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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

Speaking clearly about dangerously imperfect communion with the Church by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jun 18, 2014

Two recent stories involving membership in the Church have been at once consoling and troubling. Their titles appear in the following links: Archbishop Cordileone responds to critics on March...

The Discernible Features of the Kingdom of God...in Us by Dr. Jeff Mirus - May 29, 2014

Last week in Entering the Kingdom of God: What Does this Mean?, I reviewed the relevant New Testament texts to suggest an answer to my title question. “Put simply,” I...

Principles of family life: A grandparent speaks by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jun 11, 2014

This past weekend, my oldest son, Christopher, arrived with his wife, Ellen, and their two-year-old son, Jeffrey Mirus, who (as you might wildly guess) is named after yours truly. They also have a...

The ITC’s compelling exploration of the sensus fidei—the sense of faith by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jul 8, 2014

The International Theological Commission has just issued a study of “the sense of the Faith”—Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church. The Commission, composed of up to thirty of the...

Introducing the Church Fathers by Thomas Van - Jul 27, 2014

Several years ago, CatholicCulture.org processed and made available online a set of the writings of the Fathers of the Church. In order to make our readers aware of this under-used resource,...

Top 5: On the Culture

Gay and Transgendered: What Comes Next? Jul 22, 2014

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson prohibited Federal discrimination in hiring based on race, religion, gender and nationality. President Obama’s latest executive order amends that to include sexual orientation and gender identity. In 1969, Richard Nixon prohibited any sort of discrimination in Federal...

Pope Francis: Some “Catholics” are not really Catholics Jun 24, 2014

Considering the subject of my last In Depth Analysis (Speaking clearly about dangerously imperfect communion with the Church), Pope Francis’ statement last Thursday that mobsters are excommunicated calls for additional comment. What did the Pope say, and how is it to be understood? The...

Patriotic Holidays: Catholic Misgivings May 26, 2014

Each year in the United States, on both Independence Day and Memorial Day, I have decidedly mixed feelings. This is especially true at Masses which emphasize American “freedom” and honor all those in the armed forces who have “died for our freedom”. There is a certain...

Sensitive Topics, Myself, Bishops, and Removing All Doubt May 28, 2014

After several years of self-restraint, I finally gave voice to misgivings about what I regard as abuses in the otherwise legitimate celebration of patriotic holidays. In each previous year, I had decided not to borrow trouble. This year, on the US holiday of Memorial Day, I thought I could avoid...

Augustine’s two rules for reading the Bible Jun 30, 2014

St. Augustine, whom most consider the greatest of all the Church Fathers, spends the last three “books” of his Confessions interpreting the spare outline of the Creation recorded in Genesis. The result is a moving tribute to Divine Love, and to the surpassing fulfillment each soul...

Top 5: On the News

What was wrong with the Pope's latest interview? A lot. Jul 15, 2014

In the messy aftermath of yet another papal interview, how shall I explain what went wrong? There were so many different problems, it’s hard to know where to begin. One might start with the odd habits of Eugenio Scalfari, the veteran Italian journalist who has now had three such sessions...

The ‘Pope Francis effect’—changing the way the world sees the papacy Jul 29, 2014

A long-overdue reform of the Vatican’s media operations is still only in the planning stages, yet the “Pope Francis effect” has already become evident in the way the Vatican handles the news. Take a look at today’s statement from the Vatican Information Service (VIS),...

Needed: speed-bumps on the road to divorce Jun 6, 2014

The “empty-nest divorce” threatens to become a familiar rite of passage in American life. During the first few years after graduation from college we are regularly invited to the weddings of our classmates and friends. A few more years pass, and we hear about the birth of their...

The Church, climate change, and the shadow of Galileo Jun 19, 2014

Do you want to know what I think about climate change? You shouldn’t. My formal training in the sciences ended 45 years ago, with an introductory course on geology. I do not attend scientific conferences; I do not read scientific journals. I do not understand the methodologies of...

Obama's executive order and the danger of reliance on federal contracts Jul 22, 2014

Just as American Catholic bishops were volunteering to help President Obama—by handling the thousands of children from Central America who are entering the US illegally—the White House has announced that the President doesn’t want help from the Catholic Church. How else should...

Top 5: The City Gates

Archbishop Carlson, don’t insult our intelligence! Jun 10, 2014

Please, Archbishop Carlson, don’t insult our intelligence, and we won’t insult yours. You have testified, under oath, that in the 1980s it was not clear to you that sexual abuse of children was a crime. Do you expect us to believe that? Do you want us to believe it? If you...

A happy epilogue for the Cold War Jun 3, 2014

One of the most enduring visual images of the Cold War—one of the early signs that the Soviet empire was doomed—was the sight of General Wojciech Jaruzelski, the Polish strongman, literally shaking as he addressed the enormous crowd that gathered to greet St. John Paul II on his...

The mistaken defense of Archbishop Carlson Jun 13, 2014

With his customary bravado, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League claims that “Archbishop Carlson Has Been Framed” and says that criticism of the archbishop’s testimony (including mine, presumably) can be attributed to “malice, ignorance and laziness.” Strong words....

John Allen’s Take on the Catholic Church Jun 3, 2014

Our readers have sometimes wondered why we make occasional references to the reports and insights of veteran Rome correspondent John Allen—considering that he was employed for so many years by that scurrilous rag, the National Catholic Reporter. Our excuse has always been the same: Allen is...

Gregorian Chant Camp for Children Jun 4, 2014

A reader, Daniel diSilva, sends us this short video he made about a musical summer camp at St. Anne Catholic Church in San Diego, CA. The camp immerses young people from age seven and up in the Church’s musical heritage of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. Watching the video, I was...

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