Commentary

Most Popular Within the Last 90 Days

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Top 5: In Depth Analysis

Challenge yourself with Gaudete et Exsultate! by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Apr 12, 2018

If people do not think they can learn anything about holiness from Pope Francis, they need to think again. The Pope’s latest Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad):...

Why can’t the Church stop harping on purity?! by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Apr 27, 2018

In the wake of yesterday’s conviction of comedian Bill Cosby for sexual assault, we might well revisit what many regard as the obnoxious Catholic emphasis on purity. While we hear less about...

A Church of kids: Will the Synod on Youth get it backwards? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Mar 27, 2018

I am one of those who is not sure whether to laugh or cry at the effort of the Catholic Church to devote a Synod of Bishops to youth. It goes without saying that the Church can do many good things...

Political holiness? More on Gaudete et Exsultate! by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Apr 17, 2018

In my essay on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on holiness (Challenge yourself with Gaudete et Exsultate!), I promised to write separately about the Pope’s emphasis on the equality...

Insistence on the Church’s authority is required for growth. by Dr. Jeff Mirus - May 1, 2018

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the...

Top 5: On the Culture

Seven spiritual mistakes of “good Catholic parents” Apr 10, 2018

A few weeks ago I wrote that the greater part of what is wrong with young people today is parents (see A Church of kids: Will the Synod on Youth get it backwards?). I also touched briefly on some key elements of sound Catholic parenting, particularly in education. But it would be wrong to give the...

The Psalms: Deep questions, with only hints for answers May 3, 2018

Reading through the first twenty books of the Old Testament, it is fairly easy to highlight particular themes or dominant purposes in each one which can help people understand them better. Such themes and purposes apply not only to each book but to their place in Scripture as a whole, particularly...

The war against Africa: Ideological colonialism Mar 22, 2018

I have long been convinced that those who seek political office are, as a general rule, morally unfit to rule. We could make an example of almost any historical regime to illustrate this thesis, for nearly every ruling group, whatever good it may have done, has deliberately led (not followed)...

Random reflections on public shootings and ultimate safety in our time Feb 26, 2018

We can all agree that it is a Very Bad Thing when crazed or terrorist gunmen unleash volleys of lethal bullets against school children, churchgoers, and the general public. But after that, in America at least, the agreement ends. Some argue that it should be harder for people to get their hands on...

What is the law? When can we ignore it? Part 1: True Law Mar 6, 2018

Civil authorities make many bad laws. This is an inescapable part of the human condition. The majority of bad laws are simple failures of prudence: These laws do not, for a wide variety of reasons, accomplish the ends for which they are enacted and, in the process of not accomplishing those...

Top 5: On the News

St. Patrick: the patron saint of parish closings? Mar 17, 2018

(This column, written six years ago, is re-posted annually by popular demand.) Needless to say, there is no patron saint of parish closings. The closing of a parish is a tragedy. A parish church is more than just a building. It is a repository of memories: of the children baptized there, the...

Confusion—now about hell—is the hallmark of this pontificate Mar 29, 2018

Okay, Pope Francis probably did not say: “There is no hell.” But that’s the headline story for today—for Holy Thursday. And while maybe the interviewer is responsible for an inaccurate quotation, the Pope himself is responsible for the ensuing confusion. The Vatican,...

The Pope and the Vatican’s top power broker Feb 27, 2018

For the first time in my life, I find myself in substantial agreement with Robert Mickens, who now covers Vatican affairs for La Croix. In his most recent column there, Mickens examines the enormous and enduring influence of Cardinal Angelo Sodano. It’s an eye-opener. Cardinal Sodano...

A rough week for the Holy See Feb 22, 2018

Today is an unusually good day to pray for Pope Francis and for the Holy See. Not only because it’s the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, but also because it’s been an unusually rough week at the Vatican. Consider: It’s very unusual—well, you might say that usually...

Blasphemy tests the limits of tolerance at Holy Cross Apr 18, 2018

A confession: During the past few weeks, as the result of my own editorial decision, we have not fully informed our readers about the scandal created by a blasphemous theology professor at the College of the Holy Cross. Chastise me if you like, but I don’t regret my decision. With...

Top 5: The City Gates

When bishops don’t fulfill their duties Mar 23, 2018

Year after year the Religious Education Conference (REC) in Los Angeles produces a new raft of horror stories: accounts about speakers who gleefully dismiss the established teachings of the Church, cheered on by an audience composed largely of people who are paid, by one American diocese or...

Now Available: Liturgical Year Ebook for Ordinary Time after Easter Monday

We have just released the fifth volume in the 2017-2018 Liturgical Year series of ebooks. Volume five covers the first half of the long stretch of Ordinary Time between the close of the Easter Season on Pentecost and the beginning of Advent. Like all CatholicCulture.org ebooks, this volume is...

The accusations of Cardinal Cupich: name names, please Mar 9, 2018

In his latest column for the Chicago archdiocesan newspaper, Cardinal Blase Cupich—who styles himself as a champion of civil dialogue within the Church—lashes out at people who disagree with Pope Francis: For this reason, it is not surprising that we occasionally hear voices,...

What was that letter from Pope-emeritus Benedict really about? Mar 14, 2018

So what’s the real story behind the letter from Pope-emeritus Benedict? First, Msgr. Dario Vigano sent the former Pope a set of new books on the theology of Pope Francis, asking for a favorable comment. That was in January. The former Pope declined to comment on the books. In fact he...

From confusion to heresy: how papal statements are exploited Mar 30, 2018

“Pope News” tweets: Why are some people so keen on being certain about the existence of Hell? Do they need the fear factor to be good? Massimo Faggioli responds: This euphoria about hell (for others, of course): the theological version of winning is the only thing...