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MLB umpires missed 34,294 pitch calls in 2018. Time for robo-umps?

Baseball is here, another season of amazing catches, overpowering pitching, tape-measure home runs, overpriced beers, and, yes, television replays of every missed call by umpires, revealed in painful, high-definition slow motion. It’s time for Major League Baseball to put an end to the agony caused by at least some of those blown calls—the balls and strikes...

How to understand the readings for Easter Day...

The Mass of Easter Day is one of the most joyful in the Church calendar, as the Church basks in the afterglow of the most remarkable intervention of God into human history, the resurrection of his own son. The First Reading from Acts is a beautiful summary of the Gospel message and the faith of the early Church. In this synopsis of Peter’s preaching...

Sri Lanka attacks: ‘International network’ linked to bombings that killed 290 people...

A wave of bombings that killed 290 people in Sri Lanka on Sunday was carried out with the support of an international network, officials said. The government has blamed a little-known local jihadist group, National Thowheed Jamath, although no-one has yet admitted carrying out the bombings. Another 500 people were injured in the suicide attacks on churches and hotels...

Political style question for tense times: What do you call people killed in church on Easter?

I have been covering the religion beat, to one degree or another, for 40 years and I have never heard “Easter worshippers” used as a replacement for the word “Christians.” Is this a reference to people who worship ON Easter or, well, people who worship Easter? As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I am well aware that Christians around the world — due to the much-covered clash between the Gregorian calendar and the older Julian calendar — usually celebrate Christianity’s most important holy day at different times...

3 reasons why the Notre Dame blaze broke so many hearts...

The burning of Notre Dame in Paris last week struck us all very deeply, more deeply, I think, than most of us imagine. Even the most secular in France were struck and saddened. Why is this? Simply put, Notre Dame is far more than a building. What follows are three short reflections on the deeper meanings of the burning of Notre Dame...

The death of Father James Schall — a philosopher who dared...

Jesuit Father James Vincent Schall, distinguished political philosopher and author of 30 books, passed away April 17, 2019, at the age of 91. The virtues that Etienne Gilson ascribed to Saint Thomas Aquinas—intellectual modesty and intellectual audacity, each to a high degree—were evident in this gentleman scholar. “No evil can happen to a good man...

Fearful yet overjoyed: The journey to Resurrection faith...

The Gospels of the Easter Octave describe not just an event but even more so a journey. It is tempting to think that the disciples and apostles, having seen the risen Lord, were immediately confirmed in their faith, stripped of all doubt. That is not the case, however. Nearly all the resurrection accounts make it clear that although seeing the risen Lord was “mind-blowing...

Easter brings a ‘new world,’ Pope Francis says in Urbi et Orbi...

Christ’s resurrection ushers in a new world – one of peace, love, and fraternity, Pope Francis said on Easter Sunday, as he prayed for the many people who are suffering throughout the world. “Christ is alive and he remains with us. Risen, he shows us the light of his face, and he does not abandon all those experiencing hardship...

Easter attacks on churches in Sri Lanka are tragic, but hardly surprising...

Sadly enough, there’s now an ugly and utterly predictable dynamic on Easter Sunday: Somewhere in the world, full churches will be attacked and some number of Christians will die for no other reason than that they chose to attend services to celebrate what is supposed to be the faith’s great celebration of life. Today, it happened in Sri Lanka...

What’s the most important question you’ll ever be asked?

In a recent interview with the The New York Times, Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger tells the story of the most impactful test he ever took. It was the final exam, for which he had studied diligently and felt prepared to ace. Yet, the business course test contained a question that he was not expecting. In fact, the test contained only one single question: The teacher handed out the final exam...