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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from October 2011

Women priests? America ducks the question by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 3, 2011

America magazine is distraught over the news that the cathedral in the Phoenix diocese will no longer use female altar servers. An editorial in the Jesuit journal announces: “The rejection of altar girls disregards the counsel of the Second Vatican Council that the charisms of the baptized...

Anti-Catholic Sports Reporting? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 4, 2011

Phil Lawler is right. When secular reporters cover Catholic issues, they frequently get things wrong. I refer, for example, to Phil’s new eBook, Misinterpreting Catholicism. But Phil’s examples pale into insignificance compared with this brief story from our own local paper in Manassas, Virginia,...

The US bishops stick with a losing political strategy by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 4, 2011

My college tennis coach never tired of repeating his simple strategic guide: “Never change a winning game; always change a losing game.” If what you’re doing is not working, he said—and his logic was impeccable—you should be doing something else. That advice came to...

Taking the Gamble by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 5, 2011

I don’t usually get excited one way or another about gambling. But there is no question that it can ruin lives and, for some people, become a fixation which is perilously close to a real addiction. So can drinking alcoholic beverages, another potential destroyer that I don’t think...

What is Special about What We Do? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Oct 5, 2011

The bottom line is that you can’t get what CatholicCulture.org offers anywhere else. This is a case we need to make effectively to our users if we expect them to dig deep to support this Catholic apostolic work. Let me make that case now. No potential supporter will doubt the importance of...

Please: prosecute abusers, but also false accusers by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 6, 2011

Pittsburgh’s Bishop David Zubik “no factual basis for the allegation.” But that’s not all. The bishop’s accuser apparently has a long criminal record. He has made questionable accusations in the past, and the prosecutor reports that in the Zubik case,

Occupy Wall Street with Solidarity by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 6, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement which recently has spread around the country raises interesting questions. The central thesis of the leading organizers is that wealth plays far too large a role in shaping public policy in the United States. Wall Street and other financial centers in various cities...

Did German bishops snub the Pope? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 6, 2011

In the past two weeks a report has been making the rounds on Catholic blogs that a number of German bishops deliberately snubbed Pope Benedict XVI, refusing to shake his hand, during the Pontiff’s September visit to their country. I’m happy to say that the reports are inaccurate. Pat...

Mixed Morality in the Peoria Adoption Solution by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 7, 2011

Yesterday Catholic World News reported that the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois would let Catholic Charities there turn over its staff and adoption/foster care caseload to a new organization. The new group will comply with a State law requiring equal treatment for gay couples. There is good news and...

Survey results: the Pavone controversy by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 7, 2011

Early this week we wrapped up an informal survey in which we asked Catholic Culture readers about their perception of the controversy involving Father Pavone and Priests for Life. Among the readers who responded: 12.7% chose: “Father Pavone is an effective pro-life leader; his bishop...

Us vs. Them: Montgomery County & Lockheed Martin by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 11, 2011

Most of us seldom see what goes on behind the scenes in Federal politics, but watching our more accessible local politics often gives us a clue. Last week in Montgomery County, Maryland, money talked and the County Council listened. In its broad outlines, this is as ugly an example of...

A simple rule of journalism: It's not news until it happens by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 12, 2011

On October 12, L’Osservatore Romano posted an article with this revealing subtitle: The following are excerpts from the conference to be held in Rome on 13 October in Palazzo Luchesi, opening a series of lectures called "Thursdays at the Gregorian", translated from...

Islam and Religious Freedom: The Way Forward by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 13, 2011

Did you know that many Muslim scholars are convinced that Islam calls for freedom of religion? Abdullah Saeed, who is the Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, has done a considerable study of this question. If Saeed is correct, this suggests a way...

Fundamentalism and the Abandonment of Reason by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Oct 18, 2011

Is fundamentalism a significant problem? Do we even know what fundamentalism is? Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil drew my attention to it at the end of September when he asserted that, in Asia at least, “the greatest danger is precisely religious fundamentalism”. Archbishop Menamparampil is the...

Ten Percent and Falling: Dissident Priests by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 19, 2011

I find the Irish and Austrian parallel interesting: Dissident groups of clergy in each country claim roughly 10% of priests as members. In Ireland, the Association of Catholic Priests claims 540 members out of 4,700 priests, or about eleven percent. The Austrian Priests Initiative claims 400...

Needed: a sense of urgency about religious freedom in US foreign policy by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 19, 2011

Not a single Christian church remains standing in Afghanistan. A decade ago, American troops began a military campaign in that country to oust the oppressive Taliban regime. Well, the Taliban have been ousted—at least from the central national government—and the new government is...

Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ: Abandon Yourself to this Book by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 20, 2011

Ignatius Press has just come out with a new edition of Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s oustanding work of spiritual direction, Abandonment to Divine Providence. This work, written in the 18th century by a French Jesuit, has become one of the great classics of Catholic spiritual reading. Not only...

The SSPX, Jews, and Authority by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 21, 2011

Since Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of Saint Pius X has yet again made a number of anti-Jewish statements, various Jewish leaders are calling for the Pope to suspend talks with the SSPX. This is an unfair reaction. The head of the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has long since made it...

Time to start worrying about the Pope's health? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 24, 2011

Last week I advised CWN readers not to waste time worrying about the news that Pope Benedict was towed down the aisle on a rolling platform when he celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s basilica. It was obviously a concession to his advanced age, I said, but apparently nothing more. This week...

Toward the New Evangelization, with Courage by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 24, 2011

Recently Pope Benedict has highlighted the importance of a new evangelization, something which figured importantly also in the thought of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. On October 16th, the Pope closed a conference on evangelization by announcing a new Year of Faith to begin next...

Spare us from Vatican economic analysts by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 25, 2011

The Catholic Church does not claim teaching authority on matters of economics and finance. When the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace issues a statement on the world’s financial markets, faithful Catholics are not bound to accept the economic analysis it contains. However, it would...

The PCJP’s Vision of Polity: The Ideal vs. the Real by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 25, 2011

I should like to add some additional remarks to Phil Lawler’s outstanding commentary on the call of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace for a world economic regulatory authority (see Spare us from Vatican economic analysts). I believe at the heart of the PCJP’s advice is a...

Shooting the Messenger: What the Church teaches about her own authority by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Oct 26, 2011

Phil Lawler and I have had some very negative responses to our commentaries on Monday’s recommendation by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to establish a new stratum of world government to regulate certain aspects of the global economy (see PL, Spare us from Vatican economic analysts...

Violence Religious and Secular by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Oct 27, 2011

The Pope’s address at the interfaith pilgrimage to Assisi today is must reading. In it he identified two main sources of new forms of violence in the world today. Both are particularly apt topics for an interfaith pilgrimage. The first is the tendency to use religion as a justification for...

Did Bishop Finn deserve indictment? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Oct 28, 2011

Two weeks have passed since the indictment of Kansas City’s Bishop Robert Finn. The bishop’s critics are demanding his resignation, while his defenders protest his innocence. Let’s step back a pace, and put the matter in perspective. The indictment of an American bishop is a big...

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