So You Want to Write a Column…

I’ve written Observer columns for three years now. Some columns have received a lot of positive feedback, and some have — rightfully — endured considerable criticism. Writing for the Observer, or any paper, can be a great way to engage in the life of your community and to contribute to dialogue on a number of important issues….

Infantile Questioning and the Contemporary Theologian 

I recently attended a conference on women in the church. During one panel, two young Catholic women sought to present the Church’s teachings on women and gender through an orthodox perspective, offering advice and ideas on the roles of women in the Church. One woman stated that she would not be discussing the issue of…

On the “Being a Woman” Argument in Abortion Debates

A male friend of mine recently had an argument with a woman about legal abortion. He opposed, and she favored. As often happens in such disputes, she told him, more or less, “You aren’t a woman, so you don’t have a right to argue about this. Just won’t understand, and you can’t understand what this…

Winning the Culture Wars

There are two ways you can end a war: you can either destroy the enemy, or you can convert the enemy. In almost every way, the former will be easier, faster, and more obvious. The latter is rarely chosen by culture warriors for one reason: within the context of cultures wars, it is nearly impossible. 

Know Thine Enemy

The following column was published in The Observer on Tuesday, April 29, 2013. I came to Notre Dame three months after President Obama’s commencement address. Amidst controversy and condemnation by more than 80 bishops, Notre Dame sought to forge a path of dialogue and discourse, ignoring episcopal warnings and insisting President Obama would be a listening companion and ally…

The Church Annie Selak Wants: Part I

The following is part I of my response to Annie Selak’s recent piece in the Washington Post: On Valentine’s Day, Annie Selak, “a lay minister in the Roman Catholic Church” revealed to the world what kind of church young Catholics want. She titled her Washington Post piece, “The church young Catholics want,” and in it…