Joe Scheidler Tribute

Note: This is a cross-post from Called to Communion. We’ve discussed contraception at great length here, so I don’t expect anything here to be earth shattering. But I’d love to hear your thoughts nonetheless. Btw, the comments on the post at Called to Communion have been great, so I’d encourage you to check those out and comment interact there as well.

The Catholic Church has stood, since its inception, firmly against the use of any artificial methods of contraception. In fact, it is the only Christian institution that, as a whole, has held this teaching consistently for all of Christian history.

Within years of the 1930 Lambeth Conference, where Anglicans became the first Christian group to officially approve the use of contraceptives, contraception came to be viewed as an unquestionable human right even by many conservative Protestants. And it’s understandable from a pragmatic point of view. It can be a difficult issue for pastors to dictate what ought and ought not happen in the bedroom affairs of their parishoners. But lately, I’ve seen a few Reformed pastors thinking about the issue out loud and coming to some negative conclusions about the practice of artificial birth control. Read the rest of this entry »

Harry Nilsson is one of the great singer-songwriters of all time. John Lennon and Paul McCartney both acknowledge Nilsson as the greatest living American working the craft. His songs ranged from silly, like the ubiquitous “Coconut,” to deeply personal, like this one, “1941.” And the guy has an absolutely amazing voice.

In this entrancing, semi-autobiographical number Nilsson writes about how his father left when he was a little boy and the disastrous and cyclical consequences the failure of a father has on the children of broken homes. Check it out:

With the Prop 8 trial finishing up today, I’ve been thinking a bit about the issue. Part of me, the part that was dominant for a long time, felt that, much like the previous post on women being ordained as priests, it didn’t really matter because nothing spiritual was actually happening from a Christian perspective.

Gay people can’t get married because, ontologically, marriage is a sacrament that can only happen with the proper matter: a man and a woman. If the words of the sacrament are spoken over two men, they’re not married. They’re two men who have gone through a ceremony that signifies their commitment to each other but does not enter them into any kind of spiritual union.

This has no bearing on whether or not gay people can get a marriage license from the state. They certainly can. It’s happened. Society has not fallen apart. What’s the big deal if we let them have their piece of paper? Read the rest of this entry »

Here we go again. Roman Catholic Womenpriests have “ordained” another woman. If aesthetics alone were not enough of an argument against them, the teaching of the Catholic Church is perfectly clear: ordaining women is an ontological impossibility. Ordination cannot be conferred on women anymore than sonship or husbandness.

The proper matter for the sacrament of holy orders is baptized men. A woman does not become a priest when words of consecration are said over her even if a valid bishop is using the right formula. Just like saying the words of consecration over pizza and beer will not make them the body and blood of Christ even if you’re a priest who has the proper authority to celebrate the mystery. Wrong matter = no sacrament. John Paul II, may his memory be eternal, put it quite well: Read the rest of this entry »

A new video from the fine folks at Crackerfarm Studios of the Avett Brothers singing their tune “Tear Down the House.” Features some nice harmony and fancy banjo pickin’ from Scott that aren’t in the original version. Love it when these guys switch things up!

This is a video I put together of a protest we held in Cedar Rapids Iowa when Planned Parenthood Federation of America CEO Cecile Richards came to speak at Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa’s 30th anniversary celebration.

Activism is what got me into the pro-life movement and continues to be the part of the job that excites me the most. I thought I’d share a bit about it, especially about the parts of my job that rub a lot of people the wrong way. Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Matt Petersen points in the comments to a series of podcasts on Lent from the folks at “Trinity Talks” that are a much more balanced Protestant perspective on Lent, which I’m happy to hear. You can find them here, here and here.

Since I’m making an attempt at reinvigorating the old blog, here’s a thought I had during Lent that seems particularly appropriate since we’re currently in another season of fasting for the Eastern Churches, the Apostles’ Fast which runs from the second Monday after Pentecost till the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul.

I was happy to observe that this Lent, many Reformed pastors with blogs took up the subject of the Church’s foremost penitential season. But most of their thoughts were filled with trepidation about the practice of fasting.

Posts like Steve Wilkins’ here and Doug Wilson’s here and here are more open than usual to the idea of observing Lent and Advent, but the idea of their communities actually setting those seasons aside for actual physical fasting from food seems to fill them with fear. Read the rest of this entry »

He did, I swear. For years and years. Then he dropped it like a hot rock back in the spring of ought 9.

Well, today, someone asked me if I’d ever written anything about my conversion to Catholicism. So I came back here to check. Turns out I’d never written a “conversion story” so to speak, but I did write a lot of stuff and it was really fun reading through some of it.

It was especially fun to read back on all the old discussion we had about Catholicism, contraception, Church history and all that fun stuff.

Then writing became less of a hobby and more of something I did every day as part of my job. So writing a blog became less of a release and more of the same thing I’d been doing for the last eight hours.

But, re-energized by the fond memories I have of hashing it out with Remy and Josh Gibbs and Matt Petersen and even Jason Schiebe, bless his heart, I’ve decided to give it another go.

So let’s tear it up like we used to. Let’s get the band back together. Whaddya say?

This post was for Called to Communion cross-posted here.

Future BFF's in Heaven? Let's hope so!

Future BFF's in Heaven? Let's hope so!

I’m sure much of our readership is aware of the recent lifting of the excommunications of the four bishops ordained by Archbishop Marcelle Lefebvre under the auspices of the Society of St. Pius the Tenth (SSPX). For those totally unfamiliar, I believe the Pope’s letter on the subject explains the situation quite adequately.

These bishops were ordained in the SSPX to serve the Traditional Latin Mass at a time when it seemed that rite might be dying out after the Second Vatican Council.

The problem was that they were ordained without the approval of Rome, which incurred on Archbishop Lefebvre and the Bishops he was ordaining a latae sententiae excommunication. The SSPX remained Catholic and believes all Catholic dogma, but they were operating illicitly without Rome’s permission and thus had no official authority or standing in the Church. Read the rest of this entry »