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All Catholic commentary from May 2018

Episode 1: A Working Actor’s Working Faith by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - May 1, 2018

Tony Mockus, Sr. has been Catholic his entire life, and an actor for almost as long. He has worked with countless great performers including Henry Fonda, Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert De Niro and...

Are German Catholic bishops trying to export their model for failure? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 1, 2018

As Vatican officials prepare for a "summit meeting" with a delegation from the German hierarchy, to discuss the German bishops' proposal for allowing intercommunion, John Allen of Crux provides a glimpse of reality: Those who know the reality of German Catholicism generally say things break down...

The ‘New Paradigm’: Old Errors, Same Tactics by Fr. Timothy Vaverek in "On the News" - May 1, 2018

Cardinal Cupich recently gave a talk in Cambridge in which he, like Cardinal Marx and other revisionist prelates and theologians, promotes a “New Paradigm” for understanding Catholic morality. The trouble is, the paradigm isn’t true, and it’s not even new. The “New...

Insistence on the Church’s authority is required for growth. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - May 1, 2018

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my frustration gets such an upper hand of me,...

St. Athanasius is the man we need by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 2, 2018

On today's feast of St. Athanasius—the bishop who corrected a serious error prevalent among his fellow bishops—the first reading at Mass recounts the preparation for the Council of Jerusalem—at which the disciples persuaded St. Peter (and others) to change a policy that was...

My father’s death, and Alfie’s by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - May 2, 2018

My father was an extraordinarily fit 93-year-old when he went into the hospital for minor surgery. He was still working, still taking breaks to do push-ups on the floor of his office, still taking the stairs two at a time. But a painful ear infection would not respond to treatment, and as the...

The Psalms: Deep questions, with only hints for answers by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - May 3, 2018

Reading through the first twenty books of the Old Testament, it is fairly easy to highlight particular themes or dominant purposes in each one which can help people understand them better. Such themes and purposes apply not only to each book but to their place in Scripture as a whole, particularly...

On German bishops’ proposal, the Pope’s non-decision is revealing by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 4, 2018

A few weeks ago we were told—by usually reliable sources—that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had rejected the German bishops’ proposal for administering Communion to the non-Catholic spouses of Catholics. We were further informed that Pope Francis had approved the...

Another gross Vatican gaffe in handling sex-abuse complaints by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 7, 2018

One step forward, two steps back. One excellent statement about a no-nonsense commitment to fighting sexual abuse, then a public act that suggests the issue is still not a top priority. Chilean abuse victims were moved and encouraged by their private meetings with Pope Francis last week. Then on...

Episode 2: The Largest Civil Disobedience Movement in U.S. History by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - May 8, 2018

Operation Rescue is the largest civil disobedience movement in American history. It even dwarfs the civil rights movement, with over fifty thousand people having been arrested between 1988 and 1992...

Mercy vs. Truth: The mark of hypocrisy by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - May 8, 2018

We get some odd messages in response to our Daily News Headlines and Insights messages; and while it would be wrong to use names without permission, sometimes the comments are too good to pass up. I say this because they are so utterly revealing of the most important problem with religious belief...

Authentic religion: Not what we want, what God has revealed by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - May 10, 2018

In my recent foray into weird emails (Mercy vs. Truth: The mark of hypocrisy), I said I wanted to illustrate “the most important problem with religious belief in the modern West”, which is that “people very frequently make up their own religion to suit their own...

Low liturgy and high camp: the Met Gala fiasco by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - May 11, 2018

Without exception, the people with whom I spoke on the issue agreed that it was spectacularly foolish for the Vatican to become involved with the Met Gala. They all saw the problem coming, long before the headlines and photo-spreads appeared. So how did it happen? Why didn’t Vatican...

Now Available: Liturgical Year Ebook for Ordinary Time after Easter by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - May 14, 2018

We have just released the fifth volume in the 2017-2018 Liturgical Year series of ebooks. Volume five covers the first half of the long stretch of Ordinary Time between the close of the Easter Season on Pentecost and the beginning of Advent. Like all CatholicCulture.org ebooks, this volume is...

Crosses on public buildings: Yes or No? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - May 15, 2018

I would not single out this issue, since it comes from a correspondent I had already mentioned, except that in this case we have a good question. In response to our story on the German State of Bavaria’s decision to put crosses on public buildings, we received an email stating categorically:...

Mary, not Misogyny by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - May 15, 2018

It’s fair to observe that women tend to be more religious than men. A typical weekday Mass almost always has a disproportionate number of women in attendance. Prayer and religious devotion seem to be much easier for the ladies than for the gents. (So much for the “male-dominated”...

