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Suppressing the truth? Let me count the ways.

Our society frequently seeks to hide from unpleasant realities by suppressing the truth about the human person (and, of course, about God). An important case in point this week is the growing influence of gender ideology. You already know I've been writing a series on this very question. The...

Emmanuel: The dominant theme of Fr. Spitzer’s third volume on happiness

The third volume of Fr. Robert Spitzer’s quartet on happiness, suffering and transcendence is now available. Those who have followed the progress of this impressive initiative will recall that the first volume explored the nature of human happiness and concluded that our greatest...

An ongoing refutation of gender ideology

The best laid plans... Last Friday I could not send the usual Insights message. Amid computer problems, I ran out of time. Yesterday, I wrote a jam-packed message to compensate. But since I dated it May 24, 2015, our system never picked it up to send out. So here, on Wednesday, is the...

Do 'child-protection programs' increase your confidence?

In the last 12-month period for which full statistics are available, the US bishops spent a bit more than $49 million on child-protection programs.  That's a whole lot of money. Imagine how many parishes and parochial schools you could re-open, how many teachers and nurses and...

Gender Ideology 3: The value of personal relationships

Another argument used to justify a multiplicity of genders, each with its own natural affectivity, is that those affected often speak of their relationships as deeply fulfilling. Such persons can be sincerely committed to each other’s good , and they...

Omigosh! People want to become Catholics. What should we do?

The Catholic bishops of Austria are worried that some migrants might not have the right motives for their desire to enter the Catholic Church. That's a valid concern, no doubt—although to my mind it would seem less urgent than questions about 1) why so few native Austrians are interested...

Quick Hits: Bad news about that 'flash of light,' beware priests who don't want to be 'set apart'

Many pro-lifers ( including yours truly) were captivated by the recent announcement that a flash of light occurs at the moment of human conception. Unfortunately it’s not true. Stacy Trasancos explains in this cautionary piece in the National Catholic Register that the light was...

Obama and the Bomb: Hiroshima Revisited

It’s hard to accept President Obama’s motives at face value. I'm inclined to think of his upcoming visit on May 27 to Hiroshima as pure political posturing, and not as endeavors toward true reconciliation. If he is playing his signature radical “community organizing”...

Papal ambivalence? Not really; he's just plain negative about Americans.

John Allen has an interesting piece on the Crux site today, in which he remarks that Pope Francis shows "a distinct ambivalence about the United States and about Americans."  However if you read the piece-- which is informed, reasoned, and generally convincing, as usual with...

Gender Ideology 2: Personal disorder and personal sin

When it comes to gender ideology, which roots human identity in personal desire, clear thinking is essential. But clear thinking itself depends on a proper recognition of the human condition, including self-awareness of our own passions. Perhaps the first thing we notice on careful reflection is...

Why is the Vatican audit still on hold?

A month has passed since the Vatican Secretariat of State abruptly announced the suspension on an external audit. After Cardinal George Pell-- who, as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, had authorized the audit—revealed that he was "a bit surprised" by the sudden...

Don't let our cathedrals become museums!

Pilgrims are streaming through the Holy Door of the Vatican basilica during this Jubilee Year. But they aren’t moving very fast. During a quick visit to Rome earlier this month, I saw the long, long line snaking its way around St. Peter’s Square: thousands of visitors waiting to...

Quick Hits: Bishops on Brexit, debate on deaconesses, transgenderism vs. women

England’s most prominent Catholic prelates have been actively (if not formally) discouraging the movement to pull Great Britain out of the European Union. Writing in the Catholic Herald, Damian Thompson questions their reasoning. Yes, it’s true that the drive for a European...

Pope Francis in the news

I do not have much fresh commentary for you yet this week. Phil Lawler is just back from two weeks overseas, and I tried to upgrade the operating system on my computer yesterday with disastrous results! I suspect we've all been there (and I don't mean overseas). But we are pleased to call...

Quick Hit: Petition to Impeach Obama

Shortly after I began my series on gender ideology (see Gender ideology and our fatal empire of desire), Robert  Marshall called my attention to his petition to impeach those in the US Federal government who are attempting to force the states to ensure the access of transgender individuals to...

Catholic issues: Not so much what as how

Even Macaulay's proverbial school boys know that gender ideology is alive and well throughout the Western world. Recent correspondence here at CCHq leads me to address it now: Gender ideology and our fatal empire of desire. And recent radio listening has led me also to address our growing...

Gender ideology and our fatal empire of desire

I’ve recently exchanged emails with an ostensibly Catholic man who is convinced the Church does not have a vocabulary sufficient to articulate the full positive range of human gender identity and sexual relationships. He grounds this conviction in two ways: First, by stressing that we can...

Down to earth

Theologians might raise questions about the Pope's decision to study the possibility of ordaining women as deacons. Since the Pontiff did not make his remarks on an airplane, it is not clear whether he intended to make an authoritative...

Remembering a victory at Harvard: Satan defeated, the Eucharist enthroned

Are you fed up with bad news? Tired of hearing about assaults on the Catholic faith? Then let me give you some good news, to boost your spirits heading into the weekend. This is, admittedly, an old story; I posted it two years ago today. But it recounts one of the most exhilirating events I...

