Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,755 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Commentary Archive

All Catholic commentary from August 2006

riverboat gamblers by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 1, 2006

Some people think you're a Catholic priest. Others say you're not even a Catholic, let alone a member of the clergy. Some people think you can confect the Eucharist. Others warn that you cannot receive the Eucharist. Do you sense a bit of a problem here? To give credit where it's due,...

to be discounted only after mature reflection by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 1, 2006

"The committed Catholic cannot be satisfied that his conscience is properly formed and informed simply by pledging adherence to Vatican declarations," Fr Brennan said. "Authoritative church teaching is a privileged guide to be discounted only after mature reflection and prayerful...

Plan B by Leila in "Off the Record" - Aug 1, 2006

Today’s New York Times article on the FDA move to endorse the sale of the “morning after” pill (also known as Plan B) is interesting for what it doesn’t say, and for what it says. First, nowhere in this two-page piece is the health of women mentioned in any other than the most politically...

Rating the Web: What Do You Think? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 1, 2006

I’ve been reflecting a good deal lately on our website rating system. As you know, CatholicCulture.org rates sites based on fidelity to the mind of the Church, depth of resources, and usability. We began doing website reviews as a means of acquainting users with Catholic resources outside of our...

Mel Gibson's real problem by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 2, 2006

In a lead editorial today the Boston Globe fastens one particular phrase in Mel Gibson's apology for his anti-Semitic tirade. The actor says: "I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display..." And the Globe is ready with an answer. Bigotry,...

Darwinian religion by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 3, 2006

Read the front-page story in today's New York Times, and you'll have no trouble discerning which side of the Kansas educational battle represents "the good guys." The Times account is distinctly unsympathetic to the "conservatives," who are opposed, of course, by the lib... wait, check that, by...

scheduling conflict by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 3, 2006

A Google news-headline search yields a surprising result today: Pope retires from international soccer Easy to understand his decision. He's not getting any younger, and the new job does keep him...

maintaining ritual purity by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 4, 2006

You shouldn't rob banks. But if you really need some extra cash, and you can find someone else to point the gun at the teller, well then that's a completely different story. Right? Wrong. If an act is intrinsically wrong, it's wrong for everyone. The Vatican teaches that arranging for...

missed opportunity by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 4, 2006

The priest is openly gay. His bishop is "very disappointed." No, no, no. The bishop isn't disappointed because the priest identified himself as homosexual, or because the priest criticizes Church teaching. That's not the problem. Don't be silly. The problem is that Father Fred Daley wanted...

Fleecing the Catholic Church by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Aug 4, 2006

Remember when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries of England to fill the royal coffers? It seems like only yesterday that lawyers and judges were conspiring to find ways to treat the Church differently from all other institutions in an effort to get rich. Oh wait, it was only yesterday. And...

sacrament by sentiment? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 7, 2006

Fr. Alberto Bonandi, a priest of the Diocese of Mantua, has proposed that divorced and remarried Catholics can be admitted to Communion even if they are not "living as brother and sister." His reasoning was subjected to some well-earned battery at the First Things blog. Jesuit theologian Fr....

on rounding up to two by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 7, 2006

Re-reading J. Budziszewski's excellent essay in the July 2005 Touchstone, I knocked up against the following line: Sociologists Sara S. McLanahan and Gary Sandefur remark in their book Growing Up with a Single Parent that "if we were asked to design a system for making sure that children's...

nomenclature by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 7, 2006

Suppose tomorrow I show up at the offices of the Philadelphia Inquirer, carrying a baseball glove and bat, and introduce myself as the shortstop for the Phillies. How much ink do you think I'll get in the next day's paper? Zero, you say? That's exactly right. Yet readers today saw the...

Walter Mitty, call the rectory by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 8, 2006

Kathy Sullivan Vandenberg, who thinks she's a priest, also thinks she's an expert in ecclesiology. Threatened with excommunication by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, she explains matters to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Of official efforts to sever her ties to the church. Vandenberg said:...

saturation effects by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 9, 2006

More astonishing news from the heavy thinkers at the Rand Corporation: Teens start having sex sooner if their preferred music has sexually degrading lyrics, a small study of young teenagers suggests. Gosh; now who ever would have thought of that? Fashionable liberals rail against...

