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Expert commentary on the spiritual, moral, political, social, cultural, and ecclesiastical issues facing Catholics today.

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Analysis of news events and trends.

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Celebrates positive work by Catholic individuals and organizations.

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Chilean Hierarchy: Crisis for the Church?

News agencies are reeling with the latest developments in the Chilean hierarchy's sex abuse scandal. For what we know so far, see Phil Lawler’s news analysis: All 31 active Chilean bishops join in mass resignation. Nobody knows yet what this means. Did Pope Francis demand it?...

The Church’s latest foray into economics: Brief, clear, on point

[B]usiness management cannot concern itself only with the interests of the proprietors, but must also assume responsibility for all the other stakeholders who contribute to the life of the business: the workers, the clients, the suppliers of various elements of production, the community of...

What IS the proper relationship between Church and State?

My last commentary (Crosses on public buildings: Yes or No?) indirectly raised the question of the right relationship between Church and State in a well-ordered society. This is a relationship that has been deeply distorted by the division of Christianity in the sixteenth century, and further...

Insights Addendum: Witness and Martyrdom

Yesterday, not long after I sent my Tuesday message, three new items were posted to CatholicCulture.org which you shouldn’t have to wait to hear about. First, we have the third episode of the Catholic Culture Podcast, featuring Thomas V. Mirus: Native American Catholicism & the New...

When a libel is ‘nothing personal’

Last December, reflecting on the death of Cardinal Bernard Law in First Things, I wrote: “Law became notorious for his handling of abuse complaints, and rightly so.” Does that sound to you like a sympathetic treatment of the late cardinal? In an article that that appeared in...

Mary, not Misogyny

It’s fair to observe that women tend to be more religious than men. A typical weekday Mass almost always has a disproportionate number of women in attendance. Prayer and religious devotion seem to be much easier for the ladies than for the gents. (So much for the “male-dominated”...

Conflict in Germany: A Mirror?

Germany has become a flash-point for some of the more interesting religious conflicts in the secular West. Recently we reported that the State of Bavaria had mandated crosses on public buildings. I finally found time to address that issue today: Crosses on public buildings: Yes or No? At the...

Crosses on public buildings: Yes or No?

I would not single out this issue, since it comes from a correspondent I had already mentioned, except that in this case we have a good question. In response to our story on the German State of Bavaria’s decision to put crosses on public buildings, we received an email stating categorically:...

Now Available: Liturgical Year Ebook for Ordinary Time after Easter

We have just released the fifth volume in the 2017-2018 Liturgical Year series of ebooks. Volume five covers the first half of the long stretch of Ordinary Time between the close of the Easter Season on Pentecost and the beginning of Advent. Like all CatholicCulture.org ebooks, this volume is...

Abusing museums and religion

Major museums, especially trendy art museums, tend to have too many wealthy, hedonistic and even fatuous supporters. Over the years we have seen many proofs. This week it was New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art: It combined an exhibit of beautiful and historic liturgical vestments from...

Low liturgy and high camp: the Met Gala fiasco

Without exception, the people with whom I spoke on the issue agreed that it was spectacularly foolish for the Vatican to become involved with the Met Gala. They all saw the problem coming, long before the headlines and photo-spreads appeared. So how did it happen? Why didn’t Vatican...

Authentic religion: Not what we want, what God has revealed

In my recent foray into weird emails (Mercy vs. Truth: The mark of hypocrisy), I said I wanted to illustrate “the most important problem with religious belief in the modern West”, which is that “people very frequently make up their own religion to suit their own...

Rescuing the victims of fake mercy

Thomas V. Mirus released his second podcast episode today, on Operation Rescue, The Largest Civil Disobedience Movement in U.S. History. This episode features special guests who were the face of Operation Rescue Boston, Bill Cotter and Phil Lawler. Progress toward $26,000 Challenge...

Mercy vs. Truth: The mark of hypocrisy

We get some odd messages in response to our Daily News Headlines and Insights messages; and while it would be wrong to use names without permission, sometimes the comments are too good to pass up. I say this because they are so utterly revealing of the most important problem with religious belief...

Another gross Vatican gaffe in handling sex-abuse complaints

One step forward, two steps back. One excellent statement about a no-nonsense commitment to fighting sexual abuse, then a public act that suggests the issue is still not a top priority. Chilean abuse victims were moved and encouraged by their private meetings with Pope Francis last week. Then on...

The Psalms and the Cross

I am back to my series on the books of the Bible, and I've come to a big one: The Psalms. This will take more than one installment but, to begin, see: The Psalms: Deep questions, with only hints for answers. Meanwhile, in the wake of the death of Alfie Evans while in a political battle...

