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Minimizing polarization in renewal

In recent weeks, I believe I have noticed a greater hardening of Catholic hearts against the Catholic hierarchy. The increased popularity of conspiracy theories is one cause, and of course much of the hardening revolves around Pope Francis. As understandable as this may be at times, I...

Progress in the American Church?

Visiting family in California, my wife and I had the great blessing of attending Mass at the Franciscan Mission San Miguel on Thursday, the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. I’ve also had the chance to make good on my in-flight promise to say more about the Congregation for Catholic...

The Church rejects gender theory

The Congregation for Catholic Education has issued a new document rejecting gender theory and outlining the serious dangers it presents: News story: New Vatican document rejects gender theory Document: Male and Female He Created Them While clearly affirming the reality of our creation...

It's a good news day

I’m sitting in my van, typing on my laptop, connected to CatholicCulture.org through my phone. Why? Because my daughter and her four boys (between 2 and 14) are visiting, and we are sitting by (or swimming in) the Potomac River. But that is not the only good news. For example, Thomas...

To live the Faith...or not

Phil Lawler has gotten out in front of two interesting news stories already this week: Don’t call me Father: A commentary on a New Zealand cardinal who has told priests not to let themselves be called ‘Father’, a recommendation we hope will be studiously...

Francis speaks unwisely, again

Sadly, Pope Francis’ latest interview, this time with the Mexican media outlet Televisa, once again raises severe credibility questions. See Phil Lawler’s analysis: New interview, new revelations damage Pope’s credibility. Phil also notes that one of the signatories of...

Video on the Trinity

I am happy to announce the fourth episode in our How Do We Really Know video series. I think we can see some technical improvements, too. This lecture by yours truly is on the Trinity, how it has been revealed to us, and how we can understand it. The presentation is a little over twenty...

Sweet nothings...

I am sending this Insights message early, because I will be out for the rest of the day. But I notice that Phil Lawler has posted a new Quick Hits which covers three interesting topics: See: Questioning the priesthood, dangerous ‘proselytism’, new rules on abuse. And Jennifer...

The Lambert case, and more

Before I get down to business, I want you to know that Phil Lawler has just received an honorary doctorate from Thomas More College! Here is Phil’s interesting reflection on the honor: Don’t call me ‘Doctor Lawler’—yet. Also, it is important (to me) for everyone...

Trials? Relax into joy

One of the signs of a reviving Catholic culture is renewed interest in the great 20th century Thomist, Fr. Reginald Garigou-Lagrange. Thomas V. Mirus interviews Matthew K. Minerd, who is among those driving this renewal. Listen to: The Catholic Culture Podcast, Episode 38—The...

Spiritus mundi, Spiritus Dei

Earlier this week we learned of a strange protest on the part of Catholic women in Germany, loosely associated with the abuse crisis. But I must issue a warning, as German Catholic women, in thrall to the world, boycott Mass. If this is the Spirit of the World at work, then Phil Lawler...

New guidelines on abuse

Before we get into the theme of today’s message, let me mention a new project idea we are testing. We are hoping to release a series of readings (in audio form) from the Fathers of the Church. Tell us what you think of this ten-minute sample: St. Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to...

Renewal in spite of ourselves

Did you know that growth in holiness in the Church depends on the Providential tension between the Church’s Divine and human elements? This is important not only generally, but in specific relation to the efforts to depose Pope Francis. I explain in On saving the Church by...

Ill-judged reactions to Pope Francis

Just a few moments ago, Phil Lawler issued his assessment of the scholars who have charged Pope Francis with heresy, concluding that they have done far more harm than good. See: Is the Pope a heretic? The danger of asking the wrong question. Sadly, in the wake of these charges, there is...

Nationalist revival?

The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is hosting a conference this week on what it sees as a recent backlash against internationalism. But will they understand what is at stake? See my latest: The Pontifical Academy’s assessment of the “growing threat of a nationalist...

From Lent to Easter

After a short break, I returned to find that the Insights message I queued up on Tuesday of last week (April 16th) did not reach most people: A processing failure! In addition to providing all the Triduum links in that message, I had highlighted the following: A major new commentary by...

Special Edition: Abby Johnson

Since I will be officially on the Triduum-Easter break when the next two Insights messages would normally appear, today I offer this special announcement: Thomas V. Mirus has just released his interview with Abby Johnson on The Catholic Culture Podcast: Episode 35 — Moral Blindness...

