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The pastoral care of homosexual persons (people with SSA/LGBTQ…take your pick) has increasingly become a topic of interest for many pastors, theologians, and ministers in the Church. This is in part a response to the secular culture’s push to normalize homosexual behaviors, and has been further propelled forward by Pope Francis’ insistence on the question of pastoral care for people living in irregular situations during the Synod on the Family in 2014. Two recent books by Fr. James Martin SJ and Daniel Mattson have tried to tackle this question, albeit in rather distinct, if not opposing, ways. While both books offer important insights to those who are seeking to develop a more adequate method of responding pastorally to the needs of homosexuals, it is important to recognize that their approaches do not comprehensively address all of the factors involved in this question, for they ignore important nuances and variabilities in the experiences of homosexual persons. Because of this, their indications should not be taken to be normative in themselves for the Church’s pastoral gestures toward homosexuals. Continue reading “Accompanying Each Person According to Their Needs: A review of Mattson and Martin’s books on the pastoral care of homosexual persons”
From my new post at Ethika Politika: “Our society struggles to affirm the truth of even the most basic of realities (our bodies, love, education), partially due to our severe trepidation about embracing objective truth and moral authority. Christians can offer our culture a unique understanding of the relationship between objective truth and authority. Our understanding of this relationship is rich enfleshed in the sacramental life of the Church. As the deacon pointed out, the sacrament of the Eucharist offers a concrete promise of meaning, hope, and truth-not floating around somewhere above this world- but in this world. God unveils his divine Beauty in the messiness of our daily affairs. The rich liturgy and aesthetically compelling worship space-both of which are inspired by the outpouring of divine Love in the Eucharist-are further signs of God’s promise to humanity.”
Watching the scene in the Apostolic Palace yesterday was quite an uncomfortable experience, to say the least. What I loved most about seeing President Trump meet Pope Francis is that the implications of their encounter totally crack through our narrowly conceived categories of religion, politics, and culture. How do we package these two characters? They hardly fit into the boxes of ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ on which we’ve come to rely so heavily. This cringe-worthy extravaganza reveals just how much our dualistic notions of left and right, religious and secular, and good and bad are inadequate modes of expressing the realities which they seek to convey. Continue reading “The Awkwardness of Catholicism in American Politics”
I know it’s a little late in the game to write a response to Rod Dreher’s literary whirlwind, The Benedict Option, but hey, Matthew 20. As an educator at a Benedictine institution, I’d like to think that my opinion counts more than people who have no connection to the Benedictine charism whatsoever, so even more of a reason why you should care about my fashionably late response. Here we go: Continue reading “God Chose the Benedict Option [1517 years ago]”
This paper was presented on April 1st at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas during the 2017 Symposium on the Advancement of the New Evangelization. Continue reading “Ascetics in the City: Integral Humanism in Benedictine Education”