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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...

Zooming toward Easter Mar. 31, 2015

In theory, my very dear friends, it is not too late to make this a good Lent. Better souls than you and I have dug in at the last minute! Before we get to Holy Week, however, we do have some less devotional commentary. Late last Friday, Phil Lawler offered his latest round of Insights on the...

Our Most Characteristic Vice? Mar. 27, 2015

I am grateful for the tremendous support we have received over the past week. Now we need just $2,000 more by the end of March to meet those critical bills that have cast a shadow over our future. If you haven't yet, please help now! Our eleventh-hour needs bring to mind one of the most serious...

An ecclesiastical battle over Germany Mar. 24, 2015

I hate to begin with a financial worry, but we do have our backs to the wall this month. We are in serious need of $12,000 to pay critical bills. I pray that you can help. Still, I have a job to do. In last Friday's Insights message, I described Pope Francis' personal comments on capital...

The Death Penalty Further Considered Mar. 20, 2015

Pope Francis made news today when he spoke to the International Committee against the Death Penalty. He argued forcefully that, in our time, capital punishment of apprehended criminals must be considered always wrong. Is Pope Francis saying something new? Not necessarily. I explain here: Pope...

Tougher to Stand Firm? Mar. 17, 2015

Speaking of the difficulties of standing firm, CatholicCulture.org is having a rough time financially in March (which went quite well last year). I hope very much that you'll step up and help. But that's really not what I mean by suggesting that it is growing tougher to stand firm. Rather,...

The Pope Reflects on His Pontificate Mar. 13, 2015

Today is, for the second time in as many months, Friday the 13th. If you give a much-needed donation to CatholicCulture.org, you'll strike a blow against superstition and help keep the Devil at bay! Pope Francis has given another brief interview, reflecting on his pontificate after two years....

Blueprint for Education in Catholic Schools Mar. 10, 2015

San Francisco, of all places, is rapidly becoming the source of both the defense of marriage and the purpose of Catholic schools. The archbishop in question is Salvatore Cordileone, who recently addressed his high school teachers in this astonishing and thorough presentation: Knowledge, Virtue,...

To talk of many things Mar. 6, 2015

Lewis Carroll's Walrus has been at work on CatholicCulture.org. This week's commentary touches a wide variety of topics. Perhaps most newsworthy is the recent success in the reform of the Curia. See Phil Lawler's latest On the News item: Pope Francis prevails in Round I of battle for Vatican...

The Ways of Evangelization Mar. 3, 2015

Thomas Van dominated our commentary over the weekend. Most importantly, he has given us the next in his series on the Fathers of the Church: Introduction to the Greek Apologists. This is another stage in spreading and confirming the Faith. I've been thinking about evangelization again, too, and...

The Complexities of Persecution Feb. 27, 2015

I've been thinking a good deal about the situation in Ukraine, and what I chiefly realize about it is that we are foolish to make pronouncements. See Ukraine: A great lesson in thinking like a Catholic. Interestingly, the Major Archbishop in the Ukraine seems to emphasize one thing, and Pope...

Considering the World of Film Feb. 24, 2015

The title is an anachronism, of course, but by film I mean to call attention to the importance of video entertainment in our culture. First, let me note that our solidarity campaign is still going well. We need just 92 more gifts to make our February goal of 700. Small and large count the same....

##ashtag Feb. 20, 2015

I continue to be pleased with the results of our solidarity campaign. If you haven't donated in February, a small gift now will count just as much as a large one toward our goal of 700 gifts. We've received 147 gifts over the past three days, and have just 207 to go! Now, what else is new?...

Stocking the Church with...Men Feb. 17, 2015

Before I call attention to the new materials on CatholicCulture.org, let's see what a little solidarity can do. This month we are emphasizing not the bottom line but solidarity in donation participation. We are shooting for 700 gifts in February. If you haven't already made a donation...

The Politicization of Just about Everything Feb. 13, 2015

Our culture seems to have a need to politicize everything, and I think this shows how weak the culture is in so many other respects. Politics has become the key to cultural relevance! In his latest On the News commentary, Phil Lawler worries about the politicization of science, which seems not...

More Signs of the Times Feb. 10, 2015

This message is all about reading the signs of the times. Consider, for example, the Canadian Supreme Court's mandate for assisted suicide. This is a clear sign of the death of democracy and the rise of paganism. I explain in my latest In Depth Analysis: O Canada! Assisted suicide, the...

An Emphasis on the Wrong Syllable? Feb. 6, 2015

In a continuing effort to clarify the legitimate moral positions involved in the debate over vaccinations made from fetal tissue, I've added my own two cents to the comments by Phil Lawler mentioned in my last message: Thinking morally about vaccinations: My turn!The Pontifical Academy for Life...

Issues across the Spectrum Feb. 3, 2015

It sometimes amazes even me how many different topics get addressed on CatholicCulture.org. Over the weekend, Thomas Van reviewed a biography and unexpectedly explored a saint's attitude toward endowments: St. Katharine Drexel shows how spiritual poverty and submission to Providence go hand in...

The Human Mix of Good and Evil Jan. 30, 2015

It never ceases to amaze me how prone we men and women are to mix good with evil. We find it so hard to get things exactly right! Much of our commentary this week seems to address this mix. For example, Phil Lawler reflects on our responsibility to vaccinate our children, which has become a...

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