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All Catholic commentary from July 2019

Tinkering with the Faith by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Jul 1, 2019

Jesus teaches us, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) Our life decisions in response to His call are irrevocable. Elijah’s disciple, Elisha, burned the bridge to his past— his plowshare, the implement of his livelihood— to guarantee that...

In York with a martyr: The challenge of Margaret Clitherow by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 2, 2019

The Shambles, a narrow street housing butchers where the Clitherow family lived The exterior designation of the shrine in (or at least very near) St. Margaret’s home

Faithful Catholics: don’t accept confusion about sexual morality by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 3, 2019

“Pride Month” has come to an end. And for the first two days of July, the first readings at Mass told the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. I’d call that a coincidence—if I believed in coincidences. Just after the middle of the month, Joseph Sciambra posted a very...

The reigning Pontiff of confusion: a continuing story by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 4, 2019

“The Vatican is now sending ambiguous messages on issues that were considered crucial only a few years ago.” I might have written that sentence, but I didn’t. It comes from an op-ed column in the New York Times—yes, that’s right, the New York Times—by the...

The Peña Parra case: An excellent test of Archbishop Vigano’s credibility by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jul 5, 2019

The latest disclosure of claims by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano should provide a welcome test of his credibility. The New York Times reports that Vigano has named the assistant Vatican Secretary of State, Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, as credibly accused of sexual abuse of seminarians since...

Episode 43—Teaching Children Self-Knowledge Through the Liberal Arts—Matthew Mehan by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Jul 5, 2019

Mr. Mehan’s Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals (M5) is a book of poems intended as an introduction to the liberal arts for children, helping them to grow in self-knowledge, virtue, and the art of charitable rhetoric. It is...

The diplomat and theologian: On the Truth and the limits of inclusivity by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 8, 2019

Two headlines in last Friday’s news caught my attention precisely because of the potential for contradiction in the treatment of the principles they represent. The first, “Vatican diplomat: Foster tolerance, inclusivity to counter attacks on religious believers”, favors the...

The ‘new evangelization’—discarded? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 9, 2019

Yesterday’s CWN headlines included a remarkable interview with Cardinal Jozef De Kesel of Brussels, in which the cardinal welcomed the arrival of secularism in Europe. Read the whole interview (if you have the stomach for it), and see if you can detect therein any statement, any argument,...

Unearthing more corruption at the Vatican by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 10, 2019

Pause for a moment, and think about what it means that the Vatican is excavating two tombs at the Teutonic Cemetery. The Vatican today confirmed what was already apparent: that the excavation of these tombs has been prompted by an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl...

Self-serving apologies: Not the Catholic way by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 11, 2019

If you want to seize the contemporary moral high ground, I suggest you apologize for something your ancestors or your organization or your country did hundreds of years ago, checking first to ensure that the behavior in question is universally excoriated in our own more enlightened times. Above...

At the Vatican, two mysteries—one probably easy to resolve by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 15, 2019

Just a few days after announcing that excavations inside the Vatican yielded no evidence to shed light on the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the Vatican has now said that some human remains were found, and the investigation will continue. What’s going on here? The short answer: in...

St. Mark insists that Christ is the Son of God by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Jul 16, 2019

In my commentary on St. Matthew’s gospel, I emphasize Mathew’s central theme of establishing, point by point, that Jesus Christ is the Messiah expected by the Jewish nation. In sharp contrast, St. Mark insists from the very first that Jesus is the Son of God. Thus Mark largely bypasses...

50 years later: coming back to earth after the moon landing by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 16, 2019

Sunday, July 20, 1969. Millions of Americans were in front of their television sets, watching coverage of the historic Apollo 11 mission. But it was a lovely afternoon in Boston, the Red Sox were hosting the Baltimore Orioles, and cheap seats were available in the distant right-field grandstand...

When a theologian accuses his archbishop of schism,... by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 19, 2019

Massimo Faggioli teaches in the theology department at Villanova (when he is not trolling conservative Catholics on social media). Villanova is—or claims to be—a Catholic university. Those who teach in theology departments at Catholic universities are obliged to obtain the...

