How can I explain transubstantiation?

Q: The other day I was trying to explain the eucharistic doctrine of transubstantiation to a coworker who is not Catholic, and I’m afraid she was more confused by the end of our conversation than when we started! How can I explain this doctrine to non-Catholics in a way that they can understand?

Why don’t Catholic priests get married?

Q: There’s a question that I’ve always wanted to ask a priest directly but have never done so. Why don’t priests get married? I’ve always assumed that they were simply too busy and would not make ideal husbands and fathers because of the demands of their priestly life. Are there other reasons in addition to this?

Why is the African church growing?

Recently on the website maintained by the episcopal conference of Germany there appeared an editorial concerning Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Africa. As many have pointed out, the piece was breathtaking in its arrogance and cultural condescension. The author’s take on the surprisingly rapid pace of Christianity’s growth on the “dark continent” (his words)? Well, the level of education in Africa is so low that the people accept easy answers to complex questions. His assessment of the explosion in vocations across Africa? Well, the poor things don’t have many other avenues of social advancement, so they naturally gravitate toward the priesthood.

What precisely is the Gospel?

Some years ago, I was involved in a Catholic-evangelical dialogue. One of our Protestant brothers challenged the Catholics in the group to articulate clearly what the Gospel is. I knew what he was getting at: Many evangelicals pride themselves on the fact that they can succinctly sum up the good news in a way that people find compelling and helpful, whereas many Catholics, it seems, get tongue-tied.

What Christianity is - and isn’t - about

Many atheists and agnostics today insistently argue that it is altogether possible for nonbelievers in God to be morally upright. They resent the implication that the denial of God will lead inevitably to complete ethical relativism or nihilism. And they are quick to point out examples of nonreligious people who are models of kindness, compassion, justice, etc.

Does religion really have a ‘smart-people problem’?

Daniel Dennett, one of the “four horsemen” of contemporary atheism, proposed in 2003 that those who espouse a naturalist, atheist worldview should call themselves “the brights,” thereby distinguishing themselves rather clearly from the dim benighted masses who hold on to supernaturalist convictions. In the wake of Dennett’s suggestion, many atheists have brought forward what they take to be ample evidence that the smartest people in our society do indeed subscribe to anti-theist views.

“A Theory of Everything” is a God-haunted film

The great British physicist Stephen Hawking has emerged in recent years as a poster boy for atheism, and his heroic struggles against the ravages of Lou Gehrig’s disease have made him something of a secular saint. The new biopic “A Theory of Everything” does indeed engage in a fair amount of Hawking-hagiography, but it is also, curiously, a God-haunted movie.

Subscribe to this RSS feed