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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...

Difficult Decisions in the Real World Aug. 22, 2014

This week Pope Francis continued to wrestle with the best course to encourage in Iraq. Phil Lawler analyzes the Pope's position in his latest On the News: In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action. For my part, I again look at the challenges of...

As Catholic News Unfolds... Aug. 19, 2014

What I am noticing today is how many significant news stories affecting Christians are unfolding at the same time. For example, the latest defiance of the Vatican by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in America fairly begs for suppression. See my latest On the Culture analysis: It is...

Eyes of Faith Aug. 15, 2014

Everything, for Christians, must be seen through the eyes of Faith. Let us view recent news in this way. Thus the response to Pope Francis' Apostolic Visit to Korea is bittersweet: China blocks young Catholics from attending papal Mass; arrests fearedNorth Korea fires test missiles in show...

Riches...in my absence Aug. 13, 2014

I apologize for the appearance of my so-called Tuesday message on Wednesday this week. A combination of being out of town for two days and having to do some emergency programming for CatholicCulture.org's financial processing system led to the delay. This also means I have not written new...

Iraq's Christians under Siege Aug. 8, 2014

Most readers know about the growing disaster for Christians in Iraq as the Islamic State gains ground. Pope Francis is distraught and the American Bishops have slated August 17th as a day of prayer for our Iraqi brothers and sisters. Here are three relevant news stories, posted...

Comments We Just Had to Make... Aug. 5, 2014

Two small but intriguing stories have provoked commentary over the past few days. For example, it has just been announced that last year's special collection produced $24 million for retired religious. Without intending to diminish anyone's charity, I can't help but comment on this in On the...

A Diocese in Paraguay Aug. 1, 2014

The controversy surrounding the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay is fascinating, and now the Vatican has suspended priestly ordinations there. Consider these two news stories: Vatican confirms suspension of ordinations in troubled Paraguay dioceseParaguay: diocese defends bishop, says...

Sons of Dominic Prepare for Family Synod Jul. 29, 2014

I was delighted to learn that a group of Dominican theologians have published a theological study of pastoral proposals aimed at those who are divorced and remarried. This sets forth, for use at the upcoming synods on the family, the clear Catholic parameters within which such proposals must be...

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