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Plato said that changes in music and sports were also indications in changes in constitutions of polities. Changes in politics are usually also indicative of changes in souls. Music mirrors human souls and the direction they are taking, good or bad. The mind and body may be closest together in music. The notion that we [...]

At a class at Acton University, Dr. Carrie Gress was lecturing about the Benedict Option and somewhat informally proposed a Marian option. She said she was impressed by the interest the proposal sparked. I happened to be in the class and remember thinking at the time about how well her message resonated with everyone. I [...]

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 [...]

In “The Preacher,” a 1956 episode of Gunsmoke, a minister who has lost his faith is relentlessly hounded by a bully until Marshal Matt Dillon intervenes. Asks the persecuted preacher: “Why, Marshal, why are men always fighting and hating each other?” Leaving aside the answer that St. James, in his Epistle, gives to that perennial [...]

On May 22, an Islamic suicide bomber detonated himself outside a pop concert in Manchester, England, killing and wounding dozens, many of them young children. The terrorist was a 22-year-old named Salman Abedi. A few days after the attack, I was reading an article about the mosque he attended—the Didsbury Mosque. “That’s funny,” I thought [...]

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, [...]

A friend of mine lives in one of Philadelphia’s comfortable suburbs. She and her husband are both attorneys. Both hold Ivy League degrees. Their community is nearly 90 percent white, rich in Quaker history, above average in education and income, and low in crime. People are friendly. Nights are quiet. Streets are clean and safe. [...]

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 Economist began its editorial promoting paid surrogacy by quoting the Bible: the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar is an “exploitative version of surrogacy that still shapes attitudes and laws today.” Why the lessons of that story do not remain relevant for today (and today’s “attitudes and laws”) is never really explained. Neither the [...]

And last, the rending pain of re-enactment Of all that you have done, and been; the shame Of things ill done and done to others' harm Which once you took for exercise of virtue. ∼  T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding, in Four Quartets Author and culture critic par excellence, Mary Eberstadt, has chronicled the shift among [...]

Viggo Mortensen, the same actor who played Strider/Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, seems to enjoy getting naked in his non-Tolkien films, evincing, perhaps, certain latent exhibitionist fantasies: In Eastern Promises, he fought off, el fresco, two Russian mobsters in a steam bath; in The Road, he chucked it all to swim out [...]

To what extent should Catholics support an essentially evil government? The question is unaccustomed. The Church views government as natural and necessary, and normally favors obedience even to tyrannical governments as long as the specific command is not at odds with divine or natural law. That’s why Paul told Christians to honor and obey Nero’s [...]

Should a Catholic School admit LGBTQ students or refuse the benefit of a Catholic education to this particularly vulnerable subset of children? Such is the choice with which those responsible for Catholic education seem to be presented, and, increasingly, they will opt for the former. Apparently, this is the path chosen by Bishop John Gaydos [...]

Whenever a new terrorist attack is reported, I’m reminded of that LifeLock commercial about a bank robbery. After a group of masked robbers smash into the bank, the uniformed officer on duty explains to frightened customers that he’s not a security guard, only a security monitor. He notifies people if there’s a robbery, but he [...]

Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. That descent changed them. It made a difference in their lives. The Upper Room had previously been a chamber of fears. “Surely not I, Lord?” (Mt 26:22) was the question on a certain Thursday night. About 72 hours later, it was a locked room [...]

Something has been terribly lost in the story of Maddi Runkles, the 18-year-old who became pregnant and was punished by her Evangelical school for breaking the morality clause she signed when becoming a student. To begin, I believe it has been a tad unseemly that she has taken to the national airwaves to air her [...]

It was 35 years ago this coming week that a pope and a president met together at the Vatican—and went on to change the world. It was Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan. They met one-on-one at the Vatican Library. To this day, no formal transcript of their conversation has been released. The Reagan [...]

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 [...]

Perhaps one of the more sensitive personal issues you can raise with people is that of dress. How you dress has become a purely personal affair. Most are left to their own opinion as to what is appropriate. There are, of course, some limits. Most Catholics will admit in theory that there is something that [...]

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