Interfaith

Muslims and Catholics Are More Alike Than You Think

Since he took his position as the Holy Father in 2013, Pope Francis has consistently encouraged Catholics to engage with Muslims as a means to build bridges of interfaith understanding. His call, however, appears to have fallen on deaf ears. According to a 2016 study by The Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University, only 14% of…… Continue reading Muslims and Catholics Are More Alike Than You Think

History · Islamic State · Politics

Why Celebrating Columbus Day is Like Celebrating ISIS Day

My elementary school teachers brainwashed me. I am sure they would never admit to it, but it is true. I was taught that Christopher Columbus, the Catholic Italian explorer, discovered a “New World.” I – like millions of other naive American children – was told that he was a brave and curious hero who brought…… Continue reading Why Celebrating Columbus Day is Like Celebrating ISIS Day

Personal

From Catholicism to Atheism to Islam and Back to Catholicism

Published on Huffington Post Religion (06/16/15) It was the late 1990s and the American economy was booming. Money and consumerism were the “new religion.” Christians around me seemed to be Christians in name only. Besides having a secular education, I attended Catholic Christian Doctrine once per week from the ages of six to fourteen. I…… Continue reading From Catholicism to Atheism to Islam and Back to Catholicism

Irish

Who is the Real Saint Patrick?

Today is Saint Patrick’s Day, which means that you might wear green, sport a shamrock, and perhaps drink a pint of Guinness. This expression of “Irish identity” is driven mainly by our materialist culture and the obsession that we need objects to represent our perceived identities. What’s unfortunate is that the real Saint Patrick is not…… Continue reading Who is the Real Saint Patrick?

Irish America

When Irish Catholics Changed America

This article is from Irish America magazine. To enjoy more articles from their History Archives, click here.  The 1930s. Before the decade was over, America would be a vastly different nation,  thanks in no small part to Irish Catholics. Nineteen hundred and twenty-eight was a dark year for Irish Catholics in America. It was, of course,…… Continue reading When Irish Catholics Changed America

Interfaith

Pope Francis and King of Jordan Oppose “Clash of Civilizations,” Call For “Culture of Dialogue”

His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday held talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican, focusing on bilateral relations, peace efforts and issues relating to dialogue and Islamic-Christian coexistence, according to a Royal Court statement. During the meeting, the King voiced Jordan’s keenness on enhancing its relations with the Vatican as both sides are partners in…… Continue reading Pope Francis and King of Jordan Oppose “Clash of Civilizations,” Call For “Culture of Dialogue”

Politics · Religion

Pope Francis: End the Culture of Indifference Towards Muslims

Vatican Radio reported today on Pope Francis’s appeal for migrants and refugees and an end to “the culture of indifference.” Although he did not explicitly mention them in his address at Saint Peter’s Square, one can be certain that the Holy Father was speaking to Muslims. The Pope stated that migrants and refugees around the world,…… Continue reading Pope Francis: End the Culture of Indifference Towards Muslims

Religion

Pope Francis challenges students to “live, not just exist”

Here are a few messages which Pope Francis relayed to students from Rome’s universities: “You must live, not just exist… Please don’t look at life from the sidelines, accept challenges… You must not be spectators but protagonists… Don’t be mediocre, bored or like everyone else… You can’t live without facing challenges… Don’t stand on the…… Continue reading Pope Francis challenges students to “live, not just exist”

Politics

Backlash follows Catholic Online’s misleading headline on “closure” of Vatican Embassy

Catholic Online, a leading news source for Catholics in the US and abroad, recently created the headline “Obama orders closure of Vatican Embassy.” This headline is misleading, overtly political, and even dangerous as it helps reproduce the myths that President Obama is anti-Catholic and that he is also a Muslim. Catholic Online forgot this quintessential point…… Continue reading Backlash follows Catholic Online’s misleading headline on “closure” of Vatican Embassy

Religion

US Catholics Question America’s Assent to Militarism

Long overdue in the American church is a reasoned and deep discussion of U.S. militarism, the proper use of force, the state’s responsibility to protect and defend, and the role of people of faith in all of this. To this point, Catholic teaching has had little effect in distinguishing us from any other segment of…… Continue reading US Catholics Question America’s Assent to Militarism

Religion

Greed and Attachment to Money Cause Evil, Pope Francis Says

Source: Catholic News Service By Carol Glatz Money by itself isn’t a problem, but greed and an attachment to money cause evil and destroy families and relationships, Pope Francis said. “Money is needed to bring about many good things,” he said in his morning Mass homily Oct. 21, “but when your heart is attached (to…… Continue reading Greed and Attachment to Money Cause Evil, Pope Francis Says

Religion

Top sociologist Zygmunt Bauman believes Pope Francis gives “entire humanity a chance”

Source: Vatican Insider “I am in awe at everything Francis is doing: I believe his pontificate gives not just the Catholic Church but the entire humanity a chance.” This is according to Polish-born sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, who coined the phrase “liquid modernity”. In an interview with Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Bauman said “Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s…… Continue reading Top sociologist Zygmunt Bauman believes Pope Francis gives “entire humanity a chance”

