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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary


When a bishop discourages baptism....

When should the Catholic Church bow to orders from the state? I offer a simple answer to that question: Never.

Vision Book Cover Prints

Out of the past, three surprise books, all occasions of grace

Reading any or all of these books will be far too little to alter the course of history, or the progressive slide into ever-increasing infidelity on the part of the once-Christian West. For that a far-deeper conversion is needed than can come from reading alone—but also a far more widespread conversion, in God’s own time, inspired and nourished now by the few who lead the way.

What Segregation, White Guilt, and Black Power Can Teach Catholics

Racism came under new management. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called it: “The soft bigotry of low expectations.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori—Uniformity With God’s Will | Pt. 1

“Conformity signifies that we join our wills to the will of God. Uniformity means more -- it means that we make one will of God's will and ours, so that we will only what God wills; that God's will alone, is our will.”

Why can’t you just be “more loving”?

Catholics have a traditional expression which captures the proper attitude: “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” But more often than not, the person who hates the sins loved by the dominant culture is rebuked for being uncharitable, narrow, unfeeling, judgmental, and dogmatic. In other words: Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. The explanation of all this is blindingly obvious. It is rooted in that “respect of persons” which causes us to praise what our “betters” approve and to denounce what our “betters” condemn.

NOW bishops ask for ethical vaccines: too little, too late

The letter-writing campaign might have been a good idea, twelve months ago. But our bishops were silent then, when the ethical decisions were being made. Now the vaccines are on the market, billions of dollars have been invested, and the promotional campaign is in full swing. This campaign comes far too late.

On banning the Tridentine liturgy, and selling the Edsel

Isn’t it revealing, though, that the one liturgical option liberal Catholics cannot abide is the option for the ancient liturgy?

37—Jerome, the Curmudgeonly Commentator

Jerome is renowned for his biblical studies and translations, The Church invokes him as Doctor, Father, and Saint. Yet he is just as famous for his curmudgeonly character. He clashed with Augustine and Rufinus, disdained Ambrose and Chrysostom. His insults stand with the best of Mark Twain and Groucho Marx. He is often depicted angry in works of art, and the poet Phyllis McGinley said: “He wasn’t a plaster sort of saint.”

God exiles His people when He must. What about us?

God never acts in ways that are bad for us. But He does reach a time when, on any given trajectory, He knows He has done all He can do. He reaches a time when He recognizes our definitive refusal to take refuge in the shadow of his hand (Is 49:2)—a time when He can only lament for us, for the Church we claim to honor, and for the nation we inhabit, as he lamented for Jerusalem, “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you would not!”

After disrupting liturgy in London, police express empty ‘regret’ but make no promises

The showdown in Southwark was particularly shocking, but the same sort of conflict has been taking place in many other places— usually, I’m say to say, with similar results.

Pasolini’s Gospel According to Matthew (1964) w/ Heather King

In 1962, inspired by Pope St. John XXIII's outreach to non-Christian artists, a gay communist picked up the Gospels and ended up making a film about Jesus. This might make you nervous, but one thing with which you can't charge Pier Paolo Pasolini is taking liberties with his source material - the dialogue in The Gospel According to Matthew is drawn entirely from that book of the Bible.

Equality Act: Combating Christians and coercing churches

The so-called Equality Act, HR 5, pushed by President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will prevent churches which follow sexual morality as taught by Moses and Jesus Christ from obtaining commercial bank loans. Individuals who abide by the same teaching will see their employment opportunities severely curtailed under the bogus Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) provisions of HR 5.

102—Becoming Cultured Without a Bow Tie—James Matthew Wilson

Poet-philosopher James Matthew Wilson returns to the show to read poems from his new collection, The Strangeness of the Good, including his "Quarantine Notebook" series, and to discuss various topics in Catholic intellectual life.

Jesus is Not a Dictator

Without the brutal communism of the 20th century (and the emergent leftist tyranny in our country today), perhaps we would not as readily appreciate the absolute need for the Ascension of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Taking offense at Christ: Must we explain Him away?

Suppose instead that we stop playing games with the Christ of our own imaginings. Suppose we really do place Christ in His own concrete, human historical context. Suppose we figure out what the Jews of the first century understood Him to do and to say and to mean, and why their leaders were so sure they had to crucify Him. Suppose we find Him thus, receive him thus, recognizing rightly that it is the shoddiest of all methodologies to refabricate Him as a myth in order to explain Him away.

