Church

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If you are puzzled, even disoriented by the Holy Father’s conduct of his pontificate (and I stress at the outset that what follows is not intended as an attack on it) you may be reassured by an article in this month’s National Geographic magazine, which contains some possibly indiscreet remarks by the Pope’s spokesman, Fr Federico [...]

If you are puzzled, even disoriented by the Holy Father’s conduct of his pontificate (and I stress at the outset that what follows is not intended as an attack on it) you may be reassured by an article in this month’s National Geographic magazine, which contains some possibly indiscreet remarks by the Pope’s spokesman, Fr Federico [...]

The queen consort of George V was consistent in her sense of duty and unswerving in how she expressed it. Crowned with dignity and corseted with confidence, at five feet six inches, Mary of Teck was the same height as the king, but they were called George the Fifth and Mary the Four-fifths. Of her [...]

Modern times being what they are, it can be quite difficult to have a civil, Catholic discussion of same-sex attraction. People who experience it are sometimes reluctant to speak out about their experiences, which is understandable considering that those who do speak open themselves to criticism from many directions. For those who are not same-sex [...]

In an August 19 press release, the Archdiocese of San Francisco announced the details of a collective bargaining agreement with its teacher’s union. The original proposal gained national attention when over 75 percent of the high school teachers signed a petition against Archbishop Cordileone’s efforts to add language to employment documents that specifically identified “hot [...]

Imagine that you are a critic of the “Welcoming and Accompanying Our Brothers and Sisters with Same-Sex Attraction” conference, sponsored by the Courage apostolate and the Detroit Archdiocese, August 10-12. You could stand outside the venue in Plymouth, Michigan, holding signs on the first morning of the conference, as some couple-dozen members of a dissenting [...]

When the Church gathers in Rome from October 4-25 for a much-publicized Synod, the centerpiece topic will be “The Family.” We are living in a time when the family unit, which is at the heart of the human experience, has taken on “hot button” status. That is troubling enough. But other fiery issues are also [...]

No-one would describe the New York Times as especially sympathetic to orthodox Christianity. The Grey Lady’s established aversion to anything but all-but-completely secularized versions of the Christian faith didn’t, however, stop it from recently publishing a widely-read article underscoring the on-going brutal persecution of Christians in the Middle East. If the Times is perturbed about [...]

Every three years as the Church is reading the Gospel of Mark, during the dog days of summer it stops for five weeks and turns instead to the Gospel of John for instruction on the Eucharist. We began this process July 26 with the account of the sign of the multiplication of the loaves, and [...]

“You will know them by their fruit.” Thus says Our Lord, in a guarantee as concise and direct as it is sobering. Catholics today, it seems, hear fairly constant talk of the new evangelization. The word “new” can sometimes be a source of confusion, but it really isn’t so much something new and different, as [...]

Some religious leaders in the Latin Rite are pressuring Catholics not to kneel at the Consecration, or to genuflect at their reception of the Eucharist. This trend has gained a great deal of traction in recent years, and is causing alarm among those who see it as a restriction of religious freedom. As Catholics, we [...]

For many people, Alfredo Ottaviani—head of the Holy Office (later the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) from 1952 to 1968—is the epitome of intransigent, pre-Vatican II Catholicism. He is what the Council had repudiated and moved beyond, or so it is supposed. Indeed, the sentiment expressed by the motto of Cardinal Ottaviani’s coat [...]

"This world in which we live needs beauty in order not to sink into despair. Beauty, like truth, brings joy to the human heart and is that precious fruit which resists the erosion of time, which unites generations and enables them to be one in admiration!" ∼ Closing of the Second Vatican Council: Address of [...]

We are free but somehow not free. As Paul puts it, “the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do.” The conundrum results from Original Sin: our will is turned against itself, because it is not directed as designed. We are social and depend on others, [...]

My intention to spend a soporific afternoon welcoming the Summer Solstice was disrupted by a query from a friend about remarks made by Pope Francis in Turin the day before. Happily, the Holy Father was able to pray before the mysterious and moving Shroud of Turin and also the tomb of the patron of young people, [...]

I recently begged the Holy Father, in this magazine’s print edition, to be very careful in anything he might say about global warming in his then forthcoming (but, alas, now published) encyclical on the environment, not least because there has actually been no global warming to speak of for more than 18 years now and because [...]

Many Catholics, especially conservative ones, obviously aren’t thrilled with the pope’s new encyclical. I find myself once again spending a lot of time explaining to non-Catholics why the current pope is either not a Marxist or is being yet again misunderstood for the 999th time. Frankly, I’ve lost most of my credibility with these folks, who [...]

The case of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical Laudato Si’ can be seen as tragic. This is not because it is the terrible document that some say it is; it is because so much of it is so good, and because it had the potential to be a truly great encyclical. Like a tragic hero, who [...]

It was my intention to offer a fulsome commentary and critique of Laudato Si. However, as I commenced my third and closest reading of the document, I found myself overwhelmed by its voluminous nature, meandering and mixture of solid proclamation of Christian teaching with incoherent detours into all manner of political controversy. My principal concerns [...]

A museum curator here in New York recently showed me some extraordinary documents and I touched them with awe, albeit with cotton gloves.  There was Benjamin Franklin’s annotated copy of the Constitution, and a long letter by Washington refusing to run for a second presidential term, because all he had to commend himself was his character, which was [...]

Here are some comments on the leaked version of Laudato Si'. As everybody knows, the final version may be different than the leaked version. Even if so, the comments I make are valid concerning the material we have. I also only concentrate on the section devoted to "climate change," a.k.a. global warming.  The document is long [...]

In a recent interview with EWTN journalist Raymond Arroyo, Cardinal Walter Kasper stated that Pope Francis never approved his “proposal” that would permit divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion. Most of those commenting on Kasper’s clarification focus on this aspect of The World Over interview. After all, this seems to be something of [...]

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