Church

Hell—St. Teresa of Avila told her nuns to mentally visit the inferno during life so they would not be imprisoned in it after death. St. John Vianney sighed because the saints, who were so pure, cultivated holy fear while “we, who so often offend the good God—we have no fears.” At last month’s Rome Life [...]

Hell—St. Teresa of Avila told her nuns to mentally visit the inferno during life so they would not be imprisoned in it after death. St. John Vianney sighed because the saints, who were so pure, cultivated holy fear while “we, who so often offend the good God—we have no fears.” At last month’s Rome Life [...]

Like many, I first encountered St. Therese of Lisieux on a prayer card. I was a kid and felt fascinated by a saint who did not look much older than I. I read her words about wanting to shower roses from heaven and kept the prayer card tucked into the mirror on my bureau, peeking [...]

It took but a few decades for the law written on the human heart, engraved on stone, and honored for millennia to be largely lost on the collective conscience. Today, instead of the Ten Commandments, there is one: “Thou shalt not judge.” Oddly, in a time when the concept of “sin” has also lost its [...]

Hey, Amoris Laetitia, the 1968 Canadian bishops phoned and they want their strategic ambiguity back. That line may not mean much to anyone who isn’t familiar with the Canadian Conference of Bishops’ statement in response to the birth control encyclical Humanae Vitae. Dubbed the “Winnipeg Statement” for the last 49 years, it represents in the [...]

The flow of time in which we find ourselves, between Pentecost and Corpus Christi, is a bit strange liturgically. Pentecost ends the Easter Season and launches us back into Ordinary Time. The first weeks of post-Pentecost Ordinary Time include two major solemnities: Trinity Sunday (which used to be connected with Pentecost by a suppressed octave, [...]

Editor's note: The following address by Cardinal Sarah was delivered at the colloquium "The Source of the Future" on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI, March 29 – April 1, 2017, in Herzogenrath, Germany. Introductory Message First of all I wish to thank [...]

"I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by grace for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other [...]

The amiable classicist, John Bird Sumner, was the Protestant archbishop of Canterbury from 1848 to 1862. Amid theological controversies about baptismal regeneration and the like, his opposition to a parliamentary bill removing Jewish disabilities was unquestionably retrograde, but he assumed the progressive mantle in approving obstetric anesthesia which was opposed by some Christian fundamentalists, whose [...]

I have encountered serious Catholics who have invoked the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions) as seemingly discouraging or even reproving any kind of searching public examination and criticism of Islam. What exactly does this short statement of the Vatican II Fathers have to say about [...]

Here’s a little thought experiment to start your day: Imagine you woke up one morning last week and read this headline in your local Catholic newspaper: “Bishop John Smith Leads Prayer at Contra Catholic Gathering.” In this imagined universe, you’ve heard of these “Contra Catholics”—these are fellow Catholics who have publicly “come out” as using [...]

The ambiguities of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, continue to provoke a lively debate even as we pass its one-year anniversary. Allies of the pope marked the event by rallying to his support as they beseeched the faithful to contemplate this maligned papal document. On the other side of the ledger, orthodox theologians continue [...]

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 [...]

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