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 doctrinal obscurity by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jun 28, 2017

The most important thing I read while on vacation this month was Phil Lawler’s June 23rd commentary, “A papal commission reconsidering Humanae Vitae? No, but...”. This is not...

Making sense of the Old Testament God by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jul 17, 2017

In Priestly Atonement, by the Numbers, when I mentioned the apparently harsh measures (such as plagues) which God took to make sure the Israelites did His will, I acknowledged how “difficult...

Priestly Atonement, by the Numbers by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jul 14, 2017

As I continue this excursion through the somewhat trying Biblical books of Leviticus, Numbers and eventually Deuteronomy, one of the most important concepts in Numbers that I’d like to...

Top 5: On the Culture

A new legalism denies the moral content of moral rules. May 30, 2017

Guess what? The dismissal of moral norms is a modern form of legalism. This point was made brilliantly last week by Russell Shaw writing in the Arlington Catholic Herald: The old legalism is a morality of young children, for whom being good means doing what parents and other authority figures...

Renewal Phase 2: Making the parish central again May 22, 2017

Back in the late 1960s, when I first began to see the urgent necessity of renewing the Church, the available options were both few and primitive. The disruption of clerical leadership in dioceses, parishes and religious communities throughout the West was so rapid and thorough that it quickly...

Don’t worry: The Black Pope is just a symbol of the zeitgeist. Jun 2, 2017

I have added the head of the Society of Jesus to my list of alleged persons who cannot possibly be real. It was not enough that Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal insisted in February that we must discern the meaning of Christ’s teachings for ourselves, and that the Holy Spirit might lead us to an...

The Catch-22 of Christian witness by those who are same-sex attracted Jun 9, 2017

We ought not to kid ourselves about the difficulties same-sex attracted people face in bearing witness to the positive ways they have found to deal with their temptations, including the help they have received from their Lord and Savior and His Church. This issue is coming to the fore as Catholic...

Pope Francis and Humanae Vitae: The difference to me Jul 7, 2017

Let us return for a moment to Phil Lawler’s commentary on June 23rd, A papal commission reconsidering Humanae Vitae? No, but…. I was visiting family in California when Phil posted this, but I did want to say something further about what is a very important topic. The points made in...

Top 5: On the News

An ignorant, intemperate Vatican assault on American conservatism Jul 13, 2017

With a harsh denunciation of American conservatism, published in the semi-official Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica, the Vatican has plunged headlong into a partisan debate in a society that it clearly does not understand, potentially alienating (or should I say, further alienating) the Americans...

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...

Benedict XVI is silent, but we all know what he thinks Jul 24, 2017

When Pope-emeritus Benedict praised the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner for maintaining his faith in the Church “even if at times the ship is almost filled to the point of shipwreck,” many readers thought he was referring to the state of Catholicism under Pope Francis. Was...

A partisan vision at the Vatican? Further thoughts on that Civilta Cattolica essay Jul 19, 2017

A week after the appearance of the Spadaro-Figueroa rant against American conservatives, I am still shaking my head with disbelief, wondering how a semi-official Vatican journal could have published such a harshly partisan and grossly misinformed analysis of American politics. I am not...

A dead woman kept alive? The story makes no sense, unless... Jul 11, 2017

What’s wrong with this headline? Brain dead pregnant woman, 21, was kept alive for 123 days... Obvious, isn’t it? If she was kept alive, she can’t have been dead. “Alive” and “dead” are not compatible conditions. But when brain-death is involved,...

Top 5: The City Gates

The truth about the Vatican sex-and-drugs scandal Jul 7, 2017

If you’ve been following the news this week, you’ve probably seen sensational reports about a gay-sex-and-cocaine ring at the Vatican. The stories, alas, are true. But the details have been thoroughly garbled in virtually every media report. What actually happened? Last week a...

No, not every lifestyle is sinful Jun 14, 2017

“Pretty much everyone’s lifestyle is sinful,” Father James Martin told the New York Times. That statement is outrageous. In a sane world, Father Martin’s Jesuit superiors would order him to apologize. We are all sinners; we are all sinful. But we are not all engaged...

Did Benedict just break his silence? May 23, 2017

For more than four years, since his resignation took effect, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has very carefully avoided public comments on the state of the Church. For someone who was a very public figure and a very prolific author, his silence was conspicuous. When he announced his plan to resign,...

Dangerous ideas at Google and the pain of Jordan Peterson Aug 9, 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...

Bishop Paprocki and his critics: someone here is unhinged Jun 28, 2017

Liberal Catholics are badly rattled by Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s decree that Catholics engaged in same-sex marriage cannot receive the sacraments in his Springfield diocese. So badly rattled, in fact, that… The excitable Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter argues...