, the Church Banned Contraception: The Myth of Opposition between Love and Procreation
The Church Hates Gays: The Myth of Catholic “Homophobia”
The Church Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Because of Bigotry: The Myth That There Is No Rational Basis for Limiting Marriage to One Man and One Woman
Priestly Celibacy Caused the Crisis of Sexual Abuse of Minors: The Myth of Priestly Pedophilia
“All of this book is full of clarity and charity, but two chapters are masterpieces, each worth ten times the price of the whole book. The chapter on contraception is the most simple, commonsensical, winsome and persuasive I have ever seen. It could have been written only by a very good and wise husband and father. The chapter on same-sex marriage has the clearest and the completest logic I have ever read on the subject.” –Peter Kreeft, Boston College
I could have listened to Dr. James Hitchcock all day, he is absolutely fascinating. But the next best thing is to read his tremendous work, “The History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium”. The content is the best, the layout makes it so very accessible, and the storytelling is engaging…a must have and a perfect gift for family and friends! In our discussion, we discuss the influence of the papacy, Constantine, the 13th and 15th century, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, and so much more. Not enough time, but so much fun. Don’t miss! One of my favorites of 2012!
You can find the book here
“For years, James Hitchcock has been our premier historian – a dissident from conventional wisdom, well-armed and solid. Here he pioneers a new method for presenting a long sweep of history: an orderly and altogether fascinating series of vignettes – of arguments, movements, distinctive persons, and concrete events. There is just enough narrative in these sequences to carry the reader along, but without involving her in excessive interpretation. This book provides both a great resource for easy reference, and a stimulating definition of a Christian humanism that holds in tension the transcendent and the down to earth, the holy and the sinful. This is a tension which Hitchcock maintains throughout.”
- Michael Novak
He just gets better and better. Of course, I’m talking about Mike Aquilina and his joy and enthusiasm for the Catholic Church abounds in “Yours is the Church: How Catholicism Shapes Our World“. Mike is so good at getting to the nuggets contained in history and reminding us all of the significant contributions made by the Church which have changed our world for the better. Whether it is the moral leadership it has offered which has been the rudder steadying our course, or the beauty of the arts which fashion it’s sails, the barque of the Church sails the seas of time on a course to the New Jerusalem. Putting it all into a wonderful historic perspective, Mike Aquilina offers us a “must have” book that should be in every Catholic home and given to anyone joining this beautiful Church of ours. Thanks Mike!
Your can find the book here
“Christianity has radically changed the world for the better. In a book that’s both thoughtful and entertaining . Mike Aquilina shows how the Gospel really has been the good news in the most practical ways possible. Even the atheist ought to thank…whoever he thanks….for the rise of Christianity.” — David Mills, executive editor of First Things
At stunning moment in the recent history of the Catholic Church, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI as Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church effective February 28, we had the opportunity to George Weigel before his departure for Rome to be, once again, a witness to history. In “Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church” he writes of this particular moment in the life of the Catholic Church. Our conversation centers on the Papacy and its future. I cannot encourage listeners more highly to pick up a copy of this book; it is extraordinarily compelling and filled with hopeful certainty concerning the future course of this great “barque of Peter”. Don’t miss!!!
You can find the book here
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“This sparkling read puts all the old Church-labels—liberal vs. conservative, progressive vs. traditionalist, pre- vs. post-Vatican II—in the shredder. Now there is only one valid adjective for all of us: evangelical! Simply put, this means we take our baptismal promises with the utmost seriousness. Like the Samaritan woman, we’ve met a man—Jesus—who has changed our lives.”
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
“George Weigel has been the leading diarist of authentic Catholic renewal—its progress, detours, personalities, and hopes—for 30 years. In Evangelical Catholicism he turns his extraordinary skills to the needs of the Church in the coming decades, calling us back to the missionary vocation we received at baptism and offering us a road map to faithful, vigorous Church reform. Rich in its vision, engaging in style, on target in its counsel and invaluable for anyone trying to understand the Church and her challenges in the 21st Century, this book should not be missed.”
