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All Catholic commentary from September 2017

Quick Hits: Getting away from pathological activism and pathological art by Thomas V. Mirus in "The City Gates" - Sep 1, 2017

At his Bad Catholic blog, Marc Barnes recently commented on the self-indulgence and counter-productivity of Antifa’s methods of confronting white nationalists: “If justice is ‘fun,’ you’re probably not practicing justice. If works of justice fulfill elemental...

Bearing false witness: the defining sin of our era? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 4, 2017

Could a society have its own defining sin? My wife Leila addressed that question on her own blog recently, and as usual I think she’s right. By a “defining” sin I don’t mean to suggest that a particular society is prone to only one type of moral failing. All Ten...

Ruth shows family to be at the center of God’s plan by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 5, 2017

The Book of Ruth in the Old Testament is very short, only about three times the length of this little essay. It is a charming account of how Ruth, a Moabite who had married one of Naomi’s sons, accompanied her mother-in-law back to her ancestral home in Bethlehem after both her husband and...

Feinstein and Durbin: the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 7, 2017

Article VI of the US Constitution states: The Senators and …all executive and judicial Officers… shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United...

God doesn’t need our advice by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Sep 7, 2017

There is no servile veneration of Peter in the Gospels. Certainly, he’s first among the apostles. But he also suffers the harshest of the Lord’s rebukes. The rebuke takes place not long after Peter witnesses to the divinity of Christ and Christ responds by identifying him as the first...

Dangerous ideas at Google and the pain of Jordan Peterson by Thomas V. Mirus in "The City Gates" - Sep 7, 2017

In June, Stephanie Gray was invited to Google HQ and gave just about the best pro-life talk I’ve heard, “Abortion: From Controversy to Civility”. Gray uses the Socratic method, drawing out the traits people admire in those who inspire them, and then showing how the traits admired...

Dogma lives loudly, but bishops are silent? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 8, 2017

The US bishops’ conference has reacted quickly and angrily to Steve Bannon’s charge that the bishops have economic motives for supporting immigration. Good. Now can we expect an equally quick robust response to the insinuation by US Senators that a faithful Catholic cannot be...

Previewing confusion? The Pope’s new book-length interview by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Sep 8, 2017

On Thursday, the French edition of a new book-length interview with Pope Francis was published and available for sale on Amazon, if you have $49.95 to spend on a paperback. Catholic News Service (the news agency of the American bishops) announced and previewed the book on September 1st,...

‘Re-evangelizing New England’—my next campaign by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Sep 8, 2017

“Sometimes a single encounter with what is healthy and ordinary—I use the word advisedly, with its suggestion that things are in the order that God by means of his handmaid Nature has ordained—is enough to shake you out of the bad dreams of disease and confusion.” Thus...

Responding to Magnum Principium, to anti-Catholicism, to the Belgian brothers’ defiance by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Sep 13, 2017

In a busy week of news, a few thoughts on: How the US bishops should respond to the motu proprio Anti-Catholicism in the Senate The Belgian brothers’ challenge to the Pope How the US bishops should respond to the motu proprio Now that the nation’s episcopal conference has primary...

If celibacy is the cause, why do non-celibates have the problem? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 14, 2017

In Australia, two former Catholic priests have released a report saying that the root causes of sexual abuse by Catholic priests are—the things the two ex-priests don’t like about the Catholic Church. Since what they don’t like about the Catholic Church matches what the secular media don’t like,...

Samuel: A spiritual and political tale of two kings. Part one: Saul by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 15, 2017

There are no fewer than six books in the Old Testament which cover the period of the monarchy: The first and second books of Samuel (sometimes called the first and second books of Kings), the first and second books of Kings (called the third and fourth books of Kings when the title...

Making up for—and regretting—lost time by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 19, 2017

I spend at least some portion of most of my days doing what we call “making up for lost time.” All the things that have not quite gotten done as quickly as they should have—or worse, as quickly as I expected them to be done—claim extra hours from another day along with...

