Action Alert!

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

Sing of Mary, 4a: Everything there is to know about the Mother of God, Part 1 by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Dec 6, 2016

One way to retreat from vexing situations, without failing to grow in our ability to handle them well, is to turn our attention to Mary, who faced so many of these situations without being able to...

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...

Cardinal Müller walks the tightrope: A Catholic tutorial? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Dec 2, 2016

I have been advocating the end of an unhealthy preoccupation with the problems presented by Pope Francis, but I am going to risk further comment because I find that Cardinal Müller’s...

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...

Sing of Mary, 4b: Everything there is to know about the Mother of God, Part 2 by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Dec 13, 2016

Having introduced Michael Hesemann’s remarkable book last week, I’d like to complete my consideration, as promised, of Mary of Nazareth: History, Archeology, Legends. The pervious...

Top 5: On the Culture

When questions are perceived as threats, a guilty conscience is at work. Nov 29, 2016

As the fallout from Amoris Laetitia continues to settle, it is difficult to imagine a more illuminating exercise than to compare recent statements by San Diego’s Bishop Robert McElroy and Cardinal George Pell. Bishop McElroy’s new policies invite the divorced and remarried to discern...

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...

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,...

The Gift of the Priestly Vocation: The importance of countercultural formation Dec 9, 2016

As we reported on December 7th, the Congregation for the Clergy issued a new outline of proper formation for the priesthood, a framework for more detailed plans to be developed in the various countries around the world. It is symptomatic of the problems facing the Church today that our headline...

Religious freedom, meaningless without truth Dec 16, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama praised the Maccabees on Wednesday at a White House Hanukkah reception. The Maccabees were a family of brothers who, following their father’s lead, defended Israel against conquest by pagans in the second century before Christ. Praising Jews who “dare to...

Top 5: On the News

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...

The rhetorical strategy to debunk the dubia Dec 16, 2016

At this point it’s quite clear: close associates of Pope Francis, defenders of Amoris Laetita and critics of the four cardinals who submitted the famous dubia are all reading from the same script. When you notice that many different people are using the same arguments—in fact the same...

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...

The impoverished faith of the San Diego diocese Nov 30, 2016

How would you feel if, after struggling to make ends meet for most of your life, you learned in your old age that you were the rightful heir to an enormous fortune, but your father had never told you about that inheritance? You would feel terribly betrayed, wouldn’t you? In the Diocese...

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...

Three things the Pope can’t say Dec 5, 2016

Within the Catholic Church, the authority of the Roman Pontiff is considerable. But even papal authority—and especially papal infallibility—has its limits. The Pope speaks with authority when he sets forth the deposit of the Faith, explaining—in union with the college of...

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...

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...

Vatican follies, continued Feb 15, 2017

First the Vatican calls a press conference to announce the publication of a book by Cardinal Coccopalmerio. With their ears to the rumor mill, journalists covering the Vatican report that this book will be a response to the dubia—thus the excitement. But then Cardinal Coccopalmerio does...