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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from June 2011

Worst Story of the Month Award: an early nomination by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jun 1, 2011

It’s awfully early to be making nominations for the Worst Reporting of the Month, but still… Frankly, I had never heard of the International Business Times until today. A quick sampling of its contents leaves me wondering whether it can be considered a serious publication—and...

The Choice for or against God by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 1, 2011

In the introductory essay in this series, I explained that many of our contemporaries tend to define human dignity in terms of autonomy and productivity. I said this is because they believe that what is most unique about the human person is the ability to reflect on, overcome and...

Converging Lines of Thought by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 2, 2011

I have mentioned that Peter Augustine Lawler’s Modern and American Dignity triggered several profitable lines of thought as I read it, some of which I have already incorporated into my ownn developing series of explorations of human dignity. Lawler’s study excels at introducing...

The Hammer and the Nail by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 3, 2011

I suggested previously that one of the great problems we face in understanding human dignity is that “by the materialistic, empirical or purely scientific account, both our self-understanding and our freedom are illusions.” These terms require some explanation, and the explanation will...

Federal Rulings Against Catholic Colleges Raise Hard Truths by Patrick Reilly in "In Depth Analysis" - Jun 3, 2011

After years of urging from the Vatican and the bishops to renew Catholic identity in Catholic higher education, it seems the U.S. government is forcing the issue. The lesson? A college or university can’t be Catholic and secular at the same time. Too bad we need the secularists to drive...

Paradox: New Conciliatory Tone May Signal Reform by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 6, 2011

The new Prefect and Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Archbishop João Bráz de Aviz and Archbishop Joseph Tobin, are said to be taking a more conciliatory tone with religious communities experiencing problems. I’d...

Interpreting the News: Adoption, Sex Abuse, Liturgy by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 8, 2011

We come to the news with our own personal and cultural predispositions which, on no few occasions, cause us to miss what the news really signifies. I mentioned in yesterday’s Insights message that I thought three of Tuesday’s stories called for further interpretive comment. Here, in a...

Hiding from Truth: Denying What We Can’t Not Know by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jun 9, 2011

In the second installment in this series on human dignity I asserted that “anyone who advances a particular understanding of the nature of man, the nature of intellect, the nature of will, or the nature of purpose and meaning, must decide, before he advances this understanding, whether or not he...

How the Boston archdiocese helped bring contraception to Massachusetts by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jun 10, 2011

In 1966, Massachusetts became the last state in the US to legalize the sale of contraceptives. When the state legislative voted to repeal the law prohibiting their sale, the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts celebrated—and said that the victory was due to the cooperation of the...

Roman Catholic Womenpriests and their journalistic cheerleaders by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jun 13, 2011

This is getting to be a very old story: When the secular media cover events in which women claim ordination as Catholic priests, reporters abandon all ordinary journalistic standards. A story posted June 12 on the NPR site, about a ceremony in Maryland, offers a fairly spectacular example. The...

For Those Called to Marriage by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 20, 2011

A recent study shows that the percentage of Catholics who choose to marry in Church has declined dramatically over the past generation. Of course this is nothing that we did not already know. But having just returned from a very welcome week’s vacation—a week during which I was not...

Meaning is the Key by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 22, 2011

I’ve said a good deal in this series about how the deck is stacked against us in considering human dignity not only by our own propensity to hide from what we really know, but by the very way in which our secularized culture structures knowledge. But this negative assessment would be useless...

The Natural Law by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 23, 2011

In discussing human dignity, I’ve had occasion to refer to “what we can’t not know.” The discussion has brought us to the doorstep of the supernatural, most of which we really cannot know unless God chooses to reveal it to us. But before we pass through that door, it makes...

Devil’s Advocate: A Second Look at Recent News by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 24, 2011

Without being remotely able to steal Phil Lawler’s thunder as our prime interpreter of Catholic news (there is a reason, after all, his blog is called On the News), my “don’t look now, but” comments on several news stories two weeks ago stimulated quite a bit of...

The Green Pope’s Dilemma by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jun 27, 2011

Criticism tends to run high on CatholicCulture.org whenever bishops speak out on environmental issues, though it is generally more muted when it comes to the statements of the Pope. It seems to me that there are two legitimate reasons for this concern. But as we’ll see, these reasons do not get...

Looking for Revelation by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 28, 2011

If there were a God and this God were to choose to reveal Himself and His plan for man, then it would be much easier to discern the nature of human dignity, to understand what makes the human person special, and what ends the human person must pursue to reach the sort of perfection his...

Is Pope Benedict pointing toward his chosen successor? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jun 28, 2011

If your local news outlets carry a story from the Vatican today, chances are good that it will be a human-interest story: an item about the Vatican’s embrace of the new communications technologies. Today Pope Benedict became the first Roman Pontiff ever to “tweet.” And in doing...

The Church in China needs heroes. The heroes in China need prayers. by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jun 29, 2011

Several times during his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has issued a special call for prayers for the Church in China. A quick look at today’s top CWN headline should help readers understand the Holy Father’s pleas. Just to refresh your memory: In May,  a petition for the...

Indifference to Evangelization, Rebuked by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jun 30, 2011

Not long ago I noticed some spam-like emails circulating from a certain Feeneyite source (to which I do not wish to give any publicity whatsoever), in which I was gratuitously denounced once again for my assertion that people can be saved without explicitly embracing Jesus Christ and His Church....

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