Church

L'Osservatore Romano

I begin with a piece, spotted by Fr Tim Finigan and reported in his indispensable blog The Hermeneutic of Continuity, which had been published in Sandro Magister’s blog—not his English one, Chiesa, but his Italian language blog for L’Espresso, Settimo Cielo. A few days ago, Magister told the story of a parish priest in the Italian diocese [...]

I begin with a piece, spotted by Fr Tim Finigan and reported in his indispensable blog The Hermeneutic of Continuity, which had been published in Sandro Magister’s blog—not his English one, Chiesa, but his Italian language blog for L’Espresso, Settimo Cielo. A few days ago, Magister told the story of a parish priest in the Italian diocese [...]

The LDS church recently excommunicated Kate Kelly, a feminist whose organization, Ordain Women, had been aggressively lobbying for women to be admitted to the Mormon priesthood. The aftermath has been interesting, and might offer Catholics some valuable food for thought concerning the logic of heresy and excommunication. I’m not interested in adjudicating the issues over [...]

On June 28, 1776, the first draft of our nation’s Declaration of Independence was introduced to the general session of the Second Continental Congress.  The 28th was a Friday, and so the founding fathers tabled the draft until the following Monday, July 1st, when they took it up again for debate.  A resolution for independence [...]

On his flight back from the Holy Land recently, Pope Francis made it clear to the journalists he was addressing that he dislikes the discussion, and press coverage, of the prospects for the forthcoming synod on the family being focused mainly on the question of Communion for the divorced and remarried. What he wanted instead, [...]

In his lovely little book on the Mysteries of the Virgin Mary, a rare treasure trove of Catholic theology and prayer, Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., distinguished Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat, reminds us that the first Corpus Christi procession took place when Our Lady journeyed into the hill country to visit her cousin Elizabeth. “The Blessed [...]

Several years ago, the best thing that could have happened to my boyhood church in Pennsylvania did in fact happen. One evening the pastor entered the church, turned on the light switch, heard the pop of a short circuit, and peered into an impenetrable cloud of smoke. He ran out of the church and called [...]

“Eight days ago I went to Fumona to pay my respects to Celestine V. You know his story. He was a very simple man who mistrusted himself. At the moment of [his] election the Apostolic See had been vacant for twenty-seven months: there were only twelve cardinals left and they could not agree among themselves. [...]

George Soros’ Open Society Institute is most often blamed for attempting to neutralize the abortion issue for Catholics by donating large amounts of money to progressive organizations like Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to promote pro-choice politicians. Yet the recent attack on San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Codileone by Faithful America demonstrates that the [...]

About a year ago, and thus in the early months of Pope Francis’s pontificate, Damian Thompson wrote a Daily Telegraph blogpost headlined “Meet Francis, the Chatterbox Pope.” “This new pontiff,” he noted, “is a media-savvy charmer in a way that none of his predecessors have been. Seriously, he could give Bill Clinton lessons in how [...]

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the U. S. House of Representatives Minority Leader, and one of the most powerful Catholic politicians in the United States, has recently warned the Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, the Archbishop of San Francisco, to cancel his plans to speak at the June 19 National Organization for Marriage march on the Supreme Court [...]

When Groucho Marx announced that he would never want to join a club that would have someone like him as a member, it obviously hadn’t crossed his mind that he had just made an excellent (if unwitting) case for membership in the Roman Catholic Church.  A club where the admissions policy is so perfectly promiscuous [...]

Pope Francis’s visit with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem on May 25 elicited the familiar curiosity and hope that accompanies such gestures shared between persons of different faith traditions, in this case persons of the highest leadership and authority in their respective Churches, coming together in at least some degree of commonality and fellowship. [...]

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10). It was forty years ago this May that the body of a dead Jesuit was found in an apartment in Paris owned by a prostitute whose husband needed money for a lawyer to get him out of [...]

Many people who venerate the name of Thomas Becket (and/or love the movie with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole that carries his name) likely do not understand the cause for which he was martyred, and if they did learn it, would likely be scandalized given our current presuppositions concerning the prerogatives of the omnipotent State [...]

On the flight home from the Holy Land, a journalist asked Pope Francis the running question, “What is going to happen with communion to the divorced and remarried?” Francis responded, “The Synod will be on the family, the problems of the family, the treasures of the family, the present situation of the family.... I have [...]

Whenever veteran Catholics stop to consider the on-going crisis of faith in the Church, now entering its fifth decade with no abatement in sight, the news does not come as a surprise. They have longed suspected that the center would not hold. And it is no particular sunburst to say so. They certainly know, for [...]

Editor's note: The following essay was written for the "St. Francis of Assisi and the Western Tradition" conference sponsored by the Thomistic Institute and delivered at the NYU Catholic Center on April 25, 2014. I want to start with a simple statement of fact. All Christian life is a paradox. What I mean is this. [...]

This coming Sunday, May 25, Pope Francis is scheduled to meet the Eastern Orthodox Church’s Ecumenical Patriarch (EP) Bartholomew at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem in order to commemorate the golden jubilee of the historic meeting between their respective predecessors, Paul VI and Athenagoras. According to the EP’s official website for the [...]

Book-tours can be risky affairs. There’s always the chance you’ll say something during your tenth radio interview of the day which you retrospectively wish you’d phrased differently. Then there’s the possibility you’ll play up to a live audience and make some truly imprudent comments. In a few short May days in New York, Cardinal Walter [...]

Distilling some of the ideas in my book on Thomistic angelology, I published a previous column in Crisis on the massive intelligence and powers of angels. The flip-side of these spiritual faculties, as Aquinas points out, is the existence of a dark kingdom, using the same intelligence and power to prevent the spread of God’s [...]

Like recalcitrant teenagers, taunting their teachers with their latest refusal to submit to authority, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious—an organization that represents more than 80 percent of the more than 50,000 Catholic women religious in the United States—has finally been publicly rebuked by the Vatican.  After several decades of trying to persuade the intractable [...]

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