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Shadows of the Liturgy

I’ve heard a lot of gloating in the last few weeks, as Catholics of a certain sort enjoy the discomfiture of their brothers who attend the Latin Mass. Evil motives prompt those brothers, they say: hatred of Pope Francis, disdain for Vatican II, unease with women in the sanctuary, and a Right-wing politics that makes [...]

Shadows of the Liturgy

I’ve heard a lot of gloating in the last few weeks, as Catholics of a certain sort enjoy the discomfiture of their brothers who attend the Latin Mass. Evil motives prompt those brothers, they say: hatred of Pope Francis, disdain for Vatican II, unease with women in the sanctuary, and a Right-wing politics that makes [...]

As we all know, Twitter is a cesspool of the obtuse, the oblivious, and the opinionated. Nothing brings out this unfortunate trifecta more than a blindingly obvious statement of fact. Recently, I tweeted through the Crisis Magazine twitter account: “Vaccine Mandates are contrary to Catholic moral teaching.” https://twitter.com/CrisisMag/status/1433108067105845253 Based on the reaction, you’d think I [...]

An Oasis Takes on Sand

You’re the new pastor over a church that offers a Mass that attracts hundreds of Millennial and Gen Z Catholics. That Mass has inspired lay apostolates for your parish, including one for men to serve at the altar. What do you do? Thank God for this gift that you inherited from your predecessor and do [...]

The latest blast from Rome about the Tridentine Mass has roused all sorts of justified reactions. Many bishops—ranging from those concerned about souls to those worried about finances—have found various ways of ignoring it or setting it aside—at least for the moment. The more legal-minded have looked at different aspects, ranging from whether or not [...]

The Pope and Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher let a combination of ego and Twitter get the better of him in Rome a few days ago. Dreher met the Pope in the Vatican, one of those longish meet-and-greets where you briefly shake the Pope’s hand, maybe say a few words, get a picture snapped. Dreher took this moment to tell Francis, [...]

“To everyone who has, more will be given; but to him who has not, even what he has shall be taken away.” Memes are important in our society. In our virtual public sphere, they often express with clarity the issues at stake in our public life. The first one I ever recall seeing was back [...]

“Divisive” is a loaded word. Like the adjective “prejudiced,” calling someone “divisive” automatically puts him on the defensive. And so, being the first to call someone else “prejudiced” or “divisive” is to gain the upper hand in any argument. This has been happening lately with the issues of the Latin Mass and the COVID-19 vaccines. [...]

[Editor's Note: This is the second of a 2-part series on vulnerable adults being abused by clergy, and the poor response from Church officials to that abuse.] In Part 1, we discussed how Steve Hayner was sexually abused by two priests in New York, which left him with deep, lifelong scars. In Part 2, we’ll [...]

[Editor's Note: This is the first of a 2-part series on vulnerable adults being abused by clergy, and the poor response from Church officials to that abuse.] There is a lot of sympathy for minors who have experienced sexual abuse by priests—due to the nature of consent, legally and culturally, it’s almost universally seen as [...]

There exists in many Catholic circles a general obsession with the Second Vatican Council, one that pervades every single aspect of Catholic life. Whether liberal or conservative, progressive or traditionalist—all must somehow reckon with Vatican II. How we worship, what we believe, how to view the world—all of these things are, for the average practicing [...]

Clarity at Last

If we believe, then we believe in the Lord’s permissive will as well as His active: evil is permitted on the grounds that it will give rise to greater good. This belief, though one of the most difficult in all theology, is also a comforting one as we take stock of crises, Traditionis Custodes being [...]

The Lord Jesus commanded us: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Greek: dianoia)” (Matthew 22:37). One of the ways the Church heeds the Lord’s command is by formulating doctrine. Doctrine is the result of the Church turning her mind in loving, [...]

How do we ensure our Catholic faith is successfully embraced by the next generation? That is one of the most crucial and vexing questions facing American Catholics in a time of declining church membership and attendance. A poll from last year found that more than a third of young Catholics planned to attend Mass less [...]

Thanks to the inspiration of Joseph Ratzinger’s writings on liturgy, and especially the “rising tide” effect of Summorum Pontificum, a grass-roots movement to restore sacredness to the modern rite of Paul VI was in full swing. It was not Vatican decrees or diocesan reforms that yielded better Masses, but rather the influence of priests who [...]

No authentic pastoral program will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin…. [W]e wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence [...]

Now that the dust has settled from Traditonis Custodes (somewhat), it might be a good time to recall Eliot’s Christianity and Culture, where, he perceptively remarked, “Victories are never permanent, and neither are defeats.” Though an unreconstructed Anglican, he possessed a sensus Catholicus, which shone through in sentences like that. It is an insight we should [...]

Steve, a Catholic husband and father, is the sole breadwinner for his family. His wife stays at home to care for their four children while he works in sales for a large corporation. Recently, his company announced it will be requiring all employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination by October 1 or they will be [...]

Pope Francis’ motu proprio Traditionis custodes has perplexed (or even shaken the faith of) many Catholics who find refuge in the sacred tradition preserved by the old Mass. Perhaps some souls are motivated by the nostalgia that Pope Francis has cited. But surely something deeper than romanticism motivates young families to endure inconvenience for the [...]

After being laicized by the Vatican in 2019 for allegations of decades of sexual abuse, 91-year-old Theodore E. McCarrick, the now infamous former Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, D.C., has been criminally charged with abusing a teenage boy nearly fifty years ago in Massachusetts. He faces three counts of indecent assault and battery on a minor. [...]

While there have been some notable attempts to help us understand the rationale behind the most recent motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, the published reflection on the document by Italian Professor Massimo Viglione stands out because it is the only one that recognizes the sin of envy that is driving this latest papal attempt to destroy [...]

As a sex abuse victims’ advocate and a former Catholic seminary instructor and formator, I am led to question the validity of arguments put forward by Rev. James Martin, SJ, Steven P. Millies, and others in defense of Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill. For example, in response to Burrill’s resignation as the now-former General Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic [...]

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