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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from July 2010

It is to Laugh… by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 1, 2010

Januário Torgal Ferreira is the bishop for the Armed Forces of Portugal. According to LifeSiteNews.com, the good bishop recently gave an interview in which he opined the following: On same-sex marriage: “I do not agree with the notion of marriage. I do agree with and accept a...

Thoughts for a wedding on Independence Day by Phil Lawler in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 2, 2010

Last year the 4th of July was a very special day for the Lawler family: not only Independence Day, but also the day when our daughter, Mary Rosaleen (“Rosie”) was united in marriage to Lt. Philip Turner, USMC. I cannot adequately describe the beauty of the ceremony: a Solemn High Mass in the...

a kinder, gentler Ian Paisley by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 2, 2010

Rev. Ian Paisley, that implacable foe of Catholic influence in Northern Ireland, has announced that it was a mistake to invite Pope Benedict XVI to visit Great Britain. OK, that’s not really news. You didn’t expect to find Paisley on the welcoming committee, did you? But notice the...

Through the Eyes of a Child by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 2, 2010

I’ve been reflecting on how all of us, no matter how small our troubles, tend to be preoccupied with our troubles. We may know that there are many people who are starving or terminally ill, but it doesn’t keep us from grumping about our colds or stressing over the $15 too much we spent...

Another vicious, inaccurate, and contradictory New York Times attack on Pope Benedict by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 2, 2010

Today’s New York Times, with another front-page attack on Pope Benedict XVI, erases any possible doubt that America’s most influential newspaper has declared an editorial jihad against this pontificate. Abandoning any sense of editorial balance, journalistic integrity, or even...

The Mirror Test and the Case against Christianity by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 5, 2010

Totalitarianism arises from a deep-seated desire to make the world perfect. As such, it invariably mobilizes against the messiness of human affairs, and in particular against any power which suggests that society is healthier when it flowers, wildly and profusely, from deeply-rooted principles. By...

win-win by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 6, 2010

Still struggling to pay the bills, the Boston archdiocese has announced that all parishes will be expected to send 18% of their revenue to the chancery. That will shift some of the fundraising burden to individual pastors, but the archdiocesan staff is ready to help. Or at least to tell the...

Being Married to Your Customers, Revisited by Peter Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jul 6, 2010

This past April I wrote an article on CatholicCulture.org comparing customer relationship management to personal relationship management—in particularly, to marriage. This article was significantly lengthened for publication in The New James both in print and online, where I am now a...

The Danger, and the Challenge, of Daily Catholic News by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 6, 2010

One wonders whether one should read Catholic World News while on vacation. Consider yesterday’s headlines: “Belgian police confirm death threats in sex-abuse investigation”, “Melbourne archbishop issues apology, says 60 priests abused children”, “Muslim...

paperback writer by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 6, 2010

 My publisher, Encounter Books, has just informed me that the first paperback copies of The Faithful Departed have arrived at their New York offices. I'll have my copies within a couple of days. And you can have yours well ahead of the scheduled August 3 publication date. 

'Come on in; the water’s freezing!' by Phil Lawler in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 6, 2010

A friend recently told me about a very prominent individual who has begun taking instruction in the Catholic faith. He apparently wants to do this quietly, and I’ll honor his wishes by not revealing his identity. If he continues down the path to Rome, the story will become public soon enough....

a new state record? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 6, 2010

The pastor of a Catholic church in Connecticut has been charged with siphoning off parish funds to spend cavorting with his homosexual partners. What? What’s that? You say you’re experiencing a bit of déjà vu? Quite understandable. But no, we’re not talking about...

happy birthday, Uncle Teddy by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 7, 2010

Cardinal Ted McCarrick turns 80 today, and cannot participate in a future papal election.  No comment necessary. Just sit back, relax, take a deep breath, and read the above sentence again....

Tough competition in the media-bias department by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 7, 2010

A German rag, Der Spiegel has produced a story that rivals the coverage of the New York Times in its flagrant bias against Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church.  The headline provides sets the tone: Pope Benedict XVI Lashes Out at Secular Justice. You get the message: the Pope is opposed to...

How do you 'conform' to a mystery? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 8, 2010

So it seems Dr. Jeffrey John will not become an Anglican bishop after all. While conservatives in the Church of England are relieved that they will not have their first avowedly homosexual bishop, Dr. John's supporters are understandably disappointed.  The case is admittedly a confusing...

Advance warning: inaccurate news reports coming soon by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 8, 2010

Be prepared. Sometime in the next few days the Vatican is expected to release new norms for the handling of sex-abuse complaints. Dozens of news reports will undoubtedly follow, saying that the Vatican has changed policies in response to public pressure. Those reports will be wrong. The norms...

