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All Catholic commentary from January 2019

Chastity: Cornerstone of holiness and happiness by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Jan 2, 2019

Chastity is a way of life. Guidelines, codes of conduct, policies, and procedures governing interpersonal behavior may be useful in communicating acceptable workplace boundaries and defining legally abusive behavior. But the virtue of chastity cannot be reduced to a collection of rules and...

A new—and illegal—attempt to pass the Equal Rights Amendment by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jan 2, 2019

One cost, surely, of Donald Trump’s consistently ungentlemanly behavior was the loss of the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives in the November elections, which will take effect later this month. It is possible to affirm this judgment whatever one thinks of Trump’s...

Eleanor Nicholson drives a stake through Bram Stoker’s heart by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jan 3, 2019

Since gremlins are currently inhabiting my computer, I’m willing to believe just about anything. I’m using an old light-duty laptop to limp along without most of my software until a stake can be driven through the stony heart of my usual machine. Or at least that is what I expect...

Pope’s message to US bishops: what NOT to do by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jan 4, 2019

In November, Pope Francis instructed the Catholic bishops of the US to table their plans for new responses to the sex-abuse scandal. Now, in his letter to the American bishops who are on retreat at Mundelein seminary this week, the Pontiff exhorts them to take action—but not, apparently,...

Quick Hits: Important background on Vatican-China accord and Press Office turnover by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jan 4, 2019

The Vatican has struck a deal with China, which—although we still don’t know any details—apparently gives Beijing the power to nominate new bishops. Is there any precedent for such an agreement? Yes, there is. Writing for AsiaNews, Li Ruohan compares the Vatican-China accord with...

Liturgical Year Volume 2 Released: Ordinary Time before Lent by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jan 7, 2019

The second volume of our ebook series for the 2018-2019 liturgical year has been released in our ebooks download area. This volume covers the initial period of Ordinary Time between Christmas and Lent, from January 14th through March 5th. It may be downloaded free of charge in the following...

Ezekiel the Watchman: Terror, and Hope by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jan 8, 2019

The ministry of the prophet Ezekiel overlapped that of Jeremiah, and his Book is the last major prophetic work in the Old Testament—unequaled until St. John’s Book of Revelations. It begins with apocalyptic visions and offers throughout a dramatic denunciation of the Israelites for all...

Msgr. John Sanders, the priest who played with Duke Ellington by Thomas V. Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jan 8, 2019

Update Jan. 8, 2019: Msgr. Sanders’s nephew wrote to me to let me know that his uncle has died. This article was first posted on Sep. 13, 2018. May God grant him eternal rest. Earlier this week, I made a visit to Our Lady Queen of the Clergy Retirement Home in Stamford, CT to interview...

A bad day’s lament by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jan 9, 2019

Yesterday was “one of those days”—a day that found me hating my work, wishing I had some other sort of job. The first blow, and by far the worst, came with the news, released by the Washington Post Monday evening, that an old friend, Father C. J. McCloskey, had been...

Love of God is known by the courage of correction, against the world by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jan 11, 2019

In his homily at daily Mass today, Pope Francis preached on the reading from the first Letter of John which emphasizes that whoever loves God must also love his neighbor. He contrasted genuine love with the spirit of the world, which creates division, and he offered three signs of a lack of such...

The Zanchetta case: a fatal blow to the Pope’s reputation as a reformer by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jan 11, 2019

Last week the Vatican acknowledged that an Argentine bishop working at the Vatican faces sex-abuse charges. The story drew little attention from American media outlets, and understandably so: just one more in a long line of complaints against clerics, in this case involving a bishop whose name...

Please, bishops: act now; you’re running out of time! by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jan 15, 2019

The statement from Archishop Vigano, pleading with McCarrick to make a public act of repentance, was a dramatic—and sadly rare—display of bold pastoral leadership. God bless Bishop Strickland for joining in that plea. I hope and pray that other American bishops will...

The Catholic Faith: Are we looking for challenge or change? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Tuesday

I admit it: I am getting so jaded that I initially misread one of yesterday’s Catholic World News headlines: CDF, Asian bishops to discuss challenges to Catholic doctrine. I thought it said “CDF, Asian bishops to discuss CHANGES to Catholic doctrine”. Perhaps this suggests a...

Beyond abortion: Responding to the deeper crisis by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Friday

The day of the March for Life in Washington, DC always prompts reflection. While the grave evil of abortion is an important civilizational rallying point, the recognition that abortion is wrong does not begin to exhaust the moral crisis of our time. Our civilization was once rooted in an...

Prolife Miracle: Mother of Mercy Clinic displaces abortion mill by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Friday

For twenty-seven years an abortion clinic plied its grisly trade in Manassas, Virginia. Shortly after it got started, a pro-life counseling center called AAA Women for Choice opened up next door to intercept and help pregnant women. Peaceful demonstrations, along with prayer and fasting, became...

In abortion debate, Washington Post wants to talk science. Good. Let’s. by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Friday

The Washington Post (which publishes an awful lot of op-ed pieces in the “News” section) today features this interesting headline: Thousands flock to March for Life that bills its anti-abortion stance as ‘pro-science’ The thrust of the story is that while pro-lifers...