Church

In his spiritual autobiography, Apologia pro Vita Sua, Blessed John Henry Newman informs us: “When I was fifteen (in the autumn of 1816), a great change of thought took place in me. I fell under the influences of a definite Creed, and received into my intellect impressions of dogma, which, through God’s mercy, have never [...]

In his spiritual autobiography, Apologia pro Vita Sua, Blessed John Henry Newman informs us: “When I was fifteen (in the autumn of 1816), a great change of thought took place in me. I fell under the influences of a definite Creed, and received into my intellect impressions of dogma, which, through God’s mercy, have never [...]

The Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is off to an ominous start. Each day, as more bizarre, jarring, and revolutionary developments emerge, I keep coming back to a line from Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor: “When the cardinals elected Bergoglio they did not know what a Pandora’s box they were opening.” Shortly before the synod started, [...]

This past June I was in the Munich area for four days, giving a public lecture on Evangelical Catholicism and doing a lot of media interviews. My hosts were exceptionally gracious, but it was also obvious that the Catholic Church in what was once Germany’s most intensely Catholic region is in terrible shape. The numbers [...]

Much ink has been spilled debating the merits and even the orthodoxy of the Instrumentum Laboris (or working document) of the Amazon Synod, which begins on October 6. We’re now less than one week out from the main event and, curiously, there has been no close reading of the Instrumentum itself. So, let’s begin with [...]

Analytical psychology provided a virtually limitless opportunity for Carl Jung to play with the canonical vocabulary, expanding it to describe what he thought to be wider realms of human consciousness. An example of his creativity was his concept of Synchronizität. This “synchronicity” described what he perceived to be “meaningful coincidences,” by which he meant events [...]

Those who are dismayed by the dramatic transformation of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Rome can find no comfort in the newest faculty appointments. Longtime faculty members such as Livio Melina and Stanislaw Grygiel have been fired and the Institute’s mission has been redefined under the leadership of Archbishop Paglia, [...]

The cracks in the Axis powers became clear when the Armistice of Cassibile was announced on September 8, 1943, after the Italian government broke with the Nazis and joined the Western Allies. The National Socialists under the codename Unternehmen Alarich tried to take over the Italian zones of occupation in southern France and the Balkans [...]

Pope Francis boldly declared last week that he’s unafraid of “pseudo-schismatics”: a clique of (mostly American) rigorist prelates and journalists whom Francis regards as a kind of loyal opposition to his papacy. But why should he have been afraid to begin with? A pseudo-schismatic is, by definition, not a schismatic. Pontiffs need no more fear [...]

Bad bishops are hardly a novelty in the history of the Church. Historians estimate that, when the Arian heresy rocked Christendom in the fourth century, four out of five bishoprics succumbed to apostasy. When Henry VIII ordered England’s bishops to swear the oath of succession, all of them complied—all, save one. For his refusal to [...]

Jonah began his journey through the city, and when he had gone only a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be overthrown,” the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.  When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose [...]

It was only a year ago that the Pennsylvania grand jury released its report on sexual abuse by priests. It was only a year ago that allegations broke about Theodore McCarrick and the network of sexual abusers who have infiltrated the highest levels of the Church. It was only a year ago that Archbishop Viganò’s [...]

“If I must speak the truth, I feel disposed to shun every conference of Bishops: for never saw I Synod brought to a happy issue, and remedying, and not rather aggravating, existing evils...” — St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 382 A.D. Heedless of St. Gregory’s warning—or perhaps unaccountably ready to entertain openness to “existing evils”—Vatican II [...]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was roundly mocked last week for saying that Millennials are, in fact, the Greatest Generation. And rightly so. By and large, my generation is a waste of its fathers’ seed and a drain on their resources. Culturally, we’re vapid. Socially, we’re maladjusted. Spiritually, we’re lost. Politically, we’re just plain silly. Had Ms. Ocasio-Cortez [...]

Imagine what Church historians of the future will say about the Jesuits: “The Society of Jesus was founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola and played a crucial role in the Church’s efforts to extinguish the nascent Protestant heresy. Over the centuries, however, it became the stronghold of another heresy—Modernism—and was eventually suppressed on [...]

Devotees of the Medjugorje apparitions often quote Scripture in their defense: “By their fruits you shall know them.” It’s now 38 years since the alleged apparitions began. Decades of disapproval from the local hierarchy have not sufficed to suppress enthusiasm about the so-called visionaries. Today, the Medjugorje issue seems to boil down to one question. [...]

From a natural perspective, the difference that God makes is evident in whether human existence is cyclical or linear. Some eminent classical philosophers made sense of human experience only as repetitious, and that view migrated from Plato up to moderns like Spengler and Santayana. The cyclical theory subjects human will to fate; but, as the [...]

The Church has lost its manly spirit. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the recent protests at St. Francis Church in Portland, Oregon. The ultra-progressive, borderline-heretical parish was recently assigned a new priest, Fr. George Kuforiji, who tried to restore theological and liturgical orthodoxy. For instance, the newly-minted pastor stopped using the gender-neutral terms [...]

The boiling frog never marks that first millisecond, when the water in his pot becomes just a half-degree warmer. And so, Catholics living in America circa 2019 couldn’t possibly appreciate the magnitude of what happened this week in Australia. Yet I have no doubt my grandsons will. Here are the facts. In December of 2018, [...]

As everyone knows by now, the Catholic Church—at least in the West—has been shrinking. Due in large part to the sex-abuse scandals, the Church has not only lost membership, but also trust. Along with the decline in numbers has come a decline in authority, influence, and respect. Meanwhile, the world’s fastest growing religion continues to [...]

The Holy Father has had his “Year of Mercy.” Now it’s time we had a Year of Justice. Of course, a Year of Justice wouldn’t be the antimony of the Year of Mercy—but, rather, its necessary corollary. A person is said to be merciful, Aquinas observes, when he knows sorrow in his heart (miserum cor) over [...]

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 [...]

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