Commentary

Most Popular Within the Last 90 Days

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Top 5: In Depth Analysis

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...

Discernment is important, so let’s not make a mockery of it. by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Jul 20, 2018

It is easy to make jokes about the contemporary Vatican effort to eliminate problems through “discernment”, as if discernment by itself can eliminate objective patterns of evil. Part of...

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...

Welcoming the Catechism’s changes on the death penalty by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Aug 9, 2018

A number of bishops around the world, including the episcopal conferences of Latin America and the United States, have welcomed Pope Francis’ recent revision to the Catechism of the Catholic...

“If bloodless means are sufficient”: The devil of capital punishment is in the details by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Aug 10, 2018

In yesterday’s commentary on the recent change to the Catechism on the use of the death penalty, I passed over fairly quickly the tricky question of when the death penalty may be necessary to...

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...

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...

A challenge to the Vatican from America’s consecrated virgins Jul 12, 2018

The recent Vatican Instruction “Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago” on the “Ordo virginum” has caused considerable distress among consecrated virgins in America, and presumably elsewhere. This is evident in a preliminary statement issued today by the United States Association of...

Six books to tell you what you need to know Jul 3, 2018

The sad truth is that I do not have time to keep up with all the sound Catholic books being published today. How different this is from the 1970’s when I got my start, a time in which nearly every Catholic publisher deliberately undermined the teachings of the Church! Moreover, the books I...

Pope Francis: The resignation scenario Sep 6, 2018

I am currently reading a detective novel by David Hewson, A Season for the Dead, which touches in part on deep financial and sexual corruption within the Vatican. It was published in 2004 when the financial corruption was well-known though not, perhaps, the other. But the two often go hand in...

Top 5: On the News

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...

There are only 2 things an American bishop can say now... Aug 22, 2018

The Pennsylvania grand-jury report was released on the very day that I had chosen (long beforehand) to begin a week-long vacation. I had vowed that it would be a real vacation—that I wouldn’t hop back to post news items on this site—and I held to that vow. Still I could not...

The neglected root of the Church sex-abuse scandal Jun 28, 2018

Two new episodes in the festering sex-abuse scandal have called attention to a facet of the problem that has long been understood (at least by some analysts), but routinely neglected if not actively suppressed: the connection between sexual abuse of young people and a widespread homosexual culture...

Pope Francis and the death penalty: another dose of confusion Aug 2, 2018

Once again Pope Francis has given the world reason to believe that the teachings of the Catholic Church can and will change. Was the Pope’s decision to revise the Catechism’s teaching on the death penalty a change in Church teaching, or a development of existing doctrine?...

Top 5: The City Gates

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....

The McCarrick scandal: a roundup of different perspectives Jul 27, 2018

This week I have been swamped with messages from loyal Catholics who have been shaken and disgusted by the latest eruption of the continuing sex-abuse scandal in the Church. I wish I saw some sign that our bishops recognized the rising tide of anger—righteous anger—among the most...

A meeting of the world’s bishops to talk about abuse? Please, not more talk. Action! Sep 12, 2018

Pope Francis has called the leaders of the world’s episcopal conferences to Rome, to “speak about the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.” Great. The meeting will take place next February—more than five years after the Pope announced his plan to set up a...

Coping with scandal: what everyone can do Jul 24, 2018

Perhaps the most prescient article that I ever published in my years as an editor, and certainly the most controversial, is The Gay Priest Problem, by Father Paul Shaughnessy, SJ, which appeared in the November 2000 issue of Catholic World Report. The concluding section of that piece, offering...

There’s a quick way to learn the truth about Vigano’s accusations Aug 29, 2018

Kudos to Father Raymond de Souza, who noticed something that the rest of us had missed. In a Catholic Herald column, Father de Souza explains how the release of the Vigano testimony affects the US bishops’ plans: The American bishops have already asked Pope Francis to appoint an...