clericalism

France: A Tale of Two Faiths

Last March, an Islamist terrorist stormed a supermarket in Trèbes, France, shot two people dead and took others hostage. In negotiations with police, the terrorist agreed to accept a police lieutenant’s offer to swap places with the last hostage, a female cashier. The police officer, Arnaud Beltrame, was subsequently killed. In honor of his heroic [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Rod Was Right and I Was Wrong

I became casual friends with Rod Dreher when he lived in Brooklyn with the beautiful Julie, and I lived in Manhattan alone. Newly married and not yet a father, he was writing movie reviews for the New York Post; this was before his move to National Review and ever-increasing fame. We talked back then about [...]

Seven Lessons from the McCarrick Case

Following the long overdue revelations about the contemptible sexual misconduct of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, many authors have rightly expressed their indignation toward him and his episcopal enablers. In this article, I will try not to spend much time on ground already well trod, but will rather highlight some of the lessons from the McCarrick [...]

The Jim Foley Option to End Clergy Sexual Abuse

In the wake of the “Uncle Ted” McCarrick scandal have come a series of recommendations about where the Church should go from here and what the laity can do to help. Answers range from Anthony Esolen’s urging the resignation of every bishop who knew of the Cardinal’s vile actions to Christopher Tollefsen’s invitation to suspend [...]

What Scripture Says About the Reliability of Religious Leaders

The majority of saints canonized by the Church over much of her history are priests and bishops. I used to quip that this proves it is possible for a priest or bishop to get to heaven. This is no longer a playful quip but a wry truth. You may know by now that within the last month, [...]

Carbon Monoxide Clericalism

Invisible, odorless, and deadly, carbon monoxide clericalism is less a power-trip than a survival mechanism that proves counter-productive. Simply describing it is the first step toward prevention or cure. Then let us all pray for a serious intervention of the Holy Spirit, for without the reform of the priesthood, it is difficult, if not impossible, to renew [...]

Orthophobia and the Marginalized QTBGL Catholic

As I survey the current state of the Catholic Church, I believe I can no longer hold back. It is time for me to come out. I am and have for some time identified as a member of the QTBGL community, and I need to explain why I call myself a QTBGL Catholic. For those [...]

Clericalism and the Catholic Refugee

Among the many stories buried in the avalanche of political news in the weeks prior to Election Day was a minor brouhaha in Santa Fe, N.M., where a parish priest had the temerity to encourage his flock to vote pro-life. “We have to insist that any of our representatives (whether Democrat, Republican or Third Party) [...]

How a Small-Town Parish Disposed of Its Troublesome Priest

The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. The innocent don’t need such protection, but there aren’t any innocent people in this tale. Some years ago, I was living in a small, mid-western town populated mostly by people whose livelihood centered on agriculture. It was [...]

Letter to a Priest

“The synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulas but the free availability of God’s love and forgiveness.” ∼ Pope Francis I do want to love this pope, the sure desire of any Catholic heart. [...]

The Brazen Clericalism of Cardinal Mahony

As archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony was famous for his petulance, dispatching angry letters to priests and others whom he considered insufficiently deferential.  But now that he finds himself in a subordinate position as a retired and rebuked bishop he displays none of the deference he once demanded. No sooner had his successor stripped [...]

Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

The situation of the Church today, in regard to the lay vocation, is extraordinarily paradoxical. A staple topic of the last twenty years has been "the emerging layman" in the Church, and there is no question that the laity are now much more visible. Yet there is currently a very strong tendency, even among those [...]

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