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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...

Is there a “morality gap” in the way Pope Francis presents his favorite themes? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Feb 7, 2017

I find myself wondering whether Pope Francis does not sometimes undermine his own favorite themes, such as Divine mercy and Christian unity, by his obvious reluctance to articulate their significant...

Top 5: On the Culture

Three Catholic essay collections, useful in different ways Friday

Recently three different collections of essays crossed my desk, from three different publishers. In some ways, these collections remind me of the various ebook volumes of our own collected essays which CatholicCulture.org makes available as free downloads. But such collections are as different as...

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...

The first requirement of Church renewal in our time Mar 28, 2017

The Catholic Church has often been called “the Church of here comes everybody”. The reason is very basic: You typically do not find the Church to be representative of just one ethnic group, nationality or social class. Membership in the Catholic Church is rarely based on encouraging...

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...

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...

A pastoral crisis the Church cannot (yet does) ignore Friday

The Archdiocese of Boston has opened a new church. That news drew headline coverage, in a city that has become more accustomed to stories about church closings. To be perfectly honest, the news stories are a bit misleading. There have been a few new churches opened in Boston in the past 60...

Cardinal Wuerl goes off Mar 8, 2017

A very small number of people, whose voices have been amplified by some of the Catholic media, have challenged the integrity of Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Thus does Cardinal Donald Wuerl begin an essay defending the papal document—and, far...

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...

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...

Do. Not. Miss. This speech by Cardinal Sarah Mar 31, 2017

If you have time to read just one article over the weekend, here’s what it should be: Cardinal Sarah’s Address on 10th Anniversary of “Summorum Pontificum” Catholic World Report has done a great service by posting this address in its entirety, in an excellent English...

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,...