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Suffering Christians Jul. 28, 2015

The news over the past few days has been very grim. Today a third undercover video has provided more evidence of procurement and sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood. But some major news outlets are framing their coverage to justify the practice. See Phil Lawler's latest commentary:...

Bearing witness to the Truth Jul. 24, 2015

Happy St. Sharbel Makhloof day! St. Sharbel was a 19th-century Lebanese monk who lived a life of devotion to Mary as a hermit. Going further back in time, I am happy to announce that Thomas Van has posted the latest in his series on the Fathers of the Church. See Church Fathers: St. Irenaeus of...

Pope Francis: Bemusing? Jul. 21, 2015

Every pope has his own unique personality, but Pope Francis introduces characteristics which may be unusual in so high an office. Partly for this reason, he continues to fascinate. Even the Pope's chief spokesman finds Francis “different”, as he indicated in a recent interview. Phil...

The Issue of Religious Liberty Jul. 17, 2015

I've had to be out of town all day today, and have just returned at 6:00 pm, so this Friday message will be brief. You'll recall from Tuesday's message the news story on the court decision refusing an insurance exemption for the Little Sisters of the Poor. Thus they are forced to cooperate, in...

Summer Reading Jul. 14, 2015

I know, I know. When on vacation, one is tempted to read mystery novels or books on the hobby of one's choice, rather than catching up on Catholic issues. There is something to be said for that! Still, Phil Lawler and Thomas Van are making it fairly easy for you to keep up with very little...

Catholics thinking outside the box, again Jul. 10, 2015

Pope Francis tends to think outside the box on social issues, taking the problems we would all prefer to ignore, but placing them in the context of the Christian Faith. We have yet another example in his recent addresses in Boliva. In my latest On the Culture essay, I try to draw out the...

A Fresh Range of Topics Jul. 7, 2015

In the aftermath of my own vacation and the extended American Independence Day weekend, we have been mostly playing catchup this week. However, I did find some time to offer my thoughts on a complaint we hear too often from readers. See: Through an even darker glass: On knocking the popes for...

Making Moral Progress? Jul. 3, 2015

Reactions to the US Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage vary widely. For example, Phil Lawler and I have both commented on David Brooks' suggestion in the New York Times that Christians would be wise to put their energies into non-political projects. In fact, we have emphasized...

In the Aftermath of Obergefell Jun. 30, 2015

It's funny how life works. I'm in the second week of a working vacation, and the biggest problem on my mind ought to be the Obergefell decision mandating recognition of same-sex marriage throughout the United States. But what's really on my mind? The fact that my allegedly waterproof cell-phone...

Is Western Politics Dead? Jun. 26, 2015

Today the American Supreme Court issued a new definition of marriage. See US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage. This is just one of a continuing series of political acts around the world which manipulate human law in defiance of truth. I comment in my latest On the...

Pressure on Christians mounts Jun. 23, 2015

It seems that each day the pressure on Christians grows a little greater. Of course, we ought always to feel an intense yearning for greater holiness. But there is no lack of unkind reminders of our vocations as saints! In this connection, I find it very interesting that my own Diocese of...

The new encyclical, and our coverage Jun. 19, 2015

You may already know that CatholicCulture.org has just migrated to new and more powerful servers. Perhaps we should expect occasional glitches! Some users have already noticed that the two hours of down-time we scheduled yesterday for this change ended up being pushed back to 10:30 EST this...

Toward a more vibrant Catholicism May. 29, 2015

This week I've started a series in which I hope to explore what a truly vibrant and effective Catholicism ought to look like. I'm definitely open to input. The first installment begins with what has gone wrong: Vibrant Catholicism, 1: Lamenting the entire 20th century. I'll also organize this...

A joyful noise unto the Lord: Goal met! May. 26, 2015

I wish to begin this Insights message by thanking each one of you who prayed and/or donated to our effort to win a $25,400 challenge grant during our Spring Campaign. We succeeded on Pentecost—the last day! Clearly, we have our work cut out for us, as a review of recent news stories makes...

