Church

Paprocki & Vigneron

Whenever veteran Catholics stop to consider the on-going crisis of faith in the Church, now entering its fifth decade with no abatement in sight, the news does not come as a surprise. They have longed suspected that the center would not hold. And it is no particular sunburst to say so. They certainly know, for [...]

Whenever veteran Catholics stop to consider the on-going crisis of faith in the Church, now entering its fifth decade with no abatement in sight, the news does not come as a surprise. They have longed suspected that the center would not hold. And it is no particular sunburst to say so. They certainly know, for [...]

Editor's note: The following essay was written for the "St. Francis of Assisi and the Western Tradition" conference sponsored by the Thomistic Institute and delivered at the NYU Catholic Center on April 25, 2014. I want to start with a simple statement of fact. All Christian life is a paradox. What I mean is this. [...]

This coming Sunday, May 25, Pope Francis is scheduled to meet the Eastern Orthodox Church’s Ecumenical Patriarch (EP) Bartholomew at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem in order to commemorate the golden jubilee of the historic meeting between their respective predecessors, Paul VI and Athenagoras. According to the EP’s official website for the [...]

Book-tours can be risky affairs. There’s always the chance you’ll say something during your tenth radio interview of the day which you retrospectively wish you’d phrased differently. Then there’s the possibility you’ll play up to a live audience and make some truly imprudent comments. In a few short May days in New York, Cardinal Walter [...]

Distilling some of the ideas in my book on Thomistic angelology, I published a previous column in Crisis on the massive intelligence and powers of angels. The flip-side of these spiritual faculties, as Aquinas points out, is the existence of a dark kingdom, using the same intelligence and power to prevent the spread of God’s [...]

Like recalcitrant teenagers, taunting their teachers with their latest refusal to submit to authority, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious—an organization that represents more than 80 percent of the more than 50,000 Catholic women religious in the United States—has finally been publicly rebuked by the Vatican.  After several decades of trying to persuade the intractable [...]

Divorce and remarriage looms large in one of the greatest Catholic novels of the last century.  The narrator of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder, is in love with Julia Flyte, and the two plan to cement their happiness by marrying once their respective divorces are finalized.  Julia begins to have doubts when her brother [...]

Why was Pope John Paul canonized this past Sunday not alone but together with Pope John? There is a very good answer to this question: but it is not the one generally being touted by the liberal press, Catholic or secular. Here, for instance, is the often sensible John L Allen, writing in the National [...]

The angry Tweets started before the nun’s talk ended. “My dad doesn’t love me because I’m gay?” followed by a supportive amen chorus, “We got you, man.” Such was the level of debate that began even before the end of Sister Jane Dominic Laurel’s talk to an all-school assembly at Charlotte Catholic High School last [...]

A few days previously Catholic Family News published an interview with Italian professor Roberto de Mattei.  The subject of the interview, which one should certainly read before perusing my own thoughts, is on the subject of the upcoming canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.  In particular, de Mattei discusses his concerns regarding [...]

Throughout the world, in the Easter Sunday liturgy, Catholics sing the ancient Sequence, Victimae Paschali Laudes, or as it is known in English, “Christians, to the Paschal Victim.” The sequence offers praise to Christ, the Victor over sin and death, beginning with the verse Christians, to the Paschal Victim Offer your thankful praises! A Lamb [...]

The second reading from the Office of Readings for Holy Saturday is taken from an ancient homily on Christ’s descent into hell.  It begins: “Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness.  The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.”  The King fell asleep when [...]

Father Longenecker had an amusing blog last week, headlined “archbishops should live in palaces.” “I think the Pope should live in the Apostolic Palace,” he says, “and I think Archbishop Wilton [Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, who is moving out three months after moving in] should live in his brand new $2.2m home. I think [...]

I am not terribly accustomed to attending bilingual masses. I’ve avoided them rather religiously (sorry) ever since my wife and I went to a Spanish-English mass on Ash Wednesday when she was very pregnant. After well over an hour and a half of hearing each part of the mass said in one language, then repeated [...]

In his October 2013 article on the question of communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, Cardinal Gerhard Müller underscored that the Catholic Church had risked much to uphold Christ’s teaching regarding true marriage’s indissolubility. The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith singled out the fact that Catholicism had suffered the [...]

We’ve all known administrators who were hired to do a certain job, but when they found they couldn’t do that job, they either tried to do everyone else’s job or else tried to change the job into something else completely.  This problem is not uncommon, for example, among functionaries who do fund-raising for colleges.  They [...]

Why did God make Eve? Why not just stop with Adam? God made Eve for the same reason God makes anything—as a celebration of his own glory. God was up to something of eternal importance in making his special image-bearers male and female. When God made Eve he was magnifying his supreme glory. He was [...]

Both England’s Tablet and the United States’ Commonweal incited debate last week with their accounts of an exclusive interview Archbishop Georg Gänswein granted the German television network ZDF. While the Tablet took more editorial liberties than Commonweal, Commonweal signaled tacit approval of the Tablet’s editorial stance. The bottom line: Gänswein’s interview indicates the Prefect of [...]

If it is true, as novelist Don DeLillo once wrote, “The future belongs to crowds,” then the future of the Catholic Church might once have belonged to activist groups critical of the Church, like Boston-bred Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), and the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).  With savvy leaders who [...]

An Italian paper reported last December 5 that on that day Pope Francis said Mass at the Church of St. Martha in Rome, and in his homily, he quoted G.K. Chesterton. Yes, I know. There was great rejoicing. According to a translation of the report (provided by my Italian wife, Laura), this is what the [...]

Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortaiton, Evangelii Gaudium, raised eyebrows within and beyond the Catholic world for what the Sovereign Pontiff had to say on things economic. Considerably less attention was paid to the document’s other discussions which range from the so-called New Evangelization to matters of Church governance. On this latter point, the Pope suggested, in [...]

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