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Commentary

Most Popular Within the Last 90 Days

Make a selection to view the top 5 items in each commentary section.

Top 5: In Depth Analysis

The Problem with Catholic Social Teaching by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Aug 21, 2014

Long-time readers will know of my respect for Samuel Gregg, director of research at the Acton Institute. Not only do we have a number of his articles on social-economic-political issues in our...

On Not Settling for Less: The Cognitive Guide to Happiness by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Sep 4, 2014

This essay explores the relationship between human experience, human knowing, and human happiness. It grew to some six thousand words, so I divided it into sections, with a table of contents and...

Does the Kasper proposal undermine the New Covenant? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Oct 2, 2014

In yesterday’s City Gates piece, Using the figure of Pope Francis for evangelization, I alluded to aspects of Pope Francis’ approach which keep us off balance and raise questions in...

Church Fathers: The Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas by Thomas Van - Aug 19, 2014

The Didache One of the most important sources from the age of the Apostolic Fathers is “The Lord’s Teaching through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations,” commonly referred to by...

The Mystery of Music, Part II by Thomas Van - Sep 22, 2014

Speak, you who are older, for it is fitting that you should, but with accurate knowledge, and do not interrupt the music. —Sirach 32:3 The task Labat sets about in The Song That I...

Top 5: On the Culture

It is time to revoke the Catholic status of the LCWR Aug 18, 2014

Today’s news of the LCWR’s closing act of defiance against ecclesiastical authority tells us all we need to know. Those familiar with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious have been painfully aware that the spirituality of the group is rooted in paganism, its cherished causes...

An Appointment that Francis Should Withdraw Aug 28, 2014

At his Wednesday audience, Pope Francis lamented divisions in Catholic parishes, so often caused by gossip and other sins of the tongue. He also explained that the unity of the Church has its origins in the unity and communion of the Trinity itself. But last December he appointed Bishop Nunzio...

Bishop Finn in Kansas City: Not quite up to date? Sep 30, 2014

Frankly, I was among the most vigorous supporters of Bishop Robert Finn when he took over the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in May of 2005. It did not take this “Opus Dei” bishop long to start making the kinds of changes which are so critical to both Catholic renewal and the New...

A lesson in prudence: Stopping the Black Mass in Oklahoma City Aug 26, 2014

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit against the group which intended to conduct a Black Mass in the OKC Civic Center Music Hall. The suit was grounded in the claim that the Satanist group could not hold a Black Mass without a consecrated host, and that the group could not possess a...

Oklahoma’s Black Mass: Untethered art or Satanic overreach? Aug 6, 2014

So far this year in the United States, we know of two efforts to stage a public Black Mass. The one scheduled to take place at Harvard University in May was ultimately cancelled as Catholics rallied to a Eucharistic Holy Hour. But a new plan in Oklahoma raises even deeper questions. I would not...

Top 5: On the News

NY archdiocese should sever ties with St. Patrick's Day parade Sep 4, 2014

You don’t honor a saint by encouraging a sin. No doubt there have been homosexual persons marching down Fifth Avenue every year in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. There was never any ban on their participation; there was no test of sexual orientation for marchers. But next year the...

The Pope is not the problem Oct 23, 2014

Thoroughly rattled by the stories that emerged from the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, many faithful Catholics are now worried that Pope Francis is leading the Church in a dangerous direction—and perhaps even doing so intentionally. Their fears are understandable, in light of some...

Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam Aug 29, 2014

Faced with the savage violence of the Islamic State (ISIS), Christians can be tempted toward two unhelpful emotional reactions. On one extreme is the thirst for vengeance. If Muslims extremists kill innocent Christians, intemperate voices suggest that we should kill innocent Muslims. Then we,...

What's wrong with this Synod, II: Debate is free, open (and censored) Oct 10, 2014

Speaking to the Synod of Bishops on its first day of discussions, Pope Francis urged the participants to speak out boldly, “without human respect, without timidity.” The secretary-general of the Synod, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, echoed that message, saying that “discussion at the Synod is to...

The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed Sep 19, 2014

“Now let’s make two things clear,” President Barack Obama said in his televised address to the American people on September 10. First, he said, “ISIL [the Islamic State] is not Islamic.” But that’s precisely what is not clear about the Islamic State and about...

Top 5: The City Gates

Could respect for the papacy mean resisting the Pope? Saturday

A challenging column by Ross Douthat in the New York Times prompts me to clarify my thoughts on the recent Synod and especially the Pope’s role in the October session. Douthat kindly links to my piece, “The Pope is not the problem,” as representative of efforts by...

No, the Vatican has not endorsed the US military action in Iraq Aug 12, 2014

Several internet sites are reporting that Pope Francis has endorsed the US bombing campaign in Iraq. Those reports are inaccurate. Some leading Church officials—not including the Pope—have spoken in support of military action to prevent the continued slaughter of Christians. But...

Addressing the Root Cause of Clerical Homosexual Behavior and Pederasty Sep 12, 2014

The Church has attempted to address the issue of clerical pederasty—arguably belatedly—as a problem of crime and punishment on the one hand, and personality on the other. The announced appointment of Robert Geisinger, SJ will hopefully address the problem of abuse with a more...

The rising, dangerous influence of 'transgender' ideology Aug 27, 2014

Stella Morabito, who has been writing perceptive commentary for the Federalist site on the dangers of the trans-gender movement, has made another important contribution with her observation that radical feminists, of all people, are violently opposed to this, the latest offensive of the sexual...

Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. Oct 23, 2014

In the aftermath of the push for the Kasper Proposal at the 2014 Synod on the Family, some Catholics have fallen into the fairly serious error of confusing sacramental discipline with Catholic doctrine. It is Catholic doctrine, for example, that valid sacramental marriage is indissoluble,...

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