Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Commentary

Editing the Declaration of Independence

The dogma of the founding fathers that God "created all men equal" is a recipe for perpetual turmoil. The disdain for inequality fuels endless attempts to achieve equality: a fool’s errand.

St. Francis de Sales—Introduction to the Devout Life | Part 1 (Ch.19-24)

"There is no disposition so good but it may be made bad by reason of vicious habits, and neither is there any natural disposition so perverse but that it may be conquered and overcome by God's grace primarily, and then by our earnest endeavor."

Poverty and trust: Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Bicycle Thieves, the most beloved classic of Italian neo-realist cinema, would be too easily explained as depicting the crushing pressures of poverty and societal dysfunction in Rome immediately following World War II. But the film transcends any sociological analysis: it has something spiritual to say about how those in poverty can respond to their situation: about trust, and about how quickly things get worse when we act as though we are in control of our circumstances.

We’re now reliving the Lincoln-Douglas debates

Did the Pope really say the Church ceased to exist?

The Pope said that “the Church is either synodal or it is not Church.” Then just a few moments later: “Certainly, we can say that the Church in the West had lost its synodal tradition.” So it follows that the “Church in the West” was not Church.

Contraception and the doctrine of discovery

What St. Vincent was getting at is what St. John Henry Newman spelled out. Newman’s point was that each legitimate doctrinal development will tend toward greater precision. In other words, while this may sometimes serve to correct what some erroneously thought the doctrine to imply, it will do so by corroborating, confirming and more fully explicating the truth of the Church’s authoritative earlier form of expression.

The Kansas vote: a sobering reality for the pro-life movement

Too often the cautious rhetoric of the pro-life movement suggests that abortion is unnecessary, or unseemly, or unwise, or all of the above. We need to drive home the message that it is unconscionable.

The grim realities behind barring Nancy Pelosi from Communion

In what is surely an American First, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, His Excellency, Salvatore Cordileone, informed Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and third in line to be President, that she is not to receive Communion, “until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.”

Déjà vu All Over Again

At a minimum, we need not treat the crude paradigm shift opinions of the Pontifical Academy of Life with respect.

Should we apologize for the North American martyrs?

Plenty of people have an incentive to speculate that children’s bodies are buried in mass graves; apparently no one has much incentive to discover the truth of the matter.

138—Drawing in Clay—Christopher Alles

Catholic sculptor Christopher Alles joins the podcast for an introduction to the art of sculpture, especially in its formal qualities. Alles mostly does commission work for the Church, and the theoretical points in this conversation are illuminated by references to some of his recent works, including a work-in-progress Pieta and his monumental sculpture of St. Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death.

Gerard Manley Hopkins—The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo

Hopkins considered this to be the most musical of his poems, and among the most dramatic.

2.4 Ephesus: The Mother of All Controversies

Nestorius was a fussy man with a knack for alienating people. Within days of his installation as bishop of Constantinople, he had offended the imperial family, the monks, and the nobles, but also the common people. But when he tried to suppress devotion to Mary as "Mother of God," he invited all his enemies to join forces — because such a campaign affected not only the status of Mary, but also the doctrine of Jesus Christ. He forced a crisis that played out at the Council of Ephesus in 431.

On the papal apology for Church involvement in residential schools

Christian results simply cannot be evaluated in worldly terms: “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn 18:36), said Our Lord. Worldly success for the Church is more often than not, in one respect or another, a serious failure, and the Church ought not to seek to ally herself with worldly powers.

Sodom Sunday

Just as the prophets of Baal had no realization of the horror of their self-mutilation, our Godless culture is unaware of its madness.

Who’s politicizing the Eucharist?

If anyone is politicizing the wanton destruction of unborn human life, it is President Biden…

Why wait for marriage?

Take two healthy young people who are in love, anxious to fulfill that love and begin their life together. Now tell them that they’ll have to wait a year. Yes, they might practice chastity, and gain much grace in the practice. But let’s face it: there is another option.

Questions raised by Pope Francis’ document on the liturgy

The question here is whether the current form of the liturgy tends to be a kind of “vertical” (that is, transcendent) experience which draws us into the sacred mysteries which the liturgy celebrates and seeks to make present to us, or whether it tends to be a very “horizontal” (that is, immanent) affair which falls back into a celebration of a very human community not yet absorbed in these mysteries.

St. Francis de Sales—Introduction to the Devout Life | Part 1 (Ch.9-18)

"Use them one after another, in the order in which they come, only taking one each day, and using that as early as possible..."

Damned if you do... [updated]

Have you heard spokesmen for Planned Parenthood say that abortion accounts for only a small portion of their work? Isn’t it curious, then, that the clinics are now shutting down in states where abortion is restricted?

On effective compromise

Appropriate compromises in the face of conflicting perceptions of reality are extremely difficult. It is in fact impossible to compromise appropriately without the virtue of prudence employed in service to a genuine comprehension of reality, which is to say, in service to the truth. But these conditions can be created only through the development of self-control and discipline over our passions. The further difficulty is that these qualities are rare.

2.3 First Constantinople: A Capital Council

Nicaea didn't resolve the Arian crisis. In fact, it provoked a riot of reactions — endless variations on the Arian theme. Imperial force only made matters worse. For a half-century, conflict raged. The situation seemed hopeless until Theodosius summoned bishops to meet in 381.

The Once and Future Former Pontiff(s)

Pope Francis did not criticize his predecessor directly.... Quite the contrary. But reporters took the cue…

Righteous among the nations: Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)

On the morning of January 15, 1944, Nazis raided a boarding school for boys in Avon, France. The Carmelite monks who ran the school had been hiding some Jewish boys there under false names. As a number of the children and teachers watched, three of their classmates were led away by the Nazis, along with the headmaster, Pere Jacques, who turned back to say only, "Au revoir, les enfants" ("Goodbye, children").

Losers and Generosity

Imagine that. Imitate an unbeliever.

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