Church

A couple of years ago, a particularly bright and perceptive student of mine commented that Catholic parishes were like single-parent homes. She elaborated on the point, arguing that something is missing at the parish level when there is no nun or Sister present. This resonated with me because in the domestic church we encourage each [...]

A couple of years ago, a particularly bright and perceptive student of mine commented that Catholic parishes were like single-parent homes. She elaborated on the point, arguing that something is missing at the parish level when there is no nun or Sister present. This resonated with me because in the domestic church we encourage each [...]

It’s beginning to look as though the pandemic that has hit the world like a global tsunami might be finally waning. In its wake, we find ourselves picking up the pieces of broken religious practices following an unprecedented time in history in which the faithful were deprived of the sacraments through the orders of their [...]

May 18, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Saint Pope John Paul II. Karol Józef Wojtyla was born in Wadowice, a small town in the south of Poland, which was once a center of crafts in the eighteenth century. Its nine thousand residents were primarily burghers and farmers who lived in small [...]

“All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.” This passage from Ecclesiastes—about there being a time to be born and a time to die, a time to cast away stones and a time to gather them together, and vanity, and dust—well, it’s pretty grim stuff if you take it [...]

There is a great deal of division among Catholics across the globe today regarding the way in which the hierarchy have dealt with the pandemic. Some feel that by closing churches and forbidding the Sacraments to the faithful, those bishops who have done so have betrayed the flock. Others believe that they are showing prudence [...]

“Truth, what is that?” Pilate’s question is answered in the Good Friday liturgy: Ecce Lignum Crucis! “Behold the wood of the cross!” Sadly, however, Pilate is the biblical forefather of the relativism that is the salient feature of post-Christian society in the Western world. In post-Christian Australia, “freedom” is defined as doing what you want: [...]

One might find it surprising, but it is impossible to discover an image of the crucifix existing before the sixth century. Even then, the only one that can be found is carved on the massive bronze doors of the cathedral in Ravenna. It is a mere panel among a number of other panels. Tucked away [...]

“I have consistently maintained my innocence while suffering from a serious injustice.” These words, issued by George Cardinal Pell upon his acquittal on Tuesday, should both heal and haunt the Catholic Church. There can be no justice if there is no truth. And, even in the wake of inexcusable abuse by Catholic bishops, the truth [...]

Today, two rivers run silently though London, one is called the River Thames, the other is known by another name: fear. The coronavirus has come amongst us. Its arrival was gradual at first. Via news reports of surreal events in far-off places it seemed to drift towards the city before suddenly striking. Panic was its [...]

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State followed in the steps of New York and California to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, effective March 24, for a period of two weeks. In the midst of a complete shutdown of economic and social life and the rising number of cases and deaths in the state of Washington, Catholics [...]

There are only two kinds of people who seem to relish a national emergency: busybodies and buzzkills. Both take it as their life’s work to prove they know better than the poor hayseed who lives next door. In the middle of March, Catholic news outlets began to report an extraordinary coincidence: not only is there [...]

Almost 700 years ago, King Richard II dedicated England as the “Dowry of Mary.” On March 29, 2020, England will be rededicated to Mary. In light of this historic event, numerous articles have been published of late on the topic. These articles address what the rededication is and why it matters to English Catholics. But [...]

Back when I was a Protestant, one of the Catholic Church’s great draws to me was its teaching that it’s actually a sin to skip formal, collective worship on Sunday. In the Episcopal Church, we were very much into the idea that you could honor the Sabbath “in your own way,” and—well, there’s only one [...]

Professor Henry Kamen of Oxford was one of the fiercest detractors of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition (currently known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). Then Pope John Paul II allowed him into the Secret Vatican Archives which led to the publication of The Spanish Inquisition: A [...]

Few books have caused so much controversy even before they were published than did From the Depths of Our Hearts, a new defense of clerical celibacy in the Roman Church by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah. On January 14, Benedict’s private secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, told the Italian news agency ANSA that, [...]

Does the Vatican have a General Directorate for Personnel? This is, perhaps, the most boring question ever posed by a writer in Crisis Magazine. And yet, as we fumble for an answer, we also come a little closer to understanding one of the most confounding papacies in 2,000 years of Christian history. Last Friday, the [...]

Suppose the Muslim world were to lose faith in Islam. Suppose that Muslims ignored the Koran, stopped going to mosque and dismissed Muhammad as a blood thirsty warlord and slave trader. How would the Catholic Church respond? Would Church leaders greet the news enthusiastically, and declare their solidarity with the newly emancipated Iranians, Saudis, and [...]

According to a report released by L’Arche International, Jean Vanier, the Catholic Canadian founder of a network of communities for intellectually disabled individuals, sexually abused at least six women. This news comes as both a disappointment and a shock to all those who regarded Vanier as a man of exemplary virtue. “I was horrified,” writes [...]

February 10th marked the 60th anniversary of the death of Blessed Croatian Archbishop Aloysius (Alojzije) Stepinac (1898-1960). If Stepinac could be described in one sentence, it might sound like this: Stepinac was a man whose actions were opposed to the destructive tendencies of both fascist and communist regimes and whose heart was burned by his [...]

Fr. Marcial Maciel makes Theodore McCarrick look like Barney the Dinosaur in a red mozzetta. The founder of the Legion of Christ sexually assaulted dozens of boys and girls, men and women, who had placed themselves in his care. He had at least four mistresses, whom he kept in lavish apartments paid for by the [...]

The term “holy helo,” originally coined as “holy helo hops,” was formally introduced into the United States Navy in 1948. This initiative came about through the efforts of the Chaplain Corps to “provide more comprehensive religious coverage for fleet units.” In the era following the Second World War, when most sailors were still deeply rooted [...]

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