Getting all that smoke out of your eyes: Six reviews by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 19, 2019

I freely admit it. While popping a hard-boiled egg into my mouth for lunch about a minute ago (lunch now done, thanks), I told Alexa to play a song. “She who must not be named” complied with Jerome Kern’s hit from the forgotten 1933 musical Roberta. I mean, of course,...

A bishop disciplined: why keep it quiet? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 19, 2019

In our CWN news coverage of the Vatican’s disciplinary action against Bishop Bransfield, we called attention to the fact that the announcement was made late on a Friday afternoon in July. If you’ve ever devoted any time at all to the study of public relations, you recognize the...

Episode 44—Catholics Need Poetry. But Do We Want It?—Dana Gioia by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Jul 19, 2019

Dana Gioia is one of the greatest Catholic poets working today. In this interview he discusses how Catholic attitudes toward the arts have changed in recent generations, and the revival of interest in poetry in the culture as a whole. Dana reads...

Pilgrimage for Newman’s Canonization by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jul 22, 2019

The Priestly Society of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman is hosting a ten day pilgrimage to Rome for Newman’s canonization on October 13th. The flight to Rome will depart Newark on the evening of Wednesday, October 9th and return to Newark on Saturday, October 19th. Leadership and...

The Angelus (Jean-François Millet, 1857-59) by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "Multimedia Blog" - Jul 23, 2019

“The Angelus” is one of the most famous devotional paintings of the nineteenth century, portraying two peasants bowing in a field as they pray the Angelus, presumably in response to the tolling of the evening bell from the church shown against the horizon. There is something attractive...

The makings of a good harvest: Argument is never enough by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 23, 2019

I have been a practitioner of apologetics since somewhere around the age of ten, though the pattern must have been well-established even earlier, because I can remember from an early age my mother describing me as the child “who loves to argue.” It is also true that I had been arguing...

In West Virginia, another bewildering Vatican appointment by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 23, 2019

Every day, it seems, I resolve not to write another column about corruption in the Catholic hierarchy. And then another story crosses my desk that makes my shake my head… and tackle the same tired old topic again. Take today’s news, that the Vatican has named Bishop Mark Brennan to...

Sick of hearing about scandals in the Church? You should be. (Part I) by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 24, 2019

I quit. For more than 25 years now, I have been reporting and writing about scandal within the Catholic Church. Yesterday, as I wearily wrote one more article about episcopal corruption, I realized how much the topic has come to nauseate me. I can’t do it anymore. Since the 1990s I...

Surrogacy, Same-Sex “Marriage,” and the Thirteenth Amendment by Robert G. Marshall in "In Depth Analysis" - Jul 24, 2019

The Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision affirmed that same-sex couples must have the same “constellation of benefits” as traditionally married people: “… the right to marry … draws meaning from related rights of ‘childrearing,...

Sick of the Scandals? Here’s what I plan to do (Part II) by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Jul 25, 2019

Yesterday I announced that I’m finished reporting on the scandals in the Catholic Church. The question naturally arises: then what will I do? (Before I answer that question, let me pause just a moment to thank the many people who have sent me supportive and complimentary messages....

Episode 45 —Libertarianism vs. Natural Law on Private Property by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Jul 27, 2019

Thomas discusses his libertarian past, explains why he abandoned that political philosophy, and summarizes an article on the topic by the Catholic philosopher Edward Feser. Feser, himself an ex-libertarian who has written books on Hayek, Nozick...

Healing an angry culture by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky in "On the News" - Jul 30, 2019

News item: Less than 24 hours after yet another mass shooting in America…authorities said they were still seeking a motive. It seems the 19-year-old shooter gave us one. “Why are you doing this?” a witness heard someone shout. The response: “Because I’m really...

Yearning to Escape Ourselves by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Jul 31, 2019

I am on vacation, so I have cheated and re-posted a commentary I wrote a little more than five years ago about our desire to “get away”. The point, I think, is still valid. Pope John XXIII, whose example I cite below, has of course since been canonized. I can relate to Pope...

That money-making ‘pro-choice’ scam by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Jul 31, 2019

First let’s put together a coalition of groups involved in airline travel: the airlines themselves, aircraft manufacturers, airport executives, unions representing pilots and flight attendants, air-traffic controllers, TSA agents, etc. Now let’s write a manifesto for them, demanding...