WELCOME! Do you find contemporary life a challenge? Are you a confused Catholic, or even just someone seeking to understand faith? Since 2003, CrossCurrents has appeared 40 times each year. My aim: to provoke thought and enrich faith by interpreting current events in the light of Catholic tradition. I hope you find these columns both entertaining and clarifying. Your feedback and comments are welcome! Find information about my pastoral consulting at http://www.crosscurrents.us/ NOTE: TO READ OR WRITE COMMENTS, CLICK ON THE TITLE OF A POST.

Monday, April 14, 2014

#390 Revisited: The Blasts Heard ’Round the World

On the anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, I am re-posting the blog I wrote the day after. It remains my most-read posting.

Initial reflections  on the day after the bombs went off...

      Patriots day is perhaps the quintessential American holiday, even though (or perhaps because) it is celebrated only in Massachusetts.  It marks simultaneously the beginning of the end of Britain’s occupation of the American Colonies and the birth, in rebellion and blood, of a new country. 
The iconic images surrounding Patriots Day are familiar to all Americans.  “One if by land, two if by sea.” “The midnight ride of Paul Revere.” “The British are coming!  The British are coming!” The shot heard round the world.  The Minutemen. Lexington and Concord.

And so each year, just after dawn, the Redcoats arrive again at Lexington Green to be confronted once more by the local Minutemen.  A shot rings out, and a skirmish ensues.  Men on both sides fall, and the colonial militia is driven back, and the Redcoats proceed toward Concord.  But along the way the British troops are terrorized by the rebels harassing them along their route and sniping at them from behind trees and rocks.  Meanwhile tourists follow the rebels, clicking photos of the reenactment.  Local churches offer pancake breakfasts for the visitors.

Schools and most workplaces are closed, so baseball fans leave home early for the annual 11:00 Red Sox game.  With luck, the Red Sox will win and the game will end early enough for the Fenway faithful to stream into Kenmore Square in plenty of time to watch the runners passing by.

More than 20,000 of those runners begin their day early far from Boston in the small New England Town of Hopkinton.  They’ve come from all over the world, and the runners with numbers have qualified for Boston by running other marathons with impressive times.  For many years, Boston was the only non-Olympic marathon that required runners to qualify this way.  It is, after all, the oldest annual marathon in the world. It was a sacred tradition here long before marathon running became popular.

More than 200,000 fans line the streets along the 26-mile route from Hopkinton to Boston. Boston’s quarter-million college kids take Patriots day as an annual rite of spring, cheering on the runners while partying outside for the first time since football season.

Patriots Day is the day Boston’s cityscape finally returns to vibrant life after the relative quiet of the long cold New England winter. It is the day Bostonians remember why they are blessed to live here.

Given all this, the crowds along the entire length of the marathon course are unrivaled for numbers, enthusiasm, and hospitality. The day I observed the 100th running with my youngest son, we joined hundreds of thousands of spectators cheering for passing runners for five hours until we had clapped our hands raw and yelled our voices hoarse. For participants, Patriots Day is the day Boston opens its arms to the world and offers a running experience no other marathon can match.

But Patriots Day 2013 was unlike any other.  In Lexington and Concord, the battle reenactments were long finished. The winners of the wheelchair races had finished; the women’s and the men’s winners (both from Africa) had already earned their victories, the Red Sox had already won a walk-off 10th inning victory, and the mass of “weekend warrior” runners were approaching the finish line flanked by the world flags lining Boylston Street.

And then at 2:50 the bombs created a new kind of Boston massacre.  These truly were blasts heard ’round the world, since the heavy media presence guaranteed that the images and sounds of explosions would achieve global reach within minutes. It is hard to imagine a more symbolically-rich venue to attack. 

As of this writing, there’s no public information about who did this or why.  But as shock gives way to outrage, two difficult truths are worth keeping in mind.

First, while the victims were innocents (including a family from my own Dorchester neighborhood) we should not project their innocence onto ourselves as a collective nation. It is tempting to pretend that such villainy is only for “others,” that we are only the victims and never the perpetrators of violence, and that America never attacks innocent victims. This is, unfortunately, just not true.

