Protestant Reformation

France Truck Attack

Blind Violence and Blind Guides

“Pope Francis condemns more ‘blind violence’ after Nice attack,” reads a headline from a Catholic news agency. On behalf of the Holy Father, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, sent a telegram to the Bishop of Nice expressing the Pope’s sorrow: As France was celebrating her national holiday, the country was again struck by blind [...]

A Model of Spiritual Courage for Our Time

Quanto plus afflictionis pro Christo in hoc saeculo, tanto plus gloriae cum Christo in futuro. (The more affliction we endure for Christ in this world, the more glory we shall obtain with Christ in the next.)   ∼ Words inscribed by Philip Howard upon the wall of his cell. When he first entered the fastness of that grim London [...]

The Narrowness of Martyrdom

A broad justification for martyrdom is preferable to a narrow one. A person would prefer to die for something grand, sweeping, and generally held. Perhaps world peace, or what used to be called the fellowship of man. Martyrdom is in practice narrow. When St. Thomas More died on a scaffold in Henry VIII’s kingdom, it [...]

Protecting God’s Word From “Bible Christians”

"Stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours." ~ St. Paul to the Thessalonians A former student of mine is thinking of becoming a Catholic, and she had a question for me. “I don’t understand the deuterocanonical books,” she ventured. [...]

The Tridentine Masterpiece

 “Nam oportet et hæreses esse.” (1 Cor 11:19).  “It is fitting that there be heresies, so that those who are true, may be manifested among you.”  How appropriate is this sentiment of St. Paul’s when we apply it to the Ecumenical Council of Trent. In the annals of difficult ecclesiastical births, none was so trying [...]

Catholics Will Likely Relive Past Persecutions

Man is a social being and doesn’t invent his own world. To orient himself and understand what his life is about he has to find his proper place, which is an order of things where he can feel at home and to which he can give undivided allegiance. To deserve that allegiance the order of [...]

Defending the Real Presence

 “This is the saddest story I have ever heard.” So begins one of the finest novels written in English in the last century, The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford.  It is not, however, the saddest story ever told.  That distinction belongs to a tale told in Aramaic back in the first century, which was [...]

What the Reformation has Wrought

The day may come when Catholics can support neither of the main American political parties or their candidates. Some think it’s already arrived. Alasdair MacIntyre, the Notre Dame philosopher, argued along those lines a few years ago, explaining why he couldn’t vote for either a Democrat or a Republican. I don’t know what Professor MacIntyre [...]

Ranking the “Top Ten” Popes

Ten Popes Who Shook the World by Eamon Duffy, Yale University Press, 136 pages, $25   Eamon Duffy is an eminent scholar of the English Reformation and Professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge University. In a succinct volume, Ten Popes Who Shook  the World, he explains how each of these popes met the [...]

Eye of the Fly

As a person who makes his living in the media (and I wouldn't if I had any marketable skill), I often wonder what is wrong with us. For when I stop looking for events in the media and instead squint my eyes -- so that I am looking not through the mirror of the media [...]

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