The “Humanum” Videos: Extraordinary Short Films on Marriage and the Family


The Vatican is just wrapped up an international and interreligious colloquium on men, women, and marriage called “Humanum”. Over 350 participants, including representatives from 14 religious traditions and 23 countries, united to uphold the value of marriage. (I recently interviewed Dr. Helen Alvaré about the gathering.)

As part of the conference, organizers released six extraordinary videos on marriage and the family. Filmed around the world and containing interviews with people like Fr. Robert Barron, Dr. Peter Kreeft, and N.T. Wright, the short films display timeless truths in extraordinary ways. What Fr. Barron’s CATHOLICISM series did for the Church’s beauty, this series does for marriage and the family.

The Pope’s “Humanum” Conference: An Interview with Dr. Helen Alvaré


Many Christians are buzzing about an exciting new conference that will be held at the Vatican from November 17-19. It’s called “Humanum” and it will bring together dozens of religious leaders from around the world—including several Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim leaders—to discuss the meaning of marriage, specifically its grounding on the complementarity of man and woman.

Here’s a beautiful video trailer for the event, featuring the voice of Dr. Peter Kreeft:

5 Must-Read Books on Marriage and the Family

Marriage and Family books

Over the next year, the Church will celebrate three major events dedicated to marriage and the family. Next month will bring the highly anticipated Extraordinary Synod, followed by next year’s Ordinary Synod, and then finally the World Meeting of Families next October in Philadelphia.

In light of these events, now is the time to read up on marriage and family. If you haven’t already, be sure to download the “Instrumentum Laboris”, the Extraordinary Synod’s working document, which will shape much of the dialogue this month (find it here in plain text, PDF, Kindle, or Nook formats.)

I also recommend any of the five new books below from Our Sunday Visitor and Ignatius Press:

Answering the Best Arguments for Same-Sex Marriage


Last week I was excited to learn that two articles I wrote together earned a First Place award for Best Coverage of Marriage at the annual Catholic Press Association conference. Woohoo!

I completed them last January as part of a special section on “same-sex marriage” for the Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly.

The first article responded to the ten most common arguments for “same-sex marriage.” You’ve likely heard many of these from friends, family members, co-workers, and commenters around the Internet. The arguments I cover include:

  1. Marriage has evolved throughout history, so it can change again.
  2. “Same-sex marriage” is primarily about equality.
  3. Everyone has the right to marry whomever he or she loves.
  4. “Same-sex marriage” won’t affect you, so what’s the big deal?
  5. “Same-sex marriage” will not lead to other redefinitions.
  6. If same-sex couples can’t marry because they can’t reproduce, why can infertile couples marry?
  7. Children will not be affected since there is no difference between same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents.
  8. Opposition to same-sex marriage is based on bigotry, homophobia, and religious hatred.
  9. The struggle for “same-sex marriage” is just like the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
  10. “Same-sex marriage is inevitable,” so we should “stand on the right side of history.”

It’s important to note that the article concerns civil marriage—marriage as defined and promoted by the state. It doesn’t deal with the Church’s sacramental understanding, although the two often overlap. Second, the responses to the arguments are emphatically nonreligious. They don’t depend on any sacred text or divine revelation. They’re based on reason, philosophy, biology and history. Third, the article only refutes arguments in favor of “same-sex marriage.” It doesn’t touch upon the many positive arguments supporting traditional marriage.

Also, the article is not an attack on people with same-sex attractions. All people, regardless of sexual orientation, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Instead, the article is a rational look at whether we should redefine civil marriage, an institution that touches all people and cultures.

Read the full article.


In addition to the piece above, I also contributed an introductory article for the newsweekly and an interview with Princeton professor Robert George. Check them out below:

Finding good answers in the “same-sex marriage” debate

In this I explain how Chick-Fil-A and Facebook led me to write about such a volatile subject:

If you simply accept marriage today as between one man and one woman, or disagree with the idea of “same-sex marriage” even for legitimate reasons, you’re unequivocally branded a hateful bigot. This emotionally charged atmosphere makes rational discussion nearly impossible. Political slogans, sound-bites, tribal divisions, and name-calling drown out real arguments and leave little room for charity and clear-thinking….
More than ever Catholics need simple, rational, non-religious reasons to reinforce their arguments against “same-sex marriage.”


My Interview with Professor Robert George

Robert George is one of my great intellectual heroes so I was excited to talk with him about marriage. George is a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University.

Robert GeorgeHe’s also an expert on marital law and a strong advocate of traditional marriage. Along with Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson, George co-authored a new book titled, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense (Encounter Books). It’s based on their renowned academic paper on the same topic that appeared in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Professor George and I spoke about the book, his work, and the main arguments surrounding same-sex marriage.

In a sidebar for the main article I also recommend three helpful books on the topic of “same-sex marriage”:




What are the most common arguments you’ve heard for “same-sex marriage”?