In fact, American has proved especially prone to using revenge as a pretext for killing innocents. After Pearl Harbor took nearly 2000 American lives, Harry Truman thought the Japanese got their just deserts when our atom bombs killed more than 100,000, mostly civilians—and most Americans agreed. When 9/11 killed nearly 3,000, Many Americans accepted the death of more than 150,000 Iraqis (mostly women and children) as just vengeance. We Americans are proven masters of overwhelming retaliation. Perhaps some of us are proud of that, but we cannot pretend we do not have blood on our hands.

Even now our country inflicts suffering on innocent victims. Some even make the case that American violence is the evil twin of the Boston bombing: http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/the-boston-marathon-and-u-s-drone-attacks-a-tale-of-two-terrorisms/ . So while our outrage is certainly justified, we do well to avoid becoming self-righteous about our place in a violent world.

Second, while the perpetrators of the marathon bombing must be caught and punished, we should resist thinking that destroying all evil-doers will solve the problem of terror and violence in our world.

For Christians, this is an impossible dream. We believe we belong to a fallen humanity, a race who by nature can never completely purge evil from our midst. We can never destroy all the bad guys, for there will always be more of them in the next generation.

This means that true security only comes when we learn how to deal with evil even while knowing we cannot eradicate it.

This is, of course, what Jesus meant by his terrifying saying “Love your enemies.” He and his followers believed—and still believe—that evil and violence are NOT the strongest powers in our world, that retaliation is not the ultimate solution, and that there exists a love that can conquer hate.

For us, this poses a simple but tough challenge. Either Christianity is right, that love is ultimately stronger than violence, or else it is wrong. Either Gandhi and King and Jesus were right, that we must love our enemies, or they were wrong. But what we cannot doubt is that stamping out all evil people is a silly, naïve, and dangerous dream.
Martin Richard, 8, killed in the bombing

Bostonians are already acting to “retaliate” with love. The stunningly rapid and effective action of the first responders (some of them mere bystanders) seems to have reduced the death toll to unthinkably low numbers. The heroic marathon-like services of those working Boston's emergency rooms and operating theaters likewise minimized death and suffering. The flood of blood donors to Boston blood banks, and the widespread offers of housing and hospitality reflected the depth of Bostonians' care for the victims.

Some people have decided to join the ranks of the 8500 marathon volunteers in 2014. Some have vowed to run again. Some will host visitors. Some will simple turn out to observe, determined that next year’s crowd will outdo 2013.

Maybe someone will even propose making Patriots Day a national holiday.

After all, this is the city where the Revolution began. We know there are villains in the world, and we know it took force to expel the occupiers before. We are determined not to be occupied by villains again, and not to be driven by terror, but to live as we should, as a joyful and peaceful people, and thus deprive the villains of their victory.

And when we prove that no one can defeat the courageous hope and generous spirit of Boston, that message will be heard ’round the world.
  © Bernard F. Swain PhD 2013

