Catholic Church

Talking Nunsense About The Pill

Did you know that the Catholic Church says it’s OK for a doctor to use a knife? Seriously, it’s OK. A doctor, as long as he is doing it for health reasons and not intentionally hurting the patient, can use a scalpel and actually cut someone open. Ridiculous? Yes, but it is revelations of this [...]

Faith, Reason, and Fantasy

“The road to fairyland is not the road to Heaven; nor even to Hell, I believe, though some have held that it may lead thither indirectly by the Devil's tithe. ”  So wrote Tolkien in his essay “On Fairy Stories.” This single sentence in brief summarized the whole of the controversy in religious circles over [...]

Will Mel Gibson Baptize Chanukhah?

In a recent blog post for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood, Jeff Dunetz laments that “Mel Gibson’s Catholic Faith Completely Contradicts Story of Judah Maccabee.” The blogger feels that this highly-troubled entertainer is the wrong choice to direct a film about an ancient Jewish hero. True, Mel Gibson’s Catholic faith contradicts many things, including Catholicism. Dunetz [...]

Catholics and “Usury”: A Tragic History

  This piece is paired with another view of usury from a distributist perspective, also running today. What makes “social teaching” different from the faith-and-morals magisterium of the Catholic Church? Most of the latter was settled early in Church history, with developments coming over time as subtle elaborations and careful applications of eternal truths. Social [...]

Did Bishop Finn Deserve Indictment?

Two weeks have passed since the indictment of Kansas City’s Bishop Robert Finn. The bishop’s critics are demanding his resignation, while his defenders protest his innocence. Let’s step back a pace, and put the matter in perspective. The indictment of an American bishop is a big story—a huge story, an unprecedented story. Yet oddly enough, [...]

Concentrating the Mind

Catholic opponents of the death penalty sometimes seem to lose sight of the primary purpose of punishment. The Ca­techism of the Catholic Church (final text) says, “Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense.” If I commit a serious offense against society, I bring about a disorder, and the point [...]

Tim Pawlenty’s Ex-Catholic Piety

Tim Pawlenty had a bad week on the campaign trail, but I can't write him out of the running for the GOP presidential nomination just yet, for one simple reason: Patrick Hynes. Hynes is a friend and former colleague and a major New Hampshire-based political consultant to the Pawlenty campaign who has a very good [...]

Hell, Heaven, and Progressive Catholics

With another presidential election looming, it won’t be long before many self-described progressive Catholics start issuing countless statements about numerous policy issues. Though many such Catholics sit rather loosely with Catholic teaching on questions like life and marriage, their “relaxed” position on such issues is belied by their stridency on, for instance, economic matters. Woe [...]

A New Bridge across the Tiber

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has now been established in England. By Easter this year, three bishops, sixty priests, and nearly one thousand lay people had left the Church of England to be received into the Catholic Church. Archbishop Donald Wuerl is working with interested parties to establish the ordinariate in the United [...]

Reactionary Liberalism and Catholic Social Doctrine

The debate over Catholic social doctrine and U.S. social welfare policy took an unhelpful turn in May when a gaggle of academics fired a shot across the bow of House Speaker John Boehner, prior to his commencement address at the Catholic University of America. Their charge? That Boehner’s House voting record showed him to be [...]

Scandal and Lavender Gowns, 2011 Edition

Ever hear of a "lavender commencement"? For some Catholic college students, gone are the days of traditional pomp and circumstance. On May 2, homosexual students at the nation's oldest Catholic university cheered anti-homophobia remarks from the director of the campus LBGTQ (lesbian-bisexual-gay-transgender-queer) Resource Center and paraded around campus with a rainbow flag. The "commencement" speaker [...]

Addressing the Church’s Attrition Problem

  It's no secret that the Catholic Church has an attrition problem. As Father Thomas Reese points out in his column "The hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants," the findings of the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, point to a stark reality: One out of [...]

Margaret Budenz: From Communism to Catholicism

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was known for his "celebrity converts" -- famous people whom he had a role in bringing into the Catholic Church. Among them were the automobile executive Henry Ford Jr. and the diplomat Clare Booth Luce, wife of Time/Life publisher Henry Luce. Less well remembered today -- due in part to our fading memory [...]

The First Catholic President — Almost

Most people know that John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960, was the first Catholic president of the United States. Many are also aware that Al Smith was the first Catholic to run for the presidency, in 1928. Very few, however, know about the Catholic Civil War general who almost became Abraham Lincoln's vice-president and would [...]

Number of Catholics in Mexico declining

While Hispanic immigrants to America may be helping to keep the number of Catholics in the U.S. afloat, one sociologist says that the number of Catholics in Mexico is actually dwindling: More than 1,000 Mexicans left the Catholic Church every day over the last decade, adding up to some 4 million fallen-away Catholics between 2000 [...]

Welcome Home

My father and mother, ages 88 and 86, recently entered the Catholic Church. Like most things in life, their entrance could never have been imagined or expected, even ten years ago. Yet, like all things in life, their conversion was providential, and, when it happened, it seemed utterly natural. How natural it is, that with [...]

A Light to the Nations: The Meaning and Future of the Catholic Church

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God; begotten, not made; of one Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made.     We've said those words thousands of times at Sunday Mass. [...]

Do You Believe in Good?

Not long ago, in New York City's subway system, there was a campaign underway proclaiming that people can be "good without God." The ads' anti-gospel followed upon the good news previously advertised f ro m the so-called Coalition of Reason: "Don't Believe in God? You're Not Alone." Of course, it's unlikely that even God "believes" [...]

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity: Why Does It Matter?

The first thing to note about the perpetual virginity of Mary is that it's the natural extension of the dogma of the virgin birth. Many modern people assume that, at its core, the virgin birth was basically a stunt. That is, the common modern assumption is that the meaning of Mary's virginity is pretty much [...]

The Myth of Religious Tolerance

The vehement, sometimes acrimonious debates that accompanied the drafting of the Vatican II declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, yielded an exceptionally precise and carefully worded document. Noteworthy in the 5,700-word declaration is the absence of even a single reference to religious "tolerance" or "toleration." The choice of religious "freedom" or "liberty" as the proper [...]

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