Pope John Paul II

Tape over mouth

The ABA’s Attempt to Muzzle Lawyers

We hear more and more about the attack on conscience rights in the health care and counseling professions: the Obama administration early on moved to reverse federal protections from health care workers having to take part in morally objectionable procedures; Washington State’s requirement (sustained by the U.S. Supreme Court) that pharmacies sell abortifacients; the new [...]

“Mutual Submission” between Husbands and Wives in Ephesians 5?

Since the promulgation of St. John Paul II’s Mulieris Dignitatem in 1988, Catholics often speak of a “mutual submission” between husbands and wives. Proponents of the idea of mutual submission between spouses, including John Paul himself and Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia, often cite Ephesians chapter 5, and particularly verse 21—“submitting to one another out [...]

On Rocco Buttiglione’s Defense of Amoris Laetitia

In the past several weeks L’Osservatore Romano has published two articles by reputable John Paul II scholars defending the teachings of Amoris Laetitia (AL). In the first article, Rocco Buttiglione, a widely respected philosopher, argues that critics of this apostolic exhortation have trouble understanding Pope Francis. Hence they fail to see that there is no [...]

Why Homosexuality is a Natural Law Issue

Melinda Selmys, familiar to the readers of Crisis as a leading voice among the gay Christian movement, recently wrote an essay she called “10 Reasons Why Homosexuality is Not a Natural Law Issue.” Her basic premise is “that trying to argue against homosexuality from a natural law point of view in contemporary discourse is about [...]

Apostasy in England and Europe

There once was an excellent Jesuit boarding school in England by the name of Beaumont, which began admitting boys back in the mid 1800s. Soon after opening its doors, it decided to challenge a neighboring school to a game of soccer. And so the headmaster sent his counterpart at nearby Eton a letter suggesting a [...]

John Paul II, Porn, and the Stanford Rapist

One need not recount again the abominable details of Brock Turner’s “20 minutes of action,” or those of his trial and recent conviction on three counts of sexual assault. Enough ink has been spilled in outrage (rightfully so) over his woefully short prison sentence, and the support for his victim’s courageous statement before the court [...]

Let Us Work Together: On Jewish-Christian Relations

Editor’s note: The following address was delivered on April 15, 2016 before the Harvard Hillel Society and is printed with permission of the author. I am so glad to be back in cooperation with the Harvard Hillel Society. Long, long ago, in about 1961, the Hillel Society and the Harvard Catholic Club almost at the [...]

The Feast of Weeks and the Significance of Pentecost

The feast of Pentecost, known as the birthday of the Church, marks the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the bestowal of the Spirit’s gifts that enables the apostles to leave the Upper Room and preach the Gospel. The grace imparted by the Spirit causes the apostles to proclaim the Good News, [...]

The Totalitarian Imposition of Assisted Suicide in Canada

The story of euthanasia in Canada officially began a year ago this February 6th, when the Supreme Court of Canada decreed that the laws forbidding murder-suicide for compassionate reasons were “unconstitutional,” and commanded the Parliament of Canada to frame a law legalizing such physician-assisted suicide. Now, for all of you constitutionally-minded readers out there, this [...]

Bishop Olmsted Calls Men Into the Breach

A father's prodigal love and approval fill the space carved into our being by the finger of our Creator. Boy or girl, man or woman, all, and no matter the age, thirst for it. Our household knows this well. After a period of infertility, physical deterioration, and loss, when we were told never to expect [...]

St. John Paul II: No Mercy Without Truth

Mercy featured prominently in the polemics surrounding the recently concluded Synod on the Family. Mercy was frequently counterpoised to dogma as an appeal to dilute ecclesiastical practice, and admit to Holy Communion those who are now “remarried.” Cardinal Kasper went so far as to publish a book between the 2014 and 2015 Synod sessions: Mercy: The [...]

How Wojtyla Might Have Answered Cupich on Conscience

In September 1953, a group of 20-somethings and their young parish priest embarked on the first of what would be 26 annual kayaking trips into the wilderness near where they all lived and worked, taking time away from normal life to enjoy the water, the wilderness, and, most of all, a prayerful retreat with each other. This group—Środowisko, as [...]

Saint John Paul II and Cardinal Kasper on Mercy and Holiness

With the Year of Mercy just around the corner, it is fitting to return to what is perhaps the greatest explication of the doctrine of mercy in recent years, that of Pope, now Saint, John Paul II in his encyclical Dives in Misericordia. Like Pope John Paul II before him, Pope Francis has made mercy [...]

A Primer on Authentic Ecumenism

"Above all, it is necessary to recognize the unity that already exists." ~ John Paul II There’s a 7-Eleven across the street and down a couple blocks from where I teach—Bethel College in Mishawaka. I often go there for an afternoon caffeine boost. I could walk, but if I’m pressed for time (or it’s winter), I’ll jump [...]

Of Saints, Suffering, and Scleroderma

In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Col. 1.24). “Hello, Faddah!” I’m guessing it was probably the first time Pope John Paul II heard that one in the Vatican’s audience hall. It was my sister, Adeline, who was visiting Rome with my mom and dad many years ago. None of them were Catholic at [...]

To Restore a Culture of Life, Reclaim the Body

New York Times columnist David Brooks recently noted the visceral kind of cringe we experience when we hear that ISIS jihadis have decapitated yet another person. Brooks adeptly explained that the thought of a person’s head torn away from the rest of him triggers horror precisely because of its bold irreverence toward the human form. [...]

Re-Reading Love and Responsibility

Someone presumptuous enough to recommend some readings for those attending the 2015 Synod on the Family could undoubtedly put together an impressive list of books on marriage and sexual morality. Arguably, at the top of any such list belongs Karol Wojtyla’s classic work called Love and Responsibility. An appreciation of marriage as an indissoluble conjugal [...]

A Note on Our Modern Celebrity Papacy

I’m getting a little tired of people asking me whether I “like” Pope Francis. I don’t want to be too sensitive here. But why are my personal feelings about the Holy Father so very important? Jane Fonda, Elton John and Patti Smith all apparently love Pope Francis. Does that really tell us anything significant? Maybe [...]

What Hierarchy Really Means

What is Pope Francis doing, with his gestures, interviews, and wild synods? To understand this pope, we first need to understand the papacy. To do that, let us consider two versions of what “hierarchy” means. In the first version, hierarchy simply means authority. Hierarchy means that the Pope is the main guy in the universal [...]

Ecumenism, Rightly Understood

In Tyler Blanski’s recent Crisis article titled “Did the Synod Endorse ‘Lifestyle Ecumenism’?,” he claims that “ecumenists are pluralists when it comes to truth.” In other words, they are relativists, searching for unity without truth. Essentially, Blanski claims that this is “what ecumenism [as such] really is.” The question here isn’t whether ecumenism is sometimes [...]

Media Bias Over Papal Canonizations

The satisfaction and indeed joy that Catholics can derive from the double canonization of Pope-Saints John XXIII and John Paul II cannot be significantly compromised by the objections that some have raised with respect to the Church's action elevating the two of them to the honor of her altars. Still, it was disconcerting, for example, [...]

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