Clergy Sexual Abuse

Five Lessons from the Christmas Market Attack

On December 11, a Muslim named Cherif Chekatt opened fire at the famed Christmas Market in Strasbourg, killing three and wounding thirteen. There are several important lessons to be learned from the incident. Here are five of them: I. The attack was aimed at Christians. It was no coincidence that the terrorist chose to target [...]

Ideological Title IX Directives Don’t Stop Sexual Abuse

Mandated under an Obama-era broadening of Title IX, the federal law that governs gender equity in education, colleges and universities have created an elaborate bureaucracy replete with lawyers, investigators, case workers, survivor advocates, and peer counselors to protect the students on their campuses from sexual abuse and harassment. Unfortunately, none of the campus bureaucracy that [...]

What the Cupich Moment Can Teach Ambitious Seminarians

In the American Catholic Church and in the Church worldwide under the Francis papacy, we’ve entered the Cupich Moment. With his appointment to the Archdiocese of Chicago, and with his being selected as the primary American organizer of the gathering of bishops this coming February for the purpose of addressing the sexual abuse crisis (which [...]

Watchdogs and Wolves

“Do you not know,” says Saint Paul to the lax and factious Corinthians, “that we shall judge angels?” For they had ceded to the unbelievers around them the authority to judge a controversy between Christian brothers. But Jesus says, “Judge not, lest you be judged,” because the criterion by which we measure others will be [...]

The People Who Walked in Darkness

In recent decades, the whistleblower has occupied a prominent yet uncertain place in American culture. Sometimes, he is greeted as a hero, and his story becomes the stuff of legend, recounted in books, Dateline NBC episodes, and blockbuster Hollywood movies. At other times, depending on whose eardrum gets pierced by his whistle, he is reviled and [...]

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 [...]

What “Coming Out” Really Means

Two things converged this month that caused me to coalesce my thoughts more clearly on the cultural tragedy of “coming out” as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, etc. Of course, the more obvious event was that this past October 11 was “National Coming Out Day,” marking the anniversary of the 1987 March on [...]

The Diabolical Tweets of Father Martin on Penance

Around six years ago, after the birth of my eldest son, while in prayer during Eucharistic Adoration, I asked the Lord to make him a priest, if that is his will. In the intervening years, he has, of his own accord, loved to play Mass and “baptize” his sister’s playthings, so perhaps my prayer will [...]

Cardinal Ouellet’s Response to Archbishop Viganò Lacks Credibility

In a letter dated October 7th, Cardinal Marc Ouellet penned an open reply to Archbishop Viganò’s most recent appeal to Ouellet to “bear witness to the truth” concerning the alleged sanctions placed on Cardinal McCarrick by Benedict XVI and subsequently lifted by Pope Francis. Viganò claimed that, as Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops, Cardinal [...]

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. [...]

The Modernist Roots of Our Current Crisis

Recently, the Church has suffered blow after blow as a result of scandals involving clergy sex abuse and the abuse of power exercised by certain bishops and cardinals who sought to cover up that abuse so as to protect the abusers. Some accusations have been raised about Pope Francis stemming all the way back to [...]

What Our Lady’s Suffering Can Teach Church Leaders

My wife grew up in a small town, and as Chesterton said, small-town people are the real cosmopolitans. They can’t insulate themselves in a comfy circle of the like-minded; they must deal with everybody. There were good people in her town, but the nasty ones were always walking down her street. Cosmopolitan in a fallen [...]

“The Church’s Greatest Crisis”

On September 21, the well-known German magazine, Der Spiegel, featured a long article on the whole career of Pope Francis under the title “The Greatest Crisis in the History of the Church.” The immediate issues brought up concerned the pope’s handling of abuse issues while he was still in Argentina. Most people are by now [...]

The Sin of Silence

In the Inferno, Dante Alighieri, a critic in his day of Church leadership, famously put the souls of at least three popes in hell, as well as countless other clerics who go nameless, their faces blackened beyond recognition. However, one cleric he does meet along the way is Ruggieri degli Ubaldini (d. 1295), the archbishop [...]

Public Penance for Wayward Clerics?

My first visit to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres was in 1968. I was 15-years-old and knew little about what I was looking at—though in truth, I could hardly see anything. The magnificent stained glass windows were visible, but at that time were still wearing centuries of grime. Looking up at them was like [...]

Truth and Integrity Are Under Assault

If anything becomes clear as we consider the current raging questions on the American scene, it is that concern for truth is readily cast aside. While falsehood and deceit, to be sure, are nothing new in human history—they began when Adam and Eve tried to hide themselves from God after their sin—it’s fair to say [...]

Triumph of the Will in Chicago

A priest of the Chicago archdiocese, Fr. Paul Kalchick, has been disciplined by his bishop for burning a Nazi flag that had been lying in a closet somewhere. It was left over from many years before, when German Catholics wanted very much to believe, along with plenty of temporizers, trimmers, and German bishops, that National [...]

Time for the Laity to Become Mary’s Heel

We’re all troubled by the moral confusion and heterodox beliefs of self-identified American Catholics that have been chronicled in many polls: 65 percent believe that employers who have a religious objection to the use of birth control should be required to provide it in health insurance plans for employees; 32 percent disagree. 54 percent believe [...]

Why Seminary Formation Must Be Scrutinized

“Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”   ∼ Matthew 18:3 Ever since I seriously embraced my Catholic faith, I’ve lived with the sensation of biting into an orange right after brushing my teeth. Toothpaste has a chemical in it that [...]

Beware the Allure of the Inner Ring

I have had an uncanny and revealing experience this week. There are three elements to it. Let me describe the first two, as a preface for drawing out a moral imperative for Catholics in these bad times. Every semester at Thomas More College, we set a few Fridays aside for what we call traditio. No [...]

Is a Married Clergy the Answer?

With the latest revelations concerning sexual abuse by the clergy, the Church has once again asked the question “What is to be done?” One answer often given is that of a married clergy. While this proposal is not contrary to the Faith, there are arguments which make it unsound, perhaps particularly at this time and [...]

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