Sunday, April 13, 2014

#369 Revisited: “Was Jesus Married?” 10 Facts

Harvard's Karen King once again made headlines (New York Times, Boston Globe) last week when the fragment concerning the "wife of Jesus" was certified as no modern forgery, but an ancient text---though it is now dated from the 8th century. But the issues around Jesus' marriage remain as they were when the story first broke in 2012, so I am re-posting my blog from September 2012.
In the face of this week's ignorant media hype about a new discovery, let’s set the record straight…
Any talk of Jesus being married always stirs needless controversy, so this week’s news out of Harvard--about an ancient text in which Jesus speaks of “my wife”--poses the kind of teachable moment that calls for some serious fact checking.
Fact #1:  The belief that “Jesus never married” is not Catholic doctrine.  It is true that generations of Christians have assumed that Jesus was single, and passed on that assumption as a kind of pious tradition, part of our popular image of Jesus, like long hair and a beard.  But this popular belief is not in our creeds or our catechism; at most it is an informal, unofficial “teaching” commonly communicated to believers.  But Catholics are not required to believe this, and they never have been.
Fact #2: Believing that Jesus was married is not heresy.  The September 19 Boston Globe claimed that “The notion that Jesus may have been married” is “considered heretical by the Catholic Church.” This is just ignorant reporting.  To be heresy an idea must contradict an “orthodox” doctrine.  But since there is no official Catholic doctrine (one way or another) about Jesus’ marital status, then there is nothing to contradict. Hence heresy on this question is impossible.  Claiming Jesus married does clash with the popular tradition I mentioned above, but disagreeing with popular tradition is not heresy.
Fact #3: The Roman Catholic Church DOES allow married men to be priests.  That same Globe article claimed with similar ignorance that “These issues remain intensely relevant in Christianity today, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church, which allows only celibate men to be priests.” Not true!
Catholicism embraces five different “rites ” or worship styles, and four of the five (often refer to collectively as the “Eastern Rites”) ordain married man as priests.  Only the “Latin Rite” requires celibacy of all candidates for the priesthood--and even that is changing, since former Anglican priests may now be accepted as Latin Rite priests even if they are married. The confusion is based on numbers: more than 90% of all Catholic priests belong to the Latin Rite, so celibate priests do outnumber married priests. But the Catholic Church allows both.
Fact #4: Priestly celibacy is not a doctrine.  History rather than doctrine explains why Latin Rite priests must be celibate while Eastern Rite priests may marry in.  Long ago all priests (except members of all-male religious communities) could be married, but in the 11th century a general rule of mandatory celibacy was adopted for Latin Rite priests. That rule was never adopted for the Eastern Rites.  So the fact here is simple: priestly celibacy is just a rule; there were married priests before this rule was adopted, they are still married priests outside that rule’s jurisdiction, and there will be married priests again whenever the rule is dropped.
Fact #5: We do not actually know if Jesus was married or single.  Our best source is the books of the New Testament, and these books are totally silent on the question.  In fact, they’re totally silent about Jesus from the age of 12 to the beginning of his public life at about 30.  We know virtually nothing of the adolescence and early adulthood of Jesus--the very period when his own culture would have expected him to marry.  If, as a hypothetical argument, Jesus had been widowed in his mid-twenties, his married life would be invisible. It would have fallen into that huge gap in the gospel narratives--a gap that no other source can fill.  The fact is, we just do not know.
Fact #6: We will probably never know.  Harvard’s Karen King, who announced the new fragment, told reporters “It’s not saying we got the smoking gun that Jesus was married.” After all, just because one person writing long after the death of Jesus puts the words “my wife” in the mouth of Jesus does not mean we have discovered a new fact, or even that many others believed it to be so.  And it certainly does not mean these were Jesus’ own words. It just means one person wrote it, true or not, for reasons we cannot know. 
The fragment probably dates from the late fourth century, and may be based on a text from the mid-too-late second century--that is, more than a century after Jesus’ death.  All of the New Testament books are closer to Jesus’ lifetime.  There is nothing in the new discovery that can penetrate the silence of the New Testament.  That silence is definitive, and I can think of no way anyone could penetrate that silence.
Fact #7: The old evidence trumps any new discoveries.  All of the other ancient texts and alternative “gospels” that have fueled books like The DaVinci Code are also further from Jesus time than the authentic Biblical texts.  Most of these alternative texts were specifically rejected as less than reliable during the process of forming the Christian Bible as we know it today.
We are often told history is written by the winners, and the simple fact is the winners are the texts that made it into the New Testament “canon,” which means literally the “yardstick” by which we measure the value of any text about Jesus.  All the alternative texts were the losers, simply because they failed to measure up.  As sources go, the New Testament trumps any other source we can realistically imagine
Fact #8: The New Testament evidence is not clear.  What does the New Testament’s silence mean?  Some argue it means Jesus was single, or his wife would have been mentioned along with his mother, father, and brothers.  Others argue the silence means Jesus had been married, since his culture saw a celibate adult male as abnormal, and we would expect the Gospels to mention someone challenging him, and Jesus offering a response and defense.
Both arguments are logically coherent, but neither one has much evidence to support it.
In other words, the Gospels’ silence cannot really settle the question.  We can speculate: what if, for example, Jesus were widowed before his public life began? His wife might not be mentioned simply because she was no longer present. But any such answer is just speculation.  We know the texts are silent, but we cannot tell for sure what that silence means.
Fact #9: If Jesus was married, our core Christian beliefs remain unchanged.  Nothing in our creeds, are catechisms or our theological principles about Jesus Christ is based on the premise of Jesus’ celibacy.  If Jesus was married, then the popular devotion about his single state would be inaccurate--but nothing else would change.  My Catholicism does not hang on this question, and yours should not either.  For me, the question of Jesus’ marital status is nothing more than idle curiosity.  It is not a deal breaker--or even a game-changer--for my faith. It clearly did not matter enough (one way or the other) to the authors of the Gospels, or to St. Paul, or to the other New Testament authors, to include any mention in their texts.
Fact #10: But it might change some attitudes.  Clearly much of Christian history has been ambivalent or even negative about marriage and sexuality (see CrossCurrents #359).  In the New Testament, St. Paul essentially regards marriage as a last resort so those who cannot hack celibacy do not fall into adultery.  And the assumption of Jesus as life-long celibate has often fueled the double standard by which celibates are superior to married people.  Many modern Christians would like to see that double standard fall, and see a golden opportunity in debunking the celibacy of Jesus.  More broadly, people who disparage the place of sexuality in Christian history might love the opportunity, with the leverage of a new “revelation,” to reboot Christianity over again and get it right this time.  Controversy over minor matters advances the cause and makes good newspaper copy--but such controversy does not fit the facts.
On this score, ironically, our Christian faith is rooted much more firmly in fact than most of the media coverage.
© Bernard F. Swain PhD 2012