Mary Ann Glendon, author of The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians have Imagined the World, from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt
“This remarkable book offers nothing less than a map and compass for men and women determined to take up the challenge of living the Catholic faith in its fullness under 21st-century conditions. With its bold call for ‘deep reform’ in every single corner of the Church, Evangelical Catholicism is sure to provoke lively discussion. The book’s proposals for true renewal are presented with the clarity and verve that have made George Weigel a peerless advocate of the courage to be Catholic.”
I’ve had the blessing of reading many wonderful books, but this one in particular, has become a fast favorite! Dr. Taylor Marshall has penned one of those works that you want to take the time to completely absorb, but also want to read quickly because it such a great story. What a joy. Filled with unexpected connections, rich in fascinating details, and abundant with “I-knew-that-but-I-didn’t-know-I-knew-that” moments, Dr. Marshall’s gifted teaching and storytelling engages the mind and the heart of his reader. He pours fuel on the fire of our ongoing conversion. This is a great gift to give to yourself and to someone you know who desires a fuller appreciation of our Roman Catholic faith. A must have for your Catholic library. (P.S. Scripture devotees and Patristic fans are going to LOVE this book)
You can find the book here
Also check out Dr. Marshall’s “Canterbury Tales” website
From the book description:
Read this book if you have ever wondered why the Catholic Church specifically claims to be Roman? It would seem that the Church of Jesus Christ would be centered in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jews, since Christ died and rose again in Jerusalem. Catholic theologian Taylor Marshall, Ph.D. provides a layman’s account of how Christ chose the Rome as an instrument of redemption for the nations. Beginning with the Old Testament prophets, Dr. Marshall explains how the Messiah would come and assume reign over the nations through the Roman Empire. This book provides an exciting and popular account establishing Rome as ‘the Eternal City’ of Christ the King.
What a delight to talk with Tom Peterson! With a joyful enthusiasm fueled by his rich prayer life, Tom has become a compelling leader in the New Evangelization, especially in the United States. With his book ,”Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life” , he expands his list of significant contributions to that effort which have encouraged countless souls to embrace the gift of the Catholic faith. Not only does he share his own powerful witness, but he offers practical catechesis to foster on-going conversion in the heart of the seeking soul and encouragement to all to share the Good News. Excellent!
You can find the book here
“We are in the midst of a New Evangelization; and I believe this book is a signal moment in its success. It is also a sign that will lead many folks back home to the family of God, which is Catholic Church.”
—Dr. Scott W. Hahn, author of The Lamb’s Supper and Signs of Life
“Catholics Come Home is a powerful sacramental, a means of grace. It is a willing, waiting taxi to take us home, to our home away from Home, the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.”
—Dr. Peter Kreeft, author of Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Thomas Craughwell in, ”Popes Who Resigned: Benedict Xvi and 13 Other Popes Who Retired (or Were Deposed)“, has once again proven why his writing is so fascinating and enjoyable. He never shys away from the uncomfortable fact. He presents the information with the peace and good humor which comes from the hindsight afforded by history and a knowledge of a God who eventually brings all things into in order despite his earthly children’s best efforts to mess things up. We can learn much from a particular moment or action of human behavior in the curse of human history, and with Thomas Craughwell’s keen eye not much is missed. In this particular case, we can rest assured that the Barque of St. Peter sails the seas of human history helmed by the Holy Spirit more than by the hands of man, otherwise it would of crashed on the seashore of time long ago.
The stories contained here are short and to the point, each representing a fascinating period in Church history. I appreciated his insights on the unique circumstances and personalities of Bl. John Paul Ii and Pope Benedict XVI, and why each chose the course they took in regards to their decisions to either remain or leave their role as Supreme Pontiff.
I am a big fan of Thomas Craughwell’s work…I wasn’t disappointed.
You can obtain the book here
From the book description:
On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI shocked Catholics and the world by announcing that he would resign from the papacy. It was the first papal resignation in 600 years, and it has caused Catholics the world over to scramble for answers. Now, in Popes Who Resigned, Thomas J. Craughwell answers those burning questions, including:
- Why did Benedict XVI resign… and why didn’t John Paul II?
