Church

It’s coming up on 20 years since my uncle, Msgr. Thomas Wells, was murdered in his Maryland rectory during a somber late summer night. Deputy state attorney Kay Winfree called the scene spine-chilling; as gruesome as anything she’d ever encountered. His body was marked by deep stab wounds around his head and neck, accompanied by [...]

It’s coming up on 20 years since my uncle, Msgr. Thomas Wells, was murdered in his Maryland rectory during a somber late summer night. Deputy state attorney Kay Winfree called the scene spine-chilling; as gruesome as anything she’d ever encountered. His body was marked by deep stab wounds around his head and neck, accompanied by [...]

On a regular basis the faithful Catholic laity find themselves disconcerted and even outraged when priests and prelates display an inverted moral calculus. For example, as William Kilpatrick writes in a recent essay in this magazine, the Vatican has become a kind of sanctuary city for credibly accused homosexual predators while Pope Francis laments the [...]

SB 360, also known as Senate Bill 360, a proposal requiring priests in California to break the sacramental seal of confession, was placed on hold by its sponsor, State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), on 9 June, right before a hearing on the bill. For months before the vote, activists in California, across the nation, [...]

A battle is a confrontation between an enemy invading to dominate and a friend defending to protect. In the Church, a most crucial battle has been fought for many decades between a culture that has invaded to dominate with artificial birth control (ABC) as the clear means for protecting one’s freedom and the Church’s defense [...]

You’ve read the Amazon synod’s neo-pagan, pantheistic Instrumentum Laboris, relishing Pope Francis’s “mantra” that “everything is connected” (n. 25).  You’ve reread Laudato Si, letting yourself be pierced by “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (n. 49).  But you still want to delve deeper into the spirit of the Amazon synod. [...]

The crisis facing the Church at this time has challenged the faith of countless Catholics in the durability of the Rock, which is the Church as promised by Christ. In an effort to avoid precisely this loss of trust, many in the hierarchy went to extraordinary lengths to keep the problems of abuse by the [...]

One would assume a radical pope like Francis would at least keep a few token conservatives in his entourage. On the contrary: many of his appointees are well to the Left of his own public image. Much can be gleaned about the Holy Father’s mind by studying the men he entrusts with power and authority. [...]

If there was ever any doubt that Pope Francis’s Vatican regime is determined to subvert the doctrines of Pope John Paul II, the shameless conduct of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute’s new administration ought to stand as indisputable proof. Followers of Saint John Paul II were apprehensive after the Institute fell into the hands [...]

Six hundred Chestertonians convened in Kansas City last week for the American Chesterton Society’s annual convention, hailing from as far afield as India and Kenya. It was a jubilant occasion, as always, though not without one disappointment. On the first evening, ACS President Dale Ahlquist read aloud a letter from Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, [...]

There's a crisis of manhood in the American Church. You know it; I know it. But if our bishops are anything other than totally oblivious, they're playing it cool. In July of 2017, I attended a USCCB convocation in Orlando, Florida. Its stated goal was finding new ways to spread the joy of the Gospel [...]

“What’s it like to be a seminarian?” It’s a question I heard often enough before my ordination. A complete answer was always difficult and now, given the present state of the Church, it’s only become more challenging. Like many others who closely followed last year’s USCCB meetings, I felt powerless in the face of these [...]

The Ratzinger Option

We live in a time of dissolution, in which natural and traditional ties are growing thinner, and also in a time of consolidation – in which all life is being absorbed by a global economic machine. The results, of course, are becoming less and less livable for most people. The Church is presented with an [...]

During the heady days of Vatican II, while spirited disputes over the schema raged on, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre proposed that the governing structure of the episcopal conferences undergirding the Council was “a new kind of collectivism invading the Church.” Lefebvre wasn’t fearmongering when he told the missionary-journalist Fr. Ralph Wiltgen that a handful of bishops [...]

A fad for picturesque ruins grew luxuriantly in the Romantic Revival from the end of the eighteenth century to about the mid-nineteenth, and where there were no real ruins, “follies” recreated them. Real ruins remain in a kaleidoscope of times and climes: Machu Picchu in Peru, Ayutthaya in Thailand, Stonehenge in England, Luxor in Egypt [...]

The Church today suffers from a deficiency in her identity, lacking awareness of both her Marian and Petrine dimensions. I borrow these concepts from Hans Urs von Balthasar to explore the feminine and masculine aspects of the Church. In some ways we have become a neuter Church, lacking both Mary's feminine receptivity toward Christ and [...]

God ordered Moses to consecrate the Israelites “today and tomorrow,” and have them wash their garments, so that they would be prepared to see the Lord descend on Mount Sinai on the third day. Moses consecrated and instructed the people accordingly. He also told them to abstain from sexual intercourse (Exod. 19:10-15). Why did God [...]

There’s a funny scene in Oklahoma in which Curly sings a slyly mocking song about Jud Fry, the menacing hired hand. Curly assures Jud that though people dislike him now, they’ll miss him when he’s gone. To make the point, he imagines Jud’s funeral and how people will lament his passing. And so the audience [...]

I found the many comments on my recent essay “What Is Sacred Music?” extremely interesting, and am grateful to the commenters who contributed such divers points of view on what for all Catholics is a vital subject. Unfortunately, among those I found most striking is exactly the one I’m now unable to find. Among the [...]

“The Vatican’s new document on gender will be used to oppress and harm LGBT people. It perpetuates false stereotypes that encourage hatred, bigotry, and violence.” This statement from New Ways Ministry was tweeted by Fr. James Martin in reaction to an important new Vatican statement by Pope Francis’s Congregation for Catholic Education. Issued during Pride [...]

If the Church invites dialogue about gender ideology and homosexuality, does this signal a possible compromise of Catholic doctrine? This question lies at the heart of the controversy over the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education’s recent document, “Male and Female He Created Them”: Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in [...]

Thanks to Pope Francis, the Vatican now joins the growing list of the world’s sanctuary cities. If you’re a clergyman wanted by civil authorities or Church authorities in your native land, the Vatican will offer you a safe haven and, quite possibly, a cushy job. When Monsignor Battista Ricca got in trouble over a string [...]

MENU