A case for priestly celibacy

There is a very bad argument for celibacy which has reared its head throughout the tradition and which is, even today, defended by some. It runs something like this: Married life is morally and spiritually suspect; priests, as religious leaders, should be spiritual athletes above reproach; therefore, priests shouldn’t be married. 

Politics trumping conscience in Olympia

Recently Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a “public records” law that seemed to have one purpose: to allow legislators to conceal their decision-making process from the people. He now has another chance to take the high road, showing that public service means more than political expediency.

The death of an evangelical titan

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Billy Graham preach about 20 years ago in Cincinnati. At the time, Dr. Graham was around 80 years old and clearly in frail health. He came to the podium and commenced to speak, but the crowd of young people, stirred up by the Christian rock bands who had performed earlier, was restive and inattentive. Graham paused, folded his hands, and quietly said, “Let us pray.” With that, a stadium of 50,000 people fell silent. Once a spirit of reverence held sway, the preacher resumed. I remember thinking, “What an old pro!”

Germain Grisez’s influence on Catholic moral thinking

“We are all students of Grisez now.” The man who said that several years ago was a Catholic theologian not generally seen as being a disciple of Germain Grisez. He was simply acknowledging the influence Grisez had already had on serious students of moral thought — an influence that, one might add following Grisez’s death, seems likely to continue growing for a long time to come.

How does God act in our world?

There’s an oddity in the Gospels that begs for an explanation: Jesus, it seems, doesn’t want people to know his true identity as the Christ, the Messiah. He keeps warning people not to reveal that he is the Messiah. Why?

How can it all have a happy ending?

There’s a line in the writings of Julian of Norwich, the famous 14th-century mystic and perhaps the first theologian to write in English, which is endlessly quoted by preachers, poets, and writers: “But all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” It’s her signature teaching.

The complex spiritual journey of Robert Hugh Benson

It’s said that Robert Hugh Benson’s conversion to Roman Catholicism was an act of rebellion against his father, Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 until his death in 1896. Whether it was or wasn’t, the younger Benson’s spiritual autobiography at least offers grounds for seeing his conversion in that light.

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