Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

The Insights eNewsletter

Insights provides critical perspective on the issues that affect your life as a Catholic today.

Sign up to receive Insights! To preview the kind of content that you will receive, sample a few of the eNewsletter previews below.

Improving the Church Apr. 15, 2014

I suspect we all dream of improving the Church, except that perhaps we tend to dream along the lines of our own spiritual deficiencies. Nonetheless, I am making so bold as to start a series of essays exploring how the Church might improve the quality of her membership. This is not a simple...

Significant Items on the Verge of Holy Week Apr. 11, 2014

Just last week, in the wake of recent Girl Scout Cookie sales, my wife and I were wondering when the Church would catch up to the problem of parish-sponsored Girl Scout troops. The Girl Scouts are closely affiliated with the abortion industry through Planned Parenthood, and they have programs...

Hostility and Persecution Apr. 8, 2014

A recent daily homily by Pope Francis was very timely, since we are approaching Holy Week and considering the rise of the persecution of Christians throughout the world. The headline of our news report tells the story: Hostility, persecution are natural for Christians, Pope says in homily. Such...

The Ways of the World and the Church Apr. 4, 2014

In the 1950s it was hard for many in the West to see how much difference Christianity made to a person's life. Most people had fairly similar values. Fast forward two generations, and all that has changed. It rapidly became clear that public morality was only incidentally Christian, and that...

Our Noah Review, plus new downloads Apr. 1, 2014

Our reviewer, Thomas Van, saw Noah on Friday night and posted his take on the movie over the weekend: Noah: far from a natural disaster. Thomas has also reviewed the Two great, chart-topping Benedictine chant albums you've seen in the news lately. Speaking of drama, you also may have seen...

Catholic Accountability Mar. 28, 2014

I see an important and very welcome theme of accountability in recent Catholic news. I mean accountability within the Church. Some of this comes from the Pope himself, some from bishops who understand the fraternal correction required by collegiality. Consider these three news...

Writing Wrong, and New Life Mar. 25, 2014

There I was, all dressed up to do a review of the 2012 Proceedings of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, an instructive collection entitled Religious Liberty, which I just received in the mail. So I was, in effect, writing up the growing number of conflicts between Catholics and modern political...

Politics and Theology Mar. 21, 2014

Man is a political animal, and it is very hard for him to keep his politics out of his religion. A typically unfortunate example of this is the current struggle in Crimea. Consider these two recent news stories: Report: Russian Orthodox move to seize other churches in CrimeaCrimean bishop...

Much for Catholics Think About Mar. 18, 2014

Food for thought today. For example, I have fleshed out my prediction in Friday's message that we need not fear the Synod on the Family: Synod 2014 on marriage: Lots of smoke, but hardly any mirrors. But that does not mean we should not carefully evaluate proposals for the pastoral care of...

The Marriage Game Mar. 14, 2014

Catholics are being rather deliberately prodded toward frenzy by media coverage of Pope Francis' desire for more effective pastoral care of those who are divorced and remarried. I examine the pastoral-doctrinal issue briefly in Mercy for the Divorced and Remarried. Phil Lawler looks at the...

Feel-Good Stories Mar. 11, 2014

Of course I'd be foolish not to save the feel-good stories until the end. First we have to get through Cardinal Timothy Dolan's unfortunate remarks in NBC's “Meet the Press”. See my latest: Homosexuality and Marriage: Channeling your inner Dolan is not enough. And then there is the...

Promise and Danger for the Church Mar. 7, 2014

It's been a banner week for commentary here at CatholicCulture.org. One of the most important topics has been the growing efforts to precipitate change in Catholic teaching on marriage, family and sexuality. See: Phil Lawler: Will conservative Catholics help media skew Church discussions on...

Being Lifted out of the Gutter, by God Mar. 4, 2014

The battle for purity in the modern world is ferocious and never-ending. An omnipresent, hedonistic mass media makes the struggle unavoidable. Nearly all men, along with many women, must wage a hard-fought campaign for self-mastery. Then the temptation to discouragement sets in, but discouragement...

