:Father Joe Pagano describes a poll taken among parish members, on their opinion as to which ancient heresy might be most persistent on our own day. The winning selection was Donatism. Let me explain. The last serious Roman persecution of Christians was under Emperor Diocletian beginning in the late third century. Church property was burnt. Those caught as Christians had two choices: to surrender written materials and to sacrifice to the Roman gods, or otherwise to face a painful death. Some, itching for martyrdom, made the latter choice. Many, mindful that the gods in question don’t exist and wanting to live to fight another day,Read More →

In today’s gospel reading [Luke 18: 1-8] we encounter a judge who has no interest in civil law or the statutes Jews regarded as divine law. He begins to refuse a widow’s petition, despite special provisions in Jewish law for widows and orphans. Why might he refuse? Perhaps he is afraid of the defendant, or that party has political connections, or could be a croney. Maybe he is lazy. Maybe he considers her a nobody which, in reality, in that society, she is!In the event, he decides to relent and grant justice, because she might — to translate the Greek literally — slap his face.Read More →