Church

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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