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All Catholic commentary from February 2020

Behind the European bishops’ reluctance to acknowledge Brexit

Having been joined to the EU since its creation, COMECE takes that the existence of that political body for granted, and any suggestion that the EU should be abandoned is, implicitly, a suggestion that COMECE might be disbanded as well.

Quick Hits: Elections, Newman, Augustine, Media, and more on Rose Hawthorne

This collection of meditations can be used in almost any reading pattern and during any season of the year. Each of Newman’s thirty-eight meditations has been whittled to just over three pages in length. Topics covered include worship, reverence, the glories of Mary, dispositions for faith, the mystery of Godliness, martyrdom, love of friends, affliction, and a great many more, including love itself. Newman is always fresh, deep, astonishing, and in his sermons, accessible.

St. Athanasius—Life of St. Anthony, pt. 3

“It is possible, with the help of God, easily to distinguish the presence of the good and the bad: a vision of the holy ones is not agitated.”

Ep. 65—Reason With Stories, Philosophize With Your Life (Vision of the Soul Pt. III)—James Matthew Wilson

Human life is imbued with an intelligible, narrative form, and we are capable of telling true stories about ourselves that reflect the actual story-form of our lives and history as a whole.

Archbishop Gänswein, ‘redistributed’ out of the picture

Welcome to the new, transparent Vatican regime, the regime of dialogue, the regime of accountability.

Ephesians: The remarkable letter that just happens to mention husbands and wives

We cannot avoid endless wrangling over the thirteen verses in Ephesians that deal with the relationships between husbands and wives. We ignore the 118 verses which precede St. Paul’s comments on it (1:1 – 5:21), along with most of the small number of verses in the conclusion which follows (cf. 6:10-20). This is a huge mistake. The whole point of the letter is to explain that the Gentiles have been incorporated into God’s eternal plan and made heirs of His kingdom in Christ.

Our bishops cannot be trusted with a ‘yellow-check’ system

Under Bishop Barron's proposal, the bishop is not asking: “Does this site contradict established Catholic doctrine?” Instead he is asking: “Do I approve of this site’s approach?” The difference is enormous.

St. Justin Martyr—Dialogue with Trypho

“I will prove to you, here and now, that we do not believe in groundless myths nor in teachings not based on reason, but in doctrines that are inspired by the Divine Spirit, abundant with power, and teeming with grace.”

Free Liturgical Year Volume 3 Released: LENT

Our liturgical year ebooks include all the liturgical day information for each season just as it appears on These offer a rich set of resources for families to use in living the liturgical year in the domestic church. Resources include biographies of the saints to match each feast day, histories of the various celebrations and devotions, descriptions of customs from around the world, prayers, activities and recipes.

Does consecrated life trump marriage? Can the married change their minds?

There are three caveats to consider. First, the motives for entering upon a particular way of life can be mixed. That decision does not tell us anything about the person’s holiness. In the end we will be judged not by the “vocation” we happen to “be in” but by our conformity to Christ. Second, it is the essence of having “a vocation” that it is the way of life to which God has called us. Not all receive the same call. Third, when it comes to vocations which demand a vow....

Episode 9—Justin Martyr—Everything Good Is Ours

"Whatever things are rightly said are ours." Justin looked at creation and saw Christ. He looked into the mind of Plato and found a Christian, born centuries before his time. Speaking with Romans, speaking with Jews, he sought the good in his adversaries’ best ideas and showed that the good belonged properly to Christ and Christians. He showed us how to be fearless in the face of ideas, and fearless even in the face of death.

Pope has spoken, but celibacy debate is not finished

In short, Pope Francis did not, as some journalists reported, “close the door” on the possibility of ordaining married men. He left the door precisely as it was: ajar.

Ep. 66—Christopher Tolkien, 1924-2020—John Garth

This is a tribute to Christopher Tolkien, who passed away on Jan. 16, 2020. Without Christopher's decades of dedicated scholarship, most notably his editing and publication of The Silmarillion, our knowledge of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional world and very real genius would be considerably disadvantaged. Tolkien scholar John Garth, author of the acclaimed biography Tolkien and the Great War, joins the show to discuss a father-son collaboration unique in literary history.

Doesn’t matter how long Lent is, don’t start your spiritual reading late: 10 books

I frequently do not figure out what special spiritual reading I will do in Lent until after it starts. Even in the days of speedy delivery, this often leads me to find something on the shelf that I can read again. That’s not a bad practice—I mean reading great books repeatedly, especially in the Bible—but if you are looking for something brand new, you might find one of the following to be just what you need.

Of aircraft safety and Catholic doctrine

Boeing fired an executive whose subordinates apparently took the company's mission lightly. If only Catholic bishops were held-- or, better, held themselves-- to the same standard!

What Is Septuagesima? (And Why It’s No Longer in the Current Calendar)

The number of liturgical seasons in the 1962 and current Liturgical Calendar differ only by one season. The Extraordinary Form follows the 1962 calendar which includes a Pre-Lent season called Septuagesima. What is it? How do you pronounce it? Is it a day or a season? What does it mean? What is its history and significance? Why did this liturgical season disappear in the 1969 Calendar Reform?

Love & Suffering—3 Poems by St. Robert Southwell

"Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live."

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