Friday, March 28, 2014

#391: The Finish Line

With the 2014 Boston Marathon less than 4 weeks away, the  finish Line has just been repainted on Boston's Boylston Street. So I am re-posting my blog about how last year's bombing transformed that iconic image.

An additional note: since I first posted this, the World Series Champion Red Sox paraded through Boston in November. When they reached the Finish Line, they stopped and placed their trophy on the line with a "Boston Strong" shirt draped over it. Now there are plans for a permanent memorial near the site.

     During the entire week following the Boston Marathon attack, the phrase that stuck in my mind was “the finish line”--for so many reasons.
For Bostonians, the Marathon Finish Line on Boylston Street has now become sacred ground--perhaps it is even becoming a sacred symbol, value, or idea.
Of course, the finish line has always been where the race ends, where the victors are crowned with laurels, where some arrive with arms raised in triumph while others stagger across or even collapsed onto it.   
But for all, since 1897, it has denoted the gold standard of running, since for most runners at Boston the aim is not to win but rather to finish the planet’s most prestigious road race.  Crossing that line is a personal victory for all of them.

But now that finish line has been transformed. It means more than before. One churchgoer returning to one of the Copley Square churches closed off as part of the crime scene said, “Now it’s a starting line too.”

From now on, the finish line is also where the bombs went off.  Future runners will finish only by passing the two spots where three people died and more than 200 others bled.  And very likely the finish line will soon have a memorial to the victims attacked on April 15, 2013.
     For Christians, of course, the symbolic power of the finish line is nothing new, since the Apostle Paul long ago employed the image of athletic achievement to describe his own life as his and approached:

“I have fought the good fight, I have run the good race, I have kept the faith:”--2 Timothy 4:7

And Paul himself was echoing the way the prophet Isaiah viewed life’s need for strength and endurance:

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”--Isaiah 40:31

The stress in both images is not on competition, but on accomplishment, not on winning the race but on finishing the course, not on the contest but on the journey and its destination.

Later Christians built on these images to establish a long tradition of seeing our life as a journey.  This view evolved from seeing life as a race to the image of a pilgrimage which follows its path to its end—but the idea of the race to the finish line was never lost. 

No doubt part of the popularity of the Boston marathon lies in its power to evoke our life’s long struggle to endure all trials and overcome all obstacles until we finally arrive at our natural end.

Sometimes someone’s life actually fits this image.  When my father died last year at 94, my wife said, “He died at the end of his life”--a life that really was a long, fully lived journey to its natural finish (see CrossCurrents #370, “A Quietly Heroic Life”).

But this is not always so.  As Boston 2013 showed and life teaches, the finish line can be moved. 

Runners still on the Boston course after the bombing were stopped short of 26.2 miles.  Yet they were awarded medals for finishing, which meant that for some the finish line was Kenmore square, for others Commonwealth Ave., for others someplace further back along the course.  The finish line moved, caught them unawares, and suddenly ended their races.

