Catholic renewal/reform

There’s No ‘Parental Right’ to Chemically Castrate a Child

This month, the question of how to deal with the rapid spread of gender dysphoria among young children reached a breaking point. In Texas, a jury ruled that Jeffrey Younger could not do anything to prevent his seven-year-old son James from undergoing irreversible hormone-replacement procedures, which can cause infertility and significant health issues if used [...]

Reclaiming the Forgotten Wisdom of a Bygone Era

These last few years, my wife and I have been restoring an old Victorian house that once was a rectory on our island in Nova Scotia, where we live in the summer. I would like to draw an analogy between what we have done so far and what should be done in the Church. We [...]

Our Lady of Good Success Speaks to Us Today

There is a Marian Apparition that many well-catechized Catholics have never heard of. That is because it was purposefully hidden by the wise designs of Our Lady until the latter half of the twentieth century. From 1594 to 1634, in Quito, Ecuador, a Conceptionist sister, who would later become the Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus [...]

A Proposal for Episcopal Reform

In many ways, the following is an attempt to respond to Pope Francis’s invitation to help reform the Church. Specifically, this short missive intends to shed light on a couple of the problems affecting the episcopacy and how we the faithful can support our bishops’ ministry. I believe there is a strong case to be [...]

Beware the Pitfalls of Curial Reform

A structural reform of the Roman Curia has been one of the goals of Pope Francis and a reason why he was elected pope. Even some in the Curia support the idea. The last two major reforms were made by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, yet many think what they did no longer [...]

The Disposable Modern Hymn

The outcry against bad liturgical music has been growing in volume and numbers. Crisis author and professor Anthony Esolen has provided deeply insightful explanations of why many modern hymns are aesthetically and theologically shoddy compared to older, more traditional ones. Podcasts such as “The Catholic Talk Show” devote episodes to mocking the worst church music [...]

The Time Has Come for A New Counter-Reformation

We need a new Counter-Reformation in sacred art and architecture. What was the Reformation’s effect? First, it preached iconoclasm, the rejection of the human figure in religious art. Second, it reoriented worship, so that people gathered round the pulpit rather than the altar and the baptismal font became more important than the tabernacle. At the [...]

Millennials Spur Liturgical Restoration in Western Canada

This may sound like the start of a “shaggy-dog” story: So … there are these three Western Canadian bishops at a Catholic youth conference called “One Rock 2.0.” The bishops are prepping for a Town Hall, a “Q and A” session with a tough audience, 620 millennials aged 18-35, and the episcopi are steeling themselves for [...]

Does Hell Play a Role in Evangelization?

Does hell play a role in evangelization? If it does, then when and how? Catholics take many positions on this topic and they all impact the effectiveness of evangelization. To begin, let me situate this analysis by raising three relevant points. First, discussing hell can be emotional and difficult to face for obvious reasons, such as hell's [...]

Millennials, Authenticity and the Latin Mass

My wife and I have recently started regularly attending our local Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form. We took our two young boys one Sunday in July, shortly after the news of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sins jumpstarted the current round of clergy sex scandals. We had previously attended about once a year just to mix [...]

Longing for Eternal Presence

It is this silent swerving from accuracy by an inch that is the uncanny element in everything.  ∼ G.K. Chesterton In the digital age of LED lighting, we risk losing all sense of the uncanny. Of course, in the age of science in general, we tend to grow numb to the mystery that calls us [...]

Time to Rediscover the Idea of the Soldier of Christ

Blessed be the Lord, my rock who trains my arms for battle, who prepares my hands for war (Psalm 144). During the 1970s, the United States Army descended into chaos. Discipline, tradition, morale—all were lost during, after, or because of the Vietnam War. I do not mean to argue here for or against the justice [...]

Restoring Sacred Architecture Will Reaffirm Theological Truth

This past spring, a marvelous new cathedral was dedicated in Knoxville, Tennessee. The dedication of Sacred Heart Cathedral is certainly a sign of the return of traditional architecture in sacred buildings. The cruciform cathedral was designed in a classical style, featuring arches and Corinthian pilasters in the nave. With a traditional long nave and cruciform [...]

Church Scandal Through the Eyes of St. Thomas More

And he said, “Sit down here while I go over there to pray.” And he took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him. He began to feel sorrow and grief and fear and weariness. Then he said to them, “My soul is sad unto death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matt. [...]

Restore or Rebuild the Church and the Mass?

Our youngest daughter and I recently found ourselves at a Latin High Mass at the beautiful Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis. It had been a few years since I had been there; while my attraction to Mass in the old “extraordinary” form has been strong, and opportunities abound in St. Louis, [...]

Running the Church on Hail Marys

“This attitude of resignation with regard to truth lies at the heart of the crisis in the West, the crisis of Europe.”  ∼ Pope Benedict XVI "You can’t run the Church on Hail Marys.”  ∼ former Vatican Bank president Archbishop Paul Marcinkus As jarring revelations about the contemporary episcopacy continue to come to light, it [...]

Strengthening Faith in a Time of Crisis

A crisis that strikes so centrally at the integrity of the Church necessitates a response from each one us. There must be general reform in the Church, but I’d like to explore how each one of us can respond to the Church’s crisis with a commitment to stronger faith and personal reform. In focusing on [...]

The World Has Little of Value to Teach the Church

I recently commented on the signs of the times, and noted that they tell us to pay more attention to eternity. The topic deserves further discussion. In the 1960s, it became common for Catholics to look to the world for guidance. This attitude inspired the widespread false belief that Saint John XXIII said the Second Vatican [...]

Restore Liturgical Beauty with Chant and Polyphony

The tragedy of the loss of beauty in liturgy is not something which we should dismiss lightly, for if there is one thing we can glean from Scripture, and from the Church's two millennia of Tradition, it is that we should offer the very best to God in our worship of him; yet what we [...]

Anniversary Reflections on the Last Days of King Louis XVI

Early on the morning of January 21, 1793, King Louis XVI heard his last Mass. Following Mass, the king was taken from his prison to the Palace Louis XV, where he would suffer the same fate on the same date as Agnes of Rome, the ancient martyr commemorated in the Mass of the day. This [...]

7 Reasons I Love My Urban Parish

The answer to the question “What parish do you belong to?” is important where I live. Cincinnati is a town in which until the recent past “parish” was included on real estate listings. It was something most buyers wanted to know. My answer brings responses ranging from “You drive that far?” to “Isn’t that downtown?” [...]

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