Pope Benedict XVI

EWTN Prevails Against the HHS Contraception Mandate

On October 5, 2018, the government admitted they were wrong to persecute the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). The admission came in a settlement in EWTN’s long-drawn-out lawsuit regarding the Contraception Mandate attached to Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result of the settlement, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated (i.e., withdrew) [...]

Ratzinger Understands that Power Must Be Ordered by Reason

How do we recognize what is right? In history, systems of laws have almost always been based on religion: decisions regarding what was to be lawful among men were taken from reference to the divinity. Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never proposed a revealed law to the state and to society, that is to [...]

Benedict XVI’s Final Pilgrimage Home

Every so often we’re witness to a splurge of commentary about Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, as if the general populace is suddenly reminded that the man who resigned the Chair of Peter is in fact still alive. Most recently, reactions to a letter he sent to Massimo Franco of Corriere della Serra, in which the [...]

Cardinal Sarah’s Defense of Summorum Pontificum

Editor's note: The following address by Cardinal Sarah was delivered at the colloquium "The Source of the Future" on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI, March 29 – April 1, 2017, in Herzogenrath, Germany. Introductory Message First of all I wish to thank [...]

Father Benedict XVI is a Friend of Jesus Christ

On April 18, 2005, two days after he had just celebrated his 78th birthday, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger delivered the homily Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice to the College of Cardinals gathered at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. As Dean of the College of Cardinals, it was Ratzinger’s responsibility to highlight to his brother cardinals some spiritual yardsticks that [...]

A Pope Turns Ninety

In the long march of the Church’s history, stretching all the way back to a certain failed fisherman called Peter—whom Christ himself caught with the bait of eternal life—few occupants of the papal chair have evinced as lofty a level of erudition, existing in happy combination with ardent and uncomplicated piety, as the Bavarian Pope [...]

How to Save the Soul of Our Catholic Schools

“How can we make our school more Catholic?” This is a real question schools ask, some with perplexity. Is it a new curriculum? Better religion classes? Having the kids come to Mass? The answer is vital for the future of Catholic education. The sociologist Christian Smith notes, from his extensive research on the life of [...]

On Pope Benedict’s Final Insights and Recollections

“If a pope were only ever applauded, he would have to ask himself whether or not he was doing things right.”  ∼ Benedict XVI, Last Testament, 2016. “The bishops (at Vatican II) wanted to renew the faith, to deepen it. However, other forces were working with increasing strength, particularly journalists, who interpreted many things in a [...]

Epiphany: A Feast of Light

Several years ago, I had a student in my English class who was blind from birth—Charlie had lost his eyesight due to oxygenation at his premature delivery, weighing less than two pounds when he came into the world. We were reading Shakespeare’s King Lear that day. Not an easy thing to do with a class [...]

Pope Benedict is Still Misunderstood in Germany

In Germany, reality and media-hype are worlds apart when it comes to Pope Benedict’s latest book-length interview called Last Conversations (Letzte Gespräche) in German (and Last Testament in English). Accused of lacking tact, of wanting to interpret his own pontificate when this should be left to others, and of bashing the German hierarchy when he [...]

A Traditional Society of Priests That Practices True Mercy

If I remove the central reason for a thing to exist, it will slowly cease to exist, and even what it had will be lost. On the other hand, if I proclaim and reinforce that central reason, the thing will not only continue to exist, but will likely even increase and bear fruit in due [...]

How “Progress” Led to the Dehumanization of Man

The controversy over a Super Bowl ad for a snack chip that allegedly “humanized,” of all things, a pre-born human being highlights the deliberate rejection of reality of the “abortion rights” objectors. On its face, as others have noted, the controversy exposes the pernicious obfuscation that a fetus is nothing more than a “meaningless blob [...]

What the Magi Can Teach Us Today

In a world riven by conflict, it’s easy to forget what we owe to these three wise men that later legend describes as kings. We easily slough off the acceptance of such stories as naïve. In doing so, I suspect we lose a sense of the wonder that must have been felt by these men [...]

Skepticism: The New Established Religion

Jefferson’s wall of separation has many friends. People who grew up in a nation with a strict separation of church and state are often very proud of that system, which they consider modern, and best-suited for democratic societies today and in the future. This includes both skeptics of all (organized) religions and many religious people [...]

Benedict: “From Where Does Evil Come?”

The former students of Pope Benedict have an annual seminar (Ratzinger Schülerkreis) to think about his vast and profound intellectual accomplishments. This year’s meeting was held Castel Gandolfo. On August 30, in the Church of the Teutonic Cemetery in the Vatican, Pope Benedict gave a brief, penetrating homily in German to the group. The general [...]

When a Man Calls Himself a Chicken

Sanity becomes arguable when insanity becomes attractive. Only a sound mind can assess an unsound mind, and the traditional assessment of insanity is that it is a tragedy. The progressive diagnosis is slightly different. Some forms of insanity pertaining to human identity are now considered wholesome and admirable. This cultural stance of endorsing people who [...]

Benedict XVI and the Roots of Injustice

As 2015 rapidly surges ahead, crashing into us like the waves from Ephesians 4:14, it is tempting to simply view the state of things pragmatically—deep thinking and serious debating on the extraordinary circumstances of today’s world seems simply out of the question. While there is no shortage of opinions, the garrulous talking heads avoid any [...]

Popularity of Latin Liturgy is Not “Unfortunate”

In an article on the website Millennials, sponsored by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, William Bornhoft accuses “TLM Millennials” of hindering the new evangelization by favoring the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). Bornhoft, a recent college graduate, makes a number of groundless assertions about TLM supporters and about the liturgical reform promulgated at the [...]

Why Benedict’s Regensburg Lecture Remains Relevant

Tragedies have a way of making time stand still. When threatened, we recede into our most primal selves; dominated by fight and flight impulses geared towards the most basic demands of the situation at hand. Objective analysis, reasoned judgment, and even emotion are swept away for an instant as we are seized by the immediacy [...]

How Christians Can Rebuild Our Culture

Editor’s note: The following essay is adapted from an address delivered August 6 at the Archdiocese of Toronto’s “Faith in the Public Square” symposium. In the beginning, Genesis tells us, “the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Gen 1:2). Creation begins in chaos. On each day of [...]

Understanding God’s Love: A Primer on Mercy and Justice

“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross” (H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America). This article addresses the question of how God is both just and merciful in the light of some insights of Pope Francis’ recent book [...]

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