Benedict XVI

China Is the Key to Hollywood—and Joe Biden

As expected, Hollywood is lining up to support Joe Biden with lavish fundraisers and high-profile endorsements. According to Variety, Biden’s campaign is tapping a “network of donors and fundraisers who raised millions for the Obama-Biden ticket.” Last month, film producer and co-founder and CEO of DreamWorks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg, raised $6 million for the Biden campaign at a [...]

More Than Ever, We Need Benedict XVI

The world—and to an extent the Church, at least since the 1960s—has been preoccupied with the person and his or her comfort. Pope Benedict XVI, for a short time, represented a break from this way of thinking. He gently demanded the individual reorient himself to God. Instead of taking the easy way of the world [...]

Why Holy Week Is Holy

When a lady complained to the great short story writer that her works “left a bad taste” in her mouth, Flannery O’Connor replied that what she wrote was not meant to be eaten. For the conventional palate, those often-macabre stories can be distasteful, but Miss O’Connor deliberately wanted to avoid the sentimentalism of much pious [...]

Celibacy Is a Gift to Priests—and the Laity

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, [...]

Francis vs. the Deep Church

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 [...]

Out of the Ruins: Walker Percy Explains

Editor’s note: in this fascinating interview with Crisis Magazine, the acclaimed novelist Walker Percy discusses the vocations crisis, abortion, Vatican II, popes, and (of course) literature. The interview originally appeared in the July 1989 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. CRISIS: There is tremendous intellectual opposition in the Church to Pope [...]

SSPX: Back to the Bad Old Days?

“Tomorrow I’m leaving for Mexico,” Bishop Bernard Fellay tells me, “and then on to Cuba.” I balk. “What’s in Cuba?” The question seems to confuse him. “The faithful,” he explains. “They need Confirmation, too.” What’s the SSPX presence in Cuba like? “Small,” he tells me, “and mostly underground. They’re still badly persecuted by the communists.” [...]

Benedict’s Essay Is an Implicit Rebuke of Amoris Laetitia

The turbulence surrounding the sex abuse debacle in the Catholic Church was recently addressed in Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s April essay “The Church and the Scandal of Sex Abuse.” Pope Emeritus Benedict’s thoughtful meditation has been justly praised for unveiling one of the root causes of this protracted calamity. Critics of the letter, primarily close [...]

Grandfather Knows Best: Pope Benedict on Clergy Sexual Abuse

The White House announced on March 28 that the month of April is designated as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. On its official website, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains: “Every April, child and youth serving organizations, including Catholic dioceses, parishes, and schools, participate in National Child Abuse Prevention Month to highlight the [...]

Benedict XVI: God’s Revolutionary

“Revolution” – it’s a word that conjures up images of winter palaces being stormed and the leveling of Bastilles. But if a true revolutionary is someone who regularly turns conventional thinking upside-down, then one of the world’s most prominent status-quo challengers may well be a quietly-spoken Catholic theologian who turns 85 today. While regularly derided [...]

Cardinal Dolan and the New Evangelization

The irrepressibly effervescent personality of Cardinal Timothy Dolan may tempt some to think of the archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as the latest in a line of glad-handing Irish-American prelates, long on blarney and short on depth. Succumbing to that temptation would be a very serious mistake. [...]

Papal Opposition to Death Penalty Continues with Benedict XVI

As part of Crisis' symposium on capital punishment, we reprint the following news reports. Other contributions this issue include this column by Abp. Charles Chaput, and this essay by Christopher Ferrara of The Latin Mass Magazine. ROME, OCT. 4, 2010 (Zenit.org). - The director of the Vatican press office says he is against recourse to [...]

Dissenting Catholics’ Modernity Problem

Judging from the hundreds of thousands of Germans who attended and watched Pope Benedict XVI’s September trip to his homeland (not to mention the tsunami of commentaries sparked by his Bundestag address), the pope’s visit was -- once again -- a success. And, once again, it was also an occasion for self-identified dissenting Catholics to [...]

An Out-of-Touch Pope?

Disappointment has been a common reaction from "progressive" sources inside and outside Germany in response to Pope Benedict’s September visit to his homeland. These disappointed progressives say they hoped Benedict would speak a good word for changes that they want in the Church, and he didn’t. Here, then, was an opportunity lost. “A number of [...]

9/11, Benedict XVI and Regensburg

In the flood of commentary surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I found but one reference to a related anniversary of considerable importance: the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg Lecture. That lecture, given the day after the fifth anniversary of 9/11 at the pope’s old university in Germany, identified the two key challenges [...]

What Is ‘Roman Catholic Political Philosophy’?

A course in "Roman Catholic Political Philosophy" is rarely found in any academic institution, including those sponsored by the Church. We do find courses titled "Religion and Politics," "Social Doctrine of the Church," or "Church and State" -- but "Roman Catholic Political Philosophy" is something different. Going back to Plato, it is common to find [...]

Private Charity Versus Government Welfare

Less than three years has passed since the publication of Pope Benedict XVI's third encyclical, Charity in Truth. As some readers may remember, the encyclical caused quite a stir both in secular and religious circles -- as have many of the past papal encyclicals dealing with economic questions, going back to Pope Leo XIII's groundbreaking [...]

Michael Sean Winters In Defense of Benedict XVI

My sometimes sparring partner at America, Michael Sean Winters, has an excellent post on the latest attack against Benedict XVI.  Here are the opening two paragraphs, the rest being well worth reading since Winters takes a close look at the documents purported to prove the Holy Father guilty of a "cover-up": The whole world now [...]

John Allen answers questions about the pope

Following up on Margaret's morning post...   John Allen, Jr., senior correspondent with the National Catholic Reporter, senior Vatican analyst with CNN, and author of The Rise of Benedict XVI, answered questions yesterday at the Washington Post about the pope and the ongoing sex abuse crisis. It's a short read and Allen is typically fair [...]

In Honor of Today’s ‘Feast’

...the largest and most important and best parts of my youth I spent in Traunstein, which very much reflects the influence of Salzburg. You might say that there Mozart thoroughly penetrated our souls, and his music still touches me very deeply, because it is so luminous and yet at the same time so deep. His [...]

Famous French Philosopher Defends Benedict XVI

Bernard Henri-Levy, a well-known French philosopher, has come to the defense of Benedict XVI on the issue of anti-Semitism.  His defense is all the more interesting for being published at the Huffington Post, not known for its fondness towards the Holy Father. Known for both his atheism and his narcissism, Henri-Levy comes from a family [...]

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