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Charles J. Reid, Jr.
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Charles J. Reid, Jr., has degrees in canon law and civil law from the Catholic University of America; and a Ph.D. in medieval history from Cornell University. He was raised in a union household in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Milwaukee with degrees in classical languages and history.

Entries by Charles J. Reid, Jr.

A Joyous Welcome: The Baptism of Umma Azul

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 5:17 PM

Welcoming -- the sacrament of Baptism in the Catholic Church is the sacrament of welcoming. The child is presented to the Church, the community of believers, usually by the parents. The priest calls upon the parents, the godparents, and the entire congregation, to assume the solemn obligation of raising the...

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Cosmos, Answers in Genesis, and Science as Conspiracy Theory

(13) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 5:03 PM

Robert Grosseteste -- yes, that Robert Grosseteste (1175-1253), the medieval thinker and the bishop of Lincoln -- has made scientific headlines. A collaboration between physicists and medievalists has found that "[i]n his treatise on light, written in about 1225, Robert Grosseteste describes a cosmological model in which the...

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Pope Francis: A Year in the Life

(5) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 4:24 PM

It has been a year since the white smoke poured forth from the chimney erected atop the Sistine Chapel signaling the election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis. His election has ushered in significant developments in the way the Papacy does business and how that influences the Church and the...

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The Son of God: Safe and Comfortable Middle Class Jesus

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 10:20 AM

The beauty of the Gospels lies in the way they force us to interpret the life of Jesus. The stories look straightforward enough. A deity is born to humble parents. He gradually reveals himself through miracles. He attracts followers. He is unable to convince the appointed authorities of his godhood,...

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Explaining America's New Place in the World

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 4:55 PM

There has been a near constant stream of commentary from right-wing pundits claiming that America is in a headlong retreat from the world and that it is all President Obama's fault. If the President only stood taller, if he only spoke louder, if he only rolled up his sleeves and...

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Nullification: The Shame of Missouri

(7) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 4:18 PM

White supremacists and slave owners invented the doctrine of nullification -- the idea that the States possess the right to defy federal law where a State has concluded that the law in question was unconstitutional. Most Americans, I am sure, were confident that this idea died a well-deserved death at...

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What We Mean When We Speak of Tradition in the Church

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 3:36 PM

Tradition is of great significance to Catholics. The Catholic Catechism distinguishes among several types of tradition, all of which must be taken seriously. The first and most important kind is Sacred Tradition. It is the awareness and transmission of the Word of God from generation to generation. It...

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The Catholic Church and Same-Sex Marriage: How Might Doctrine Develop?

(29) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 11:06 AM

I was in New York City the first week of February, where I was hosted by David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values. David, who was a prominent opponent of same-sex unions for several years, had a change of heart on the subject in 2012, writing in...

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Pope Francis on Marriage, Annulments, and the Good Judge

(3) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 9:58 PM

It is a speech that typically goes unnoticed by the news media, and this year has been no different. Annually, however, it is one of the more significant speeches any pope delivers. And that is his address to the Roman Rota.

The Roman Rota is one of two Vatican "supreme...

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May a Man Marry a Man? A Medieval Debate

(13) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 5:21 PM

Don't yawn, but my training is in medieval canon law. And, yes, this is almost the ultimate sub-specialty (I have a special admiration, though, for those who do cuneiform legal studies). In my own work, I have focused in books and articles on a group of canon lawyers who flourished...

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Greed Is Not Good: The Social Usefulness of Progressive Public Policy

(6) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 1:22 PM

Progressive public policy has chiefly appealed to one of two great social values: A sense of fairness; or a concern for the welfare of others. Consider the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960's. This body of legislation was promoted and defended on the basis of fairness. Whole classes of Americans...

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The End of the Papal Monarchy?

(2) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 12:11 PM

pope francis


The Papacy is a monarchy. It is recognized as such at international law. Like monarchies of all places and times, the papacy has depended on mystification to keep its reign intact. Monarchies require distance between ruler and ruled. They demand an elaborate etiquette,...

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Bitcoins, Tulips and Libertarians

(61) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 7:45 PM

What is it about the libertarian infatuation with bitcoins? Ron Paul announced in early December that the bitcoin could "destroy the dollar." He seemed to be gloating. In Chile, a collection of "anarchists, libertarians, and Ron Paul supporters" have founded a libertarian utopia they have named...

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Shadow Over Springfield: The Failures of a Warrior Bishop

(4) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 6:12 PM

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., has recently been much in the news for his staging of a public exorcism on Nov. 20, 2013, the day Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill recognizing marriage equality in Illinois. Bishop Paprocki's actions raise a few questions: What is the state...

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A Tale of Two Roll Outs

(2) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 2:40 PM

A national television audience tuned in eagerly anticipating the moment. The air crackled with excitement. The countdown solemnly proceeded. And then it happened. It blew up on the launch pad. It exploded. In an expanding, billowing fireball, the Vanguard rocket intended to carry the American response to Sputnik...

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A Thank You Note to Pope Francis

(8) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 4:30 PM

Your Holiness --

As we approach American Thanksgiving, it is time to express gratitude for a very important development in the life of the Catholic Church, which I very much love. And that is the grace of your pontificate.

It began in those exciting early days. Recall the foot-washing ceremony...

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Why Love Prevails: What Is Marriage?

(24) Comments | Posted November 16, 2013 | 12:49 PM

Does love make a marriage? Or does sex? And if sex makes a marriage, then what kind of sex? These were central themes of a debate I participated in at the University of Notre Dame on Nov. 9th, where I discussed these questions with two proponents of a highly traditional...

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All Is Lost and the Human Condition

(4) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 12:40 PM

We are born alone, we die alone, and we are swept unremembered into a meaningless eternity. This is the message a viewer might take away from Robert Redford's performance in his All Is Lost.

The film is a stunning tale of loneliness. It is set on a sailboat adrift on...

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Let's Banish Talk About 'Intrinsic Disorder'

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 2:51 PM

Paras. 2357 and 2358 of the Catholic Catechism describe same-sex attraction as "objectively disordered" and same-sex relations as "intrinsically disordered." These are passages, it seems, that Pope Francis refuses to speak. Even though as supreme pontiff he has addressed same-sex attraction several times in highly public ways,

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Bigger and Badder Than Before: The Second Coming of Ted Cruz

(5) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 1:20 PM

He will rise again. Make no mistake. Ted Cruz is already on the comeback trail. Indeed, he was never really defeated in the first place. A freshman senator, in office for less than a year, he scheduled a news conference Wednesday evening to compete directly with Senate Majority...

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