- What does the Catholic Church teach about papal resignation?
- Who were the other popes that resigned, and why?
- And much more.
In these tumultuous times, Craughwell points even now to the rock that is the Catholic Church, digging into Canon law and Church history for answers. Popes Who Resigned is a must read for Catholics and non-Catholics alike who are trying to make sense of Benedict XVI’s resignation and what it means for the papacy, the Church, and the world.
The New Evangelization, during this Year of Faith, has experienced an incredible moment with the Papal Conclave convened to elect the 265th successor to St. Peter! We had a chance to talk with someone on the ground covering this historic moment first hand…Gregory Erlandson. As Publisher and President of the Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Greg brings incredible insight on what is occurring at this historic moment having spent years in Rome reporting on the activities of our universal Church. In our conversation, we discuss the unprecedented numbers of media outlets from around the world covering the event and what that might mean for the New Evangelization. Is there an “American Moment” occurring at this conclave as some suggest, and if so, what could this unexpected influence have on the Papal Election and the Church around the world? Gregory Erlandson, besides being one of the wisest (as well as nicest) men I know, is truly a balanced seeker of truth and a master communicator of the beauty offered by our Catholic faith…no hype here, but always with an encouraging call to deeper prayer and trust.
From Greg’s blog posting at the OSV Blog:
So, what are the chances that we will have an American pope? If the forecasts are correct (a big if), and if the received wisdom is at all wise, the American options become more likely if the first ballots do not signal a clear front-runner – Cardinals Angelo Scola, Odilo Scherer and Marc Ouellet perhaps – capable of winning two-thirds of the votes.
What dramas play out in the Sistine Chapel and in the conversations taking place back in the cardinals’ “hotel” we may not find out for months, but Vatican observers, for perhaps the first time ever, are not discounting the Americans, and that in itself is a big deal.
So good to talk once again with Dr. Taylor Marshall. This time he offers us his insights on the newly elected Pope Francis. We discuss the surprise of his selection and some of the anxiety some people are having about this “unknown” cardinal from Argentina…will he continue the legacy of Bl. John Paul and Pope Benedict or will he journey on another path? Dr. Marshall explores several issues that conservatives, traditionalists, as will as liberals and progressives, may have with our Holy Father; he expresses the importance of trusting the Holy Spirit and allowing the Father in Heaven to reveal His plan for us…receive the peace of Christ Jesus. Dr. Marshall explores the love Pope Francis has for the Blessed Mother and why it was significant that one of the Holy Father’s first stops was to the crypt of St. Pius V the day after his election. He then shares with us the devotion to Mary, Untier of Knots, promulgated by Pope Francis while he served as a cardinal. Then Dr. Marshall talks about what can be learned by the “New Evangelization” by looking at the “Old Evangelization”. Great insight once again by the good doctor, Taylor Marshall.
You can find the book here
Be sure to visit Dr. Marshall’s excellent Catholic Blog “Canterbury Tales”
“Married Priests? 30 Crucial Questions about Celibacy” is the go to book when seeking answers to just about everything related to the Church’s teaching and exprience in regards to priestly celibacy. With Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., editor and founder of Ignatius Press the publisher of this work, we discuss several of those questions. Why do Catholic priests not marry? How can celibacy possibly be so important to the Church, if Jesus did not even require it of his apostles? How does this discipline play into the discernment for this particular vocation? We also discuss the vocation of Marriage, and the state of Church in America from Fr. Fessio’s prespective. It is always a joy to have the opportunity to talk with Fr. Fessio.
You can find the book here
From the book description:
In recent years the arguments in favor of openness to married priests seem to be multiplying. Some object that celibacy is not a dogma but only a discipline that originated in the Middle Ages; that it is contrary to nature and hence harmful for a man’s psycho-physical equilibrium and the maturation of the human personality. And then, if priests could marry, there would be an increase in vocations.
In this book, seventeen various experts make contributions, responding to these and other burning objections, allowing the reader to discover the value that celibacy has today in the lives of thousands of priests and seminarians.
