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Category Archive for 'Essays'


When the party (the Democrat party) sends me something so I can sound off, I describe myself as a “pro-life, liberal Democrat”. There is an excellent editorial in America Magazine, http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=13206 The editorial is about changing the strategy of the pro-life movement. One strategy that could be dropped is labeling everyone who is against criminalizing abortion […]

Paul Goodman! I was planning on posting about movies…too much already about books and then Roger Ebert reviews a documentary on Paul Goodman…and then I find back in the fall so did the NY Times.. http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/10/19/movies/paul-goodman-changed-my-life-directed-by-jonathan-lee-review.html I promise I will learn again how to make these links. But Ebert loved Goodman when he was an […]

The first week of a “break” is a retreat. After beating myself nearly to death it is unreasonable to expect a recovery especially since it is necessary to go away and “away” is six time zones and 12 hours of travel by car, plane, train, and taxi. Nevertheless, a retreat is a shock to the […]

Canterbury on Robinson

Marilynn Robinson, the novelist, wrote essay on modern thought published as The Death of Adam. The essay that caught my attention was one on Calvinism which she read freshly and counter-culturally. It did not make me want to become more Augustinian but Calvin…Jean Cauvin…was challenging as great theologians are when not stereotyped for the sake […]

OK…I am still looking for a Lonergan quotation about how difficult/impossible it was to write philosophy/theology in Latin since the vocabulary of a medieval lawyer was around 7,000 words. That says something for accessibility and would to God that modern law was that simple. But it also says something about a church hidebound by Latin […]

Knock down

Pray Tell blog is a website about liturgy. It is a splash of cold water in the face of anyone hoping that there is body of civil Catholics out that willing  to discuss liturgy. It is nevertheless necessary to read all the posts so we can be realistic. I was ordained in 1974. The year […]

I wrote this for the Wesleyan students …Jet lagged, the rush of packing and preparing things to be done by others while I take a break and literally advance 5 or six hours into the future in St Benoit, I sat down and saw something about the future on Andrew Sullivan’s Dish about the future […]

The Irish Solution

  The Irish Catholic Church, one of the hardest hit by the tragedy of abuse of children and young people sexually and otherwise in its many parishes and institutions and with an abysmal track record of Episcopal oversight has perforce come up with a workable solution that would greatly benefit the USA. They have a […]

Plug and play. Invented for a good reason…we just tore the install CD out of its packet and charged ahead…and was a revelation of human nature. So. With most things. Including religion and its deeper reality, faith. Being a priest requires a lot of attention to the actual pieces at hand: people, resources, obstacles, opportunities. […]


After my ordination in 1974, I was a director of religious education. With the parents of teenagers gathered for a meeting, I discovered that the Beatitudes…you know, blessed are the poor, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are those who mourn…were a complete puzzle. I had been told that I would find this if I opened […]

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