Catholic Controversies

At the 20219 investiture of new Knights and Dames into the North Central Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, I was asked to give the keynote talk on Sunday morning with a good number of bishops in attendance and several renowned theologians and radio personalities.

IMGP1378(Photo: Janet and I with Patriarch of Jerusalem Saba at Mass at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Easter 2004)

Janet and I have been members of this order for nearly 20 years now. Since Janet and I have been to Israel over 180 times, I assumed they would request a talk on the Holy Land, the Holy Sepulchre and the local Christians that we support. So I accepted.

But as the date drew nearer I asked which topic was chosen for me. The Lieutenant of the North Central Lieutenancy informed me, you shall speak on “How can a John Paul II Catholic Survive in a Pope Francis World”.

I was a bit shocked but said I would do it. Having written two books on the Papacy published by Ignatius Press (The Papacy and Upon this Rock) and an on-location document (Peter, Keeper of the Keys) I have a bit of knowledge about the papacy.

The talk was given the morning after I returned home from Israel at 10 PM the night before. I was exhausted and jetlagged but asked God for strength and clarity. Hope you find the talk helpful and encouraging in these strange days in which we live.

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My discussion with Fr. James Altman about the state of the Church and the World. It was a lively discussion and hope you find it helpful.

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On Restoring the Sunday Mass Obligation

by Steve Ray on February 20, 2021

This article was released Saturday, February 20 at The Catholic Thing.

As American Catholics enter Year II of lockdown, a number of dioceses are beginning to roll back the universal dispensation from Sunday Mass.  The Archdiocese of Detroit is the most prominent, announcing that as of March 13, the universal dispensation of the faithful from the dominical precept will be replaced by eight specific grounds for dispensation,  including illness of various kinds, caring for sick or homebound people, pregnancy, being 65 or older, not being able to get there, or “significant fear.”….

…The usual suspects quickly jumped out to assure us that “conscience” and not the hierarchical church has the final word on so esoteric a discipline for Catholics as participating in the Sunday Eucharist….

It’s time to end universal dispensations.  Two obvious things make that case.  Lots of secular activities are now pretty robust.  Churches aren’t.

I love this guy! I love this guy!

Over two recent weekends, I was looking at a local brewery, gym, grocery, and clothing store.  They might not be as filled as they were a year ago, but they weren’t doing too badly, either.  While arguably people need the grocery store, Friday night foursomes over beers at the bar seem less compelling….

(Picture: Priest with a sign saying, “If you can come grocery shopping then you can come to Mass.“)

Some bishops have posed the question, “If you feel comfortable dining out in a restaurant, why can’t you return to church?”  Today’s Twitter crowd criticized such tactics as stoking people’s “guilt,” a clearly impermissible motivation – for them – to get people to question their behavior.  But the question remains: If we are willing to take public risks on exposure not strictly necessary to at-home survival (e.g., going to a bar or restaurant), what makes the risk factor of Church so much more dangerous, at least in our minds?

We are at a dangerous crossroads.  Catholicism is a sacramental religion, i.e., one that involves the physical. COVID is a particularly apt disease for our gnostic-tinged age: it treats the physical as suspect, dirty, contaminated…..

…. Governments that suggest we “can worship in the privacy of the home” are governments implicitly advancing a Protestant theology of “Jesus as my personal Savior,” for which the church is a nice but ultimately unnecessary accessory.

Lots more in this excellent article. To read the whole exhortation, click here.

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Steve Ray Live Discussion with Fr. James Altman who has defended the truth in the Church

February 10, 2021
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Biden, Politics and the Eucharist

December 4, 2020

BIDEN AND COMMUNION  Russell Shaw writes about the controversy with Joe Biden receiving Communion. “People who think pro-choice Catholic politicians like President-elect Joe Biden shouldn’t be given Communion are often accused of politicizing the sacrament. But the real politicizers are the accusers, who introduce politics into the discussion. The accused aren’t motivated by politics but by […]

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What to think about the Pope and his comments of Civil Unions for Homosexuals

October 22, 2020

This morning I had prepared to wax eloquent about the recently revealed comments by Pope Francis and the confusion and dismay they are causing with faithful Catholics and the jubilant “hurrays” coming from the  Catholics who would love to Church to fit the modern world. Remember that GK Chesterton said, “The Catholic Church is the […]

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If Slavery were legal, slavery would be a single issue for voters

October 16, 2020

Today I will pre-record a radio show with Fr. McTeigue SJ, on The Stations of the Cross Radio network. The discussion is entitled “In Defense of Single Issue Voting.” I will make the case that if today one political party held slavery as legal and the other opposed it, that slavery would become a single-issue […]

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Another Good Priest Removed: What a Shame!

July 4, 2020

It seems like the Sadducees and Pharisees of old, the clericalists and religious leaders of their day, are again killing the prophets and silencing the voices in the wilderness. Bishop Timothy Doherty (765-742-0275) removed Father Ted Rothrock, of Carmel, IN for posting in his bulletin the truth about the social situation today. For Fr. Ted’s comments, […]

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My Seven Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family & Friends

June 2, 2020

Recently I had the opportunity to do a podcast with Pamela Fernandez about a topic that I am asked about more than any other. What should I do with my family? How do I get them back in the Church? You can also visit Pamela’s website for more info and resources. Hopefully you will enjoy […]

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Two New Zoom Podcasts: Matt Fradd’s “Pints with Aquinas” & “Reason and Theology”

May 26, 2020

On his podcast Pints with Aquinas, Matt Fradd and I discussed the Papacy. Very lively and wide-ranging conversation. Matt is an excellent interviewer. He entitled the show “A Conversation with the “Indiana Jones” of the Catholic Church” I interviewed on Reason & Faith on the Crisis in the Church with William Albrecht, Erick Ybarra and […]

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Debunking 5 Biblical Myths Accepted by Many as True

May 17, 2020

There are three “truths” I have been asked about many times. Often people tell me these as though they’re explaining to me something I’ve never heard before. However, in each case, there is no historical, biblical or actual basis to any three of them. In each case they started being taught in recent times and […]

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Four cardinals join global appeal decrying crackdown on basic freedoms over coronavirus

May 7, 2020

Update: Cardinal Sarah denied having been a signatory. May 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic clergy led by former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Cardinals Robert Sarah, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Joseph Zen, and Janis Pujats have joined an appeal “for the Church and the world” that warns that the COVID-19 pandemic is being used […]

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More and more Catholics identifying as “born-again”

March 13, 2020

This is an unsettling development in the American Catholic Church. However, we had it coming. With priestly scandals, weak-kneed bishops, liberal and leftist theology and politics — what are serious Catholics to do? The answer is to hunker down, pray and work for revival, but many are looking to the conservative, experiential, emotionally-satisfying Evangelical churches […]

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This is the Faith! Thank you Cardinal Müller!

January 21, 2020

Speaking into the confusion of our modern world, and unfortunately the Vatican. Bravo Cardinal Müller!

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“Francis was never pope? Call me unpersuaded.” By Dr. Ed Peters

January 20, 2020

Article below by Canon Lawyer, Dr. Ed Peters: (Steve Ray here: It is amazing how many people today are rejecting the papacy of Pope Francis, claiming that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is really the pope. It comes up on my Twitter and Facebook accounts almost daily. Even though Canon Lawyer Ed Peters wrote his legal […]

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If the Barrage of Bad News from Rome causes Anxiety…

November 24, 2019

If following the problems in Rome is causing you to stumble, be depressed or anxious— just turn it off and live your Catholic life locally and be holy. This is what all Catholics did before the prevalence of the mass media.

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