Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Church and Culture


In vitro fertilization is back in the news. The Alabama Supreme Court in recent weeks issued a ruling that recognized frozen embryos stored for use in IVF were accorded the rights of personhood under the law. Politicians on both sides of the aisle latched onto this political football, with everyone praising what they consider to be the essential good of IVF as an answer to a couple’s desire to have a child. Regrettably, they’re still wrong on the ethics and on the facts.

No one has a right to another person. This is a foundational principle that we wield to battle, in law and life, the evils of slavery, racism, sex trafficking, torture, and kidnapping. Every person is worthy of dignity and protection simply because they exist as a human person. The human body is a complex organism, a delicate machine with millions of parts, intricately functioning to maintain life. Human reproduction requires not one, but two people to achieve success. There’s dysfunction in every body, and some couples may not be able to have children due to these dysfunctions.

Thankfully, there are ethical medical solutions to these dysfunctions, but far too many are counseled that their solution and savior is IVF. The strong emotional response to the loss of fertility drives these couples to make the emotional, and destructively wrong, decision to use IVF.

IVF is morally wrong because, in every step of the process, it violates the basic dignity of the human person. It first promotes the philosophy that one person has a right to another. It intentionally creates multiple children through fertilization, with full knowledge that most of those embryos will be discarded. These fertilized eggs have a complete, unique DNA sequence. They have the essential blueprint that, given adequate hydration, nutrition, and shelter, would develop through all stages of life. They are human persons, like you or me, simply at a different stage of development.

IVF wrongfully deprives the child of the inherent right to be created through an act of mutual love by one’s parents. Instead, they are crafted in a sterile lab by an anonymous technician they will never meet. Once created, the embryos, a scientific term that simply refers to the earliest stage of human development, are frozen. Held in suspense, not permitted to die a natural death, they remain in this metaphysical hell until a scientist deigns to implant them in their mother’s womb.

Many embryos are implanted during the procedure with the hopes that just one of them will result in pregnancy. IVF has a dreadful success rate, meaning that even if a pregnancy is achieved, some number greater than one of these embryos dies in the process. One life created, built on the destruction of untold others.

Emotions are an important part of the human psyche, but they’re also deeply flawed and often wrong. Turning the desire of wanting to have a family into a scorched earth quest to achieve pregnancy at any cost distorts the “essential good” that IVF feigns to offer. It’s akin to a loving father wanting to keep his children safe, so he never lets them leave the house. That’s not love; that’s prison.

We have so much work to do in order to build a culture of life. That’s especially true in these days when it’s a true challenge to convince most of the electorate that there should be some, any limits to abortion. Many of the referendums passed in the days since Dobbs have resulted in even fewer restrictions on abortion than Roe. Parental consent, alternate counseling, doors wide enough for emergency medical equipment to pass through, and physician credentialing are all barriers to abortion too high under the law. If a physician in any other discipline practiced medicine without these basic safeguards, they’d lose their license, be the piñata of the trial bar, and likely jailed.

Despite this challenging work, we can never equivocate because that is the nature of ethics; they are unchanging. No one has a right to possess another person, and no one has the right to kill another person.


A frequent criticism of Christians is that, in times of great sorrow or difficulty, we fall back on platitudes rather than meaningful action. It’s true that we quote Scripture as a form of consolation and encouragement, but it should hardly be regarded as a platitude.Read Article

Breaking Faith

It’s challenging to remember the feelings we experienced at the election of Pope Francis. A total wild card, a true Vatican outsider, swept onto the world stage and took the Chair of St. Peter by storm. It was, in some ways, a bit refreshing. Pope Benedict XVI was deeply intellectual, providing the theological underpinnings that we need to sustain the faith. Still, we longed for the charismatic and energetic days of Pope John Paul II.Read Article


It’s hard to not be grateful when we realize the blessing of being born into this country. For all of its faults, we’ve built a Republic that thrives on pluralism. In South America, poverty, gang warfare, and narcoterrorism rule the day. In Europe, a land war rages on. In Asia, autocrats squeeze out dissent at home and abroad. Slavery, violence, oppression and subjugation are themes of human history, and the continue today unabated. And yet, in North America, we are at peace.
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Slow Progress

We awake to find ourselves suddenly in a Post-Roe world. The question of abortion is thrown back into the political process, and it’s dawning on all of us that we spent 40 years praying for this day, and almost no time preparing for it.Read Article

