Search or Browse Commentary

All Catholic commentary from December 2018

Baruch: Jeremiah’s scribe, against hopelessness and idolatry by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Dec 4, 2018

The Old Testament Book of Baruch is very brief, just six chapters, but it is still divided into three sections, each one fascinating in its own right. The book was nominally composed by Jeremiah’s scribe, Baruch, who had to write all of Jeremiah’s visions and prophecies in a scroll,...

Abu Dhabi, but not Argentina? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Dec 6, 2018

Today’s announcement that Pope Francis will soon visit the United Arab Emirates rekindles my interest in another question about papal travel. Pope John Paul II visited his native Poland less than a year after his election. Pope Benedict XVI traveled to his native Germany just a few months...

The abuse crisis: Sacrificing ourselves for the Church? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Dec 7, 2018

In the second of his interviews with Thomas V. Mirus on the abuse crisis, Fr. Roger Landry explains how we can all contribute to a solution, even those who are not guilty. Perhaps especially those of us who are not guilty: The guilty, after all, are far less likely to contribute to the...

Does ‘America’ have ‘dubia’ about Pope’s remark on homosexuality? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Dec 7, 2018

Evidently caught off guard by the Pope’s expression of concern about widespread homosexuality in the clergy, America magazine has rushed to reassure readers that the Pontiff’s remarks must be understood in the proper context. Father James Martin, the editor-at-large of the Jesuit...

Coming soon: a religious struggle for control of the internet? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Dec 7, 2018

“We only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division, and violence: You have no place on our platforms. You have no home here.” That was the message of Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, Inc., in a recent address to the Anti-Defamation League. And that would be...

Greater use of audio? Now 3 tests. Feedback requested. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Dec 7, 2018

I’ve been thinking about ways to make a more personal connection with those who use our website. One way to make that connection is to use the human voice in some of the resources we provide. I’ve been experimenting just a little with the creation of audio material. At the same...

Oh, good. In February the Pope might make a statement about abuse by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Dec 10, 2018

Give John Allen credit for honesty, in his analysis (for Crux) of what we can expect from the February meeting at the Vatican to discuss the sex-abuse crisis. Not much: Almost by definition, Americans are likely to be frustrated with what may seem the scant results of the February...

It could have been a wonderful life by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Dec 11, 2018

On Christmas Eve 2008, in upstate New York, George Bailey contemplates suicide. Cynical jeers about him reach the underworld, where Mephistopheles Mouch, Fallen Angel 2nd Class, is assigned to George. George has been an unusually valuable asset. Hell has big plans for him. So if he is able to...

Advent Feast: Our Lady of Guadalupe by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Dec 12, 2018

This post was originally written in 2013. I’m so grateful to Our Lady marking this 5 year anniversary of my heart surgery! ========= Marian themes are predominant throughout the liturgy of Advent and Christmas; in fact the whole month of December could be dedicated to the Blessed...

Revelation: Minimal authority, lived in suffering by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Dec 12, 2018

It could have been done differently, of course. God could have presented a continuous interior Revelation to each and every one of us, so that we all could enjoy a perfect uninterrupted awareness of His Being and His Divine will. But that would have made an even worse mess than we are in now. For...

Rejoice, the Lord is Near! Gaudete Sunday, Ember Days and O Antiphons by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Dec 14, 2018

See my post from 2013, O Come!! The O Antiphons for further reflection on the O Antiphons. The Advent liturgy is so rich, varied and beautiful. Every time the liturgical cycle repeats, it is another opportunity to enter more deeply into the Church’s liturgy as She prepares for Christmas....

Prospects for renewal in a Church without discipline? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Dec 14, 2018

In reading Elio Guerriero’s new and definitive biography of Pope Benedict XVI, I noticed this assessment of Benedict’s leadership style: Rather than taking concrete measures, he preferred admonitions, leaving those concerned the freedom to adapt to the required behavior. As for the...

The best books we read in 2018 by Thomas V. Mirus in "On the Culture" - Dec 15, 2018

Jeff, Phil and I thought it would be fun to do a review of our favorite reading of 2018—not only books published this year, but which we encountered for the first time or which made a new impression on us. This doesn’t only include the specifically Catholic material we would ordinarily...

