ecclesiology

We Have a Right to Life, Mr. Biden—Not the Eucharist

The Reverend Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, denied former vice president and leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Communion during a Sunday morning Mass in late October. Rev. Morey told a local newspaper that Biden, who was in Florence for a campaign stop, was denied Communion because of [...]

Why Vatican II’s Definition of Church Makes Sense

One of the most common criticisms of the Second Vatican Council is that it changed the teaching regarding the relationship between the idea of the Church of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church. Much of the debate among interpreters (and detractors) of Vatican II has centered around the phrase subsistit in, found in the conciliar [...]

Why Clerical Corruption Does Not Justify Apostasy

In a recent article in The Federalist regarding the current sex abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church, Dr. Korey Maas, a Lutheran and professor of history at Hillsdale College, asks, “Is there any church abuse too far for the Catholic faithful?” The answer, quite simply, is no. Elsewhere, Maas presses, “What abuses, both physical and spiritual, might the [Catholic] hierarchy not [...]

Confessions of a Guelph

Poor old Philippo Argenti languishes in the fifth circle of his Inferno, among those condemned for the sin of wrath. He treads water in the Styx, jostling with other damned souls to stay afloat; others sink beneath the surface, forever drowning but never dying. A contemporary of Dante’s, Argenti tries to climb aboard the boat [...]

Myth and the Desire for the Transcendent

There is within our present society a profound and pervasive sensitivity that something is amiss, a deep and desperate yearning for things higher than our modern materialistic society has within its power to offer. Burrowed in the innermost secret place of every man and woman there is a sense, an inherent knowledge, that much of [...]

Making Parishes Personal

My family and I live in what many Catholics would consider a suburban “sweet spot”—smack between four Catholic churches placed conveniently to the north, south, east and west of us, with the farthest being only a three-mile drive away. Ironically, perhaps, this farthest one, the one to the west, is also our territorial parish. Ideally, [...]

Thoughts on Some Papal Sayings

We have a different sort of pope today, one more interested in raising issues than settling them. He speaks informally, in ways that are often puzzling to those looking for a voice of steady authority rather than one of exhortation, dialogue, and immediate personal response. What he says is strongly grounded in his experience as [...]

Anglican Decline and Its Biblical Remedy

For years, I thought I was called to be an Anglican priest. My wife and I wanted to plant an Anglican church in Minneapolis. To that end, I attended a beautiful Anglican seminary couched in the forests of Wisconsin. There, surrounded by men and women much holier than myself, I was challenged to grow up [...]

Extra Ecclesiam, Ecclesia

“All the way to heaven is heaven.”  ~ Catherine of Siena “You got any change, man?” I’d only made it a few blocks from the Denver Sheraton, and I’d already heard that request three times. “Sorry, I’m tapped out,” I mumbled. “That’s OK,” he replied with a smile as bright as his big orange Broncos [...]

Is the Church Inherently Conservative?

The great issue that separates progressive from more traditionalist Catholics is whether the Church will return to type. To answer that question “yes” is to say that the Church has an essential nature—a basic structure, set of beliefs, and way of functioning—that is sometimes obscured by corruptions or distortions but can be counted on to [...]

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