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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...

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...

Good (and interesting) news

One bit of good news (I like to think) is that I've finally had a chance to continue my examination of the viability of Western politics. See The Don and Hil Show: Overcoming our addiction to politics. This actually ties in nicely with Phil Lawler's recent post: Sex education? No, we're...

Vatican Reform

The seriousness of reform at the Vatican has been called into question by the sudden “suspension” of the first-ever audit of the offices of the Curia. See these two news stories: Vatican suspends external auditCardinal Pell 'a bit surprised' by suspension of audit Phil Lawler...

The Spirit of the Liturgy and of Mercy

I still haven't had any time this week to write, I'm ashamed to say: Too busy communicating with donors since we lost our Spring Challenge Grant this year. (The theme of the 2016 Spring Campaign is Catholics Rising.) Instead, I'm developing a special donor category for those who make monthly...

The Positive Side of Amoris Laetitia

Phil Lawler has spent a good part of this week reviewing the worldwide response to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhoration on love in the family (Amoris Laetitia). Here is our news story which covers a number of prominent assessments: Prelates' differing responses to Amoris Laetitia. Phil...

Preparing for Confusion

It is no surprise, but some Catholic leaders are already staking out the most latitudinarian position possible for the Pope's new apostolic exhortation. Thus La Civilta Cattolica insists the Pope has removed all barriers to Communion for the divorced and remarried: Jesuit editor says Pope has...

Preparing for confusion

It is no surprise, but some Catholic leaders are already staking out the most latitudinarian position possible for the Pope's new apostolic exhortation. Thus La Civilta Cattolica insists the Pope has removed all barriers to Communion for the divorced and remarried: Jesuit editor says Pope has...

Amoris Laetitia (On Love in the Family)

Pope Francis' post-synodal apostolic exhortation is now available: Amoris Laetitia. The Latin means “the joy of love”. The more descriptive subtitle is “On Love in the Family”. This is a long and rich document, first because so many related topics were covered at the...

A culture by any other name...

Human culture has taken it on the chin lately. For example, one could argue that American culture has been steadily eroded by religious decline, commercialism, the replacement of personal relationships with technology, excessive mobility, and bureaucratic tinkering. Then there is the European...

The Path to Easter is the Way of the Cross

Since this is Holy Week, there will be no Insights message on Friday (Good Friday). I'm not sure yet how often I'll write during Easter week. Meanwhile, this message will emphasize spiritual preparation for the great Paschal Mystery. First, however, I have at least one thing that is a little...

The Church and the Spirit

As befits the last message before Holy Week, we have a great many resources concerning the Church and spiritual growth. To begin, note that the inclusion of women in the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday is now a legitimate option. I explain why it makes no sense to become agitated about...

True and False Protection

Sometimes I think the great questions of life come down to one issue: Protection. Who is claiming to protect whom, and why? For example, a grand-jury in Pennsylvania seems to be motivated to protect children from sexual abuse. But Phil Lawler raises an interesting question about What's missing...

Mercy's Alternative Face

There is no mercy in negligence, no mercy without responsibility. There are many ways, then, in which honesty and discipline are keys to being merciful. In this light, consider Phil Lawler's latest examination of Pope Francis' effort to discipline bishops who were complicit in sexual abuse:...

Catholic Population Booms

Phil Lawler has been writing about the rapid increase in the number of Catholics in some world regions. For example, In Africa, a Catholic explosion! And you'll learn the same thing about Singapore, among other things, in his latest Quick Hits item: Catholic growth, exceptions on contraception,...

Lenten Reflections

Lent engages—and even haunts us—in many ways. I remember when Richard John Neuhaus referred to the “long Lent of 2002” in discussing the breaking of the sex-abuse scandal in the Church in the United States. That scandal is still with us in the form of the movie...

Spotlight on Relativism

I am very happy to report that our February Solidarity Campaign topped out at 784 gifts. This exceeds by six percent the previous high from last year. The result is very encouraging to our staff. My thanks to all who donated or prayed for solidarity during this campaign. Today I posted...