Episode 25: Phil Lawler, Dr. Jeff Mirus and Thomas V. Mirus on Our Favorite Books of 2018 by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Dec 16, 2018

Phil Lawler, Dr. Jeff Mirus, and Thomas V. Mirus discuss selections from their list of their favorite books and other media of 2018. Links Full list: The best books we read in 2018

The inexplicable conviction of Cardinal Pell by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Dec 17, 2018

Through bitter experience over the years, I have learned never to proclaim that some trusted figure couldn’t possibly be guilty of sexual abuse. I have learned to wait, to weigh the evidence, and if a court finds the man guilty, to accept that finding. Since I don’t know the facts,...

Every college student should read Sertillanges’ The Intellectual Life by Thomas V. Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Dec 18, 2018

The incomparably rich intellectual heritage of the Church needs no advertisement here. It is the treasure house filled first by the Holy Spirit, and by the great adventurers and plunderers who went before us. Their hard-won wisdom points us toward the highest truths about God and man, and away...

Crime and punishment: A papal bull in the Church’s china shop by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Dec 18, 2018

Pope Francis has decided not only to raise questions about the prudence of capital punishment in our world today but also to cast into doubt centuries of previous Catholic moral teaching on the subject. It is true, to give Pope Francis his due, that there is no single definitive teaching by the...

The top 5 most popular episodes of The Catholic Culture Podcast by Thomas V. Mirus in "The City Gates" - Dec 18, 2018

Since its beginning on May 1st of this year, I have produced 25 episodes of The Catholic Culture Podcast! For those who haven’t listened to all of them, I thought I would highlight the five most popular episodes so far (in terms of downloads). In no particular order: Episode 18: Acedia,...

Quick Hits: Dominican Friars video, a remarkable French mystic, a reformist imam and more by Thomas V. Mirus in "The City Gates" - Dec 18, 2018

Some months ago I agreed to appear in a video produced by the Dominican Foundation to talk about the benefits of membership in a Dominican parish. It’s for a matching challenge fundraiser which ends Dec. 31, so I would have shared it earlier except that nobody sent the finished product to...

Even in a bishop’s resignation, signs of waffling in Rome by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Dec 19, 2018

“Now a bishop must be above reproach,” wrote St. Paul [1 Tim 3:2]. Apparently Bishop Alexander Salazar, whose resignation the Pope accepted today, was not above reproach. Yet he remained a bishop in active ministry, serving as an auxiliary in the largest archdiocese in the US, for more...

Quick Hits: Awaiting Pope’s speech to Curia, laity in leadership, a controversial funeral homily by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Dec 19, 2018

John Allen of Crux is an honest reporter, and he clearly tries to avoid overt criticism of Pope Francis. But in a preview of the Pontiff’s annual address to the Roman Curia he is fairly blunt about the failure of promised reforms in this pontificate. The sex-abuse scandal continues, he...

Should women be “meek and mild” like Mary? by Thomas V. Mirus in "On the Culture" - Dec 19, 2018

I’ve noticed a recurring theme among self-described “Catholic feminists,” to this effect: “I always heard about Mary being meek and mild and felt pressured as a woman to be that way, but that just isn’t my personality. Feminism taught me that I don’t have to...

Musing on the O Antiphons by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Dec 22, 2018

December 23rd is the day our family affectionately calls “Christmas Adam” and the last of the ‘O’ Antiphons, “O Emmanuel” or “God with Us.” The acrostic for the Latin names of the ‘O’ Antiphons is now complete: ERO CRAS: Tomorrow I will...

Are secular reporters finally ready to criticize Pope Francis? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Dec 28, 2018

“It was not a good year for Pope Francis,” says Sylvia Pogglioli of NPR. Nicole Winfield of AP is a bit more forceful: “It has been a wretched year for Pope Francis…” At last, reporters for the secular mainstream are waking up to the...

At the Vatican, in February, the only question that matters just MIGHT be discussed by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Dec 31, 2018

Father Hans Zollner, who heads the child-protection center at Gregorian University, suggests that the much-anticipated February meeting at the Vatican should produce “a clarification of procedures, which aren’t so clear.” Really? Sixteen years after the “long Lent”...

The top 20 stories of a painful year by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Dec 31, 2018

2018 was a tumultuous year for the Catholic Church, and frankly, most of the news was bad news. With prayers for more positive headlines in 2019, here are my own selections for the 20 most important stories of the past year: #20. Pope’s address to the Roman Curia. In past years Pope...