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All Catholic commentary from April 2018

What liturgists might learn from the Masters golf tournament

Although I am neither a golfer nor a golf fan, I enjoy watching the Masters on television each year, for several reasons. The Augusta National course is an unusually beautiful one. The azaleas and rhododendrons, in full bloom in Georgia, provide pleasant reassurance that spring will eventually...

Vision Book Cover Prints

Seven spiritual mistakes of “good Catholic parents”

A few weeks ago I wrote that the greater part of what is wrong with young people today is parents (see A Church of kids: Will the Synod on Youth get it backwards?). I also touched briefly on some key elements of sound Catholic parenting, particularly in education. But it would be wrong to give the...

Challenge yourself with Gaudete et Exsultate!

If people do not think they can learn anything about holiness from Pope Francis, they need to think again. The Pope’s latest Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad): On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, recapitulates and develops several favorite themes...

The central problem of the century—and of our lives

This weekend I saw Witness, the powerful work by Whittaker Chambers, sitting on the shelf, and decided that it was high time to re-read it. I hadn’t finished the foreword when this passage triggered a series of thoughts: Economics is not the central problem of this century. It is a...

The Magisterium of the Sacred Liturgy

Many people equate faith with superstition. For many, accepting Church teaching is like believing magic, or in flying saucers or voodoo. But in so doing, they neglect the crucial role that reason plays in our faith. So they invent an alternative narrative using their own dogmas on the meaning of...

Political holiness? More on Gaudete et Exsultate!

In my essay on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on holiness (Challenge yourself with Gaudete et Exsultate!), I promised to write separately about the Pope’s emphasis on the equality among all moral issues. Francis wrote that it was wrong to use attention to grave bioethical issues...

Blasphemy tests the limits of tolerance at Holy Cross

A confession: During the past few weeks, as the result of my own editorial decision, we have not fully informed our readers about the scandal created by a blasphemous theology professor at the College of the Holy Cross. Chastise me if you like, but I don’t regret my decision. With...

Catholic sexual liberation: A rerun way too late

First Things editor R. R. Reno gets things right almost as often as I do (and with a consistently richer mix of public awareness and erudition). In this month’s issue, he editorialized about the new Catholic rush to accompany those who are committed to lifestyles which give the lie to...

Holiness, always personal and over against the world

On almost any day of the year, we will hear reports that religious leaders have urged political leaders to recognize the moral imperative to take particular positions on contested prudential issues. (Urgent appeals to oppose intrinsic evils are actually far less common, but that is not my topic...

Quick Hits: Cupich on conscience, surrogacy, accountability, eroding parental rights

Catching up on some excellent commentary that has appeared recently, and would make for good weekend reading: Eduardo Echeverria is not the first writer to point out that Cardinal Blase Cupich, in his examination of the role of conscience, wanders far afield from the thoughts of Cardinal John...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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....

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...

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