How People Think Feb. 28, 2014

This is a landmark Insights message for exploring questions that relate to how people think, or do not think, as is often the case. Most examples came this week, in small doses, in The City Gates. Consider Phil Lawler's four posts: On the ‘sense of the faithful’, Bishop Lynch is...

Do Not Fear Forever Feb. 25, 2014

My title is stolen from Pope Francis' Q&A session on St. Valentine's Day with couples preparing for marriage. I always find these exchanges interesting, and the title makes a good motto not only for marriage but for life. All the more reason, then, for Phil Lawler to point out the dangerous...

Mistakes, Books and Authority Feb. 23, 2014

First, permit me some housekeeping. Apparently the Insights messages did not reach everyone on February 11th, 14th and 18th. I had introduced a bug into the dispatch routine, which I did not discover until 19th. Then I made a mistke in correcting the problem, which prevented the message of the...

Mistakes, Books, and Authority Feb. 21, 2014

First, permit me some housekeeping. Apparently the Insights messages did not reach everyone on February 11th, 14th and 18th. I had introduced a bug into the dispatch routine, which I did not discover until the 19th. This past Tuesday's message, A Day in the Life of the Church, is still...

A Day in the Life of the Church Feb. 18, 2014

Problems come and go, and somehow we all muddle on. So far this week, new materials on CatholicCulture.org illustrate the variety of concerns that perennially occupy Church. For example, Phil Lawler comments on the Archbishop of Newark's tendency to unnecessarily alienate the faithful (and...

With Friends Like the UN and the German Bishops... Feb. 7, 2014

The calculated attack on the Holy See (for that is what it was) by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child clearly showed the gulf which separates modern secularists from Catholics when it comes to the real needs of children, the rights of parents, and the values needed for a healthy social...

A Crisis of Sexuality Feb. 4, 2014

It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that the crisis of the contemporary world is a crisis of sexuality, including deep conflicts over its meaning and its proper ends. Consider these news stories over the past two days: New Orleans archdiocese vows to boycott firms that build Planned...

Bringing Good out of Evil Jan. 31, 2014

Sometimes the news demonstrates God's astonishing ability to bring good out of evil. For example, reports suggest that Syrian refugees are turning to Christianity in large numbers. In another case, a Catholic adoption agency in Scotland has been allowed, on review, to retain its charitable...

Focus on Spiritual Growth Jan. 28, 2014

Sometimes things just fall together, like several new offerings in the past few days that deal with holiness. For example, I have posted my second installment in the series on the marks of the Church: The Church's Mark of Holiness, Noted by Friends and Foes. Completely unmindful of any theme,...

Meditating on the Marks of the Church Jan. 24, 2014

I hope everyone will get as much benefit from my new series on the marks of the Church as I am getting from reviewing and reflecting on the relevant theology. The first in the series is on Church as manifestly one: The Church’s Mark of Unity, and How It Works. Among other things, this first...

The Battle Grows Tougher Jan. 21, 2014

Tomorrow is set aside in the United States as a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. This falls on the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion, a horror obviously not limited to America. It is also the day of our annual March for Life in...

A Question of Catholic Identity Jan. 17, 2014

This week, from the Pope right on down to yours truly, our new resources have a definite, consistent theme: Catholic identity. Both of Phil Lawler's On the News commentaries over the past few days explore an important problem we have in the Church, indifference to or dissent from the actual...

The Church is, um, S-P-E-C-I-A-L Jan. 14, 2014

The title of this message is not meant to convey my own personal satisfaction with the Church, but to point to something deeper: The Church really is the most extraordinary institution on the face of the earth—ever. Given this reality, it is painful to see how many Catholics act as if the...

Evangelization, the Church, Baptism and Sin Jan. 10, 2014

Presumably we are all struggling to evangelize more than we were a year ago. I know I've been wrestling with the various tensions and emphases necessary to this work. In my latest In Depth Analysis I've tried to dissipate misunderstanding as much as possible by rounding out my treatment of the...

Welcome to the New Year! Jan. 3, 2014

I try hard to welcome the new year on the first Sunday of Advent. But our broader perceptions are what they are, and we are far more likely to think about new beginnings on and immediately after January first. That's when the numbers change. For example, with the rest of you, I am looking...

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days