Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

The Five Stages of Religious Persecution

I first wrote on the topic of religious persecution over two years ago and since then things have only gotten worse. Clearly the situation in Iraq is awful. But here in the U.S. as well, the threats against religious liberty have continued. Indeed, here in the States it is rare that a respected segment of American life would become […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Meditation on the Utter Absurdity of the Cross to a Hedonistic World

In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord sets forth the theology of the Cross and redemptive suffering. In so doing he sets forth a doctrine that is utter absurdity to this world. The indignation of the modern world against the Cross borders on outrage. Why is this? Simply put, hedonism. Hedonism is the worldly “doctrine” that pleasure […] Read the rest of this entry »

Every Round Goes Higher, Higher – A Homily for the 22nd Sunday of the Year

In today’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the Cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages. I. The Pattern that is Announced – The text says, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem […] Read the rest of this entry »

On Staying the Course with Mother Church, As seen on TV

One of the cultural challenges we face in both living and proclaiming the faith is that the true faith often doesn’t fit our frantic pace or our expectation of instantaneous results. Consider that many today, including those of us who believe, demand the “quick fix.” Whatever the situation—be it sickness, the needed repair of something we […] Read the rest of this entry »

Living in the House of Love – A Meditation on a Teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas

In my years as a priest, I have often had people ask me why God, who we say needs nothing and is fully content and joyful in Himself, created anything outside Himself. Does His act of creation indicate that He lacked something or that He needed others? This is difficult for us humans to understand. To […] Read the rest of this entry »

People Need People, As Seen at the Beach

I spent a few days at Bethany Beach (in Delaware) this week with four other priests, thanks to some very generous lay people who allowed us to stay in their house. In Washington we speak of going to the beach. But in nearby Baltimore they say, “We’re goin’ down-e-ocean.” I think in New Jersey they call it  “going down the […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Reform of the Whole World Takes Place One Soul at a Time, Starting with My Own

Yesterday’s blog on the increasing darkness in our culture received a lot of good feedback. Special thanks to Patrick Madrid for spreading the word. Reading such data can cause us to feel discouraged at times. Here are a few thoughts on this discouragement and what we can do about it. 1. The beatitude “Blessed are those […] Read the rest of this entry »

Recent Gallup Poll Is a Snapshot of the Moral and Cultural Revolution

The results of a recent Gallup poll on a range of moral issues do a pretty good job of showing how dramatically America has changed in a rather short period of time. Many behaviors now deemed “largely acceptable” were once considered very wrong. In fact, most of us over fifty remember an America that was very different. Until […] Read the rest of this entry »

Demons Believe and Tremble: A Reflection on the Theft of the Eucharist by Satanists

A couple of years ago I wrote of an unusual experience I had at Mass wherein a person who was troubled by a demon had those demons manifest themselves at the consecration, causing the person to run out of the Church. More on that in a moment. I thought of that long-ago incident in relation to the current […] Read the rest of this entry »

If No One Is Pope, Everyone is Pope – A Homily for the 21st Sunday of the Year

The Gospel today sets forth the biblical basis for the Office of Peter—the Office of the Papacy—for Peter’s successors are the popes. The word “pope” is simply an English version (via Anglo-Saxon and Germanic tongues) of the word “papa.” The Pope is affectionately called “Papa” in Italian and Spanish as an affectionate indication that he […] Read the rest of this entry »

If you know the end of the story, there’s a lot you can disregard – As seen on TV

Usually we don’t like to know the end of the story and when someone blurts out the ending it’s called a “spoiler.” What fun is it to read a “whodunnit” when you already know who did it? But when it comes to the faith, not only should we know the end of the story—we must […] Read the rest of this entry »

“Not only divorced from marriage, divorced from reality.” An essay on the ugliness of divorce

Some years ago a woman (and parishioner) told me, almost in passing,  that she and her husband were planning to divorce. Knowing that she had two young children, both under 10, I asked her in so many words, “What about the children?” Unabashedly she assured me that they were in fact divorcing for the sake of […] Read the rest of this entry »