The top 20 stories of a painful year

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Dec 31, 2018

2018 was a tumultuous year for the Catholic Church, and frankly, most of the news was bad news. With prayers for more positive headlines in 2019, here are my own selections for the 20 most important stories of the past year:

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: gj_brunning1835 - Jan. 03, 2019 6:25 PM ET USA

    Dateline Heaven, Jan 3. The Blessed Trinity today announced, despite all the ills and problems in the Church: The Father still loves and will not forsake His Church; The Son will continue to visit every altar when Mass is celebrated; the Holy Spirit will continue to shower graces on those who seek them and to inspire saints. The statement concluded with Amen.

  • Posted by: R. Spanier (Catholic Canadian) - Jan. 02, 2019 11:23 AM ET USA

    'Abortion Was the Leading Cause of Death Worldwide in 2018, Killing 42 Million People' https://www.lifenews.com/2018/12/31/abortion-was-the-leading-cause-of-death-worldwide-in-2018-killing-42-million-people/

  • Posted by: feedback - Jan. 01, 2019 8:33 AM ET USA

    Related to #2 is Pope Francis' unprecedented public admission of guilt and apology for "grave errors" to the Chilean sex abuse victims. And then, four months later, his "I will not say a single word" about the bizarre papal promotions granted to Uncle Ted McCarrick.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Dec. 31, 2018 11:52 PM ET USA

    Regarding #20 above, in preparing for an academic sparring match next month I bought a textbook published in September, titled "A Catholic Introduction to the Bible." On p. 53 the authors wrote: "Much later in Christian history, certain groups with roots in the Protestant Reformation would dismiss the authority of the Pentateuch by characterizing it as 'law' opposed to the 'Gospel' that comes through Jesus Christ." Remind anyone of Pope Francis' "ridigity" versus "logic of the Gospel" mantra?