Church

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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 [...]

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 [...]

During the past few decades there has been a sharp rise in the number of Catholics attracted to what Pope Benedict XVI called the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite. This phenomenon has manifested itself in the foundation of traditional orders, the vocation boom that these orders are experiencing, the establishment of new parishes and [...]

Recently, Cardinal Burke stated that, if Pope Francis were to endorse a position on marriage and sexuality that were contrary to the tradition of the Church, that he would be obliged to “resist” the pontiff. Although the cardinal clarified that he was speaking of a purely hypothetical situation, he hit upon a nerve that gets struck [...]

For the past year and a half many Irish commentators, especially those not known for friendliness toward the Catholic Church, have expressed great enthusiasm for Pope Francis. They have interpreted some of his often casual comments about not judging people, about the Church serving as a field hospital, about the need for Church leaders to [...]

We are Israel

At a super-secret conservative confab last week a long-time friend and ally said that after 30 years of giving lectures and speeches to conservative groups there was only one event where he could show his true colors, and it wasn’t the one we were attending. I asked him what colors he could not show at [...]

After years of decline from media darlings to relative obscurity, why has Call to Action USA (CTA) reemerged in San Francisco? Because Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s recent efforts to strengthen the Catholic identity of his schools tackles the central claim of Call to Action—that the Church discriminates unjustly against Catholics who are unwilling to accept or [...]

Okay, here we go. We finally have maybe the moment we’ve been waiting for. A major national case of gay marriage, specifically in the country of Slovakia, has prompted Pope Francis to come out firmly and actively against redefining traditional marriage as the Roman Catholic Church has long understood it. In so doing, progressives/liberals who [...]

Basic issues have basic importance. Does God exist? If he does, what is he like? If he doesn’t, can an objective moral order survive his absence? It seems obvious that such questions are crucial to all aspects of life, including our life together in society. That conclusion has inconvenient implications. Christian societies, Muslim societies, and [...]

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). While all agree that the council was a milestone in the history of the Church, the meaning and application of Vatican II and its sixteen official documents has been a source of contention right down to the present day. Numerous [...]

My recent article on the self-inflicted crisis of vocations to the Catholic priesthood engendered a lot of discussion, from which I conclude that my suspicion is correct. Many Catholics are content with strategies of suicide, because they do not really want the Church to prevail in her war against a world deranged. Since in our [...]

Her hands were impossibly clean. Her habit smelled of sunshine. Sr. Cyrena Harkins, RSM was the principal of St. Richard’s School and the sculptor of my early Catholic formation. When our baby brother was badly burned, the sisters at St. Dominic’s hospital nursed him back to health. Later, in another state, the Dominican Sisters of [...]

There are few better illustrations of the clash between conservative values and progressive ideologies than the church architecture wars of the last fifty years. Although traditional architecture was dismissed by most Christian denominations, the conflict comes into focus most clearly within the Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s ushered in the most [...]

A number of Catholics, including theologians, think that the Church should not engage in apologetics. These critics claim that Vatican II made apologetics obsolete by calling for the Church to embrace, and no longer turn its back on, the modern world. They say theology is supposed to engage pressing contemporary issues that affect everyone, but [...]

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.

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