St. Paul

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Paul’s Revolutionary Epistle: The Letter to Philemon

“Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother. To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philemon, 1:1-3) Paul’s Letter to Philemon is one of the shortest writings in [...]

Do We Have to Like the Saints?

A few days ago, I was at a graduation party for the son of a good friend. We were there to celebrate a fine young man raised by thoughtful and serious Catholics, and most of the other parents at the party were also intelligent and devout Catholics. While no graduation party of this sort is [...]

The Half-Made Bed and the More Excellent Way

“The Personal is Political” was a slogan engineered by Marxist feminists of the 1960s and 1970s. Few people realized at the time exactly what that slogan entailed. “The personal is political” should have telegraphed loud and clear that these women intended to politicize every aspect of our personal lives. Many people dismissed extreme feminism as [...]

“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 [...]

A Challenge to St. Paul on Women and a Reply to Fr. Scanlon

Editor's note: The following essay by Dr. Harriet Murphy is a response to a column published in Crisis on July 27, 2016 by Fr. Regis Scanlon OFM Cap on the possibility of a female deaconate. Fr. Scanlon's response to Dr. Murphy's critique may be read here. Cultural historians of the future may well say that Fr. [...]

Getting Scripture Wrong: A Response to Harriet Murphy

Dr. Harriet Murphy has taken a leap off a cliff of her own making in her broadside against my essay in Crisis on the female deaconate. She concludes that anyone (namely, me) who accepts the "literal" interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12-14—“I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man"—is somehow [...]

Catholics Must Reject Elite Discourse

It seems that Catholics have been getting nowhere in the public square lately. The problem is not just losing ground on this issue or that, but an increasing inability to get our issues recognized as real and legitimate. That’s true not only with moral issues, but also with more basic ones like the rationality of [...]

Pope Francis and the Catholic Way of Dialogue

“Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.” That, according to Pope Francis, is the response he gives when leaders ask him for advice about how to resolve their societies’ internal differences. It is, he recently told a gathering of prominent Brazilians, the only way for societies to avoid the dead-ends of what Francis called “selfish indifference” and “violent protest.” [...]

St. Peter and St. Paul, the Fathers of Great Rome

 Peter and Paul, the Fathers of great Rome, Now sitting in the Senate of the skies, One by the cross, the other by the sword, Sent to their thrones on high, to Life’s eternal prize. Elpis, the wife of Boethius, sings the praises of St. Peter and St. Paul in her Latin poem, Decora lux [...]

Pope Francis Calls All Catholics to Evangelize

While it is certainly true that all roads lead to Rome, there is something to be said for all those other roads leading out from Rome.  In other words, before we set out on the road to Rome, shouldn’t there be something already in place, in Rome, the gravitational pull of which first radiates out [...]

The Christian Boxer

When our Lord says turn the other cheek, He speaks of a spiritual strategy to humble the self and then perhaps, to win other souls to Him.  Not all the proud are shamed by humility and it seems pretty clear that those who smote the One who offered them salvation did not turn their hearts [...]

What St. Paul Really Meant by Female “Subordination”

The Second Reading for Sunday, August 26, is from St. Paul (Ephesians 5:21-32), in which Paul offers the instruction in 5:22, “Wives should be subordinate to their husbands, as to the Lord.” Following this Epistle, an optional alternative “shorter” epistle is offered; actually it is only a few lines shorter.  This optional substitute reading is [...]

Post-Comfortable Christianity and the Election of 2012

Shortly before he died in Oxford in 1988, the Jesuit retreat master and raconteur, Bernard Bassett, in good spirits after a double leg amputation, told me that the great lights of his theological formation had been Ignatius Loyola and John Henry Newman, but if he “had to do it all over,” he’d only read Paul.  “Everything is [...]

School-based Clinics Take Hold

Mobilization is virtually complete. In the civil war between “family planning professionals” and mere families, the professionals — foundation-funded, tightly organized, alight with zeal — have a media blitz in operation to build the “public mandate” needed to market their program. Agents are in place in the helping professions. Beachheads have been secured in some [...]

Sense and Nonsense: The Real Miracle

Tom and Barbara Donohue—now in Los Angeles—I had known during my early Roman days, when Tom was in the legal division of the Navy at the Embassy on the Via Veneto. When I came to Georgetown in the late 70s, they—such was my good fortune—had me look up Don and Connie Kerwin, old friends of [...]

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