• YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Podcast

Catholic in America: ‘Fifty Shades’ the Product of a Romantically Bankrupt Culture

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

February 20, 2015

Al Kresta

From a cheesy bit of anonymous fan fiction with vapid characters, ludicrous plot and insipid writing, “Fifty Shades of Grey” morphed into a Harry Potter-size marketing phenomenon. When the dust settles, however, we’ll discover it was little more than a self-generated, incestuous bit of media marketing foreplay without the grand socio-sexual climax promised by its boosters or prophesied by its critics.

The “Fifty Shades” franchise is a marketing windfall, but a cultural dud. One can Continue Reading

Catholic in America: We Must Understand Mindset of Jihadism

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

February 6, 2015

Al Kresta

Two weeks ago, I asked a crowd of 650 educated Catholic CEOs and their spouses if they had ever seen Osama bin Laden’s 1998 Declaration of War, in which he quotes the Qur’an against U.S. actions in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Not a single hand went up. This result would be repeated in almost every gathering of American Catholics in spite of the easy access we have to these documents online or in print.

Fourteen years after 9/11, we remain stunningly ignorant of what former British Prime Continue Reading

Catholic in America: Martin Luther King Jr. was flawed, but does it matter?

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

January 23, 2015

Al Kresta

Martin Luther King Jr. is a hero to most Americans. Every child is taught to look up to, if not revere, him. Every rights movement polishes itself with some of King’s shine.

But, given King’s almost universal stature as a modern saint for secularists and Christians alike, we do well to remember that he was, like the rest of us, deeply flawed. His gifts of courage and leadership, as has been said, coexisted with the intellectual sin of plagiarism and the marital sin of adultery. What do we Continue Reading

Catholic in America: 2014: What hast thou wrought?

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

December 26, 2014

Al Kresta

It’s late December, and the close of another year. Of what have we been concerned, and what have we learned, in 2014?

Torture: Senate Democrats recently released a report criticizing the CIA for using “torture” to extract information from detainees. The debate revolved around the definition of “torture.” The debate is an old one.

World War I, the “Great War,” experimented with new destructive devices: machine Continue Reading

Catholic in America: Beginning to restore the divided Church of Christ

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

November 26, 2014

Al Kresta

“Reformation Day” is celebrated by Protestant Christians on Oct. 31. As a former Protestant pastor, I use it to thank God for the disciplines of Scripture study, personal prayer and evangelism that I learned in Protestant circles. In time, however, questions forced upon me as a pastor made me reconsider the wisdom of the Catholic Church and the nature of the Protestant Reformation.

I asked myself: “Would Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, or Henry VIII now regard Continue Reading

Catholic in America: Was the Reformation good or bad for Christendom?

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

November 14, 2014

Al Kresta

What Americans do on Oct. 31” would make a fun documentary or feature comedy.

For most Americans, Oct. 31 is the playful “trick-or-treat” Halloween we all loved as children. A smaller number of observant Catholics still observe All Hallow’s Eve, or the vigil of All Saints Day. Some Protestant fundamentalists and Pentecostals warn against “Halloween” for fear of opening oneself up to demonic influence. Toward the end of the 20th century, a tiny number of Celtic neopagans and Wiccans decided to reinvent Oct. 31 as the allegedly pre-Christian pagan holiday of Samhain. But for a significant number of serious Protestants, it remains “Reformation Day.”  Continue Reading

Catholic in America: JPII feast day recalls Church-led ‘bloodless revolution’

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

October 30, 2014

Al Kresta

On October 22 I celebrated St. John Paul II’s feast day with my radio listeners. The liberation of Eastern Europe came up and I was back in 1989-91. I hadn’t thought I would outlive communism and the Cold War. To friends I’d joke that Sally and I named our first two children Alexis (1981) and Nicholas (1984) just in case the Russians took over. “See, comrades, both our first-borns have Russian names.” It always got just a few laughs. But, lo and behold — ding, dong, Soviet style communism was dead just like the wicked old witch.

Back in 1989, however, my listeners were ho-hum about the faith bubbling Continue Reading

Catholic in America: They’ll know we are Christians by our love

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

October 16, 2014

Al Kresta

A Protestant leader coordinating mission projects for Southeast Asia told me that “division and disunity among Christians” was undermining his proclamation of the Gospel. Two years before, Pope St. John Paul II declared the same in “That They May be One.” Protestant or Catholic, disunity sabotages evangelization.

The hostile reaction to Cardinal Dolan becoming grand marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade is instructive. Was this prudent? Good Catholics disagree. How we Continue Reading

Catholic in America: Parade Flap Exposes Anger, Bitterness Unbecoming of Catholics

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

October 3, 2014

Al Kresta

Like Queen Esther, our time is thrust upon us. In this new moment of American Catholic history, we need a new evangelization born from a new evaluation of our mission field. Earlier priests expected to be chaplains to a fairly stable American Catholic community. Today’s priests realize they are missionaries to a confused, if not corrupt, generation. Laity have awakened to their co-responsibility for the Church. It’s a great but challenging time to be Catholic in America. My next two columns reflect on this new environment by observing the controversy surrounding New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The cardinal archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, will be the parade’s Continue Reading

Catholic in America: Decency and honesty … not too shabby

al_kresta-125x130

The Michigan Catholic

September 5, 2014

Al Kresta

Too often, it seems that the common decency and intellectual honesty that earlier generations expected from adults is no longer valued in our world more concerned with entertainment, consumerism, self-presentation and impression management. So three incidents of decency and honesty pleased me last week. Maybe they will correct some widely, if carelessly held assumptions.

First, do you often hear complaints from friends, co-workers, talk show hosts, Continue Reading

Page 1 of 512345
YouTube Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Podcast