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Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from July 2011

Gay Marriage and the Next Gulag by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 5, 2011

In a Mexican case, Fr. Hugo Valdemar was found guilty on July 1st of illegal political activity because he stated that Catholics should not vote for candidates who support same-sex marriage. Fr. Valdemar’s defense is that he wasn’t speaking against a particular party but was merely...

Corapi: Why were warning signs ignored? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 5, 2011

Have we really learned so little, over the past decade, about how we should respond to charges of priestly misconduct?   The fact that so many good Catholics are willing to cling loyally to the belief that Father John Corapi is innocent of all wrongdoing, despite so many clear warning signs,...

Why Gay Marriage Is Straight Business by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 6, 2011

The most common complaint from drive-by shooters about my recent essay Gay Marriage and the Next Gulag is this: Letting gays marry doesn’t prevent me from living out my own vision of marriage, so why don’t I just leave other people alone? Here are ten good reasons...

Can a sinner become a saint? Yes. Why do you ask? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 7, 2011

Can someone who is a sinner become a saint? That, essentially, is the question that Stephen Prothero asks in a CNN blog post today. The question is remarkable--not because it is difficult, but because the answer is so obvious. No one who has even a passing acquaintance with Christian thought...

Clarifications on Sterile Marriages by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 8, 2011

My recent writings have caused some readers to raise two problems with respect to my arguments against homosexual unions. More than one person has written to question my emphasis on the procreation of children in marriage as the key to its special worth. And one seriously misguided correspondent...

Anti-Catholic Catholics by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 13, 2011

When Bill Keller of the New York Times reviewed a new book on the papacy by John Julius Norwich, William Donahue of the Catholic League was—to say the least-- unimpressed. “It’s hard to say who is dumber—Bill Keller or John Julius Norwich,”...

Bishop Richard Lennon's Visitation: Why? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 13, 2011

Parish closings are a contentious issue. But in the United States, especially in urban areas which once had thriving Catholic populations organized on ethnic lines, they are a problem which has arisen very frequently over the past generation. Still, it surprises me that Bishop Richard Lennon of...

So where's the controversy? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 15, 2011

Here's a hot tip on reading (or watching) the news: If a reporter claims that many people hold a certain opinion, but cannot cite any examples, be suspicious. If the newspaper story says that "some people believe" Proposition A, he should be able to quote someone who holds that belief,...

Beauty, Wonder, Love by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 15, 2011

I’m sitting on a screened porch perhaps fifty feet from the shore of Willsboro Bay, off of Lake Champlain in New York State. My wife’s parents have what New Yorkers call a “camp” here and, in the aftermath of her father’s death, we’ve come north with her mother...

Pastoral malpractice by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 15, 2011

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna plans to meet with a group of dissident priests , sometime in late August or September. Why is he waiting so long? When the Initiative of Parish Priests was launched in Austria in June, Cardinal Schönborn waited a few days before issuing a...

Warren H. Carroll, R.I.P. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 18, 2011

An old friend and mentor died yesterday, Warren H. Carroll, the founder of Christendom College, a four-year Catholic liberal arts college noted for its faithfulness to the Magisterium, located in Front Royal, Virginia. The College’s obituary provides an excellent survey...

Of weeds and wheat and the troubles of the Church in Ireland by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 18, 2011

At Mass yesterday, as I listened to the Gospel reading, my thoughts turned toward the embattled Catholic Church of Ireland. To be sure, the enemy has had some great success there recently, sowing weeds amidst the wheat. And it seems that leading politicians are ready to adopt the same approach...

Why the Irish government attacks the Catholic Church by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 22, 2011

Any Catholic American who lived through the Long Lent of 2002 can sympathize with the beleaguered Catholics of Ireland today. Especially for someone like myself—a native Bostonian, who saw the sex-abuse scandal erupt from a ground-zero perspective—the scenes that are playing out now in...

Ignatius and T. M. Doran: Toward the Gleam by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 22, 2011

If you follow Catholic fiction at all, you’ll be wondering about the recent novel published by Ignatius Press, T. M. Doran’s Toward the Gleam. The title is intriguing, even if you will never know why it was chosen. And though I personally found the book enjoyable, you may still be...

Balanced Commentary and the Irish Church by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 25, 2011

Today I received the following email: Why are the articles in this website so vitriolic against those who dare to speak out about the obscenities that have occurred in the Irish Catholic church? Defending the indefensible happened in Nazi Germany, in the Pol Pot regime and in other incidents of...

'the most appropriate time' by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 25, 2011

Last week Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, released an “unofficial response” to the Cloyne report. Readers who are not familiar with the curious workings of the Vatican’s public-relations machinery might pause to wonder how—and...

Christian Human Dignity by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 27, 2011

I explained in the last installment why it made perfect sense to look to Revelation to determine the nature of human dignity, and I also explained why Judaism and Christianity were the first two places one should look for Revelation. But since I have often also explained the grounds on which I...

Give me that Old Time Religion…to reduce crime by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 27, 2011

Sociologist Byron Johnson has marshaled conclusive evidence that Church attendance is associated with reduced crime and delinquency. Johnson, who is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University, summarized his findings in an article entitled “The Religious...

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