The same is true in life, since for some of us the finish line of life arrives well before anyone expects.

I have already written about the child whose life was more like a sprint than the marathon, ending only eight short weeks after his birth (see CrossCurrents #378, “Precious Child”).

As I drafted this piece, another young Boston University student died in a house fire, the 11th BU student to be killed (counting the marathon victim) in the last 12 months.

And on Wednesday, April 17—two days after the bombs and 24 hours before the suspects’ images became public—another runner reached his early finish line.  Our close friends’ son Matthew Shea had suffered leg pains while running high school track; these led to a 10-year-long effort to outrun the cancer infecting his body.  Through several remissions and relapses he not only persevered but filled his life with more acts of courage, generosity, and love than many people achieve in three times his lifespan. He died at 27 knowing, as did his loved ones, that he had run the good race with steadfast hope no matter how fast his finish line was approaching.

In reality, the same is true for all of us.

We are all alike in living our lives as a journey that (for most) is more like a marathon than a sprint.  But we are all unique in that, while we all run the same race of life, each of us runs a personal race on a different personal course.  For each of us, the finish line is different.  For each of us, the finish line is a moving target.  For each of us, its final location cannot be known.  

We may pace ourselves like marathoners, looking forward to careers and vacations and children growing and marriages and grandchildren and retirement. But that is like saving enough energy to get over Heartbreak Hill and still have enough left for the last few miles to the official end of the race. The fact is that our own personal finish line may not be at the end of the official course (called “life expectancy”). For each of us, the finish line may be just round the next corner.

Yet we run on, filling our lives with as much joy and love and hope and courage as we can before our finish line arrives—and trying always to be prepared for it.

For those who died on April 15, 2013, the marathon’s finish line was their unexpected finish.  For the injured, it was a turning point; their lives are changed forever.  And for all of us, it was the reminder that none of us controls the course we run.

Six days after the Boston bombings, the London Marathon was held amid heightened security.  The runners wore black memorial ribbons and made their intentions clear: they are determined to make a show of strength in the face of violence at Boston 2014. 

So next year we can expect more runners, more wheelchair racers, more midnight cyclists, more volunteers and spectators and memorial honors.  The 118th running of the Boston marathon may well surpass the record numbers of the 100th running.

And for all those hundreds of thousands along the course in whatever capacity, as well as the millions watching on TV and Internet, that famous and now sacred finish line on Boylston Street will mean more than ever, especially at 2:50 PM.

Perhaps there will be some special moment of commemoration.  Perhaps the church bells will toll.  And if they do, all of us will know they toll not only for those who died, not only for those injured or traumatized, but for all of us who each day, all our lives, run toward life’s certain, sacred, but unknown finish line.

And that will be our shining moment to show that Boston has found new strength, and will not grow weary.
  © Bernard F. Swain PhD 2013

Sunday, March 16, 2014

#415: Was Saint Patrick Catholic?

How the recent controversy in Boston disserves Catholic identity and the Church’s public image.

