Pope Benedict XVI

gay waterfountains

Marriage Is Not a Water Fountain

Some proponents of homosexual pseudogamy now assert that argument is no longer necessary. We do not argue with segregationists, they say. We ignore them, we scorn them. They are not worth our time. They are mad or wicked. So too is the courageous Ryan Anderson, who says that marriage by nature requires a man and [...]

Why Benedict’s Regensburg Lecture Remains Relevant

Tragedies have a way of making time stand still. When threatened, we recede into our most primal selves; dominated by fight and flight impulses geared towards the most basic demands of the situation at hand. Objective analysis, reasoned judgment, and even emotion are swept away for an instant as we are seized by the immediacy [...]

How Christians Can Rebuild Our Culture

Editor’s note: The following essay is adapted from an address delivered August 6 at the Archdiocese of Toronto’s “Faith in the Public Square” symposium. In the beginning, Genesis tells us, “the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Gen 1:2). Creation begins in chaos. On each day of [...]

Understanding God’s Love: A Primer on Mercy and Justice

“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross” (H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America). This article addresses the question of how God is both just and merciful in the light of some insights of Pope Francis’ recent book [...]

Distinguishing Between Authentic and Heretical Ecumenism

Pope Francis’s visit with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem on May 25 elicited the familiar curiosity and hope that accompanies such gestures shared between persons of different faith traditions, in this case persons of the highest leadership and authority in their respective Churches, coming together in at least some degree of commonality and fellowship. [...]

Is God Dead? Have We Killed Him?

Nietzsche isn’t exactly the kind of guy you expect to show up in a papal encyclical. All the more so does it seem odd to refer to him as a prophet. Nonetheless, recent popes have referred to him somewhat often, using him as a referent for our current social and philosophical situation. In one of [...]

Should Pope Francis have Abandoned the Trappings of His Office?

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 [...]

Why We Need More Canon Lawyers

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 [...]

The Benedict Option: What Does It Really Mean?

 “Seeking his workman in a multitude of people, the Lord calls out to him and lifts his voice again: ‘Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days?’” (Prologue of the Rule of St. Benedict, quoting Psalm 34:14-15). The Benedict Option—what does it really mean? In my mind, it is [...]

The Gregory Option: St. Benedict in the World

Alasdair MacIntyre’s 1981 manifesto After Virtue famously ends with the argument that we are “waiting for another St. Benedict.”  At some point, the old Roman Empire was lost.  “Men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral [...]

Romano Guardini: Father of the New Evangelization

As Benedict XVI prepared to step down from his pontificate, he offered the following words to those who feared that his resignation marked a dangerous departure from tradition:  "The Church is not an institution devised and built at table, but a living reality. She lives along the course of time by transforming Herself, like any [...]

Benedict XVI on the Christmas Readings

If your family regularly attends the evening Christmas vigil mass, on more than one occasion you may have dreaded the proclamation of the Gospel for this particularly liturgy: “Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram. Joram the father of Uzziah….” The list of names goes on [...]

Benedict XVI and the Way of Beauty

 Something unusual is revealed here as well: the house of God is the true house of humans.  It becomes the house of humans even more the less it tries to be this and the more it is simply put up for him.  — Pope Benedict XVI In modern memory, has there been a Pope who [...]

Pope Francis and His Critics

Pope Benedict XVI, according to the New York Times, wanted a smaller, purer Catholic Church. Pope Francis, if the Times is to be believed, is well on the way to making the first part of his predecessor's putative vision a reality, by driving all of those who remain faithful to Christian moral teaching out of [...]

The Idolatry of Disbelief

There are many profound and beautiful things to mark the reader’s passage through Lumen Fidei, the long awaited encyclical on faith by Pope Francis, issued on June 29, the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.  Beginning, of course, with the recognition that the lion’s share of the work derives from his learned and [...]

Pope Francis Will Enliven the Benedict Legacy

Being quoted by the press often leads to an out-of-body experience. This happened to me this weekend when an article posted by the Religion News Service was sent out through the wire and landed at the Washington Post, Huffington Post, National Catholic Reporter, and many other outlets. Every time I would read a new posting [...]

Advice to College Students from Lumen Fidei

I know, I know, it’s only the beginning of August, and the very last thing on a college student’s mind is the upcoming semester. Unless they’re rising freshmen, in which case the upcoming semester is very much on their mind, but mainly about leaving home and meeting their new roommate, not necessarily the purpose and [...]

Pope Enlists St. Michael in Reform of Curia

I am wondering if a little noticed—certainly little commented upon—event, which took place Friday, July 5, in the gardens of Vatican City, establishes a connection between two apparently quite different subjects about which I have written recently: the first is the frequency with which Pope Francis refers to the devil; the second is the question of what [...]

Beauty Will Save the World: From the Mouth of an Idiot to the Pen of a Pope

A popular quote we often hear but find hard to understand is "beauty will save the world." How will beauty save the world? The line comes from Dostoevsky’s novel, The Idiot, attributed to the main character, Prince Myskin. The prince, an epileptic Russian nobleman, serves as a Christ-like figure, who stands apart for his innocence [...]

Great Gatsby’s Facebook Mansion

The Great Gatsby (the book; I haven’t seen the movie yet) describes a particular kind of life that used to be the sole property of well-heeled WASPs. They were the privileged ones who came from all parts of the country to convene on The East—New York, Boston, New Haven. They could afford all the new [...]

What the Lord’s Ascension Means

Of all the conundrums that have come to vex and confound us, there are three that continue uniquely to rivet the attention.  Each provides a key to the great and enduring realities of the Christian life.  What can we know (Faith)?  What ought we to do (Charity)?  And, finally, in whom may we trust (Hope)?  [...]

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