Church

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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 [...]

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 [...]

The German bishops are offering us a new kind of Christianity despite their claim that no change is being proposed other than in pastoral approach and language. A new pastoral approach would be commendable if applied as Pope Francis intends, to accompany the broken, wounded and lost into the field hospital that is the Church. [...]

Pope Francis continues to elicit much strong reaction among orthodox Catholics and liberal Catholics, Protestants and Jews, agnostics and atheists, progressives and conservatives, collectivists and free marketers, tree huggers and polluters, cats and dogs, fish and birds, and everything in between. But one thing is increasingly certain: When it comes to the Church’s position on [...]

Franciscan peace is not something saccharine. Hardly! That is not the real Saint Francis! Nor is it a kind of pantheistic harmony with forces of the cosmos. That is not Franciscan either! It is not Franciscan, but a notion that some people have invented! These words were not articulated by a representative of the Texas [...]

This past Pentecost Sunday, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver announced that the age for the reception of Confirmation would be lowered to seven. In addition, the archbishop said that he would restore the sacrament’s former place in between Baptism and First Communion. In his pastoral letter “Saints Among Us,” he explains his reasons for [...]

The dispute between Catholic high school teachers and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone continues. After protests, rallies, and full-page ads printed in metropolitan newspapers, opponents of the seemingly common-sense proposal that Catholic school teachers teach Catholic teaching in Catholic schools have now moved to the time-honored tradition of the “open letter.” Jim McGarry, an organizer of the [...]

It is almost fifty years since the “Spanish Inquisition” sketch by Monty Python’s Flying Circus was first aired on British television. Today its catchphrase, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition,” has an enshrined place in popular culture. It is, however, ironic that the well-known catchphrase contradicts the grim reality of life in our increasingly secular culture. [...]

Christian Browne’s excellent critique of how receiving Communion-in-the-hand while standing are practices that might be reconsidered to strengthen American Catholics’ understanding of the Eucharist properly notes that these ideologically driven changes were required in no way by Vatican II or even the Holy See. Let me add three additional Eucharist-related phenomena bedeviling the “American Church” [...]

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis has decided to mark the occasion with the “Year of Mercy.” Despite much happy-talk and positive papal press, it is a time of foreboding in the Church. The anxiety over the coming Synod on the Family is substantial and growing, [...]

As 2015 rapidly surges ahead, crashing into us like the waves from Ephesians 4:14, it is tempting to simply view the state of things pragmatically—deep thinking and serious debating on the extraordinary circumstances of today’s world seems simply out of the question. While there is no shortage of opinions, the garrulous talking heads avoid any [...]

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