July 21, 2017

Author Archive | Mark Shea


Mark Shea: Something astonishing happened to me this weekend

I found myself on the surface of a planet inhabited by creatures who looked just like me! One of them, a stunningly beautiful creature with silver hair, creamy white skin like that of a young girl, yet of my age and able to speak the same complex language I do, looked at me with green […]

Could use some bacon grease!

Mark Shea: Liver and Onions and the Glory of God

I love liver and onions. I do declare it to all the world. You take some bacon grease—bacon grease, blast it, not wimpy corn oil—and heat it on a frying pan. Then you take your onion (sliced or chopped. We are not savages and permit a certain democratic variety here). Be generous. Stinting on onions […]


Mark Shea: There’s more to the Church than priestly and religious life

So the other day, a friend sends along this little manifesto from some guy here in the US who runs some kind of Catholic homeschool thingie. Sez he: The goal of Catholic parenting – especially among homeschooling parents – is to supply the Church with priests, monks and nuns. If, at the end of our […]

U.S. President George W. Bush listens as Pope John Paul II makes a point at the end of their meeting at the Vatican June 4, 2004. It was their first meeting since the Iraq war. The pope told Bush he was deeply concerned about the "grave unrest" in Iraq. (CNS photo/Reuters) (March 21, 2014) See stories SAINTS- March 19, 2014, March 21, 2014 and to come.

Mark Shea: What of ‘retributive justice’? – Capital Punishment, Part 7

As we saw previously in this series, the main argument for retaining the death penalty by most Catholic apologists for it is “retributive justice”.  The complaint is that Pope John Paul II and the post-concilliar Church downplays “retributive justice” and focuses only on preventing danger to the community.  The charge is that there is some […]


Why all the mercy for Scripture’s murderers? – Capital Punishment, Part 4

Last time, we saw in this space that the words of Genesis 9:6 (“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed”) are best understood as a concession to human weakness, not as a positive command or ideal, like the Old Testament’s concession to human weakness in the matter of divorce. […]

christ cross

The God who wants ‘an eye for an eye’ doesn’t exist – Capital Punishment, Part 3

As we consider the Church’s development of doctrine with respect to the death penalty, the central question that arises is this: “What about the centuries the Church approved of capital punishment? In calling for its abolition, aren’t Pope St John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis and the current bishops saying our ancestors were in […]

With a correct understanding of how doctrine develops, you too can avoid a doctrinal freak out.

Mark Shea: Capital Punishment – A Study in the Development of Doctrine, Part I

Part 1: Everything Old is New Again A reading from an ancient manuscript found in Jerusalem authored by Micha-el ben Mattityahu: We’re all familiar with the story by now. A weak pope with a long history of dubious opinions and reckless public statements has fallen under the sway of a liberal cleric with radical ideas […]