Among the key topics this book discusses are: History of Priestly Celibacy, What Theology Says on the Celibacy, Emotions and Sexuality, Discerning and Fostering a Vocation, Celibacy in the Life of a Priest, Celibacy and Inculturation, Papal teachings on Celibacy from Pius XI to Benedict XVI.
“Americanization ” is a very important concept to comprehend when trying to understand the state of the Roman Catholic Church in America. In “American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America” offers that many of the benefits of cultural assimilation exprienced by Catholic immigrants to the U.S., around the turn of the last century, were good. However, the secular culture has threatened the “Catholic identity” of millions of faithful and of their institutions, such as schools, universities, and hospitals.
Rich in in history, which points potentially to the future, Russell Shaw helps us to see the disturbing aspects of the Church in America today, while offering hopeful outcomes for the future. A very important book, indeed!
You can find the book here
“Russell Shaw is one of the best informed and most articulate observers of the American Catholic experience; a writer of elegant clarity, fairness and impeccable research. If you want to understand the Church in the United States and the challenges she now faces, American Church should be on the short list of books you need to read.”
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
“The new bull-in-the-china-shop of U.S. Catholic history, Russell Shaw upends pedestals, reimagines story-lines, and invites all of us to think again about the roots of the severe challenges — and great opportunities — facing the Church in the United States in the first decades of the third millennium.” –-George Weigel, author of Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church
Mary Eberstadt’s “The Loser Letters” is not your typical apologetic book, and that’s it’s beauty. Intelligent, funny, and so very thoughtful…that’s a great combination. This book is a pro-religious satire of atheism, told from the point of view of a worldly and troubled twenty-something girl. Fans of C. S. Lewis will love this modern day Christian approach to the new atheist. Mary Eberstadt is fantastic…we can definitely look forward to more from her.
Chilling and very sobering is the story communicated in “The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution” written by veteran Vatican reporter John L. Allen, Jr. It is a wake up call for Christians in the West, who for the most part enjoy a relatively safe existence compared to our brothers and sisters in the faith who live in an incredibly dangerous world. John Allen chronicles with exhaustive statistics, from numerous countries, the scope of “martyrdom” and persecution that exists for the 21st century Christian. Imprisoned, harassed, attacked, and killed because of their faithful expression of Christianity, Christians around the world are targets. He exposes many of the myths surrounding the issue such as “It’s all about Islam”, “No one saw it coming”, “It’s only persecution if the motives are religious” and more. Why are we not hearing about this in the secular media, but more importantly, why are we not hearing about this in our own churches? The end to the deafening silence must come now. An important work not to be missed.
You can find the book here
From the book description:
From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians in the early 21st century are the world’s most persecuted religious group. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of violations of religious freedom in the world today are directed against Christians. In effect, our era is witnessing the rise of a new generation of martyrs. Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world’s 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority– whether it’s Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. In Europe and North America, Christians face political and legal challenges to religious freedom. Allen exposes the deadly threats and offers investigative insight into what is and can be done to stop these atrocities.
IP#27 Gregory Erlandson – Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal Part 1 on Insides the Pages
Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal is an important contribution to the understanding and healing of the great heartache that has inflicted the Church over the last 30 years. Talking with Gregory Erlandson was a great opportunity to realize the nuisances of what got us here, but also the response and hope that leads us to the future.
The wonderful David Scott, put it best:
This is Catholic journalism at its best. Erlandson and Bunson are two of most knowledgeable people in the world on the Church and this book shows it. Good reporting, sharply written, smart analysis, not afraid of the hard questions–even if the answers don’t always put the Church in the best light. This book should be in every mainstream newsroom in the country. It offers a definitive historical overview of the abuse scandal and Pope Benedict’s role, first as head of the Vatican’s doctrine office and now as Pope. This should be an eye-opener for those who think Benedict has been negligent or worse. The facts just don’t support the conclusions that the mainstream media has been insisting upon. In addition to good reporting, this book provides excellent documentation–full texts of every reference Benedict has made on the crisis, including his addresses to the U.S. bishops and his historic letter to the people of Ireland. A good read and an essential reference.
