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All Catholic commentary from September 2018

The Vigano report and the Kim Davis distraction by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 3, 2018

Pope Francis asked journalists to investigate the charges in the Vigano testimony, and draw their own conclusions. That’s fair enough—although it’s certainly surprising that the Vicar of Christ would not at least deny participating in what would amount to a repudiation of his own...

Episode 16: Extremely Specific Middle-earth Q&A with The Tolkien Professor—Corey Olsen by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Sep 4, 2018

In part two of my interview with Corey “The Tolkien Professor” Olsen, we discuss several extremely specific questions about Middle-earth, including: What is “magic” in...

I’d rather be an angel...or would I? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 4, 2018

For CJP who, with the courage of friendship, has advised me to have a heart. On the way to Mass this morning, I was reflecting (as is my wont) on the idiocy of all those who do not see things as I do. Fortunately, I find it difficult to maintain a completely self-righteous posture in my sleepy...

The track record supports the Vigano testimony by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Sep 5, 2018

At several points in his bombshell testimony, Archbishop Vigano explained where the corroborating evidence could be found: in files at the Vatican or the offices of the apostolic nuncio. If those files are made public—or even vetted by a reliable, objective investigator—we would all...

Pope Francis: The resignation scenario by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 6, 2018

I am currently reading a detective novel by David Hewson, A Season for the Dead, which touches in part on deep financial and sexual corruption within the Vatican. It was published in 2004 when the financial corruption was well-known though not, perhaps, the other. But the two often go hand in...

When the topic is abortion, the facts don’t matter? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 7, 2018

On his Twitter feed, Father Alek Schrenk calls attention to an editor’s note, appended on an article in The Atlantic. The article, written by Moira Weigel and published early in 2017, scoffed at pro-lifers who advocate ultrasound exams for pregnant women. After its publication, this...

Just an awkward headline? by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 11, 2018

The headline on the Associated Press story is provocative: Vatican Official: Sex abuse scandal is church’s ‘own 9/11’ But is the headline accurate? Read on: A top Vatican official says the clerical sex scandal is such a game-changing catastrophe for the Catholic Church...

The Wisdom of Solomon: Written for the 21st century? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 11, 2018

Although I jumped into the Book of Sirach briefly to make a point about the abuse crisis, my intermittent series on the books of the Bible saw its last installment—on the Song of Solomon—back in July. It is time now for the Wisdom of Solomon, usually referred to simply as...

Quick Hits: Small Advances on Abuse Crisis by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Sep 11, 2018

Matters have been unfolding slowly since Archbishop Viganò’s revelations about the Church’s handling of the homosexually abusive Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. But here are three straws in the wind: Timetable on McCarrick Confirmed: Two portions of the timetable have been...

A meeting of the world’s bishops to talk about abuse? Please, not more talk. Action! by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 12, 2018

Pope Francis has called the leaders of the world’s episcopal conferences to Rome, to “speak about the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.” Great. The meeting will take place next February—more than five years after the Pope announced his plan to set up a...

The surpassing relevance of Mary’s Jewish roots by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 12, 2018

Brant Pitre just won’t quit, and we should be grateful. Image Books (Random House) has just sent me an uncorrected proof of the fourth in his series of books exploring the Jewish understanding of key Messianic texts at the time of Christ. The purpose of the books is to shed greater light on...

Does the Pope want the truth? Thursday’s meeting will tell. by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 12, 2018

As Pope Francis meets on Thursday with leaders of the US bishops’ conference, one question looms more important than all others: Will the Pope authorize an apostolic visitation of the American hierarchy? An apostolic visitation—a full investigation, under papal...

Msgr. John Sanders, the priest who played with Duke Ellington by Thomas V. Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 13, 2018

Earlier this week, I made a visit to Our Lady Queen of the Clergy Retirement Home in Stamford, CT to interview Msgr. John Sanders, who played with Duke Ellington for five years and then became a Catholic priest. Msgr. Sanders’s memory was not up to a full podcast interview on the day I...