Looking for the Inquisition? Check the mirror. by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 20, 2017

When you see a New York Times column with the title, “Expect the Inquisition,” what you don’t expect (well, I don’t, anyway), is this sort of thoroughly reasonable analysis of arguments within the Catholic Church. Reflecting on incidents involving Josef Seifert and...

Fall Ember Days by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Sep 20, 2017

The 2017 September Ember Days begin on Wednesday, September 20. From the Archives of September 2015: Football games and pumpkin spice beverages and foods return; Autumn is upon us. Sadly, that is what the fall season means to so many people. We have lost contact the actual natural signs of...

Father Martin and his allies: intolerance masked as a plea for tolerance by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Sep 20, 2017

See if you recognize this rhetorical strategy: Say that the people who disagree with you are motivated by hatred. Say that they’re dangerous extremists, a threat to civil society. Say that you are interested in genuine debate, but your opponents won’t allow it. Compare your...

Wisdom from departed cardinals: Caffarra on truth and conscience, Müller on the Roman Curia by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 21, 2017

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra died earlier this month, just days before he was scheduled to speak at a conference in Milan. But Catholic World Report has posted the full text of the address that the Italian cardinal had prepared for the occasion, and it is brilliant! Cardinal Caffarra opens by...

About Cardinal Sarah’s caution on using an iPhone in prayer by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 21, 2017

Cardinal Sarah says that “it is not worthy” to pray the Liturgy of the Hours using a smartphone or tablet. He’s right—as he usually is—that the use of a book, dedicated to that purpose, heightens the sense of the sacred. But what’s better: saying the prayers with the help of an iPhone, or not...

The pastoral imperative—and when it becomes a sin by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 22, 2017

From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has placed great emphasis on pastoral care, often using colorful similes and metaphors, such as “the Church is a field hospital” and pastors must “get the smell of the sheep.” This is a salutary emphasis, for we are all...

Was the Vatican auditor general fired for doing his job? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Sep 25, 2017

The “filial appeal” to Pope Francis was not the most important story that emerged from the Vatican this past weekend. Don’t misunderstand me. When the Roman Pontiff is accused of encouraging the spread of heretical beliefs, that’s an important story (about which...

The latest effort to correct Pope Francis, for what it is worth by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 26, 2017

Readers were no doubt startled by Phil Lawler’s assertion yesterday that “the ‘filial appeal’ to Pope Francis was not the most important story that emerged from the Vatican this past weekend.” It may strike some as scandalous that CatholicCulture.org should think the...

Prayer in times of papal infidelity by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Sep 27, 2017

[Note: I have written this prayer only in the sense that I have sought diligently in Sacred Scripture for the right words. The text is almost entirely Scriptural, as you will see in the blue references. The words, therefore, are mostly inspired by the Holy Spirit, and I deserve no credit. But any...

Promises, promises: but little progress for papal commission on abuse by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 28, 2017

A week has passed since Pope Francis promised to take “the firmest measures” to stop clerical abuse. Then again, you might say that a month has passed, or three years have passed, or maybe a bit...

Quick hits: the truth about Islam, how AL affects children, and is Francis really the Pope? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 28, 2017

Three short essays—unrelated, but all well worth reading—that appeared online today: The unstoppable Father James Schall explains “Why I Believe in Islam” for Crisis magazine. No, he hasn’t left the faith. But he does serious Muslims the courtesy of assuming that...

Why does Pope Francis refuse to respond? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Sep 28, 2017

As Jeff Mirus has already pointed out, there was never any reason to think that Pope Francis would respond to the “filial correction” made by several dozen Catholics. After all the Holy Father has already received and ignored similar pleas from thousands of concerned lay Catholics,...

The Dominicana Spirit by Thomas V. Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 29, 2017

Over the past year, through a number of friends and acquaintances connected with the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, I have become increasingly fond of what I think of as the “Dominican spirit.” Dominican thinking—I say based on no expertise but my limited...

Francis the Thomist? Do not lose the thread. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 29, 2017

Now Pope Francis has claimed that the morality underlying Amoris Laetitia is Thomistic. Please note that I am resisting the temptation to write another of my 10,000 word commentaries. Like the rest of you, I really, really want to have a life. Instead, to make things quicker and easier, I offer...