Find more this book at www.osv.com
IP#28 Gregory Erlandson – Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal Part 2 on Insides the Pages
Part 2 of the discussion with Gregory Erlandson. Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal is an important contribution to the understanding and healing of the great heartache that has inflicted the Church over the last 30 years. Talking with Gregory Erlandson was a great opportunity to realize the nuisances of what got us here, but also the response and hope that leads us to the future.
A shining example of how reason and science can lead to faith. Dr. Kevin Vost is a cradle Catholic, who fell into aethism at the age of 17. He would stay there for over 2 decades, until gradually through reasoned enlightenment (showered with God’s grace) the fallacy in aethistic philosophy was revealed and the glory of real Truth became known. Wonderful read…the journey really can be made from the head to the heart, just ask Dr. Kevin Vost!
“Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation” is an outstanding introduction to the persecution of Catholics began in 16th century England. Lasting over 250 years, the effects can still be felt in some ways even in today’s world. But through the witness of great saints such as St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher to Blessed John Henry Newman, Catholics in England, as well as throughout the rest of the world, have been encouraged and inspired to continue standing for the truths found in the Catholic Church, which ultimately reflect the great Truth, who is Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Stephanie Mann does a beautiful job of presenting this period and many of those heroic lives in her work.
To learn more visit Stephanie Mann’s website
John’s website is www.scripturecatholic.com
From the book description:
In The Biblical Basis for Purgatory, John offers the definitive scriptural explanation of this distinctively Catholic doctrine. Building on the teachings of Christ and St. Paul, he shows how the existence of a place of temporal punishment after death is not only a logical extension of what we know about the reality of sin and God’s justice, but is also a supreme expression of God’s love and mercy. Although Purgatory is a place of mercy, its pains are real, and they are severe. This book does more than defend and explain Purgatory it provides a solid plan, drawn from the Church s perennial wisdom for conquering our sins by God s grace, while still on earth.
Paul Thigpen is wonderful…he answers our questions about our faith not only from the head but also from the heart! More than just a proof text book, “Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions” tackles a why range of issues and questions.
Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions provides solid answers to hundreds of common questions asked by people just like you questions both big and small regarding doctrine, history, morality, the pope, saints, the sacraments, the Mass, prayer, Scripture, and much more.
Be more confident in your faith. Allow the why to enhance the what you do as a Catholic. Make better decisions. Be more prepared to pass on your faith to others. Feed your curiosity. Author, theology professor, and Catholic apologist Paul Thigpen ensures the answers are not only rock-solid, but also pastoral in their approach and written in everyday, relevant language.
Mark Brumley is one of the masters of today’s Catholic apologetics, so if he recommends a book to help us convey the faith to others, we should take note! “The Handbook of Catholic Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith” is a fantastic resource for any and all who wish to communicate the faith more clearly. It’s also for those who desire to deepen and grow in their own understanding of Catholic faith. Mark does a great job in this interview talking about some of those teachings, as well as, addressing today’s current issues.
“The Mass: The Glory, The Mystery, The Tradition” is absolutely fantastic! This is the book so many of us have been waiting for and leave it to Mike Aquilina, along with co-author, his eminence, Cardinal Donald Wuerl to bring it to us. Every Catholic household should have a copy of this richly satisfying primer to the great prayer of the Church…The Holy Mass! Beautiful pictures, historical background, the essential how, what, where, why of every aspect of the mass, this work is neither too “light” nor too “heavy”, but just right to deeply educate us all on the celebration, while encouraging us all to dive deeper into it’s mysteries. And with changes coming to the Mass in late 2011, now is the time to pick this up! No excuses…this is a must!
