A solid majority of the Vatican’s top officials— appointed and retained by the Pope— remain in office despite the fact that their tenure seems to violate the general rules that Pope Francis himself has set in place.
It seems that an apology is demanded whenever some horrendous wrong is discovered to have been committed in the distant past by Catholic priests and religious, on the one hand, and/or agents of the State, on the other hand. By distant past, I mean a period of time far enough back that nobody in the present Church and/or government is responsible for it.
The schools were administered by churches, but the government was ultimately responsible. So if conditions were substandard (which they were) and abuse occurred (which it did), the blame should not fall exclusively on the Church.
Brandon McGinley joins the show to discuss an interesting little book from 1967 that has re-entered the discourse, Prayer as a Political Problem by Jean Danielou, SJ. Danielou insists that prayer forms a constitutive part of the temporal common good. Governments, therefore, have a responsibility to create conditions making it easy for the common people to conduct a spiritual life.
In the coming months, many Catholics and non-Catholics alike will be refusing vaccines on prophetic moral grounds. Is there a better way of expressing horrified disapproval of the immorality of human vivisection and using aborted remains for medical research and development?
It is not a priority of any kind for Catholics to eliminate sinners from the Church; we are all sinners. Nor is it a top priority to eliminate suffering for Christ; we are all called to carry the Cross. But it is a very high priority indeed to eliminate ambiguity; for we are also called to let our yes be yes and our no be no—simply because anything else comes from the Evil One (Mt 5:37).
“In your bread is hidden the Spirit which cannot be eaten. In your wine dwells the fire that cannot be drunk. Spirit in your bread, fire in your wine: It is a distinct wonder that our lips have received!”
If it is released in anything like its current form, the document now circulating in Rome would be a pastoral and doctrinal disaster. It would thwart a powerful movement for reform in the Church, and it would— paradoxically— undermine the Pope’s own authority.
Secular religions also use prayers that summarize their ideologies. But the slogans are manipulative with a fearful symmetry.
If you are looking for a way to understand the Bible better, and to make the Word of God more fully your own, I recommend a careful reading of Jeremy Holmes’ new book, Cur Deus Verba: Why the WORD became Words. Holmes, who is Associate Professor of Theology at Wyoming Catholic College is a highly credentialed theologian who has put his wisdom at the service of helping us to understand Sacred Scripture, and what it means to incorporate it into our lives.
Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 is widely considered to be the best film ever made about filmmaking, but it's about much more than that. Ingenious cinematography and surreal images convey the experience of a man who is increasingly lost in his own memory and fantasy, and so finds himself unable to have real relationships with the people in his life or to bear fruit as an artist.
The generally misunderstood strategy of synodality is selectively advocated by its proponents. Clerics such as the high-ranking Blase Cardinal Cupich promote it only when it promises to be a path toward the approval of their own ideas. For deeply secularized Church leaders, in fact, you can lay it down as an axiom that synodality is perceived as a “tactic from below” to change the Church in accordance with the spirit of the times. But that is not what it should be.
These people— who will block the doors to those who are unmasked and undocumented— are identified as “the parish’s greeter/hospitality team.” Some greeting; some hospitality.
The quest for synodality is a key theme in the teaching of Pope Francis. But the truth is that no one has a very clear understanding what “synodality” means. And maybe that's the point.
Catholic circles have seen significant division and anger over the COVID-19 vaccines. This discussion with Michael Pakaluk and Jay Richards, two signers of the statement “To Awaken Conscience”, avoids both rigorism and permissive legalism about cooperation with evil. Instead of dictating to or dulling conscience, it assists conscience by clarifying a number of issues related to the production and use of vaccines derived from aborted fetal cell lines.
For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.
What should a priest say to his people today as they head into the gale-force winds of cultural upheaval, a new cold civil war?
The goal of these measures is to treat policies which recognize sexual distinctions as invidious “discrimination” based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in every aspect of public and private life, including public accommodations, public facilities, adoption and foster care, churches, hospitals and medical care including for pregnancy or related conditions, sports and recreation, education, federal grant funding, women’s shelters, soup kitchens, employment, housing, and credit worthiness.
When Augustine's story is told, it too often ends with his baptism. But the drama of his later years is no less moving. He was as introspective at the end as he had been in his Confessions decades before. He gave his life and work a thoroughgoing review, even as he produced what many consider his masterpiece. His City of God marked the close of an age and the twilight of a brilliant life.
“Like the new mother, burdened with milk for the child, so the poet with the word within him, addressed to others.”
There is a big difference between “policy” and “virtue” and, choosing between these two, the Church’s business is virtue. A similar difference exists between “facts” and “truth” and, again choosing between the two, the business of the Church is truth. But if what I have just declared were really the case, why would so many ecclesiastical statements over the past fifty years concern themselves with social, environmental and managerial facts and policies? And so little with faith and morals?
In honor of Pope St. John Paul II's birthday, we discuss the 2005 film about his life starring Cary Elwes as young Karol Wojtyla and Jon Voight as the Pope. One of the strengths of the film, made within a few months of the saint's death, is its portrayal of John Paul II's Polishness and how it influenced him as a world leader. Other aspects of the film are outdated in light of what we know today, such as its sunny portrayal of the Vatican and the Curia.
His bishop cannot remove him from the Senate, but he can tell Kaine that his public stands are morally indefensible, that they constitute a scandal for the Church, that they endanger his immortal soul.
Although a straightforward paganism is growing today with the decline of Christianity in the West, most contemporary leaders would not admit to any formal pagan worship or the consultation of sorcerers and soothsayers. But their continuous record of latching onto convenient moral lies is a parallel case. Paganism was essentially religion without morality. It is the same today, except that our leaders do not typically refer to their oracles as “gods”.
“True, we should esteem the things that make for the glory of God, but we should show the greatest esteem for those that concern the will of God.”
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