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Denial of Service Attack: Success! Dec. 19, 2014

For the usual survey of new material, see below. For drama, start here: Yesterday about 1:00 pm, CatholicCulture.org was subjected to a distributed denial of service attack. This means that many different computers were pointed at our website and programmed to bombard us with so many page...

Speaking Softly to Women Religious Dec. 16, 2014

Let me first pause to ask those who have not yet done so to make a year-end contribution to CatholicCulture.org. We must still raise a little over $20,000 to meet our budget for the year! Now on to our new material: As Phil Lawler points out in On the News, In its showdown with American...

Very Catholic Comments Dec. 12, 2014

This has been a banner week for commentary on CatholicCulture.org. Let's simply proceed by author. On Wednesday I noticed a significant trend in Pope Francis' effort to take into account the concerns of his critics within the Church. I explain here: Francis listens to critics, clarifies the...

Action in Rome Dec. 9, 2014

After the long weekend in honor of the Immaculate Conception, we were faced with a big day for news today. For example, a new interview with Pope Francis was published in the Argentine newspaper La Nacion: Pope welcomes criticism as 'very healthy' in new interview. In this interview Francis...

Marriage is the Key Dec. 5, 2014

Good news: We matched the entire $45,000 Challenge Grant on December 3rd. Thanks to all who participated with prayers and donations! Now, let us turn to marriage, which seems to be at the center of everything today. This is not surprising, for Our Lord suggested that it was at the center of...

Reading Pope Francis Dec. 2, 2014

As of today, we have just $2,400 left to match to receive the $45K Challenge Grant. The deadline was December 1st, but if we wrap it up fast, we can still get the entire grant. Please offer a final gift quickly, while it will count twice! The Holy Father has been a spiritual gold mine over...

Getting Marriage Right Nov. 25, 2014

With $8,700 left to match of our $45K Challenge Grant, we have much to be thankful for. But we do need a final burst to win the entire grant. If you haven't yet, please do support us now while it will count twice! I see this week that marriage is back in the news. Phil Lawler gives an...

Anatomy of Conversion Nov. 21, 2014

In a message yesterday, I listed thirteen testimonials to our work from priests, sisters and lay Catholic leaders around the world. I was trying to complete the task of matching our $45,000 Challenge Grant. However, that email was met with what we might loosely call a resounding yawn. (OK, so...

Nuances of Leadership Nov. 18, 2014

Once again, let me begin by asking your continued support of our key effort to match our Challenge Grant. We have just $14,000 left to match by the end of the month! If you have not yet done so, please donate while it will count twice. Moving on, many have said that Pope Francis' homilies...

Chastity and Catholicism Nov. 14, 2014

With just over $22,000 left to match in our Challenge Grant, we have passed the halfway point! If you haven't yet, please donate any amount while it will be doubled! In our top commentary this week, Phil Lawler explains Why Cardinal Burke cannot lead a 'loyal opposition'. It is important to...

Another Significant Vatican Reform Nov. 11, 2014

With the deadline for our Challenge Grant on December 1st, we definitely need to step up the pace. We have $25,000 left to match. If you haven't yet, please contribute now while your gift will count twice! You'll recall that one reason Pope Emeritus Benedict resigned was that his strength...

New Vatican Policies Nov. 7, 2014

Once again, necessity forces me to beg you to support our Fall Campaign, if you haven't yet: We have almost $28,000 left to match, so your gift will count twice. Today Phil Lawler explains the significance of the new Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, under Cardinal George Pell. See New...

Two bishops take on the SSPX Nov. 4, 2014

I hate to have to emphasize this so much, but I have no choice. We still have $30,000 to go to match our Challenge Grant by the end of November. If each person who receives these messages could contribute just $5, we would easily solve this problem. Of course not everyone can help. If you...

Putting Our Best Foot Forward Oct. 31, 2014

The Vatican made the English text available yesterday of the final statement of the recent Synod of Bishops: Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization. Such texts are not intended to be world-shaking events, but skimming over this one will give a more accurate...

Francis the Man, Francis the Pope Oct. 28, 2014

Once again we find a common theme in the fascinating pontificate of Pope Francis. For example, writing in response to NY Times columnist Ross Douthat, Phil Lawler clarified his own position in: Could respect for the papacy mean resisting the Pope? At the same time, there was so much...

The Church Moves On, Slowly Oct. 24, 2014

The furor over the 2014 Synod on the Family is subsiding only slowly, as everyone seems to be struggling to switch gears. Phil Lawler finds himself concerned over negative attitudes toward Pope Francis, often expressed in distinctly unedifying ways. He covers both sides of the question in The...

The Synod: It's a Wrap! Oct. 21, 2014

Since the 2014 Synod on the Family ended on Sunday, it is only right that we wrap up our coverage here. You'll find the final Synod Message here: Message of the Synod Assembly on the Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization. Pope Francis' final address to the Synod...

Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends Oct. 17, 2014

As the Synod on the Family draws to a close on Sunday, I am pleased announce that the CatholicCulture.org Boosters have provided a Challenge Grant to match all new donations up to $45,000. These matching funds are critical to our success this year. Please visit our Fall Campaign page for more...

