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All Catholic commentary from November 2016

The Boston archdiocese has chosen an odd time to take a stand by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Nov 2, 2016

The Atlantic wonders Why the Catholic Church Is Leading the Fight Against Legal Pot in Massachusetts. So do I. It’s easy to understand that the archdiocese would oppose the referendum question that would legalize recreational use of marijuana. But there’s a big difference...

What part of ‘never’ does America magazine fail to understand? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Nov 4, 2016

Isn’t it nice that after the Pope says that “the final word is clear,” we have America magazine available for “Putting Pope Francis’ comments on women’s ordination in historical context“—that is, to make sure that things aren’t clear. You...

Rehabilitating Pope Francis, and saving ourselves by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 4, 2016

Over the past few weeks I’ve received a number of emails which rebuke me for a tendency to defend Pope Francis whenever I believe I can do so reasonably. As someone who has also criticized the Pope on several issues, I find the logic of this position elusive, to say the least. I would think...

Prepping for the Final Days by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Nov 4, 2016

There are a few more days left in the “Poor Souls’ Octave” to gain a plenary indulgence applicable only to the Poor Souls in Purgatory. The Church is currently remembering the Poor Souls in Purgatory during November, especially the first eight days of the month. Our family is...

Norcia just before the earthquakes: My time with the monks by Thomas V. Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 6, 2016

Last week I spent two nights in Norcia, Italy, the birthplace of St. Benedict, the father of Western monasticism. I was blessed with a rare personal encounter with the monks of Norcia, joining them in both prayer and work, an opportunity seldom offered to pilgrims. My glimpse of their way of life...

A word about the futility of politics in the West, on election Tuesday in America by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 7, 2016

Foster parents in the United Kingdom have been refused permission to adopt their foster children because they do not think placement of children with same-sex couples is a good idea. It is difficult to conceive of a better example of the secular regulatory State at work. As little as a...

Trump, Brexit, and the collapse of a world order by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Nov 9, 2016

The election of Donald Trump punctuates the end of an era—and I don’t mean just the Clinton era. We are living through a time of global historical change: the demise of an international order. Somehow our leading politicians, pundits, and pollsters, who spend their days analyzing...

We have been Trumped. What does that mean to us? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 9, 2016

For anyone who has suffered under the progressive transformation of the United States government into a regulatory bureau of social engineering, the election of Donald Trump is a sign of hope. The hallmark of Trump’s campaign was his refusal to give a tinker’s damn about political...

Feastday Highlights: 11-11, Honoring the Real St. Martin of Tours by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Nov 11, 2016

From the 2014 archives: November 11 in the ecclesiastical calendar marks the Memorial of St. Martin of Tours. For modern American readers, this date doesn’t bring to mind too many Catholic traditions in this country. This date was formerly Armistice Day, and is now a federal holiday,...

Down with Trump! The privileged class triggers student revolts (again) by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 11, 2016

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump, some have taken to the streets in protest. I read a fairly comprehensive account of this in USA Today. It is clear that Trump is a polarizing figure. In fact, throughout the campaign he obviously intended to be a polarizing figure. But that’s not...

The Morality of Money, 1: The Problem of Money Production by Thomas V. Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 11, 2016

It is not uncommon to hear of Popes or bishops strongly criticizing the global economic order, and calling for the creation of new institutions to implement financial and monetary reform. Pope Benedict XVI, for example, suggested that a “true world political authority” was needed to...

The Morality of Money, 2: Natural and Forced Money by Thomas V. Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 14, 2016

It is easy for us in the twenty-first century to take for granted that our money has no value whatsoever other than as a medium of exchange, and that it works as such simply because our governments imbue it with value—hence the term “fiat money.” If money derives its value solely...

Is it a mark of rigidity to accuse others of rigidity? A spiritual proposal concerning Pope Francis. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 15, 2016

Like a great many other Catholics, I was astonished by Pope Francis’ harsh dismissal of young people who prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is a dangerous business to assume that another person’s preferences constitute “rigidity”. And it is even more...

Advent-Christmas Ebook released for new liturgical year by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Nov 15, 2016

The Advent and Christmas ebook volume for the 2016-2017 liturgical year has been released in our ebooks download area. This is the first volume of the coming new liturgical year, which begins on November 27th, the First Sunday in Advent. It may be downloaded free of charge in the following...

On request for clarification of Amoris Laetitia, the Pope’s silence speaks volumes by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Nov 16, 2016

We should not be surprised that the Pope has declined a request for clarification of Amoris Laetitia. Are faithful Catholics confused by that document? Absolutely. That is the Holy Father’s intent. The confusion is not a bug; it’s a feature. The defenders of the papal document (and...

Urgent: With a $50,000 Challenge Grant in the balance, I need your help. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Nov 16, 2016

This Fall, eighty-three of our Boosters joined forces to offer a Challenge Grant of $50,000 to make it easier for CatholicCulture.org to raise the funds it needs to continue its mission in 2017. As of this writing, we have matched roughly $41,000, which means we still have approximately $9,000 to...

Living the Sadness of Christ by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 16, 2016

The other week, when I was trying to think of something I should write about, I was fresh out of ideas. Even worse, I was feeling bored and lethargic. There can be many different causes for these problems, but in my own case, running out of ideas typically means I am spending too much time...

Vatican official suggests reinventing the wheel by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Nov 17, 2016

Archbishop Kevin Farrell (who will be known as Cardinal Farrell in just a few days) is not pleased with Archbishop Charles Chaput. The prefect of the Vatican’s new dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life is disappointed because the Archbishop of Philadelphia has forthrightly stated that,...

