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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

German bishops should emphasize mission, not change rules by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Feb 6, 2014

The assessment of attitudes on sexuality, marriage and family life by the bishops of Germany, while not surprising, is extraordinarily telling. In the end, the bishops ask for rule changes to admit...

God, Character, and Literature: Paula Huston’s Land without Sin by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Feb 20, 2014

As longtime readers may have noticed, I occasionally pick up and review newly published examples of what we loosely call “the Catholic novel”. Unfortunately, since Flannery...

Are we tempted beyond our strength? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Mar 7, 2014

We have all heard from the time we were knee-high to a tadpole that God never permits us to be tempted beyond our strength. If we’ve done any spiritual reading, this axiom has been drummed...

On the Spiritual Growth of Larry and Carl and...Us by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jan 28, 2014

I have a friend named Larry who is as secular and as liberal as they come. He thinks religious dogma divides people, preventing them from reaching out to each other in their common humanity. He is...

Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage, Fidelity, Communion, Vocation by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Mar 19, 2014

In response to Phil Lawler’s City Gates piece about the Impending Catholic debate on divorce (March 14th), a Sound Off! comment by “Dan” raises the question of whether we really...

Top 5: On the Culture

A Strange Case: The Clash’s drummer-turned-chiropractor on music, healing, and his return to Catholicism Mar 15, 2014

The Clash is one of those bands you’re almost guaranteed to have heard whether you know it or not. The seminal English punk act made a dent in the rock music scene in 1977 with their first, self-titled album, featuring a simple, aggressive style with political lyrics, exemplified by songs...

Lessons of the Pro-Life Blackout: From Pressure to Persecution Jan 21, 2014

In describing the annual bout of blindness, Phil Lawler presents a welcome tongue-in-check look at how the annual March for Life in Washington is typically handled by the media. The spontaneous blackout of effective news coverage of this event—which actually creates a very effective...

The Crisis of the German Hierarchy Comes to a Wrongheaded Head Mar 5, 2014

Sadly, the German cat is now rather obviously out of the bag, at least for those who thought it was still in the bag: German bishop demands change in Church teachings on sexuality. Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier is using the recent survey in preparation for the Synod on the Family to prove that...

Fighting Heterosexuality: The Sin of Categorizing Persons Mar 13, 2014

My title is not a slip of the pen; it is not supposed to be “fighting homosexuality”. But what could I possibly have against heterosexuality? The problems with this term were recently outlined by Michael Hannon in First Things. The argument is imperfect, I think, but it bears close...

What the Charlotte controversy reveals about the acceptance of Catholic teaching Apr 3, 2014

News coverage is now available for the resolution of complaints about Sister Jane Dominic Laurel’s controversial presentation at a Catholic high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Nashville Dominican sister spoke at a school assembly about Church teaching on marriage, divorce,...

Top 5: On the News

How contraception undermines our national security Feb 12, 2014

“There are signs,” observed Muammar Qaddafi in 2006, “that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe—without swords, without guns, without conquests.” Qaddafi himself is now dead, the victim of the Islamic fervor he helped to arouse. But his prophecy may be coming true...

Challenge for a religious journalist: how to handle a report about exorcism Jan 30, 2014

How should a news service like CWN, dedicated to providing a Catholic perspective on current events, handle a story like this one, about a reported exorcism in Gary, Indiana? It is a complicated story, with a very confused religious background. There are hints of dabbling in the occult,...

Please, some honesty from the Vatican about the health of religious life Feb 7, 2014

The life of consecrated religious communities worldwide “is really enjoying good health at this moment,” Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, the secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious, has reported. His evidence? The archbishop told an EWTN interviewer that in his travels...

The dangerous pressure for change in Church teaching on divorce and remarriage Feb 24, 2014

As the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops draws near, we’ll hear more and more about one question: Whether Catholics who are divorced and remarried should be allowed to receive the Eucharist. Clearly this is the question on the minds of reporters, the question being posed by liberal bishops,...

Will conservative Catholics help media skew Church discussions on marriage? Mar 5, 2014

Seven months before the Synod of Bishops meets to discuss pastoral care for the family, one can easily foresee how the mass media will cover the prelates’ discussion. It is not easy to predict which themes will emerge as most prominent in the Synod fathers’ debates. But it is very easy...

Top 5: The City Gates

An Italian nun is a singing sensation, and I don't care. Mar 24, 2014

During the past week, at least 100 people have sent me links to stories about the nun who has wowed a TV audience with her singing on the Italian version of the popular show, The Voice. Great. Wonderful. I hope she wins. If your cousin goes on that show, I hope he wins, too. But please...

What's left for the Legionaries? Mar 7, 2014

What do you do with a religious order that has lost its mission? In a revealing interview last week with the Catholic News Service, the new leader of the Legionaries of Christ spoke about how the order’s founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel, had covered up his criminal...

Impending Catholic debate on divorce: more serious than birth-control dispute Mar 14, 2014

In the Light of the Law, the blog run by canon lawyer Edward Peters, is always informative and sometimes more. This post, on the “gathering storm” over the possibility that divorced and remarried Catholics might be admitted to the Eucharist, is more. Peters shares my belief that...

Douthat's grim prediction on the crusade for acceptance of same-sex marriage Mar 3, 2014

Here’s an insightful and sobering op-ed column by Ross Douthat of the New York Times, who fears that the US Supreme Court will eventually follow “the logic of its own jurisprudence” and redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. Starting out from that grim prediction, Douthat predicts...

Pilgrimage - they don't make it like they used to Mar 15, 2014

What’s the difference between a pilgrimage and a vacation? There was a time when going on a pilgrimage involved a great deal of sacrifice. Pilgrims traveled great distances to holy sites, often on foot, enduring great physical hardship to reach their destinations for some spiritual purpose...

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