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Catholic in America: How Catholics should process the death of Robin Williams

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The Michigan Catholic

August 22, 2014

Al Kresta

After Robin Williams’ suicide, I interviewed a film critic and an aspiring filmmaker about Williams’ often troubled life. The interviews were respectful, even charitable, but not gushing or whitewashing.

Nevertheless, emails objecting to the favorable comments started almost immediately. Every time a public figure dies, some Christians complain that Continue Reading

Catholic in America: Catholic Unity Threatened

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The Michigan Catholic

July 25, 2014

Al Kresta

When I see people cloaking their own political/economic preferences with the authority of divine revelation, I get angry. Jesus, himself, got angry when the Pharisees attributed to their own traditions a divine authority for which they had no warrant. I’m sure my anger doesn’t compare well to that of Jesus. Nevertheless, having been misled in my teens and early 20s by false spiritual claims, this does get a bit personal.

All Catholics, however, should take false spiritual claims personally. They threaten Continue Reading

Catholic in America: Ignoring real problems in the ‘transgender tipping point’

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The Michigan Catholic

June 26, 2014

Al Kresta

The June 9 cover story of TIME magazine wonders or, rather, insinuates, that we have reached the “Transgender Tipping Point,” and dubs it “America’s next civil rights frontier.”

Who are the “transgendered”? “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body” is the most common description of the transgender person’s experience. Underlying the notion is the belief that biology doesn’t determine gender. Sex refers to “man” or “woman,” the result of a chromosomal difference decreed by biology. Gender, on the other hand, Continue Reading

Catholic in America: When to judge, when to ‘judge not’?

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The Michigan Catholic

June 12, 2014

Al Kresta

Every few years television talk shows recycle past popular themes. One perennial favorite features prostitutes who, even after marrying their pimps, keep working the streets. “Why give up the income? It’s not cheating, it’s just a job. After all, he benefits too.”

Invariably, some audience member stands up to express moral dismay. Mr. and Mrs. PP gamely sneer, wag a bejeweled finger and quote Jesus, “Judge not that you be not judged.” Members of the audience clap and hoot. A surgeon in Great Britain amputates limbs Continue Reading

Catholic in America: Making the Gospel real in our lives

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The Michigan Catholic

June 2, 2014

Al Kresta

“I never knew these things really happened.” That statement of shock first dropped from my lips 40 years ago. Since then it has formed the scaffolding around the project commonly called “living out my life.” God acts in the history of the human race and in our own biographies. He leaves his footprints in the sands of time. His past dealings with us are down payments, promissory notes, powerful evidence that he will never abandon us.

The Scriptures record stories of God’s mighty deeds and preserve them to encourage us during those times our faith grows dim. “Out of my distress I called on the Continue Reading

Catholic in America: The Church, above all, is about people

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The Michigan Catholic

May 9, 2014

An unchurched student at MSU in 1974, I realized that the Resurrected Jesus of the New Testament was alive. He had counted the hairs on my head and penetrated the hidden recesses of my heart. He existed. He was wise. He loved me and had a wonderful plan for my life.

Flush with a convert’s zeal, I ran back to the Catholic Church who had baptized me as an infant and trained me for my first communion. The priests at the MSU student parish were pleasant, generous men, more emotionally mature than I was and very big on community. At times they seemed to almost parody themselves racing about the student parish singing “Up, Up with People.” They were big, very big on building community.

Continue Reading

It’s a Great Time to be Catholic in America

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Kresta Commentary
 
September 20, 2013
 
By Al Kresta
 
Dear friends,
 
Because I am on the road today, I wanted to post my continuing reflections on the Pope Francis interview. Continue Reading

Are We on the Right Track in the Fight for Marriage?

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National Catholic Register

September 4, 2013

By Al Kresta

COMMENTARY: Joseph Bottum’s Essay Critiquing the Church’s Current Efforts Against Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Raises Questions Worth Considering.

Joseph Bottum’s Commonweal essay, subtitled “The Things We Share: A Catholic’s Case for Gay Marriage,” has not even raised an Continue Reading

We Need a New St. Francis

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Kresta Commentary

March 14, 2013

By Al Kresta

You know you are in the presence of greatness when your only reservation about someone is his age. We have a new pope and, the worst thing that observant Catholics can say about him, is that he is a bit older than they had hoped. Pope Francis is the ninth oldest Pope elected in the last half of our history.

He has the aura of reform and novelty about him. He is the first Jesuit, first non-European, first Latin American and the first Francis.

What’s in a name? Quite a bit when it comes to papal names. Cardinal George and Cardinal Dolan in interviews have both said that Pope Francis was thinking of Francis Continue Reading

Looking Forward and Looking Backward

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Kresta Commentary

February 12, 2013

By Al Kresta

If you had asked me two months ago if Benedict XVI would be the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years, I would have said, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. After all, in July 2010 he had told an interviewer Peter Seewald that a pope could resign. Maybe he was setting expectations. Benedict had never grasped for power or position and would be one of the few people willing to relinquish power voluntarily.

But when I got a phone call early Monday morning that Benedict had indeed resigned I was surprised, stunned. The first thing to strike me about his resignation is that it came too soon. In the providence of God, I knew otherwise, but, from my Continue Reading

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