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All Catholic commentary from April 2019

The message of the death of St. John Paul II, 14 years later by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Apr 2, 2019

Fourteen years ago today we witnessed an unprecedented phenomenon: a worldwide vigil. The eyes (and television cameras) of the whole world were focused on a single location, St. Peter’s Square, as we waited for the inexorable announcement that Pope John Paul II had died. Then when the...

2 Maccabees: Judaism in readiness by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 2, 2019

As I mentioned previously, 2 Maccabees does not extend the history of Jewish resistance to Greek conquest recorded in 1 Maccabees. Instead, it focuses more tightly on one portion of that history. While the second book provides additional details, its chief merit is an exploration of the motives...

Episode 34—The Memoirs of St. Peter—Michael Pakaluk by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Apr 2, 2019

Michael Pakaluk has written a new translation and commentary of Mark’s Gospel. Mark was relating very recent events, with details only an eyewitness (most likely Peter) would have mentioned. This earliest Gospel set the standard for what...

Archbishop Gregory promises us the truth. Here’s how... by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Apr 4, 2019

At today’s press conference formally announcing his appointment to head the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, Archbishop Wilton Gregory promised: “I will always tell you the truth as I understand it.” Good. “The only way I can serve this archdiocese is by telling the...

Archbishop Gregory’s appointment: ‘safe’ in the hands of the mainstream media by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Apr 5, 2019

Reacting to the appointment of Archbishop Wilton Gregory to the Washington archdiocese, Michelle Boorstein, the religion writer for the Washington Post, commented on her Twitter account: “Largely a very safe choice. It will primarily piss off only the far-right.” That’s true...

New Vatican rules on abuse encourage whistle-blowers—like Archbishop Vigano by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Apr 5, 2019

Credit Father Raymond de Souza with spotting an important point about the new Vatican legislation on sexual abuse. The rules require all Vatican personnel to report any evidence of sexual abuse to prosecutors. The legislation applies directly only within the territory of the Vatican city-state,...

Unbelievable category mistakes by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Apr 5, 2019

It is difficult to know how best to review Michael Newton Keas’ new book, Unbelievable, published by ISI Books. Subtitled “7 myths about the history and future of science and religion”, the book very successfully debunks the following myths: Christians traditionally...

Will God punish society for abortion? No, the punishment has already begun. by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Apr 8, 2019

“If the state fails to protect the child in the womb,” said Pope Pius XI, “let them remember that God is the Avenger of innocent blood that cries from earth to heaven.” Pro-lifers often voice the same fear: that our society will suffer severe punishment for allowing...

The promise of the Catholic vision by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Apr 8, 2019

Humans desire happiness. So it is normal to seek a place or state of things in which everything is perfect. But what can we realistically expect? Let’s consider two utopias: the Catholic vision or “Catholic utopia” and the secular vision, the Godless utopia. In Catholic...

Feedback time (Yes, if possible, this means you!) by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 9, 2019

It is time to ask for feedback on three of our initiatives. The insights and opinions of our users are very important to getting things right. To offer your ideas on these three topics, simply click the email link at the top of this commentary, to the left of my name. This will open our contact...

Easter volume released for this liturgical year by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Apr 10, 2019

Easter falls on April 21st this year, and so the Easter volume of our ebook series for the 2018-2019 liturgical year has been released in our ebooks download area: Easter. This fourth volume in the annual series covers the entire Easter season, from the Easter Vigil (April 20th) through Pentecost...

Imperative for Renewal: Our next free ebook by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Apr 10, 2019

I have begun to collect my (still relevant) essays over the past couple of years into ebooks. These ebooks enable those new to CatholicCulture.org to acquaint themselves more easily with the commentary we have published over the years that remains relevant to our present situation. For those who...

Benedict’s powerful message—and the bid to suppress it by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Apr 11, 2019

After six years of public silence, broken only by a few mild personal comments, Pope-emeritus Benedict has spoken out dramatically, with a 6,000-word essay on sexual abuse that has been described as a sort of post-papal encyclical. Clearly the retired Pontiff felt compelled to write: to say...

Benedict’s Analysis: What impressed me most by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 11, 2019

There are several things which I found particularly intriguing about Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s analysis of the roots of the contemporary Church’s problem with clerical sexual abuse. And there is one thing that I found most impressive going forward. First, it was both intriguing...

Catholic PSA for Palm Sunday: Treat Blessed Palms with Reverence by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Apr 13, 2019

Originally published in 2015, I think it helps to have an annual reminder. Public Service Announcement: The palms we receive on Palm Sunday are blessed objects or sacramentals that need to be treated reverently, not as toys, mere craft material or...

Salvaging Lent by Keeping the *Holy* in Holy Week by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Apr 14, 2019

I’m not ready for Holy Week. I admit it. It’s been a busier Lent than I prefer. We’ve been juggling sports, with ending and beginning seasons, both practices and games, extra preparation for First Communion, a short family trip to South Carolina and Tuesday practice round at the...

