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Most Popular Within the Last 90 Days

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Top 5: In Depth Analysis

The other side of the Francis effect: Hypersensitivity and hysteria? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Dec 1, 2015

David Bentley Hart has expressed his perplexity over the “anxiety, disappointment, or hostility” Pope Francis inspires “in certain American Catholics of a conservative bent.”...

Old Earl's Christmas by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Dec 21, 2015

I had known Earl for as long as I can remember, though he was my senior by thirty-seven years. He was a hard-working, reliable man, an excellent provider for his family, always responsible and...

Under-the-radar signs of progress in Vatican reforms by Phil Lawler - Dec 22, 2015

Have you noticed that as Christmas approaches, you spend less time reading news headlines? There are two reasons for that phenomenon. First, you have other things on your mind; you’re busy...

Francis on Communion: The Pope's deeper questions, and ours by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Nov 19, 2015

In responding to the Lutheran woman who asked how she could receive Communion with her Catholic husband (see my earlier analysis), Pope Francis raised a profound question. It is a question...

The Pope on Christian Humanism: To understand, we need concrete applications. by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Nov 12, 2015

In a major address to the Italian bishops on Tuesday, Pope Francis outlined his vision of the Church in terms of “Christian humanism”. We now have a translation of the entire text,...

Top 5: On the Culture

The Pope's advice to a Lutheran woman with a Catholic husband on receiving the Eucharist Nov 16, 2015

Personally, I would prefer Pope Francis to be less prone to shifting spiritual questions to the internal forum in order to escape a clear and consistent exposition of the principles involved. That’s how I’m built. But I can anticipate violent reactions and glaring headlines in response...

Politics is dead: This year, avoid the quadrennial silliness. Jan 15, 2016

2016 is a presidential election year in America. Most citizens will fasten their attention on the Republican and Democratic candidates. A minor third-party candidate may emerge. Even those with outstanding Catholic values will invent some reason for insisting it is absolutely essential to elect...

A response to my critics: Has Pope Francis poisoned the well? Nov 23, 2015

Regarding my essay “Francis on Communion: The Pope’s deeper questions and ours”, the vast majority of the responses were negative. The oddest thing about the responses, however, was that most of them criticized me for positions I did not take. When something like this happens,...

The Synod 2015 Final Report: Just how good is it? Dec 17, 2015

When George Weigel finally wrapped up his “what really happened” account of the 2015 Synod on the Family, it was predictable that he would give it a positive spin if he honestly could. Those who follow my own comments on Catholic affairs know that I try, whenever possible, to do the...

Tastes in spiritual reading and devotional books (mostly mine) Dec 16, 2015

I confess that, for spiritual reading, I don’t use much but Scripture any longer. This is hardly an indication of virtue, though it could be a sign of approaching death. Over the years I’ve read quite a few of the most famous spiritual works by saints and doctors, some of them more...

Top 5: On the News

Obama is wrong; persecuted Arab Christians should be given priority for asylum Nov 18, 2015

With thousands of refugees from the Middle East clamoring for entry, President Obama has said that it is “shameful” to suggest that Christian refugees should be given preference. That statement is wrong: legally, politically, and morally wrong. Although Obama condemns “religious tests” that...

Selective compassion: the dangerous step the Pope might take Nov 13, 2015

Sometime soon—we know not when—Pope Francis will issue a document concluding the work of the Synod on the Family. One question looms over all others: Will the Pope endorse the Kasper proposal? Father Raymond de Souza predicts that he will. “He has steadily prepared the Church...

How the 'church tax' corrupts German Catholicism Nov 20, 2015

“There is always a danger of corruption within the Church,” Pope Francis said in a November 20 address to visiting bishops from Germany. “This happens when the Church, instead of being devoted to faith in our Lord, in the Prince of Peace, in joy, in salvation, becomes dominated...

In the war on family life, why are most American men neutral observers? Jan 8, 2016

What will it take to rouse the protective instincts of American fathers? The role of a father is to protect his family. The role of a man—a real man, I mean—is to protect the vulnerable. Yet the vast majority of American men today are sitting idly by, couch-potato spectators, while their...

To preach, to sanctify, and... Is something missing? Wednesday

Pope Francis knocked me off balance, and prompted some new thoughts about the state of the Catholic Church, with something he said in a recent homily. Or rather, to be more accurate, he stunned me by what he did not say—by leaving out part of a very familiar series. Let me explain first...

Top 5: The City Gates

The single most disturbing statistic Dec 17, 2015

America faces a danger every bit as serious as terrorism, and it’s not being discussed by presidential candidates. The Pew Research Center points to it, in a new report, “The American Family Today.” …in 1960, the height of the post-World War II baby boom, there was one...

The environmental(ist) degradation of St. Peter's Dec 9, 2015

Almost as soon as the Year of Mercy was formally opened, the concept of Divine Mercy was trivialized by a light show, with images of the environment displayed across the façade of St. Peter’s basilica. Pope Francis took pains, in Laudato Si’, to draw a connection between the...

Change in Holy Thursday liturgy encourages do-it-yourself liturgical experimentation Jan 21, 2016

On its face, the Pope’s decision to include women in the foot-washing ceremony of the Holy Thursday liturgy does not seem a matter of earth-shaking importance. The question only arises once a year. The liturgical rule that included only males has been widely ignored for years, and the skies...

Father Rosica on Islam: 180º from reality Nov 16, 2015

"Allahu akbar" was never a call to violence & destruction. That astonishing quote comes from the Father Thomas Rosica, the English-language attaché of the Vatican press office, in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris. What is “astonishing” about...

NPR discovers the 'secret' that pro-lifers have been sharing for a generation Wednesday

Congratulations to National Public Radio for discovering what Steven Mosher has been telling the world for the past 35 years: that China's brutal "one-child" population policy led to flagrant and widespread human-rights abuses, including millions of forced abortions, and produced a...