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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from March 2013

Interregnum: The Church Then, Now and Tomorrow by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 1, 2013

We are now between popes, and that is certainly an occasion to reflect deeply on who we are and where we are going. This is also an appropriate Lenten task for all of us, and the present circumstances suggest that we ought to consider how faithfully we have responded to the Petrine ministry in the...

Popular misconceptions IV by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Mar 5, 2013

Today’s most popular misconception, repeated in dozens of media reports, is that the cardinals have not been able to set a date for the conclave because not all cardinal-electors have arrived in Rome. That’s not true. The conclave can’t begin until all the cardinal-electors are...

Covering the Conclave, and Enjoying It by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 5, 2013

During the period leading up to Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, I would describe my mood as sadness buoyed by a certain excitement and even optimism. I watched the news closely just to chronicle the Pope’s final days in office. But now that Benedict has stepped down, and we are...

Perceptive commentary: Douthat, Peters, Warren, Guenois by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Mar 5, 2013

As a service to our readers, once again we call attention to some of the most interesting commentary that has appeared on other sites regarding the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the prospects for the March conclave. For our efforts to correct some of the less astute commentary, see our...

Is this an endorsement or a condemnation? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Mar 6, 2013

A Boston Globe editorial has endorsed that city’s archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, as the best candidate for the papacy. The Globe, a paper with a long history of anti-Catholicism, reasons that Cardinal O’Malley would be a good leader for the universal Church because,...

For Lent: Our Inability to Focus on What We Love by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Mar 6, 2013

People could look at my writing, nod wisely, and offer sound advice, like “Don’t quit your day job.” That’s apt, even in the present case, because most of my day is spent on the details of running CatholicCulture.org in a manner that actually keeps it afloat. Many...

The role of the press? by Chris Pelicano in "The City Gates" - Mar 7, 2013

The key issue for the coming conclave is transparency by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Mar 7, 2013

Something historic is happening in Rome this week. Not only preparations for the election of a new Roman Pontiff—although that would be historic in itself—but the clash between two incompatible visions of how the Catholic Church should present herself to the world. Yesterday the...

Perceptive commentary: Magister, Royal by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Mar 7, 2013

As a service to our readers, once again we call attention to some of the most interesting commentary that has appeared on other sites regarding the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the prospects for the March conclave. For our efforts to correct some of the less astute commentary, see our...

Vatican cardinals cancel press conference by Chris Pelicano in "The City Gates" - Mar 8, 2013

The Church: Like Us in All Things, But Without Sin by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 8, 2013

I love the Church so much, and in fact so intimately, that I can hardly express it. Many people seem to accept the Church as a sort of necessary evil, putting up with its hierarchical structure, its authority, its sacramental system, its Magisterial teachings, and so on, because they suppose,...

Easter: 2012-2013 Liturgical Year Series by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Mar 12, 2013

I’ve just released the fourth volume of our 2012-2013 Liturgical Year Series, which covers Easter. That season begins with the Easter Vigil on March 30th. Currently, of course, we’re in Lent, which is the third volume. These eBooks include all the days of the liturgical...

Perceptive commentary: Guenois, Lott, Thavis by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Mar 12, 2013

In the last days and hours before the opening of the conclave this afternoon, a few analysts added useful thoughts about what we should expect—and what we should not expect—during and after the papal election. For those who read French, Jean-Marie Guenois of Le Figaro offers...

This whole process is ridiculous by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Mar 12, 2013

The doors of the Sistine Chapel close, and Shephard Smith of Fox News tells the world that it’s “ridiculous” to have this sort of secret process in the Twitter era. Thanks for your opinion, Shep. We’ll let you know when we need more of your guidance. Oh, wait; here’s...

Pope Benedict on Prayer: The Complete Set by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 12, 2013

Readers of CatholicCulture.org will remember that over about an eighteen month period before the start of the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI had devoted many of his weekly general audiences to an extended catechesis on prayer. Earlier he had done similar series on great spiritual figures...

Three errors to avoid in media coverage of the conclave by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Mar 13, 2013

With over 5,500 accredited journalists on hand, the Vatican has undoubtedly reached an all-time high in media coverage. But more is not always better; uninformed commentators can do more harm than good. As the hours and perhaps even days pass without a glimpse of white smoke, the commentators will...

