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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

What’s Wrong with Historical Criticism of the Bible? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - May 19, 2014

When Pope Benedict XVI wrote his trilogy of works on Jesus of Nazareth, one of his purposes was to blend the useful aspects of historical criticism with a neglected tradition of Patristic exegesis....

“You can always try to shoot a famous person”: Collin Raye on country music and the folly of seeking stardom by Thomas Van - May 22, 2014

Anyone who listened to country music radio in the 90s has probably heard a song or three by Collin Raye, who had a string of chart-topping hits as well as a number of platinum-selling albums....

Are 50% of Marriages Invalid? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - May 8, 2014

In his updated essay on Cardinal Kasper’s public support for dissent, Phil Lawler reports Kasper’s claim that Pope Francis thinks 50% of today’s marriages are invalid. Along with...

Speaking clearly about dangerously imperfect communion with the Church by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jun 18, 2014

Two recent stories involving membership in the Church have been at once consoling and troubling. Their titles appear in the following links: Archbishop Cordileone responds to critics on March...

The Discernible Features of the Kingdom of God...in Us by Dr. Jeff Mirus - May 29, 2014

Last week in Entering the Kingdom of God: What Does this Mean?, I reviewed the relevant New Testament texts to suggest an answer to my title question. “Put simply,” I...

Top 5: On the Culture

Gay and Transgendered: What Comes Next? Jul 22, 2014

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson prohibited Federal discrimination in hiring based on race, religion, gender and nationality. President Obama’s latest executive order amends that to include sexual orientation and gender identity. In 1969, Richard Nixon prohibited any sort of discrimination in Federal...

Making Gay Okay: Robert Reilly Explains How and Why May 14, 2014

Ignatius Press has recently published an excellent book by Robert R. Reilly, entitled Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything. The focus is on the extraordinary rapidity of the change from social rejection to social affirmation of homosexuality. The author...

Entering the Kingdom of God: What Does This Mean? May 22, 2014

The Kingdom of God is a fairly difficult concept to pin down. The phrase does not occur in the Old Testament, but we find it directly referenced some sixty times in the books of the New Testament, with even more references in slightly different terms. Five of the NT writers—Matthew, Mark,...

Patriotic Holidays: Catholic Misgivings May 26, 2014

Each year in the United States, on both Independence Day and Memorial Day, I have decidedly mixed feelings. This is especially true at Masses which emphasize American “freedom” and honor all those in the armed forces who have “died for our freedom”. There is a certain...

Pope Francis: Some “Catholics” are not really Catholics Jun 24, 2014

Considering the subject of my last In Depth Analysis (Speaking clearly about dangerously imperfect communion with the Church), Pope Francis’ statement last Thursday that mobsters are excommunicated calls for additional comment. What did the Pope say, and how is it to be understood? The...

Top 5: On the News

What was wrong with the Pope's latest interview? A lot. Jul 15, 2014

In the messy aftermath of yet another papal interview, how shall I explain what went wrong? There were so many different problems, it’s hard to know where to begin. One might start with the odd habits of Eugenio Scalfari, the veteran Italian journalist who has now had three such sessions...

Cardinal Kasper's public support for dissent undermines his own proposal May 7, 2014

In a May 5 interview broadcast by WYNC radio in New York—in which he was repeatedly identified by host Brian Lehrer as “the Pope’s theologian”—Cardinal Walter Kasper made the striking statement: “The Church is not against birth control at all.” As...

Divorce, remarriage, Communion, and the sense of the faithful May 6, 2014

Some critics of Pope Francis (and some critics of yours truly) seem to think that it’s only a matter of time before Pope Francis endorses the the Kasper proposal, and gives the green light for Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive Communion. Some traditionalists are already...

The limits of academic freedom: final thoughts on the 'black mass' episode at Harvard May 22, 2014

“The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.” —T.S. Eliot.  Harvard University President Drew Faust did the right thing when she announced that she would attend a Eucharistic holy hour on the evening when a black mass was...

Surprise: The Kasper book doesn't really argue for the Kasper proposal! May 15, 2014

You know that Cardinal Kasper has advanced a proposal that seems to call for a radical change in Church teaching on marriage. You’ve heard that Pope Francis has praised Cardinal Kasper’s new book. So you conclude, not illogically, that Pope Francis agrees with the German cardinal’s proposal. I’m...

Top 5: The City Gates

Victory at Harvard: Satan defeated, the Eucharist enthroned May 13, 2014

Against all odds, last night became a great victory for the Catholic faith in the Archdiocese of Boston. Rather than a desecration of the Eucharist, the most noteworthy public event in Cambridge was a Eucharistic procession that stretched for several blocks. At Harvard, St. Paul’s church was...

Archbishop Carlson, don’t insult our intelligence! Jun 10, 2014

Please, Archbishop Carlson, don’t insult our intelligence, and we won’t insult yours. You have testified, under oath, that in the 1980s it was not clear to you that sexual abuse of children was a crime. Do you expect us to believe that? Do you want us to believe it? If you...

A happy epilogue for the Cold War Jun 3, 2014

One of the most enduring visual images of the Cold War—one of the early signs that the Soviet empire was doomed—was the sight of General Wojciech Jaruzelski, the Polish strongman, literally shaking as he addressed the enormous crowd that gathered to greet St. John Paul II on his...

The mistaken defense of Archbishop Carlson Jun 13, 2014

With his customary bravado, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League claims that “Archbishop Carlson Has Been Framed” and says that criticism of the archbishop’s testimony (including mine, presumably) can be attributed to “malice, ignorance and laziness.” Strong words....

John Allen’s Take on the Catholic Church Jun 3, 2014

Our readers have sometimes wondered why we make occasional references to the reports and insights of veteran Rome correspondent John Allen—considering that he was employed for so many years by that scurrilous rag, the National Catholic Reporter. Our excuse has always been the same: Allen is...

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