The Ratings Resolution by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 9, 2006

A couple of weeks ago in this space I asked for feedback about our web site reviews and the way we present that information, including the ratings system. I very much appreciate the many users who wrote in to share their ideas. We considered this feedback extensively, along with our own internal...

the lack of suspense is killing us by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 10, 2006

"The element of surprise may be missing," the Catholic Theological Society of America admits, from the announcement naming Sister Sandra Schneiders as the recipient of this year's John Courtney Murray award. True, it's no surprise that the CTSA would honor a woman known for "feminist...

Spiritual Self-Reliance: The Enemy Within by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Aug 11, 2006

I inadvertently switched parishes when I moved into my last home, but I didn’t know it. When I found out, my kids were already in the old parish school, and the pastor of the new parish was less than orthodox. Wanting both the reduced tuition and the better preaching, I obtained official...

unfortunate cultural vaccinations by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 11, 2006

Milwaukee auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba wants you to know that he's horrified by television footage of Mideast carnage -- and by road rage as well. Not content with the standard explanations, however, he burrows beneath the surface to probe the root causes of our destructive impulses. When...

safety first by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 14, 2006

Having sampled the editorial wisdom of London's Daily Telegraph, I've decided to give the Pope the benefit of my wisdom, too. In his next encyclical, the Pontiff should instruct Mafia button-men to purchase Kevlar vests for the members of rival gangs. I'm told that some hard-line cardinals...

papal grand strategy: an insight by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 14, 2006

Veteran Vaticanologist Vittorio Messori, who collaborated with the future Benedict XVI to produce The Ratzinger Report, now sees an important hint about papal strategy encoded in a seemingly bland statement by the incoming Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. If Messori is right-- and...

Don't blame me by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 15, 2006

Gerard Ridsdale, a defrocked priest of Australia's Ballarat diocese, has been sentenced to 4 years in jail for molesting 10 boys. Ridsdale was already serving an 18-year sentence, having previously been convicted on 46 other sex-abuse charges. Sentencing Judge Bill White was understandably...

kindly disregard the gospel (the homilist regrets the clarity) by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 15, 2006

"The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world," says Jesus in last Sunday's Gospel (John 6:41-51), but Andrew Greeley, PhD, isn't so easily taken in. He doesn't want you to be, either: One must not take this passage as a description of an actual dialogue between Jesus and...

condomolatry again by Peter Mirus in "Off the Record" - Aug 16, 2006

This from Maggie Fox, Reuters health and science correspondent: That said, [President] Clinton joined the majority of experts who say abstinence-only programs do not work. Better, he said, are programs that include abstinence counseling as part of a range of options. Other experts have noted...

Kissling's latest brainstorm by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 18, 2006

Frances Kissling, of the laughably named group "Catholics" for a Free Choice, has put on the full-court press once again. Capitalizing on the international AIDS conference being held in Toronto this week, she is promoting a cause called Condoms for Life. Like most Kissling initiatives,...

missing Persons by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 21, 2006

Eileen McCafferty DiFranco, the would-be priestess from Philadelphia, pretended to celebrate Mass again this weekend. There were just 35 people in the Sunday congregation, while real Catholic parishes nearby drew thousands. But where do you suppose the TV cameras were? Right. One enthusiastic...

and speaking of intelligent designs... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 21, 2006

... by the time Pope Benedict holds his September seminar on Creation and evolution, we're no longer likely to be reading press accounts about how the directory of the Vatican Observatory questions the wisdom of the Pope's most prominent former theology student, and

Stem Cell Research: A Lesson for Our Time by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Aug 22, 2006

The most hotly debated bioethical issue for the past five years has been the acquisition of stem cells. These cells can transform into a wide variety of human cell types, and so can be used to cure disease. For this reason, a large sector of the medical research community has insisted on the need...

