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A Bannon Apologia

Out of the blue in the summer of 2014, I received an email from Steve Bannon asking if I ever published anyplace other than Crisis and would I be interested in writing for Breitbart. I knew Bannon’s name from a weekly conservative coalition that still meets in Washington DC. Bannon occasionally called in but never appeared [...]

Beguiled by Balthasar

The light of divine glory Shines in the breast of night: Who can see it? A heart Whose eyes keep watch, e’er bright. ∼ Angelus Silesius Years ago when I was a student in Rome finishing up a dissertation at the Angelicum, I needed to schedule a formal defense of my thesis, which centered on [...]

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made “transgender” a protected status under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Catholic moral theologian Christian Brugger states that a “baffling multiplication of categories of sexuality” are now seeking “rights,” including transsexualism, transvestism, bi-genderism, genderqueerism, pansexuality to name a few. As Brugger further explains, “transgender” is the catchall term referring to all persons [...]

Lord Dunsany has written a charming short story about two "local gods" obliged to share the same temple. Every Tuesday the priests enter the inner sanctum, praise and sacrifice to the elder idol, Chu-bu, until one day they bring a fresh-carved "usurper," Sheemish. "There is none but Chu-bu … there is also Sheemish," they intone. [...]

In an obscure article entitled “Catholics and Liberals: Decline of Détente,” in America magazine in 1974, the eminent Catholic scholar and historian James Hitchcock discussed a profound change that had occurred in American liberalism and argued that its new thinking put it increasingly at odds with Catholicism. Hitchcock was one of a number of writers [...]

In 7th grade, I started acting up. My father died suddenly near the end of 6th grade and when he was gone, my behavior changed. One fine day in 7th grade, Mr. Mac, my language arts teacher, whose first name was Harry, came into my social studies class to convey something to our teacher, Mrs. Gooding. [...]

I knew crazy things were happening on college campuses but it seems I wasn’t acutely aware how certain precincts in institutions of “higher” learning had become equal parts Orwellian insane asylum and the Theater of the Absurd. By the time you finish reading the article titled “16 Most Ridiculously PC Moments on College Campuses in [...]

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves...” (Gen 11:4) As a small child the tale of Babel’s tower seemed a large story, one filled with men who were wicked and a god who was powerful. [...]

"In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles." ∼ Executive order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United  States It can be expected that Catholic bishops will respond with dismay to President Trump’s order banning [...]

One of the most common attitudes I encounter with today’s college students is a kind of blasé non-judgmentalism—or, worse, a passively nihilistic relativism. They are reluctant to label any behavior or belief bad, even if, in the most extreme thought experiments, it involves killing innocents. This attitude seems to get worse every year; it’s as [...]

David Leonhardt, in the January 18 New York Times, asked whether the “heyday of the colleges that serve[d] America’s working class is over.” He reminisces about the City College of New York, which used to cost only a few hundred dollars a year but was the “Harvard of the proletariat.” He laments the fact that good, [...]

Upon arriving in Lourdes on pilgrimage on a cold, rainy winter day, I was feeling very much the pilgrim. I was cold, tired, and wet. The long trip had been exhausting and the walk in the drizzling rain from the train station to the hotel had drained me of energy. As I headed to the [...]

Today cardinals and bishops are intensely divided over whether or not invalidly married Catholics living in adultery can receive Holy Communion. Fifty years ago, this kind of question would have boggled the minds of Catholics everywhere, because the answer would be both obvious and simple: “No!” The question has arisen today because a recent and [...]

Silence is all the talk. And it should be. It is a stellar work of cinematography. That should come as no surprise with Scorsese as director. Then too the film touches on themes of perennial relevance. There is the drama of living the faith in unbearable circumstance, its total censure, as in the case of [...]

“If a pope were only ever applauded, he would have to ask himself whether or not he was doing things right.”  ∼ Benedict XVI, Last Testament, 2016. “The bishops (at Vatican II) wanted to renew the faith, to deepen it. However, other forces were working with increasing strength, particularly journalists, who interpreted many things in a [...]

In “That perfection of the Intellect,” wrote the lucid John Henry Newman in The Idea of a University, and its beau ideal, to be imparted to individuals in their respective measures, is the clear, calm, accurate vision and comprehension of all things, as far as the finite mind can embrace them, each in its place, and with [...]

It has been nine long months since the publication of Amoris Laetita, but there is still no end in sight to the confusion and turmoil it has unleashed within almost every corner of the Catholic Church. Bishops have now turned to the excruciating task of implementation as they try to elicit the pastoral implications of [...]

For the last five decades and more, youth culture has been a driving force in our society. As young people gained increasing amounts of discretionary spending power, purveyors of products and entertainment became increasingly interested in “what the kids like these days,” to the point that much of our popular culture—music, movies, television, web content—is [...]

“Only a blind man can deny that there is great confusion in the Church.” ∼ Carlo Cardinal Caffarra Cardinal Caffarra was speaking about the confusion surrounding Amoris Laetitia and the Church’s teaching about marriage and divorce. But much the same could be said about the Church’s position on Islam. The discrepancy between what Church leaders say [...]

While the historic Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which took place in Crete this past June, sought to bridge the gap between Orthodox and non-Orthodox churches, it seems to have created a divide within the Orthodox Church itself. In recent developments, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, who holds the title “first [...]

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