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Top 5: In Depth Analysis

Previewing confusion? The Pope’s new book-length interview by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Sep 8, 2017

On Thursday, the French edition of a new book-length interview with Pope Francis was published and available for sale on Amazon, if you have $49.95 to spend on a paperback. Catholic News Service...

A thumbnail guide to new Catholic books: Choose what appeals! by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Aug 23, 2017

I am going to turn a necessity into a virtue. Books have been piling up on my desk all summer. Even after giving about half of them away without a third glance, I am left with more than a dozen...

Human respect: Not only a sin in our time, but a theology by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Tuesday

Not long ago I described the Book of Jonah as a cautionary tale against “human respect”. I did not consider at the time how confusing this term can be today. I intended “human...

Victimhood and responsibility: Fargo’s critique of feminism by Thomas V. Mirus - Oct 12, 2017

Fargo, Noah Hawley’s anthology series inspired by the classic 1996 Coen brothers film, has been one of television’s most acclaimed dramas since it began its run on FX in 2014. It has...

Top 5: On the Culture

The latest effort to correct Pope Francis, for what it is worth Sep 26, 2017

Readers were no doubt startled by Phil Lawler’s assertion yesterday that “the ‘filial appeal’ to Pope Francis was not the most important story that emerged from the Vatican this past weekend.” It may strike some as scandalous that CatholicCulture.org should think the...

Charlottesville without Natural Law Aug 18, 2017

Almost nobody knows the problem that lies at the heart of the recent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia. For those who have not followed the action, white supremacists held a rally there which led to widespread outrage, the escalation of rhetoric, and some violence. President Trump is facing near...

Francis the Thomist? Do not lose the thread. Sep 29, 2017

Now Pope Francis has claimed that the morality underlying Amoris Laetitia is Thomistic. Please note that I am resisting the temptation to write another of my 10,000 word commentaries. Like the rest of you, I really, really want to have a life. Instead, to make things quicker and easier, I offer...

The pastoral imperative—and when it becomes a sin Sep 22, 2017

From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has placed great emphasis on pastoral care, often using colorful similes and metaphors, such as “the Church is a field hospital” and pastors must “get the smell of the sheep.” This is a salutary emphasis, for we are all...

On the importance of doing God’s will (contra mundum) Jul 27, 2017

I’ve joked several times about how hard it is to slog through the legal/ritual books of the Pentateuch: Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. But these do contain a number of dramatic historical episodes, from plagues to wars, including acts of both cowardice and courage—from going...

Top 5: On the News

Let’s stop pretending: something DID go wrong after Vatican II Aug 23, 2017

Something went wrong—seriously wrong—in the Catholic Church in the years after Vatican II. Can we all agree on that much? Leave aside, for now, the familiar debate about the causes of the problem; let’s begin with the agreement that there is, or at least certainly was, a...

What does Pope Francis mean by ‘irreversible’ liturgical reform? Aug 24, 2017

Liturgical reform is “irreversible,” Pope Francis says. If he means that history cannot be undone—we can’t rewind the tape—his point is beyond dispute. But surely he does not mean that we are stuck forever with the status quo. It is noteworthy that in speaking on...

Vatican document suggests excommunication for some Catholic politicians Aug 4, 2017

This week the Vatican launched an international campaign against corruption and organized crime. Well, that’s not quite right. This week the Vatican announced the campaign; it will actually be launched in September. So we don’t know exactly what it will be. If you read the full...

Father Martin and his allies: intolerance masked as a plea for tolerance Sep 20, 2017

See if you recognize this rhetorical strategy: Say that the people who disagree with you are motivated by hatred. Say that they’re dangerous extremists, a threat to civil society. Say that you are interested in genuine debate, but your opponents won’t allow it. Compare your...

The conversion of Russia: maybe not as we expected it Oct 13, 2017

All through the Old Testament and into the New, God surprised his People. We shouldn’t be caught off guard, then, if He still has surprises in store for us today. Elijah encountered God not in wind or the fire or the earthquake, but in the small still voice. [1 Kgs 19:11-13] The Messiah...

Top 5: The City Gates

Dangerous ideas at Google and the pain of Jordan Peterson Sep 7, 2017

In June, Stephanie Gray was invited to Google HQ and gave just about the best pro-life talk I’ve heard, “Abortion: From Controversy to Civility”. Gray uses the Socratic method, drawing out the traits people admire in those who inspire them, and then showing how the traits admired...

Scrapping the ‘theology of the body,’ and a new model for priestly ministry Oct 11, 2017

Reporting on a conference at Boston College , in which Amoris Laetitia was discussed by an impressive group of liberal Catholics—representing the full range of opinion from A to B—Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter reveals that the group was ready to jettison the...

Dogma lives loudly, but bishops are silent? Sep 8, 2017

The US bishops’ conference has reacted quickly and angrily to Steve Bannon’s charge that the bishops have economic motives for supporting immigration. Good. Now can we expect an equally quick robust response to the insinuation by US Senators that a faithful Catholic cannot be...

Coming soon: CWN unveils a new approach to Catholic news coverage Aug 25, 2017

For more than 20 years now, Catholic World News (CWN) has been presenting daily headline stories in the same format. That’s about to change. In 1996 CWN began providing readers with short summaries of the top stories that would interest Catholic readers (and readers interested in Catholic...

If celibacy is the cause, why do non-celibates have the problem? Sep 14, 2017

In Australia, two former Catholic priests have released a report saying that the root causes of sexual abuse by Catholic priests are—the things the two ex-priests don’t like about the Catholic Church. Since what they don’t like about the Catholic Church matches what the secular media don’t like,...