cultural / political elite

Sins of Omission: The Abusive PA Clergy Abuse Report

Back in August, after a special solemnity Mass in my parish in the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania, I came home and read the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses, including my own. I read the 884-page online version. I saw allegations against priests in my diocese and the Pittsburgh [...]

When Concerns for Peripheries Eclipse Interest in the Sacred Other

Modern ways of thinking lead people to moral views that are different from traditional ones, so it’s not surprising they consider themselves morally superior to people in the past. Whether current moral understandings are actually better is nonetheless dubious and deserves investigation. Modern thought wants to take fewer things into consideration but in a more [...]

“Trumpification” of the Pro-Life Movement?

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, warns the pro-life movement of the dangers of “Trumpification.” Citing the presence of political figures at the recent March for Life—principally Republican ones, including a video message from the president—he warns that even if conservatives in the pro-life movement succeed in overturning Roe v. [...]

What Explains the Growth of Fake News?

Recently, within just a couple days of each other, we saw two particularly egregious cases of mainstream media journalists and commentators frenetically trumpeting dubious news stories that were quickly debunked. The first was the anonymously sourced story from Buzzfeed News claiming that hard evidence exists of Donald Trump directing his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie [...]

Why Catholics Should Sympathize with Nationalism

President Trump’s criticism of globalism and praise of nationalism have drawn scathing criticism. For many, “globalism” suggests universal human solidarity, while “nationalism” suggests aggression, self-seeking, and idolizing a particular state and people. Others say that “nationalism” is right-wing code for white supremacy, and “globalism” for rule by shadowy Jewish financial interests. Such responses obscure real [...]

The Conundrum of Progressivism

Progressivism, the view that modern political tendencies should continually be extended, has deep roots. Its beginnings are closely connected to the rise of modern natural science, which rejects the contemplative ideal of knowledge in favor of prediction and control. This approach, which stresses observation, measurement, and mathematical modeling, has led to modern technology and industry. [...]

None Dare Call It Treason

One could be forgiven for thinking that a traitor is a rare bird. After all, most Americans can only name one traitor in American history—Benedict Arnold. And, if you know who he is, you probably went to school several decades ago when such things were still taught. Of course, there have been other traitors besides [...]

What Version of Human Dignity Should Catholics Defend?

Dignitatis Humanae, the Vatican II declaration on religious liberty, appeals to what it says is a growing awareness of human dignity. More recent Vatican pronouncements, including the new language in the Catechism on the death penalty, have done the same. In some ways, it’s easy to see why. The Church holds that God created man [...]

What’s Next for Irish Pro-lifers?

There has been much ink spilt over the recent referendum result in Ireland. Analysis of the reasons as to why the vote was lost may, however, provide seeds for a strategy to win similar debates in the future. For the first time in Irish politics, the former fault lines of Irish politics—anti versus pro-British, Protestant versus [...]

The Islamization of England and the Arrest of Tommy Robinson

“Liverpool star Mohamed Salah’s unapologetic Muslim faith sends extraordinary message.” That’s the headline on an NBC story about the Egyptian sports star who plays for the Liverpool soccer club. Salah prays before each game and prostrates himself in prayer after every goal he scores. He is also popular with fans, contributes to charities and is [...]

Catholicism and Celebrity Culture at the Met

Catholicism and haute couture made a gauche fashion statement at the recent Met Gala, a major fundraising event for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. The event, celebrated annually on the first Monday in the Blessed Mother’s month of May, is the hottest ticket in New York City’s world of fashion. This year’s Met [...]

The Church’s Answer to Cosmopolitanism

We can’t know the shape of things to come with any certainty. Even so, we have duties as citizens, and our understanding of the way things are headed affects how we carry them out. That makes any given issue something to take seriously. With that in mind, perhaps the most striking tendency of the present [...]

Why Christian Sexual Morality is Rejected

There are good arguments for traditional Christian sexual morality (CSM), but even so it’s fallen out of favor. Many in the Church have given up on it, saying it’s at most an ideal no one can be held to. What would be needed to bring it back and make it effective? A complete answer seems [...]

The Illusion of Independent Thinking

In John G. West’s book of a decade ago, Darwin Day in America, in which he sketches the influence of Darwinian-inspired materialist thinking on a range of subjects, he has a striking chapter showing how all too many academics, teachers, and their supporters in the media tolerate no questioning about any part of evolutionary theory—even [...]

Whose Side Are They On?

As I’ve often observed, if Islam ever succeeds in subjugating America it won’t be primarily through force of arms, but through cultural jihad (aka stealth jihad). For cultural jihad to succeed, however, it’s necessary that there are enough people in the target culture who are willing to ignore it or even to facilitate it. Put [...]

Blessed are the “Pure” for They Shall See Oscar

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony took place last night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, at 5 p.m. PST. The awards of late have become more politicized than ever. In the past, what was needed to win an Academy Award was a good movie—plus a considerable budget to promote it amongst members of the academy. In latter [...]

The Freaks are Us

Hollywood has produced a terrific, though historically inaccurate, movie based on the life of showman P.T. Barnum. It is a singing and dancing extravaganza that is highly compelling, though the songs are of the pop variety. Even so, the opening sequence alone, which recapitulates the story of Barnum’s fictional life, is worth the price of [...]

Big Brother Facebook Is Watching You

On June 27, 2017 there came an announcement that was remarked upon for all the wrong reasons. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, proclaimed to the world that the social network had 2 billion users online. Simply a sign of a successful business venture? Merely also a sign of the times in which we live? To [...]

The Real Source of Sexual Misconduct in Hollywood

If you had James Franco in your office pool as the next Hollywood mogul who would be accused of sexual misconduct then, congratulations, you win! Five women, in interviews with the Los Angeles Times, accused Franco “of behavior they found to be inappropriate or sexually exploitative.” About the allegations, Franco said on the Stephen Colbert [...]

The Rage of the New Puritans Is Sweeping America

The announcement that the “Silence Breakers” have been named “Person of the Year” by TIME magazine has catapulted the sexual harassment scandals into the national spotlight. Sexual assault in the workplace has taken on crisis proportions. Many are saying that men and women will soon revert to minimizing contact among themselves. They fear a new [...]

Honoring Rulers, Honoring Truth

Public opinion matters a great deal today. That situation creates a way in which all of us participate in public affairs, even in hierarchical settings like the Church. So we should try to understand what’s going on. But if we are to sit in judgment over public affairs, what attitude should we take toward social [...]

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