Church

amoris-laetitia 2

There was a Victorian member of the Royal Academy who boasted that his paintings were the best because they were the biggest.  More perceptively, Cicero and Pascal and Madame Recamier and Mark Twain made opposite apologies:  each had written a long letter because they did not have the time to write a short one. Not only is verbosity [...]

There was a Victorian member of the Royal Academy who boasted that his paintings were the best because they were the biggest.  More perceptively, Cicero and Pascal and Madame Recamier and Mark Twain made opposite apologies:  each had written a long letter because they did not have the time to write a short one. Not only is verbosity [...]

Last Friday, April 8, 2016, Pope Francis released his much-awaited Magna Carta on the family, Amoris Laetitia (AL), the exhortation following the 2014 and 2015 synods on the family. AL is an unusually long document, about 60,000 words amounting to 261 pages in the English translation. It could very well be the longest document in [...]

Eighty-one year old men are not the first people who come to mind when we hear the word “revolutionary.” But 125 years ago, one such man—Vincenzo Pecci, better known to history as Pope Leo XIII—did something radical. By issuing the first modern social encyclical, Rerum Novarum, he ushered in a new era for Catholicism’s relationship [...]

On the day of its release, perhaps the least quoted passage of Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation “On Love in the Family,” were the first three sentences of paragraph 7: Given the rich fruits of the two-year Synod process, this Exhortation will treat, in different ways, a wide variety of questions. This explains its [...]

I recently argued that the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church (UGCC—one of two Greco-Catholic churches in Ukraine) is struggling with nationalist and secular influences. Unfortunately, it appears His Beatitude, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk’s valiant efforts to steer his Church between the internal Charybdis of nationalism and the external Scylla of western secularism and unabashed Russian aggression may [...]

Editor’s note: In honor of Mother Angelica, who passed away on March 27, we reprint the following article by former Crisis editor John Zmirak, which appeared in Crisis Magazine on November 18, 2009. Leaving aside the popes, the person who has served as the public face of the Church in the United States for the past two [...]

Researching a college essay on mercy, my daughter recently asked me about the seeming absence of God’s mercy at Adam’s fall. Certainly, it is a query worth considering. In the Year of Mercy can we see God’s mercy in the fall of Adam and Eve? Can a world that equates love with good feelings begin [...]

Have you ever overheard people discussing how world religions are basically the same, and only superficially different? “We have different opinions about the small stuff,” someone says, “but when it comes down to the essential beliefs, every religion is the same.” This has been described as the “God on the Mountain” perspective. God (or whatever [...]

Pope Francis’ latest press interview on the plane from Mexico created confusion about the Church’s teaching on contraception. The Holy Father said, “Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.” The Papal spokesman, Fr. Lombardi, trying to clarify matters, seemed to say that [...]

Fr. Paul Scalia’s homily at the funeral of his father, Justice Antonin Scalia, was “remarkable in its moving profundity,” as one of my colleagues wrote. But why was the homily so good? Can we analyze it and understand why it was so perfectly appropriate and profound? Such reflections can be helpful to both pastors and [...]

Catholics talk about natural law, but what’s it all about? Basically, it’s a system of principles that guides human life in accordance with our nature and our good, insofar as those can be known by natural reason. It thereby promotes life the way it evidently ought to be, based on what we are and how [...]

Today, an historic meeting between Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and Pope Francis takes place in Havana, Cuba. The Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church (UGCC), largely at the center of the tensions between the ROC and Rome, at times finds herself struggling against nationalist and secular influences. While certainly not as widespread as the [...]

Have you seen “Spotlight” yet? The critically acclaimed film recounting the Boston Globe’s investigation of clerical sex abuse? I recently attended a screening, and the critics are right: It’s an excellent film, although incredibly painful to watch. And for a devout Catholic, viewing “Spotlight” requires a great deal of endurance and humility—the victims’ stories are [...]

No better example of a tendency of the most famous to be most quickly forgotten, is Albert Schweitzer. He lived ninety glorious years as theologian, musician, missionary, physician, and ranked at the top of each. His Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 was almost an afterthought, for by then he was what Blessed Teresa of Calcutta [...]

There has been a great deal of talk in the Church lately about a supposed opposition between rules and reality, theology and life, doctrine and pastoral considerations. Some of the talk has gone to extremes, suggesting that rules, doctrine, and organized thought matter little in comparison with the pastoral needs of the immediate situation. Such [...]

Catholics—even more so liberal Catholics—are usually quick to criticize anyone who seems to interpret Scripture too literally. Indeed, liberal Catholics often don’t even want to view a lot of it as historical. Liberal Catholics and leftists generally are also ready to rebuke people who adhere to aspects of traditional Christian morality, especially sexual matters, as [...]

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino! ∼ Hilaire Belloc When my wife and I were first married—oh, about half a lifetime ago—there was no wine for us to drink at our reception. It was not that others had depleted [...]

The very goal of the Christian’s life—true worship of God—is a subject too often brushed aside as irrelevant to the question of transmitting the Faith, despite the growing urgency among the faithful to find new ways to catechize. What’s rightly perceived as a catechetical crisis ought to show us the relationship of worship to truth. [...]

Now more than ever, there are calls for a more pastoral Church. That's a good thing. It's the clergy's job to be our pastors, and who could object to priests, bishops, and popes doing their job? “Pastor“ means shepherd, so we find what pastors should do by looking at what shepherds do, especially in the [...]

Renaissance political thinker Niccolo Machiavelli castigated Christianity for making its adherents weak. Looking to the next world, he charged, Christians forget their public duties in this world, leaving their communities weak in the face of their enemies. Early Christian martyrs were hardly cowards. There were martyrs in Machiavelli’s day as well, and as I write [...]

This month marks the 450th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Peter of Michael Ghislieri, the great Dominican of peasant birth known forevermore as Pope St. Pius V. Cardinal Borromeo brought Ghislieri the news of his election on January 7, 1566; he was crowned Pius V ten days later on his sixty-second birthday. Few [...]

MENU