Worth Celebrating

At every point in our Nation’s life, all 246 years, there have been voices predicting its imminent collapse. There’s no doubt that we have struggled in this unique experiment of human governance. Never has a group of people as diverse as our population come together and governed for so long with such prosperity. It’s never happened before, and therefore, some conclude it can never survive.Read Article

The Work Begins

For 49 years, our voice on the fundamental issue for society was silenced. A contrived legal theory, enshrined in precedent, permitted a mother, with few limits, to take the life of her child for any reason. Just not a theory, but a position that argued that it was as the framers of the Constitution intended. We marched, we prayed, we did the work, and had our rights finally restored.Read Article

Applied Bioethics

One of the best outcomes from majoring in Philosophy is how it nurtured my sense of curiosity. The toolset that I gained helps me look critically at the world and think deeply about issues. Alison and I’s story is in its twelfth year. We started dating the final semester of college, and the story continues today.Read Article

Image and Likeness

2021 was supposed to be the year of civility and normalcy. Well, we didn’t get it. Instead, we got more acrimony and animosity. Last year I wrote about walking under the stars and listening to the Bible. I had started the Bible in a Year podcast with Fr. Mike Schmitz. I didn’t make it past day 25 or so, but I’m starting over.Read Article

All Things New

What a lousy two years we’ve had. Disruption, distortion, and distrust maligned what was supposed to be a grand opening of a new decade. Peace, prosperity, and stability reigned, and we collectively looked forward to more of the same. How quickly that all faded.Read Article

Creating Evil

I rarely go to the movies. In fact, I think the last new movie that I saw in theaters was Mission Impossible 6 in the summer of 2018. I intended to go see the new James Bond film in October when it came out, but I missed the narrow window. I watched it this weekend and it was terrible.Read Article


If you wonder why society has come unglued, why hated and bigotry are suddenly spotted everywhere, and it’s because of this. When we reject the fundamental sacredness and specialness of life, acting against it becomes easy and unglued. Read Article

Perfect Heroes

Hero is a common word these days. Healthcare workers are heroes for putting themselves and their families at risk to provide care for the sick. Grocery workers are heroes for taking similar risks and keeping us fed. The list goes on and on.Read Article


Divine Mercy Sunday was yesterday. This annual jubilee is a reset available for anyone who wants it. More importantly, it’s a reminder of the depths of God’s mercy.Read Article

He is Not Here

What a Lent! After a year of pandemic and lockdowns, this Spring is starting to feel quite refreshing. Vaccine rollouts continue, along with positive studies on their effectiveness. Business is picking up, people are coming out of their homes, and life seems beautiful again.
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Something remarkable happens when you engage in a daily habit of prayer. I’ve written before about attunement, being more aware of God’s presence in your life. When you take the time to make prayer a priority in your life, you experience these moments when you feel as if God is speaking directly to you and to your circumstance. I had that experience at Mass yesterday.Read Article

Time Lost

The last week of the year is traditionally a pensive time for me. In an ordinary year, I would wrap up major projects, revamp my productivity systems, review my annual goals, and map out the next year. This year is different.Read Article


The Fourth Week of Advent is here, and our time of preparation is coming to a close. We’ve spent nearly a month awaiting the arrival of the King, and our waiting is nearly done.Read Article

What Did We Learn

America’s political class went into Election Day with a very specific idea of how things were going to go. As the returns came in that evening, a clear picture emerged. Americans are much more moderate and level-headed than our social media feeds and the legacy media would have us believe.Read Article

Election Eve

Election day is finally here. What a cycle it’s been! In many respects, this election cycle has been just as dramatic as any other. It’s the biggest, most contentious, most important election of your life! We’re either going to have a country or a civil war starting on Wednesday morning. At least that’s what we’re told. The truth is, people have predicted the downfall of America since its beginning. Yet, here we are.Read Article

Off the Reservation

This blog has defended Pope Francis. He told us to go out into the Church and the world to make a mess. His pontificate has certainly achieved that objective. The Vatican’s moral abdication on China is disconcerting. Over a million ethic Uyghurs arbitrarily detained in concentration camps, and the Vatican said nothing. The Chinese Communist Party’s insistence on Sinicization of religion and even the accord allowing the CCP to co-appoint bishops adds to the concern. In addition to issues on the world stage, Pope Francis has regularly minimized the primary troubles of our day to include marriage, family life, and abortion.Read Article