Relativism undercuts wisdom

As I point out in today's On the Culture, Contrary to popular belief: Relativism cannot enlighten; it can only darken the mind. And we really do need our wits about us to assess and respond properly to the world's challenges. A good case in point is the desire to have a positive ecumenical...

Evangelization: The Whole Story

Today I posted what (according to my present plan, at least) will be the final installment of my series on the relationship between the quest for religious unity and evangelization. See Effective evangelization: Initiation into the Church. Yesterday I undertook a less serious, and in some ways...

Fallout from The Interview

Pope Francis' in-flight interview left familiar confusions in its wake. Two of our our news stories highlight the areas of concern: Trump's views 'not Christian,' Pope saysPope open to discuss contraception as response to Zika epidemic Phil Lawler immediately commented on the interview. It's...

The Pope and the Patriarch

Our report on Friday's meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill will give you a good overview of this historic occasion: In historic statement, Pope and Russian Patriarch speak for persecuted Christians, defense of family. On Sunday, Patriarch Kirill further reflected...

Quick Hits keep coming

The story isn't in yet, but Phil Lawler is standing by to write his report of the meeting between the Pope and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. Keep an eye on our Catholic World News headlines page. Meanwhile, the number of Quick Hits items we are doing is steadily increasing. These are the...

Through the Holy Door of Lent

Each year we have to stoop fairly low to enter what we might call the “holy door” of Lent. (I recall again that this is the only liturgical season which is also a four-letter word.) Still, with all we know about this penitential season, one burning question has remained unanswered—until I...

A preview of the Pope's synodal exhortation?

We don't expect Pope Francis to promulgate his post-synodal exhortation until March, but we have a preview of his thoughts on some key marriage questions in his latest address to the Roman Rota: Adequate Preparation for Marriage. Usually I begin these messages with references to our own...

Sing to the Lord!

Some excellent diocesan music directives, which I will come to in a moment, have given me the title for this Insights message. At present I am continuing to explore the difference between the quest for religious unity and evangelization. The former has its place in the nature of things, but the...

The Problem of Religious Unity

Several hundred years ago, we would have lived in an era of inter-religious hostility. Most efforts at evangelization would have been adversarial. Today we are far more likely to seek good relationships with men and women of good will who are not Catholic. But sometimes the result is that we do...

Pope Francis: Attempting to Overcome Divisions

Thomas Van's series on the Fathers of the Church continues this week with Origen's Life and Legacy. This is the first installment of several pieces covering the work of one of the most influential thinkers in Christian history. Speaking of thinkers, I continue to explore the progressive...

Snowy thoughts both timely and timeless

Perhaps the most timely item on CatholicCulture.org today is our commemoration of the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, which the American Bishops have added to our liturgical calendar. Jennifer Gregory Miller explains in January 22: Day of Prayer and Penance in the...

Temperatures Rising?

If I've had to go out once today, I've had to go out a thousand times. During these errands, the outside temperature has varied between 13 and 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-11 and -4 Celsius). I know this doesn't seem very cold to some of our northern readers, but I've lived to tell you that my...

To be or not to be: The question of politics

Consider Phil Lawler's excellent analysis of Catholic hospitals and the fight for medical standards. It is, I think, a case in point of the futility of legitimate politics in America. It is also one more nail in a coffin, and I want you to know what lies inside. Isn't it time that we...

Thoughts on business (among other things)

Since Cardinal Turkson offered a clarification of the Pope's ideas about business recently, I thought I would try to explain more clearly what it is that Catholic social teaching wishes to communicate to businessmen. See Business is a vocation; that's why the Church won't leave it...

Mind Control? A Growing Problem

In different ways this week, both Phil Lawler and I examined how our dominant culture teaches us to think about the wrong things and in the wrong way. That's true of Phil's piece from Tuesday evening on Burning incense to the false gods of political correctness, commenting on New York City's...