Self-sorting and living in a silo? Well, the stakes have been raised.

I happened to tune into a radio program today in which some political and cultural commentators were lamenting that our world has become “self-sorting” or “silo-ized”. It is seldom the case now, they noted, that people of dissimilar values interact with each other in...

On Humanism

As you probably know, there was considerable disappointment among Catholics with Pope Francis' address on a “new humanism” for Europe on the occasion of his being awarded the Charlemagne Prize for 2016. His predecessors had consistently pointed out the need for a return to Christ...

Anti-Catholic Catholic journalism: Today's false prophets

The spiritual stupidity of those who profess to be learned can often be explained by a personal antipathy to Christ, God or the Catholic Church. For example, not long ago a music professor explained to his class that the Catholic Church used to burn inventive...

In what sense is health a universal right?

In an audience with members of Doctors with Africa, Pope Francis asserted that “health is not a consumer good, but rather a universal right, and therefore access to health care services cannot be a privilege.” Doctors with Africa is a non-governmental organization which shares the...

Quick hits: Anti-Catholic bias among historians, Pope Francis breaks with predecessors on European secularism

Catholic World Report carries a must-read interview with Rodney Stark, a leading sociologist who concentrates on religious history. Stark, who is not a Catholic, sees anti-Catholic bias as a pervasive problem in historical studies, skewing the public understanding of topics such as...

The implications of ecclesiastical decisions

As you may know, the Vatican now has a new magazine for women that appears as an insert to L'Osservatore Romano. This has raised a cry of triumphant feminism in some quarters, though I have different cautions to impart. Perhaps it is a surprising topic for a major essay on the implications, or...

Caution! The Vatican's new magazine for women

As we reported on Wednesday, a magazine devoted to women is now being published as a regular “insert” for the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. The dust has still to settle on this, but the initial reports have naturally raised questions, most of which will probably prove...

Quick hits: Losing the argument on marriage; losing the unity of the European Union

When the arguments against same-sex marriage are so convincing-- the natural-law arguments, the arguments from tradition, the arguments from social science-- why do we keep losing the public debates? Writing in the Claremont Review, Robert Reilly offers a possible explanation, in reviewing...

Cardinal Marx, did you forget something?

When your only tool is a hammer, they say, every problem looks like a nail. So when the cardinal-archbishop of a major European city reflects on the challenges that face Europe today, you might expect him to lead with a comment on the loss of faith.  That's the insight that St. John...

Subjective Conscience and Moral Certainty

As a parish priest, I hear thousands of confessions. It’s my job. The privilege of my office as confessor brings me great joy and for that I give God thanks. But I think the Holy Father’s recent document on love and marriage, Amoris Laetitia (AL), may well place ordinary...

Ebook for Ordinary Time after Easter Released

We have just released the fifth volume in the 2015-2016 Liturgical Year series of ebooks. Volume five covers the first half of the long stretch of Ordinary Time between the close of the Easter Season on Pentecost and the beginning of Advent. Like all CatholicCulture.org ebooks, this volume is...

Some problems are tiny, but not all!

Today Phil Lawler had a bit of fun with the crackdown by the Vatican on the unlawful sale of images of Pope Francis. See Vatican should crack down on liturgical abuses, not petty trademark cases. Of course those who try to control the sale of Vatican souvenirs have nothing to do with those...

Vatican should crack down on liturgical abuses, not petty trademark cases

Dunno about you, but I can't get too worked up about the merchants who sell trinkets bearing an image of Pope Francis without authorization from the Vatican. Sure, it's a trademark infringement. Sure, the Vatican loses money (did I touch on a sore spot there?) when the merchants...

The pending outrage at Notre Dame; the moral challenge to Cardinal Wuerl

In 2009, when the University of Notre Dame invited President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address, dozens of American bishops lodged loud public protests. Yet this year, as Notre Dame prepares to confer an even greater honor on Vice President Joe Biden (together with former House...

How can we explain the West’s dramatic fall from grace?

There can hardly be a serious Christian today who does not recognize a considerable fall from grace in the Western world as a whole. Even sincere Protestants, who would not (as I would) identify their own version of Christianity as a contributing cause to the decline of Christian culture in the...

Leading with news but plenty to think about

Perhaps the most interesting and important items on CatholicCulture.org this week are two Catholic World News stories: Italian police disrupt Islamic terror plot on VaticanPope ready to regularize SSPX? The first really happened of course, and is obviously extraordinarily important. As for...

Crazy Joe, spare me your praise of the Pope.

I suppose this is a bit of a rant, but I’m tired of all the posturing. The latest is U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s praise of Pope Francis earlier today, when he addressed a conference at the Vatican. Predictably, Biden praised Francis for his “compassion”. He claimed...

The painfully slow reform of the Vatican's communications operation

Almost exactly one year ago I wondered aloud whether a plan to streamline the Vatican's communications efforts might be sidetracked. Today I'm happy to notice that my concern may have been misplaced. The head of the new Communications Secretariat reports that the plans are moving...

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