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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

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All Catholic commentary from May 2023

Responding to Insults

The “woke snowflakes” are not alone. We too have become hypersensitive. Sometimes run-of-the-mill “bad people” are more responsive to correction than the self-righteous.

How Republicans can win on the abortion issue

Since pro-abortion candidates will reject any restrictions, a firm pro-life leader will demonstrate the extreme, uncompromising nature of his opponent's position on this crucial issue.

The Protestant principle and the Catholic authority principle

You may not believe the claims of the Catholic Church, but the Catholic Church is unique among all the religions of the world in claiming both that it is revealed explicitly by God and that the Church carries within it a Divinely revealed and Divinely established authority by which disputes over this Revelation can be authoritatively settled. These two claims are so important that it is a wonder that anyone would accept a religion that did not make them.

159—Person and Act: John Paul II’s Philosophy w/ Timothy Flanders

In Person and Act Wojtyła set forth the foundation of his blend of phenomenology, Thomism and personalism, a foundation underlying much of his other philosophical and theological writing. In this episode, Flanders & Mirus boil down some of the key points of this rather challenging book, setting Wojtyła's philosophy in its intellectual, cultural, and religious context, and showing why his insights about human consciousness, the experience of morality, and the person are important for us as well.

The inherent hypocrisy of liberal ideology

This has become a fairly standard practice among liberal polemicists: accusing their opponents of doing exactly what they themselves are doing.

How the Liturgy Will Save the Church and Souls

As the German bishops draw comfortable government salaries and perquisites, their loss of interest in the orthodox celebration of the Sacred Liturgy becomes increasingly evident.

Early Christianity Q&A with Mike Aquilina

Mike fielded viewer questions about important cities of the early Church, early evidence for papal primacy, the role of charity in the early Church, Origen, the providential role of easy travel for the spread of the Gospel in the first centuries, and more.

A corrected review

There is a much improved review available.

3.2 Cities of God: Jerusalem, the City of Origin

Jerusalem, the holy city — a city built with compact unity and beloved by the Apostles — was the first home of the Christian Church. Sacred to the Jews, it was for the early Christians a pilgrim destination. Melito and Egeria and Gregory of Nyssa visited there. Cyril reigned there as bishop. John of Damascus moved there. In any consideration of Christian communities, it must come first, because it was the origin and the model for all that came afterward.

A simpler program for the Eucharistic revival

Rather than talking about devotion to the Eucharist, why not show devotion, and thus encourage others to do the same?

Looking at the world with courage to look first at Christ

Larry S. Chapp, a former professor of Catholic theology who came to the fulness of faith through the Catholic Worker movement, offers a unique perspective on the spiritual landscape today, with plenty of good ideas about what it means to be a truly cruciform Catholic.

The last great silent epic: Napoleon (1927)

After three years discussing the Vatican’s 1995 list of 45 important films, Thomas and James have finally reached the final movie! Made in 1927, it’s a five-and-a-half-hour long, epic, technically dazzling silent film about Napoleon.

The Spirit is A-Movin in the pre-Synod Process

Let us pray that the Synod on Synodality represents the grand finale of the death throes of elderly and irrelevant post-Vatican dissidents.

What’s wrong with synodality today?

The current synodal process is very like a fishing expedition, designed to bring to light not what we might call Gospel problems but personal discontents. Whatever is uncovered is conveniently redacted and sent up the global chain until it reaches some who have no idea what to do with it, and others who will use it as evidence that Church teaching, and the Divine Revelation on which it is based, must be “reinterpreted” to fit the spirit of the age. The problem is that we all know the script.

When artists feel lonely in the Church

A livestream of James Majewski and Thomas Mirus discussing how mature artists should navigate what they may see as an excessively moralistic approach to art. This was part of CatholicCulture.org’s Spring fundraising campaign in 2023.

Is paganism dead? Or are we just living in denial?

There are an increasing number of common bodily sins and abuses today which were associated with pagan cults that were absolutely forbidden to the Jews. They were forbidden not only because they involve a betrayal of the Lord, but because they are a fundamental violation of the relationships which are naturally proper to the human person and to a healthy society. Were we not blinded by both sensual lust and the demand for untrammeled “personal expression”, we would see these same actions as serious sins today.

Everyone is a Believer

Like all believers, atheists suffer deprivation and pain in this life. Hence, the last comfort of the atheist is the return to nothingness upon death. The atheist has no empirical evidence for this hope.

Encouraging your pastor toward Eucharistic revival

The pastor, when he sees you approaching, might think: “Oh, boy; here’s that guy who’s always telling me about the things I should do.” If so, he won’t be anxious to talk to you.

The Catholic sobriety test: livestream with Mirus & Lawler, May 22nd

Jeff Mirus and Phil Lawler discuss their approach to writing responsible, sober commentary during a time of crisis in the Church.

Inner peril: Reflections on the “Catholic sobriety test”

Perhaps it is just as well that I spent some of my time crawling around checking wires and connections this time out, but (blast it) I had said a Rosary before my appearance on the set, and all I can say is that the whole thing brings to mind St. Teresa of Avila’s famous quip when, on one of her journeys to her various convents as a nun, she fell into a muddy stream, got up, and said to her Lord and Savior, “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few.”

Biden administration: Abortion restrictions weaken military!

“Catholic” President Joe Biden is seeking to restrict military contracts in states which restrict abortion, economically punishing regions of the country which are loath to murder unborn babies.

3.3 Cities of God: Antioch, the City of Lights

Antioch, in so many ways, was the place where the lights first went on. It was the first city in the ancient world to have street lamps and unending night life. It was the city where the disciples were first called Christians. And it blazed brightly for centuries, in the lives and words of the Fathers: Ignatius, Theophilus, John Chrysostom.

Upcoming Calendar Highlights: Pentecost Week Edition

Pentecost marks the end of the Easter season. First week or octave is full of activity: the Ember Days, Mary, Mother of the Church, the Visitation, and the feast of the Holy Trinity.

The Spiritual Temperaments

“Know thyself” is an ancient Greek proverb. Knowing our emotional temperaments helps us proclaim and receive the Gospel as we understand personality strengths and bear with weaknesses.

Another peace effort for Ukraine seeking to unite Orthodox leaders

To date, none of the proposed parties to the roundtable has accepted the WCC invitation. But none has rejected the initiative, either, and that in itself is significant.

On spiritual fat—and is an unborn child a person, or not?

But the sloppiness remains, and it is both vexing and tiresome. Without even making any negative judgment of Pope Francis’ intentions, we are faced with ever-growing evidence of his fundamental inability to be careful about either his choice of words or his willingness to make their meaning clear within each context. This is both sad and trying, and should be brought to prayer.

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