A Year of Repentance and Ember Days by Jennifer Gregory Miller in "Liturgical Year Blog" - Sep 14, 2018

On September 10, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik announced a Year of Repentance for his diocese “to fast and pray for the purification of the Church in light of the scandal of child sexual abuse.” His letter was addressed to the clerics (priests, deacons and seminarians) of the...

Five things every Catholic can do to end the abuse crisis by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Sep 14, 2018

When I wrote that faithful Catholics “need to spend more time in prayer and sacrifice than in advocacy for a papal resignation” (see Pope Francis: The resignation scenario), I received notes from only a very few people who disagreed. These few asserted that it was a very good thing to...

Should Pope Francis resign? I say No... but... by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Sep 17, 2018

Should Pope Francis resign? Like my colleague Jeff Mirus, I say No. Since I have often been critical of the Pope—not least in my book Lost Shepherd—I’m sure many readers will be surprised by my answer. Let me explain my reasoning. If public pressure forces Pope Francis...

In denial about not ordaining homosexuals? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "In Depth Analysis" - Sep 18, 2018

I won’t bore you with the details, but every time the Vatican issues an instruction stating that those with clear homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to the priesthood, there follows a plethora of articles—including some in L’Osservatore Romano itself—in which the...

Benedict XVI answers his critics—and drops a hint by Phil Lawler in "On the News" - Sep 20, 2018

Pope-emeritus Benedict has been scrupulously careful, these last five years, to avoid anything that could be construed as criticism of Pope Francis. At the same time, the former Pope has come under criticism—led by some of his greatest admirers—for a resignation that, in retrospect,...

Does the Pope want the truth? Now we know. by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 20, 2018

The most important thing about yesterday’s announcement from the USCCB is what it didn’t say. The leaders of the US bishops’ conference went to Rome to ask the Pope’s approval for an apostolic visitation. They came away empty-handed, and announced the steps that they...

The removal of the Church’s Cone of Silence by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 21, 2018

In response to my commentary “In denial about not ordaining homosexuals?”, a reader insisted on an interesting point in Sound Off: “I don’t usually do this but—you’re wrong. The problem is not clerical homosexuals…. Secrecy is the problem.” We do...

What about the Chinese deal? by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "The City Gates" - Sep 24, 2018

Many Catholics are incredulous that Pope Francis has reached an agreement with the government of China. The agreement allows the government to nominate acceptable candidates for each bishopric, and stipulates that the Pope will choose one of these proposed candidates. I have only one...

Spadaro on the China accord: 2+2=5 again by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 25, 2018

Father Antonio Spadaro, the papal confidant who told us that in theology 2+2 can equal 5, has now turned to the study of music for an explanation of what is happening in the Vatican’s agreement with China: It is helpful to understand this agreement as a true harmony of notes. That is to...

Episode 17: A Civics Lesson for Catholics—Bob Marshall by Thomas V. Mirus in "The Catholic Culture Podcast" - Sep 25, 2018

Many Catholics have become cynical about the possibility of changing the political landscape, but perhaps we’ve given up before we’ve really tried. It’s not just about electing...

Grumbling among Vatican journalists: an ominous development for the Pope by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 26, 2018

Pope Francis gave his usual in-flight press conference on Tuesday, as he returned from a visit to the Baltic region. But the Pope did not make any shocking statements. Instead, reporters were mumbling about what the Pope didn’t say. Pope Francis didn’t answer questions about sexual...

“Accusers”, Archbishop Viganò, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by Dr. Jeff Mirus in "On the Culture" - Sep 27, 2018

Do we really have to explain these things? I received a clearly unfriendly email from one of our registered users arguing that the Pope had rightly dismissed the Viganò testimony without addressing its claims, because this testimony was a series of baseless and mean-spirited charges...

Choose sides! Archbishop Vigano puts two cardinals on the spot by Phil Lawler in "The City Gates" - Sep 28, 2018

One month after making his first damaging charges against Pope Francis, Archbishop Vigano has now ramped up the pressure on the Pontiff with a 2nd blast. Perhaps equally important, he is now also applying public pressure to other prelates, notably Cardinals Marc Ouellet and Daniel...