Even post-Dallas, US bishops' abuse policy is no model for emulation by Phil Lawler in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 8, 2010

As recently as 2002, the Catholic bishops of the US were reviled in the mass media for their abysmal response to the sex-abuse crisis. But in the past few months the mass media have set their sights on the Vatican, advancing the argument that Rome bears primary responsibility for the scandal....

like mandates without a shepherd by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 9, 2010

The New York Times is unhappy with Pope Benedict. (No, really; I'm serious. What: you're not surprised?) Having spent the past several weeks pushing biased and misleading stories to suggest that Pope Benedict has blocked action against sexual abuse, the Times now concludes that the...

a temporary goodbye by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 9, 2010

When I close down the office this evening, I'm going to begin doing something that I haven't done yet in this century: taking a complete break from Catholic news coverage. For the next two weeks, my wife Leila and I, accompanied by daughter Bridget, will be taking a long-overdue vacation in...

Is Academic Freedom Merely Academic? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 12, 2010

Earlier this Summer, Kenneth Howell was fired from his teaching position at the University of Illinois because, in comparing utilitarian theory with natural law theory, he taught his class that the natural law requires that sexual relations take place between those who are...

Goals, Goals, and More Goals by Peter Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jul 13, 2010

One of the proven tenets of life: establish goals for yourself and you are more likely to be successful. However, many people set goals and then come up way short (including myself, from time to time). Goals have to be realistic, and you have to learn how to accomplish them. Someday, I would...

Let Priests Be Priests by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 13, 2010

We're re-posting some of Phil Lawler's most relevant past entries while he's on vacation. Here's his take on the business of bishops, from June 19, 2009: Yesterday we carried a news story about the statement by COMECE-- the umbrella group representing episcopal conferences of the...

A Culture in Denial Cannot Be Healed by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 13, 2010

The rejection of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in U.S. District Court on July 8th signals the same flight from reality that led to the firing of two pro-marriage university professors earlier this Summer (see Is Academic Freedom Merely Academic?). Bishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, chairman...

the solipsist's catechism by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 14, 2010

 "Nobody gets to tell me that I'm not a Catholic,” writes Charles Pierce in an essay for the Sunday Boston Globe magazine. The lengthy piece is entitled “What I Believe,” and for most readers, no doubt, questions about...

Vatican II on Christian Education by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 14, 2010

The Second Vatican Council’s ninth document was the Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis), issued on October 25, 1965. It is one of the shorter documents of the Council, but even though it attempts to comment briefly on each aspect of education of interest to the...

the least common denomination by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 15, 2010

CHICAGO (AP)— The YMCA is now known officially as just “the Y.” The Chicago-based U.S. nonprofit announced Monday that it is changing both its logo and name to “the Y,” marking its first branding change in 43 years. The switch comes after more than two years of...

Remedial public relations for Vatican officials by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 15, 2010

Even from my vacation perch here on the Dingle peninsula, in the lovely home of lovely friends far from the reach of the mass media, I quickly heard about the Vatican’s release of new norms for the handling of grave ecclesiastical crimes. This should be a “feel good”...

Listen to Your Body! by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 15, 2010

A great deal of what is morally wrong with modern culture, as well as the lion’s share of the personal unhappiness it engenders, is caused by a philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person. Beginning with Descartes, developed by Kant, and taken up by such theologians as...

A Noteworthy Newman Conference in Pittsburgh in August by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 15, 2010

The National Institute for Newman Studies will host the 2010 conference of the Newman Association of America in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania August 5 - 7, 2010. The theme of the conference is “A Reflection on the Life, Work and Spirituality of John Henry Newman in Celebration of His...

The Rosary Challenge by Peter Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jul 15, 2010

In this column I have probably written a great deal about keeping a good life balance. There's always more to be said on the subject. This week I want to focus on prayer. I have long maintained that prayer, exercise, and sleep are the three most important contributions that one can make...

Virtue: A Democratic Problem by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 16, 2010

Those who have ever taken a political science course which was not merely an exercise in advocacy may remember considering the strengths and weaknesses of various forms of government. Monarchy had its corruption in tyranny, oligarchy in plutocracy, and democracy in mob rule. For many centuries,...

Active Participation by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 19, 2010

The June issue of the Adoremus Bulletin carried an instructive interview with Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cardinal Cañizares commented on several aspects of the liturgy and the new...

