Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News


Trust the science, not the scientists

But as John Adams memorably observed, “Facts are stubborn things.” The facts cannot be reconciled with a purely materialistic understanding of how our universe and our lives. Today the theory of intelligent design is not deemed acceptable, but then Galileo’s theory was not readily accepted in his day.

Catholicism Everywhere:

You may well know of the Catholic origins of hospitals, but did you know that April Fools Day originated from the persistence of certain “April Fools” who insisted on continuing to celebrate the new year on April 1st even after Pope Gregory had promulgated the Gregorian Calendar that we still use today?

Studies of ambition: All About Eve, The Bad and the Beautiful

Thomas and James discuss two classic Hollywood films dealing with the moral problems of overweening ambition - specifically in the context of show business. All About Eve (1950), which won six Oscars and features razor-sharp dialogue and an unforgettable performance by Bette Davis, is set in the world of the theater, while The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) is a (perhaps more honest) self-examination of Hollywood itself.

Penguins and the Puzzle Palace

Penguins risk their lives to care for their young. The entire drama is a lesson of triumph and tragedy. Our life is like that. Those comical creatures help us understand the enigma of our existence.

Infinite dignity and its enemies

The weakness of Dignitas Infinita lies its failure to distinguish between the infinite dignity that Christ offers us, insofar as we participate in the life of the Trinity, and the very limited store of dignity that we accumulate and/or squander by ourselves.

Wait: Is human dignity NOT infinite?

It is a serious problem of the current pontificate that we must take so much trouble to distinguish between those occasions when Pope Francis seems to recognize our radical dependence on God and those when he seems to bless the rejection of that dependence—either by criticizing those who insist upon it very strongly in the moral sphere or by affirming those who patently redefine it to allow for certain culturally-approved sins.

The Shepherd of Hermas | Pt. 3 (Parables 1-8)

“You who repent must cast off the wickedness of this world which wears you down; if you put on every excellence of justice, you can observe these mandates and keep from committing any additional sins.”

4.10 The Heresies — Rebaptism and the Donatists

In the aftermath of the persecutions, controversies arose over the sacraments, which required clarification of the Church’s sacramental theology. The significance of these schisms cannot be overstated, since it is still true to this day that the practice of rebaptism is one of the most prevalent acts of schism against the universal Church, and one of the greatest barriers to unity.

Why ‘Infinite Dignity’ falls short

Cardinal Fernandez cannot find a way to say, in charity, that homosexuals should resist their disordered impulses— as every sinful person should resist the disorder of temptations. Instead he can only say that an act that cries out to heaven for vengeance falls short of the “immense beauty” of the marital act.

Distracted, Dishonest, or Insufferable?

The forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament of Penance destroys the instruments of the crucifixion of Jesus in those modest confessionals in every Catholic church. But forgiveness is not cheap.

Dignitas Infinita: Not a perfect text, but a strong one

The text concludes with the cry of Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Sí: “I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours. No one has the right to take it from us.” Moreover, the full text has happily avoided the common contemporary mistake of downplaying the Christian realities which are so critical to a full grasp of this truth. While recognizing sound natural and philosophical insights, it has not pretended that these will ever be sufficient for the kind of conversion which alone makes a coherent commitment to human dignity possible.

Reflections on the Resurrection from St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI

Our library also includes an interesting reflection by the second-century apologist Athenagoras of Athens On the Resurrection of the Dead. And of course you can find other works of interest in our collection of the Fathers of the Church. But here are seven brief homilies and general audiences reflecting on the Resurrection by Pope St. John Paul II and fifteen by Pope Benedict XVI—ideal for reading, reflection and prayer as part of your routine for the Easter Season.

Liturgical Highlights: Octave Day of Easter through the Third Week of Easter

Discussion of the Easter Octave, Divine Mercy Sunday, Solar Eclipse and the Annunciation.

Fidelity through time: “Apostles are harbingers of popes”

Along with the authoritative terms in which a Divine Revelation was of necessity expressed, there must be a corresponding Divinely-established authority to ensure that, in response to the different human insights and pressures characteristic of changing times and places and conditions, our understanding of the same doctrine would be sure to develop in ways which clarify and corroborate the original teachings rather than undermining and corrupting them.

The Elusive Spirit of Forgiveness

1) List the top five grievances of your life; 2) List five – or two or three -- conscious acts of you granting forgiveness. Which of the two is easier?

Metaphysical Malick: The Thin Red Line (1998)

The Thin Red Line is arguably Malick's first masterpiece - and his first film focused on metaphysical themes, or as James Majewski says, a "preamble" to the more explicit Christian faith found in his later work, using voiceover extensively to ask questions about the origins of good and evil, the unity of human experience, and most of all, how one can maintain faith in the transcendent in the midst of evil, ugliness and disorder.

Better than the movie? A biography of Mother Cabrini

Based on the film controversy, of course, it is Frances Cabrini’s personality which we want to discern here. To begin with, we may note that her health was never good; she was rejected for that reason by the religious community to which she first applied. But her strength of character, perseverance, humility and charm made an extraordinarily successful combination.

4.9 Novatian: Part 2 (The Bad and the Ugly)

In this second part of a two-part series on Novatian of Rome, Dr. Papandrea discusses the flawed sacramental theology and ecclesiology of Novatian, which led to a schism that not only lasted for centuries, but created a new situation in which a faction could be orthodox with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, yet not within the mainstream of the Church and her Tradition (i.e., Christian, but not Catholic).

Liturgical Highlights: Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum

A look at Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum liturgy and celebrating at home. Family liturgical living for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

Easter volume released: Free ebook

The Easter volume of our ebook series for this liturgical year has been released in our ebooks download area. This fourth volume in the annual series covers the entire Easter season, from the Easter Vigil through Pentecost. It may be downloaded free of charge in the following formats: .mobi (Kindle), .epub (Nook and other standard ereaders), and .pdf (most computer devices).

Why doesn’t Pope Francis celebrate Mass?

If the Pope is healthy enough to carry out the other aspects of his work, isn’t he able to lead the celebration of the Eucharist, the source and summit of Catholic spiritual life?

176—God and the City—D.C. Schindler

D.C. Schindler discusses his latest book, God and the City: An Essay in Political Metaphysics. In it, he draws an analogy between metaphysics as the most comprehensive science in the theoretical order and politics as the most comprehensive science in the practical order. Examining how in metaphysics, God is necessarily involved, yet without being the direct object of that science, Schindler argues that the same is true of the relationship between God and politics.

Risking Hellfire

Indeed, many high-ranking Church officials depersonalize traditional Church teaching by ignoring or denying the reality of hell. The denial neglects God’s justice and our personal responsibility for unrepented sins.

Salvation and redemption in the Psalms, and in our hearts

There is a greater emphasis in the psalms on the difference between evildoers and those who keep God’s covenant, with the latter needing rescuing from the former, than there is on the recognition that we all sin and must all repent. Nonetheless, personal responsibility for sin and the need for repentance among all who take God’s ordinances seriously does find sufficient expression to get our attention.

In Ireland, a shift in the global political trend?

If my theory is right, and the vote in Ireland represents a shift in the tide of world opinion, Varadkar will not be the last government leader to lose his seat.

The Shepherd of Hermas | Pt. 2 (Mandates)

“Put the Lord in your hearts, then, you who are empty and fickle in the faith. You will then know that nothing is easier, sweeter, or more gentle than these mandates. Be converted, you who walk in the commandments of the Devil, commandments that are hard, bitter, cruel, and foul. And do not fear the Devil either, because he has no power against you. I, the Angel of Repentance, who have overcome the Devil, am on your side.”

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