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Last week—amidst the filial correction of Pope Francis for the spreading of heresies—I paused to read about St. John Bosco and the monsters. Father Bosco’s dreams were haunted by them—monsters swooping at boys too “numb” to defend themselves; monsters turning their backs to the Blessed Sacrament before trampling souls; monsters clawing at flowers symbolizing purity [...]

The devotion to Mary within the Christian DNA, could properly be said to derive in the first instance from the high esteem shown to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel, who brings to Mary the announcement of her vocation of mother of the Savior of the world. In his greeting he says that this simple handmaiden [...]

Last month I suggested that white nationalism and certain other views aren’t likely to become practically important. Their proponents want to build on too shaky a base. But there are related topics—identity politics and ethnic loyalties in general—that matter a great deal and should be discussed. What do we say about such things? It’s a complicated [...]

The position of Pope Francis in regard to homosexual “marriage” has not changed since he became a bishop in Argentina, according to John Allen Jr. on the Crux news site last year. Allen writes that, while the pope is against homosexual "marriage," he is willing to tolerate homosexual acts under the title of “civil unions.” [...]

A central principle of the American Founding—in fact, one that great thinkers have held as central for any democratic republic—is the rule of law. We often hear the phrase that we are a nation in which “the rule of law and not of men” prevails. This is another way of saying that law—applicable equally to [...]

The current push for same-sex “marriage” in Australia is threaded with ironies in the social, political and religious spheres. When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared a postal vote—which is now in progress (results will be released on November 15), the “pro same-sex marriage” crowd lambasted the democratic vote as hateful; they prefer an imposed parliamentary [...]

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers … against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12) It’s not easy to discern the role played by the spiritual hosts of wickedness in world affairs. No one knows with any certainty what is going on [...]

Both charity and etiquette once counseled not speaking ill of the dead. That’s generally why most obituaries take the form of encomia and why a certain “stretching of the truth” is often entertained in them. Discretion used to prove the better part of valor when discussing the dearly deceased whose vices were public knowledge. (But, [...]

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego wrote a column about James Martin SJ that said Martin’s critics are a cancer on the Church, that criticism of his work is driven by homophobia, a distortion of Catholic moral theology, and is an attack on Pope Francis. This shameful column was applauded by a chorus including Elizabeth [...]

There is part of a poem by Sir Walter Scott often titled “My Native Land.” Back when poetry was appreciated and even memorized, its first lines were well known. It went: Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, ‘This is my own, my native land!’ Scott’s insights are [...]

Years ago, after another outrage in Beirut, I recall a comment by a Jihadist intellectual. He was disgusted with the then widespread belief that such atrocities only happen within Muslim countries, a sign of their civilizational inferiority. He longed for the day when such frequent bombings would also be an everyday event in Western cities. [...]

The usual view among Catholics is that public authority should look after all aspects of the common good. As a result, the social encyclicals have proposed a variety of responsibilities for government. The variety has grown with the range of problems under consideration, from the condition of industrial workers in Rerum Novarum to the comprehensive good of [...]

The current Neo-Puritanical mania for tearing down statues and stifling free speech by cultural ingénues ignorant of history and logic, has reached a stellar absurdity in demands to censure “The Star Spangled Banner” on lame claims that it is racist and advertises bigotry. Given the low level of contemporary culture, and the remarkable fact that [...]

In a criticism of creation and intelligent design, Carl Sagan famously quipped, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” What bypassed the critical filters of the late science popularizer is that the extraordinary theories concocted by materialistic scientists not only lack extraordinary evidence, they lack any evidence, and in some cases, any possibility for evidence. Panspermia, parallel [...]

Ever since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling before preseason games in 2016, taking a knee in protest has become all the rage among the self-styled athletic elite. Spreading out from Kaepernick’s banal act of “defiance,” more and more players on more and more teams began refusing to stand for the playing [...]

September 11th was my 64th birthday. Yes, 9/11, but we’ll leave that for another time. What I want to explain here is why for most of my life I found birthdays and most occasions for celebration meaningless and maddening, and why that’s no longer true. After drifting away from the Church in my late teens, I was [...]

I sometimes wonder how so many people can be in denial about the danger posed by Islam to the rest of the world. The textual, historical, and statistical evidence that Islam is an aggressive religion is overwhelming, but very few are willing to look at it. On the one side, you have a ton of [...]

Over the weekend of September 16, 2017, I was privileged to attend the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage in Rome, marking the tenth anniversary of promulgation of the motu proprio that has restored to the Church the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite. This is a short reflection on the experience. The city of Rome remains the [...]

As a deacon, only once have I had the privilege of sitting around a table with one priest and one bishop, effectively forming a trio representing the three degrees of Holy Orders during a stimulating conversation about the Catholic faith. I have such an exchange in mind as I write this essay—I see what follows [...]

What would the pro-life movement be without its perennial infighting? From the absolutists vs. the incrementalists to the Seamless Garment vs. everyone else, it is a feature of our movement that just never goes away. The latest controversy over something mislabeled as “new” is evidence that there is nothing new about these internecine fights. Rebecca [...]

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