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Top 5: In Depth Analysis

Should we criticize Pope Francis, or not? If so, how?
Part 1: Rationale
by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Sep 8, 2016

Over the last thirty days my own criticism of Pope Francis has been more pronounced than usual. Given last week’s extensive criticism of the Pope’s suggestion regarding the works of...

Papal governance by sleight-of-hand strains my grasp of culpability and Canon Law. by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Sep 16, 2016

The quarrel over the position I took in “Not heretical: Pope Francis’ approval of the Argentine bishops’ policy on invalid marriages” has prompted both serious rebuttals and...

Ad Orientem: Thoughts on debating the non-essential by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jul 15, 2016

When it comes to discussions of the liturgy, some readers find my viewpoint appalling, while others regard it as a breath of fresh air. The reason is fairly simple: I have an extremely...

Don’t discount meaning. It leads to happiness. by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Aug 2, 2016

I’m gazing out a window overlooking Willsboro Bay on Lake Champlain. I have an opportunity to do this for a few days most Summers, because my mother-in-law has a “camp” up here....

Back to Amoris Laetitia: When do we owe “religious submission of mind and will”? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Aug 24, 2016

A Spanish ecclesiology professor, Fr. Salvador Pie-Ninot, has asserted in L’Osservatore Romano that Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia is an act of the ordinary...

Top 5: On the Culture

Not heretical: Pope Francis’ approval of the Argentine bishops’ policy on invalid marriages Sep 13, 2016

According to news reports, Pope Francis has commended the bishops of Argentina for recognizing that Amoris Laetitia permits Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics in some cases, without benefit of annulment. The result is that some Catholics are now saying that Pope Francis has crossed the...

Why Be Catholic? 6: Divine Intimacy Jul 6, 2016

Among all the concepts of God the world has known, only one draws the believer into the most profound intimacy of love. This intimacy is completely dependent upon the unique way in which the Christian God interacts in its three persons, and in which the Catholic God interacts with men. I refer, of...

Why Be Catholic? 5: Perfection Jul 5, 2016

Anyone with aspirations to human perfection ought to investigate Catholicism seriously. This is, in some ways, an extension of the second number in this series dealing with personal freedom, for freedom is essentially the ability to pursue one's proper end, which is also the path to...

Why Be Catholic? 8: Incarnation Jul 8, 2016

There is, in the Catholic vision of reality, a profound understanding of the impenetration of matter by grace which we call the Incarnational principle. The Incarnation of God the Son as Jesus Christ is the bedrock which underlies the Christian vision of the relationship between God and man. In...

Why Be Catholic? 10: Reason Jul 12, 2016

At first glance, a title which makes “Reason” a point in favor of Catholicism may look odd to modern eyes. We’re accustomed, after all, to thinking of reason as a faculty which we must use independently of faith to solve human problems, something that faith obscures. It has been...

Top 5: On the News

Catholic bishops 'don't get it'—the fundamental problem is a corrupt clerical culture Aug 11, 2016

“Who is going to save our Church? Do not look to the priests. Do not look to the bishops. It’s up to you, the laity, to remind our priests to be priests and our bishops to be bishops.”                          ...

Is Catholic-Muslim dialogue possible? Yes, but... Aug 4, 2016

This week began with the striking statement from Pope Francis that Islam should not be regarded as the source of terrorist violence. The Pope's statement, suggesting that Islam is no more or less prone to violence than other faiths (including our own), is one in a long line of simliar claims,...

Is Pope Francis deliberately subverting papal teaching authority? Sep 15, 2016

Today the greatest threat to the teaching authority of the Pope is the Pope himself. Pope Francis specializes in unsettling remarks-- most frequently, it seems, during in-flight interviews. But the responsibility of the Roman Pontiff is to settle questions: something that Pope Francis seems...

A whiff of schism: when different Catholics hold radically different beliefs Friday

At a Catholic parish in Athy, Ireland, a lesbian couple who resigned from parish ministry after entering a legal marriage has returned to active participation—and to loud applause. So now everyone is welcome in St. Michael’s parish, right? Wrong. Anthony Murphy, the editor of...

The only way to restore public confidence in Catholic bishops Jul 21, 2016

The revelation that the apostolic nuncio in Washington quashed an investigation into the alleged misconduct of an American archbishop is another damaging blow to the wounded credibility of the Catholic hierarchy. Nearly fifteen years after the sex-abuse scandal destroyed public confidence in the...

Top 5: The City Gates

Cardinal Sarah's speech: a stealth success? Jul 13, 2016

You might say—many commentators have said—that with the quick Vatican smackdown of Cardinal Sarah's proposal for ad orientem worship, Rome has spoken and the case is closed. I disagree.  On the contrary, Cardinal Sarah has reopened a much-needed discussion about how to...

Please don't call it 'senseless' violence Jul 26, 2016

The latest atrocity by the Islamic State—the brutal murder of an elderly priest, carried out during the holy Sacrifice of the Mass—was not a senseless act. Abominable, yes. Disgusting, surely. But senseless? No. It was premeditated. It was intentional. It was part of a larger...

Actually, Mother Teresa did NOT become a saint on Sunday Sep 5, 2016

Just for the record—to correct the thousands of inaccurate headlines you’ve already seen— the Pope did not make Mother Teresa a saint yesterday. Nor did she become a saint yesterday. She already was a saint. Pope Francis formally declared her to be a saint. Canonization is what you might call...

Cardinal Burke's 'unhelpful' suggestion Jul 28, 2016

In his interview-book Hope for the World, Cardinal Raymond Burke makes the (accurate) observation that Islam envisions a state governed by Islamic law. “In reality, there is no place for other religions, even though they maybe tolerated,” he says. This does not sit well with some...

Three questions on Biden's latest display of contempt for the faith Aug 2, 2016

A Catholic who participates in a ceremony at which a woman claims priestly ordination is subject to the penalty of excommunication, because that ceremony is a parody of a sacrament. So what about a Catholic who participates in—in fact, officiates at—a same-sex wedding, which is also a...