Christ

Head in Sand

The Sexual Revolution and the Do-Nothing Church

“Abandonment of Christian sexual morality is the core of the Church’s self-secularization.”  ∼ Gabriele Kuby, The Global Sexual Revolution From time to time, the church finds itself with egg on its face because of its failure to speak out in the face of grievous injustices. The Nazi episode, the Civil Rights movement in the United [...]

Is Lying Ever Justified?

"The problem is not that we are sinners: the problem is not repenting of sin, not being ashamed of what we have done." In his homily at his daily Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae on May 17, 2013, Pope Francis was discussing, and commending, the example of Saint Peter, who, having denied Christ, was now [...]

What if Jesus Had Been Accepted as the Messiah?

Various Scriptural passages indicate that Jesus, before his trial and execution, had hoped for a very different outcome of his sojourn on earth: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets, and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, [...]

Christ the Gentleman

King Charles II said that a gentleman is one who puts those around him at ease. Even on his deathbed he apologized to the courtiers in attendance: “I am sorry, gentlemen, for being such a time a-dying.”  The Society of Friends was a curiosity to him, especially because one of his admirals to whom he owed [...]

Sabbath after Sabbath

In the Acts of the Apostles (13:26-30), Paul speaks of his Jewish background. To us Jews did God send forth a “message of salvation.”  This announcement was not sent to everyone in the beginning. Why not? We know that, in Deuteronomy, the Jews are called “chosen” not because of anything they did on their part [...]

The Last Word: Living By Our Wits

Among several of my friends, Sheldon Vanauken's essay on capital punishment in our September issue ["The Death Penalty: What Should Be the Christian Attitude?"] has stimulated some sharp and passionate comments. This is as it should be. For — let's be blunt — we are talking about deliberately putting human beings to death. Is that [...]

The Mission of the Church

Evangelization is an Obligation, Not an Option The melancholy tale about Maryknoll that Charlotte Hays related in a recent issue of this journal ["Lost Horizons at Maryknoll," April] had the effect of calling attention in an especially poignant way to something which all of us today are quite aware of, but which, I suspect, none [...]

The Interior Life

To speak of Catholic education is to acknowledge, for one thing, a specific telos to education, and, for another a distinctive tradition. The recognition of that telos is, of course, shared by other believers. It consists in the awareness that the grave is not the end of man, that man is called to a life [...]

Maryknoll Is Not Alone…

One of the most confusing vocations in the post-Vatican II Church is being a missionary. When the Council Fathers came out with their historic statements about religious freedom and the existence of “salvific elements” in other religions, they threw many missionaries into a quandary. To convert or not to convert? A baffling question. Father Joseph [...]

Come Again: Thomas Sheehan Deconstructs Christianity

Higher criticism — source criticism, form critism, redaction criticism, various contemporary amalgams — has been with us now for at least a century and a half. To the layman it can easily seem that higher critics disparage what they see as the naivety of the ordinary Christian’s belief in the events reported in the New [...]

Gilding the Little Flower

For all its virtues, Thérèse remains an aesthetic, not a religious, achievement  To write ill of the movie Thérèse seems churlish. Its intentions are noble, their execution reverent. In this, the godless late twentieth century, a French director, Alain Cavalier, has made a movie about a nun which does not mock celibacy or humility, indulge [...]

A Valiant Woman

Early in May, Edith Stein will be beatified. Who was this remarkable woman? German newspapers have been reporting unofficially that, during the first days of May of this year, Pope John Paul II will arrive in the city of Cologne to beatify Edith Stein, noted German philosopher and Catholic feminist who was martyred at Auschwitz [...]

Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

As with most things in post-conciliar Catholicism, the role of the laity in the Church has become problematic mainly because classical Catholic ways of thinking have been either forgotten or badly distorted. As a number of commentators have observed, in an odd way feminism has promoted a new clericalism. Spokesmen such as Rev. Richard McBrien [...]

Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

Discourse about the new role of the laity easily assumes the grammar and rhetoric of rights, autonomy, and liberation. We hear about the right to dissent, the right to be a priest, freedom to be engaged with the world, the autonomy of Politics, and freedom of conscience. I would suggest that a theology of the [...]

Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

The situation of laymen is very different from country to country. So is the awareness of the dignity and of the tasks of laymen as they were outlined in the constitution Lumen Gentium and the decree Apostolicam Actuositatem by the Second Vatican Council. While in Germany, where I write these lines, there exists a long [...]

Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

Although the term "the faithful" is comprehensively applicable within the Church, it is commonly used to designate the laity. The faithful — it is a praising and pro-vocative term, telling us, if not so much what in every instance we actually are, what unquestionably we should always strive to he: Faithful. We are all well [...]

Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

“The people are the Church," they tell us. "They" are the theologians and their disciples in the community in which I teach and live. But who are these "people" who are the Church? I recently heard one of these modern theologians (a priest) who define the Church as "the people" (is he one of the [...]

Our Tradition: The Untimid Voice of Orestes Brownson

One Friday night in 1845, less than a year after his conversion to Catholicism, Orestes Brownson was spending the evening in a small public inn near the center of Andover, Massachusetts. For the last thirty-seven years Andover had been the home of the Congregationalist seminary known as the “West Point of Orthodoxy.” Founded by Jedidiah [...]

Responsibilities of the Church in Central America Pablo Antonio Cuadra

Since Pope John Paul II's visit to Central America,  something has become evident that had earlier drawn little attention: the religiousness of our Central American peoples and that religion's moral and civic force. But in the same measure, a crisis could be observed: a new awareness, an uneasiness, a search by these great religious forces. [...]

Sense and Nonsense: On Teaching Us About God

On Pentecost, 1986, John Paul II published a fundamental encyclical, Dominum et Vivificantem, on the "Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World." This encyclical is meant to be the third part of a series on the Trinity — still, as Frank Sheed used to remark, the most fascinating of topics to [...]

Curran, Dissent, & Rome: A Symposium

Many of my colleagues in the Theology Department have urged for acceptance of a "compromise" in the confrontation between Father Charles E. Curran and the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This compromise would require Father Curran to refrain from teaching sexual ethics at the University, require the SCDF to recognize Father Curran [...]

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