The pathology of sin by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 19, 2010

We're re-posting some of Phil Lawler's most relevant past entries while he's on vacation. Here are his reflections on what happens to those—abusers perhaps?—who wall off compartments for particular sins in their souls, from October 29, 2008: Recently a man I know-- let's...

How to Pray About Business Concerns by Peter Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jul 19, 2010

As a business owner and CEO, I often find myself bringing my business concerns and ambitions to the Lord. I'm in need of so many things: light, inspiration, courage, self-discipline, empathy, etc. All people need to pray well, and that includes those in business. Those who have read me for a...

Vatican II on Non-Christian Religions by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 20, 2010

By far the shortest document issued by the Second Vatican Council was the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate). The text runs to only about 1,600 words in English, or less than twice the length of this summary. Clearly, then, the Council Fathers did...

packing in the pews by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 21, 2010

The Catholic bishops of Louisiana have decided that although citizens would be allowed by proposed new state law to carry concealed handguns, they would not be allowed to carry those weapons in Catholic churches. This means: A pious Catholic who is lawfully carrying a pistol as he goes...

Apres Pelosi, le déluge by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 21, 2010

While Phil's on vacation, we're reprinting some of his most telling older pieces. In this post from January 28, 2009, he nailed a critical flaw in the current U.S. government's approach to socio-economic health, and did so in under 100 words. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has revived the...

When Bishops Look Too Often to the State by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 22, 2010

I was somewhat surprised by the bitterness of most of the Sound Off! comments on the U.S. bishops’ recent request to extend unemployment benefits. It’s clear that many Catholics are out of patience with the continuous lobbying of the American bishops for their preferred socio-economic objectives....

Making the Move by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 22, 2010

I’m moving on Monday, out of the countryside, and into town. It’s time, and the transition marks not only a personal step but another step in the history of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. Twenty-five years ago, in the year when our non-profit Trinity Communications...

The issue that won't go away by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 23, 2010

Reprinting some of Phil's best pieces while he's on vacation leads us to this commentary on pro-abortion "Catholic" Joe Biden's presence on the Obama ticket, from August 23, 2008. With another pro-abortion Catholic on the Democratic national ticket, we can be quite sure that the issue...

The Catholic Publicity Paradise by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 23, 2010

The Catholic Church should be a rallying point for all who oppose the culture of death. The press is on our side in this. All it takes to get incredibly widespread publicity is for bishops and priests to speak out forcefully against the prevailing culture and, for even better coverage, to...

back in action by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 26, 2010

After two terrific weeks in Ireland, I'm back in action, rested and ready. This really was my first complete break from news coverage in more than a decade. I'm grateful to the CWN news team for keeping the site running in my absence. The respite was a tonic for me-- as was the beautiful scenery...

When bishops denounce bishops: the limits of episcopal courtesy by Phil Lawler in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 26, 2010

Catholic bishops are extremely reluctant to engage in public criticism of other Catholic bishops. They are many good reasons for their reluctance. But there are times, I suggest, when they must overcome it, for the good of the Church. Bishops may disagree about fine points of doctrine and...

The Business of Happiness by Peter Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jul 26, 2010

I just finished reading The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Work and Life by Ted Leonsis (with John Buckley). Leonsis is a former America Online (AOL) owner/executive and current owner of both the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards. I was eager to read this...

ah, dialogue by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 28, 2010

Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, who writes nonsense about Catholicism on a regular basis for the Washington Post’s religion blog, has furrowed his brow and offered his thoughts on the Tea Party movement. Although he thinks the Tea Party is tainted by racism (not liking Obama) and violence (NRA...

two scandals, one theme by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 28, 2010

Newsweek has jumped all over a report by Italian journalist Carmelo Abbate, whose undercover reporting produced a sensational story about the homosexual dalliances of Catholic priests in Rome. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Pope’s vicar for the Rome diocese, responded to the story by...

full disclosure by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 28, 2010

An Episcopalian bishop in Pennsylvania has disclosed that his predecessor was charged with multiple instances of sexual abuse, and asked any other victims of the former bishop (now deceased) should come forward. With this open and honest approach, Dr. Sean Rowe has taken a cue from the American...

The 11-minute Mass and the Book of Kells by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 30, 2010

During our vacation stay in Ireland, Leila and I took a short walk to the local parish church on a Saturday morning to attend Mass. The experience was a revelation. The priest said all the prayers at such a breakneck speed that I could not make out the individual words. The congregation matched...

after Anne Rice by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Jul 30, 2010

The author of Interview with the Vampire has announced that she is no longer a Christian. Her departure from the ranks of the faithful leaves Dante and Shakespeare to battle it out for the title of the greatest Christian author in...

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