The New Evangelization Stumbles

Getting to Mass on a weekday is hard for me, and that was before the pandemic. The difficulty is not handling my four kids by myself for half an hour. It’s getting everyone up, dressed, fed, and in the pew by 8:30am. Lately our parish switched Mass times for the weekday liturgies to 5:00pm, another challenge for parents of little ones.Read Article

Safety and Stability

We live comfortably, but that’s rarely the experience of Catholics. Many, if not most Catholics throughout history lived very rough lives. They’ve been outcasts, despised, reviled, jailed, tortured, and killed. In this pandemic, we too share in this experience of discomfort. How will we respond? Read Article

Spiritual Bankruptcy

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the mass shootings gripping our society. Young men, disaffected and isolated, suffering from mental illness, take up arms and attack unsuspecting victims in acts of extreme violence. These events are things that we’re used to seeing in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East. We’re not accustomed to hearing about them happening in our schools, offices, and shopping centers.Read Article

The Scandal

Many Catholics in the United States felt in the opening years of the millennium that we had stared down our inner-demons. The uproar over the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy was justified, even if justice was never truly served. Consider the fate of Cardinal Law. He was ejected from his leadership role in the Archdiocese of Boston and lived out his final days in Rome, where he reportedly had an outsized influence over the governance of the Church. After all, he had nothing to do but go to meetings and lend his suggestions.Read Article

Jehovah's Witness

There are many things that I’m getting used to now that I live in a house in a neighborhood. Living in an apartment or in a rural community, there aren’t that many door-to-door solicitors that bother. Nowadays, whenever anyone knocks on my door, they’re either selling a home security system or their religion.Read Article

Build Your Parish

A few years ago, my parents’ parish redesigned their website. I have an interest in these sorts of things, so I complemented my mom one day on its beauty and usability. As it turns out, in a parish full of technologists, they were paying a 3rd party company to build and run their website. My mom expressed dismay that no one had stepped forward to take on that responsibility.Read Article

Pro-Life with Credibility

The modern pro-life movement has focused on the issue of abortion. It would seem that is an appropriate focus given the scope of abortion and the opportunity for change. There have been 59M abortion deaths in the United States since 1973. Even so, to be pro-life requires that we be more than just anti-abortion.Read Article

Impeach Francis

I seldom take the time to read editorials. While the premise is good, the execution scarcely follows through. They tend to be pejorative, one-sided, and offer little intellectual value to the conversation. Instead, they simply validate those who already agree with a particular viewpoint and shut out the rest. I came across what ended up being a rather amusing editorial in which the author suggested that Pope Francis should resign. Furthermore, should he decline such an enticing offer, the faithful should force him out of office.Read Article

Divorcing Faith & Work

Over the past several decades, the pressure to divorce one’s faith from one’s work has become increasingly strong. We’ve done it for a very long time in our political life, even as far back as the candidacy of John F. Kennedy who gave a landmark speech in which he aimed to assuage the American voter that as president, he wouldn’t be beholden to the papacy. This pseudo-logic, when taken at face value, presents itself as common sense; if my faith interferes with your life, then as a holder of public office, I shouldn’t use my faith so as to allow you to have absolute freedom. The problem with this line of thinking is that by leaving behind the tenants of one’s faith in the workplace, we all lose out on the very tangible goods that accompany faith.Read Article

Antonin Scalia: America's Thomas More

“In every interaction you have with people, you can either give them life or take some away.” -Toby Mac

The passing of Justice Antonin Scalia is a great tragedy. Although all things are done in God’s time, I, along with many others, selfishly wish that he could have been permitted to remain with us longer. His death raises many interesting lessons that we can apply to our lives. Truly this was a man who lived the haunting words of Christ, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.”Read Article

Broken Promises

I've been struggling lately to defend my beliefs amid our culture shifts. It's not that I think that I'm wrong, but it’s that I'm made to feel like I'm wrong. It's the bitter poison that Modernism tries to feed us. Modernism is a supremacist ideology that seeks to suppress and supplant all other thought systems. When you get down to the meat of Modernism's arguments, it's mostly semantics. New is not always better than old. New is not always destructive. Old is not always wrong. What isn't semantics, however, is logic. The fatal flaw of Modernism is that it cannot withstand even the first buffets of logic.Read Article