When a libel is ‘nothing personal’ by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 15, 2018

Last December, reflecting on the death of Cardinal Bernard Law in First Things, I wrote: “Law became notorious for his handling of abuse complaints, and rightly so.” Does that sound to you like a sympathetic treatment of the late cardinal? In an article that that appeared in...

Episode 3: Native American Catholicism & the New Evangelization by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - May 15, 2018

The history of Catholicism in the native American nations is little known, but is rife with lessons for lay spirituality, inculturation, and the New Evangelization. Today’s guest, journalist...

What IS the proper relationship between Church and State? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - May 18, 2018

My last commentary (Crosses on public buildings: Yes or No?) indirectly raised the question of the right relationship between Church and State in a well-ordered society. This is a relationship that has been deeply distorted by the division of Christianity in the sixteenth century, and further...

The Church’s latest foray into economics: Brief, clear, on point by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - May 18, 2018

[B]usiness management cannot concern itself only with the interests of the proprietors, but must also assume responsibility for all the other stakeholders who contribute to the life of the business: the workers, the clients, the suppliers of various elements of production, the community of...

Fallout from the Chilean bishops’ resignations: some unanswered questions by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 21, 2018

The mass resignation of Chilean bishops has provided us with more questions than answers. Among the questions that must be answered before this dramatic move can be assessed: Did the Chilean bishops resign on their own intiative? All of them? Or did the Pope suggest the move? If the latter,...

Another papal bombshell: the confusion is intentional by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 21, 2018

Another day, another papal bombshell. Another statement attributed to the Holy Father that is clearly at variance with established Church teaching. Another set of sensational headlines. Here we go again. Did Pope Francis really tell Juan Carlos Cruz that he should embrace his homosexuality?...

God made you like that, and I do not care. by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - May 21, 2018

In today’s news story about a sex abuse victim’s understanding of the personal counsel of Pope Francis (Chilean abuse victim: Pope said I should be happy as a homosexual), we have Juan Carlos Cruz quoting the pontiff as saying: “God made you like that and he loves you like that...

Episode 4: The Marian Option—Carrie Gress by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - May 22, 2018

There is an easy, short, perfect and sure way to save our failing Western civilization that is often overlooked in the endless slew of books and articles penned by Catholic intellectuals: Turn to...

An American lawyer’s peculiar theory on the Pell trial by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 22, 2018

Jeffrey Anderson, a lawyer who has built up an extremely lucrative business by bringing sex-abuse suits against the Catholic Church, has a unique perspective on the trial of Cardinal George Pell. Australian prosecutors—who still have not offered any details about their case agains the...

Behind the Chilean bishops’ resignations: a very hopeful sign? by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - May 23, 2018

Although many questions remain about the mass resignation of Chile’s Catholic bishops, last week’s bombshell announcement brought one very promising development. We still don’t know whether Pope Francis demanded, requested, or even encouraged the bishops’ resignations....

Catholic renewal in the long defeat: Engaging Conor Sweeney by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - May 24, 2018

I’ve just finished a fascinating new book by Conor Sweeney from Angelico Press entitled Abiding the Long Defeat and subtitled “How to Evangelize Like a Hobbit in a Disenchanted Age”. While I do not think every emphasis in this book is directly on target, important insights leap...

Could Pope Francis be shifting his stand on gay influence? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 25, 2018

No sooner had I spotted one hopeful sign in the Pope’s handling of the Chilean sex-abuse scandal when today’s news brought another. Pope Francis has reaffirmed the Church’s policy barring active homosexuals from seminaries. I know; I know. This concern about homosexual...

Suffering in the Psalms by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - May 25, 2018

In the previous installment I stressed that the Psalms are first and foremost a collection of prayers.* As such they inescapably reveal the general themes which are uppermost in the minds and hearts of those who pray: Concern about present suffering and a better future, the thirst for God and the...

... and then there’s the archbishop who won’t resign by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - May 28, 2018

While thirty Chilean bishops have submitted their resignation after being accused of covering up sexual abuse, Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Australia, has not resigned after being convicted in a court of law of the same offense. Following his conviction, Archbishop Wilson said that he...

Ireland’s vote: the fruit of years of Catholic complacency by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - May 28, 2018

On the eve of Trinity Sunday, the people of Ireland voted to amend their constitution. Just to put the vote in context, here’s how the preamble to that constitution begins: In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of...

Time to give the lie to a culture in denial? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - May 29, 2018

I’ve been saying it for years. The claim that all religions are the same, and all equally unverifiable, is the height of folly. Rather, we must distinguish between religions based on human claims and those based on the claims of God Himself—those which command assent through an...