Equality Act trashes truth and crushes conscience

President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi want doctors and health care establishments to perform abortions and sex change operations, provide puberty blockers for minors, and assist at suicides even if private conscience and religious rights are violated. Presently, federal and state conscience laws protect doctors, nurses and health care establishments from having to comply with these immoral practices.

St. John Henry Newman—Mental Sufferings of Our Lord in His Passion

"... as His atoning passion was undergone in the body, so it was undergone in the soul also."

Easter in lockdown: ‘How can I keep from singing?’

If you are an adult, raised in the Catholic Church, you can remember the splendor of the liturgical traditions. But a young child cannot; those precious memories have not been formed, thanks to the Covid lockdown. The child has been taught to be docile, to be withdrawn, to avoid strangers (and even friends), perhaps even to stay away. Isn’t that roughly the opposite of the message we want to convey to our children during the Easter season?

101—The Non-Reactionary Tolkien—Holly Ordway

J.R.R. Tolkien is commonly perceived as a reactionary who totally rejected the modern world, and whose literary influences began and ended with the Middle Ages. Holly Ordway's new book, Tolkien's Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages, debunks that view of Tolkien's life and work.

Easter volume released: Free ebook

Easter falls on April 4th this year, and so the Easter volume of our ebook series for the 2020-2021 liturgical year has been released in our ebooks download area: Easter. This fourth volume in the annual series covers the entire Easter season, from the Easter Vigil (April 3rd) through Pentecost (May 23rd). It may be downloaded free of charge in the following formats: .mobi (Kindle), .epub (Nook and other standard ereaders), and .pdf (most computer devices).

The financial scandal now infects the Vatican judicial system

Everywhere but in Rome, responsible officials have learned that the cover-up only compounds the crime. Unfortunately, while we still know very little about the financial machinations that provoked that astonishing police raid, we now know that Vatican officials have gone to great lengths to conceal the truth.

The Chosen, an Education in Meditation

In anticipation of Season 2 of The Chosen, the popular TV series based on the Gospels, Thomas and James take a look back at Season 1 and what made it so remarkable. They are joined by Oratorian Br. Joshua Vargas. The show’s two greatest strengths are its writing, which James calls “an education in meditation on the Gospels”, and Jonathan Roumie’s outstanding, childlike yet masculine performance as Jesus, which Joshua considers “equally as compelling” as Jim Caviezel’s.

Celebrating Holy Week in the Home

Holy Week traditions for the home, 2021 Preparation for our home and the liturgical celebration of Holy Week.

St. John Henry Newman—On the Annunciation

“How, and when, did Mary take part—and the initial part—in the world's restoration? It was when the Angel Gabriel came to her to announce to her the great dignity which was to be her portion.”

Biden, Pelosi seek to close Christian adoption agencies

President Biden and Speaker Pelosi want adoption and foster care agencies shut down if they follow the teaching of Moses and Christ which embraces the truth that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman. They support HR 5, the so-called “Equality Act,” which manipulates the meaning of the word “discrimination.”

36—The Luminous Vision of Didymus the Blind

Didymus lost his sight at age four, and yet he became one of the most respected theologians on earth. This was in the fourth century, more than a millennium before Braille, audio tech, or other accommodations. Among his renowned disciples were Jerome, Rufinus, and Palladius. His life was long and full, intensely engaged in the controversies surrounding the doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation. His story should inspire anyone who hears it. And the story isn't over yet.

The outrage of the activists, the silence of the hierarchy

Liberal Catholic activists can always summon up the energy to profess surprise that the Church teaches what the Church teaches. But I confess that I am not at all surprised by the silence of the bishops who have sworn to uphold the Church’s teachings. The pattern is all too familiar.

On the frequent fatuity of scholarship

The danger of scholarship lies not so much in the intelligence and diligence of scholars as in the bully platform which society affords them as “voices” on radio, “talking heads” on television, and “quotes” in newspapers and magazines—not to forget, of course, the rights of the fraternity to pass along its strictly uniform values and theories to countless students. There is nothing, for sheer intellectual conformity, like the modern university.

The Ten Commandments and Systemic Clericalism

Bishops often distance themselves from aggressive Catholic lay endeavors (such as pro-life groups), effectively undermining the rightful role of the laity in the political arena. The general impression is that chanceries, not the laity, orchestrate Catholic political action.

100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo

We celebrate our 100th episode with the return of former Pennsylvania Poet Laureate Samuel Hazo. At 92, Sam remains prolific. In this episode Sam reads and discusses poems from his new collection, The Next Time We Saw Paris, a recurring theme of which is how each experience in time passes away, yet in passing away it becomes a singular whole which remains present as such in memory.

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