Priesthood

Perpetuating the Gender Myth in Sports

On Saturday, September 8, 2018, Serena Williams had a mental breakdown at the US Open women’s finals. Her behavior was inexcusable and demonstrated a great disrespect for the game, the officials, and her opponent, Naomi Osaka. The umpire, Carlos Ramos, issued her three code violations: first, a warning for receiving coaching (which her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, [...]

Is a Married Clergy the Answer?

With the latest revelations concerning sexual abuse by the clergy, the Church has once again asked the question “What is to be done?” One answer often given is that of a married clergy. While this proposal is not contrary to the Faith, there are arguments which make it unsound, perhaps particularly at this time and [...]

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 [...]

Why Priests Won’t Protest Violations of Clerical Celibacy

Author’s note: The following essay is inspired by the testimonies of my brother priests along with elements of my own experience. It is not a testimonial nor does it reflect my current experience of seminary or priestly life at Sacred Heart Major Seminary where I currently study nor the local Churches where I serve. I [...]

Where Are the Bishops Who Will Defend Faithful Priests?

August 4, 2018 The Memorial of St. John Marie Vianney. It is hard to communicate to people the life of a priest. The inexpressible joys that we experience every day are so difficult to express, as is the privilege of journeying with people through the dark valleys in their lives with hope that we can [...]

What Priests Do

One of Rod Dreher’s longtime commenters recently offered this assessment of Catholic priests: When I was a little kid, I played with the kids in the prolific Catholic family across the alley until I was around 7. And then for some reason, we did not play together any more. It was not like we had [...]

The Best Preachers are Signs of Contradiction

In late June of this year, I had occasion to concelebrate a newly ordained priest’s First Mass. Following a well-established custom, this newly ordained priest had asked an older, more seasoned priest to preach the homily. Since we had already passed Pentecost, Most Holy Trinity and Corpus Christi—three consecutive Solemnities with rich and suggestive texts [...]

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 [...]

More Reasons to Support a Celibate Priesthood

Usually I don’t bother with pieces about “the first (y) (x),” where y = special interest group and x = profession. They always drip with a smugness that I, who looked up to the Jafar character as a child, find nauseating. The bien pensant journalist always seems pleasantly surprised their pet minorities have risen to [...]

On the Failure of Homiletics

“They have all zeal and no truth, and we have all truth and no zeal.” ∼ Bishop Sheen on the Church’s enemies In The Light of Christ, the fine new book by Father Thomas Joseph White, OP, we read that “[b]elonging to the Church does not give people a blank check so that they can live [...]

Clothing the Naked Catholic Square

Secularized man has succeeded in making himself a shadow. By eschewing every trace of moral absolutes, tradition and, indeed, the very anchor of nature itself, he has made himself a ghost. So etiolated, he can only rely upon the whimsical demands of the gaseous self. In this claustrophobic universe there is no longer need for [...]

Advice to a Young Priest

The illusion of one being perpetually young was shattered in my case recently when a publishing firm asked me to write some advice to a young priest from the perspective of an elder. For me, youth was a permanent state. I was the very youngest in my college class and, in my Anglican years, at [...]

The Best Priest I Ever Knew

I may be something a bit rare in Catholic circles, both a convert and a revert. Between my conversion in 1985 and my reversion in 1993, I lived the life of a non-practicing orthodox Catholic. There really is such a thing; someone who for various reasons is not practicing but who does not question any [...]

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. [...]

Passages from Vatican II that Every Catholic Should Know

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). While all agree that the council was a milestone in the history of the Church, the meaning and application of Vatican II and its sixteen official documents has been a source of contention right down to the present day. Numerous [...]

Priestly Celibacy and the Demise of Marriage

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus used to call it “the parish paper,” a gentle barb at the pretensions of the self-described “paper of record,” but also, I think, a subtle pastoral hand extended to those who think they get all the advice they need when they look in the mirror. Yes, I’m talking about the New [...]

Advice for the Pope in Light of the Synod

The Holy Father has been very good in lecturing priests and telling us what to do. We are to go out into the world and “make a mess.” We are to “smell like the sheep.” We are to welcome all with compassion, forgiveness and mercy. We are to be good and kind pastors who administer [...]

The Priesthood and the Choice

I heard an excellent homily last week, delivered by a young priest who spoke with passion and energy. It was clearly his own take on how the Gospel reading for this daily Mass spoke to him. He crafted it to offer lessons to us. It was beautiful, but that wasn’t what struck me. What moved [...]

What Did the Pope Really Say about Gays in the Priesthood?

Very few popes give off-the-cuff interviews to reporters to begin with, and even less joke and have fun with the reporters. So, when Pope Francis did just that as he returned from World Youth Day, it was a stunner. It wasn’t so much that he said he “does not judge gays”—after all, the meaning itself [...]

The Gospel According to Garry

For more than a decade, Garry Wills has been devoting much of his energy to Catholic matters.  In Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit (2000), he explained that the papacy was never intended by Jesus and that most popes have had a malign influence on the Church and the world.  In 2002 he followed with Why [...]

The Catholic Left’s Latest Call for the Ordination of Women

In early December the independent and very liberal National Catholic Reporter weekly newspaper published a long, carefully reasoned editorial declaring that “The Ordination of Women Would Correct an Injustice.” If the Church were deliberately perpetrating an injustice in the matter of ordination, of course, it would be a serious matter. The NCR editorial was a [...]

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