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All Catholic commentary from June 2017

The YOUCAT Bible: A Fresh Overview of the Word of God by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jun 1, 2017

The YOUCAT Foundation has published another outstanding reference for Catholic young people. Having released question-and-answer versions of both the Catechism (2011) and Catholic social teaching (2016), the Foundation has now issued what it calls the “youth Bible of the Catholic...

How conservative ideas are censored, and how to break that barrier by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jun 2, 2017

Back in the 1980s, a young staff member at a Christian public-interest group in Washington created a bit of a sensation during a television appearance. I’m sorry that I don’t recall the details—the names and the places—but the general outline of the incident remains clear...

Don’t worry: The Black Pope is just a symbol of the zeitgeist. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 2, 2017

I have added the head of the Society of Jesus to my list of alleged persons who cannot possibly be real. It was not enough that Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal insisted in February that we must discern the meaning of Christ’s teachings for ourselves, and that the Holy Spirit might lead us to an...

Called and gifted for glory: An unlikely lesson from Exodus? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 5, 2017

When we read Scripture repeatedly, we almost always find something spiritually significant that we had not noticed before. The Holy Spirit enlightens us in different ways at different times. Over the past few days I’ve had this experience with the Book of Exodus. The first thing I noticed...

Quick Hits: Coming to Cardinal Pell’s defense, Still waiting for Vatican reform by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 7, 2017

Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, is suffering through an extended trial-by-media in his native Australia, and a few fair-minded observers recognize that the process has become grotesque. Amanda Vanstone—who has quarreled with the...

One year later: still waiting for the Vatican policy on negligent bishops by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jun 8, 2017

The short piece that appears below was originally posted on this site one year ago: on June 6, 2016. The references are now dated (when I refer to “last June,” for instance, it’s now the June before last; and the motu proprio now more than year old), but the logic still holds....

The (not so) secret formula for attracting men to the priesthood by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 9, 2017

Are you surprised by today’s report that 69% of the American men being ordained to the priesthood this year had made a habit of praying the Rosary before entering the seminary? Or are you, like me, surprised that apparently 31% had not? For any Catholic with a devotion to Our Lady, the...

The Catch-22 of Christian witness by those who are same-sex attracted by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jun 9, 2017

We ought not to kid ourselves about the difficulties same-sex attracted people face in bearing witness to the positive ways they have found to deal with their temptations, including the help they have received from their Lord and Savior and His Church. This issue is coming to the fore as Catholic...

Quick Hits: Biochemistry of sex, native martyrs, music & film by Thomas V. Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jun 9, 2017

There is so much we don’t know about our own bodies, and none of it gets taught in sex ed. For example: A man gets vasopressin, a bonding hormone, when he has sex with a woman. This is not up to him; whether he thinks it is no-strings sex or not, he is now hormonally bonded to that...

Summer or Pentecost Ember Days by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Jun 9, 2017

The Wednesday following Pentecost traditionally begins the Summer or Pentecost Ember Days. I have written several posts on Ember Days (links at the end of this post) but never touched on the Ember Days following Pentecost, hence yet another post on Ember Days. I’m in the midst of packing for...

A request to the priest-homilist by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 12, 2017

If you find yourself using the phrase “in a very special way” during your homily, please stop and ask yourself whether it might be better to explain what’s so “special,” and why. If you find yourself saying “in a very special way” twice during your...

The persistent influence of Cardinal Sodano by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 12, 2017

At the ripe old age of 94, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray—the 3rd-oldest living cardinal—has finally been replaced as vice-dean of the College of Cardinals. But Cardinal Angelo Sodano, whose own 90th birthday is coming in November, continues in his role as dean. The vice-dean of the...

No, not every lifestyle is sinful by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 14, 2017

“Pretty much everyone’s lifestyle is sinful,” Father James Martin told the New York Times. That statement is outrageous. In a sane world, Father Martin’s Jesuit superiors would order him to apologize. We are all sinners; we are all sinful. But we are not all engaged...

Quick Hits: Lay involvement in choosing bishop? Assisted suicide vs. manslaughter; A political prediction by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 16, 2017

As a chaotic week (for me, at least) comes to a close, forgive me if my thoughts are a bit disconnected. But: The word from Rome is that Pope Francis wants lay Catholics to be involved in the process of choosing new bishops. But which lay Catholics would be invited to take part in the...

The Vatican auditor resigns—another crushing blow for financial reform by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 20, 2017

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to follow the sequence of events leading up to the resignation of the Vatican’s auditor general Libero Milone. In May, Milone and Cardinal George Pell co-signed a letter to Vatican officials, telling them that they need not comply with a directive from the...

The Reason for Human Reason by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Jun 21, 2017

There is no contradiction between faith and reason, faith and science. Both share the same Author. Without contradiction, faith grasps truths that are beyond the reach of science. There can be no earthly scientific proof of the Resurrection of Jesus, for example, just as there can be no...

A papal commission reconsidering Humanae Vitae? No, but... by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 23, 2017

The good news is that, contrary to a widespread rumor, Pope Francis has not ordered a commission to reconsider the teaching of Humanae Vitae in the light of Amoris Laetitia. The bad news is that the commission exists. Call it a “study group” if you prefer, but there is a scholarly...

The problem with doctrinal obscurity by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jun 28, 2017

The most important thing I read while on vacation this month was Phil Lawler’s June 23rd commentary, “A papal commission reconsidering Humanae Vitae? No, but...”. This is not because Phil proved anything, but because he raised exactly the right question: What is going on, under...

Bishop Paprocki and his critics: someone here is unhinged by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 28, 2017

Liberal Catholics are badly rattled by Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s decree that Catholics engaged in same-sex marriage cannot receive the sacraments in his Springfield diocese. So badly rattled, in fact, that… The excitable Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter argues...

At last Cardinal Pell can—sort of—face his accusers by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 29, 2017

If you’re surprised by the criminal charges against Cardinal George Pell, you haven’t been paying attention. For two years now the Australian cardinal has been the primary focus of an aggressive media campaign, with rumors about a police investigation constantly leaking into the...

The state-imposed death of Charlie Gard: not just a tragedy but an injustice by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jun 30, 2017

Charlie Gard is going to die. His death will be a tragedy, like the death of any young child. He and his parents deserve our prayerful sympathy. But there’s more to this story, and it’s doubly tragic that neither the bishops’ conference of England and Wales nor the Pontifical...

Quick Hits: Four fallacies that tempt Catholic leaders by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jun 30, 2017

The interchangeability fallacy: As an addendum to Wednesday’s commentary (The problem with doctrinal obscurity), allow me to notice that those who tend to favor a very loose approach to Catholic teaching on faith and morals typically place a great deal of weight on what they regard as...