Church

“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 [...]

“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 [...]

Yesterday, the Holy Father did something completely unexpected: nothing at all. In his long-awaited exhortation on the Amazon Synod, Querida Amazonia, we find the clearest insight into Pope Francis’s thinking on the vocations crisis, both in the Amazon and across the Western world. His solution is not to do away with clerical celibacy. It is [...]

Editor’s note: this article first appeared in the June 2004 print edition of Crisis Magazine. Most Catholics in 1959 probably didn’t even know what an ecumenical council was. And yet, here it was. Pope John XXIII announced that the goals of the Second Vatican Council would be “the renewal of the spirit of the Gospel [...]

Some decades ago, my immediate boss at National Review, the late Priscilla Buckley, was fond of telling an anecdote about her sister-in-law Patricia (Mrs. William F. Jr.) Buckley. During a conversation on the style befitting royalty, Pat interjected vehemently, “Oh if only I were royal, how royal I should be!” Anyone who ever met her [...]

In mid-January, it was made public that His Excellency Bishop Barry Knestout (my local ordinary) had made arrangements with the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia to allow an invalid consecration of a female “bishop” at St. Bede’s Catholic Church in Williamsburg. The public outcry was so intense that the Episcopalians chose to move the event [...]

On November 4, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI issued an Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, in response to “groups of Anglicans” who had petitioned “repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately,” which created for them a new ecclesiastical structure: the Personal Ordinariates. The stated purpose of these was “to [...]

Gerbert of Aurillac and Bi Sheng of Hubei were roughly contemporary (946–1003 and 990–1051), but Europe and China are far from each other. It is a pity that these men could not meet, for it would have been a unique match of minds. Gerbert became the first French pope—as Sylvester II—with an intelligence “off the [...]

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 [...]

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