No Rest for the Wicked

One way to diagnose someone with a bad conscience is to look for a certain form of restlessness.  If the conscience is God’s umpire within us, impartial, no respecter of what our desires may happen to be, we cannot simply make it go away. It does not belong to us.  We may try to drown … Read more

Empathy for the Devil?

Having consigned reason to that impoverished realm of human experience that can be subjected to controlled experiments and the quantification of their results, we are left with no basis upon which to make moral judgments except for feelings. Empathy, I’ve long seen, is often a function of where you happen to be looking. It’s easy … Read more

The Pink Synod

One day, when I was a senior in high school, I went into the lavatory and was followed by a junior whose name I knew, though I didn’t know anything else about him. He was a quiet sort. As I was washing my hands, he approached me and asked me if I would like—something the … Read more

Male and Female He Made Them

We see that, at the Synod, the topic of women’s ordination has come up, as if the rest of the Christian world that has gone along with this innovation—and in the teeth of clear New Testament instruction—has not been pitching itself into deeper and more accelerated decline, and as if the contemporary Church has had … Read more

How It All Smells

Shepherds should smell like the sheep, says Pope Francis. I do not know what Andres Serrano smells like. I can make a good guess as to his art. He is the fellow who set a small crucifix in a bucket of his own urine (“Piss Christ”), and then took photographs of it. The pope recently … Read more