post-Vatican II Crisis

Vermont Pols Think the New Yorker Is an Authority on Abortion

Operating out of the national spotlight that is focused on late-term abortion legislation around the U.S., Vermont legislators are quietly seeking to enshrine their already exceptionally broad abortion policies into state law. Unrestricted abortion is already permitted for any reason and at any stage of pregnancy in the Green Mountain State, but that hasn’t stopped [...]

The Bad Poetry of Modern Hymnody

In an earlier column, I asked why we could not sing hymns from the Christian treasury, which is nearly two thousand years old, and which features composers with names like Bach and Handel and poets from Prudentius to Thomas Aquinas to Isaac Watts, the Wesleys, and John Henry Newman, rather than silly, sloppy, banally sentimental, [...]

What in the World Is a “Worship Space”?

Euphemisms are de rigeur for revolutionaries. Communist states call themselves “people’s republics.” When they instigate conflicts, they are called “wars of liberation.” Abortionists call their abattoirs “pregnancy centers” and their executions “terminations.” Most currently, surgeons call sexual mutilation “gender reassignment.” All of this a clever strategy to stave off natural human revulsion so that after [...]

Spiritual Egalitarianism Is Deadly

“It’s not going to be long now,” says the doctor, as you stand beside the bed of your loved one. “Shall I send for the head of the Liturgy Committee?” Some years ago, on the island where we live during the summer, the bishop assigned a new priest and told him that his job was [...]

Good Bishops Willingly Defy Hostile Cultural Elites

How many tax collectors might have worked in first century Palestine? Every time Jesus of Nazareth associated with sinners, his pariahs of choice were tax collectors. He uttered the phrase “tax collectors and sinners” over a dozen times in the Synoptic Gospels and paired tax collectors and prostitutes—notably smacking the Pharisees with, “Truly I tell [...]

About that Blackface Photo from My Past…

I attended a private high school, a very prominent establishment in my home town, and one that prided itself on academic excellence and athletic accomplishments. It was a very expensive school, and my parents sacrificed a lot to send me there. Since it was and still is one of the best-known schools in the Southwest [...]

Will Bishops Coodle, Foodle, and Noodle Address the Crisis?

Look to the generals, the great patrons and architects, the captains of industry, and the princes of the Church for a gauge of an institution’s vitality. Virile epochs, however tumultuous, make way for a Charlemagne, an Abbot Suger, a Carnegie, or a Leo the Great. In effete, self-doubting times, froth and effluvium ride the waves [...]

A Three-day Meeting in Rome to Do What?

Pope Francis will meet on February 21, 2019, with the bishops' conferences of the world on protecting minors from clergy sexual abuse. But what is the problem they will be addressing? Is the problem pedophilia, homosexuality, rogue clericalism, or all of the above? Father Hans Zollner, a member of the committee organizing this meeting, told [...]

The Time Has Come for A New Counter-Reformation

We need a new Counter-Reformation in sacred art and architecture. What was the Reformation’s effect? First, it preached iconoclasm, the rejection of the human figure in religious art. Second, it reoriented worship, so that people gathered round the pulpit rather than the altar and the baptismal font became more important than the tabernacle. At the [...]

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 [...]

50 Years of Effete and Infertile Liturgical Culture Is Enough

Last Sunday I was away from home; this normally means trouble. It means I do not attend Mass at the chapel of Saint Thomas More College, which is where I teach, nor at Northeast Catholic College, which is in the town where we live. It means I must hear Mass, or have Mass drummed into my [...]

Does Hell Play a Role in Evangelization?

Does hell play a role in evangelization? If it does, then when and how? Catholics take many positions on this topic and they all impact the effectiveness of evangelization. To begin, let me situate this analysis by raising three relevant points. First, discussing hell can be emotional and difficult to face for obvious reasons, such as hell's [...]

Longing for Eternal Presence

It is this silent swerving from accuracy by an inch that is the uncanny element in everything.  ∼ G.K. Chesterton In the digital age of LED lighting, we risk losing all sense of the uncanny. Of course, in the age of science in general, we tend to grow numb to the mystery that calls us [...]

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 [...]

Restoring Sacred Architecture Will Reaffirm Theological Truth

This past spring, a marvelous new cathedral was dedicated in Knoxville, Tennessee. The dedication of Sacred Heart Cathedral is certainly a sign of the return of traditional architecture in sacred buildings. The cruciform cathedral was designed in a classical style, featuring arches and Corinthian pilasters in the nave. With a traditional long nave and cruciform [...]

When Priests and Prelates Dance Around the Golden Calf

After Moses had been up on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights, the children of Israel grew impatient and asked Aaron to make them a god to lead them on their journey through the wilderness (Ex. 32). Aaron complied by taking all the earrings from the wives and daughters and fashioning a golden [...]

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 [...]

Some Church Architectural Styles Really Are Profane

Architecture speaks, and, like a homily or proclamation of scripture, it can change us profoundly. It preaches and teaches every time we enter a church building. When it speaks truth it reminds us that God is central, and that we are broken and in need of a savior who offers us a place of eternal [...]

Permanent Assignments for Parish Priests Long Overdue

Papa was a rolling stone. Wherever he laid his hat was his home.  ~ The Temptations Efforts must be made to restore socially the conviction that the place and task of the father in and for the family is of unique and irreplaceable importance.  ~ Pope St. John Paul II I’m a rotten dad, but [...]

Sowers of the Current Chaos

For keen insight into some of the malevolent forces at work in the Church right now, an unexpected source is a fascinating book by Father Charles Theodore Murr, titled, The Godmother: Madre Pascalina. Published in May 2017, for the centenary of Fatima, it is one of the most interesting yet underreported Catholic books of recent [...]

The Consequences of Changing Church Teaching

The underlying premise of conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat’s recent book, To Change the Church, is that the Catholic Church is conservative because her claims and demands only make sense if there is 1) a core and agreed-upon set of doctrines and 2) a clear link to New Testament teachings and to the early [...]

MENU