Pope

Our Responsibility as the Flock

Detail of Chair of St. Peter Dnalor 01, Rom, Vatikan, Petersdom, Cathedra Petri (Bernini) 4, Detail, CC BY-SA 3.0

Today we celebrate the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. The Gospel for the feast is Matthew’s account of the events at Caesarea Philippi, where Peter receives the mission from Jesus to lead His Church. This year, we happened to hear Mark’s account of the incident just yesterday, on the Thursday of the 6th Week of Ordinary Time. It […]

Pope St. Martin, Martyr for the Truth

Today is the feast of Pope St. Martin I, the last Pope to be venerated as a martyr in the Catholic Church. If you don’t know the story of Pope Martin I, you’re probably not alone. And if you’re assuming right now that he was killed during a persecution by a pagan Roman emperor or by invading barbarians, you’re probably […]

I will give you shepherds

My diocese was given a unique Thanksgiving present this year by Pope Francis. After our bishop died in June, we entered that uncertain time of vacancy in the diocese, that time of transition while waiting for a new bishop. We all had much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving when the Pope gave us our new shepherd the Tuesday before […]

Peter, the Rock

"Get Behind Me Satan" by Ilya Repin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

No sooner does Jesus praise Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi and dub him “the Rock” than he rebukes him as the devil or Satan.  Peter had confessed Jesus to be the Messiah.  But his idea of what it meant to be the Christ left no room for suffering, sacrifice or the way of the cross as the cost of discipleship. […]

Peter, the Pope and the Keys

When we think about the Pope, we often think of the Vatican.  But the roots of the Papacy are in the Old Testament as well as in the Gospel story of Jesus changing Simon’s name to Peter and giving him the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year […]

The Mormon Fallacy

It was a beautiful spring day in Dublin Ireland. I was finished with my work meeting and decided to walk through the park near my hotel.  The park was crowded with people, sitting on the grass, playing catch near a pond, reading books under a tree or just enjoying the rare sunshine in this area of the world where it […]

Travel Lessons for Life: Planning and Letting Go

Life should be approached the same way one approaches a trip to Rome. If you have been to Rome, you know that the only predictable thing about a trip to Rome is the unpredictability.  A store will close when you need it opened, a funeral will be happening in a church you wanted to visit, the Pope will decide to […]

When the Lord asks, “Do you love me?”

Photography © by Andy Coan

On many occasions I’ve heard non-Catholics object to the papacy.  Often, they say something like this: “I just can’t believe that one man on earth, the Pope, is holier than everyone else.”  So who ever said that being sinless is either a prerequisite or a consequence of being named Pope? For the Pope, the bishop of Rome, is the successor […]

The Way of the Cross and the Road to Salvation

Photography © by Andy Coan

Truth in advertising — after all the glowing reports of the benefits of a product, potential side effects need to be mentioned. Informed consent — before surgery, patients have to be told of all the things that could possibly go wrong. That way, they have the chance to opt out before it’s too late. As soon had the truth came out at […]

The Biblical Roots of the Papacy

Photography © by Andy Coan

“More Catholic than the Pope?” There is nothing more quintessentially Catholic than the Papacy. When we think “Catholic,” we think Rome, the Vatican, the dome of St. Peters. But the roots of the papacy actually go back to Jerusalem and the messiah-kings who ruled there. Like most heads of state, David and his descendants, the anointed kings of Judah, realized […]