Action Alert!

Search or Browse Commentary

All Catholic commentary from August 2017

Sex vs. Sexual Orientation; Prejudice vs. Discrimination by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 1, 2017

The Justice Department is now arguing that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. What a difference the President makes to the Justice Department’s conception of law! This is one of those...

Another example of confusion in the terminology of ‘brain-death’ by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Aug 3, 2017

The Mexico City archdiocese gives us the sad news that Father José Miguel Machorro, who was stabbed by an assailant on the altar after celebrating Mass in May, has died. May he rest in peace. While I mourn the priest’s death, however, I can’t help noticing the awkward form of the archdiocesan...

Quick Hits: religious freedom and the limits of politics; the priest as a man set apart by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Aug 3, 2017

In an excellent National Review article, Ryan Anderson explains why the political battle over same-sex marriage will continue—with dangerous implications for religious liberty—even though according to conventional wisdom the issue has been decided. All fifty US states now recognize...

Vatican document suggests excommunication for some Catholic politicians by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Aug 4, 2017

This week the Vatican launched an international campaign against corruption and organized crime. Well, that’s not quite right. This week the Vatican announced the campaign; it will actually be launched in September. So we don’t know exactly what it will be. If you read the full...

Uncaging The Nightingale: The Mark Christopher Brandt interview by Thomas V. Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 4, 2017

The Nightingale, released last month, is the latest album and compositional project by Mark Christopher Brandt. It’s a 49-minute-long programmatic suite, inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story by the same name, and a truly beautiful and impressive work of art. The album seamlessly...

Complaining? It’s a question of Providence. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 4, 2017

When we are children we tend to complain incessantly. We are bored or hungry or don’t like how we’re being treated. Often we are so focused on some desire (such as “electronics time”, not that this was a problem when I was a kid) that we cannot even consider doing anything...

Our bishops and priests need direct support and protection. Can we supply it? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 7, 2017

Today’s news makes one wonder whether the time has come for lay guards for bishops and priests. In Cameroon, Msgr. Joseph Akonga Essombahe has claimed that Bishop Jean Marie Benoit of Bafia was murdered because he opposed homosexuals in the clergy. In Nigeria, gunmen burst into a Catholic...

Quick Hits: Papal prayer intention for artists, cultural appropriation and more by Thomas V. Mirus in "The City Gates" - Aug 9, 2017

Pope Francis’s prayer intention for August is for artists, so let’s pray for artists and give the arts our attention and support in a special way this month: The Catholic Creatives group has just announced 8beats, “an 8-part anthology film exploring the collision of the...

Pope Francis must speak out on Venezuela by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Aug 9, 2017

Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro is forcing the question: Will Pope Francis take a clear public stand in opposition to a leftist leader who styles himself as a populist? For years Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, have used the Catholic bishops of Venezuela as their...

Why didn’t Vatican act sooner on euthanasia in Belgian Catholic hospitals? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Aug 11, 2017

At the beginning of May, the Brothers of Charity announced that they would allow euthanasia at their psychiatric hospitals in Belgium. At the beginning of August the Vatican ordered them to reverse that policy. Why did it take so long? Why were fifteen Catholic hospitals on record for three...

Taking Scripture to heart: Joshua’s great lesson by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 16, 2017

The Scriptural book of Joshua, which immediately follows the Pentateuch and begins to recount Jewish history after Moses, is typically remembered for a few dramatic moments. The book recounts the stopping of the waters of the Jordan River so that the people could cross into the promised...

Agonizing Moral Restraint by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Aug 17, 2017

Dialog includes bombast, and it tends to grab attention. Historically our politicians and generals certainly have put the “bomb” in “bombastic.” In response to North Korean nuclear threats to our country, President Trump warned, “North Korea best not make any more...

Charlottesville without Natural Law by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 18, 2017

Almost nobody knows the problem that lies at the heart of the recent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia. For those who have not followed the action, white supremacists held a rally there which led to widespread outrage, the escalation of rhetoric, and some violence. President Trump is facing near...

Let’s stop pretending: something DID go wrong after Vatican II by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Aug 23, 2017

Something went wrong—seriously wrong—in the Catholic Church in the years after Vatican II. Can we all agree on that much? Leave aside, for now, the familiar debate about the causes of the problem; let’s begin with the agreement that there is, or at least certainly was, a...

A thumbnail guide to new Catholic books: Choose what appeals! by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Aug 23, 2017

I am going to turn a necessity into a virtue. Books have been piling up on my desk all summer. Even after giving about half of them away without a third glance, I am left with more than a dozen which are clearly worthwhile, but which I simply have not had the time to read and review individually....

What does Pope Francis mean by ‘irreversible’ liturgical reform? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Aug 24, 2017

Liturgical reform is “irreversible,” Pope Francis says. If he means that history cannot be undone—we can’t rewind the tape—his point is beyond dispute. But surely he does not mean that we are stuck forever with the status quo. It is noteworthy that in speaking on...

Send Mass cards with Holy-Post.com by Thomas V. Mirus in "The City Gates" - Aug 25, 2017

I was recently made aware of a useful website for sending Mass cards via email or Facebook. Holy-Post.com is an organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota, and its mission is to allow people to let their loved ones know they are being prayed for while supporting the communities and missions...

Liturgical renewal—and every other kind—in the light of Christ by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 25, 2017

Phil Lawler has already commented ably on Pope Francis’ statement that “we can assert with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.” Of course saying that he can assert something magisterially is not the same thing as asserting it, which in...

Coming soon: CWN unveils a new approach to Catholic news coverage by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Aug 25, 2017

For more than 20 years now, Catholic World News (CWN) has been presenting daily headline stories in the same format. That’s about to change. In 1996 CWN began providing readers with short summaries of the top stories that would interest Catholic readers (and readers interested in Catholic...

Final Liturgical Year volume for 2016-2017 now available by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Aug 26, 2017

The final ebook for the 2016-2017 liturgical year has been released in our ebooks download area. The sixth volume overall in the annual series, Ordinary Time Completed rounds out the current liturgical year, taking you right up to Advent. This volume covers all the days from September 3rd through...

Skeletons in Our Closets by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Aug 28, 2017

It is fair to suggest that in time, most people have occasion to look back at their lives with regret for behavior that may rise to the level of an embarrassing “skeleton in the closet.” Robert Penn Warren, author of All the King’s Men, exploits the primordial fear of...

How an ‘irreversible’ claim might be reversed by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Aug 28, 2017

Father Anthony Ruff, who holds forth on liturgical matters on the PrayTell blog, doesn’t often (if ever) agree with me. So it’s not surprising that Father Ruff was pleased with the Pope’s “magisterial” announcement that “the liturgical reform is...

Judges: Every man did what was right in his own eyes. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 29, 2017

The Biblical book of Judges makes a remarkable point which is just as relevant today as it was before Saul established the monarchy in the eleventh century before Christ: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg 17:6). But this may...

Curmudgeon’s Corner: The case against Catholic apologies by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Aug 31, 2017

One of my very few disagreements with Pope St. John Paul II—to whom I pray each and every day—was over his introduction of the habit of formally apologizing for past failures and errors of the Catholic Church. This is a prudential question; good Catholics can disagree about it. But...

Quick Hits: The Nashville Statement, the crisis of British monarchy, Democrats nod to pro-lifers by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Aug 31, 2017

The Nashville Statement, released this week by a group of Evangelical leaders to affirm Biblical teachings on sexuality, has provoked an angry backlash from liberal commentators. Most notable among them is the persistent Father James Martin, who unleashed a Tweet storm in support of...