Driven by frustration, could some cardinals go too far? A caution by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 17, 2016

Our Catholic World News service has reported on Cardinal Burke’s statement that a group of Catholic prelates may address a “formal act of correction” to Pope Francis. According to Burke, this could be made necessary by the refusal of Pope Francis to correct the confusion about...

The Morality of Money, 3: Money, Banking, and Inflation by Thomas V. Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 18, 2016

A crucial period of transition between natural and forced money in the West was the emergence of banking as we understand it today—that is, fractional-reserve banking. In The Ethics of Money Production, Hulsmann details the development of banks from mere money warehouses to money-creating...

The Morality of Money, 4: Manipulation by the State by Thomas V. Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 18, 2016

Fractional-reserve banking and inflation can happen on a free market, but only on the fringes. In The Ethics of Money Production, Hulsmann argues that it is government that allows inflation to become widespread, either protecting it by legalizing the falsification of money, or itself perpetrating...

The Morality of Money, 5: Moral Hazard and Malinvestment by Thomas V. Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 21, 2016

Fractional-reserve banking depends on the assumption that the bank’s clients will not all try to redeem their notes at once: that there will not be a “run” on the bank. But as Hulsmann and other Austrian economists have argued, even if one banker is cautious in the degree of his...

Is it clear? Is it authoritative? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Nov 21, 2016

Let’s imagine that I’m your boss, and I summon you to meet me at my office tomorrow. Since you haven’t been here, I send directions. You find them confusing, so you ask: “Should I turn right or left as I come off the highway?” I reply: “My directions are...

The Rex Mottram approach to Amoris Laetitia and the dubia by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Nov 22, 2016

“I believe that the pope has spoken,” said Cardinal Kevin Farrell, regarding the question of whether Amoris Laetitia has changed Church teaching on the admission of divorced/remarried Catholics to Communion. But to be fair, Cardinal Farrell made that remark more than a month ago,...

Rackets by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Nov 22, 2016

During my pop-philosophy years as a youngster, I happened to catch the “Longshoreman philosopher” Eric Hoffer on “60 Minutes.” Fascinated by his street wisdom I eventually got around to reading his book The True Believer where he wrote: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business,...

When it comes to Pope Francis, is it time to turn the corner? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 22, 2016

CatholicCulture.org has tried to be both accurate and forthright in reporting and commenting on the words and actions of Pope Francis. We have tried to treat Francis as sons; to give Francis the benefit of every doubt; to recognize the complexity of the issues he addresses; to acknowledge the...

Misericordia et Misera: To extend mercy beyond the close of the Jubilee by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 23, 2016

Americans are about to celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday. This is a wonderful opportunity to reflect not only on the material gifts we have received, but also on the spiritual gifts. Which of us can fail to thank God not only for food, clothing and shelter, but for Christ, the Church, the...

Prayers of Thanksgiving for Thanksgiving Day by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Nov 24, 2016

Originally published in November 2015. It’s been a long three days of cooking and cleaning preparing for our Thanksgiving meal. Twenty-five family members will be gathering around our table today. Only minor injuries were sustained during preparation. Thanksgiving in the United States...

The Morality of Money, 6: Social Consequences of Inflation by Thomas V. Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Nov 25, 2016

We have seen the damage inflation does to the common good primarily in terms of its strictly economic impact. But in The Ethics of Money Production, Hulsmann enumerates a great many ways in which inflation has been corrosive of social and moral life in the past two centuries, and it would not do...

Advent: Beginning the New Liturgical Year by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Nov 25, 2016

Similar to last year, Advent 2016 begins on the Sunday right after Thanksgiving. Applying the rule from Universal Norms of the Liturgical Year and the New General Roman Calendar: Advent begins with First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the Sunday that falls on the closest to 30 November and it...

Fidel Castro, RIP? by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Nov 28, 2016

God has given us an Advent meditation with the death of Fidel Castro, President of Cuba, politician, revolutionary, mass murderer. Here are examples of responses by world leaders: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement hailed Castro as a “remarkable leader” and a...

Anticipating Christmas, Beginning with Saint Andrew by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Nov 29, 2016

November 30, the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, is this Wednesday. As I mentioned last week, November 30 is the pivotal date for the beginning of Advent, starting the Sunday closest to November 30. Also on November 30 starts the tradition to pray the...

When questions are perceived as threats, a guilty conscience is at work. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 29, 2016

As the fallout from Amoris Laetitia continues to settle, it is difficult to imagine a more illuminating exercise than to compare recent statements by San Diego’s Bishop Robert McElroy and Cardinal George Pell. Bishop McElroy’s new policies invite the divorced and remarried to discern...

The impoverished faith of the San Diego diocese by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Nov 30, 2016

How would you feel if, after struggling to make ends meet for most of your life, you learned in your old age that you were the rightful heir to an enormous fortune, but your father had never told you about that inheritance? You would feel terribly betrayed, wouldn’t you? In the Diocese...

On liberation from false marriages and sexual sin by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Nov 30, 2016

In considering all the false unions which pass for marriage nowadays, we find that they are so endemic in our culture as to present two highly significant temptations. The first is to deny the grave evil of entering into these marriage substitutes on the grounds that they are so commonplace as to...

Quick Hits: the most perceptive columns on Amoris Laetitia and the dubia by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Nov 30, 2016

Many gallons of ink—or maybe I should say millions of pixels—have been spent in analysis of the heated debate over Amoris Laetitia and the dubia raised by the four cardinals. Among the most useful analyses (leaving aside several that have already been