Church

With Ascension and Pentecost looming, and with their passage an end to the Paschal season, it’s time to reconsider and abolish Ordinary Time. As dramatically drastic as this may sound, it would not be a move without precedent. For centuries, for most of Church history in fact, there was no Ordinary Time on the Catholic [...]

With Ascension and Pentecost looming, and with their passage an end to the Paschal season, it’s time to reconsider and abolish Ordinary Time. As dramatically drastic as this may sound, it would not be a move without precedent. For centuries, for most of Church history in fact, there was no Ordinary Time on the Catholic [...]

A day after the horrific bombings in Alexandria on Palm Sunday that killed and injured dozens of people, Coptic Christians responded by gathering together outside of one of the damaged churches and chanting together the Nicene Creed. This was a poignant moment, in particular because of the text they chose. The scene of our persecuted [...]

Should the Church—Christians acting as such, especially those in authority—heed the cry of the people? Less rhetorically, should the Church be guided by public opinion? The answer, of course, is “sometimes.” The people are guided by their needs, but also by their obsessions and illusions, and they ask for good things, bad things, and things [...]

I'm in the dance band on the Titanic Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee" The iceberg's on the starboard bow Won't you dance with me.                   ∼ Harry Chapin, 1977 Back in the late 1970s, when I was an impressionable young lad, I was introduced to the [...]

Postmodern man, says Cardinal Sarah, lives on the “sad drug” of noise, which “sickens yet reassures him.” He “gets drunk” on noise to deny reality, to “anesthetize his own atheism.” He’s hooked up to the “morphine pump” of agitation; his eyes “are sick, intoxicated, they can no longer close.” They’re “red” from the flickering screens [...]

The recent April 26 Religion News Service commentary by Fordham University’s Fr. Bryan Massingale is titled “As a Catholic priest, I am against an executive order on religious liberty.” I found it to be breathtaking—in much the same way as a steel-tipped boot can take your breath away as it lands in your gut. The [...]

Of course, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J. did not say what appears in the title of this piece, but he may as well have. Back in January, Fr. Spadaro, a close confidant of Pope Francis and the so-called “mouthpiece” of the pope, tweeted: “Theology is not #Mathematics. 2+2 in #Theology can make 5. Because it has [...]

The Holy Father actually said to the College of Cardinals: “In a matter of such importance it seems right that Catholics desire to follow one single law propounded authoritatively by the Church. So it seems advisable to recommend that for the present no one should arrogate to himself the right to take a stand differing [...]

On April 18, 2005, two days after he had just celebrated his 78th birthday, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger delivered the homily Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice to the College of Cardinals gathered at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. As Dean of the College of Cardinals, it was Ratzinger’s responsibility to highlight to his brother cardinals some spiritual yardsticks that [...]

In late October 2016, Jesuit Fr. James Martin received the annual “Bridge Building Award” from New Ways Ministry, a dissident, pro-gay-identity, pro-gay-sex, pro-gay-“marriage” group whose work was long ago condemned by both the Roman Curia and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. At the award event, Frank DeBernardo, executive director of the group, compared [...]

A Pope Turns Ninety

In the long march of the Church’s history, stretching all the way back to a certain failed fisherman called Peter—whom Christ himself caught with the bait of eternal life—few occupants of the papal chair have evinced as lofty a level of erudition, existing in happy combination with ardent and uncomplicated piety, as the Bavarian Pope [...]

Why is there confusion in the Catholic Church over Amoris Laetitia, and what consequences does it have for Church unity? I argue here that the confusion is ultimately over two de fide dogmas of Christian faith and that one consequence of the confusion is de facto schism within the Catholic Church. When de fide (“of the faith”) is used in Catholic [...]

Two trials, two appeals to conscience. Trial 1: I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen. Trial 2: If the number of bishops and universities should be so material as your lordship seems to think, then I [...]

March 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s social encyclical Populorum Progressio. Even today, this document is regularly referenced by some Catholics, particularly Latin Americans, because of its focus upon global poverty. Others, however, view the encyclical as a highly time-bound text and reflective of many now-discredited economic ideas which proliferated in the late-1960s. [...]

The current controversy over Pope Francis's apostolic letter on marriage highlights several realities in the Church and the world that are not always so clear. As is widely known, Amoris Laetitia, published last year, seems to leave open the possibility that couples who are divorced and remarried civilly be admitted to the sacraments in the absence of a declaration [...]

Fr. Kenneth Doyle writes one of those syndicated columns in the Catholic press that answers questions about the Church that Catholics pose. Recently, a Minnesota correspondent wrote asking about confessions during Mass. The writer recalled being told in catechism that fulfilling the precept of attending Mass required attendance at the Gospel, offertory, and Communion, but his [...]

“Let us continue to abuse one another / With the kiss of Peace.” ∼  Geoffrey Hill, “The Triumph of Love,” part XLIV Few moments are as completely uncomfortable, for me at least, as the “Kiss of Peace” or the “Sign of Peace” at the Novus Ordo Mass. It’s actually painfully awkward. And during this high-point [...]

The latest news from Germany does not engender confidence that the Catholic bishops have had any success in resolving the myriad problems that have plagued the Church over the past several decades.  In an interview in the February issue of the Catholic Italian monthly Il Timone, Cardinal Müller said, “one cannot say there are circumstances in [...]

Beguiled by Balthasar

The light of divine glory Shines in the breast of night: Who can see it? A heart Whose eyes keep watch, e’er bright. ∼ Angelus Silesius Years ago when I was a student in Rome finishing up a dissertation at the Angelicum, I needed to schedule a formal defense of my thesis, which centered on [...]

Lord Dunsany has written a charming short story about two "local gods" obliged to share the same temple. Every Tuesday the priests enter the inner sanctum, praise and sacrifice to the elder idol, Chu-bu, until one day they bring a fresh-carved "usurper," Sheemish. "There is none but Chu-bu … there is also Sheemish," they intone. [...]

Today cardinals and bishops are intensely divided over whether or not invalidly married Catholics living in adultery can receive Holy Communion. Fifty years ago, this kind of question would have boggled the minds of Catholics everywhere, because the answer would be both obvious and simple: “No!” The question has arisen today because a recent and [...]

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