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A Troubling Year in Review

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One aspect of getting older, and wiser, is the shedding of once comforting, but in fact naïve illusions about individuals or groups. We normally trust that certain people and groups who profess to carry out a particular and demanding mission in society are in fact going to do just that. Past performance, as far as […]

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Getting Our Creation Wrong

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When the Pharisees came to Jesus to ask for what reasons a man might put away his woman, Jesus does not refer to the opinions of Hillel or Shammai, the titans of the previous generation of rabbis – the one liberal, the other conservative. He goes even behind the law of Moses, which he says […]

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What Should We Do?

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I have been asked over and over again by lay Catholics: “What can I do to help resolve the crisis in the Church?” My answer is: “Pray and act.” By action, I mean: make known your dissatisfaction to the American bishops, to the Holy See, and to your fellow Catholics. Prayer is all-powerful. God wants […]

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On the “Enduring of Evil”

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In his treatise “On Pastors,” Augustine wrote: “’You have failed to strengthen the weak,’ says the Lord. He is speaking of wicked shepherds, false shepherds who seek their own concerns and not those of Christ.” The turmoil about deviant pastors and bishops is not wholly a new one. Christ, in a famous passage, stated that […]

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Of Dante and Our Current Crisis

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In these bad days I have called to mind Dante’s Inferno.  I think of the structure of the City of Dis, the Hell within Hell.  Outside of its miserable walls are punished those sinners who gave in to immoderate desires for things that are naturally good, such as the intercourse of the sexes, male and female, […]

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U.S. Bishops Left To Investigate Sexual Abuse On Their Own Without The Pope’s Support

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Two weeks ago, members of the USCCB executive committee traveled to Rome to ask for the Holy Father’s help in addressing the crisis engulfing the Catholic Church in the United States. They came back empty-handed. The primary goal was to convince the Holy Father to appoint an Apostolic Visitator to investigate the rot and corruption […]

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Rome Failed on McCarrick – and Needs to Change

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Representatives of the American bishops have now met with Pope Francis to discuss the much-needed investigation of the McCarrick Affair. This is understandable since any process involving the ex-cardinal and other prelates requires papal permission. It’s one thing to ask the pope’s support for an investigation, however, and quite another to trust Vatican officials to […]