Church

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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. [...]

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 [...]

Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi are two well-known vaticanisti, as journalists covering the Vatican are called here in Rome. They are “Vatican Insiders,” meaning they are experienced in cultivating anonymous sources (sometimes about the voting of an ongoing papal conclave, a practice expressly forbidden by Church law), leaking damaging stories, and other nefarious activities that [...]

Two weeks ago, Bishop Robert Finn, the embattled bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph in Missouri, had his resignation accepted by appropriate authorities in the Vatican. Canon law accepts "graves reasons" other than things like age, infimity and so on as sufficient reason for the Church to accept a bishop’s resignation because [...]

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences had its one-day global warming conference yesterday. Not unlike a certain synod, it ended with the issuing of an anticlimactic pre-prepared climatic document "Climate Change and The Common Good: A Statement Of The Problem And The Demand For Transformative Solutions." Gist: we are soon doomed unless we "do something." More on that [...]

Despite a ruthless public relations war against San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for attempting to ensure that Catholic schools remain faithful to the Church, the majority of respondents to a San Francisco Chronicle poll remain supportive of their episcopal leader.  On Sunday, the Chronicle provided a weeklong poll for readers entitled “Time for Archbishop Cordileone [...]

One might have imagined the headline “Showers for the Homeless” would have brought a certain relief, a certain sense of “what a good idea.” But not in San Francisco. As anyone following the latest dust-up in the San Francisco ideology wars will know, the archbishop and the rector of the Cathedral of San Francisco are [...]

Faithful Catholics who have supported Patricia Jannuzzi, the embattled New Jersey Catholic high school theology teacher, who had been suspended from her job at Immaculata High School for using her Facebook page to present authentic Catholic teachings on homosexuality and same-sex “marriage,” were happy to hear that she finally was returned to the classroom. It [...]

On the Second Sunday of Easter (April 12), Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis released his bull Misericordiae Vultus, proclaiming the coming “Jubilee Year of Mercy,” commencing on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in December. The document contains many praiseworthy passages and welcome references to traditional modes of Catholic spiritual expression. It will no doubt [...]

“But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.” Such were the words used by the German theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper to describe what he thought of African contributions during the 2014 Synod on the Family as Catholic bishops and laity gathered to discuss challenges facing the family in the modern [...]

Since almost the beginning of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops that considered the "Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization" over a fortnight in Rome last October, the Church has been wrought with anguished debate on the future of marriage and human sexuality. That’s the way the matter has been reported in [...]

Indiana has shown that it values religious freedom. The University of Notre Dame has a moral obligation to embrace it. On Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which says that government may not “substantially burden” religious exercise, except when using the “least restrictive means” of advancing a [...]

Earlier this month, Pope Francis celebrated the Saturday Vigil Mass at All Saints Church in Rome in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the so-called “first Mass in Italian.” For, in this parish, on March 7, 1965, Blessed Paul VI celebrated Mass partially in the vernacular for the first time, according to a reformed version [...]

The Western Church is often accused by outsiders of being overly definitive. Even other traditional churches, such as our separated Eastern brethren, consider us to be too tied up in theological formulas. To be fair, Roman Catholics do place a much greater stress on dogmatic definitions than, for example, the Greek Orthodox. The Eastern churches [...]

Chesterton once wrote that “War is not the best way of settling differences—but it is the only way of preventing them from being settled for you.”  If the Catholic Church is to continue to teach the timeless truths about the dignity of all human persons from conception to natural death, and the sanctity of marriage [...]

It has been the taunt of those advocating the moral legitimacy and legalization of abortion since the modern pro-life movement began: “You're not pro-life; you're just against abortion. You couldn't care less about the lives of mothers or children after the nine months of pregnancy are over.” The accusation as made is truly false. In [...]

Catholic Relief Services is back in the news, this time for charges related to a sex ed program it implemented for the federal government in Kenya. Since such headlines are no longer surprising, some background may be helpful before considering this most recent case. In trying to understand the ongoing controversy regarding “the official international [...]

Every modern pope has had his own style. Paul VI was personally like a global student chaplain, intellectually sensitive and pained by the fact that so many were falling away from the Church. John Paul II was the international pastor, constantly on the move, proclaiming the truths of the faith and exhorting us to heroic [...]

Hunkering down during the latest snowstorm, my family and I had to attend Mass via television. We saw a nationally broadcast Mass that wasn't heretical, but that was an emblem of just about everything that I have criticized in my last two articles, on vocations. In particular, the little girl (and one boy) choir sang [...]

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