Irenaeus was a 2nd-century Christian from Asia Minor who was appointed bishop of Lyons in modern-day France. He knew Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John. He serves as a significant witness to the early Church's development, especially as it was consolidating itself against divergent groups. In his monumental Against Heresies, Irenaeus attempts… Continue reading Irenaeus of Lyons reveals Catholic Faith of the 2nd Century
Cryptically reveals? Isn't that an oxymoron? In the second century, a Christian bishop named Abercius wrote his own epitaph in preparation for his death. In this inscription, the bishop expresses his faith--in conjunction with his pilgrimage from Asia Minor to Rome--in secret and symbolic language. This so-called "discipline of the secret" was a common practice… Continue reading 2nd-century epitaph cryptically reveals Catholic Christianity
Today is Holy Thursday, which commemorates when Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper. But what is the significance of this rite? What follows are the three earliest references to this sacrament outside of the Bible. Two of them are dated to the New Testament period itself, and the third author had close connection… Continue reading 3 Earliest Quotes about the Eucharist
Today, not all Christians celebrate Easter on the same day. Because the old Julian calendar had become inaccurate, Pope Gregory XIII established a newer calendar in 1582. While inherited by Catholic countries and Western Christianity more generally, the Gregorian calendar was not adopted by the Eastern Orthodox (who had no reason to follow Rome after… Continue reading How an Easter controversy reveals the role of the Pope in the 2nd Century!
Lent is a time for self-examination and conversion. There is no better time, then, to avail oneself of the Sacrament of Confession. But in order to truly appreciate it, we must understand why the Church has this great gift, in the first place. We must recognize that Confession is a gift that the Church has… Continue reading Confession in the New Testament
The Sacrament of Confession has been expressed in various ways over the centuries. When Catholics say that Confession was instituted by Christ—as all the sacraments were—they ultimately mean that the “ministry of reconciliation” has been entrusted to the Church such that its leaders are empowered by Christ to forgive sin in His name. How this… Continue reading Confession in the Early Church
More than an impersonal or brute force, the foundational reality of all that is---the ultimate explanation for all things---is in fact a personal being, endowed with intelligence and choice. Even more, I posit that such a being must be loving or, better yet, Love itself. How so? Consider how we know there must be an… Continue reading God is Love: And how know from Reason alone
It’s amusing to me to see a rogue Catholic (or even priest!) claiming authority to tell his fellow Catholics who they must—or, as usually the case, must not—vote for. It makes me wonder: Do these people really not know what the Church itself says here? Then again, this sort of willful ignorance is symptomatic of… Continue reading Catholics MUST vote TRUMP! (NOT.) Here are Catholic voting principles…
1. Besides the New Testament, what other first-century Christian writings are there? The story of the early Church does not began and end with the New Testament. In fact, there are other first-century documents that—even if not reckoned as Scripture—are nevertheless informative: They fill in the gaps as to what the Church was like immediately… Continue reading When must a Catholic listen to the Pope? + Other Questions!
1. Is the Catholic Church on the Left or Right? Neither. Catholicism looks to the teachings of Christ and not any political ideology. In America, principles of Catholic social teaching might be expressed in any or all political parties. But Catholicism is not identified with a single party. Catholics themselves are split along party lines—sometimes… Continue reading Does God Create Viruses + Other Questions