The Mystery of the Copper Scroll

“In the cistern which is under the wall on the eastern side, at the sharp edge of the rock: six silver bars; its entrance is under the large paving-stone.” Thus reads line eleven in column II of the most famous Dead Sea Scroll: the enigmatic Copper Scroll. It has two major features that make it…

What Happened to the Virgin Mary After Pentecost? (Part 2)

In Part One, I retold the major tradition associated with the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This tradition is attributed to various sources depending upon where the writer first encountered it. The most widespread version was that told (twice) by Jacobus de Voragine in the Golden Legend. This lengthy chapter in the Legend shows various signs…

Peter Bruegel Paints Some American Bishops

One of the lesser annoyances of the past weeks of depravity and scandal was seeing the loathsome vulpine face of sexual predator Theodore McCarrick (formerly Cardinal, and hopefully soon-to-be-former “bishop” and “father”) staring back at me from endless articles about his crimes. Now that the report is out on criminal coverups in Pennsylvania, we have…

What Happened to the Virgin Mary After Pentecost? (Part 1)

What do we really know about the life of Mary beyond what the Bible tells us? Scripture gives us only glimpses of the Blessed Mother before she vanishes from history, only to reappear in the Book of Revelation as the “woman clothed in the sun” (Revelation 12:1-6). We have the last words she speaks, resonating…

“The Last Pope” Is Junk History

History Channel is running an original documentary called The Last Pope, and it’s two hours of hot garbage. Amidst endless padding relieved only by commercials, the documentary attempts to address the alleged prophecies of St. Malachy, and how they predict that Francis will be the last pope before the end of the world. Except… St. Malachy almost…