Also check out more by Mike Aquilina on his Discerning Hearts page
Fr. Dwight Longenecker is Catholic priest and writer who has experienced an interesting journey of faith. Born into a Evanglical Christian family in Pennsylvania, graduate from fundamentalist Bob Jones University in Florida, and he would later become an Anglican priest serving as a curate, a chaplain at Cambridge, and a country parson. Then, in 1995, he and his wife and family were received into the Roman Catholic Church. He spent the next ten years working as a freelance Catholic writer, contributing to over twenty-five magazines, papers and journals in Britain, Ireland and the USA.
Fr. Longenecker has expanded and revised his book “More Christianity: where he invites the readers to move from “Mere Christianity” to “More Christianity” in the Roman Catholic faith. Filled with every major aspect of our Catholic faith, Fr. Longenecker book serves, not only as resource to help Evangelicals to understand the Catholic faith, but also is excellent for Catholics who wish to deepen their own knowledge of the faith we profess.
Visit Fr. Longenecker’s blog “Standing on My Head” to learn more about this and other books, as well as so much more
Dr. Scott Hahn has led so many into the heart of the Church through his great sharing of Holy Scripture. With “Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots” he takes us into the various “chambers of our home”, the Roman Catholic Church. He helps to understand the devotions, prayers, customs and many other spiritual practices which enrich our faith life. The book includes chapters including: the Sign of the Cross, the Mass, the Sacraments, praying with the saints, guardian angels, sacred images and relics, the celebration of Easter, Christmas, and other holidays, daily prayers, and much more. This work has helped me so much, and it’s the gift I give to anyone I know coming into full communion with Church. It’s fantastic!!!!
Be sure to visit Dr. Hahn’s website for the St. Paul Center of Biblical Theology at www.salvationhistory.com
Check out the book here
“Introduction to Christianity” by Cardinal Joseph Ratizinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is a modern day classic! Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., founder of Ignatius Press and student of Pope Benedict, joins us to break open the gift of insight and wisdom contained in this inspirational work of our Holy Father. As the Pope Benedict states in the preface in the 2nd edition of the book, that approach, taken in the book, puts the question of God and the question about Christ in the very center, which leads to a “narrative Christology” and demonstrates that the place for faith is in the Church. It is an excellent edition to all Christian libraries and a must for anyone seeking a richer appreciation of the teachings of faith. Pope Benedict uses the Old and New Testament, the teachings of the Fathers of the Church and generations of Saints, as well as the beauty of the Church’s Tradition to ponder the reality of Christ. It’s beautiful!
For more information on this work as well as all the books by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), go to www.ignatius.com
I can’t get enough from Pope Benedict XVI, especially when he shares with all of us his innermost thoughts and insights! “Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and the Signs of the Times” by Peter Seewald had such a fascinating conversation with our Holy Father that it seems to be the gift that just keeps giving. Mark Brumley took time out of his busy day as president of Ignatius Press to shed more “light” on this incredible book and the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.
While in Rome, I had the opportunity to speak with a very busy, but extraordinarily gracious, Mons. Paul Tighe who serves as the Secretary for The Pontifical Council for Social Communication. The Council was hosting a gathering of bloggers from around the world in order to begin a dialogue concerning the varied aspects of the new media, and in particular the role of the blogger in the new evangelization. This meeting was held on May 2 in Rome, the day after the beatification of Blessed John Paul II, the herald of this “New Evangelization”. What will this “New Evagnelization” look like in the light of technological advancements? How will the various forms of “traditional” media converge to effectively communicate the message? Who is the “Catholic blogger” and what is the hoped for behavior of the new evanglizer? How can those seeking find Truth on the internet? What (or better yet Who) is Truth? These questions and so many more are discussed with Mons Tighe in this special edition of “Inside the Pages”.
Learn more about the work of the Ponitfical Council for Social Communication at www.pccs.va
Bruce and I had a conversation with Karl Schultz, editor of ”Christian Values and Virtues” comprised of Pope Paul VI’s teachings on peace, hope, humility, faith, suffering, love, and joy as comprised through his public audiences and his writings. Karl also shares little known things about Pope Paul VI. This book is a must read for those interested in understanding the impact of Pope Paul VI’s papacy on the modern Catholic Church.
You can find the book here
Other rooms and resources in “Church Then/Now”