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All Catholic commentary from July 2018

On clerical abuse, the mainstream may finally recognize the obvious by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 2, 2018

Charles Collins writes for Crux: If the Church hierarchy continues to turn a blind eye to sexual misconduct involving adults, it will never be able to put an end to the sexual abuse of minors. Good point. Wonder why nobody thought of it earlier. Oh, wait. From my book

Writing a headline to create a story by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 2, 2018

An egregious example of a misleading headline, from AP:  Pope replaces Australian prelate who opposes sex abuse norm The focus of the story is on Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, who (AP tells us) “said he’d prefer jail to telling civil authorities about any sex abuse of...

Six books to tell you what you need to know by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 3, 2018

The sad truth is that I do not have time to keep up with all the sound Catholic books being published today. How different this is from the 1970’s when I got my start, a time in which nearly every Catholic publisher deliberately undermined the teachings of the Church! Moreover, the books I...

Episode 9: How to Start an Institutional Apostolate, Part 1—Jeff Mirus by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Jul 4, 2018

This episode is for anyone who believes he is called to found a Catholic apostolate, or anyone who is overseeing one already. You may know Jeff Mirus as the founder of CatholicCulture.org, but he...

The McCarrick scandal & the gay lobby: a problem the bishops won’t address by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 6, 2018

The news that Cardinal McCarrick has been credibly accused of molesting a young man—and the subsequent revelations that “everybody knew” about the cardinal’s homosexual activities—have raised new and important questions about the silence of other American bishops....

Vatican Reform, take two: behind two new papal appointments by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 6, 2018

“Personnel is policy,” the political analysts tell us. With that maxim in mind, let’s examine the importance of two appointments made by Pope Francis in recent days: the appointments of Bishop Nunzio Galantino as president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic...

The mounting Italian influence in the Roman Curia by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 10, 2018

Last week, in commenting on two important appointments, I failed to make an obvious point: Both Bishop Nunzio Galantino (the new head of APSA) and Paolo Ruffini (the new head of the dicastery for Communications) are Italians. Vatican-watcher Andrea Gagliarducci sharpens the point: This is...

Priests shouldn’t engage in partisan politics—except? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 10, 2018

Bishop Michael Warfel of Great Falls-Billings has reprimanded four priests who appeared in clerical collars, as VIP guests, at a rally for President Trump in Montana. And rightly so, because priests should not take part in partisan political activities. At the same time, Cardinal Blase Cupich...

A question for Cardinal Farrell by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 10, 2018

If Catholic priests have “no credibility” for the task of preparing couples for marriage, how are they qualified (per Amoris Laetitia) to guide divorced-and-remarried Catholics through the “process of discernment” that would lead them back to...

Discouragement is not an option: Weigel on the fragility of order by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 10, 2018

In the midst of the disturbing now of a crazy Summer (see, for example, Phil Lawler’s two latest posts on political priests and Italian influence in the Curia)—in the midst of this disturbing now, I say, perhaps it is time to refresh ourselves with calm and studied reflections on the...

Episode 10: How to Start an Institutional Apostolate, Part 2—Jeff Mirus by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Jul 10, 2018

This episode is for anyone who believes he is called to found a Catholic apostolate, or anyone who is overseeing one already. In this second part of a two-part interview, CatholicCulture.org...

A challenge to the Vatican from America’s consecrated virgins by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 12, 2018

The recent Vatican Instruction “Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago” on the “Ordo virginum” has caused considerable distress among consecrated virgins in America, and presumably elsewhere. This is evident in a preliminary statement issued today by the United States Association of...

Suggestion for the German bishops: wider access to sacramental Confession by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Friday

The Code of Canon Law (#844—4) allows Catholics priests, when there is a “grave and pressing need,” to administer Holy Communion to Protestants who “demonstrate the catholic faith in respect of these sacraments and are properly disposed.” The German bishops, in their...

An answer to Cardinal Farrell, from Pope John Paul II by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Friday

Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the prefect of the Vatican dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, fears that priests “have no credibility” when they attempt to prepare Catholic couples for marriage. St. John Paul II disagrees. From the introduction to his book, Love and...

What’s wrong with this picture? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Monday

Do others share my discomfort with this story? Catholic Charities office sues diocese in Minnesota (CWN, July 12) “We believe the complaint will be properly resolved through the judicial process,” says the spokesman for the St. Cloud diocese. And maybe it will. But then...

Does Humanae Vitae cause suffering, or does the National Catholic Reporter? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Tuesday

The National Catholic Reporter headline informs us: Humanae Vitae’s ban on contraception causes suffering The argument of the article is lame and familiar: based on the assumption that—what your parents told you about bird and bees to the contrary notwithstanding—Catholic...

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity: Ecclesiastes by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Tuesday

The Book of Ecclesiastes offers fascinating insights into what the Jewish intellect had grasped of the purpose of life two or three hundred years before Christ. The voice of the book is that of Ecclesiastes, or “the Preacher”, who was King over Jerusalem, and who may be construed in...

Episode 11: Music and Morals—Fr. Basil Cole, O.P. by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Tuesday

Are music and morals connected? If so, what is the nature of that connection? Are certain musical sounds morally bad or good in themselves, or are they neutral? Could the influence of music on...

The logic of Amoris Laetitia now infects Vatican diplomacy by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Tuesday

The latest of a series of articles on Vatican-China talks* posted on the Vatican News site tackles the question of how the Holy See could recognize bishops who were ordained without Vatican approval, and thus subject to excommunication: The path to the legitimisation of the Chinese Bishops...