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

Human respect: Not only a sin in our time, but a theology by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Oct 17, 2017

Not long ago I described the Book of Jonah as a cautionary tale against “human respect”. I did not consider at the time how confusing this term can be today. I intended “human...

Key perceptions of—and at—the Second Vatican Council by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Nov 14, 2017

Most of us have our own convictions about the nature and significance of the Second Vatican Council. Surprisingly, we often hold these convictions without having read the documents. At this point,...

Victimhood and responsibility: Fargo’s critique of feminism by Thomas V. Mirus - Oct 12, 2017

Fargo, Noah Hawley’s anthology series inspired by the classic 1996 Coen brothers film, has been one of television’s most acclaimed dramas since it began its run on FX in 2014. It has...

Theories that Francis is not the Pope destroy the credibility of the Church’s Divine Constitution. by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Nov 7, 2017

I am sorry to have to return to this topic (see On the lunatic fringe, Francis is not the Pope), but it is clear that some Catholics are missing a piece of the confusing puzzle that is the...

Renewal in secular cultures: The need to distinguish between sheep and goats by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Nov 28, 2017

Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to effect a widely effective renewal within the Church in our time? After all, individual Catholics too numerous to count have made this their top priority...

Top 5: On the Culture

The latest effort to correct Pope Francis, for what it is worth Sep 26, 2017

Readers were no doubt startled by Phil Lawler’s assertion yesterday that “the ‘filial appeal’ to Pope Francis was not the most important story that emerged from the Vatican this past weekend.” It may strike some as scandalous that CatholicCulture.org should think the...

Caveat emptor? Sandro Magister, Robert Sarah, Charles Chaput on Pope Francis Oct 24, 2017

Magister on The Last Things That inveterate Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister wrote an excellent column on Friday entitled “World’s End Update. The ‘Last Things’ According to Francis”. He began by noting that Pope Francis’ atheist interviewer, Eugenio Scalfari,...

Francis the Thomist? Do not lose the thread. Sep 29, 2017

Now Pope Francis has claimed that the morality underlying Amoris Laetitia is Thomistic. Please note that I am resisting the temptation to write another of my 10,000 word commentaries. Like the rest of you, I really, really want to have a life. Instead, to make things quicker and easier, I offer...

The pastoral imperative—and when it becomes a sin Sep 22, 2017

From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has placed great emphasis on pastoral care, often using colorful similes and metaphors, such as “the Church is a field hospital” and pastors must “get the smell of the sheep.” This is a salutary emphasis, for we are all...

The Silence question is apostasy. Too many get the answer wrong. Nov 30, 2017

Shusakū Endō’s 1966 novel Silence raised haunting questions about apostasy in the minds of many readers, troubling questions which have been called to our attention repeatedly by the various film adaptations of the work: Silence directed by Masahiro Shinoda (1971), The Eyes of Asia readapted...

Top 5: On the News

Father Martin and his allies: intolerance masked as a plea for tolerance Sep 20, 2017

See if you recognize this rhetorical strategy: Say that the people who disagree with you are motivated by hatred. Say that they’re dangerous extremists, a threat to civil society. Say that you are interested in genuine debate, but your opponents won’t allow it. Compare your...

In rebuke to Cardinal Sarah, Pope contradicts himself Oct 23, 2017

Once again Pope Francis has announced a change in canon law—without making a change in canon law. In his letter to Cardinal Sarah, made public on October 22, the Pope says that some provisions of Liturgiam Authenticam “have been abrogated,” and the entire 2001 document...

Luther left the Church. Today, dissenters stay. Oct 31, 2017

Whatever else you might think or say about Martin Luther, give him credit for this much: having broken with Catholic teaching, he broke away from the Catholic Church. Today’s dissenting Catholics rarely show the same consistency. Even after rejecting the fundamentals of Catholic doctrine, they...

The conversion of Russia: maybe not as we expected it Oct 13, 2017

All through the Old Testament and into the New, God surprised his People. We shouldn’t be caught off guard, then, if He still has surprises in store for us today. Elijah encountered God not in wind or the fire or the earthquake, but in the small still voice. [1 Kgs 19:11-13] The Messiah...

Why does Pope Francis refuse to respond? Sep 28, 2017

As Jeff Mirus has already pointed out, there was never any reason to think that Pope Francis would respond to the “filial correction” made by several dozen Catholics. After all the Holy Father has already received and ignored similar pleas from thousands of concerned lay Catholics,...

Top 5: The City Gates

On the lunatic fringe, Francis is not the Pope Oct 27, 2017

It has finally happened. I’ve received an email from a sincere reader explaining that Pope Francis is not the Pope, because Pope Benedict really never resigned. Hence, Pope Francis is an anti-pope. In this case, the argument is that Pope Benedict resigned only from being “a bishop...

Scrapping the ‘theology of the body,’ and a new model for priestly ministry Oct 11, 2017

Reporting on a conference at Boston College , in which Amoris Laetitia was discussed by an impressive group of liberal Catholics—representing the full range of opinion from A to B—Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter reveals that the group was ready to jettison the...

Yet another bishop from Wichita. Coincidence? Nov 21, 2017

Father Shawn McKnight, a priest of the Wichita diocese, has been chosen as the next bishop of Jefferson City, Missouri. By my count that will make five priests of the little Wichita diocese (Catholic population: 100,000) to named bishops in the past 20 years. That’s an extraordinary...

A priest’s #1 distraction at Mass—and how to avoid it Dec 1, 2017

In the Memoriale of St. Pierre Favre (aka Peter Faber), I happened across this startling entry: During Mass on the day of St. Clare, I felt myself somewhat distracted by my desires; one was to edify those present, the other to obtain devotion for that purpose. In the past I have often...

Advent-Christmas Ebook released for new liturgical year Nov 27, 2017

The Advent and Christmas ebook volume for the 2017-2018 liturgical year has been released in our ebooks download area. This is the first volume of the coming new liturgical year, which begins on December 3rd, the First Sunday in Advent. It may be downloaded free of charge in the following formats:...