Pope Emeritus Benedict on clerical abuse

As you probably know, Pope Emeritus Benedict decided this week to offer his own analysis of the causes of clerical abuse in our time. It is a trenchant and deeply spiritual assessment. See: The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse. Clearly this would not have been done if Pope Francis...

URGENT: Falling way behind!

Frankly, our Spring Challenge is in the doldrums. This is a serious problem. If we do not win the $25,000 Challenge Grant offered to CatholicCulture.org, our Catholic mission will be in jeopardy by the time we get to Summer. With the deadline just over three weeks away, we are still 78%...

Genuinely good news

Before I get to a startlingly high number of “good news” stories, let me request your feedback. I'm looking for your ideas on The Catholic Culture Podcast, our new multimedia initiatives, and our fundraising program. Please read and respond to: Feedback time (Yes, if...

News, comment and financial opportunity

I am glad to announce that we have a Challenge Grant of $25,150 for our Spring Campaign. Therefore, anything that you can donate between now and May 6th will count twice. Please help if you can! The United States just received its capital city’s new Archbishop, Wilton Gregory. He...

On the verge of the New Covenant?

With a certain astonishment, I present my final commentary on the books of the Old Testament: 2 Maccabees: Judaism in readiness. I finished, which is astonishing enough, but also this Book reminds me of ourselves—on the verge!—because I sense that something has to give in the...

Understanding the way of the Lord

In an interesting new episode of the Catholic Culture Podcast, jazz pianist and spiritual writer Mark Christopher Brandt discusses structure and freedom. Listen to Thomas V. Mirus’ interview: Episode 33—Structure and Freedom in Music and in Christ—Mark Christopher...

Can bishops lead Church renewal?

Today I offer a new take on renewal: Ten steps every bishop can take to renew the Church. Tomorrow, perhaps every bishop will be on board. Or maybe there are too many bad examples. Consider Phil Lawler’s latest commentary: Cardinals violating their vows: a ho-hum story? There are...

Darkness and Light

More people than should be are concerned about Frederic Martel’s alleged exposé In the Closet of the Vatican. You can trust Phil Lawler to get it right: A wretched ‘tell-all’ Vatican exposé that tells us only one thing. Sadly, of course, most of us have...

Christian ups and downs

In a very helpful homiletic essay, Fr. Jerry Pokorsky opens this week with a meditation on confidence in our Faith. Read: Transfiguration and confidence. I'm getting close to completing my articles on the books of the Old Testament. The latest is 1 Maccabees: A shift in understanding...

Walking a bumpy road with Christ

Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone on that walk last night. It gave me inspiration for a major new analysis piece. See: Bent on evil: How do we explain human culture run amok? Meanwhile, Phil Lawler has sadly noticed that Pope Francis shows no regret over a shocking appointment. Right...

Our own neuralgic points?

One very fine resolution for Lent would be to read or listen daily to a lesson in faith from Bishop Fulton Sheen. See my review of the new printed edition of Your Life Is Worth Living. This is a printed transcription of a brilliant 50-lesson audio series. I also tell you where to find the...

Struggling through Lent

Even as we enter Lent with our personal plans for prayer, penance and charitable work, the trials of being a Catholic will accompany us too. For example, Phil Lawler calls attention to the trial of bishops usurping the role of the laity in politics. See A statement the Tennessee...

For the Church Christ founded

Given the egregious sins of her leaders, it can be hard to remember our Church was founded by Christ. There is no other place to go! As a timely reminder, I have just released the second video in our “How do we really know?” series, including collateral reading: Video: How do...

Unresolved issues

In the aftermath of the Vatican meeting on abuse, we can see how many important issues remain unresolved. As Phil Lawler points out in his analysis, A failed Vatican ‘summit’ only postpones the final reckoning. I noticed a debate on our Facebook page about the role of...

Summit over, time for Lent

It is too early to assess the more long-lasting results of the abuse summit in Rome. Talk of best-practices is clearly inadequate. Effective follow-through will depend on spiritual depth...and teeth. The needed spirituality is the theme of Fr. Jerry Pokorsky’s pointed commentary: The...

Awaiting...results

The Catholic world is now pretty much waiting to see what comes of the current abuse summit in Rome. It is a very good time to pray. And while we are waiting, let me remind you of the two informative and inspiring interviews Thomas V. Mirus held with abuse expert Fr. Roger Landry. These aired...