Church

Pope John Paul II 1979 Washington DC

Mercy featured prominently in the polemics surrounding the recently concluded Synod on the Family. Mercy was frequently counterpoised to dogma as an appeal to dilute ecclesiastical practice, and admit to Holy Communion those who are now “remarried.” Cardinal Kasper went so far as to publish a book between the 2014 and 2015 Synod sessions: Mercy: The [...]

Mercy featured prominently in the polemics surrounding the recently concluded Synod on the Family. Mercy was frequently counterpoised to dogma as an appeal to dilute ecclesiastical practice, and admit to Holy Communion those who are now “remarried.” Cardinal Kasper went so far as to publish a book between the 2014 and 2015 Synod sessions: Mercy: The [...]

This past October marked the 498th year since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg. It also marked the eleventh year since I walked out of Trinity Lutheran Church in Traverse City and began the long road towards Catholicism. Anyone who has talked to me for more than five [...]

The 2015 October Synod on the Family has ended.   So, what came out of it? A final document was handed to Pope Francis that was a fine academic treatise on the family. But media reports say that Cardinals, archbishops and theologians are still wrestling over whether the Synod opened a way for "some" divorced and [...]

God is With Us

Near the end of a long and distinguished life, spanning nearly the entire nineteenth century, John Henry Cardinal Newman (declared Blessed by Pope Benedict in 2010), was asked about something he’d written. Now Newman, who was no slouch by any standard, had written a great many things, all of them of a very high order, [...]

Europe is the Faith—so Hilaire Belloc declared in 1920. Nearly a century later, the faith burns as bright as it did then, but it is Africa, not Europe, that is carrying the torch of orthodoxy. Such is the unavoidable take-away from last month’s synod on the family. With prominent Western traditionalists like Cardinal Raymond Burke [...]

The admission of divorced and “remarried” Catholics to the Eucharist was one of the neuralgic issues at the recently concluded Synod on the Family. The German Episcopal Conference in general and Cardinal Walter Kasper in particular had been agitating for change in ecclesiastical discipline to allow some divorced and “remarried” Catholics to Holy Communion, with [...]

One way that dissidents (including various episcopal conferences that had been derelict in teaching Catholic marital morality in the immediate periods before and after Humanae vitae) sought to dilute the clear Magisterial teaching the encyclical provided them was to reduce its vision of married sexual life to an “aspirational norm.” In other words, the idea [...]

The Archdiocese of Milan is one of the most ancient and honored in the Latin Christian world. Named the Ambrosian See, it was the seat of St. Ambrose, and possessor of an ancient and venerable western liturgical rite of its own. Milan, the mighty city on the Lombard plain, has ever been at the crossroads [...]

In recent decades the Church has softened her public witness for the truth of the Catholic vision of things. That tendency became much stronger after the Second Vatican Council, and can even claim some support from statements such as the address of Bl. Paul VI at the Council’s close. The change has corresponded to a [...]

Among the entitlements that apply to every Catholic, there is one whose violation in recent years has become all too frequent, and that is the right to remain secure in the faith we received in baptism. How else are we to confront our persecutors? Unless we are made to feel, on the strength of a [...]

Recently, there was a positive development during an interview with Bishop Borys Gudziak (President of the Ukrainian Catholic University—UCU) by Crux regarding the issue of “decentralization,” which was proposed in a favorable light by the Holy Father during the recent Synod on the Family. Bishop Gudziak echoed the position of the Head of the Ukrainian [...]

Never in the 50-year history of the Synod of Bishops was there so conflictual and raucous a session. The 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world” began under the shadow of a shocking announcement by Polish Msgr. Charamsa. This [...]

Like the good German that he is, Cardinal Walter Kasper has a wonderful capacity of persistence. Like a dog with a bone, he is able to keep fighting against incredible odds long after a lesser man would have packed up his things and gone home. The case in point is, of course, the question of [...]

Let’s face it: The 2015 Synod on the Family is a mess. I was one who gave Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt. I now have my doubts about him. And I have no doubt at all that some of the men surrounding him are either heretics or lunatics or both. The real question [...]

Conscience is one of those subjects about which numerous Catholics today are, alas, sadly misinformed. Despite great Catholic minds such as Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, and John Henry Newman discoursing at length on the question, some Catholics speak of it in ways that have little in common with the Church’s understanding of conscience. The latest [...]

The Church gave us a wonderful grace in the midst of the fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops session on the theme of the vocation and mission of the family in the contemporary world with the canonization of Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Liseux. They are the [...]

Rilene, Paul, and I went to Rome to give our testimonies at a conference and resource event titled “Living the Truth in Love.”  This conference was scheduled two days prior to the start of the Synod, and was co-sponsored by Courage International, Ignatius Press, and the Napa Institute as a way to begin a dialogue [...]

Although it is unpleasant to discuss, there is a medical disorder (sometimes called “pica”) in which a person desires to eat non-nutritive, non-food substances like glass, plastic, dirt, wood, and apparently almost anything else one could imagine. Besides their disordered desire to eat harmful things, people with pica otherwise seem to be normal and are [...]

One of the questions commonly raised in relation to the proposal of Cardinal Walter Kasper that the Catholic Church should admit to sacramental penance and Holy Communion certain civilly divorced and “remarried” individuals—who continue to act as if their second “marriage” were valid—is whether the Church’s traditional prohibition of this proposal is a matter of [...]

One of the world’s worst-kept secrets is the Holy See’s high regard for the United Nations. Since Paul VI, popes have appeared before its General Assembly to express their “great esteem,” as Francis remarked in his recent UN address, for its work. Not all Catholics entertain favorable views of the UN. They point, for instance, [...]

Editor’s note: The following is the text of the address delivered by Pope Francis to a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 24, 2015. Mr. Vice-President, Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members of Congress, Dear Friends, I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in "the land of the free [...]

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