Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

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All Catholic commentary from April 2022

Edmund Campion: A more than academic English martyr

From Edmund Campion’s favous “brag” against the Elizabethan functionaries who executed him for his priestly ministry: “I know perfectly that no one Protestant, nor all the Protestants living, nor any sect of our adversaries (howsoever they face men down in pulpits, and overrule us in their kingdom of grammarians and unlearned ears) can maintain their doctrine in disputation.”

Justice and War in Ukraine—Part III: The crucial religious dimension

The potential loss of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches would be a disaster for Moscow. And while the Russian Orthodox leadership has been quietly supportive of Putin’s offensive, the Orthodox leaders of Ukraine have condemned the invasion.

130—John Paul II’s Retreat for Artists—Christopher West

In Holy Week of 1962, Bishop Karol Wojtyla gave a retreat to a group of Polish artists. The text of that retreat has now been published in English, along with commentary, by the Theology of the Body Institute, in a book titled God Is Beauty: A Retreat on the Gospel and Art. Christopher West, president of the TOB Institute, joins Thomas Mirus to discuss the retreat and how it fits together with St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body.

‘Popesplaining,’ just war, and calumny

I have heard and read many speeches by government leaders, commemorating the D-Day landings. Never once did any speaker fail to pay tribute to the young men who died on the beaches.

St. Vincent Ferrer—On the Last Judgment: Sheep and Goats

"In the second coming when He will come for rendering repayment, He will not come in humility and poverty, but in such majesty and power that the whole world will tremble."

Never minimizing sin, Jesus offers true freedom

In response to a person’s sins, some priests will say, “Don't worry about it. No big deal. Don't let your conscience bother you. Move on with your life.” But they haven't really helped the person. They have swept it under the rug.

Truth? Pinterest censors opinion on climate change!

The only organization that has a rational claim to be able to settle difficult questions is the Catholic Church, and even she confines her certainties to what has been disclosed through Divine Revelation. Her competence depends on a privileged source of information concerning the plan of God. Our understanding of the material conditions of life in this world, by contrast, relies entirely on human study, which is prone to honest mistakes, subjectivity, cultural conditioning, and special pleading.

While Pope apologizes, Canadian churches burn

Today, unfortunately, verbal attacks on the Church encounter virtually no public resistance— even from the Canadian hierarchy. So no one questions the choice of the Church as primary villain in this drama.

Entering Into Holy Week—About Those Teen Years

Lent and Holy Week can look different with teens/adolescents/young adults, need to give privacy and freedom, but still a framework to help them nurture their relationship with Christ and participate in the liturgy, particularly the Triduum.

Celebrating Holy Week in the Home 2022

Holy Week traditions for the home, 2022 Preparation for our home and the liturgical celebration of Holy Week.

The problem of sin, suffering, and death

We will never exhaust the terrible mystery of human freedom, sin, suffering, and death. During Holy Week, it is sufficient for us to ponder our sins and realize that we desperately need a Savior.

We need prayers, commitments for our Easter Challenge! ended 2021 with income and expenditures breaking even at $446,000. As the 74-year-old founder, I can see we need to get to $500,000 for all of my major duties to be offloaded. But that is a remarkably low budget for an apostolate as resource-productive, far-reaching and available around the world as Few organizations can match our low cost per person served. Please pray for the success of our Catholic mission, and contribute financially if you can.

Review: Father Stu

The new film Father Stu is based on the true story of Stuart Long, a rough-around-the-edges boxer-turned-priest who died in 2014. Mark Wahlberg plays Fr. Stu in an Oscar-worthy performance, and Mel Gibson makes another entry in long list of broken father roles he has played in recent years. James and Thomas review the film, discussing the pros and cons of the film's gritty humor, and the depiction of Stu's growth in spiritual maturity through suffering. 

Armand Jean de Rancé—On Compunction

"Be solicitous only to pour out tears abundantly, and leave to God the care of drying them up."

Three men in the wrong boat

But there is only one passage in Jerome’s book that brushes these heights and depths, so often tinged with the most poignant human folly, and the reader will see at once that the perception is entirely wrong—an opportunity lost not only for lightness but for light itself.

The Cure for Our Fears, Real and Imagined

The Cross helps us confront our fears; the Resurrection and the promise of eternal life help us overcome them.

131—Virtue Is Not Enough—J. Budziszewski

One of the best contemporary natural law philosophers, J. Budziszewski, joins the show to discuss his new book, How (and How Not) to Be Happy, spiritual warfare in the classroom, and his journey from “macho nihilism” to faith.

Discord among Catholic bishops: a healthy sign

All Catholic bishops share in the responsibility to protect and defend the orthodox teachings of the Church. Remember that St. Paul challenged St. Peter at the Council of Jerusalem

When bishops disagree: Salvation, not inclusion

What is different this time around is that a growing number of Catholic bishops are willing to reject publicly the culturally-popular manipulation of Catholic faith, morals and practice, and (even better) to make a point of keeping their own dioceses firmly on a Catholic course. There are many countries with weak and even heterodox bishops, of course, but so far they have been able to dominate the synodal process only in a small number of places.

An epidemic of unbaptized Catholics

The baby born in 2020 is now two years old; does that party still seem appropriate? By now the new parents have settled into a new household routine; do they even remember that their child is unbaptized?

A Stylist Manual for Confessors

Confession is a somewhat peculiar arrangement: Human instruments – all sinners in their own way also in need of forgiveness – hearing, judging, and forgiving the sins of their brethren

The Paradoxical Prestige of the Deacon in the Early Church

Most lowly and most loved, deacons played supremely important roles in the early Church. Think Lawrence of Rome. Think Ephrem of Syria. They were consistently voted most likely to be pope. Jerome wryly observed that when a bishop wanted to demote a deacon, he ordained him to the presbyterate.

Pope Leo XIII—Rerum Novarum: Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor | Full

“Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism—community of goods—must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal.”

Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936)

Released in 1936, Modern Times is both Chaplin's last silent film and his first talkie - his character, the Little Tramp, is silent and the only time we hear people talking is when their voices are mediated through technology, such as on the radio or through an intercom system. This depersonalized and one-way approach to dialogue on film reflects not only a commentary on modern communications but also Chaplin's personal aversion to the sound era.

One job: Perseverance in the love of God

Even God cannot force us to love Him and still call it love. Therefore, the whole economy of salvation works for each of us only insofar as we cooperate with the graces we are given to know the truth and choose the good. When we open our minds and turn our wills to what we are given to know of God, this is true love, and it is just this that makes sense out of the verses cited above from Romans chapter 8, which begin “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.”

Highlights: Indie rock, postliberalism, Mary and the Holy Spirit

This episode contains clips of highlights from episodes 51 and 53-55 of the Catholic Culture Podcast.

One bishop, two dioceses: can that work?

Prelates sometimes complain that they are often ambushed at funerals or Confirmations, by parishioners who have some axe to grind. But how many of these concerned Catholics have been unable to schedule an appointment with the bishop?

One sows, another reaps: Against facile assumptions

There remain large numbers of good bishops, priests, deacons, religious and lay people who pray and work to renew the Church, bear witness to Christ, preach and teach the Faith, give courageous counter-cultural example, and invite others to make their own commitment to Christ and the Church. But all of these collide with the trends nearly everywhere: Baptisms are down, conversions are down, Mass attendance is down, and the influence of Christianity on human culture continues to decline. Why?

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