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Top 5: In Depth Analysis

Why is there a resurgence of infidelity among Catholic leaders? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Feb 24, 2017

Earlier this week, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus stressed the need to “discern” the meaning of Christ’s teachings rather than simply accept the way Catholic doctrine...

Reopening the question of women priests: A theological travesty and a spiritual tragedy by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Feb 10, 2017

La Civilta Cattolica has published an essay by its deputy editor, Father Giancarlo Pani, which seeks to reopen the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood. This journal, published by the...

Warning: Our strengths are often our weaknesses. Same with the Pope. by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Feb 17, 2017

How many times have you fallen into the traps set by the very strengths of your own personality? This is one of the great paradoxes of the spiritual life. As we come to grips with divergent...

Let’s get this straight: Concern about Pope Francis is not rooted in dissent, but in dismay. by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Mar 17, 2017

One wonders where Pope Francis finds the people who provide articles to L’Osservatore Romano which attack those who raise questions about his leadership. The latest is Father Salvador...

Grace under fire: How a false gradualism undermines resistance to temptation by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jan 19, 2017

There has been much talk of “gradualism” over the past generation or two, and most of it has been rather foolish. Whenever the term is used to describe the normal process by which a...

Top 5: On the Culture

Combatting the dictatorship of relativism, one soul at a time Jan 25, 2017

As an intellectual exercise, anyone who can think his way out of a paper bag immediately recognizes that relativism is a hopeless tautology. It affirms without a shadow of a doubt that truth does not exist, thereby proclaiming what would be, if it were possible, a very important truth. As a...

On the role of the Holy Spirit in papal elections Mar 3, 2017

A common question among Catholics today is: “What was the Holy Spirit doing during the conclave that elected Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis?” The answer, of course, is that the Holy Spirit was doing what He is always doing, prompting all involved to cast their votes for the good of...

Pope Francis and Bernard Häring: The literally infernal cheek of dissent Mar 7, 2017

During his discussions with the General Congregation of the Society of Jesus in November, Pope Francis praised the Redemptorist theologian, Fr. Bernard Häring, for being one of the first to try to revive an ailing moral theology following the Second Vatican Council. This was reported at the...

Out of Africa: The Church’s need for living rules Mar 21, 2017

When Fr. Paulinus Odozor told Crux that African Catholics had long since settled the question of Communion for the divorced and remarried, he gave us a glimpse of a younger and far more vibrant Church. It was this reality that I had in mind when I suggested the successor to Pope Francis might well...

Mary holy for only nine months? Jan 9, 2017

In a bizarre post by the standards of First Things, Peter J. Leithart attempts to explain the meaning of St. Matthew’s statement that Joseph “took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son.” Leithart, who is a minister in the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches,...

Top 5: On the News

This Disastrous Papacy Mar 1, 2017

Something snapped last Friday, when Pope Francis used the day’s Gospel reading as one more opportunity to promote his own view on divorce and remarriage. Condemning hypocrisy and the “logic of casuistry,” the Pontiff said that Jesus rejects the approach of legal...

Pope Francis has become a source of division Jan 27, 2017

Every day I pray for Pope Francis. And every day (I am exaggerating, but only slightly), the Pope issues another reminder that he does not approve of Catholics like me. If the Holy Father were rebuking me for my sins, I would have no reason to complain. But day after weary day the Pope upbraids...

The ideological purge at the Vatican Jan 25, 2017

For most of us, who are not Knights of Malta, the resignation of the group’s grand master will have little immediate impact. But the unprecedented papal intervention into the affairs of that venerable body fits into a pattern that should, at this point, worry all faithful Catholics. Under...

St. Patrick: the patron saint of parish closings? Mar 17, 2017

(This column, written five years ago, is re-posted by popular demand.) Needless to say, there is no patron saint of parish closings. The closing of a parish is a tragedy. A parish church is more than just a building. It is a repository of memories: of the children baptized there, the happy...

Blame the messenger: in this case Cardinal Burke Feb 10, 2017

A bizarre conspiracy theory has arisen, suggesting that the mounting tensions within the Church are the result of a right-wing conspiracy against an innocent Pope. The theory involves inaccurate characterizations of three people: in one case absurd, in another case delusional, and in the third...

Top 5: The City Gates

Unrest at the Vatican; reassurances backfire Feb 14, 2017

What in the world is going on in Rome this week? First the Vatican press office issues a statement from the Council of Cardinals, supporting the Pope. It would certainly be news if the Council of Cardinals did not support the Pope. But why was this statement newsworthy? Why did the Council...

Spadaro’s irrational faith Jan 6, 2017

Father Antonio Spadaro, the Italian Jesuit who has been identified as “the Pope’s mouthpiece,” frequently uses his Twitter account(s) to belittle all those who have questions about Amoris Laetitia. But this gem from yesterday might have a boomerang effect: Theology is no #Mathematics. 2 + 2 in...

Pro-life crowdfunding and Catholic Netflix Feb 20, 2017

I’d like to call our readers’ attention to two worthy new enterprises which look to fill significant gaps in the Catholic internet. First is a pro-life crowdfunding site called WonderWe. At first I wondered what the need for such a site would be, but as it turns out, mainstream...

Theologians’ conflicts of interest Feb 17, 2017

Gregory Baum, one of the influential theologians who led the charge against Humanae Vitae, has now revealed that he is, and has been since the 1960s, an active homosexual. Are you surprised? No; it’s a familiar story. A theologian writes that it’s unrealistic to expect people to live in sexual...

A Vatican whodunnit Mar 9, 2017

In Agatha Christie’s classic Murder on the Orient Express, the great detective Hercule Poirot faces an unusual challenge. There are too many suspects—too many people with obvious motives for committing the crime. That’s how I feel about the news that Archbishop Charles Brown,...