Commentary

Most Popular Within the Last Year

Make a selection to view the top 5 items in each commentary section.

 


 

Top 5: In Depth Analysis

The road to Hell is paved with Catholic ideals. by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Oct 19, 2018

It is becoming increasingly common (again!) for bishops and theologians to refer to the moral law as an “ideal”. This is simply more evidence of the secularization of what passes for...

In denial about not ordaining homosexuals? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Sep 18, 2018

I won’t bore you with the details, but every time the Vatican issues an instruction stating that those with clear homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to the priesthood, there follows...

Theories that Francis is not the Pope (or can be deposed) destroy the credibility of the Church by Dr. Jeff Mirus - May 2, 2019

This essay, originally published on November 7, 2017, explains why any effort to depose the pope or declare that he has automatically been deposed through heresy is not only untenable but...

Five things every Catholic can do to end the abuse crisis by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Sep 14, 2018

When I wrote that faithful Catholics “need to spend more time in prayer and sacrifice than in advocacy for a papal resignation” (see Pope Francis: The resignation scenario), I received...

Ten steps every bishop can take to renew the Church by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Mar 26, 2019

Everyone has a role in Catholic renewal, but there can be no question that the greatest spur to an authentic renewal of the Church is episcopal leadership. If results throughout the long history of...

 


 

Top 5: On the Culture

Alas, poor Cupich. I knew him, Horatio. Aug 29, 2018

I trust most readers will recognize my title as a modified line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the graveyard scene in which Hamlet and Horatio come across the late court jester’s skull. As a child, Hamlet had known and liked the jester, whose name was Yorick. Hence the line delivered while...

The secularization of Christ: A case study Oct 11, 2018

Yesterday, in my seismographic essay on the Youth Synod, I argued that the crisis of the Church today was rooted in the secularization of Catholicism, that is, the secularization of the message of Christ in ways that please our dominant culture. “This is why,” I wrote, “so many...

God made you like that, and I do not care. May 21, 2018

In today’s news story about a sex abuse victim’s understanding of the personal counsel of Pope Francis (Chilean abuse victim: Pope said I should be happy as a homosexual), we have Juan Carlos Cruz quoting the pontiff as saying: “God made you like that and he loves you like that...

Successful societies are (always) rooted in the family Jul 26, 2018

Creating the ideal society through individualistic emancipation is a fool’s project. It cannot be done. That is why the more our politics emphasizes the freedom of each individual to pursue his own vision of reality, the more government control is necessary to keep the social order from...

Life Is Worth Living: The Message of Fulton Sheen Mar 11, 2019

In the mid-1950s, Bishop Fulton Sheen became the Catholic voice of America with his groundbreaking television series, Life Is Worth Living. But there was a second series with the same title, recorded only in audio in 1965 and released just after the close of the Second Vatican Council. The...

 


 

Top 5: On the News

They came for Covington Catholic; next will they come for you? Jan 21, 2019

It’s time for the pro-life movement to grow up. The disgraceful treatment of students from Covington Catholic—and by that I mean the pell-mell rush of pro-life “leaders” to condemn innocent young men—illustrates a potentially fatal flaw in the movement. For much...

A Synod slap at home schoolers Oct 11, 2018

From Patrick Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society, via the National Catholic Register, comes this ominous warning: At the Youth Synod in Rome this week, one of the bishops’ discussion groups made some disappointing and ignorant comments about Catholic homeschoolers. In one of the...

The McCarrick scandal & the gay lobby: a problem the bishops won’t address Jul 6, 2018

The news that Cardinal McCarrick has been credibly accused of molesting a young man—and the subsequent revelations that “everybody knew” about the cardinal’s homosexual activities—have raised new and important questions about the silence of other American bishops....

The track record supports the Vigano testimony Sep 5, 2018

At several points in his bombshell testimony, Archbishop Vigano explained where the corroborating evidence could be found: in files at the Vatican or the offices of the apostolic nuncio. If those files are made public—or even vetted by a reliable, objective investigator—we would all...

The real reason why Cuomo won’t be excommunicated Jan 26, 2019

“The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.” T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral As the Washington Post (!) reported on calls for the excommunication of New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, who had strongly backed and applauded the...

 


 

Top 5: The City Gates

How could you, Archbishop Vigano? Oct 11, 2018

“How can you celebrate Mass,” Cardinal Ouellet angrily demands of Archbishop Viganò, “and mention the pope’s name in the Eucharistic Prayer?” An excellent question. It forces us to ask whether we have ever imagined that in praying for our shepherds we were...

How did Cardinal McCarrick’s secret last so long? Jun 20, 2018

At least fifteen years ago, I wrote a confidential email message to a few trusted friends, telling them to brace themselves. Within a few days, I said, a major secular newspaper would break a sensational story about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. To my surprise, the newspaper never ran the...

Pope Francis shows no regret over a shocking appointment Mar 15, 2019

Was Pope Francis sending a subtle message to his critics this week? Or have I become a bit paranoid about papal statements? You decide. In a statement of condolence after the death of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Pope Francis summed up the ecclesiastical career of the Belgian prelate in two...

The bizarre ring-kissing controversy Mar 28, 2019

A few quick comments on the Papal Controversy of the Week: the odd refusal to allow people to kiss his ring: First, understand that Pope Francis often does allow people to kiss his ring. The video captured during his trip to Loreto went viral in large part because it was unusual, in several...

