Church

Pope-Francis with President Benigno Aquino III of Philippines at presidential palace in Manila january 16 (CNS photo : Paul Haring)

In his trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis once again defended marriage, and he again edged closer to a firm, unequivocal papal statement against same-sex "marriage." As Francis clearly continues to carefully move in that direction, liberals, both secular and non-secular, non-Catholic and Catholic, are going to feel a severe sense of betrayal and grave [...]

In his trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis once again defended marriage, and he again edged closer to a firm, unequivocal papal statement against same-sex "marriage." As Francis clearly continues to carefully move in that direction, liberals, both secular and non-secular, non-Catholic and Catholic, are going to feel a severe sense of betrayal and grave [...]

Pope Francis' statements about economics (and related questions, such as environmentalism and "fracking") have caused much consternation among conservative Catholics in the United States. The Holy Father's comments on the "greed" of capitalism and his seeming belief that capitalism causes income inequality rather than providing explosive growth and increased prosperity historically seem without nuance at [...]

Cardinal Raymond Burke has recently laid some of the blame for the precipitous decline in priestly vocations upon the feminization of the liturgy. His assertion prompts two questions.

As the sixtieth anniversary of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s death approaches this April, a renewed interest in his thought has found its way into the popular consciousness. A play praising the life of Teilhard, titled The De Chardin Project, ran from November 20 until December 14 in Toronto, Canada. Additionally, a two-hour biography on Teilhard’s [...]

St John the Baptist gave his life in the defense of marriage. The German bishops, by coming out in favor of Cardinal Kasper’s proposals on divorced and remarried Catholics, took the side of Herod. In effect, they concluded that St. John’s position was too antagonistic and decided to issue a letter of congratulations to Herod [...]

This last Sunday, we were treated to the Gospel reading in which Christ is baptized by St. John the Baptist. It’s a compelling passage, especially because it focuses our attention on the purpose and meaning of baptism. The rambling, confused homily that we received on this topic (from an earnest-seeming seminarian whom I don’t know [...]

“Let us think, each one of us: do we truly care that our children and our young ones receive Confirmation? This is important, it is important!”   ~ Pope Francis It’s a new year, and that means a new MASTER CALENDAR in the kitchen—a familiar sight in most homes with children. There’s always plenty of [...]

This year, 2015, marks fifty years since the close of the Second Vatican Council. Yet the “battle” for the Council, the battle for its authentic meaning, which began even before the bishops concluded their deliberations in 1965, continues still today. A particular area of controversy is the Council’s teaching on the Church’s relationship to the [...]

O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, iacentem in praesepio: Beata Virgo, cuius viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum. What a great mystery, what a wonderful sign, that animals should see the Lord, new-born, lying in a manger! Blessed is the Virgin, whose womb was privileged to carry Christ the Lord.   [...]

Does Doctrine Matter?

Man is a rational animal. That doesn’t mean he’s always reasonable, but it does mean that his actions are guided by what he believes about the world and how it hangs together. Reality comes first for him, or at least it should and often does. That is one reason love of God—of the Most Real [...]

It’s official. Progressives love Pope Francis. Their magazines, from Think Progress to Mother Jones, are abuzz with excitement in light of the recent rumor that the pope is going to issue an encyclical on climate change sometime in the next few months. As a politically conservative American Catholic, I’m expected to throw a fit about [...]

The Independent newspaper reported last August that “the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he dealt with issues of child sex abuse on a daily basis (my emphasis) and he anticipated that more ‘bad stories’ would emerge. He said: ‘I would love to say there weren’t, but I expect there are.’ He told the BBC that it was ‘becoming [...]

At the request of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a requisite inquiry into the timely appropriateness of the Latin Rite's gesture of peace shared amongst the people during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass commenced almost a decade ago. The Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (“the Congregation”), under the papal [...]

Before there was Pope Francis, there was a different Francis from Assisi, Italy. Back in the twelfth century, St. Francis heard the call to fix a church falling into ruins. Now it is the twenty-first century, and this Francis ought to hear the call to fix Catholic colleges falling into ruins. Recent incidents at Notre [...]

When we consider the Christmas Miracle, it is worth recalling the fact that Joseph does not at once repudiate his betrothed, despite his discovery that she is pregnant with another’s child. It is an astonishing development. How painfully bewildering it must have been for him, however, to try and account for a conception for which [...]

There are two things to get right from the start about the mystery of Christmas.  The first is that it was not peaceful.  The angels sang of peace to men of goodwill but that was precisely what stirred things up.  They were angels from eternity and we are humans in time.  Even the holy lady Mary had to be [...]

God loves stuff. Things. Matter. We can tell that God loves stuff because he made so much of it. From the dust of the Horsehead Nebula to the sand of a Pacific beach to the granite of the Rocky Mountains, God made it all, and, according to its own proper nature, loves it all. He [...]

The thing which keeps life romantic and full of fiery possibilities is the existence of these great plain limitations. ~ G.K. Chesterton Two of my former students are on the road to becoming Catholic, and both recently confided in me their frustration regarding Holy Communion—but it's not the reason you'd expect. You'd think they'd be struggling with [...]

Introibo ad altare Dei. Ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam. I shall go in to the altar of God. To God, the joy of my youth. A few days ago I entered for the first time what some people in the area call the Sistine Chapel of America. There's reason for that. Saint Anne's Church, [...]

I was recently upbraided by one of my readers for my “constant sniping” at Pope Francis: this I found disconcerting, even painful, since faithfulness to papal teaching (and to the reigning Pontiff himself) has always been one of my primary underlying objectives when writing about the faith. In my defense, another reader rejoined that the [...]

I’m getting a little tired of people asking me whether I “like” Pope Francis. I don’t want to be too sensitive here. But why are my personal feelings about the Holy Father so very important? Jane Fonda, Elton John and Patti Smith all apparently love Pope Francis. Does that really tell us anything significant? Maybe [...]

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