Church

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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