post-Vatican II Crisis

Letter to a Priest

“The synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulas but the free availability of God’s love and forgiveness.” ∼ Pope Francis I do want to love this pope, the sure desire of any Catholic heart. [...]

Give Me That Old-Time Evangelization

Recently, The World Over host, Raymond Arroyo, interviewed Cardinal Wuerl about the Synod on the Family and asked the cardinal, in various ways, whether the Synod was changing the Church’s teaching on reception of communion by divorced and remarried Catholics. Cardinal Wuerl identified the Synod as a manifestation of the “New Evangelization.” “We’re seeing different [...]

Does Iconoclasm Further the New Evangelization?

“You will know them by their fruit.” Thus says Our Lord, in a guarantee as concise and direct as it is sobering. Catholics today, it seems, hear fairly constant talk of the new evangelization. The word “new” can sometimes be a source of confusion, but it really isn’t so much something new and different, as [...]

Further Problems With American Eucharistic Practice

Christian Browne’s excellent critique of how receiving Communion-in-the-hand while standing are practices that might be reconsidered to strengthen American Catholics’ understanding of the Eucharist properly notes that these ideologically driven changes were required in no way by Vatican II or even the Holy See. Let me add three additional Eucharist-related phenomena bedeviling the “American Church” [...]

The Reception of Holy Communion in the United States

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis has decided to mark the occasion with the “Year of Mercy.” Despite much happy-talk and positive papal press, it is a time of foreboding in the Church. The anxiety over the coming Synod on the Family is substantial and growing, [...]

Cardinal Kasper Could Learn from This African Bishop

“But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.” Such were the words used by the German theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper to describe what he thought of African contributions during the 2014 Synod on the Family as Catholic bishops and laity gathered to discuss challenges facing the family in the modern [...]

On Integrating Latin Mass Parishes into Church Life

During the past few decades there has been a sharp rise in the number of Catholics attracted to what Pope Benedict XVI called the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite. This phenomenon has manifested itself in the foundation of traditional orders, the vocation boom that these orders are experiencing, the establishment of new parishes and [...]

A “Liturgy Snob” Answers Her Critics

Last week I wrote a piece here on Crisis about good liturgy and its effect on the minds of children. It provoked a number of strong reactions, with some positive and others very critical. This is unsurprising. All liturgy-lovers have heard these critiques before, because they arise as a matter of course whenever liturgical practice [...]

Passages from Vatican II that Every Catholic Should Know

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). While all agree that the council was a milestone in the history of the Church, the meaning and application of Vatican II and its sixteen official documents has been a source of contention right down to the present day. Numerous [...]

Pro-life Legislation is Not Enough

There is no way to end abortion short of changing the way we love and live. Without addressing abortion as a corruption of how we love, the greatest legal victory is a sand castle on a beach before the tide comes in. The tide will win no matter how large the sand castle, or how [...]

Wrecking Churches: Iconoclasm or Continuity?

There are few better illustrations of the clash between conservative values and progressive ideologies than the church architecture wars of the last fifty years. Although traditional architecture was dismissed by most Christian denominations, the conflict comes into focus most clearly within the Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s ushered in the most [...]

Time for a Truly Catholic Renovation

O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, iacentem in praesepio: Beata Virgo, cuius viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum. What a great mystery, what a wonderful sign, that animals should see the Lord, new-born, lying in a manger! Blessed is the Virgin, whose womb was privileged to carry Christ the Lord.   [...]

How the Sensitivity Movement Desensitized Catholics to Evil

Remember bell-bottoms, beads, and tie-dyed shirts? Remember encounter groups, Esalen, and trust falls? Remember “self-esteem,” “risk-taking,” “self-awareness” and the other clichés that were born with the human potential movement? Both bell-bottoms and human potential psychology became popular in the mid-sixties. Bell-bottoms, however, eventually went out of style. Human potential psychology never did. If you don’t [...]

A Church Renovation Worth Celebrating

Several years ago, the best thing that could have happened to my boyhood church in Pennsylvania did in fact happen. One evening the pastor entered the church, turned on the light switch, heard the pop of a short circuit, and peered into an impenetrable cloud of smoke. He ran out of the church and called [...]

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