Bernard of Clairvaux and the Active Life by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 22, 2006

When Pope Benedict XVI warned us against excess activism during his audience last Sunday, he used the saint of the day, Bernard of Clairvaux, as his example. Bernard, who was one of the most active men of his time, had the secret to success. He remained always rooted in prayer. St. Bernard...

best seller by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 23, 2006

Thank goodness! When you look at the moral challenges facing lay people in today's world, you can't help but think that it's high time for the Vatican to remind us of the value of competition in a good honest old-fashioned weightlifting team spirit give it your best shot nobody can ask more...

getting tougher? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 24, 2006

Ed Peters, a canon lawyer whose blog offers sound perspectives on the more interesting developments in that field, thinks that he might see a trend: Maybe it's just me, but I sense today a rather different mood among American bishops facing outlandish behavior by their clergy; problem-priest...

the full range of opinions, from A to B by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 24, 2006

If you look at the Voice of the Faithful home page you'll see the standard disclaimers: We accept the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. We have taken no position on the many other issues that divide Catholics in 2002. We do not advocate the end of priestly celibacy, the exclusion of...

when the other shoe drops by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 25, 2006

There's a funny sequence of events this year in the Cleveland diocese: In January, Bishop Anthony Pilla announced that he had asked the Vatican to accept his resignation. That seemed odd, since at the time he a couple of years short of canonical retirement age. Bishop Pilla ducked questions...

Big Tent, phase II? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 25, 2006

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is supporting Senator Joe Lieberman for re-election, although Lieberman is a Democrat (who, admittedly, lost his state's Democratic primary) running against a Republican challenger. Why? Because GOP national leaders think the Republican candidate...

censorship, anyone? by Peter Mirus in "Off the Record" - Aug 25, 2006

I don't like the idea of Big Brother looking over my shoulder to see what I'm doing. And in this day and age, governments all over the world (including the United States) have an increased interest in online snooping. I don't mind the government digitally looking over the shoulders of online...

and speaking of ethical problems with stem-cell research,... by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 26, 2006

... it turns out that the scientists at Advanced Cell Technology have some explaining to do, about issues other than the morality of the research itself. In the article published in Nature magazine, ACT explained that stem cells could be harvested from human embryos without destroying the...

institutional integrity upheld by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 28, 2006

Fact: Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has issued a clear directive: Catholic agencies should not be involved in the adoption of children by homosexual couples. Fact: In San Francisco-- a place with which Cardinal Levada is reasonably...

The Inquisition by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 29, 2006

Georgetown University has booted a group of Evangelical Protestant ministers off campus. Because they refused to accept the authority of the Pope? Guess again. On the First Things blog, Jody Bottum tells the full story, and even provides a neat summary: The problem, of course, finally...

money trails by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 29, 2006

In New Jersey there are rumors that Newark's Archbishop John Myers is the leading candidate to head the Detroit archdiocese, which traditionally brings a red hat. The archbishop's spokesman says that the rumors are coming from Detroit, but what we hear comes from Newark, and the chatty Rocco...

Catholicism and Buddhism: Compatible Beliefs? by Peter Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Aug 29, 2006

Buddhism was introduced to the United States near the beginning of the 20th century, but over the past 30 years or so, Buddhism has crept into our cultural consciousness. For some it is known as having been co-opted into a marketing campaign (such as to promote the Zen Micro MP3 player), for...

he never said it by Phil Lawler in "Off the Record" - Aug 31, 2006

When is the news not news? Yesterday we saw, floating around the internet, a report that a Colombian cardinal had announced the excommunication of everyone involved in Colombia's first legal abortion: a procedure performed, with the approval of the nation's highest court, on an 11-year-old girl...

not your usual bishop by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 31, 2006

The newly appointed Bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has an interesting background. Bishop-elect Paul Swain was raised as a Methodist and trained as a lawyer. He came into the Catholic Church while serving as counsel to the Governor of Wisconsin, then left that job to enter the seminary....

take five by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 31, 2006

The USCCB has promulgated the fifth edition of its Program for Priestly Formation, duly approved on a five year basis by the Holy See and prefaced by a statement from the CMSM in conventional 1980s Microspeak ("quality training and education for the ordained ministry..."). We meet therein...

what if we gave a pentecost and nobody came? by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 31, 2006

"If the fans don't want to come out to the park," said Yogi Berra, "there's nothing you can do to stop them." The complainants sympathetically treated in a recent NYT article on the "stained glass ceiling" could do worse than to reflect on Berra's observation. It is often easier for women...

so sorry... not so sorry by Diogenes in "Off the Record" - Aug 31, 2006

You may recall the furor in Darien, Connecticut, back in May, when a pastor was found to have dipped into the collections-- to the tune of roughly $200,000-- for extra cash to spend for excursions with his boyfriend. Bishop William Lori removed the pastor, but not before denouncing another priest...

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Synod: It's a Wrap! 8 hours ago
A chaotic synod? Not in its results 9 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 15 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics October 20
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6