Sorting out the Synod Oct. 14, 2014

Yesterday I posted the second part of my explanation of why we should expect the progress of the Synod on the Family to be a bit confused. See A chaotic synod? Reason two: The Church in our time. I hope to complete this analysis tomorrow, with a consideration of the unique problem presented to...

About this Synod Oct. 10, 2014

To tell the truth, we know very little about the progress of the Synod on the Family, for reasons Phil Lawler explains in his latest commentary, What's wrong with this Synod, II: Debate is free, open (and censored). Phil thinks we may know enough to seriously wonder whether the bishops are...

On Supreme Courts, Synods and Evangelization Oct. 7, 2014

If you live outside the United States, you may not have heard that the US Supreme Court is permitting gay marriage to become the law of the land by default. One wonders if it is things like this that have driven twenty-three priests to run for office in Brazil. But no, that cannot be, since...

As the Synod on the Family Opens... Oct. 3, 2014

The Synod on the Family opens on Sunday. There will be a second synod a year from now, so do not expect rapid recommendations. These synods are as important for stimulating courageous and effective episcopal leadership as for anything else. With this in mind, Cardinal Angelo Scola's...

On Bishops and Jesuits, Saints and Angels Sep. 30, 2014

It is good to see Pope Francis continue the policy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, by which I mean proactive Apostolic Visitations. This is an excellent way to foster renewal in religious communities and dioceses throughout the world. The latest example, and one that I confess causes me a bit of...

Doing Great Things for Christ Sep. 29, 2014

Support is picking up as we enter the Fall, but CatholicCulture.org still has about $8,000 to raise to meet September expenses. I know you value our Catholic news and analysis, balanced Catholic commentary, spiritual and resources, and massive library of Catholic documents. Your gift between...

The Annulment Question, and Much More Sep. 26, 2014

Pope Francis recently affirmed that the Church's ban on the reception of communion by divorced Catholics who remarry outside the Church is rooted in Christ and cannot be changed. This being so, it seems wise to consider the dispositions with which we approach the question of annulment. This is...

The Salvific Unity of the Church Sep. 23, 2014

It is not for nothing that we have culture in our name! I am happy to announce that the second installment of Thomas Van's review essay on The Mystery of Music has just been released. It seems that music has its own role to play in uniting us with God. I am also glad that negotiations...

Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War Sep. 19, 2014

It seems appropriate to write about war today. Pope Francis reminded us of the sheer indifference at the heart of war when he spoke last Saturday at an Italian cemetery: The Shadow of Cain Looms over History from 1914 to the Present. Though war has often been waged among nominal Christians, it...

Targeting the Pope? Sep. 16, 2014

Amid reports that the Islamic State may attempt to kill Pope Francis, we should obviously ramp up our prayers. But the Vatican is not changing its plans for the upcoming papal visits to Albania and Turkey, which may be danger points. Even the chief priest of the Roman Catholic Church must...

Music to Our Spiritual Ears Sep. 12, 2014

Perhaps the most striking commentary we have posted this week is the beginning of Thomas Van's fascinating exploration of the role of music in the spiritual life: The Mystery of Music, Part I. Stay tuned for more. Moving from spiritual growth to religious persecution, Phil Lawler looks at the...

French Muslims Denounce Terror Sep. 9, 2014

As we recount in an important news story today, the top leaders of the Islamic community in France have denounced terror against Christians in the Middle East. Such denunciations have been rare or non-existent in the past. Meanwhile, the pressures of Western secular states against Christians...

Human Knowing and Human Happiness Sep. 5, 2014

Well, I finally did it. I completed a six thousand word essay entitled On Not Settling for Less: The Cognitive Guide to Happiness which I've been working on for some time. This explains the need to respect all the ways a human person knows reality, rather than focusing exclusively on empirical...

Human Knowing and Human Happiness Sep. 5, 2014

Well, I finally did it. I completed a six thousand word essay entitled On Not Settling for Less: The Cognitive Guide to Happiness which I've been working on for some time. This explains the need to respect all the ways a human person knows reality, rather than focusing exclusively on empirical...

Challenging Times? Sep. 2, 2014

My title today is a play on words: Both Phil Lawler and I have written commentaries which, by sheer coincidence, respond to articles in Time magazine. Phil addresses a misguided opinion piece on Catholic nuns which was posted online on Sunday: Liberal visions of Catholicism: Kickstarter and the...

Frustrating the Moral Law Aug. 29, 2014

Once we start denying the natural law, the complications multiply. Consider the moral complications in this case: New abortion-suicide controversy in Ireland. Consider also the unfortunate confusion among some Churchmen over conflicts between the natural moral law and religious dialogue. Phil...

Black Mass Thwarted in Oklahoma City Aug. 26, 2014

It seems the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City has been successful in thwarting a Black Mass scheduled there for September. How they did it is also of interest. See my latest On the Culture: A lesson in prudence: Stopping the Black Mass in Oklahoma City. Less hopefully, it also seems that large...

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