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The Insights eNewsletter

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

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The Human Mix of Good and Evil Jan. 30, 2015

It never ceases to amaze me how prone we men and women are to mix good with evil. We find it so hard to get things exactly right! Much of our commentary this week seems to address this mix. For example, Phil Lawler reflects on our responsibility to vaccinate our children, which has become a...

Rich Spiritual Instruction Jan. 27, 2015

I have been frustrated in my desire to write articles lately, because we find ourselves in a bit of a fundraising crisis for January. The Action Alert on our website tells the story in brief. It is with considerable frustration that I once again must ask your help. Amazingly, however, Phil...

On News Both Good and Fun Jan. 23, 2015

Today Phil Lawler raises a question about the strengths and weaknesses of Pope Francis (all popes have them). See Guess who thinks Pope Francis shouldn't give so many interviews? However, since Tuesday's message focused on problems, today let me emphasize recent developments that are either...

A Myriad of Problems for the Church? Jan. 20, 2015

When we scan the news, we encounter a seemingly unlimited range of problems with which the beleaguered Church must cope. I highlight one, theological in character, which causes too many divisions today. I refer to mistaken ideas about the Gospel. See my latest On the Culture: Christ freed us...

Growing Divisions, or Signs of Growth? Jan. 16, 2015

While it is never difficult to find good news among the followers of Christ, it seems clear that we are living through a time when political and social pressures against the message of Christ are growing stronger. This actually creates a paradox as the West increasingly lives in denial of...

Theater of the absurd? Our cultural and social choices Jan. 13, 2015

It seems we are constantly faced with bad alternatives. For example, over the weekend, Phil Lawler attempted to make sense of the Hobbesian choice which afflicted so much coverage of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack. Do we really have to choose between blasphemy and terrorism? See Murder,...

On Faith in God and Giving the Pope a Break Jan. 9, 2015

I thought it humorous but not unexpected that Phil Lawler felt the need this week to write about Pope Francis' pending encyclical on human ecology. It's the latest conceptual crisis of the Catholic chattering classes. As usual, Phil was right on target: Could we postpone debate on the Pope's...

Christmas Reviewed: Looking behind and ahead Jan. 6, 2015

In this first Insights message of 2015, the most important thing to note is that we Catholics should be still celebrating Christmas. How quickly we forget! So let's remember: Christmas does not end until The Baptism of the Lord on January 11th. Why not do at least three things to keep the...

A Blessed Christmas! Dec. 23, 2014

With all my heart, I wished to write something uplifting and full of gratitude for our users before Christmas. I particularly wanted you to understand how much I value your interest in and support of CatholicCulture.org. But the distributed denial of service attack struck last Thursday, and...

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...

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