Pray for Those Who Persecute You

Jesus’ words always call us on to greater things, to be better people than we are today. Jesus’ words seem hyperbolic, but they are anything but hyperbolic. He was calling us to live the lives we were made to live, to reach the levels of true freedom that God had always intended for us.Read Article

Vapid Music

I'm fairly certain in every generation, as art pushes the boundaries of cultural norms and acceptability, there's always a crowd of people who assert that the new forms of art are unacceptable and in some ways corrupting. In modern society, as the boundaries of music are broken down and it's availability reaches its apex, so too has the sheer amount of music. New forms of music are emerging, as are new subforms. As we all consume more and more music, the importance of the message and impact becomes paramount.Read Article

The Radical Early Christians

For perhaps the first time in my life, I'm reading the Acts of the Apostles. Alison gave me the fantastic Ignatius Catholic Study Bible for Father's Day this year and I've been working my way through the Gospels and other books of the New Testament. I wrote earlier this year about how I've been reading the Bible footnotes along with the actual text and how much richer of an experience it isRead Article

Why Mass Matters

I don't bother to read the surveys that pollsters do of Catholics. It turns into an exercise in, "I'm more Catholic than you," and the number of people who self-identify as Catholic is way too high. Honestly, if you consistently miss Mass, it's time to stop self-identifying as Catholic. It’s like being a vegetarian who eats meat four times a week. However, one thing that every survey does show is that the frequency of Mass attendance directly correlates to agreement with the Magisterium.Read Article

Priests Are Superheroes

If I were a priest, the standing weekly appointment that I'd most look forward to, and at the same time most dread, is Reconciliation. Confession is a beautiful, necessary, and needed Sacrament. Yet, for the priest, it also means that he must stand in the place of Christ, already a challenging role, and receive the burdens of everyone. I imagine that experiencing the fight for good and evil in such a real way can be an emotional challenge.Read Article

Christian Animosity Towards Catholics

During Pope Francis' recent visit to the United States, I was inundated with news articles, Tweets, and Facebook posts about the Church, often from people who aren't Catholic. Some of the reporting was quite pitiful, and a few of the Tweets and Facebook posts were inane. One of the most shocking Tweets I read was about the Papal Mass at Madison Square Gardens. The twit asked why they made the Mass a ticketed event when it should be open to anyone who wants to go.Read Article

Every Election is Important

We're getting deep into the 2016 election, even though it's more than a year away. The fields for both political parties are getting plenty of attention for the wild card candidates that have thrown their hats into the ring. There's a level of excitement about the race, but really for all of the wrong reasons.Read Article

The Art of Compromise

We live in a large society, and so the idea that we can have things exactly the way we want them is unrealistic. Even in our own marriages and families, when there are two decision makers, neither spouse can have complete control over how the household is run. We need to become experts in compromise, an all but lost art in a society that loves drama and rewards polarization. We achieve more by working together than by remaining intransigent.Read Article

The Church Isn't A Democracy

The reporting and commenting on the Church these days is insufferable. I skip over most articles, including those in the Wall Street Journal because they completely miss the mark. Even worse, although some articles contain bits of good information, reading them as if I wasn't Catholic, I can see how ambiguity of phrasing could give the complete wrong impression of the Church.Read Article

Go Read the Documents

If you have a question about what the Church teaches, just go read the documents. Start with the Catechism and then go and read supporting documents.Read Article

The Politics of Abortion

Public opinion polls should not inform morality. Yet, as we enter into another long and grueling national election cycle, we're already starting to experience just that. Politicians are taking stands on issues that aren't aligned with their true beliefs, but rather they’re taking stands that the polls tell them are palatable to the electorate. Perhaps no issue speaks more clearly to this reality than abortion.Read Article

A Culture that Respects Life

We find ourselves, yet again, as Americans doing some serious soul-searching after last week's incident of gun violence. Two young journalists gunned down on live TV in a chilling video clip that's been seen by millions the world over. The assailant, hours later, taking his own life.Read Article

Celebrate Life

One of the great tragedies of our modern era is our misunderstanding of the value of children. For a wide range of reasons, people tend to hold a very pessimistic and self-centered view on children. This contraceptive mindset has brought us to a very sad place where people miss out on the absolute joys of raising children.Read Article

Book Review: Marriage

Last December, during one of our regular visits to my parent's house, my dad handed me a book of his to read. This happens from time to time; a book that he got a great deal out of will end up in my temporary library to enjoy. Since I've committed to a habit of regular reading this year, my book queue is able to take on these random offerings.Read Article

