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Reading between the lines

This week both Phil Lawler and I are, in different ways, recommending that we make a point of reading between the lines. We don't wish to encourage unjustified conclusions, but it is important to recognize the rhetorical devices used by those who would weaken our faith. That's the...

Missing Link!

It really is unlikely, I suppose, that I am the missing link between apes and men. But there was a missing link in yesterday’s Insights message. Here is the proper link to the first of Phil Lawler’s commentaries mentioned there: A partisan vision at the Vatican? Further thoughts...

Advocates of secularization

This message may have an odd title, but that's my beneath-the-surface take on the Spadaro debacle and what it reveals about the unfortunate pontificate of the current pope. When a Vatican leader and the Pope's principal advisor rants against serious Christians and consistently uses the...

Keeping the Faith, in everything

Better late than never! After an unproductive day trying to program something new, I'll have to keep today's (tonight's?) Insights message brief.... But we do have several new things which are worthy of note, beginning with Fr. Jerry Pokorsky's homiletic essay on the vital...

Necessary & unnecessary commentary

Sometimes the only thing we can do is state the obvious. Some might consider this unnecessary, but we do hope it helps to prevent confusion. For example, here's a story about another absurd essay in La Civilta Cattolica: Papal advisers lash out at American conservatives,...

Fact and fiction in Catholic news

Today's theme seems to be the problem of getting at the truth surrounding the actions of key players at the Vatican. Distressingly, many outlets distributed legitimately distressing but also error-ridden stories last week. None of this is pretty, but on Friday Phil Lawler let us know The...

The best laid plans...

First some housekeeping: I'd like to remind you to check out our new online STORE, which highlights products with Catholic value. Anything you purchase after entering Amazon through the CatholicCulture.org store will earn us 8% of the purchase price. The link takes you directly to the...

Two changes to CatholicCulture.org

Over the past ten days we have made two significant changes to CatholicCulture.org which I want you to know about. 1. New CatholicCulture.org Store We have opened a CatholicCulture.org store, which you can enter by clicking the new SHOP option on our main menu. This new STORE takes...

Borrowing trouble?

Back at my desk: I arrived home at about 3:30 am today after visiting family. I've chopped through accumulated mail and overgrown grass. It is time to get going again on CatholicCulture.org. Still, I haven't yet done anything worth noting in today's Insights message. So let me...

The sins of the Church?

Grappling with the alleged “sins of the Church” is very difficult. Too often no distinction is made between the Church as body and bride of Christ and the Church as represented by her individual members, all of whom are sinners. Keep this in mind as you read Phil...

Questions affecting Catholic renewal

Announcement: I'll be visiting family between June 13th and June 26th, so I'll be on a seriously reduced work schedule. I will probably send only one Insights message each of the next two weeks. Today, however, I took up a vexing question in the Church's efforts to address...

Called and gifted for glory

Over the weekend I found myself surprised by a message I found very close to the beginning of the Old Testament. See: Called and gifted for glory: An unlikely lesson from Exodus? Interestingly, Pope Francis has been sounding a similar theme, especially in his addresses to participants...

The closing of the Catholic mind

In How conservative ideas are censored, and how to break that barrier, Phil Lawler explains the need to escape mere politics and put more energy into education and culture. Catholic ideas cover a broader range, but most often they are rejected as well. Worse, they are too often drowned out from...

Back at my desk, in a terrible rush...

It is 6:30 pm, I'm being called for dinner, and I've barely had time to catch up on the things that piled up while I was away for the Memorial Day weekend. Who hasn't been in this situation? So, with apologies for brevity, I will have to take the easy way out, and simply list the...

Renewal pros and cons

Please note: I will be out of town on Friday, so there will be no Friday Insights message. Also, last week I highlighted Cardinal Sarah's address at our National Prayer Breakfast. Oops! That address was given last year. Apologies. Today I'd like to take a page from Pope Francis'...

Successful Easter Campaign (says R2-D2)

I am extraordinarily pleased with the results of our Easter Campaign to win a challenge grant of $14,000. We actually received donations of over $16,000. I have posted the list of qualifying donations: 2017 Spring Matching Gifts. Thanks to all who participated! Less optimistically, both...

Original sin at work

We never have to look far to see the results of Original Sin in our world, but over the weekend I found that some people have odd ideas about it. So let's start with my latest In Depth Analysis: Original Sin: What is it really and why does it matter? Now, perhaps, we can better...

Fascinating Catholic Issues

This week we have a very diverse set of issues grabbing headlines and commentary. The Catholic way of life never ceases to fascinate! Before I give the highlights, though, I want to ask you to take a moment—if you have not already done so—to help us collect the matching funds...

Europe on the rocks

Over the past few days, Phil Lawler has brought us all up to date on the continued decline of Europe, including the Church in Europe. See especially these two notable commentaries: Apres moi le deluge Why is a Catholic bishops’ conference cheerleading for the European...

Shhh! Media at work!

It is amazing how important modern means of communication are to the formation of culture around the world. It is no wonder, then, that Pope Francis would like to reform how the Curia communicates with the world. See Phil Lawler's analysis: The obstacles to reform of the...

Back to True Catholic Renewal

Phil Lawler has raised important questions about Catholic renewal in cities that keep closing churches without a decline in the nominal Catholic population. See A pastoral crisis the Church cannot (yet does) ignore. This reminded me that I had not yet proposed an answer to a question I raised a...

Our political bishops

Yesterday CatholicCulture.org published a special report on a matter which has been undermining confidence in the Church for some months now: Internal documents show split within Knights of Malta. It seems like our bishops are becoming increasingly political. Do they ever ask themselves how...

God's Love and our Response

I'm very happy to announce that we have a Challenge Grant for the Easter Season. Any new gifts given starting today will be matched up to $14,000. Please be generous! Less happily, Phil Lawler has looked into the operations of the St. Luke Institute, which has played a key role in...

Celebrating the the Easter Octave

Let's keep things positive today, as we continue through the Easter Octave, in which each day is a solemnity. Ignatius Press has published two lengthy interviews with cardinals who are doing great work in high positions in the Curia, even in the midst of considerable confusion. See my...

Reflecting on our Easter Faith

We all know that the Church in her members often appears as Christ in a very distressing disguise. We see something of this problem in the very distressing confusion within the Church herself. That's why I've collected over forty of my essays into a new (and free) ebook. See Thinking...

Rising on Easter

Our staff will be on a reduced schedule from Holy Thursday through much of Easter week, in keeping with the most important spiritual and familial priorities. Note also that there will be no Insights message on Good Friday. During Holy Week, I believe Fr. Jerry Pokorsky would like us to...

Up next: Holy Week

Please do not lose sight of the fact that this Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. For this current week, however, we still have some important topics to cover. For example, Phil Lawler has been probing behind the news, and on some points he is not satisfied. See Reading the news...

The SSPX: Almost reconciled?

Considering how often Pope Francis denounces “rigidity”, it is odd that he is moving so rapidly to regularize the Society of St. Pius X. You will remember that Pope Francis gave faculties to SSPX priests to hear confessions during the Jubilee of Mercy. Then, yesterday, he...

A tale of two cardinals

Please note: This is the last day to meet our budget for March. We are about $1,000 short. If you can help, please do! Onward. Phil Lawler offers us a tale of two cardinals in his two most recent brief commentaries: Do. Not. Miss. This speech by Cardinal Sarah Cardinal Turkson sees...