Communion and Catholic Pro-Abortion Politicians by Robert G. Marshall in "In Depth Analysis" - Apr 15, 2019

Evangelical Christian, Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the famed Rev. Billy Graham, in three “tweets” in two minutes captured the hopes and sentiments of many Catholics by urging N.Y. Cardinal Dolan to excommunicate “Catholic” N.Y. Governor Cuomo for bizarrely celebrating and...

Self-serving Sorrow by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Apr 15, 2019

Mothers spend a lot of time teaching their babies the meaning of "hot." “The stove is hot, don’t touch!” Soon the baby is running around pointing at items, announcing to the world that they’re "hot." At first, he has no direct experience of the meaning of "hot.” In time, the baby learns the wages...

R.I.P., Catholic sci-fi legend Gene Wolfe (1931-2019) by Thomas V. Mirus in "The City Gates" - Apr 16, 2019

Gene Wolfe, sci-fi author’s sci-fi author, inventor of the machine that makes Pringles, and Catholic convert, passed away at the age of 87 on Sunday. While not well-known to the general public, Wolfe’s admirers have included some of the most famous names in speculative fiction, such as...

The tragic hope of the flames of Notre Dame by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 16, 2019

Even I was saddened by the fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. I say “even I” because I am utterly unable to escape the symbolic density of a cathedral burning in the midst of Europe’s profound loss of Faith—a cathedral that has been maintained for centuries more...

Episode 35 —Moral Blindness and Abortion —Abby Johnson by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Apr 16, 2019

Abby Johnson was the youngest clinic director in Planned Parenthood history. After witnessing an abortion on ultrasound, she quit, became a Catholic, and founded And Then There Were None, an organization which has helped over 500 workers leave the abortion industry....

How we stole a Vatican treasure by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Apr 17, 2019

Well, okay, we didn’t actually steal the treasure. But we definitely did profit from the stolen goods. The breathtaking Miserere was written by Allegri exclusively for the Vatican: to be performed only in the Sistine Chapel, and only during Holy Week. The music remained under lock and key...

Books that deserve revived interest by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Apr 18, 2019

Each year around Christmas time, many publications ask contributors to name the best new books they have read that year. I find those lists helpful; invariably I add a few books to my own reading list, and gain a few thoughts about Christmas presents for friends. But what about books that are...

Courage at the Cross by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Apr 19, 2019

We all have secret dreads. Soldiers may be brave in battle but dread the sight of a doctor’s syringe or a black snake in the basement. Courage is an elusive virtue and not particularly reliable. Depending on circumstances, we may be heroic in courage or cowering in fear. Let’s...

The Easter Octave by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Apr 24, 2019

From the archives, originally posted March 30, 2016: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it, alleluia! With the whole Church we rejoice at the resurrection of Christ! The Church celebrates the Easter season or Eastertide. St. Athanasius said “[t]he fifty...

Mandatory vaccination: a danger to religious freedom by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Apr 24, 2019

If I told you that police in New York had been ordered to bar Jewish children from public places, would you be alarmed? You should be. And it happened. No one said that the order was directed specifically at Jewish children. But that would be the primary effect of a policy announced last month...

Dialogue with an Atheist by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Apr 25, 2019

A famous atheist, British professor Richard Dawkins, holds that atheists are generally smarter than Christians. Atheists might be more humble than Christians, too. Dawkins, the world’s most famous atheist, supported a bus ad campaign with the relatively humble slogan, “There’s...

Even at Easter? On spiritual fasting, according to St. Francis de Sales by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Apr 25, 2019

At the very end of Lent I discovered the sermon given on Ash Wednesday of the year 1622 by St. Francis de Sales. Better late than never! This sermon was given as part of a series to the religious women in the Order of the Visitation, or the Visitandines, which St. Francis founded with St. Jane...

Joe Biden, Catholic candidate or non-Catholic minister? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Apr 26, 2019

For several decades now, pro-life Catholics in the US have been asking why our bishops don’t impose canonical penalties on politicians who support abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and other policies that clearly violate the Church’s teachings. The standard dodge employed by...

Why a ‘superdicastery’ for evangelization is not a good idea by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Apr 26, 2019

After six years and 29 working sessions (each stretching across three days), the Council of Cardinals is finally ready to unveil its plan for reorganizing the Roman Curia. A preview report, based on interviews with two of the cardinals on the Pope’s advisory committee, the new plan...

The cardinal who clings to power by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Apr 29, 2019

Cardinal Angelo Sodano met with Pope Francis today in a private audience. Which gives us another occasion to note that Cardinal Sodano remains the Dean of the College of Cardinals, at the age of 91. Since the new Code of Canon Law came into effect in 1983, and with it the expectation that aging...

The Pontifical Academy’s assessment of the “growing threat of a nationalist revival” by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Apr 30, 2019

It is interesting that the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is hosting a three-day conference designed to shed light on what it sees as a growing nationalist revival throughout the world. The Academy’s announcement discusses various forms of national identity and the rise and potential...