What's wrong with these pictures? May. 22, 2015

It seems that this is my day to notice that things are not as they ought to be! For example, there is the almost unthinkable referendum on gay marriage in once-Catholic Ireland. As Phil Lawler points out, this puts Ireland on the brink: the referendum will be a test of tolerance. In another,...

From Catholic University to Mother Teresa May. 19, 2015

As we come down to the wire in our Spring Challenge Campaign, we have a variety of interesting items for you on the website. For example, I just finished Peter Mitchell's fine book on the revolution at the Catholic University of America in the late 1960s that wrested control of that institution...

Rejuvenating Catholicism in America (and everywhere) May. 15, 2015

The latest Pew survey seems to reveal both a relative and an absolute decline of the Catholic population in the United States. Phil Lawler considers some of the implications in two commentaries: American Catholics are flunking the test of evangelizationThe marketing failure of 'new'...

Solidarity in the Modern World May. 12, 2015

Speaking of solidarity, I have the seriously unpleasant task of emphasizing how much help we need in meeting our Challenge Grant by May 24th. Things have slowed down, and we still have over $15,500 to match so that we can receive a total benefit of over $50,000. If you have not yet helped with...

Marriage is STILL the issue. May. 8, 2015

As today's Insights will make clear, marriage is still the pivotal issue for both Church and State. It would seem that in our age, marriage has hope only in Christ. That is one reason why the theme of our Spring Campaign is to proclaim Christ as “the living and only Savior”. Let...

Sacramental Issues, among Others May. 5, 2015

Today we will begin and end with the Sacraments. We tend to think about them more than usual during the Easter Season. For example, those who are brought into the Church at Easter receive the sacraments in the traditional order: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. But through a combination of...

Climate Change and Vatican II: Insights! May. 1, 2015

Let me take advantage of this pulpit to call attention to a little historical project. It might go unnoticed, since it is tucked away in our below-the-fold In Depth Analysis spot. The Second Vatican Council is one of the hardest events in Catholic history for people to understand. I believe...

Keeping Things on Point Apr. 28, 2015

Speaking of staying on point, please remember that we need your solidarity to receive a challenge grant for our Spring Campaign. We have about $23,000 left to match. Many hands will make light work! Your gift now counts twice. Also on point is a brilliant new book which explains how people...

A More Militant Church? Apr. 24, 2015

Let me first share some very good news. We have been offered a $25,400 challenge grant to fuel our Spring Campaign. Of course, we will receive the grant only if it is matched by other donors. This is a wonderful opportunity, and I hope you will help make it a reality. The deadline is Pentecost,...

The Essence of Evangelization Apr. 21, 2015

In a remarkable Regina Coeli address on April 19th, Pope Francis emphasized the essential character of Christian witness. This presented me with a superb opportunity for finishing up the series on meaning and evangelization which I've written over the past two months. Please see the conclusion,...

Mysteries, again and again! Apr. 17, 2015

The Vatican has completed its doctrinal assessment and the implementation of required changes for the American Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The fact that this ended on a positive note is a surprising mystery, as Phil Lawler points out in The Vatican says the LCWR is acting...

Anomalies in the News? Apr. 14, 2015

So many news stories today seem to involve a basic misperception of reality. This disconnect might be evident in the persons the story is about, or in the tenor of the coverage. The disconnect grows, I think, in direct proportion to the denial of ultimate meaning in our culture. Anyway, I...

A String of Easters Apr. 10, 2015

You probably know that the Church considers each day of the Octave of Easter to be another Easter. Therefore, any penitential act you would ordinarily perform on Friday would not be performed today. Enjoy this wonderful season! I've been on a reduced schedule this week, but we do have three new...

Easter Arrives, Easter Continues Apr. 7, 2015

Our selectively sympathetic and eminently predictable President Obama remained true to form in his address at the Easter prayer breakfast, choosing to use it to bash imperfect (by his lights) Christians: President Obama raps 'less than loving' Christians. Nonetheless, we have a number of...

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