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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

Church Fathers: Introduction to the Greek Apologists by Thomas Van - Mar 1, 2015

Parallel with the increasing influence of Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism, the second century saw, along with sporadic State persecutions and anti-Christian riots, the publication...

Henri de Lubac's fascinating notes on Vatican II by Dr. Jeff Mirus - May 1, 2015

Here I explore the notes made by the French theologian Henri de Lubac as he prepared for and participated in the Second Vatican Council. I will gradually add revealing excerpts and comments from...

The Coup at the (Catholic) U by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Tuesday

It was a remarkable thing even for the 1960s—the takeover of the Catholic University of America by its heterodox Department of Theology. I am referring, of course, to the wholesale defiance of...

Church Fathers: St. Justin Martyr by Thomas Van - Mar 31, 2015

St. Justin Martyr, generally considered the most important of the Greek apologists, was born between 100 and 110, the son of a pagan Priscus in Flavia Neapolis, Palestine. Justin tells us in his...

Church Fathers: The Other Greek Apologists by Thomas Van - Apr 19, 2015

We know the names and some of the works of several other second century Greek Christian writers besides those covered in the preceding two installments. Though all of these explained and defended...

Top 5: On the Culture

Recognizing the Noonday Devil Mar 27, 2015

If you had to guess the characteristic vice of our age, what would you pick? Some might say lust, and that’s certainly a big one, but it doesn’t seem to get to the root of the problem. The safe choice, perhaps, would be pride. It’s certainly true, but the same could be said of...

Making Our Case: Is CatholicCulture.org Worth Supporting? Mar 31, 2015

I am a firm believer that the support of apostolic work should stand or fall on whether a large number of people find it valuable. It sometimes happens even in Catholic work that the availability of substantial funds from a small group of financial angels can obscure this usefulness...

On Pope Francis: Getting our heads out of the sand Mar 10, 2015

Every pope is controversial, but not all are controversial in the same quarters. You may recall how controversial (indeed, how annoying and even appalling) Pope John Paul II was to all those who aspired to worldly sophistication (and to schismatic Traditionalists). How they loved to denigrate the...

Patricia Jannuzzi on gay activists: And the real problem is? Mar 27, 2015

Anne Hendershott wrote a pretty good column on the Crisis website the other day (A Catholic School Removes Teacher for Defending Faith). She rightly identifies the excessive backlash (both popular and official) against Catholic priests, religious and teachers who put a foot wrong on the question...

Cardinal Marx’s Devastating Misconception of the Church Mar 31, 2015

Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s unfortunate assertion that the German bishops “cannot wait for a Synod” to approve Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics has drawn severe criticism from two other German cardinals. Clearly, there are significant divisions within the German...

Top 5: On the News

Insights on the enigma that is Pope Francis Mar 27, 2015

Two years after his election, millions of Catholics are still trying to understand Pope Francis. Two recent essays have provided useful perspectives: Writing for Crisis, Msgr. Hans Feichtinger, a priest of the Diocese of Passau, Germany, makes the important point that Pope Francis is not, like...

The patron saint of parish closings Mar 17, 2015

(This column, written three 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...

Liberal liturgists try to explain away a key appointment by Pope Francis Mar 11, 2015

Within a few weeks after the election of Pope Francis, rumors began to circulate in Rome that the new Pontiff would appoint Archbishop Piero Marini as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW). For liberal liturgists, these rumors were cause for celebration; for conservatives, for...

We've already redefined marriage, by accepting contraception May 1, 2015

In a must-read column for the Wall Street Journal, Rev. Donald Sensing, a Methodist minister from Tennessee, argues that acceptance of same-sex marriage “will not cause the degeneration of the institution of marriage; it is the result of it.” Understand that Rev. Sensing is not happy with the...

Pope Francis prevails in Round I of battle for Vatican reform Mar 5, 2015

Pope Francis has withstood the first major challenge to his campaign for reform within the Vatican. But the battle is not over. The Pope will face more challenges as that campaign continues. By approving the statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy with only a few minor modifications, the...

Top 5: The City Gates

The marketing failure of 'new' Catholicism May 15, 2015

Years ago, shortly after Coca-Cola made the ill-fated decision to alter its formula, the Wall Street Journal published a witty column, applying the lessons of that marketing debacle to the Catholic Church. (I can’t find that old WSJ piece now; I’ll be grateful if someone can furnish a...

Notre Dame has lost two contrasting giants Feb 27, 2015

On successive days, death has claimed two giant figures in the history of America’s most iconic Catholic university: two revered men, with very different ideas about that university’s proper role. The death of Father Theodore Hesburgh on February 26 will claim headline coverage, and...

Don't call Patricia Jannuzzi's reinstatement a victory Apr 14, 2015

Do you count it as a victory that Patricia Jannuzzi is back in the classroom? I don’t. It’s a good thing, certainly, that the Catholic-school teacher who was suspended for her Facebook criticism of homosexual activists has been reinstated. I’m happy for her, and for the...

An archbishop's unconvincing defense of marriage May 6, 2015

A contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times reports that he had a friendly exchange with Archbishop Blaise Cupich on the topic of same-sex marriage, and reproduces large chunks of that exchange for his readers. Naturally the archbishop says that he does not support legal recognition of same-sex...

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines Apr 24, 2015

In at least two American dioceses, the parents of children attending Catholic schools are being told that they must have their children vaccinated, regardless of their moral qualms about vaccines derived from the cells of aborted children. This is an injustice to parents who are determined to bear...

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