Back in the 1950s, Father Leonard Feeney made headlines by proclaiming loud and long that no one could go to heaven except members of the Roman Catholic Church.  For that he was excommunicated from membership in the Roman Catholic Church.
Years later Feeney and his followers were officially reconciled with the Church, but their take on Catholic life (ostensibly “hardline” but actually just weird) has not changed substantially.
And now the Feeneyites (officially, the “Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” out of the Saint Benedict Center in Harvard, Mass.) are back in the headlines.  The principal of their school, Brother Thomas Dalton, withdrew his student band from marching in Boston’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade on the mere prospect that the kids would be marching down the same street as Mass Equality, a gay pride group.
Brother Thomas Dalton
Defending his position in a letter to the Boston Globe, Brother Thomas explained his opposition to associating with the gay marchers:
Jesus Christ once compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a wedding feast. When the king saw a guest not properly attired, he said to his servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matthew 22:13). All that over improper dress; what would he have done to a group parading unnatural lust?
To many readers, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, this talk of “unnatural lust” probably sounds like typical Catholic teaching: backward and mean-spirited and exclusionary.  In fact, Brother Thomas’ sentiments are backward, mean-spirited, and exclusionary--but they are not Catholic teaching.
Brother Thomas is, of course, entitled to his own opinion (as well as to his dubious misinterpretation of a Biblical parable), and he even has the authority to impose his opinion on his students. In fact, when the gay marchers were finally rejected, Brother Dalton reinstated his children in the parade and led them in applauding their “victory.” All under the guise of providing a “Catholic education.”
But Brother Thomas is not entitled to his own facts--and he is not entitled to speak for the Church, let alone speak falsely.  In a time when Pope Francis is finally at long last reversing the appallingly bad (and mostly deserved) PR the Catholic Church has received over the last 20 years, the last thing we need is some loud voice distorting our Catholic identity in public view.
But I fear that many Catholics secretly (or even openly) share this man’s views, or at least believe that these are the Church’s views.  So a little plain talk about the Church’s teachings on homosexuals is timely. Here they are, drawn from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and from statements by the Vatican and the US Bishops:
1.   Homosexual orientation is most often experienced as given and discovered, not chosen--and is not in itself morally wrong or sinful.
2.   Given the inherent dignity of every human person, the Church teaches that “homosexual persons, like everyone else, should not suffer from prejudice against their basic human rights.”
3.   Violence in speech or action against homosexuals “deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs.”
4.   “Every sign of discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
5.   Nothing in the Bible or Catholic teaching can be used to justify prejudicial or discriminatory attitudes and behaviors toward homosexual persons.
Note than none of this stopped Brother Thomas Dalton from using the Bible to imply that Catholic teaching DOES justify his discriminatory attitude.
Of course, Catholic moral teaching also finds no justification for homosexual acts. But the moral objections are essentially the same as the Church’s objections to masturbation, artificial contraception, pre-marital sex, adultery, coitus interruptus, oral and anal sex, etc.—namely, that only marital procreative sex is morally legitimate. Everything else—not just gay sex—violates natural law.
In other words, official Catholic morality opposes all those acts but not the people who perform them. Such opposition therefore provides no grounds for treating those people differently from anyone else--and that goes for homosexuals as well as for all the others!
Thus gays and lesbians have the same basic rights as all other human beings, and must be protected from discrimination like anyone else.  This principle holds even if we accept official church teaching on homosexuality as a “disordered” orientation.
In short, the Church sees active homosexuals as sinners.  But to be consistent, to avoid discrimination, one must treat them as we do any others whose behavior is called immoral.
Thus a true “hardline” would insist that the Saint Patrick’s Day parade exclude anyone who engages in masturbation, premarital sex, oral or anal sex, adultery, contraception, theft, lying, slander, cheating, etc—as well as any Catholics who deliberately ate meat the previous Friday (the second Friday in Lent). 
This would result, of course, in a very short parade,  made up mostly of marching Protestants.  Throw in the exclusion of those engaging in drunkenness and natural lust, and there would be precious few onlookers left to cheer the children marching (practically alone!) for Brother Thomas Dalton’s school.
So singling out gays is wrong, not because we are not entitled to disapprove of their behavior, but because we are not entitled to judge them while ignoring everyone else.
When Pope Francis famously said “Who am I to judge?” with reference to gays, he was thinking of two things.  First, Catholic tradition dictates that only one person can judge whether someone has sinned--namely, the sinner himself!  That’s why Catholics confess their sins, rather than being denounced for them.  Sin requires that one violate one’s conscience--and no one knows my conscience but me. 
Second, the pope had already described himself as “a sinner.” His point, of course, is that Catholics believe that sin is a universal phenomenon within the human family.  We all sin.  To judge that homosexual activity is sinful merely lumps gays in with the rest of us.  Far from justifying their exclusion, it confirms their inclusion in the company of sinners.
In this sense, the Saint Patrick’s Day parade is a parade of sinners, cheered on by thousands more sinners.  And it always has been. Who are we to judge that gays have no place among us?
Certainly, any such judgment cannot claim to represent true Catholicism.  And any event in honor of a Catholic saint is hardly enhanced by the proclamations of those who distort Catholicism and confuse the public. If we believe Saint Patrick was Catholic—and he was—then our celebration should reflect Catholic tradition, not distort it.
God willing, Brother Thomas Dalton’s band will someday learn about true Catholicism—but not, I fear, at his school.

  © Bernard  F. Swain PhD 2014