Pope Francis: One Patriarch Among Many?

(RealClearReligion: Reading the Franciscan Tea Leaves) In his inaugural address from the loggia, he never once used the words “pope” or “pontiff” or their cognates. (There is nothing wrong with either term: pope comes from the Greek for “father” and “pontiff” in Latin means bridge-builder.) Instead he consistently referred to Rome now having a bishop again. This is extremely significant because of…

Two Chairs of Peter: Reform, Orthodoxy and the Papacy

Update: At the request of Ancient Faith Radio, this post has been recorded for your listening edification. In the anticipation preceding yesterday’s election of the new Roman pontiff, especially what with the American media’s constant chatter about reform for the Roman Catholic Church, I could not help but be reminded of a somewhat less-anticipated primatial election that is still fresh in the…

On Deaconesses and Women’s Ordination: Fr. David Bissias replies to Valerie Karras

My thoughts below are in response to this fine review article by Fr. David Bissias directed at a recent screed article by Valerie Karras ostensibly seemingly to justify some form of women’s ordination. I’ve read through Fr. David’s article, and now wish I had Karras’s as well. But in reality I don’t need it, for my thoughts are actually in response to…

Media Discovers Episcopus Vagans at Vatican, Film at 11

Imagine trying to explain to your average reporter—even a religion reporter—what an episcopus vagans is. Those of us who work in “the religion biz” are frequently reminded that the press just doesn’t get religion, and in the case of the “prankster” “fake bishop” who recently made an amusing appearance at the Vatican, the press did not fail to live up to its…

“God is much bigger than… your style [of worship] or mine.”

I recently posted the image above from my professional page on Facebook, and it drew this response: I guess King David worshipped incorrectly then. You know, the whole leaping and dancing and shouts of joy thing? Totally got it wrong. Tambourines? Lyres? If you know anything of Israeli culture, liturgical worship was not the norm until much later. My response: King David’s…

“Giving Up Something” for Lent

The original version of this post from February of 2012 first appeared on the Roads From Emmaus weblog. It is also available as an audio recording at Ancient Faith Radio. In February of 2012, Mark Galli posted an article entitled Giving Up Self-Discipline for Lent which is actually a fairly fascinating look into what Lenten ascetical effort looks like from within a…

Converting from Westboro Baptist

(KWCH Eyewitness News) They’re known worldwide as the group from Kansas that protests at soldiers’ funerals, and says God hates America because it allows homosexuality. Now, Westboro Baptist Church is reacting to the defection of a key member. “She just decided she did not want to obey God,” spokesman Steve Drain says. “She did not want to obey scripture.” She is Megan…

“The hidden hand behind bad music” – could it happen here?: American Catholic worship and Orthodoxy in America

Some years ago, Catholic church musician Jeffrey Tucker published a piece for Crisis Magazine titled “The Hidden Hand behind Bad Catholic Music”. It was first run in 2002 but recently was recirculated through social media circles, and it caught my eye. I’d read the piece before, and am a regular reader of Mr. Tucker’s work in excellent group efforts such as The New Liturgical Movement.…

New Apostles or Old Heresy? An Orthodox Perspective on the New Apostolic Reformation

I was recently asked to help organize a memorial service for a mutual friend.  When I was told that the “Apostle Johnson” would be doing the service, I didn’t know quite what to make of it.  I knew of the Apostle Paul who traveled around the Roman Empire planting churches and writing authoritative epistles that churches were obligated to follow.  The Apostle…

What Should Christians Think About “Lost Gospels”?

The following guest piece by Joel J. Miller originally ran under the title “Why apostolic tradition matters, part 2.”  It is republished here with permission. It seems that every time a supposedly “lost gospel” is unearthed the media hypes it as if it were the Second Coming. Invariably, these texts contradict the received understanding of the church. The most recent example is…