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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...

Life presents the oddest contrasts

So far this week, our theme seems to be strange contrasts. For example, considering all the talk about mercy in the Church these days, what are the odds that I would argue that if we understood the first requirements of mercy, we might actually be able to get on with the renewal of the...

$7,236 by the 31st: Lenten Sacrifice?

Thankfully, we knocked $2,100 off our potential March deficit over the weekend. But we must raise $7,236 more in new donations to make ends meet this month. We strive daily to provide the information and formation Catholics need to live their faith fully and confidently in very distressing...

Accentuating the Positive

I guess Bing Crosby had it right in his hit song “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive”. Or perhaps Johnny Mercer had it right, as he wrote the lyrics to this Harold Arlen tune and was the first to record it in October of 1944. But Bing and the Andrews Sisters recorded it again on the...

Hope continues to bloom in Africa

You may have noticed that an African theologian has said that the issue of Communion for the divorced and remarried was settled in the negative there a long time ago: African Catholics reject Communion for divorced/remarried, theologian reports. This reminded me again of how different the...

Struggling with the saints

I was sad to see that L'Osservatore Romano has published another attack on the integrity of those who are confused by the way Pope Francis is handling marriage, divorce, annulment and Communion. Now we are being accused of dissent! I believe it is time to remind everyone of what lies at the...

Catholic news that speaks volumes

Before we get to several highly interesting news stories, let me highlight the intriguing connections Phil Lawler draws in his latest Quick Hits: The EU in crisis, the genocide in the Vendée, the opioid epidemic. Let me also introduce a note of literary criticism. It can be far more...

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving

Arguably a good Lent involves a personal plan for the three old standbys. We need to spend more time in prayer, discipline our appetites, and increase our generosity to those in need. CatholicCulture.org cannot take food off your table, but this week we do have some advice from Fr. Jerry...

Dissent, Prayer, Hope

Lent is a time for us to reflect on our own resistance to grace, whether a reluctance to commit to greater virtue or, worse, an unwillingness to accept the teachings of the Church Christ founded for our salvation. It is in this spirit that I offer a very serious reflection on Pope Francis...

Food for thought in Lent

OK, maybe the word food shouldn't be stressed during this season! This Lent is likely to be penitential in two ways: Somehow we must turn increasingly bad news about the leadership of the Church into an opportunity for self-sacrifice leading to greater union with God. This is not easy....

Lent is upon us!

I like to joke that Lent is the only liturgical season that is also a four-letter word, but it remains a great spiritual opportunity. Tomorrow, of course is Ash Wednesday. The message I've been hearing from the pulpit is that we need to have a plan. That's Jennifer Gregory Miller's...

A resurgence of infidelity?

Today I took a close look at a serious problem in the Church which some of us are tempted to ignore. That's because the root of the problem is so unsettling. See Why is there a resurgence of infidelity among Catholic leaders? Please note that the importance of our Catholic mission is...

The Church, money and power

This Tuesday message is brought to you by the letter "W" (for Wednesday). My wife, a teacher, had Monday off, so I worked only a half-day. So yesterday, of course, I thought it was Monday. I am mostly focused on two things today. First, after writing about our relationship with Pope...

Roman curiosities?

The Vatican Press has now published a booklet by the head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts—not writing in his official capacity—which argues that Amoris Laetitia is perfectly clear and then proposes yet another interpretation. It is no wonder that Phil Lawler has had...

From Vatican vexation to Tolkien's talent

I was disturbed yesterday to see the news that Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals had felt the need to give him a vote of confidence. When that sort of thing happens, you know that trouble is brewing in a turbulent papacy. Today Phil Lawler explains: Unrest at the Vatican; reassurances...

Women priests: Really? Again?

As we reported earlier this week, the Vatican-controlled journal La Civilta Cattolica has published an article which attempts to raise once again the question of the ordination of women to the priesthood. I respond in Reopening the question of women priests: A theological travesty and a...

Posters in Rome show discontent with Pope Francis

Perhaps the most interesting news story so far this week concerns the posters critical of Pope Francis that were posted on the streets of Rome on Saturday. These posters clearly represent the views of faithful (and frustrated) Catholics, even if their charity and prudence might well be...

Churchmen: Avoid hasty judgments!

By far the most important Catholic news story this week broke on Wednesday: Cardinal Müller, German bishops clash on interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. Cardinal Müller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has now stated that Pope St. John Paul II's...

Francis and Trump: Controversial!

The furor is continuing to grow over the way Pope Francis treats those who do not share his pastoral emphasis. Phil Lawler brought us up to date with his latest Quick Hits: New perspectives on the abortion debate and on Amoris Laetitia. Phil is forced to conclude, sadly, that Pope Francis has...

On the affairs of popes and presidents

I do not write on politics very often, but at the beginning of Donald Trump's presidency, I considered whether we would see him rise—or fall: In Potentia: Donald Trump’s Upside, and Donald Trump’s Downfall. Meanwhile, anticipating the March for Life in Washington, DC...

It's time to make...connections

It is a sad fact of our busy lives that we often fail to maintain close connections with others whose lives might be changed significantly if we did. And we often fail to see the logical connections in the many patterns of good and evil with which we are confronted. In today's...

Controlling the narrative

Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States today, with at least the possibility that political correctness will fall on hard times. As we have learned also from Pope Francis, so much of both politics and religion depends on who controls the narrative. It is appropriate,...

Spiritual growth under pressure

Sometimes spiritual growth occurs under pressure from others to become holy, and sometimes it occurs under the pressure to abandon holiness. Once we grow to love God, of course, absolutely everything can spur us to greater holiness. The fallout over Communion for the divorced and remarried will...

The tone of life, and of evangelization

I found myself thinking today about the various ways we speak to people about our faith, and I realized that we don't use any sort of a prophetic voice any longer. That is a style of speech that we have to be careful with, but surely it cannot always be wrong. See Denunciation, condemnation...

Questioning Mary?

We Catholics are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. Pope Francis has offered special indulgences throughout the entire anniversary year, from November 27, 2016 through November 26, 2017. If you are interested in taking advantage of this spiritual...

Gearing up for the New Year

The Catholic year begins in Advent, but there is something about the rhythm of the Christmas holidays that causes us to feel the need to gear up for the new year in early January. I tried to gear up for 2017 fundraising by improving our pledge-tracking system. That was supposed to take about...