Interfaith · Outreach · Religion

Salam and Salutation to Pope Francis

But Pope Francis was not taking a path outside his faith tradition. On the contrary he was reverting to its foundational principles. He is inspired by two figures above all – Jesus and Saint Francis; indeed taking the name of the latter after being elected pope. He has learned from them that Christianity in its…… Continue reading Salam and Salutation to Pope Francis

Commentary · Religion

Letter to Pope Francis on Child Sex Abuse Scandal

Dear Pope Francis, I have had the utmost admiration for you. Your new leadership in terms of interfaith relations, especially with Muslims, is such a breath of fresh air. You are such a welcoming leader. We can see it in your beautiful smile. We can see it in your everyday actions. You have made us…… Continue reading Letter to Pope Francis on Child Sex Abuse Scandal

Travels

“Our Lady of Peace:” The Abbaye Ecole in Sorèze

In the summer of 2009 I travelled to Sorèze, an enchanted village in the south of France.  The purpose of the trip was to screen my documentary Journey into America at the Culture and Cultures Intercultural International film festival at the Château de Padiès, a mansion built on the site of a former castle, located in the outskirts…… Continue reading “Our Lady of Peace:” The Abbaye Ecole in Sorèze

Politics

Catholic bishop fights opponents of immigration reform after Boston Marathon bombings

Source: Religion News Service “Opponents of immigration … will seize on anything, and when you’ve got something as vivid and as recent as the tragedy in Boston it puts another arrow in their quiver,” New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told reporters. “To label a whole group of…… Continue reading Catholic bishop fights opponents of immigration reform after Boston Marathon bombings

Religion

Celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem

Today is Palm Sunday, the last Sunday before Easter and the beginning of the most holy week in the Catholic tradition. On this day we commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. The New Testament notes that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the Jewish crowds gathered to greet him by waving palm branches and by…… Continue reading Celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem

Religion

Celebrating Ash Wednesday

Today I celebrated the beginning of Lent (Ash Wednesday) at St. John’s Lane Church in Dublin. I’ve decided to give up all forms of meat during this holy period. Here’s a bit of information on the importance of Ash Wednesday and the holy season of Lent. Source: Catholic Online Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of…… Continue reading Celebrating Ash Wednesday

Religion

Does the next Pope tackle these issues?

Source: Truthdig First, the church has to address the abuse scandal that has been devouring the institution from the inside. Step one is to release every document, no matter how embarrassing or costly, relating to child abuse and the protection of criminal priests. The Vatican has to throw open its doors and establish an independent,…… Continue reading Does the next Pope tackle these issues?

Pictures

Pictures of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in The Liberties, Dublin, is one of the great gems of Ireland. The Cathedral is one of the most important in Christendom, for it’s said that St. Patrick himself baptized the pagan Irish at a well outside of the church. I hope that you enjoy these pictures @CraigCons

Religion

Religion: JFK’s speech on religious freedom

Note: A quote from a speech that JFK gave on September 12, 1960, before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association.  My comment is that I would have liked to see other references to Muslims, Hindus, etc, as there were certainly non-Christians and Jews living at this time in the United States. I believe in an America…… Continue reading Religion: JFK’s speech on religious freedom

Pictures

Picture: Catedral de Santa María de la Sede

Commentary

My spat with the Vatican

I have an issue with the Vatican stripping Pontifical Catholic University of Peru of its right to call itself Catholic or Pontifical.  This stripping is bothersome for several reasons. The first reason is that it only further amplifies the reputation of the Catholic Church as an archaic, authoritative, and out-of-touch institution which tries to conform…… Continue reading My spat with the Vatican

Politics

Shattering ‘Catholic Ireland’: Some thoughts on the recent controversy over church and state

The relationship between church and state in Ireland is again in question as Alan Shatter, Ireland’s Jewish Defense Minister, has been accused of being ‘ant-Catholic’ because he refused to allow the Irish army to offer a guard of honour for a religious procession during the recent International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.  This ‘unprecedented move’, writes…… Continue reading Shattering ‘Catholic Ireland’: Some thoughts on the recent controversy over church and state

Religion

Religion: Meet Christophobia

In his book The Cube and the Cathedral, George Weigel turns to Joseph Weiler’s ‘Christophobia’ theory to discuss the ‘European problem’ (or the struggle for cultural and moral supremacy between atheistic humanists (secularists) and Christians).  ‘Christophobia’, which resists any acknowledgement of the Christian sources of Europe’s democracy, has eight key features, as outlined by Weigel,…… Continue reading Religion: Meet Christophobia

Creative writing

The mystery of faith for a young Dublin man

There is a young Dublin man who had been ‘lost’ for nearly 10 years.  ‘I have seen it all, done it all, laughed harder than most, and definitely partied harder than all.  I had all the pleasures in the world – beautiful women, a good physique, and charming looks’, he said.  The young Dublin man…… Continue reading The mystery of faith for a young Dublin man