The Rise of Divorce

I've recently started working on a family genealogy project. In the past, I hadn't much cared about my family's history beyond my grandparents, but lately I've become fascinated with our family's story. I'm basing all of my research around Benedict as the starting person and am excited about the journey that this is taking me on. While many of the discoveries have been very exciting, I've noticed something else that's rather tragic. In keeping with what I suspect is par for the course today, in the last 115 years, it's nearly impossible to find any branch of my family within two generations that hasn't been touched by divorce.Read Article

Our Political Role

Today we observe President's Day and I think it's an excellent time for us to consider our political role.Read Article

The Benefit of Catholic Schools

Last week, we celebrated Catholic Schools Week. While this post would've been much more appropriate had I posted it then, the editorial calendar simply wouldn't permit it. I would still like to share some thoughts about Catholic Schools in America and the role that they had in forming me.Read Article

Why We March

Today marks both a sobering anniversary and a special anniversary. Today is the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that ushered in a new era of misnomers in healthcare and encouraged a culture that viewed children as the ultimate burden, as opposed to the ultimate blessing.Read Article

Faith of the Martyrs

I have a difficult time imagining a physical persecution of happening in the United States. I have difficulty imagining how far we’d have to fall to get to a point where the citizenry accepted mass executions of people based on their faith alone.Read Article

Be Transparently Catholic

In the 8th grade, I read the great American Classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird.” One of the scenes in the book that has stuck with me all of these years is Atticus Finch explaining to his daughter Scout that he can’t be one person in public and another person at home. That integrity of character is something we should all be striving for.Read Article

My First Eucharistic Procession

Sharing our faith boldly with those around us can be challenging. You can’t just be chillin by the coffee pot on Monday morning and lead with, “Hey, how was your weekend? I encountered the Risen Christ through the Holy Sacrament of the Altar and now I’m a living tabernacle."Read Article

Better Than A Purity Ring

Some people believe that in Christian Marriage chastity is no longer a struggle. False.Read Article

Why People Delay Marriage

The average age of newlyweds is climbing in the United States. More and more young couples are delaying marriage for a significant period of time. It’s a troubling trend, but why are young people actively avoiding tying the knot?Read Article

Why I Don't Buy Generic Oreos

You can often tell how good something is simple by considering whether or not you would buy a cheaper generic version. Grocery stores all across the nation have entire product lines of generic products. You can buy generic Coke (why bother?), generic dish soap, generic trash bags, and yes, even generic Oreos.Read Article

Witnessing for Marriage

Every day, everywhere that we go, we have the opportunity to show those around us what it means to be married. By our words and our deeds we implicitly share our experience of marriage with the world. What that means is that we have the opportunity to show how wonderful it is, or to witness poorly to it.Read Article

Why Culture Isn't Prepared for Us

Culture only wants boys.Read Article

4 Reasons Your Pet is Not Your Kid

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have a cat.Read Article

Reflecting Christ's Love to the World

When you get married, you take on two responsibilities. First, you take responsibility for the care of your wife and any children you may be given. Second, you take on the responsibility for reflecting Christ’s love for the Church.Read Article

Marriage Is Not Committed Friendship

Marriage is a lot of things. It is painful, it is difficult, it is challenging. It is joyful, it is fulfilling, it is complete. Marriage is enduring, it is final.Read Article

Love Contracts

I recently came across an article about a new trend in marriages.  It is called a “love contract.”Read Article

Teaching Healthy Marriage

Growing up, I received most of my education from Catholic schools, thanks to the sacrifice of my parents. Each year, we would celebrate Vocations Week and have guest speakers come in and talk about vocations.Read Article

Cohabitation: Not A Test Drive

When Alison and I got engaged, we lived in two different cities. She was studying in Detroit, and I was working in Pittsburgh. Our engagement coincided with a scheduled transfer between campuses in her medical education. Thankfully, my job transferred me simultaneously, but people started asking questions about our wedding and life plans. Invariably they assumed that since we were moving to a new city, a few months before our wedding, we'd go ahead and move in together. False.Read Article

Not for the Comfortable

Catholics tend to each have their way of practicing their faith. Thankfully, Alison and I found a parish near our home that fits ours. But, unfortunately, we weren't so lucky on Ash Wednesday.Read Article