On German bishops’ proposal, the Pope’s non-decision is revealing

A few weeks ago we were told—by usually reliable sources—that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had rejected the German bishops’ proposal for administering Communion to the non-Catholic spouses of Catholics. We were further informed that Pope Francis had approved the...

The Psalms: Deep questions, with only hints for answers

Reading through the first twenty books of the Old Testament, it is fairly easy to highlight particular themes or dominant purposes in each one which can help people understand them better. Such themes and purposes apply not only to each book but to their place in Scripture as a whole, particularly...

My father’s death, and Alfie’s

My father was an extraordinarily fit 93-year-old when he went into the hospital for minor surgery. He was still working, still taking breaks to do push-ups on the floor of his office, still taking the stairs two at a time. But a painful ear infection would not respond to treatment, and as the...

St. Athanasius is the man we need

On today's feast of St. Athanasius—the bishop who corrected a serious error prevalent among his fellow bishops—the first reading at Mass recounts the preparation for the Council of Jerusalem—at which the disciples persuaded St. Peter (and others) to change a policy that was...

Mission growth: New podcast!

I am very happy to announce the first episode of our new Catholic Culture Podcast. Visit our Podcast home page! Conceived, produced and hosted by Thomas V. Mirus, Episode 1: A Working Actor's Working Faith features an interview with veteran Catholic actor Tony Mockus, Sr., who has...

Insistence on the Church’s authority is required for growth.

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my frustration gets such an upper hand of me,...

The ‘New Paradigm’: Old Errors, Same Tactics

Cardinal Cupich recently gave a talk in Cambridge in which he, like Cardinal Marx and other revisionist prelates and theologians, promotes a “New Paradigm” for understanding Catholic morality. The trouble is, the paradigm isn’t true, and it’s not even new. The “New...

Are German Catholic bishops trying to export their model for failure?

As Vatican officials prepare for a "summit meeting" with a delegation from the German hierarchy, to discuss the German bishops' proposal for allowing intercommunion, John Allen of Crux provides a glimpse of reality: Those who know the reality of German Catholicism generally say things break down...

The New York Times on this papacy: confused yet revealing

An April 28 report in the New York Times, entitled Pope Francis in the Wilderness, presents what seems at first a puzzling perspective on the papacy, but actually reveals a great deal about how the secular media see the Catholic Church. Right from the start of his pontificate, Pope Francis...

The compleat respectable Catholic journalist

So you want to be a respected Catholic journalist? You want to be invited to all the right conferences and symposia? Beginning tomorrow, try these simple steps. Wake up, shower, have a good cup of coffee, and jump on Twitter. Begin the day by denouncing any criticism of Pope Francis....

Purity in a confused Church

Continuing my reflections on holiness, today I take a long look at a question quite vexing to a great many people: Why can’t the Church stop harping on purity?! Meanwhile, Phil Lawler tries to strike a balance between recognizing a pope’s Catholicism and securing the faithful...

Why can’t the Church stop harping on purity?!

In the wake of yesterday’s conviction of comedian Bill Cosby for sexual assault, we might well revisit what many regard as the obnoxious Catholic emphasis on purity. While we hear less about it in a secularized Church, everybody knows the traditional emphasis is always just beneath the...

Yes, the Pope is a Catholic. But he’s confusing other Catholics.

Blogger Mark Mallett has done a real service—and I mean this sincerely—by a long list of links to statements by Pope Francis voicing clearly orthodox Catholic beliefs on topics important to conservative Catholics, including abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, population control,...

Quick Hits: From Crux, two detailed looks at current Vatican woes

Credit the Crux news site with two detailed and informative looks inside the current operations of the Vatican: By all accounts, the investigation into the Chilean mess, prepared by the Pontiff by Archbishop Charles Scicluna, was thorough, accurate, and damaging. Pope Francis has admitted as...

Don't miss our new Podcast!

The Catholic Culture Podcast will launch in one week, featuring Thomas V Mirus. Thomas will comment on Catholic and secular culture, interview significant guests of high Catholic interest, and generally carry on CatholicCulture.org's mission in audio form. The podcast will be available...

Now suddenly the hospital discovers the rights of Alfie’s family?

Alder Hey hospital won't be providing updates on the slow death of Alfie Evans. That's no surprise. What is remarkable is the hospital's Twitter announcement that this silence is "out of respect for the privacy of Alfie and his family." The family's wishes have not played a major role in the...

Christian insistence on purity and moral change

One of the grave problems in the contemporary Church is the number of men and women in leadership and teaching positions who insist it is wrong to demand that those in immoral sexual relationships change their behavior. Worse still are those who claim—or refuse to correct the...

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