Commentary

Most Popular Within the Last Year

Who is most likely to succeed Pope Francis? by Phil Lawler (From Dec 11, 2019)

The appointment of Cardinal Luis Tagle as prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization has prompted informed Vatican journalists to observe that Pope Francis may be hoping to put the Filipino prelate in place to become his successor. Pope Francis will celebrate his 83rd birthday next week,...

Faithful Catholics: don’t accept confusion about sexual morality by Phil Lawler (From Jul 3, 2019)

“Pride Month” has come to an end. And for the first two days of July, the first readings at Mass told the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. I’d call that a coincidence—if I believed in coincidences. Just after the middle of the month, Joseph Sciambra posted a very...

Sick of hearing about scandals in the Church? You should be. (Part I) by Phil Lawler (From Jul 24, 2019)

I quit. For more than 25 years now, I have been reporting and writing about scandal within the Catholic Church. Yesterday, as I wearily wrote one more article about episcopal corruption, I realized how much the topic has come to nauseate me. I can’t do it anymore. Since the 1990s I...

When a theologian accuses his archbishop of schism,... by Phil Lawler (From Jul 19, 2019)

Massimo Faggioli teaches in the theology department at Villanova (when he is not trolling conservative Catholics on social media). Villanova is—or claims to be—a Catholic university. Those who teach in theology departments at Catholic universities are obliged to obtain the...

Holy Week in the Home During Quarantine by Jennifer Gregory Miller (From Apr 3, 2020)

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. This year will be completely different for most of us who cannot attend any religious services or Masses during this time. Our reality is that as a family we generally will have more time preparing and entering into Holy Week. So many of us are...

Who benefits from all this talk of schism? by Phil Lawler (From Sep 17, 2019)

Why are we even talking about schism? Who began this extraordinary conversation, and whose interests are served by it? Ross Douthat of the New York Times admits that he used the term “schism” long ago, as a theoretical possibility—which he now (rightly) regards as remote. But...

Baffling and reprehensible by Phil Lawler (From Wednesday)

“I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles,” said Archbishop Wilton Gregory after President Donald Trump visited the St. John Paul II Shrine in...

A Pope who doesn’t fear schism may cause one by Phil Lawler (From Sep 11, 2019)

“I am not afraid of schisms,” Pope Francis told reporters during his latest airplane press conference. Well, I am. And I’m afraid of any Roman Pontiff who isn’t afraid of splitting the universal Church. Which means that, yes, I’m afraid of Pope Francis. As we...

This week: A curious media silence about a blockbuster Vatican story by Phil Lawler (From Oct 4, 2019)

This week’s most important CWN headline was not a big story. It was a huge story, a sensational story, a blockbuster. To be honest, I’m at a loss to explain why it hasn’t been given headline coverage throughout the media world. Police—the Vatican’s own police,...

When our churches open again... by Phil Lawler (From Apr 2, 2020)

When the pandemic crisis eases, and the world heads back into its normal routines, Catholic bishops will have some explaining to do. Why did you forbid the administration of the sacraments? For reasons of public health— and in many cases, because of emergency government regulations— you were...