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On this solemnity which celebrates the high-water point in the history of salvation, permit me to explore with you three Latin expressions. The first is, verbum caro factum est: “The Word became flesh.” We find this line, of course, in the Prologue to St. John’s Gospel, and the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us that [...]

A mediator is someone who is situated between two parties and seeks to bring them into accord. The mediator does have a particular position of his own but operates in a completely unselfish manner. A medium, in the sense of a psychic, refers to one who establishes contact with the supernatural world. All three senses [...]

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 [...]

In shutting the world in, coronavirus has brought out the viral quality of fear. Men tend to panic when life changes overnight and moves beyond their control. Pandemonium is never as distant as a complacent, comfortable people imagine. Civilized society is not immune from collapse just because it is civilized. Ingenuity leads to dependency, and [...]

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 [...]

The nation has been treated to an uncanny spectacle over the past few weeks. Schools and businesses closed in the face of the Wuhan flu, and public health officials urged all Americans to stay home and  practice “social distancing” to slow the spread of the disease. But as anxious families braved supermarket lines to stock [...]

In the 1970’s, the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin and his episcopal allies advanced the notion that Catholic politicians should not be judged only, or even primarily, by their position on abortion. Abortion was merely one strand in a rich and finely woven “seamless garment” of Catholic social teaching in defense of life. Numerous other issues, [...]

While the supporters of same-sex marriage dismissed claims from critics who predicted that once the Supreme Court opened the door to same-sex marriage in Obergefell in 2015, it would only be a matter of time before polygamous marriages would begin to be normalized. And although there are still laws against polygamy, polyamorous marriages are already [...]

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, [...]

It has been just six years since I wrote Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity, warning against the fantasy that two members of the same sex can marry one another, when they cannot even have sexual relations but can only mimic them. I founded my arguments not upon Scripture or the teaching of the Church—indeed I did not [...]

“We remind everyone,” The New Yorker announced on February 27, “that the first defense against this outbreak is vigorous handwashing and repentance.” Perhaps I should clarify that the announcement was intended facetiously—it captioned a cartoon of Vice President Mike Pence, who was widely mocked for praying with the coronavirus crisis team. But, for once, The New [...]

Irish immigrants to the United States held the first Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York in 1762. Over 250 years later, Saint Patrick’s Day parades are a big deal in New York City, with each borough boasting their own. One of these boroughs came under heavy fire this year regarding its Paddy parade. The [...]

March has arrived, and with it, St. Patrick’s Day—patronal feast of the Emerald Isle. But two of the other five Celtic peoples have their patron’s days in March as well. Wales’s St. David opens the month on the first, and Cornwall’s St. Piran rolls along four days later. Of course, the Bretons and Manx celebrate [...]

As I write, there is no customary and comforting glass of bourbon at my side. There’s no refreshing gin and tonic; no hearty glass of craft ale. It is Lent and all such blessings have been set aside. And yet, even in the desert, Holy Mother Church leads us to the occasional oasis, a place [...]

With the exit of effectively everyone but Bernie Sanders from the Democratic presidential race, the path to the party’s nomination has been cleared wide open for Joe Biden. It’s now one-on-one, Biden vs. Bernie, with Biden almost certain to win out. If you’re a betting man, the odds are literally and overwhelmingly on Biden—87 percent, [...]

The #MeToo movement has finally reached Rome, and the wisdom of priestly celibacy is being hotly questioned. As it happens, H.G. Wells questioned it just as hotly nearly a century ago, and along many of the same lines. Though his denouncements of the Catholic Church and her priesthood have been largely forgotten, it is his [...]

“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t not know where they have laid him.” Such were the words, as recorded in the Gospel of John, of Mary Magdalene when she ran up to Simon Peter and John after she had gone to venerate the body of Jesus and found the tomb [...]

Scholars and pundits for generations have been making comparisons between the United States and the late Roman Empire. Such analogies date back to America’s Founding Fathers, notes Andrew Sullivan in a recent piece for New York Magazine. These men were deeply conscious of the decline of the Roman Republic, brought on by bitter and bloody [...]

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 [...]

The Last Supper, for Christians, is deeply significant. It is the moment when Christ instituted the Eucharist. “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it; and he gave to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body’ ” (Matthew 26:26-28). According to St. Thomas Aquinas, it was during [...]

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