Get priests out of sacristies—and into confessionals Jul 19, 2018

Bishop Robert Barron, who is widely regarded as one of the leading Catholic experts on evangelization, sees a problem with a parish-based approach. It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate parishes. “I love the parish and believe in its importance passionately,” he assures us....

 


 

Top 5: Liturgical Year Blog

Catholic PSA for Palm Sunday: Treat Blessed Palms with Reverence Apr 13, 2019

Originally published in 2015, I think it helps to have an annual reminder. Public Service Announcement: The palms we receive on Palm Sunday are blessed objects or sacramentals that need to be treated reverently, not as toys, mere craft material or trash. Every Palm Sunday I just cringe...

The Easter Octave Apr 24, 2019

From the archives, originally posted March 30, 2016: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it, alleluia! With the whole Church we rejoice at the resurrection of Christ! The Church celebrates the Easter season or Eastertide. St. Athanasius said “[t]he fifty...

Candlemas: The Feast of Light and Hope Jan 29, 2019

From the Archives, originally published in 2014: This Sunday, February 2, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, forty days after Christmas. In the 1962 Extraordinary Form Calendar the feast is the “Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and commonly...

Prayers of Thanksgiving for Thanksgiving Day Nov 22, 2018

Originally published in November 2015. It’s been a long three days of cooking and cleaning preparing for our Thanksgiving meal. Twenty-five family members will be gathering around our table today. Only minor injuries were sustained during preparation. Thanksgiving in the United States...

Rejoice, the Lord is Near! Gaudete Sunday, Ember Days and O Antiphons Dec 14, 2018

See my post from 2013, O Come!! The O Antiphons for further reflection on the O Antiphons. The Advent liturgy is so rich, varied and beautiful. Every time the liturgical cycle repeats, it is another opportunity to enter more deeply into the Church’s liturgy as She prepares for Christmas....

 


 

Top 5: The Catholic Culture Podcast

Episode 13: Progressives Are Trying to Take Over Medieval Studies—Rachel Fulton Brown Aug 14, 2018

The critical theorists and social justice warriors are trying to do to medieval studies what they’ve done to other disciplines, and if you don’t get on board, you’re a white supremacist. Over the past two years or so, the mob has targeted University of Chicago professor...

Episode 11: Music and Morals—Fr. Basil Cole, O.P. Jul 17, 2018

Are music and morals connected? If so, what is the nature of that connection? Are certain musical sounds morally bad or good in themselves, or are they neutral? Could the influence of music on morality be of an indirect kind? Is there such a thing as a virtuous way of listening to music? Can...

Episode 19: Understanding the Church’s Abuse Crisis—Fr. Roger Landry Oct 10, 2018

The faithful have many questions about the ecclesiastical sexual abuse crisis: What did Church authorities do right in responding to the previous wave of scandals, and what did they fail to do? How could Theodore McCarrick, a serial abuser surrounded by rumors, rise to become one of the most...

Episode 8: How to Stop Public Porn—Abriana Chilelli Jun 26, 2018

Abriana Chilelli had to drive her children past a lewd strip club advertisement every day on their way home from school in downtown Denver. But instead of taking a fatalistic attitude and a detour, or worse, just accepting it, she got in touch with a city councilman and within days, the...

Episode 23: How the Laity Must Respond to the Abuse Crisis—Fr. Roger Landry Nov 13, 2018

Fr. Roger Landry returns to the show to talk about what the laity can do to address the abuse crisis. Along the way we discuss the concerns that might make even good bishops hesitant to remove bad priests, the spiritual tactics laity and priests alike must use to purify and heal the Church,...

 


 

Top 5: Multimedia Blog

How do we really know Jesus Christ rose from the dead? Feb 2, 2019

In the first of a potential series answering key questions about Catholic faith and life, CatholicCulture.org founder Jeff Mirus examines the Resurrection of Christ. The twenty-minute video is supplemented by the written resources below, which treat this question in greater depth. We have a...

How do we really know Jesus Christ founded a specific Church? Mar 4, 2019

In the second video in the How do we really know? series, I examine the evidence for Christ’s specific foundation of the Catholic Church, exploring the expectations of the Jews, the connections in Our Lord’s teachings with the idea of a church, the evidence for the actual foundation of...

“(Gimme Some of That) Ol’ Atonal Music” Feb 20, 2019

I’ve been playing piano with a country band off and on for the past year and a half, so I enjoyed this spoof in which the country singer “Merle Hazard” remembers the good ol’ days of his father, an atonal composer. A great, pointed send-up of the movement which, by the end...

Pope Leo XIII’s ten encyclicals on the Rosary Jan 9, 2019

Did you know that Pope Leo XIII, whose pontificate lasted from 1878 until 1903, issued no fewer than ten encyclicals on the Rosary? Some others mention the Rosary, such as his encyclicals on devotion to St. Joseph and on the Confraternity of the Rosary. But these ten actually have the Rosary...

How do we really know the pope has Christ’s authority in the Church? Mar 29, 2019

In this presentation, Dr. Jeff Mirus explains how Jesus Christ gave Peter special powers to teach, rule and sanctify the Church He founded, and explains how we know that these powers are carried on by the successors of Peter in the See of Rome until Christ comes again. This is the third video...