Church

The Philippines, a sovereign republic made up of an estimated 7,000 islands, is a tropical paradise subject to the occasional typhoon. In 1585, the Philippines became a Spanish colony, named after King Philip II of Spain. The Filipino language, based on Tagalog and English, is replete with Spanish words and proper names. Thanks to Spanish [...]

The Philippines, a sovereign republic made up of an estimated 7,000 islands, is a tropical paradise subject to the occasional typhoon. In 1585, the Philippines became a Spanish colony, named after King Philip II of Spain. The Filipino language, based on Tagalog and English, is replete with Spanish words and proper names. Thanks to Spanish [...]

Now billed as “The Slap Seen ’round the World,” the video footage of the Holy Father’s encounter with an apparently over-zealous admirer at St. Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve has gone viral. In a pontificate that has seen the Catholic world become deeply polarized over the style, personality, and actions of the Church’s current [...]

On January 3, leaders of the United Methodist Church (UMC) announced plans to split into two denominations. This division of the third-largest church in the United States (after the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention) is an attempt to resolve a years-long, contentious battle over sexual ethics, particularly homosexuality. According to the announcement, Methodist [...]

The Fox or the Child

The purpose of the modern critique of Catholic sexual morality is not to redefine sexual ethics but to un-moralize (de-moralize?) all forms of sexual expression, i.e., to give our sexual desires free rein unencumbered by guilt or responsibility. In an age where our goodness is determined by feelings of goodness about ourselves, this makes perfect [...]

“The foolishness of God is wiser than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25) There is no Catholic dogma on Mary as Co-Redemptrix. However, several popes (Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, and John Paul II) have taught the substance of this title; a separate essay could establish that point. What is [...]

They say the homosexual scenes in the new Elton John biopic are the most titillating ever in a mainstream movie. They make Brokeback Mountain look like Bringing Up Baby. Less discussed, perhaps, is the fact that ordinary Catholic pew-sitters paid for it via their Peter’s Pence donations to the Pope. The cash came from a [...]

I found Charles Coulombe’s latest column for Crisis (“Can the Catechism Get It Wrong?”) of particular interest, coming as it did a few days after Pope Francis’s visit to Japan—the first such visit in 38 years—where his remarks about nuclear weapons apparently exceeded anything his predecessors had said on the subject. Before Francis, the Vatican’s [...]

Last summer, the Bishop of Northampton rebuffed the cause for canonization of G.K. Chesterton, offering as one of three impediments that “the issue of anti-Semitism is a real obstacle particularly at this time in the United Kingdom.” W.H. Auden fifty years ago and Adam Gopnik in the last decade both brutally tarred Chesterton with anti-Semitism—a [...]

Word is that the USCCB is going to tweak the New American Bible but leave it in place as the basis for the lectionary. Please, your excellencies, give it up. The NAB is a train wreck. It cannot be salvaged. It is, by turns, drab, ungrammatical, clumsy, and stupid. It turns good verbs into verbal [...]

Few activist groups have been more powerful or influential than the Southern Poverty Law Center. Established in 1971, the SPLC was founded with the noble desire—at least on the surface—to combat the violence being perpetrated by groups that were resisting the federally mandated forced integration of blacks and whites in the American South. As many [...]

In Defense of Ecumenism

In a recent article in Crisis Magazine, “How the Modernists made ‘Ecumenical’ a Dirty Word,” Joseph Pearce argues that ecumenism has become a synonym for modernism in the Church today. After describing the noble history of the term from the original Greek to the Roman Empire and its early adoption by the Catholic Church, he [...]

Buffalo Closure?

Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo is “retiring” a couple of years early. After seven years of allegedly allowing priests accused of statutory rape and unwanted touching to remain in ministry, after concealing hundreds of pages of damning litigation documents from the public, after being secretly recorded calling an active parish priest [...]

My late parents loved Cardinal George Pell, whom they knew for decades. So I found it a happy coincidence that, on November 12 (which would have been my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary), a two-judge panel of Australia’s High Court referred to the entire Court the cardinal’s request for “special leave” to appeal his incomprehensible conviction [...]

Peter Collier, R.I.P.

There are some occasions when the editorial “we” is almost viscerally inadequate. Writing about my friend Peter Collier—the prolific biographer and novelist, literary impresario, and tireless cultural warrior—is one such. Although he made it a full decade beyond the biblically sanctioned allotment of three score and ten, the announcement early last month that Peter had [...]

In the wake of the amusements surrounding the Vatican’s Amazon Synod, Pope Francis made an important statement at the conference of the International Association of Penal Law on November 15. Thereat the Holy Father declared: “We should be introducing—we were thinking—in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, ecological sin against the [...]

This past weekend, my 11-year-old daughter and I went to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood at the local theater. The movie, based on Mr. Rogers’s interaction and friendship with a hardscrabble magazine reporter, is a moving portrayal of the manner in which one’s tender love and care is able to transform a suffering [...]

It is important to have a clear understanding of the meaning of a word before we use it. The word ecumenical is a case in point. Throughout history, until very recently, its meaning was connected to its etymological roots in Greek (oikoumene), in which it means literally “the inhabited (world)”, or more generally “the whole [...]

On November 11, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, addressed the USCCB General Assembly. In this address, he stated: “The pastoral thrust of this pontificate must reach the American people, especially as families continue to demand of dioceses and parishes the accompaniment envisioned by Amoris Laetitia.” What exactly is this accompaniment [...]

On November 12, the Most Reverend José Horacio Gómez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. His Excellency graciously granted Crisis his first substantial interview since his election. Your Excellency, some Catholic intellectuals today are questioning whether we Catholics can be loyal citizens of the American republic. They say [...]

After Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ, had read the preparatory documents (or Schemata) for the Second Vatican Council, he wrote to Franz Cardinal König in Vienna. The Schemata were doctrinally correct, he thought, but without any charism and unable to convince anyone today. In Rahner’s judgment, their authors did not even attempt to empathize with the [...]

The Religious Freedom Institute honored Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., at its annual dinner, November 9, for his decades-long commitment to religious liberty. The following is adapted from his remarks. As I was getting ready for tonight, I remembered a line from the Israeli peace negotiator who said that pessimists are simply optimists [...]

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