No restraint is needed? by Chris Pelicano in "The City Gates" - Mar 13, 2013

Who Is Pope Francis and how is the world responding? (rollup) by Peter Mirus in "The City Gates" - Mar 14, 2013

Catholics want to know: who is Pope Francis? What are his views and how will he be likely to govern the Church? This is a rollup of news and commentary on CatholicCulture.org that helps build a picture of our new pope, organized in reverse chronological  order. The parenthetical reference...

Habemus papam! by Chris Pelicano in "The City Gates" - Mar 14, 2013

A Book about the Pope I Won’t Read by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 14, 2013

Believe me, I understand two things that are at work right now. First, what people want to read about—including readers of CatholicCulture.org—is Pope Francis. But we are keeping you informed with regular news reports as his pontificate unfolds. What am I going to add to that? It will...

The early signs are clear. Pope Francis is a reformer. by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Mar 15, 2013

Question #1: Why did the conclave choose Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio? On Wednesday, as the conclave began its first full day of voting, I encouraged readers to “expect the unexpected.” Just a few hours later, when the white smoke rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, I...

When the future Pope spoke about sexual abuse... by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Mar 15, 2013

When a priest abuses children, the bishop said, “you must never look away.” The priest should be pulled from ministry and subject to prosecution. But should Catholic leaders worry about the potential damage to the Church’s reputation if a priest is exposed to public charges? Would it be better...

Hitler's Pope? The media thought otherwise at the time by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Mar 18, 2013

The complaints that then-Father Bergoglio once collaborated with a brutal Argentine military regime—complaints that were raised within minutes after his election as Pope Francis—are already collapsing for want of evidence. But don’t assume that the complaints will go away....

Perceptive commentary: O'Grady, Douthat, Bottum, Allen, Erlandson by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Mar 18, 2013

The election of Pope Francis produced an explosion of media commentary, and I cannot pretend that I have read more than a small portion of the editorials that appeared immediately after the historic choice of a Pontiff from the New World. But in the past few days a few commentaries have struck me...

Liberalism: Must we really make it all on our own? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Mar 19, 2013

When a serious Catholic talks about liberalism, he is not referring primarily to a political preference but to a philosophical outlook. For example, the Catholic is far more interested in whether the fundamental principles of liberalism conflict with a Christian worldview than in whether many...

Evangelical Catholicism: George Weigel’s Vision of Catholic Reform by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 20, 2013

George Weigel, whose biography of Pope John Paul II was brilliant, and whose analysis of Catholic affairs is always incisive, has a theory about the modern Church. Most of us would point to the Second Vatican Council as the starting point of a vast and difficult Catholic renewal, but Weigel argues...

A 'must' read on a horrifying topic by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Mar 20, 2013

Mark Steyn’s stinging commentary on the routinized killing at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic is a “must” read. As Steyn remarks, despite the appalling evidence that has come out during Gosnell's trial—including admissions of deliberate killing, and blood-curdling...

Matching Books to Readers, I: Monti’s A Sense of the Sacred by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Mar 21, 2013

Occasionally a truly fine book will come across my desk which deserves to be more widely known, meriting close and enthusiastic reading by a particular Catholic audience, but which simply does not cover a subject in which I have the requisite personal interest. Two perfect examples have...

Matching Books to Readers, II: Stroik’s The Church Building as a Sacred Place by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Mar 21, 2013

Duncan Stroik has, over the past several decades, led a crusade to restore a sense of the sacred to Church architecture, gradually forcing the Modernists into retreat and establishing a beachhead of spaces clearly set apart for God for the purpose of communicating the mysteries of Faith. A...

Our Lord’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem: Not for Me by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 25, 2013

Mass on Palm (or Passion) Sunday includes both a brief procession with palm branches and a lengthy reading of the narrative of Our Lord’s Passion. The two aspects are disproportionate. This year, I began wondering why so little emphasis is placed on Our Lord’s...

The Supreme Court - About to Play God Again? by Chris Pelicano in "The City Gates" - Mar 27, 2013

Spiritual Worldliness: Pope Francis’ Critique of the Church by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Mar 27, 2013

My use of “pope” in the title is a little misleading, because I am going to write about what Cardinal Bergoglio said of the needs of the Church in the congregations preceding the conclave at which he was elected. But amid all the speculation we have heard in recent days...

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